Independents misinformed over broad band options

Can't someone tell the independents that we'd be most happy just to get some Fiber to the Node (FTTN/VDSL2) around towns and cities in the short term? Fiber to the Home (FTTH) can happen later.

In terms of farming areas: Tony Windsor's misunderstanding or ill gotten advise became evident when he stated "someone told me that "You do it once, you do it right, and you do it with fibre". Maybe that 'someone' hasn't seen a map of this place. Australia is big, really big! The idea that you could lay fiber cable out to every farm within the next 50 years is just laughable. Hopefully by now somebody from the s-elected government has had the honesty to explain to the independents the shocking news that Fiber to the Farms will never happen (even with the NBN) - unless it's a pig farm and the pigs have wings and fly.

What will happen is that F/Optic will stop at the town limits i.e. in other words the coalition's broadband plan is what will be delivered to the bush, under the NBN name!

Tony Windsor gets informed (bit late now). Here's a tweet:
From: 3288chrisc Windsor learns Fibre Optic NBN won't be installed in the regions. F/optic cable to stop at town limits. How do u feel now Mr Windsor [original word replaced ;) ]?

There's no substitute for getting informed before you make a decision, "for what it's worth".

"Australia is currently at 17.6% debt to GDP ratio but I'm sure Labor's NBN could enhance the look of our economy with some of that much sought after 'euro' styling."

Ok, so that's the farms sorted. What about towns and cities?

Just about every other country in the developed world has FTTN (even our third world 'bros' in New Zealand ;) are rolling out FTTN). FTTN technologies are giving urban areas in most cities in the world speeds from 20-50Mbps depending on the generation of technology used. Obviously the more recent the generation of the technoloy, the higher the speed - as the coalition kept reminding us during the election new faster, better, smaller technologies keep arriving. Just like with dial-up modem technology in the 90s FTTN technologies are rapidly increasing capacity on a regular basis.

50Mbps seems to be the standard speed for the current generation of technologies but Alcatel-Lucent are field testing devices that give 100Mbps over dual copper pairs (most houses have a dual pair running to them) for up to 1000m distance from the node... that's the original NBN's speed but at a tiny fraction of the cost of running fiber to EVERY house. All we need to do is start building nodes in neighbourhoods and start laying optic fiber just to the nodes. Then just use the existing, already paid for, copper pairs to connect our homes to the nodes over the last kilometre.

FTTN is also the ideal first phase of an infrastructure that can easily extend to FTTH in the long term for those who want to pay for speeds faster than 100Mbps. Contrary to the spin masters the laying of fibre to nodes in an FTTN architecture is an investment that is NOT thrown out but reused when you extend the architecture to support FTTH.

Private investment and FTTN
The other benefit with FTTN is that private investors get on board meaning that the tax payers (that's us folks!) don't have to fork out ridiculous amounts to build it. Private investors get on board because:

- ROI is much larger
- ROI happens much sooner due to the faster, cheaper roll out
- With the smaller cost to customers take up rates of FTTN far exceed that of FTTH and hence investment is amortized over a much larger customer base.

The above are the nice juicy bits that appear in FTTN business case analysis and which the private sector love. They are all missing from the NBN business case analysis which is why none was done, or if it was done, it was "not suitable for voters eyes". It's much easier to hood wink the electorate when you hold back the truth.

FTTN with massive private sector investment would have happened if the coalition got the gig to run the place but the irony is that it was the inability to explain their solution that probably cost them the 'selection.' The media and Conroy wanted to brainwash the masses with the mantra "NBN or you'll contract a rare, incurable skin disease" or "NBN or you're going back to the steam age". Untrue, dishonest, unfair and plain deceitful given that most other developed nations have or are rolling out FTTN.

What is the rest of the developed world doing?
Some interesting websites that Conroy would love to have filtered out if his internet filter got implemented:

Eurocomms discusses the options
For many service providers, the price tag of a complete fibre network overbuild is too steep to justify. An all-fibre network build out is actually a rare undertaking.

"too steep to justify" What? Well folks we now know why Conroy has avoided showing anyone, including the independents (who never even asked for it - revealing heh!), a business case analysis. He knows that any such business case analysis would reveal the insanity of the idea. The independents didn't want to 'probe' too deep in case they lost the only ounce of justification for executing their long awaited revenge on their national brothers. They certainly could not s-elect labor on their record. The NBN was the only thing they could cling to so the last thing they wanted was some rational, reasoned, analysis of the costings that might expose the likely chance of success/failure and the *real* cost.

So the accepted worldwide view is that FTTH is only undertaken by the economically insane. Two notables who chose FTTH are the european economic basket cases: Spain and Portugal with debt to GDP ratios way over 50%. Australia is currently at 17.6% debt to GDP but I'm sure Labor's NBN could enhance the look of our economy by adding some of that much sought after 'euro' styling.

Swiss - home of the Smart Car and Swatches and Smart internet

Here's the Swiss following the only rational approach as listed above. Note the first line
Having completed the rollout of fibre-to-the-node (FTTN), Swisscom....

So the smart money (some of it in secret Swiss bank accounts) is FTTN first, then FTTH later. The Swiss are so good at saving money that they even make their cheese with holes in it so FTTN first, FTTH later must be right :). You could almost say the ROI and take up between FTTN and FTTH is chalk and cheese. (so glad I didn't say that).

List of countries and how they provide high speed broad band

See how many times you can count the word VDSL2 (i.e. Fiber to the Node - the cheaper, sensible solution that reuses existing copper networks) on this page:

The two bush independents clearly didn't have a clear understanding of the alternative high speed technologies available because if they did they would have to be insane to choose FTTH over FTTN. I doubt whether Tony Windsor uses a computer much (Update 9/9/2010: I found out today that he doesn't even have a computer). That's not a criticism but it certainly would allow for easy and convenient hood winking by labor and NBN 'advisers' with vested interests. It's all probably irrelevant because even with the NBN taken out of the equation their long held grudges from previous 'nat spats' would have meant they went with Labor in any case. The NBN was likely just their alibi because they certainly wouldn't have chosen NBN over the wisdom of just about every other nation in the world.

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