Only 45% accept free NBN fibre connection

Only 45% accept free NBN fibre connection

Summary: Only 45 per cent of the 5000 households included in the first phase of the Tasmanian portion of the National Broadband Network have consented to NBN Co conducting free installation of a unit on the outside of their dwelling, which would allow them to connect to the network.


update Only 45 per cent of the 5000 households included in the first phase of the Tasmanian portion of the National Broadband Network have consented to NBN Co conducting free installation of a unit on the outside of their dwelling, which would allow them to connect to the network.

NBN Co confirmed the figure, which had been revealed at a press conference in Tasmania on Tuesday for the opening of a network operation centre. Monday was the last day that the Tasmanian households included in this first stage of the National Broadband Network could agree to the installation.

"Many people predicted we would be as low as 15 per cent take-up, but we always believed there is an enormous latent demand, particularly in Tasmania, which has had some of the poorest broadband services, some of the most expensive and the slowest," The Mercury quoted Communications Minister Stephen Conroy as saying.

According to The Mercury, Senator Conroy said it was up to retail service providers to convince people to sign on to the service. "The challenge now is for the retail service providers to put offerings in place to attract customers," he said. "That is their measure of success — our measure of success is connections and rolling this service out to all Tasmanians."

The 45 per cent who chose to be connected initially, won't have to pay for being hooked up, according to NBN Co spokesperson Rhonda Griffin.

Any household in the stage one Tasmanian NBN roll-out that wanted to connect after the free connection period would need to order a "demand drop" instead of NBN Co automatically doing the "drop" as the network was rolled out, Griffin said. They would order the drop at the same time as ordering a commercial internet service, she said.

The initial "drop" involves NBN Tasmania running a fibre-optic cable to each consenting household and installing a premises connection device. Once connected and installed, a household can then order a service — if they choose to — through a retail service provider. The retail service provider or the end user is then required to organise the internal wiring of the service and send their own technician out to do that at a time negotiated with the household.

There would be a cost for the retail service provider to pay for the "drop" for the 55 per cent who didn't initially connect, Griffin said, but she would not reveal what that cost would be.

"I can't say what's going to be the cost because it's up to the [retail service providers] what they charge," she said. "All I'll say is it is all part of our wholesale access agreement."

Service providers were responsible for how they priced the drop to customers, she said.

Those who hadn't participated in the free connection would most likely be required to pay a fee to a retail service provider to be hooked up, according to internet service provider iiNet chief regulatory officer Steve Dalby.

Dalby said iiNet would not charge any connection fees in the first instance for the consenting 45 per cent who chose iiNet. Primus and Internode are the other options for the first stage of the Tasmanian NBN roll-out. However, customers who didn't consent to being connected could incur an extra fee if they signed up later.

"Some time down the track if a customer says they've changed their mind, a new tenant moves in, or the property changes hands and the new owner wants to be connected, there will be an application process which will generate a charge," Dalby said.

"There will be a charge to us because NBN Co will provide that 'drop' to the outside wall. We would either decide to pass that on, or depending on our retail policy at the time, it might be [to] subsidise it or it might be part of a connection fee [where you] sign up for 12 months [and] get a free connection."

Update at 2:10pm, 4 June 2010: NBN installs a premises connection device, not a network termination unit when conducting the "drop". The premises connection device houses the passive fibre connection from the street to the home. The network termination unit is the active network connection.

Topics: Government, Broadband, Government AU, Telcos, NBN

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  • Many places, such as apartment buildings and other multiple-occupancy buildings would require approval from a committee or Body Corporate before any modifications to the outside of the building can be done.

    Since a unit (some sort of termination device I would expect) needs to be physically installed outside the building, a great deal of paperwork and planning would be needed well ahead of actually being able to apply for the free installation.

    I remember going through similar hoops and red-tape when Cable and Satellite TV first arrived in Australia. The owners/powers that be of the buildings were always very hesitant to have such things installed.
  • Of course this is the case. You also factor in people renting properties where they need to get landlord approval and you can see why it's so difficult to get things like this installed. Unfortunately the government lives in this strange vacuum where all they see are families living in brick veneer houses that they own themselves.
  • I will be very angry and confused if Australia votes in Rudd for another term.
  • When, if, the rest of Aus gets this NBN, will we all be offered a free "installation of a unit".
    If not, why not?
    Charlie Bungalow
  • I will be very angry and confused if Australia votes in Liberals and scraps the NBN.
  • I will be very angry and confused if ... ah forget it!
  • Everyone on the planet is angry and confused.
  • Conjob is VERY confused
  • Of course they'd only have 45%, the other 55% are all related and leech off each other in TASMANIA.
  • Studies have shown Australians need more fibre in their diets. Come on Australia its free!
  • They probably didn't think it would be any good being a government provided service. More like wind up the elastic band and see if it goes faster.
  • Pffft! If they wanted to do that to my house, I'd be woindering if it was really Internet that would be provided, or some Christian coallitions idea of a media feed- which is more likely the case given that Censoroy is still on the (con)job. I can't believe that Rudd is gone, and Julia is still accepting that Conjob stay. When will the pollsters understand that so many young people are turned off the ALP by his approach to consensus, sorry I meant censorship...
  • The published take up of the NBN is likely to be around 16% apparently. According to ex Telstra and ex Optus broadband managers, I have spoken to, the cost of the NBN has been varstly underestimated. The cost given to me is around $200 Billion. The current estimate is 40 Billion. So lets do some basic sums then ...
    Take into account the following:
    1. Revenue of 100MB optical fiber currently is $50 per month (to the telco)
    2. The NBN would be about the 5th last company to put down an optical fiber back bone and therefore would not be likely to get much more than 10% of the market

    1. Cost=$40 Billion, Take up 10%, Revenue $50 per month, Years to pay back=33.3
    2. Cost=$200 billion,Take up 16% Revenue $50 per month, Years to pay back=104

    Unfortunately the people who are proposing this are not the smartest people in the world (that is an understatement - they cannot add up - they don't understand the environment, or what needs to be done).
  • According to the government they have in the first three months, already signed up 50% of Tasmanians...and it's claimed by those actually building the NBN that it will less than $43b...

    So not the smatrest figures in the world!