First NBN fibre extension completed

First NBN fibre extension completed

Summary: A business in Tasmania was the first to take up NBN Co on its user-pays offer to extend fibre beyond the 93 percent footprint.

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TOPICS: NBN
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NBN Co has gone ahead with its plans of extending the fibre rollout beyond the 93 percent footprint if customers are willing to pay, confirming that it has completed its first fibre-extension upgrade in Tasmania.

In recent weeks, Labor has trumpeted that its fibre-to-the-premises National Broadband Network (NBN) does not cost the end customer any money to have the fibre installed, unlike the Coalition's proposal, in which Shadow Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull has said that customers in fibre-to-the-node areas would pay to have the fibre rolled out right to their premises.

But Labor's fibre network does not reach 100 percent of the population. A total of 7 percent of premises will be served by fixed-wireless or satellite services instead of fibre, because the company has said that the cost for installing fibre to those locations is prohibitive. The same 7 percent would also continue to receive fixed-wireless or satellite services under the Coalition, but Turnbull has suggested that more regional communities could receive fibre to the node.

In 2011, in response to expressions of interest from people living in those areas that would miss out, NBN Co began formalising a policy to allow those outside of the fibre footprint to get fibre, provided that they pay the difference in the cost.

NBN Co CEO Mike Quigley said at the time that it would be "very expensive" to deliver; one estimate that a business owner in South Australia received quoted that 1.3 kilometres of fibre would cost him AU$150,000.

In answers to questions on notice from the April joint parliamentary committee hearing on the NBN, released earlier this week, the company confirmed that since formalising the policy, one extension has been constructed, and eight are currently under "commercial discussions".

NBN Co told ZDNet today that the extension was for a single business based in Tasmania. The company would not reveal the cost or the length of fibre that was required for the extension, stating that it was a matter for the business itself.

The responses from NBN Co also confirmed that construction contracts include a "regime for liquidated damages" to be paid to NBN Co if, as NBN Co has now confirmed to be the case, the construction of the NBN is delayed.

Topic: NBN

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Armed with a degree in Computer Science and a Masters in Journalism, Josh keeps a close eye on the telecommunications industry, the National Broadband Network, and all the goings on in government IT.

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13 comments
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  • Just think if the coalition clowns get in almost every premise in Australia will be in the "fibre extension zone". Apparently they'll do it "sooner" and "cheaper" too! We just have to believe them. Bring on the magical coalition clown pixie dust. $30+ billion clusterfuсk taxpayer waste in the making. I can't wait.
    Hubert Cumberdale
  • Slightly off topic, but should be said: One way internet

    It's in the interests of the established media conglomerates that the internet be as 'one way' as possible as a two way internet empowers ordinary people to become content producers, a direct threat to their business model. You and I both know that this is an inevitability in the long term, but it's also clear that the mass media see NBN style projects as a threat and will use an array of different tools (using Koch-brothers style astroturfing on technology websites, for instance) to slow the development of such networks and preserve their business model and thus profits, for as long as possible.

    I believe there's a bigger issue of liberty at stake here (which I won't go on about now) but suffice it to say that I think the Labor NBN is a rare opportunity to tilt power back towards empowering ordinary people and away from conglomerates and their power hungry, money driven political pawns. The mass media and the power to shape opinion is a particularly subversive and subtle means of control, not one that humanity has ever dealt with until very recently in our history and one that is difficult to respond to in a coordinated fashion.

    It would be naive to think that only the right has been co-oped by this phenomenon (although a two party system isn't helping) but it's clear that currently at least, media bias heavily favours the right and by design or not, near universal 'two way' internet and an informed populace would dramatically redress this balance and _that_ is why the Labor NBN is so crucial, especially given how inept a single political term is at addressing a larger issue like this. The Coalition alternative simply pays lip service to the wider problem and we'll be stuck with a (slightly less shitty, but still shitty) one way internet.

    It's worth building (even if it did cost $90 billion dollars) in terms of the inter-generation issues at stake here and I wonder, if Labor lost the upcoming election, they would commit to finishing the build to the original spec. Wishful thinking probably, but liberty from tyranny is something previous generations have fought and died for. Looking at the debate in this context, it's not a paranoid delusion, it's a no brainer.
    RealismBias
    • "it's not a paranoid delusion"

      That people are only opposed to a $90b NBN because they're under the control of tyrannical "established media conglomerates", funded by Koch-brothers like people and that Internet upload speeds define a liberty that "previous generations have fought and died for".

      Really?
      Richard Flude
      • The information age only happened to other people

        To your question: no, not really. Despite clearly being a titan of intellect, you'll have to try a little harder than an obvious strawman argument.

        Incidentally, I see your behavior here as a great example of my above point in practice. That's not to say you _are_ one of these paid shills, but as a case study of how media can be used to co-op a persons common sense to the point where they're unable to be remotely objective on a given subject. It is what it is I suppose, and you've as much right to spout the bollocks you do as anybody else on here, I just see it as disappointing that you don't recognise what going on and believing that you've arrived at your conclusions independently.

        Also, for the record, pretending to be clever by using a strawman to reframe my point, conflating liberty with upload speed isn't doing your credibility much good. By all means however, please do continue to advance the libertarian cause by trying to wind up RS, HC and others. I'll continue to read with detached amusement in the hopes that as some point, you grow up enough to have an adult conversation about some of the issues and articles on here.
        RealismBias
        • Point out the strawman

          "That's not to say you _are_ one of these paid shills, but as a case study of how media can be used to co-op a persons common sense to the point where they're unable to be remotely objective on a given subject."

          The accusation we're paid shills popular with one side of the debate. Thank you for, well maybe, kind of, saying I'm not.

          Again you claim, without any evidence, that no-one can be "remotely objective" about the NBN as their "common sense" has been co-oped by the media. It's delusional.

          I've warned of the risk to taxpayers, cost blowouts, failure to use existing infrastructure, the destruction of competition and delays since it was announced; any one reason enough to have opposed to Labor's NBN.

          "I just see it as disappointing that you don't recognise what going on and believing that you've arrived at your conclusions independently."

          Again you assert I didn't arrive at my conclusions independently; presumably you believe you do. How do you reconcile the obvious contradiction?

          "...conflating liberty with upload speed isn't doing your credibility much good."

          What was the point of your post if not 'one way', aka poorer uploads with the alternative? That faster upload would challenge the "established media conglomerates" that control our thoughts by preventing "ordinary people to become content producers". Surely this is the "tyranny" you believe threatens liberty?

          This is your expectation of an "adult conversation"?
          Richard Flude
          • Unpaid?

            "You claim, without any evidence, that no-one can be "remotely objective" about the NBN as their "common sense" has been co-oped by the media. It's delusional."

            I agree, that is delusional, but it's not also not what I said. My words were "media can be used to co-op *a* persons common sense". A far cry, I'm sure you'll agree, from your hyperbolic version where 'no-one' can be objective. http://bit.ly/IjyNw8

            "I've warned of the risk to taxpayers, cost blowouts, failure to use existing infrastructure, the destruction of competition and delays since it was announced; any one reason enough to have opposed to Labor's NBN"

            All of these risks exist under the Coalition plan as well, as I'm sure you'll agree, so we'll go with: http://bit.ly/Jc9K5l
            for this one.

            "You assert I didn't arrive at my conclusions independently; presumably you believe you do. How do you reconcile the obvious contradiction?"

            http://bit.ly/XoU0kh - We'll just move right along here.

            "What was the point of your post if not 'one way', aka poorer uploads with the alternative?"

            I was just navel-gazing really, to be honest. Internet upload speeds don't define liberty, but in the context I was referring to, they contribute to enabling it. I guess it's only a strawman argument if it's a willful misinterpretation of my point, but I'm thinking that perhaps you just don't understand what I was saying in the first place.

            "This is your expectation of an "adult conversation"?"

            No, Richard, I was quite sure that this wouldn't end it what could be considered an 'adult conversation'.
            RealismBias
          • "but it's not also not what I said"

            "Incidentally, I see your behavior here as a great example of my above point in practice. That's not to say you _are_ one of these paid shills, but as a case study of how media can be used to co-op a persons common sense to the point where they're unable to be remotely objective on a given subject. It is what it is I suppose, and you've as much right to spout the bollocks you do as anybody else on here, I just see it as disappointing that you don't recognise what going on and believing that you've arrived at your conclusions independently."

            It's exactly what you said - I'm the "case study" proving your point. Delusional.

            "All of these risks exist under the Coalition plan as well"

            True but not to the same extent. I've expressed this position and my wish the govt would stay out of telecoms except where markets are failing (and not when they're the cause of the market failure). People here believe to be opposed to Labor's NBN is loyalty to the Liberal's alternative.

            The FTTN/HFC alternative has significant last mile cost and speed advantages unacknowledged by most here despite real-world examples demonstrating it and the failures of NBNCo's FTTH.

            "it's only a strawman argument if it's a willful misinterpretation of my point, but I'm thinking that perhaps you just don't understand what I was saying in the first place."

            I can only read what's written.
            Richard Flude
          • My bad (correction)

            "but it's not also not what I said"

            Seems I put an extra word in there.
            That should read "but it's also not what I said"
            RealismBias
          • Sorry what?

            "The FTTN/HFC alternative has significant last mile cost and speed advantages unacknowledged by most here despite real-world examples demonstrating it and the failures of NBNCo's FTTH."

            For a moment there i thought you were talking about FttP. Cause you were talking about last mile of copper being faster than a last mile of fibre. Maybe i misread. Please clarify and give said example of a mile of copper being faster than fibre.
            Darren.Bennett
          • ??

            "The FTTN/HFC alternative has significant last mile cost and speed advantages unacknowledged by most here despite real-world examples demonstrating it and the failures of NBNCo's FTTH."

            Richard, please go to a doctor and ask to be tested for early onset dementia.
            Tinman_au
    • I'm not normally in the grammar police but...

      ...this one just got to me. The word is "co-opt" not "co-op". "Co-op" is an abbreviation of "co-operative".
      chronicinfoholic
      • Heh

        Yeah, re-reading what I said I saw a bunch of errors, and I also said 'co-oped' (??) in my OP, I didn't really have time to proof what I was writing. ZDnet needs an edit function :-( (or I should be more careful)
        RealismBias
  • Don't forget the NBN Implementation Study

    Thanks for the article, Josh.

    Whenever speaking of the basis for the boundary of the fibre footprint, I find it is always worth linking to the NBN Implementation Study, released to the public in May 2010. This $25 million study is the sound basis for stating with certainty that FTTP is cheaper than wireless all the way up to the 93rd percentile of premises. (Interestingly, no such certainty exists in relation to the cost of provisioning FTTN on old copper, yet Malcolm Turnbull has adopted exactly the same footprint, despite his prior predilection for universal wireless!)

    The fibre extension program is a great example of how to build universal broadband that is entirely self-funding, while allowing businesses, clusters of homes or anyone else, to be included in the fibre rollout at no cost to the public purse, if they find the investment worthwhile.

    Labor made many mistakes, but it remains a mystery to many Liberal supporters that the Liberal Party repeatedly fails to take ownership of the one infrastructure project that Labor got brilliantly correct. Having seen the effect of a leakage of votes to cross benches in 2010, they are set to risk repeating it, and then govern in a minority, beholden to independents.

    Beats me why they allow Labor to have exclusivity over FTTP. The coalition's FTTN-HFC will not self-fund, because it offers less and will therefore yield much lower revenue per user, attract a smaller percentage of premises, and ultimately require taxpayer bailout to belatedly overbuild with FTTP.
    umbria