Quigley not worried about Vic opt-in policy

Quigley not worried about Vic opt-in policy

Summary: NBN Co chief executive Mike Quigley isn't fazed by the Victorian Government's decision to reject an 'opt-out' policy which would have seen every premise in the state receive fast broadband by default.


NBN Co chief executive Mike Quigley isn't fazed by the Victorian Government's decision to reject an 'opt-out' policy which would have seen every premise in the state receive fast broadband by default.

The decision by the new Coalition State Government — confirmed as policy in late December — runs contrary to the wishes of Federal Labor and even other State Liberal Parties such as the one in Tasmania, which have supported the notion that the NBN should be connected by default to every available premise.

Under the so-called 'opt-out' policy, residents would have to actively choose not to have the fibre or wireless infrastructure installed to their homes — although it wouldn't force them to actually pay for broadband services from an internet service provider. Now Victorians will have to actively say yes to having the infrastructure installed.

Asked whether he was disappointed by the state's decision, Quigley replied: "Not at all."

He said he didn't expect the opt-in policy would harm adoption in Victoria. "Frankly," the NBN Co supremo explained, "People will make their own decision about whether they want to take on a service or not."

One factor which may spur adoption of the NBN is the gradual shutdown of Telstra's copper network and hybrid-fibre coaxial network for broadband services, which will leave many Victorians without broadband at all unless they choose a wireless broadband service or sign up to the NBN.

"If we were to consummate the deal with Telstra — if that happens — as we know, progressively, over time, the copper network will be retired and will be replaced with a fibre network," said Quigley. "So, people will then have the option of will they make that transition or not."

Most of the other states have not formally taken a stance on whether they will support the opt-out approach backed by Federal Labor or not. But Quigley said he didn't anticipate any operational difficulties for NBN Co if some did and some didn't.

"We had not anticipated that we have necessarily have a uniform environment in every state. We expected it to be different," said Quigley. "We don't expect it to cause any difficulties."

"We don't expect the states in Australia to throw barriers up," he said. "So far, what we've seen from most of the states is a keenness to get on and do the job. In fact, we're lobbied very heavily by different shires all over the place, who want us to come there first."

"That's the biggest issue we've got at the moment — people want us to get there sooner," he said.

Topics: Broadband, Government AU, NBN

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  • "If we were to consummate the deal with Telstra — if that happens — as we know, progressively, over time, the copper network will be retired and will be replaced with a fibre network," said Quigley. "So, people will then have the option of will they make that transition or not."

    People will then have the option: "Do I want to have an internet connection at my house? Because if I do, the only option will be NBN"
  • And it used to be if I want an internet connection at my house, the only option will be Telstra, so nothing really changes...except we won't be dealing with a wholesaler who is also a retailer (so we eliminate the conflict of interest), we will be receiving fibre (in the cities) instead of dilapidated copper (so paying for and receiving constant speeds) and we are readying ourselves for the future applications... all wins, imo.

    BTW - I see Gerry Harvey is demonstrating once again, your naive premise, of "private enterprise perfection", to be anything but, at this very moment...
  • Is the NBN so important I have many friends who do not need the NBN they use wireless Broad Band and mobile phones with no hard wiring required.
    I believe this option will become a major consideration for the average user as people catch on
    and prices fall.
  • GBE... in all sincerity, to every single person, no...probably not...! But to the nation as a whole, imo yes.

    1. For all the FUD about the NBN "monopoly", the NBN will be wholesaler only, whereas Telstra who had the last mile copper monopoly, wholesales and retails causing a conflict of interest and an un-level playing field (and let's not even go into the taxpayer funded PSTN and privatisation etc). The NBN will rid us of this injustice (which to be fair isn't really Telstra's fault - it was the fault of the government of the time of the sale) so we can move forward. Even Telstra believe so, because they can in-turn, offload their ageing copper, their USO obligations, receive revenue for usage of their ducts (to keep the angry shareholders at bay) and for migrating their customers.

    2. The copper is on it's last legs and will need to be replaced or maintained waaaaay beyond what Telstra will or could ever do. What happens if we don't act and the copper s***s itself completely? Unlikely I know, but... wireless you say (refer 5)!

    3. Making... FTTN no good, because the last mile copper problem/Telstra monopoly problem remains, as the fibre only advances to each node not to each premises.

    4. While you talk about a lot of your friends, sadly unlike you (I'm guessing), your friends and I... a lot of people still "do not" have decent, "affordable" comms. Yes some rural folk can sign up to wireless or satellite, if they want to take out another mortgage on the farm...But should they have to? Also, some people even in urban areas in new estates are on RIM's and at best have dial up 64Kbps. The NBN is talking a minimum of 12Mbps - 100Mbps, at comparable or better prices than now, with speed certainty - you pay for 20Mbps you get 20Mbps, not the 6.7 Mbps I currently receive on my 20Mbps plan.

    5. Wireless "still needs fibre" to run to the towers and is a "limited shared spectrum" (we all share unless more and more towers are built!). Whereas with fibre, we can use all of the spectrum. And let me ask you, would you prefer your yard dug up and untidy for a few weeks, with underground cabling (or even power pole cabling) or a big wireless tower outside your home? Of course towers wouldn't be needed outside everyone's home, but they would need to be outside many people's (the Coalition apparently said one per street) and the more users the slower the speeds, the more towers we would need - best hope these towers are not outside your or my place then eh?

    5. While wireless is handy on the go, I believe most people still have a fixed connection to their homes. For example, one of the main wireless protagonists here (not mentioning any names Fill) has been telling us for ages that fixed will die and wireless will rule. Then he ironically (when the NBN prices first came out just a few weeks back) did a comparison with the NBN prices, to the new 20Mbps 500GB (from memory) Optus Fusion "FIXED' line contract "he just signed up to for the next 2 years"...!

    6. The we have those who say, we need private enterprise to pay not the government. Well we all know they won't pay in some areas, if it's not profitable in those areas, without hefty government subsidies (so the government may as well build and own, instead of gifting $m's or $bs to private companies for them to build and then own - now that is wastage imo).

    7. This is a natural monopoly. Do we have multiple electricity cables, sewerage pipes, water pipes in our streets? Do we want 5 or 6 Telco's/ISP's digging up our streets and installing multiple fibre or all hanging cabling from power poles. Come on let's be sensible. This is the only way, government as wholesaler/competition thrives at retails level, with multiple RSP!

    8. According to NBNCo (and no I don't put 100% trust in them - but I will not send out a posse, consisting of advocate, deteego, Fill and coolguy4 to hang them just yet - although they have the rope and horses ready I'm sure...LOL) the NBN will pay itself off, 'without privatisation, by 2034...

    So...for replacement of the ageing infrastructure, "those without decent comms" finally receiving decent comms, readying ourselves for "possible" future advancement (if in doubt look at the last 10 years and see how much more speed and capacity we need), to level up the un-level playing field caused by previous governments, in relation to the sale of Telstra and to (yes I'm saying it) give Telstra shareholders some certainty to stop the share price volatility... etc, etc, etc...

    The NBN is a must, imo, for Australia!

    I now look forward to the "posse" (LOL) now wanting to string me up alongside Quigley and Conroy... look out here they come!
  • Yes I thought that was a new twist on what the term 'option' means, perhaps it has being redefined a 'no choice' from the monopoly fixed line supplier that will replace Telstra.

    I guess by the time it is scheduled to reach most homes around 2018 people will have already made the transition to wireless or more specifically the 'transition' to a new coalition Government.
  • Yes then we can go back to, ummm, well a government doing SFA for another 10 years! Yes... that's what we need...OMG

    Plus you are still disgracefully dodging and weaving your own ridiculous comments, but then you are good at nothing else, so keep up the great dodging and weaving, Mr Contradiction...LOL!!!!!!!!
  • Uh, unless I have missed something, if you don't (initially) take the free offer for the fiber installation to your house then it will cost you ~$300 to sign up later

    I'm pretty damn sure people being forced to pay $300 to get an internet connection when the copper network is decommissioned is going to be a political disaster
  • And so they should be charged.

    If these people aren't switched on enough (or are like you FUDsters - too politically ideological to accept the NBN) when NBNCo are "in the neighbourhood connecting everyone else", then when NBNCo needs to make a special trip out to connect them alone, of course they should pay.

    You talk about wastage and saving dollars, yet you expect NBNCo to make free house calls forever more, willy-nilly to those who decide at a whim they do want the NBN after all. Pfft... Think... how "private enterprise" would react?

    Perhaps instead of all the negative FUD you guys are spinning, you ought to let people know that if they opt out now, there maybe a charge (and correctly so, imho) later...!

    But then the take up rate would improve and you don't want that now, do you?
  • "And so they should be charged."

    And if Labor/NBN forces such a thing (especially on pensioners/tenants in rental properties that had no control over the installation of fiber to the house) then you can forget about them winning any election and NBN will be shot cold before it finishes
  • Of course you don't mention the blatant wastage of millions and millions of dollars connecting residences who get it connected because "hey it's free why not!" then don't actually use it by signing up with a NBN Plan with a ISP.

    It will cost you $300 later scare mongering is a load of crock, residences sign up with Telstra and Optus on HFC 'later', the connection costs are absorbed into the contract term, just as connection costs to ISP's ADSL2+ DSLAM's are.
    There is no reason why the same principle will not be followed under NBN contracted ISP plans.

    Conroy prefers opt-out because then the Labor spin machine can ramp up publishing all the stats about the 'amazing connection' rate.

    How about publishing some 'amazing connection' rates on residences that then ACTUALLY SIGN UP ON A BB NBN PLAN WITH A ISP!
  • Forget the $300 it's only a pre-rollout estimate, what happens when ISP's are really competing with each other in the dog eat dog commercial world of trying to attract customers when every ISP is just selling the same NBN vanilla plans like every other ISP will be totally different.

    At the moment NBN plan marketing is just pilot tyre kicking into very small areas in selected suburbs, by a couple of small ISP's.
  • Correct me if I am wrong here, as I am not in one of the trial sites.. But isn't the common telecoms contract roughly around 24months?

    So, while it would be prudent to get connected to the NBN now, for the free installation, some if not most (no idea about the numbers here - just an assumption) people be under a contract with a possibly different provider? So changing to the NBN plans would be a costly exercise for most people if they did not want to wait for their contract to finish?
  • Advocate you are missing the point by saying the all ISP will be selling the same services. The purpose of the NBN is to drive costs and spending away from installing the same network equipment and infrastructure in exchanges and on the street so that the retails can start spending on innovations on layer 3 and above services, like more innovations with hosting services, smart grid technology, richer content, and ultimately attract more "google like" business models to Australia.

    Can you tell me what is the point of having Telstra, Optus, TransAct, Powertel etc etc building the same equipment next to each other to provide you content over a "pipe" which you dont care about?

    After all the future is about Content, ie why do you need the physical CD to own some music? Why does the Australian people need "choices" of fixed line technologies, ie copper, coax, fibre, to get content? Why not just build it once with fibre (currently the most future proof technology) and let the telco, IT and every other industry which uses the internet flourish. Having a slow network simply bogs down innovations in the higher service layers.

    For people that argue that superfast networks are not neccesary, please have a look at the OECD and any statistics provided by ABS or ACMA on the huge growth in data consumption.
  • My dear RS I'm loathe to take you on again because you can become so vitriolic when someone dares to disagree with you but surely you and yours recognise that the billions of dollars proposed to be spent on FttH would be far better spent on more pressing needs. If only the tens of thousands of those poor buggers in Queensland had FttH right now they would have known in 10 milliseconds that they were about to be wiped out by floodwaters instead of having to wait 10 seconds for a third world dial up connection. What an LOC (load of old cobblers) - why doesn't Julia spend a few billion on flood proofing some of north Queensland instead of wasting billions on fibre to millions of homes 75% of folk do not want.
  • Here in lays a problem. Firstly, tenants can not nor should not be charged for this. This will be up to the home owner. You then would have to ask yourself, what home owner would say no to the free installation. I am sure all the agents would be pushing it because those who want it, will be active in looking for it. Take the phase 2 areas in the majors. The one in Brisbane is inner north. Demographics suggest this area is lots of younger professionals and couples. I think if you owned a rental in this area, you would be mad to not get it.

    As for making the tenant pay, well if the NBN or the high speed access meant a lot to a person, they would look for it when looking for potential properties to rent.

    I have had friends at work, who have overlaid the TPG service maps with available rentals to make sure of the service avail. It is not unheard of.
  • RS... can you lift your tone a bit? It makes you look a bit desperate.

    Gerry Harvey runs a business, but he is asking for the government to help his business. That is not the free market. The free market is, Gerry Harvey must try to compete with online businesses, or he must wind down his business and free up the resources his business is consuming.

    Yes, a little over a decade ago, Telstra was the only option. Even today, Telstra make money off of every ADSL connection since a fee is paid for use of the line. It's a monopoly and it has impaired private investment since no new entrant or 'little guy' can compete with Telstra's revenue. Once the NBN has been rolled out, it will be exactly the same situation. No competitor will be able to get a foot hold. It will be NBN or nothing.

    But somehow the NBN is meant to fix the Telstra problem. Uh, no... how can repeating the same mistake twice correct the mistake? How can digging deeper get you out of the hole?
  • 1. Read the article, Quigley is saying "Do I think there is a chance people won't sign up to the NBN? No, there's no chance of that. The government forcing people to sign up to it" It is a monopoly. Slightly reducing the degree of vertical integration is irrelevant. For competitive infrastructure, there needs to be competing infrastructure, and that means infrastructure must be build on a small scale first, and gradually be extended. A duplicated network on a national scale is ludicrous. A duplicated network on a street or suburb is desirable. We need to allow small businesses to lay fibre down a handful of streets and connect that to some backhaul and go from there.

    2. Let the people paying for copper decide when they want to stop paying for it. As long as there is demand for it, it will be maintained. If maintenance costs rise, then costs to the consumer will rise; people will then decide if they want to keep paying or switch. If Telstra thinks they can't make money off it, they will sell it to someone else. They won't let it rot. Let the people decide. There's no need for the government to make a decision about decommissioning. But anyway, the fact is they are decommissioning it to force people to use the NBN. Quigley admits it in the article above. Conroy has admitted it. They are decommissioning it to guarantee the revenue that they need.

    Now, if they are forcing you to use something by law, do you think they are offering you the best deal? Obviously they know if they left it up to the consumer, they wouldn't get enough customers, because many customers would be happy to stay with ADSL2+ or HFC. It's the only logical explanation for this anti-competitive behaviour.

    3. The alternative is for the government to get out of the way. Stop all subsidy. Break Telstra into small pieces so that they are no longer dominant. Let private companies build networks in order to satisfy market demand. If private companies, operating in a free market, decide the FTTN is going to make them more money than FTTH then so be it. However, we know in the long run, FTTH will provide a better result, so naturally it will be provided by private operators at some stage.

    4. The overall cost of the NBN is going to be far greater than the overall cost of a network developed within a free enterprise environment. It's not as if people in the cities will have to pay a little bit more so that people in the country can pay a lot less. Some people would be better off under the NBN, no doubt about that, but the overall cost will be far greater, and it will hold back internet standards just as Telstra has done, for the exact same reasons as Telstra has, which you yourself recognise. Telstra are a monopoly. The NBN is a monopoly. Monopolies are anti-competitive and they kill innovation... that means there are efficiency that would have been developed in the free market which will never even be contemplated in this socialised system.

    5. You criticise people with this word FUD... a made up word that makes you look like a child in the school yard. You keep repeating it so often as if each time you do it gives you some sort of victory.... it's like a mantra to you FUD FUD FUD FUD. So I looked up the word 'Fear Uncertainty and Doubt. Ok... so now reading your point 5, I can see that you are a hypocrite, with this rubbish about towers on every street and how this is supposed to be so ugly that it will make us all depressed whenever we look into the sky.... under a free market system, those towers are only going to be there if people want them there. What you are saying is really pointless.

    Wireless needs fibre... has anyone said otherwise? Does being opposed to the NBN make a person opposed to fibre? We are opposed to a socialist scheme that is going to rip off the average person and make us all dependent on the government for our internet. Fibre has nothing to do with it. I couldn't care less what technology private companies decide to use. In a free market situation, the most cost effective means will be employed in order to satisfy the demand that exists in the market.

    5b. What's your point? Wireless has its purposes, fixed line has its purposes. We know the government are arbitrarily forcing wireless operators to pay inflated licensing fees, which results in higher service costs for customers. This shows that the aim of a government is always the same, to increase its power and always at the expense of individuals.

    6. You have no way to overcome my arguments so you put words into my mouth. Everyone who is reading this blog can understand that your arguments have failed, you are desperate and you have nothing left to do but tell lies in the hope that people who speak the truth will be too offended by your abusiveness to continue.

    For the free market to operate it simply requires the government to not intervene. That means no subsidy. This means the incentive for private operators to build infrastructure in remote areas must be provided by the people living in those areas. If they aren't willing to provide the incentive, then clearly they don't want the services enough. Nobody is forcing them to live there. Let them move if they think that would be better for them. People move houses from time to time you know. Yes, people do consider local amenity when they decide where they want to live.

    7. You are using terms which you do not understand. A natural monopoly is a monopoly that develops naturally in a free market. It is never something that is imposed by a government. So then, let's allow the free market to do its job. If a natural monopoly develops in a free market environment then clearly that is the most optimum solution. If you a forcing competitors out of the market you are not creating a natural monopoly (as stated by Quigley in the article). This is an artificial monopoly just as Telstra is an artificial monopoly.

    8. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argument_from_authority

    There is no posse... there are people who have independently applied their commonsense to the situation. As more people become informed about the NBN, more people will realise that it will result in higher costs and a lower standard of service, in the long run, than if infrastructure had been left to the free market. It is painfully obvious that the copper lines are being dug up in order to force people to use a system that they would otherwise decide is not worth their money. Public money is being spent to pay off Telstra, so that Telstra gives over its customers to the NBN, so that the NBN will have the same monopoly position, and will have all the negative consequences that Telstra has. As for keeping the Telstra shareholders happy... this is not a legitimate consideration. Nobody is forcing people to hold on to those shares. In fact, people who bought Telstra shares knowingly bought into something that is a anti-competitive monopoly..... a falling share price is really only their just deserts.

    Let's say this new monopoly is created. We all suffer for a number of decades, till some time in the mid century, the NBN is sold off. Then what? Won't there be the same criticisms against it as against Telstra now? Won't it then be an unnatural monopoly in private hands? Under your logic, won't the government be forced to intervene, to create a new monopoly to replace the NBN, just as the NBN replaces Telstra? Won't shareholders in the privatised NBN have to suffer falling share prices as their monopoly, the key to the NBN's viability, just as it is the key to Telstra's business model, is stripped away? What about those shareholders? Shouldn't the government have to take on more debt at that time, in order to pay them off, under your logic?
  • Because coolguy4... A G A I N...read my lips, ok...! It's not the same mistake.

    Telstra was a mistake, being privatised as it was both the monopoly wholesaler and also a retailer, causing a conflict of interest. The NBN is wholesale only...

    This has been explained many times, by many people, to you, but you still just don't geddit eh?

    Also refer below to my point #7... as to why this is the best alternative... Do you propose 6 companies all digging up our streets one by one, and laying fibre?

    I agree with your paragraph about Gerry and by you saying this you comprehensively disprove everything you have said so far about private enterprise perfection. Because you even admit that amongst all this feverish jostling and competition, business will do whatever they must, including begging to the government...

    Sorta discounts your whole argument that we should "leave it to private enterprise and it will all sort itself out and we will all live happily ever after", eh?
  • Brian I agree to an extent so much so, I last night criticised your hero Abbott, for trying to make cheap, political mileage regarding the NBN and the Alcatel ordeal, at the expense of the Queensland flood victims.

    Disgraceful of Abbott, don't you agree?

    But let's not point the finger just yet at whose the vitriolic one. You will remember how you and I became involved in our correspondences...?

    It was you who was being a smart***e after being totally out-debated by another poster and you tried to suggest because he had misspelled a few words, that he was somehow inferior and unworthy.

    In doing so, you misspelled a word too (which we all do) but it ironically demonstrated your "regrettable", vitriolic, hypocritical demeanour...!

    I simply delivered the bad news to you, of your reciprocal unworthiness (according to your own ideals)...LOL!
  • Congratulations deteego...

    At last and with much prompting from the pro-NBNers, it seems at least one, who has been bogged down in the financials/more concerned about $ than people, has finally grown a heart… !

    Of course, it goes without saying, like all new systems/processes, there will need to be a safety net in place, in relation to NBN installation, for those who don’t (for whatever reason) accept installation at the initial roll-out phase, but later want it, when perhaps, they will then need to cover the costs, themselves?

    People such as pensioners, the under-privileged, people in extenuating circumstances and in this particular situation, also those who are renting from landlords, who may deny their tenants initial access!

    However generally, during the initial roll-out in each area, all residents will need to be well informed by NBNCo, of the consequences of not taking up the immediate installation. Of course, if NBNCo are remiss in this area and don’t explain the situation, then residents will surely have a case for future, free instalment?

    But, if the ramifications of not installing fibre at the time of the “roll-out phase”, is fully outlined to the residents (who do not fall under this “blanket safety net”) and they still decline initial installation… then, if a future “one-off” installation request is made, the resident should pay, imo!

    Regardless, glad to see that you finally realise it’s not ALL about $$$$$$...!