When the NBN becomes VDSL

When the NBN becomes VDSL

Summary: The National Broadband Network (NBN) implementation study was full of good news for the Federal Government, but it also contained contingency plans for the case of cost blow-outs or nasty surprises.


blog The National Broadband Network (NBN) implementation study was full of good news for the Federal Government, but it also contained contingency plans for the case of cost blow-outs or nasty surprises.

The study made three suggestions on how to avert monetary disaster.

The first involved cherry-picking roll-out areas to increase funds rolling in — connecting low cost areas or those where the take-up would be highest.

That sounds good. People might feel discriminated against, but at least it's financially sound.

The second suggestion looked at what to do if no apps surfaced utilising the faster services, hence no one would want the faster services. The study suggested slowing the roll-out in this case until innovation kicked in and the applications came.

Hopefully this won't happen, as it would say terrible things about the level of Australian, and indeed global, innovation. But if it did, again, I can understand this.

Third, if the NBN fell behind time or blew out its budget, measures could be taken, such as using VDSL in apartment blocks or reusing hybrid fibre coaxial cable as an "interim" solution.

This is the one that worries me. Seeing this is a government project, and almost every government project under the sun seems to blow its budget, I can see that these contingencies are likely to be needed.

But given cost blow-outs, the price tag could still be the same. Are you going to be happy to pay $43 billion, or even $26 billion, as they now say the government will have to throw in, for VDSL?

Topics: Government, Broadband, Government AU, NBN

Suzanne Tindal

About Suzanne Tindal

Suzanne Tindal cut her teeth at ZDNet.com.au as the site's telecommunications reporter, a role that saw her break some of the biggest stories associated with the National Broadband Network process. She then turned her attention to all matters in government and corporate ICT circles. Now she's taking on the whole gamut as news editor for the site.

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  • Would I be happy to just get VDSL? Absolutely! I live in Canberra, and Transact has VDSL to most homes in the older suburbs, and is connecting FTTH to homes in the new suburbs, but our area was caught in-between, with nothing but Telstra lines (through RIMs) or satellite. I am stuck on ADSL1 because of the RIM, even though the exchange has ADSL2+ from several ISPs, so I would consider VDSL a huge step up! Of course, everything is relative; several of my neighbours would love to be able to get even ADSL1, as they are stuck on dial-up because the RIMs have run out of ports!

    Interestingly, whenever any of us complains to Telstra about this, and the inability to get decent services from our ISPs due to the lousy Telstra infrastructure, there is usually a hint (sometimes not so subtle) that we could get ADSL2+ if only we moved to BigPond. Smells like restraint of trade to me! No WAY will I give in; it would only be letting them get away with it, plus I would be subject to ridiculously low data limits at extortionate prices.

    Roll on NBN! It can't happen soon enough for us!
  • I live in QLD and in exactly same situation. I thought I was the only one to be offered ADSL2+ by Hellstra when the resellers tell me I can only get ADSL1 and NOBODY will tell me if the HW in the RIM CAN in fact support ADSL2+...and being locked in a 24 mth contract with Hellstra is not something I look forward to...
    Someone (current affairs shows hint-hint) shoudl go along this and order ADSL2+ from Hellstra then complain to the ombudsman / make the news that resellers can;t access the same services as Hellstra in their RIMs... they can't even put in their equipment so competition is present...
    Why don't we get together in the Fast Internet party and vote someone in with the balls to 1) force Hellstra to do the right thing asnd 2) spend some money on gettighn everyone on decent speed first - the technology is there...the monopoly is too unfortunately... There's enough Internet Speed-challenged people to determine change in the balance of power :-)
  • Actually I know fir a fact telstra do share there adsl2+ in there rims but only a small percentage of it, which I think is unfair on telstra's part they out lay the 100 of thousands to supply this in there rims and then small overseas companies come in and picky back of telstra's network and don't pay for maintenance of upgrades! If they want to supply it put there own dam cmux's and dslams in... But they don't because they would rather whinge and **** to there cust about telstra, if don't want to Get a better service and go with telstra then reap the consequences, your choice! I completely disagree with wholesaling out the network, the main reason is privacy if u choose to go with a overseas based company how do you know they are not stealing your identity? Are u 100% sure your information isn't being sold to telemarketers ? should be all under the same banner and heavily watched by a independent watchdog in Australia like the old pmg an early telecom days, it would make it fair and even for everybody.