Telstra's copper can get 25Mbps for NBN: Thodey

Telstra's copper can get 25Mbps for NBN: Thodey

Summary: Telstra CEO David Thodey has indicated that Telstra's copper network would be able to achieve 25Mbps download speeds in a fibre-to-the-node scenario.

TOPICS: NBN, Telstra

Telstra CEO David Thodey has indicated that the company's copper would be able to deliver 25 megabits per second (Mbps) in a fibre-to-the-node network.

(Image: Telstra)

The Coalition's fibre-to-the-node National Broadband Network (NBN) policy released last week will require the use of Telstra's existing copper line from the node to each premises. Since the policy announcement, questions have been raised over Shadow Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull's promise that by 2016, everyone in Australia will be able to get access to at least 25Mbps download speeds on the network, given the quality of the copper network.

Speaking at the launch of Telstra's new office in Singapore, Thodey said that high speeds are achievable over Telstra's copper.

"Yes, you can," he said. "Look at what's happening in the labs and other countries in the world; you can run pretty quickly on copper, it always depends on the distance from the node, and you know the issue is as you get further away from that node, the performance degrades, but we've seen in the labs that are actually working for many European countries speeds of 60[Mbps] down to 25[Mbps].

"So it's just purely physics, nothing else about that. The big breakthrough in recent years is around noise suppression of copper."

Turnbull has said that he expects Telstra to quickly renegotiate its AU$11 billion agreement to get access to that copper, should the Coalition win the election. Thodey indicated that a quick renegotiation may be possible.

"There's elections to be had, but should there be change of government, we look forward to working with the government of the day, we're focused with working with NBN Co, but should there be a change, we'll engage and get on quickly with the job," he said.

Thodey would not confirm whether Telstra would seek more money for access to the copper.

"Until we know all the details, it's hard to comment," he said. "One thing I can say is I made a commitment to shareholders to say we will do everything we can to preserve the value of the deal."

NBN Co CEO Mike Quigley said today that his company would have difficulty pricing a fibre-to-the-node network alternative to the current NBN policy, because the cost of accessing and remediating the copper is not known.

Topics: NBN, Telstra


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.


Loves caption contests, leisurely strolls along supermarket aisles and watching How It's Made. Ryan has covered finance, politics, tech and sports for TV, radio and print. He is also co-author of best seller "Profit from the Panic". Ryan is an editor at ZDNet's Asia/Singapore office.

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  • Great...

    BTW - did you know the NBN announced 1 Gbps speeds today...
    • CEOs are reasonable comments from a grown up

      No surprise. Send in the clowns...

      NBNCo announces many things, sadly their construction numbers means very few will ever benefit from it.
      Richard Flude
      • "Send in the clowns..."

        The coalition? That will help?

        "sadly their construction numbers means very few will ever benefit from it."

        Indeed. Fibre is a benefit and more people on fibre sooner is important. How do we address and fix this problem?
        Hubert Cumberdale
        • what are they thinking???

          How can Australia compete on the world stage if we cant download a movie in 4 seconds?
          • "what are they thinking???"

            Perhaps you should ask fluddy.
            Hubert Cumberdale
          • "Perhaps you should ask fluddy."

            maybe BS-ef540 might know? Mr BS seems like a know it all.

            thanks for coming to aid... I'm feeling more comfortable now.

            Pirate any good movies on the weekend?
          • "thanks for coming to aid..."

            Pointing you in the right direction is the least I could do.
            Hubert Cumberdale
          • LOL another one HC...

            Got NFI, sprouts ridiculous AJ/Bolt idiocy.
      • More reasoned opinion

        "The NBN is, if anything, even worse. The government's $30 million implementation study and subsequent reports gathered all the data independent experts would need to conduct a cost-benefit appraisal; but it has never been released. As for NBN Co's own modelling, only the results, rather than the models and underlying data, have been disclosed -- and those results are implausible, with NBN Co assuming, for example, that its costs will decline unrealistically quickly.

        Adding to the problems, NBN Co plays fast and loose in its costing methodology. Its report issued on Friday is a case in point. It provides no explanation of how its estimates of fibre rollout costs per premise are derived. As best one can tell, those estimates ignore substantial overheads and do not properly include the network's accumulated losses. But without the underlying model and data, it is impossible to fully identify and correct the errors."

        The evidence given by NBNCo to the senate last week should have its modelling exposed; frankly failing fibre costs unbelievable given their performance.

        It'll be fun sifting through Labor's garbage.
        Richard Flude
        • And this post is relevant how?

          The story is about Telstras copper in case you forgot to read it while running your jihad...
          • Ironic given the original talkback

            The confederacy of dunces continue to shout down other views. Enjoy your bubble of ignorance and their approved stories.
            Richard Flude
          • Tinman has a point fluddy, this article is in fact about Telstras copper. Remember since the coalitions clowns patchwork plan is the one we'll most likely have to tolerate until it is built properly with fibre we should be more concerned with the condition of the copper upon which it will be based on. Do you have anything relevant to add to the discussion?

            "Enjoy your bubble of ignorance and their approved stories."

            eh? But you just posted a link to the Australian.
            Hubert Cumberdale
          • Charity begins online

            When all is quiet in the Labor offices, Tinman critiques the online comments of Zdnet. Go Tinman go!

            When I grow up I want to be just like you
          • Unfortunately for you...

            Looking at your childish comments, growing up is still very distant, if at all :(
          • when I grow up...

            I hope to be as narrow minded as you.... if that’s possible.
          • Congratulations...

            Your wish has come to fruition, you are more bigoted/narrow-minded than me, 10 fold, already...

            However aas you clearly admitted, you do still need to grow up and sadly tiger, looking at your infantile comments, that seems unlikely any time soon :(
          • Yeah, right...

            It's unreasonable for me to ask Richard to stay on the topic of the articles :/

            Way to go Sparky...
        • Not ironic in the way you think...

          Given that the first comment (from RS) was about speed. Your the one that derailed it by waffling on about anything BUT the topic of the article, there's the irony...
      • irony

        the irony is that the NBN construction has stalled because of how terrible Telstra ULL records are. The NBN biggest fault was how foolish they were in believing Telstra.

        Firstly I've worked for decades in the industry and the fact is that ULL's provisioning data is terrible. Its inaccurate i.e. other services/customers can be found using a particular pair. Technicans usually canabalise "unused" pairs thus disconnecting customers.

        I've had customers FNN's activated and swapped around (lending to massive confusion).

        It happened to me when I had my "naked" DSL activated it resulted in my neighbour losing his PSTN.

        Now imagine with the privacy restrictions trying to lay fibre down that path and having found you've terminated access to another person?

        Secondly the quality of Telstra copper is atrocious. From the pillar it tends to be the smallest gauge wire i.e. 11mm (quoting from memory from line tests here).

        There are so much crap left connected to these lines. Bridge taps, batteries and so much more. The insulation is falling off and animals, weather and such have degraded the quality of the copper so much that when you look at a TDR results (Time Domain Reflectometer) you often see the noise (attenuation) at the far end, in the last couple hundred metres of the run, the same piece of copper the Libs want to do a fibre to the node.

        Look at iiNet's colour graph of distribution of customers who get 25mbps. The vast majority of them are getting 10mbps and below. Only a small group of people can get the max throughput.

        How exactly will this change with VDSL and why will we want to take a risk buying VDSL modems for little gain?

        Lastly Telstra has been reducing OPEX to their copper network as revenue/margin retreats into their mobile product. Look at their annual reports for the last decade. Telstra has been running down the copper, planning to move to 4G. NBN came along and gave em $11b for a asset that they were writing off as worthless.

        Telstra was walking away from the copper network. Was a dead duck and this foolhardy plan from the coalition will do nothing to revive it.

        My mother yesterday asked me with great concern about about this fibre to the node plan. I assured her that once the liberals take power they will alter the plan. They'll realise the cost and technical issues cannot be rationalise with VDSL.

        TO avoid embarrassment and loss of face in having to go fibre they'll sell NBN lock stock and barrel to Telstra or the highest bidder and allow "commercial in confidence" to hide the fact that the majority of the network will be deployed with FTTH.

        The coalition know that NBN won't win the election for labour. The election was lost the day that NSW ALP lost the state, when Obied's nightmare corruption emerged and with the final kick in the balls into the Rudd corpose.

        The ALP cannot even man all of the booths for godsake. Our only hope is to vote Green to be frank.
  • ha! Thodey!

    You say things about the world results, but fail to tell us about our copper.

    The speeds you mentioned, are not great either.