NBN Connection Takeup And The ‘Real Solutions’ Broadband Statement

Here’s an article by Angus Kidman about the takeup of the National Broadband Network; how many connections have been made to the NBN versus how many are available, and it includes reporting on the Opposition’s new policy titled Real Solutions with reference to the NBN.

NBN Co has updated its internet connection figures for the National Broadband Network (NBN), revealing that as of December 2012 34,500 premises had been connected to actual NBN services. In the same week, the Federal Opposition has released its ‘Real Solutions’ policy document, which contains some details of its own plans for the future of broadband — a future where the NBN’s role is somewhat uncertain. Let’s try and make sense of the NBN data and the new Coalition claims.

The numbers are bound to trigger predictable rhetoric from NBN opponents along the lines of “we’ve wasted all this money and no-one wants it”, while making broadband enthusiasts who aren’t connected yet wonder what’s holding back all those people who could be on the network but aren’t. That’s the nature of NBN discussion. But what have we learned this week?

At the end of December 2012, 34,500 people had connected to the NBN. That number is up considerably from June 2012, when the figure was 13,600. The vast majority of those users to date (23,100) are on satellite, which has the advantage of being instantly available to qualified users if they install suitable receivers. By June 2013, NBN Co is predicting those scales will have tipped, with 54,000 fibre connections against 47,700 satellite and wireless broadband connections. But that’s a prediction, not a current number.

Actual adoption is very different again from potential access. Earlier this month, NBN Co said that it had begun construction in areas with a potential reach of 784,592 premises. By June this year, it is due to have actually passed 286,000 premises — just under 10 times the number of active internet connections right now. The takeup total will presumably be higher at that point, but it will be a long time before it even approaches 50 per cent at this rate.

Read More: http://www.lifehacker.com.au/2013/01/understanding-nbn-takeup-and-the-coalition-real-solutions-broadband-statement/

Australia’s National Broadband Network still on track

Australia’s NBN now covers 784,592 premises, and the fibre-based portion will reach 93 per cent of homes by 2021. By Sean Buckley.

NBN Co., the company building out Australia’s National Broadband Network, said on Friday that it met its construction goals to reach a total of 784,592 premises by the end of 2012.

The service provider said construction will commence when it issues contract instructions to its contractors for a Fibre Service Access Module (FSAM), a device that can serve between 2,000 to 3,000 premises.

Mike Quigley, CEO of NBN, said that it now has the foundation “to reach the peak rollout target of passing over 6000 premises a day by 2015.”

Read More: http://www.telecomtv.com/comspace_newsDetail.aspx?n=49862&id=e9381817-0593-417a-8639-c4c53e2a2a10

NBN rollout on track

NBN Co, the government owned organisation responsible for building the NBN says that it has exceed its target to have construction commenced or completed in areas covering 758,000 premises before the end of 2012.

The total number of premises was 784,592 by year end, although NBN Co notes that construction commencement is measured when the company issues instructions to its contractors for a Fibre Service Access Module (FSAM), not when the contractor actually starts laying fibre.

The company did not say how many users had been connected to the NBN, which so far have been a disappointment. The company says it usually takes 12 months from the start of work until homes and businesses can connect.

In December last year, Communications Minister, Stephen Conroy said the take up rate was around 25%, or 1 in every 4 people. Opposition MP, Malcolm Turnbull has criticised the government suggesting that 75% of people haven’t been convinced to switch over, and the take-up rate is well below the NBN’s corporate plan released in 2010.

For telecommunications companies including the big four, Telstra Corporation (ASX: TLS), Optus – owned by Singapore Telecommunications (ASX: SGT), TPG Telecom (ASX: TPM) and iiNet Limited (ASX: IIN), the NBN offers an opportunity to provide faster services to their customers, but also a complication.

With wireless broadband services becoming ever popular, and the speed of 4G networks even outpacing copper ADSL broadband, users may opt to pass on fixed broadband, and use wireless instead. Despite the NBN’s predominantly fibre broadband being able to offer much higher speeds, users may choose the flexibility of wireless over speed.

Read More: http://finance.ninemsn.com.au/newsbusiness/motley/8591964/nbn-rollout-on-track

National Broadband Network to help elderly stay in own homes, project boss says

THE National Broadband Network will help older people stay in their own homes longer and their aged care will cost a fraction of what they would pay for a nursing home, the man in charge of building the project says.

NBN boss Mike Quigley also says households will receive better and faster broadband for what they already pay.

Mr Quigley hit back at critics who had derided the NBN’s slow roll-out, saying the decade-long project was like “pushing the pig through the python” but it would hit big milestones in the next 12 months.

Mr Quigley said some of the biggest benefits of the NBN’s high-speed broadband to homes would be in health and aged care. Patients will be able to see doctors on TV screens and have simple tests and consultations via computer.

He said a US study found home health monitoring cost $1600 a year, compared with $13,121 for a visiting nurse or $77,745 for a nursing home.

An Australian pilot scheme by aged care provider Feros Care found the daily cost of using broadband was $3.46-$7.14, compared with $967 for an acute hospital bed.

“Most old people don’t want to leave their homes,” Mr Quigley said. “This could let them stay for a fraction of the cost of a day in hospital.”

The NBN has about 30,000 active customers. Mr Quigley said the aim was to have the network available to 286,000 homes by June.

“I want the public to know it’s now real,” he said. “All of the design work and the architecture work that’s taken years, and the regulatory work and structural separation – all of that’s now been done.”

Mr Quigley said Australia would depend on the NBN with growing demand for video services requiring fast broadband. He predicted governments would use the network to deliver services such as social security, education and health.

He rejected claims of cost blow-outs, saying deals with providers meant more upfront costs but would save money over the life of the project.

Mr Quigley denied the company was wasting taxpayers’ money, following criticism it was spending too much on staff and taxis.

“In a start-up, that normally happens,” he said.

He said no NBN staff flew domestic business class, and trains and taxis were used over limousines.

Read More: http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/victoria/national-broadband-network-to-help-elderly-stay-in-own-homes-project-boss-says/story-e6frf7kx-1226543755255

iiNet claims “first place in fibre”

ISP iiNet says it has connected more than 10,000 customers to fibre to the Home (FTTH) broadband across Australia, surpassing the total number of FTTH customers connected to the NBN.

iiNet’s Chief Executive Officer Michael Malone says that more than 8,000 iiNet Group customers are connected to high-speed FTTH broadband via iiNet’s TransACT and Internode networks and wholesale services, and that a further 2,700 are connected through the NBN.

iiNet calls itself “the leading challenger in Australia’s communications industry” and which is the second largest DSL ISP (after Telstra). Malone, one of the industry’s more tireless self-promoters, said iiNet’s recent acquisitions and growth have positioned the company to be the leader in FTTH broadband in Australia.

“We’re all about upgrading the lives of our customers and giving them access to innovative products backed up by our award-winning customer service. When it comes to FTTH, we’re using every opportunity to connect as many Australians as we can to the best internet around,” he said.

“The number of residential customers connected by the iiNet Group also surpasses the number of Australian homes connected to Fibre by any other provider. As well as delivering super-fast broadband to more people than are connected to FTTH through the NBN, we’re now the largest provider of FTTH services in the country.”

Read More: http://www.itwire.com/business-it-news/networking/57650-iinet-claims-%E2%80%9Cfirst-place-in-fibre%E2%80%9D

ACCC asks for comments on NBN pricing plan

The competition regulator has called for public consultation on the latest plan by the national broadband network (NBN) builder on wholesale broadband pricing.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) released its first consultation paper on the special access undertaking (SAU) lodged by the network’s builder, NBN Co, on September 28.

The undertaking sets out the terms of conditions and access to the NBN’s fibre, wireless and satellite networks until 2040, while providing the framework for NBN Co to deliver wholesale broadband prices across Australia.

ACCC chairman Rod Sims said the ACCC would assess the SAU before it could determine whether it was reasonable and promoted the long-term interests of retailers and consumers.

Read More: http://news.smh.com.au/breaking-news-national/accc-asks-for-comments-on-nbn-pricing-plan-20121112-297jq.html

Fast broadband a step closer for isolated communities

NBN Co has selected West Australian and Victorian construction companies to build 10 satellite ground stations that aim to bring fast broadband to Australia’s most isolated communities.

Bunbury-based Perkins (WA) Pty Ltd will build four satellite transmission centres in WA and Cockram Corporation, based in Melbourne, will build six facilities located in NSW, Queensland, Tasmania and SA. The contracts are worth approximately $180 million in total and were awarded following a comprehensive procurement process.

Construction is due to be completed in 2015 in time for the launch of NBN Co’s Long Term Satellite Service that will deliver high speed broadband to an estimated 200,000 homes, farms and businesses in rural and remote parts of the country.

Read more here
Source: arnnet.com.au

Cost of cancelling the NBN at least $2.3 billion

More From ITnews.com.au:

Taxpayers face an estimated $2.3 billion bill should the National Broadband Network be terminated, a half billion dollar increase on figures from May, according to the Department of Broadband’s annual report.

The report (pdf), released quietly over the weekend, shows the rise in Federal Government liability under the equity funding agreement with NBN Co.

“As at 30 June 2012, NBN Co’s termination liabilities were estimated at $2.3 billion,” the report stated.

The Federal Government previously noted in 2012-13 Budget risk statements that taxpayers would be liable for at least $1.8 billion should a future Coalition Government cull the NBN.

Read More: http://www.itnews.com.au/News/319136,cost-of-canning-the-nbn-at-least-23-billion.aspx?utm_source=feed&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=iTnews+All+Articles+feed

All Systems Go – Telstra finalises NBN Agreement

Telstra, the NBN Co and the Commonwealth Government have today announced a finalised definitive agreement for Telstra’s inclusion into the National Broadband Network project and the structural separation of the company.

After a three year process of convoluted talks, negotiations and revised plans that were recently accepted by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), Telstra CEO David Thodey stated that the company was very pleased (and most likely relieved) for the positive outcome for their customers, employees and shareholders.

The agreement is expected to provide Telstra with approximately $11 billion in post-tax net over an extended period.

Read more about the media release announcement at Telstra’s Media Centre – Telstra finalises $11 billion NBN agreements

Telstra finally signs deal for retail NBN services

After years of protracted discussions, negotiations and amendments with NBN Co, Telstra appears to finally be over the line and will commence selling retail broadband and telephone services across the National Broadband Network.

The deal which was signed by respective parties over the weekend comes as the Telstra recently lodged revised structural separation documents with the ACCC that will see the company split into retail and wholesale divisions.

It’s expected that the revisions will now appease the competition watchdogs’ previous requests for separation and wholesale requirements and hence will pave the way for the finalisation of the $11 billion dollar Telstra-NBN Co deal.

Telstra is also the last major Telecommunication carrier to have signed up to the NBN and now joins the likes of Optus, iiNet, TPG, Primus and others who have already signed with the NBN Co earlier this year.

The announcement of the finalised NBN Co – Telstra deal could come as early as this week.

Read more at smh.com.au – Telstra signs up for NBN fibre-optic superhighway

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