'Thousands' in new housing developments waiting for NBN: Turnbull

'Thousands' in new housing developments waiting for NBN: Turnbull

Summary: Turnbull has claimed that the biggest issue facing NBN Co is the thousands of people who are waiting for NBN connections in new housing developments.

SHARE:
38

Shadow Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull has said that the cost of the National Broadband Network (NBN) has become a second issue to the thousands of greenfields residents who are waiting for a fibre connection from NBN Co.

Turnbull yesterday launched his Faster Broadband Survey, which is being used to determine the types of connection, use for broadband, and real-world speeds that are currently available to people across Australia. Turnbull's initial attack on the NBN, when he became the shadow communications minister after the 2010 election, focused on the cost of the network. However, for over a month, Turnbull has turned his attack on the federal government's AU$37.4 billion NBN project to the delays in rolling out fibre to new housing developments of over 100 lots.

Speaking with Leigh Sales on ABC1's 7:30 yesterday evening, Turnbull again declined to state how much his own policy would cost, and said that due to the delays in greenfields sites, the cost is not the biggest issue facing NBN Co anymore.

"You've got to remember that the cost of the project, which is what everybody focused on initially, is now becoming a second-order issue, because thousands and thousands of people are simply not getting any wire-line service at all," he said. "There are housing estates — I've been to them — where the pits and pipes have been put in place ready for the NBN. Eight months later, the NBN hasn't even turned up. People don't even have a telephone other than a mobile phone."

NBN Co is the fibre provider of last resort for new housing developments with over 100 lots, as long as the developer builds the duct and pipes to NBN Co's specifications.

NBN Co has been inundated with applications from housing developers seeking to get the NBN fibre rolled out to their greenfield sites across the country. As of May this year, NBN Co CEO Mike Quigley told a Budget Estimates hearing that NBN Co had received about 2,500 different applications from developers, comprising 130,000 premises in total. NBN Co has signed up Visionstream and Service Stream to cope with the demand.

While Turnbull claims that thousands are waiting for connections in new housing developments, NBN Co's own corporate plan, released last month, states that many of the new housing lots being passed by NBN Co do not have residents yet. According to NBN Co, this is one of the reasons for a slower uptake of services.

NBN Co told ZDNet today that the number of customers waiting for a service is just a "fraction" of the thousands that Turnbull claimed.

"The backlog we're dealing with is a fraction of that suggested by Mr Turnbull. We're also making great strides to get on top of it," NBN Co said in a statement.

"The greenfields build is without doubt one of the biggest challenges NBN Co faces. It doesn't matter if a new housing estate is in the city or the desert. If it has received planning approval, has more than 100 lots, and the developer wants us to do it, then we have to install fibre. In many locations, there's no infrastructure to connect that estate to the outside world. So we have to build that as well."

NBN Co said that developers still have the option to employ a private-sector fibre provider, because NBN Co is still the fibre provider of last resort.

Turnbull's comments come as Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak reportedly said that he is on the path to Australian citizenship, in part because of his love of the NBN project.

Topics: NBN, Networking, Australia

About

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.

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

38 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • "Provider of last resort"?

    Weird that NBN Co has signed up Service Stream to help with the roll out. NBN Co's previous construction manager Patrick Flannigan (who resigned over falling out with sub–contractors) was " the founding managing director and CEO" (http://www.zdnet.com/fujitsu-nabs-nbn-greenfields-deal-1339314984/).
    Fred Fredrickson
  • Make up your mind Turnbull

    It's either a vast failure that you want to replace with a crappy patchwork system or a valuable omething that everyone wants and some are going to have to wait for.

    I have a friend waiting for another 2 months to be connected to NBN as he's in a just built block of apartments on Melbourne's outskirts. For the moment, he's using 4G wireless, inconvenient perhaps -but not a real problem.

    I'd also like to be connected, but I know I'm way down the list and my current cable is pretty good anyway. Of course since this infrastructure will be the largest backbone on the planet, I don't really expect it to be done yesterday.

    Anyway Malcolm, if ithe concept is so bad, surely not being able to connect for a few months is a good thing.

    Thank heavens we don't get conservatives in power all the time or we'd be sacrificing people to appease the gods and replacing facts with ideology all the time ;-)
    Tony_McS
  • More details please

    How many of these "thousands" are also waiting for power, water and roads?
    How many of them actually have people moved into them?
    How long were people waiting for copper phone lines before NBN?
    Why don't the developers just pay for another company like Opticomm to fibre up the estates? NBNco won't stop them - MT is just pretending that private contractors are forbidden.
    jwbam
  • So just what does he propose?

    So let me get this right. Turnbull is complaining that "Thousands in new housing developments are waiting for the NBN". Excuse me? Isn't this the self same NBN that Turnbull is doing his damnedest to destroy? The one that is being built by a company led by an executive that Turnbull has disgracefully slandered and defamed? And now he has the nerve to complain that "thousands are waiting for it".

    So what does he propose? That those same 'thousands' won't be waiting far, far longer if the LNP does a U turn on the network build? That they will be connected 'faster and cheaper' if FTTN is used instead? That laying NEW copper will be cheaper and easier than NEW fibre - remembering that these are greenfield sites.

    The hypocrisy and cant of the man is unbelievable! Remember, this is the man who has invested his personal funds in telcos that are building FTTP networks in Europe. It's good enough for his personal future - but certainly not good enough for the Australian consumer that he treats with such disdain! It it wasn't pathetic, it would be hilarious.

    And he expects to get thinking people to vote for him? Give me a break!
    Mikeinnc-d63ee
    • NBNCo set themselves up as the monopoly wholesale provider

      Now they're surprised that non-technical housing developers would come to them to connect their services. It is comical.

      Liberals oppose the NBN because of the cost; surely they're can highlight some of the many NBNCo failures as well. Maybe we need another NBNCo plan in another 12 mths;-)
      Richard Flude
      • As opposed to MT's no plan, no costings, and look no CBA, but you love eh?

        Liberal's oppose the NBN because of the cost....as you do... thanks finally for the admission (inadvertent blood from a stone)...

        So let's revisit one of my questions you keep running from Richard.

        According to NBNCo's numbers for the NBN and CitiGroup's numbers for the opposition's (Liberal's using your words) alternative...

        Which will cost more the Liberal's $16.9B FttN with no ROI. Or $37.4B NBN fully repaid and then a valuable asset owned.

        Please no personal bias or double guessing what may or may not occur here, let's just comment on the raw numbers we have in front of us.

        Well?
        RS-ef540
        • I've been talking about the unacceptable costs for months

          Why finally an admission? You must try to keep up.

          You ask the wrong questions:

          Why is a private entity BT rolling out a much less expensive FTTN network in the UK with minimal govt assistance and faster than the super fantastic FTTP NBNCo network?

          Why aren't you using the $50+b total cost in the latest NBNCo plan?

          Why is he great NBNCo already below 10% of forecasted greenfield connections when ahead on expenditure?

          You add "no personal bias" with no questioning of FTTN cost, use of existing infrastructure like HCF, assume no alternate revenue model, no questioning the NBNCo return figure as if he later is fact. You do make me laugh;-)
          Richard Flude
          • Apples, Oranges, and potatoes...

            You are trying to compare a rollout in a country smaller than NSW and that is going to only cherry picked areas, with a rollout of ubiquitous broadband for all in a country that is massively larger and has a population density less than .011 of the UK per sqkm.

            "Why aren't you using the $50+b total cost in the latest NBNCo plan?"

            Because it is a BS number...pure mathology.
            viditor
          • Plenty of places in Oz are high density

            Australia is actually very urbanised, with lots of space in between.

            A for profit NBNCo would be servicing these centres first, best target for revenue.

            They aren't because they don't need the revenue, taxpayers guaranteeing their spending ($50+b).

            $37.3b is capex only, presumably we must now ignore all other expenditure in their business plan? If so I have plenty of investments you might like to park your cash into;-)
            Richard Flude
          • Where, which page?

            Interestingly the document you refer to does not mention the figure of $50b+ once...?

            So you are wrong...or perhaps hallucinating on MT's Kool Aid again?

            Love the + though (plus what, eleventy billion Joe)...LOL
            RS-ef540
          • pages 75 & 77

            $37.4b (capex) + $26.4b (opex) in nominal dollars.

            Presumably the NBNCo corporate plan 2012 is biased and not to be trusted;-)

            "But looking at the ease to which others have already dissected your infantile comment..."

            Right, what would I know without the extensive education and experience of my detractors. Sorry I'm right, it was $50b+. Guess that makes you...
            Richard Flude
          • Guess that make you...

            LOL you still here pushing the agenda Dick...

            Guess that makes you...? How adult and you expect us to believe your claims to be a respected professional :/

            Look Richard, you may indeed be what you say, but it certainly doesn't show... But what does show is your complete subservience to your political ideology and if you are indeed as you claim, that is pitiful.

            Anyway, so you accept the capex and opex projections, yet ignore revenue?

            How cosily selective...

            Also, still can't see the figure $50b+ anywhere though. Which page is that figure on?

            But please...

            So say my home to completely build cost me $1m... you're telling me it didn't because I then have to add water, electricity & phone/broadband bills over the life of my home? What about cutlery/crockery? Groceries, after all I need to eat while living in the house? Toilet paper? What about the cost of 3 cars parked in the house's garage, plus rego and insurance?

            So according to you, my home didn't cost $1m it cost... let's just say $50b+

            See I can do silly analogies like your previous 4 lane freeways too...
            RS-ef540
          • Wrong was the word you were looking for

            When talking about costs we don't look at revenue. Revenue is not a cost. That why your capex value doesn't include it as well.

            It is not selective, it is by definition.

            You picked the wrong analogy with building your house. The opex costs are to be included because they're paid with borrowed money through 2021 (when the profitability pendulum is supposed to swing). If your house was expected to take as long and you didn't budget for opex costs you would not be able to pay your bills and the project would be put into administration before completion.

            Again that education you like to mock, experience you like to question, exposes your limited knowledge.
            Richard Flude
          • And again...

            FFS... I need to spell it out again...

            You have questioned all along the revenue NBNCo has forecast, but will readily accept Capex and Opex figures from NBNCo...

            Again cosily selective. Choose figures you like and ignore figures you do not.

            Richard if you were as educated as you and your chest beating suggest you would be able to recognise that rolling out anything but FttP in 2012 and beyond is foolish and even your chosen comparison, BT's former CEO with more hands on experience than everyone here combined (one would imagine) believes so too...!

            Keep trying to play the numbers games all you like, but even MT has admitted the NBN accountancy is correct...

            So please continue the fight ;)
            RS-ef540
          • What fight?

            Again it is your failure to understand corporate plans and forecasting. As I've already said I expect costs to be understated, revenue overstated. This is not unusual.

            Costs are far easier to predict and much more certain than revenue as they are typically under management control, revenue is largely down to consumer preference.

            This is one of the many risks in investing, and why investors demand a return on their money proportional to the risk.

            As stated I'm happy to talk revenues as well.

            You continue to state FTTP is the winner without supporting arguement or cost benefit analysis beyond an appeal to authority of your "panel of experts" selected by the government. The result a $63.8b FTTP, when their previous $4.6b (not a cent more) proposal collapsed.

            Examples of FTTN are dismissed even though they are the most common, particulary with more cautious private investors.

            The BT ex-CTO quotes have been discussed.

            Competition like the HFC networks decommissioned to prevent the undermining of the NBNCo revenue model at considerable expense is aaasive waste of money.

            Your understanding of MT's position has also been discussed. He was talking about the handling if the NBNCo in the federal budget, not the validity of the NBNCo corporate plan forecasts.

            Clearly you have little formal education nor experience in either finance nor management. Many would restrain their arguments from such a position, instead you mock. It is not chest beating to respond to your insults of uneducated or inexperience with evidence the contrary.

            Sadly in my position I see many young people with the same attitude ( I call it the "celebration of ignorance" ), emboldened by the supposed anonymity of the internet they take it to the world.

            Rarely does it work out for them as well as it has for me;-)
            Richard Flude
          • What fight?

            Again it is your failure to understand corporate plans and forecasting. As I've already said I expect costs to be understated, revenue overstated. This is not unusual.

            Costs are far easier to predict and much more certain than revenue as they are typically under management control, revenue is largely down to consumer preference.

            This is one of the many risks in investing, and why investors demand a return on their money proportional to the risk.

            As stated I'm happy to talk revenues as well.

            You continue to state FTTP is the winner without supporting arguement or cost benefit analysis beyond an appeal to authority of your "panel of experts" selected by the government. The result a $63.8b FTTP, when their previous $4.6b (not a cent more) proposal collapsed.

            Examples of FTTN are dismissed even though they are the most common, particulary with more cautious private investors.

            The BT ex-CTO quotes have been discussed.

            Competition like the HFC networks decommissioned to prevent the undermining of the NBNCo revenue model at considerable expense is aaasive waste of money.

            Your understanding of MT's position has also been discussed. He was talking about the handling if the NBNCo in the federal budget, not the validity of the NBNCo corporate plan forecasts.

            Clearly you have little formal education nor experience in either finance nor management. Many would restrain their arguments from such a position, instead you mock. It is not chest beating to respond to your insults of uneducated or inexperience with evidence the contrary.

            Sadly in my position I see many young people with the same attitude ( I call it the "celebration of ignorance" ), emboldened by the supposed anonymity of the internet they take it to the world.

            Rarely does it work out for them as well as it has for me;-)
            Richard Flude
          • Hail Methuselah...!

            All of this has been answered and answered and answered, Richard. But you won't hear any of it (turn up the Cochlear;)...

            From me even agreeing many times, that NBN forecasts aren't written in blood (got it, this time?). To your blind persistence that the competition is being bought out... although last time you denied you even suggested it :/

            Please now refer to the you tube - mad dog chasing his own tail, again, as this typifies your comments perfectly ;)

            If you were such a go getting pro, you'd understand customer migration will fast track the NBN's profitability and you'd also understand the basic business principal of M&A's/leveraging.

            You'd also understand that when I suggested you uneducated it was in relation to comms not the world generally - I would have thought that obvious (but then you can't even grasp the NBN being a winner so what hope do I have ;) Seriously, I have never had to spell everything out to someone in such a manner before - but of course, regardless, that would all be my fault eh Richard? *sigh*

            Perhaps you are a Mensa or were the dux of your school back in '58... But the fact that you hadn't even heard of the Panel of Experts who adjudicated FttN/FttP viability, when we were discussing the virtues of FttN and FttP, clearly demonstrates very limited comms knowledge (and the truth hit a nerve with one so narcissistic ;) Anyway...

            ... I see many older people, as I visit a sick relative in a nursing home weekly and most of my seniors are absolutely fantastic...loving partners, friendly and kind demeanours from them all :-)

            Then there are those like you and a few Telstra shareholders who think they are the only ones who know anything about anything and aren't interested in anyone but themselves. Those who aren't willing to look forward even for their own families futures and/or aren't interested because they didn't have it when they were kids so you don't need it...

            Deny it all you like Richard but throughout you comments you have demonstrated political/ideological bias beyond that of any rational human being, as well as a level of selfishness which I find hard to fathom...

            Time for me to move on to the next thread and disprove your lies there too :0
            RS-ef540
          • Let's hope you improve your comprehension

            "forecast written in blood"

            You can't even calculate costs.

            "competition being bought out"

            You claimed "all" competition.

            "fastrack profitability"

            Your confusing revenue with profitability.

            "uneducated in relation to comms"

            Clearly that wasn't your position. But lets move to your latet position; I've delivered in more comms projects than you've even dreamt about, today finishing yet another one. I design and do what hou only talk about. Not once have you shown an error in my comms knowledge.

            "panel of experts"

            Zero to do with comms knowledge, and a laugh.

            "selfishness"

            Right because earners like me have to pay the majority of the costs for stupid govts like the this one.

            Its unlikely you'll have a problem sucking on the taxpayers teat, but in the end it'll always goes bad (see USA, Europe, Japan, etc). You'll be hurt the most.

            People like me do well in good and bad times (already been through both); we've in-demand knowledge and skills. Clowns are a dime a dozen, only a few circuses remain; Labor federally over soon enough like everywhere else.
            Richard Flude
          • No you aren't politically motivated (cough)

            You are my star self incriminating witness, I rest my case...

            ROFL
            RS-ef540
          • It is not politically motivated to call out incompetence

            I'd call the same for incompetent Liberal govts; eg expansionist entitlement programs of the Howard govt.

            The problem is you see politics as two parties; the result of your limited understanding of economics, society and philosophy.

            The budget position of Labor govts in NSW, QLD, SA, TAS governments are/were examples of massive waste and inefficiencies. Federally last years deficit forecasted at $22b came in over $43b! An incompetence of a massive and unprecedented scale, Australians quite rightly smashing them when given the opportunity.

            I've not hidden my Libertarian position. Your political allegations were all false. Your arguement against my NBN position relied exclusively on these false allegations, and childish debating techniques.
            Richard Flude