Microsoft urges rethink of NBN plan

Microsoft urges rethink of NBN plan

Summary: Software giant Microsoft has said that the Abbott government should reconsider its National Broadband Network policy.

TOPICS: NBN, Microsoft, Telcos

The former Labor government's fibre-to-the-premises plan is superior to the Coalition's cheaper policy of running optical fibres to street exchanges, Microsoft Australia managing director Pip Marlow has said.

Microsoft argues that a fibre-to-the-premises National Broadband Network (NBN) would deliver faster speeds than the Coalition's hybrid optical fibre and copper cable program.

"Ultimately, if you don't get fibre to the home, the biggest impact really is the upload speeds," she told AAP at a Committee for Economic Development of Australia event.

Microsoft is lobbying Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull and other government members, Marlow said.

"We're encouraging the government to be looking at all the options and really understanding how businesses, how schools, how individuals will be using this technology," she said.

"We think that needs to be looked at."

Topics: NBN, Microsoft, Telcos

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  • Google

    should join them in lobbying the government on this
    • I am sure that the Government will listen to the advice of MS

      just as soon as MS listens to its millions of users and changes the POS known as Windows 8.
  • Finally!

    Finally someone has said it in the media. It's not the download speed, it's the UPLOAD speed that matters most to innovation. I've been saying this till i'm blue in the face. Who cares if you have 50mbit down if you have 6mbit up. You effectively have 6mbit as far as any kind of productive work is concerned - whether it's document sharing, or vpn's or VC or just about any non video streaming work is concerned.
    • That's a fair point

      It is difficult to build a fast copper network that includes fast upload speeds. SDSL is an option, but its far lower overall speeds would defeat the purpose of trying to build a high-speed network.
    • Exactly, grif!

  • Microsoft is right

    The "half-NBN" (as Fiber-to-the-Node should be known) is actually more expensive.

    It's more expensive because the old copper will need to be replaced some time down the track.

    It's more expensive because taxpayers pay x-billions of dollars, but upload speeds remain lousy.

    It's more expensive because it will be less use to both businesses and the public.

    So, they save a billion or two from the purchase price, but then pay more later. That's not a saving. Microsoft's analysis of the situation is correct.
    • False Economy.

      You left out the current $1Billion per year maintenance on the decaying copper as well as double the power bill to run FTTN.
      It could be possible to roll it out quicker if they still owned the copper they sold & didn't have to negotiate with Telstra but it certainly won't be cheaper for either the government or the consumer!
  • Moving Data

    'Big truck == Optics to the home
    'Small truck == Copper to the home
    'Connection speed == 50 Meg
    'Download speed == Connection speed / 12 (Average 4.2 meg down)
    Its like opening a open cut mine, You can either haul huge amounts of dirt with say a 400 tone truck or use a 70 tone truck. The distance doesn't change to do a round trip but the amount of dirt being moved increases. Yes the bigger truck would cost more upfront but would pay for its self way faster than using a smaller truck.

    To be able to blow a OS Image across the current speed im using on telstras copper line (3meg connection) would take days and days. With optics it would take hours. Optics can carry > 32 spectrum's of light and currently (Last time i checked) we are only using 3 spectrum's. Each spectrum is capable (Theoretically) of carrying upto 1GIG speed.
    Which would you choose?
    • But it's a rusted truck

      If we use your truck analogy, it would be like buying a smaller 70 tonne truck, and getting a discount price on it because the truck is rusty. Is that a saving?

      The old twisted copper pairs under the ground are already suffering corrosion. Some have insulation that is older than most of the population, which lets the water in when it rains.

      So the idea of the "half-NBN" is to create half a fiber network, and then connect it to that old corroded copper to take it into your home.

      Government politician says: "Our side of politics is better, because we just saved two billion dollars by re-using the rusted copper lines."
  • Turnbull: Microsoft are "conspiring against taxpayers" etc
    Hubert Cumberdale
  • It's not their money

    Everyone has an opinion on how to spend billions of taxpayers money don't they. Keep in mind this was an undercooked and under quoted initiative from union leaders who want construction projects in their own self interest.

    I have personally seen the NBN come to a property to put fibre in.

    theoilman: Maybe google should put their money where their mouth is and build it themselves, if it's going to be so good then people will pay for it.

    Standardised: You need to make a choice and not complain about the options.

    grif: None of your examples need more uploads, NBN plans already cover this with substantially larger upload bandwidth. How does skype work today if you cant run a VC on broadband? I don't see any businesses struggling with this at all. You need more then 6mbit to share a document? Is this the twilight zone?

    Standardised: Maybe acknowledge the progress with VDSL, other progress with 1gbit @ 300-400m, the policy that lets you pay for fibre and sets a minimum benchmark. Lets not let facts get in the road of your argument.

    VBitrate: copper is a base element and does not need to be replaced every 50 years like fibre. It's already millions of years old, all the copper deployed has been polyethylene coated in the last 30 odd years, when's polyethylene going to decompose?

    JohnnyJammer: You can still choose fibre, it's just not paid for by other taxpayers.
    • gee thanks Duncan...

      ... so I expect you to no longer use any portion of the highways in Australia that you have not personally paid for... its only fair to us taxpayers!

      (and my explanation mark makes sense too!)
  • But it is their money!

    Be it copper or fibre it's the users that pay for it not the taxpayer.
    As for the shortcomings of copper compared to fibre:
    Heard of verdigris?
    Short circuits?
    Voltage drop?
    Perhaps you could also tell me why my 20 yr old polyethylene line becomes almost totally useless during wet weather while even at the best of times voice is barely audible & my internet struggles to provide a small fraction of my provisioned ADSL speed?
  • 4G

    What's wrong with. Spending the money towards getting full 4G across the country. 40 down 20 up. Perfect,