Telstra: G9 is 'expensive, dangerous, dysfunctional'

Telstra: G9 is 'expensive, dangerous, dysfunctional'

Summary: Telstra has published a response to the G9 consortium's fibre-to-the-node proposal, calling it an expensive and dangerous proposal that "imposes a tortured, dysfunctional ownership and management structure"


Telstra has published a response to the G9 consortium's fibre-to-the-node proposal, calling it an expensive and dangerous proposal that "imposes a tortured, dysfunctional ownership and management structure".

Both Telstra and the Optus-led G9 group are competing to build a high speed broadband network for Australia's urban areas, as part of the government's plan to overhaul Australia's connectivity. Guidelines on the scheme were published earlier this month.

While no particular network technology has been mandated by the Coalition, both parties are likely to propose fibre-to-the-node (FTTN) offerings, with the winning tender to be chosen by an expert taskforce.

In its submission to the taskforce, Telstra said the G9 consortium's plan will lead to higher prices and lower speeds, suggesting G9's choice of ADSL2+ technology will only deliver 1.5Mbps. "ADSL2+ is barely today's technology, let alone tomorrow's ... G9's promise of a best efforts [sic] 1.5Mbps minimum speed service is so modest that it would not even require an FTTN architecture," the submission said.

Optus could not immediately be reached for comment.

Telstra said its plan will favour a competing broadband technology, VDSL. Discussions between the telco and the government over the FTTN scheme have been fractious to date, with Telstra repeatedly threatening to pull out of the tender process and, earlier this month, refusing to commit to submitting its own bid to build a network.

Both Telstra and operators within the G9 consortium have accused each other's FTTN plans of menacing the competitive landscape.

"G9's proposal goes far beyond what any competition policy rationale could ever justify and what the access regime legally authorises ... Inherent in this concept is the protection of an access provider's own use requirements, a principle widely recognised in competition law, and by the Australian Constitution," Telstra's submission said.

Speaking last week at the Australian Financial Review Broadband Australia conference, Warren Hardy, MD of Optus's consumer division, said: "Telstra says we urgently need a fibre-to-the-node network ... but in return for building the network to half the population, Telstra wants to change the rules and lock out competition and charge whatever it likes."

David Tudehope, CEO of Macquarie Telecom -- another G9 member -- added: "If Telstra were to be successful, it would be back to the future -- it would mean turning back the clock 15 years and it would be a very sad day for Australia."

Topics: Telcos, Broadband, Government, Government AU, Optus, Telstra

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  • 1.5 Mbps minimum speed service

    Yeah sure Telstra. Does anyone remember how Telstra gave us a maximum speed of 1.5Mbs when ADSL1 could reach 8Mbs? Sure, 8Mbs is often only achieved close to the exchange (although I am 4km from the exchange and get 6Mbs).

    Only when others installed their equipment in the exchanges did Telstra change their minds.

    However, the point is this: Telstra may install high speed equipment but we will not see any of that as end users. All we will get is the usual low speed/low download allowance with a few plans at the high end for those of us with the income of Bill Gates.

    A pox on the Liberals for not splitting Telstra into two and, hopefully, we could have avoided this half arsed Telstra approach.
  • Business of wasting money

    Telstra are in the business of wasting money.

    They spent millions on running ADSL2+ to as many exchanges as they have, and they are changing to using FTTN with VDSL, with many of those DSLAMs, even taxpayer funded ones, not reaching full potential.

    Telstra are holding broadband back from Australian Children. They should be shot!
  • Telstra what a waste of space

    The only thing that is dysfunctional in this debate is Telstra and its about time they were treated with the contempt they deserve.
  • Sol needs a wake-up call

    Look at,130061733,339281067,00.htm to see other examples of Telstra waste. They can't even keep track of their IT systems and apparently have no control over some of the free services they provide.

    Sol needs a wake-up call - not from Telstra though - we'd actually like him to get the call.
  • Telstra is dangerous as well

    Yes, Telstra is just as dangerous. They are holding Australia to randsom in terms of broadband technology. They are just big bullies who want to get their way and don't want competition.
  • 1.5Mb ADSL, I wish!

    Telstra can/will not maintain the current phone system to a standard capable of 1.5Mbs.

    My ADSL2+ connection has deteriorated to 0.4Mbs over the last few months (due to the rain).
    Telstra has 'no plans' to fix the problem and suggests I migrate to an ADSL(1) connection. This will increase my monthly phone/ADSL bill by ~40%.
  • All the more reason for FTTH

    It's time to ditch copper pairs for communications. It's served us well for over 150 years, if you include the Overland Telegraph, but today's requirements do not allow for 150 year-old communications mediums although it has adapted reasonably well until now.

    Telstra once employed 96,000 people. Now they employ about 35,000 and Sol has already begun swinging the axe to reduce that by 12,000. At the end of the day something has to give and a copper wire network that cannot withstand ingress of water, lightning strikes and cannot cope with today's bandwidth requirements means that something has to replace it. Why not a proven technology like optic fibre, in the form of Fibre To The Home (FTTH) technology?

    In another article here the author addresses the sheer waste at Telstra, in a monetary sense. They have IT systems that get 'lost' - try explaining that to any right-thinking person. And commenters in that thread, which someone else linked to in this thread, have demonstrated that Telstra offers numerous free services which are dinosours from a time when Telstra was trying to take on NineMSN for portal supremacy - something that was never going to work.

    I only wish both the Commonwealth Government and the Opposition would come to terms with the limitations of the copper network and assist telecommunications companies to embrace FTTH. It is the only answer to Australia's on-line future.
  • Go back to sleep

    After a century of government control what else would you expect? I am glad they are willing to step up and admit their problems.

    The old saying is the first step to fixing a problem is admitting you have one.

    I am less likely to believe all of those other perfect companies.

    Now repeat after me ... I have a problem ...