NBN damaged cloud industry: BitCloud

NBN damaged cloud industry: BitCloud

Summary: The AU$37.4 billion network has crippled the growth of the cloud industry, according to the cloud service provider.


The Australian government has touted the National Broadband Network (NBN) as an enabler of cloud computing, but BitCloud CEO Bennett Oprysa has argued that the NBN has, so far, hindered rather than helped the cloud industry.

"From our point of view, the NBN has been a very damaging exercise because as soon as it was announced, what happened was all the telcos stopped developing their own networks or rolling out their own equipment," he said.

Connectivity is patchy across Australia in regional and rural areas, with some locales having limited broadband access. While the NBN aims to provide ubiquitous and affordable high-speed broadband access across Australia, it has halted any upgrades and expansions of existing networks, leaving regional areas underserviced, according to Oprysa.

Cloud providers like BitCloud rely on good connectivity to deliver cloud services to customers, he said.

One of the internet service providers (ISPs) that services BitCloud is AAPT. Oprysa described the ISP as "cheap and nasty", noting that since the NBN was announced, AAPT has been lax in expanding its network and datacentres.

"AAPT was rolling out and adding exchanges to its [network] at a very good rate," he said. "As soon as the NBN was given the go-ahead, it stopped — the company is simply not in agony to add any new datacentres and new capacity.

"It's simply just waiting to be bought out by NBN Co."

Under the NBN plan, the government-owned NBN Co will be the owner of all wholesale broadband infrastructure, and ISPs would only be able to resell the service to customers. Telstra has already promised to decommission its copper network and migrate its residential customers onto the NBN in due course in an AU$11 billion deal with NBN Co. Optus has struck a similar deal worth AU$800 million to migrate its hybrid fibre-coaxial (HFC) customers.

Other ISPs that own their infrastructure are staying put, waiting for NBN Co to offer them a deal.

Oprysa hopes to see the NBN rollout completed soon so that BitCloud can begin to woo customers with offices in remote locations.

"This is something that affects our whole industry," he said.

The NBN has experienced a string of delays as of late, and its fate hangs in the balance, should the opposition be elected at the next election.

Topics: Cloud, Data Centers, NBN, Australia

Spandas Lui

About Spandas Lui

Spandas forayed into tech journalism in 2009 as a fresh university graduate spurring her passion for all things tech. Based in Australia, Spandas covers enterprise and business IT.

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  • LOL...

    They stopped rolling out their own equipment...!
    • Yes as soon as he 4.5B version was announced

      Been mentioned before, no surprise given the commercial risks.

      At least NBNCo is on track (ha ha ha)
      Richard Flude
      • Speaking of things mentioned before do you have that page number from the NBNco corporate plan yet?
        Hubert Cumberdale
        • HC

          Does he have the "imaginary page yet"?

          Speaking of ha ha ha...
  • Relying on new ADSL infrastructure?

    Sorry but nothing has really changed for you guys unless you're saying that this new equipment that was being laid was super fast fibre optics? No it was more copper based ADSL (albeit with no phone line dependency). Were you solely relying on this for business?

    What about the rest of the nation that uses cloud computing now or are you conveniently ignoring them?

    The NBN *will* make cloud computing a joy as larger datasets and content is moved between people. Get ready!
  • Cancel the NBN

    "National fiber rollout and enormous expansion of connectivity bad for cloud uptake."

    What an utterly stupid article.
  • Cloud services not Dependent on remote servers

    This stuff is usually installed in exchanges/or located very close with direct fibre access to network infrastructure.
    NBN ain't going to be buying private cloud servers, can't see them trying to take over Microsoft, Google or Steam.
    Just another nonsense story.
    Kevin Cobley
  • Ahhh But

    The headline looks good on Google News
    Abel Adamski
  • Agreed, ridiculous article

    A Cloud company complaining that the fast and ubiquitous speeds of the NBN in a few years won't make them money now.....I'm sorry, I was unaware the Australian Government was funding the NBN as your own private Cloud Network to make money off ASAP.

    Suck it up. The Australian people are finally getting a decent network. You'll be making a motza soon enough. And as someone else has already pointed out, getting ADSL to more people hardly makes the cloud any better- uploads are what Cloud computing need and ADSL gives squat in that regard.
    • yep, I had to backup ~540gb of data last year and that took about three months. Not something you want to do on ADSL too often as it is simply not practical. If I ever get the NBN that sort of thing will be breeze however if that ever happens I'll know who to avoid.
      Hubert Cumberdale
  • Not silly, but a welcome article

    Few people could honestly contest the idea that FTTP is the best available technology for an access network. However when Rudd and Conry announced the NBN in April 2009 all investment in alternative technologies abruptly ceased. Providers have not been investing in improved technology or in extra capacity. Australia has been in a technology freeze for four years now. This has led to a situation where 1% of the population has NBN and 99% has technology which is four or more years old (if they can get access at all). If the NBN rollout was going to be completed in the next couple of years that would not matter too much. But even if NBNCo starts meeting its rollout targets immediately it will be another four years before NBN has passed half of Australian households and eight years until the rollout is substantially complete. Now eight to twleve years is a hell of a long time to be stuck in a technology time warp. That is what the article is about. It is a relevant quiestion, and one which has received scant attention in the technology press. Twelve years is simply too long for a technology-based project - particularly one which is being rolled out nationwide by a monopoly company. Even assuming the NBN rollout continues (and I hope it does), there are going to be a lot of disenchanted people for the next several years. For some businesses the wait will be too long and they will have to move or perish. It is interesting to note that even before the NBN rollout is complete many people will be demanding 100 Mbit/s or higher, and NBNCo will have the problem of needing to upgrade its network even before it has finished the inital build. (I happen to agree with those who think that starting to build FTTN in 2013-2014 is a ridiculous proposition.) Government and NBNCo should be looking for ways to finish the job more quickly.
    • 100Mb

      In case you weren't aware Achilles
      1Gb will be available, in fact that is why the Tassie units were replaced, not capable of 1Gb. ALL others are.
      In fact I understand that 500/200Mb will start being switched on for business customers 2014.
      Look up the NBNCo site, roadmap available including 25/10 then 50/20 for wireless
      Backhaul and Transits - data throughput capacity
      Abel Adamski
      • re: 100Mb

        @Abel: my comment assumed that upgrades beyond 100Mbit/s would be available. My point was that the rollout is scheduled to take so long that there will be a significant demand for speed upgrades long before the project is finished. This means that either the demand won't be met or that resources will need to be diverted, further delaying the rollout, or extra resources will need to be found. (But if extra resources are available they should be deployed to accelerate the rollout!) The 12-year project span is causing all sorts of pressures, particularly on businesses, and this is an aspect of the NBN deployment which gets no air time while people continue to argue about the merits of one technology or another. When Rudd and Conroy announced the NBN they clearly had no idea of HOW they would build it, but they thought it could be finished in 8 years. Four years will be up next month. Time is NBN's greatest enemy: anything which delays it puts NBN's success in greater jeopardy; anything which accelerates it increases the probability of success.
        • Really Achilles...

          "All investment in alternative technologies abruptly ceased."

          So companies stopped putting a DSLAM or two in Telstra exchanges, accessing Telstra's network or reselling Telstra?

          Do you see a pattern...

          Then of course we have HFC where we have great choice of Optus or guess who?

          The NBN finally rids us of such dominance (remembering Telstra is both wholesaler and retailer) which is a good thing... ISP's/RSP's can now concentrate on their "core businesses" of retailing quality comms for Australian's, instead of having to involve themselves in non-core network tweaking, just so as to survive...

          Seriously for someone who keeps claiming FttP is the best... you seem to always have a big BUT (no pun intended).
          • for someone who keeps claiming FttP is the best...

            There IS a big but! I think we have to differentiate between the technology (which is great) and the deployment plan (which is pretty mediocre). The task facing NBNCo is immense, and I'm not sure that they're up to it. As a nation we are putting all of our eggs in the NBN basket, so it's vital that it succeeds. To succeed it HAS to be rolled in an acceptable time frame. IMHO the original 8years was long, but probably acceptable - 12 years is too long, and it's not certain that NBNCo will meet even that timeframe unless there is a change in approach. Four years have gone by and less than 1% of homes have NBN available. Yes, I know that there have been all sorts of startup hurdles to get over, but the fact remains. If the NBN rollout had reached even 10% by now it would probably be unstoppable. The Gillard government is not helping by clamping down on 457 visas just at the time when they should be looking for several thousand overseas workers with fibre skills to augment the NBN workforce! Also the TAFE system should be adequately supported to train thousands of Australian technicians. As it stands there is a danger that some NBN installations are being rushed and corners cut by inadequately skilled workers trying to meet increasingly tight deadlines. It's a situation that has the potential to bite back down the track. (Incidentally this question of workplace skills is one argument in favour of FTTN. The existing workforce could rollout FTTN a lot quicker than FTTP. For me, that is outweighed by the superiority of FTTP technology, but the delay is a real worry.)
  • A "Quicker FTTP NBN"

    It could be done but could not be sold to the Australian public.
    The whole NBN project could have been contracted into one contract with HUAWEI to complete work in three years and that company allowed to bring it's own labour from China and pay them Chinese wages and deploy the workforce in caravans on fenced pubic reserves in project locations.
    Could have offered permanent residency prizes for those that completed a 3 year contract and learned English.
    Problem in Australia is the low level of unemployment and people not wanting to work on travelling project when they could work on mines sites for a better wage.
    Kevin Cobley
  • What we see here is....

    A thing called the market.

    The power rangers don't understand commercial reality so they snipe at anyone or anything that dares to challenge their fibre optic gaming network.

    Hubert laments that it took him three months to back up 540gb of data. Why? What possible commercial requirement would call for that volume of data to be backed up remotely over a domestic network? More the point over a three month period?

    In the real world that would have been either backed up to a peripheral device or commercially available bandwidth would be in place.

    When the market sets the price and the agenda for a project we see success. When governments set agendas for projects they almost always end in tears.
    • Oh look...

      No haunting shadows...LOL