The report provides extensive comments and analyses of the recent developments, including the results of the reviews. It also gives detailed rollout overviews of both the FttH and the wireless networks, as well as other statistics relevant to the NBN.
The contracts that are signed are followed as they are issued, which provides an excellent overview of the various vendors and contractors involved in the project.
Researcher:- Paul Budde Current publication date:- September 2014 (7th Edition)
It is now a year after the original plans for the NBN were abandoned and a new version was launched. So it is interesting to check how things balance out after that first year of NBN 2.0
While very little progress has been made on the new plans the good news is that the original planned rollout of the FttH has been gathering steam and is well and truly underway. Some fine-tuning has taken place and in general terms the rollout process is in better shape than before. With more and more countries rolling out FttH networks the knowledge base of the technology has increased, while at the same time the cost of deployment has decreased. Around the world FttH has become the norm in greenfield deployments. This has also led to a review of the possibility of including more FttH in NBN 2.0. These developments are extensively covered in the report.
The major difference between the original plans and NBN 2.0 is that at this stage the FttH plans have largely been abandoned; this technology will not cover much more than 20%-25% of all broadband connections in the country – the so-called lucky people. The remainder will be linked via a mixture of multi-technologies (MtM) of HFC and DSL-based networks. These are the existing coax and copper cables, mainly from Telstra.
The delays in rolling out NBN 2.0 clearly shows that to embark on MtM is easier said than done as it significantly increases the complexity of the technology. At the same time changing plans also means making sure that the regulatory environment will be altered to ensure that MtM can be made available on an open, wholesale-only basis.
The reality is that MtM largely depends on Telstra’s network and Telstra’s expertise, and the government totally depends on Telstra’s cooperation to deliver the plan. The problem that many in the market now see is that Telstra’s dominance is only increasing because of its important position in government policies. Even if it does lose some of its retail privileges the money it receives from the government makes it possible for the incumbent to basically do what it wants. Telstra’s prime position is covered in a separate chapter of this report.
In 2013 the government promised a quick delivery of its policies, but this is dragging on well into 2015. In the meantime Australia is falling further and further behind on the international ladder of providing citizens with good quality broadband. It is at the bottom of the OECD list and even on a larger international overview it sits somewhere around the 50th position. It also severely hampers growth in the market as, apart from Telstra all other players are now staring to experience a period of stagnation. The health of the market depends on a rapid deployment of the NBN.
There is still hope that NBN Co will be able to find better and cheaper ways to deploy FttH than MtM, but the reality is that with the financial squeeze being experienced by NBN Co there is little chance that they will be able to upgrade the MtM to proper FttH any time soon. This will leave many Australians stuck on a potholed broadband network while the rest of the world (and other parts of Australia) have access to superhighways.
Data in this report is the latest available at the time of preparation and may not be for the current year
Table of Contents
1. NBN Co – 2.0
1.1 The new plan of the new government
1.2 Backgrounder NBN Co - 2009 - 2013
1.3 NBN Co’s full year 2014 financial results
1.3.2 Financial Results
1.3.3 Rollout statistics
1.4 Analysis of NBN 2.0
1.4.1 Two competing NBN offerings
1.4.2 The multi-technology NBN
1.4.3 Design and rollout problems
1.4.4 Contracts, negotiations and regulations
1.4.5 The execution
1.4.6 Current FttH plan requires simplification
1.4.7 So on to the next review in 2016?
1.4.8 Still missing – a national vision
2. Developments and Analyses 2014
2.1 Latest NBN Developments- September 2014
2.1.1 FttP – Rest of the world is wrong but Australia is right?
2.1.2 If people don’t need NBN speeds, what about their computers?
2.1.3 Let’s get on with the NBN
2.2 NBN-related jobs increase by 248% since review
2.3 Competition in the telecoms industry is dwindling
2.4 Market-led demand for FttH is picking up
2.5 TPG highlights the fragile NBN environment
2.5.1 Market-led vs. Government intervention
2.5.2 You cannot unravel the NBN
2.5.3 The fragility of the wholesale-only model
2.5.4 NBN is a finely balanced exercise
2.5.5 TPG exposes weaknesses in NBN retail models
2.6 NBN assessment April 2014
2.6.2 Reviewing the last few weeks
2.6.3 From reviews to leadership
2.6.4 Tension with the review commissions
2.6.5 The end goal will remain FttH
2.6.6 The NBN future looks bright
2.7 Is the government opening a NBN Pandora’s box?
2.7.1 Pandora’s Box
2.8 Aligning broadband and healthcare
2.9 Government reneges on election promises
2.10 Where is the economic plan for the post-manufacturing era?
2.11 NBN debate continues in a policy vacuum
2.12 Regional councils concerns over the NBN changes
2.13 Privatisation of NBN is not popular
2.14 The NBN will always remain in Beta.
2.15 Telstra’s cashflow may suffer from NBN rollout delays
2.16 What PRISM, credit card hacking and Chromecast have to do with FttH
2.17 The pros and cons of vectoring
2.18 Will LTE steal the broadband revolution?
2.19 Multi Dwelling Unit broadband
2.20 Is the NBN Co business model flawed?
2.21 NBN leadership or NBN procrastination
2.22 The Dutch Disease, broadband and the mining boom
2.23 NBN could slash telecoms maintenance costs
2.24 Broadband demand-side management
2.25 The NBN and the opportunity for ‘virtual’ players
2.26 Will infrastructure constrain the digital entertainment market?
2.27 Will the half-built HFC disaster be repeated?
2.28 Digital infrastructure essential to manage the transition to the e-world
3. The FttH Rollout
3.1 Rollout update mid 2014
3.2 Roll out updates of revised NBN
3.2.1 19,000 premises cut over to FttH
3.2.2 Roll out changes under the new Government
3.2.3 Multi technology mix
3.2.4 NBN fibre basements rollout starts later in 2014
3.2.5 Review of the regional roll out – 2014
3.2.6 Fixed roll out update March 2014
3.2.7 Roll out update early 2014
3.2.8 Gosford Council - NBN fibre via Ausgrid
3.2.9 Multi dwelling units
3.2.10 More details on the HFC plans
3.3 Original roll out program 2010-2013
3.3.1 The initial announcement
3.3.2 Roll out progress report late 2012
3.3.3 Roll out update mid 2013
3.3.4 Take-up rates late 2013
3.3.5 NBN Co breaks out state-based rollout data
3.4.1 NBN aerial deployment
3.4.2 Aurora’s NBN report tabled in the Senate - 2014
3.4.3 NBN pilot roll out
3.4.4 Other NBN related projects
3.5 The first mainland release sites
3.6 Second-release sites
3.6.1 Nineteen new sites
3.6.2 Second construction phase
3.7 Detailed overview of the roll out program
3.7.1 National overview
3.7.2 Dapto first on the list for 2012
3.7.3 Eight more cities announced – February 2012
3.7.4 Roll outs northern Queensland
3.7.6 98K more premises across the country
3.7.8 Western Sydney
3.8 Multi-dwelling units
3.9 First fixed wireless roll outs
3.10 Roll out issues - analysis
3.10.1 Community engagement
3.10.2 Inhouse networking
3.10.3 Existing FttH users?
3.10.4 Municipality Broadband
3.10.5 Real estate investment
3.10.6 Brownfield restrictions
3.11 Regional Backbone Blackspots Program (RBBP) - Historic
Paul is a rare find in a fast paced world of technology and communications. His research and comments are well founded and well respected in Australia and around the world. I have always gained something new from our discussions about my own industries as well as others. Paul is a wealth of knowledge and can only inspire people with his enthusiasm.
Julian Carter, Founder & Strategic Advisor at Mosi Seven. Director at Monster Logic Group Pty Ltd