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Wednesday, 16 December 2015 12:26

Fifield says ‘first 1,000 “happy homes” on FTTN connected in just 51 days’


Communications Minister Senator Mitch Fifield’s media release says 1000 FTTN homes have now been connected, saying reports the technology isn’t performing ‘are demonstrably wrong.’

1.5 million homes will be connected via FTTN in the nbn’s ‘entire network footprint’, and 1000 homes are now connected under what the Federal Coalition government says is its ‘faster rollout strategy.’

Of course it is a crying shame this wasn’t being trumpeted as actually happening in 2013 instead of 2015, or even under the previous Howard Coalition government in the 2000s instead of a ridiculous 10 freaking years or more later, but it is finally happening.

Naturally, Senator Fifield’s media release pours scorn on ‘recent reports claiming the fibre-to-the-node (FTTN) technology is not performing’, saying those reports are ‘demonstrably wrong.’

nbn, the company, is showcasing businesses such as Hunter Water Sports, a kayak and water sport accessories retailer in Newcastle, which has had a seamless switch-over. The owner of Hunter Water Sports, James Kilpatrick, discusses his nbn broadband service at nbn (the company’s) blog here.

Clearly, Kilpatrick is enjoying a golden shower of connectivity unavailable to the vast majority of Australians who presumably are simply left to wish they were so lucky, but eventually, they’ll get their government provided golden showers of connectivity, too, whereupon they’ll presumably be p*ssing themselves with superfast happiness.

In any case, since nbn (the company) belatedly launched its FTTN service on 21 September 2015, the company is boasting it has activated over 1000 end-users in ‘just 51 days.’

Senator Fifield’s release notes that when nbn, the company, ‘launched its end-to-end fibre services five years ago under the Labor Government, it took 15 months to connect the first 1,000 customers.’

By using the existing copper lines to connect homes and businesses to nbn’s fast broadband, the Coalition Government boasts it is ‘dramatically lowering the cost and waiting time for the arrival of the nbn.’

This month, nbn the company and Fifield the Senator are boasting that ‘superfast broadband is being switched on across Bundaberg — the first Queensland city to experience the much faster rollout.’

More below, please read on. 

Indeed, we are told that ‘about 100 new users every day are switching over to the nbn’s vectored VDSL broadband technology which runs over the network and makes internet connections lightning fast.’

The Coalition Government’s also boasts (there is a lot of boasting going on) that its ‘quicker rollout is dramatically reducing nbn’s costs per premises.’

The forecast cost per premises for FTTN is $2,300 compared to $4,400 for FTTP, which is still a boatload of money, but clearly the Coalition government has been able to ‘stop the boatloads’ of money being spent by almost half.

Fifield’s release says that nbn, the company, ‘is well on track to meet its Corporate Plan target of connecting 75,000 new users to vectored VDSL broadband by the end of this financial year.’

There’s also the ‘easy customer-connection process’ which Fifield says ’is a key selling point for the nbn’s superfast vectored VDSL broadband. The only additional equipment required is a compatible modem which internet providers can mail to their customers.’

nbn has reported the vectored VDSL services are delivering excellent wholesale speeds up to 100/40Mbps.

Unlike the fibre-to-the-premises rollout, says Fifield, ‘which has been plagued by delays because of construction complexity, the Coalition’s multi-technology mix largely removes the need for in-home rewiring or civil works on private property.’

The fact this was supposed to happen sooner and faster than it is now happening isn’t mentioned, but at the same time, isn’t forgotten.

From February 2016, nbn says it 'is aiming to expand its urban coverage area every month by between 60,000 and 100,000 premises. The main equipment vendor, Alcatel Lucent has delivered more than 4,700 nodes to nbn to support the build next year, and 200 more nodes are being shipped every week to construction locations.’

Under the Coalition’s faster rollout plan, the nbn footprint will double every year for the next three years. That’s the promise - let’s hope they can keep it and not break it and then claim it’s a non-core promise (or something like that).

Finally, Fifield’s release says that ‘around the world, millions of ultra-fast broadband subscribers receive services over a combination of fibre and copper technologies and innovations such as and Vplus demonstrate that speeds well in excess of 100 Mbps are readily available.’

Let us hope the Coalition’s nbn finally lives up to its promises this time, because Australians are sick of waiting!


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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.



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