High Speed Broadband Network

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Fibre To The Premises Broadband Plans

Anyone wishing to get the most out of broadband Internet access does not have to look any further than super fast high speed Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) technology. Connection speeds of 100Mbps are achievable with FTTP technology but it doesn’t stop there. On a commercial level, Fiber to the Premises is already transmitting speeds of up to 1Gbps (1000Mbps) in some countries.

The Australian Federal Government’s $43 billion National Broadband Fibre to the Premises Broadband Plans are to connect 90% of Australia’s population with lighting fast 100Mbps Broadband within 8 years. A very ambitious target considering it’s going to cost a whopping $43 billion, however, most industry experts agree that this latest FTTP announcement is a master stroke and if it becomes fruition, will push Australia up the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) rankings as a front runner in World Class fixed line and wireless Broadband Internet technology.

So what is FTTP?
In a nutshell, Fibre to the Premises is a communication delivery technology that uses fibre optic material opposed to the copper based infrastructure wiring witnessed in current ADSL2+ and landline phone services. FTTP differentiates from other similar fibre based communication methods such as Fibre to the Node (FTTN), Fibre to the Curb (FTTC) and Hybrid Fibre Coaxial (HFC – that Telstra BigPond currently use), as it bypasses the ‘last mile’ copper wires that these methods require.

Why do Australians need FTTP?
Touted as the biggest Infrastructure project that Australia has ever seen, I can understand why many average Aussies may be concerned and or scratching their heads and asking why do we need a super fast broadband network such as this. After all, we’re talking about investing $43 billion now, and not $4.7 billion any more.

I suspect that many average Australians are ignorant of the potential future benefits, innovations and business opportunities that a high speed FTTP National Broadband Network will invite. It’s quite possible that many people are merely thinking that a new FTTP network will just provide faster broadband in order to deliver triple play services such as IPTV (Internet Protocol Television) bundled with Broadband and Home Phone services. Well I can tell you that’s only the beginning.

Firstly we could start with improvements in Home, Recreation and Business automation technology. Fast FTTP broadband will also assist Australia both nationally and on a global scale to acquire new business opportunities and become more competitive on the world platform. But then there’s Innovation!

Robust Broadband could provide the ability for consultations with Doctors, Accountants, Bank Managers etc… from home via Video type conferencing to their practice. People with medical conditions can be monitored more closely and on a frequent basis. It’s also been stated that Medical Specialists and Surgeons will eventually be able to perform delicate operations on patients while being on the opposite side of the globe!

This is only the beginning. These possibilities, like many new and emerging innovative services and business that fast Broadband will breed, could also create a run on effect for the environment (e.g Alleviate traffic congestion) which will also impact positively on our everyday lives (E.g. Less pollution).

FTTP is more than just improving your Broadband download speeds. Broadband is a revolution and the new upcoming Fibre to the Premises Broadband Network is a stepping stone to the next level.

Search and compare fast ADSL2+ and Cable Broadband Internet Plans right here at Broadband Guide.

Telstra 100Mbps Cable DOCSIS 3.0 upgrade

When it was revealed that Telstra held back the activation of hundreds of ADSL2 DSLAM Exchanges across Australia in 2008, many people where left bewildered. On one hand it was very disappointing to learn that Telstra was basically holding back the access of High Speed Broadband to thousands of Australians and therefore holding back potential economic growth. Then again, Telstra, as per usual, makes business decisions based on the best intentions of their shareholders. Sour grapes or smart business?

Now that the incumbent has been dumped from the National Broadband Network process, it’s forced the Telco to rethink their strategy and it’s through this that another Telstra Broadband revelation has emerged. Sol Trujillo, Telstra’s CEO, told a Citigroup EMT conference recently that Telstra is now capable of rolling out DOCSIS 3.0 technology that could deliver their Cable Broadband customers a staggering 100 Mbps broadband speed. WoW! Not only could they deliver 100Mbps high speed broadband connectivity, but using this technology Telstra could match the Broadband speed of the upcoming NBN. On top of this they could also roll out this 100Mbps network upgrade faster than any competitor could instill their own.

This technology basically means that Telstra could compete with, if not exceed, the speeds in which the new NBN technology is likely to bring. Of course Telstra’s DOCSIS 3.0 technology integration would be limited to major metropolitan areas where Telstra’s existing HFC network already exists, however this is still a very large chunk of Australia’s population. So when can we expect this to happen? Once again, it sounds like Telstra are going to hold back until they are forced to do so by competitive pressure.

 – Sol Trujillo

“Well the [DOCSIS 3.0] technology is now real, the technology is being deployed and we have that also as an option if somebody chooses to compete and to compete with us, the only difference is we’ll be there a lot quicker a lot faster a lot bigger, a lot more integrated and with more capabilities than anybody else.”

Enter Axia NetMedia to the NBN Arena

Canadian NBN hopeful ‘Axia NetMedia’ has finally shed some light on their proposal and ability to construct a national broadband network in Australia after months of keeping a low media profile.

In essence, an Axia built broadband network could fundamentally be up to 5 times faster and cost half the price compared to that of current high speed fixed broadband. A $15 broadband access price absolutely blows Telstra’s $85 per month out of the water. It actually makes you wonder how these figures can be so contrary of one another.

Unlike any of the other NBN tender potentials (except Telstra within Australia), Axia NetMedia has extensive experience in rolling out national broadband networks in several countries. Their port folio includes metropolitan and regional projects across France, Canada and now Singapore regions.

Axia NetMedia chief executive and chairman ‘Art Price’ recently stated that who can you justify $20 -$30 for a local copper loop when a prospective ‘Fibre to the premise’ service in a major metropolitan area for $15 per month.

If Axia NetMedia are true to their word, then Telstra have a got a real fight on their hands and perhaps the winning applicant is not a foregone conclusion after all. After considering some of the view points being touted by Mr price, it certainly appears that the Government’s eight person expert panel is going to have their work cut out with recommendations to the federal Government for a $15 billion new Australian national broadband network.

Read more at ‘The Australian’

Telstra to build NBN with FTTN & VDSL2

Broadband Internet speeds of 25-50 megabits per second (Mbps) to 65-75% of households, and 12-20Mbps to the remaining 25-35% that cover 80-90 percent of the population. These are figures that can be achieved by Telstra for a national broadband network VDSL2 Fibre to the Curb ‘upgrade’ (FTTC, also known as Fibre to the Node). After following the progression of the NBN saga closely, it’s an extremely possible scenario that could be well on the money and have a very fast turn-around time to boot. 

VDSL2 research and testing has not only commenced, but has been well underway for quite sometime now by Australia’s largest telecommunications provider ‘Telstra’. The incumbent has been playing their cards very close to their chest and has been unwilling to reveal it’s blueprint for Australia’s new $4.7 billion dollar (or should I say $10 billion?) high speed broadband network. If they were to win, the odds are very short that their preferred choice of broadband delivery method would in fact be VDSL2. This type of telecommunication technology could easily support simultaneous triple play services such as high speed broadband, voip/telephony & digital TV (or IPTV) products at the minimum government required broadband speed of 12Mbps.

Although Telstra submitted a ‘non compliant’ NBN proposal, this is not to say that the telco cannot stitch up a ‘backdoor’ deal with the government that will take advantage of VDSL2 technology for a proposed NBN. You see, it’s no secret that Telstra has been considering VDSL2 as it’s primary architecture for a NBN. There are plenty of facts’, quotes, and articles floating around the Internet to suggest that Telstra are in the box seat when it comes to A – Being the most logical and experienced bidder to take on and build a broadband network of this magnitude; and B – Use VDSL2 technology (Very high speed Digital Subscriber Line) which provides faster speeds over similar distances using copper lines than that of ADSL2+. VDSL2 is essentially an upgrade that will supersede ADSL2+ DSLAMs in telephone exchanges across Australia. Whether DSLAMs will remain for other ISPs to use (if this were to be the case) is another story.

For example, an article appearing on New Zealand based Stuff.co.nz just recently, and of course Telstra’s non compliant 12 page NBN proposal, is reporting that a Telstra constructed national broadband network would use VDSL2 technology and be built by 4000 workers using Alcatel- Lucent materials and equipment. It makes perfect sense that the facilitation in regards to accessing and upgrading exchanges with the required new equipment to be governed by Telstra, after all who else knows an Australian exchange better than Telstra themselves? With this in mind, along with the threat of countless court room litigation cases if Telstra were not to win the NBN, a VDSL2 roll out would be performed much much more faster by Telstra than any other party.

Kevin Rudd, Stephen Conroy, their NBN panel and the Australian Government have an enormous and convoluted task with the whole NBN dilemma as it now stands. Not only do the need to ‘tick off’ pre-election promises, however they also need to consider the possible backlash from Telstra shareholders if Telstra were to lose out on the NBN; endless courtroom litigation waged against the government by Telstra (again, if it were to lose); regulatory guidelines such as operational or structural separation placed upon Telstra (if it were to win) and the consequences of such if adequate competition guidelines aren’t included; implications from the likes of Optus, Terria and other constituents (if they were to lose), but most importantly and above all other implications – whats best for the Australian people and Australia’s future!

One thing is certain though, no matter which way the decision goes…. it’s time for Kev and Steve to stand up and get their hands dirty. Telstra for the win in my opinion.

The network would use VDSL2 technology to provide download speeds of 25-50 megabits per second (Mbps) to 65-75 percent of households it reached and speeds of 12-20Mbps to the remainder. Telstra could start building the network next year, but gave no completion date.


** Updated ** Telstra ‘Booted’ from NBN Process – Tuesday 16th December 2008

As at 15th December 2008, Telstra has been officially ‘rejected’ from the $4.7 billion NBN process by the Australian Federal Government. Sighting a technicality in Telstra’s Broadband Network proposal, Communication’s Minister ‘Senator Conroy’, in a recommendation passed on by the expert panel, stated that Telstra had been rejected on the grounds that it failed to submit a mandatory element of the proposal surrounding a small to medium business plan. 

Sol Trujillo and Telstra appeared to be walking a tight rope right from the NBN inset by submitting a non-compliant bid which entailed a 12 page document only, whilst competing entities were believed to have submitted comprehensive proposals that incorprated 1,000+ detailed pages.

Calling Telstra’s Bluff, the Australian Government has now sent out a loud and clear message by dumping Telstra. This action has essentially displayed a show of strength which indicates the NBN process will not be compromised by parties seeking to hold the Government at ransom.

Telstra’s motives may have been driven by the shareholders best interests, or so they keep saying, however on the flip side it could also be clearly interpreted as an arrogant and somewhat ignorant mistake that has grossly underestimated the Government’s integrity and could cost them dearly. Of course the Telco has their shareholders to consider, but breaking the rules is breaking the rules and above all and foremost, the Government has the entire population of Australia to consider, and has acted accordingly.

As an initial result, Telstra now sees it shares plummeting to their lowest point since entering the ASX in 1997. They also have to explain their actions to their shareholders which has already seen billions of dollars wiped from share pricing. The Government meanwhile, without Telstra on board, have a NBN selection process that will now be perceived as a ‘fair’ and ‘equal’ platform that will offer an ‘open access’ environment which will encourage competition; provide innovation and growth potential through regulatory guidelines; and a future broadband network that should benefit both consumer and business alike.

So what now for Telstra?

The wounded incumbent will now have to consider contingencies as a result of being ‘dumped’. Some say they will try and re-enter the NBN process and negotiate with the Government. The problem here is that it could be too late, and that other bidders will see this approach as a ‘breach’ of guidelines and ‘unfair’.  Either way, litigation could be imminent in a race with such a high purse.

To even contemplate Telstra laying down without a fight is absurd. If they decide not to pursue legal proceedings, they may in fact build their own network as an alternative, or should I say ‘upgrade’ their existing network. Telstra have got the finance, firepower and experience to scale up their network so that it’s faster and made available way way before any future new national broadband network is built. One mustn’t forget all their ongoing technology research and testing that they continuously conduct. Using Wireless technology and as close as early next year, Telstra can roll out robust high speed broadband that can reach 21Mbps for rural areas, and between 50-100Mbps with VDSL2 and Hybrid Fibre Cable technology in maor metropolitan regions. Funnily enough, the latter of these broadband speeds will easily surpass the 12Mbps minimum requirement set by the Government on the NBN process too.

Don’t worry about Telstra folks, they are far from out of the race, regardless of what you, me or anyone else thinks.

Breaking News: YOU’RE OUT! Telstra rejected from NBN Process

New guidelines for $76b infrastructure spend

The current global financial crisis which has left the economy of many countries in turmoil has also forced Prime Minister Kevin Rudd to re-evaluate the distribution of the $76billion for infrastructure projects.

Mr Rudd has indicated that tough and unpopular decisions would have to be taken as a result of the financial crisis. Additional assessment criteria will also cover facets for the new national broadband network project along with many other developments. These guidelines include: How projects expand Australia’s productivity; build global competitive advantages; develop cities and regions; reduce greenhouse gas emissions; and improve our quality of life. All proponents will be expected not to overstate benefits and underestimate costs for potential infrastructure grants whilst being able to back up all their claims.

It appears that the time of rhetoric and talk is now over and the time for action is upon us. At least we may see commencement on the NBN project sooner rather than later if this latest announcement is anything to go by.

Optus G9 seek ‘Fair Go’ for NBN

In a recent speech on the upcoming National Broadband Network by OPTUS CEO Paul O’Sullivan, he stated that his overall message could be summed up in one phrase ‘Australia cannot take Competition in Broadband for granted’. In colloquial terminology using a famous Aussie expression it sounds more like he’s asking for a ‘Fair Go’ due to the current (and past) state of the Australian Broadband Industry and the Policy Guidelines behind the NBN process.  

Mr O’Sullivan also referred to the National Broadband Network as ‘Open Heart Surgery’ and touched on subjects that inlcuded The OPEL Decision, Structural Separation and gave an insight into the Broadband Market and the struggle that many ISP’s have against Telstra’s monopoly of the industry due to regulatory inadequacies.

Telstra has used its market power, over two thirds market share in residential fixed voice, to keep prices high – whilst pocketing the savings from the lower wholesale prices we have been forced to give it.

But recent developments are giving us increasing concern that the fine words of opposition are being lost under the heavy burden of Government and in the face of a seductive though anticompetitive pitch from Telstra.

If the new national broadband network is a repeat of Telstra controlling bottleneck infrastructure it will be a comprehensive policy failure – and Australian consumers will literally pay for this mistake.

we stand ready to provide a compelling proposal which will dramatically improve Australia’s broadband services. But we can only do this if we are given a fair and reasonable chance to put in a serious and compelling bid.


Read the entire speech article at news.com.au

Optus G9 vow to halve Broadband prices

The G9 consortium, made up from well known ISPs’ such as Optus, Primus, PowerTel and Internode etc.., have stated that they can develop an Australian high speed broadband network and offer half the price that Telstra have proposed. Optus chief executive Paul O’Sullivan recently blasted Telstra as being ‘greedy’ after the Telstra CEO ‘Sol Trujillo’ stated that they have no intention in joining any type of joint venture with the Government.

A GROUP of nine telecommunications companies led by Optus and backed by investment bank Investec will offer high-speed broadband at half the prices proposed by Telstra – if it wins a $4.7 billion tender with the Rudd Government.

In an exclusive interview with The Weekend Australian, Optus chief executive Paul O’Sullivan said Telstra’s “greedy bid to maintain its monopoly profits” would slow Australia down in its bid to deploy 21st century telecommunications infrastructure.

Mr Trujillo confirmed that Telstra wanted to build the network itself and planned to charge an “average” access price of about $85 per month, giving Australia broadband prices among the highest in the developed world.

Read the entire article at AustralianIT.com.au

Fibre-to-the-Premises still an option

In a recent statement made by new Communications Minister ‘Senator Stephen Conroy’ on ABC Television, he stated that the newly formed Labor Government’s goal was to have Tenders for the new National Broadband Network completed by the end of June 2008. Who ever will be awarded the Tender rights is still far from being known as Mr Conroy went on to say that no other money would be contributed on top of the $4.7 billion already on offer. However, he further added that the Government wouldn’t rule out extra funding for a Tender that put forward a sufficient Fibre-to-the-Premises proposal.

“It works in very closely with Labor’s initiative to put laptops into schools, and so we are very ambitious. We are very keen to hit the ground running, and we hope that we can have completed that tender process by the end of June.”

“We won’t be contributing any more money. We think $4.7 billion is a substantial contributing to a national broadband network, but we are not ruling it out if tenderers wish to put forward fibre-to-the-premise.”

Read the entire ‘Broadband tenders ‘awarded by late June’ at News.com.au

Expert Task Force Guidelines Flawed

The Government’s expert task force for the new proposed Australian high speed Broadband network, which will seemingly use Fibre-to-the-Node technology, has released Guidelines for the tender process. But as ‘Stuart Corner’ from ITWire writes, a dozen or so definitions and objectives within the proposal appear to be flawed.

The Government’s expert task force has issued the guidelines against which it will assess proposals for high speed urban broadband networks, but they are fundamentally flawed.

the attributes of an objective seem to be something of which the Government’s Expert Task Force seems blissfully ignorant, for all its supposed expertise.

Read the entire article at ITWire

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