The Coalition NBN plans have just been released, and are shockingly disappointing, which to be honest, doesn’t really surprise me.
In a nut shell, they plan to build the inferior Fibre To The Node (FTTN) network, at an apparent saving of just $15 billion.
To put it into perspective, the Coalition NBN costs $29 billion, as opposed to the current plan costing $44 billion, so in reality, not much of a gap at all, and yet it sets us well apart from the rest of the world in technological growth, and will hamper our economic growth in the long term should this be implemented.
In terms of costs, you need to keep in mind that the NBN investment is accounted for as that, an investment, and as such, is not part of the deficit, so what the Coalition is saying about the NBN is completely wrong, and at any point, they’re bitching and whinging about the Labor government spending $44bn, but it’s perfectly fine for them to spend $29bn on an inferior product.
The Coalition NBN plan will also include a user-pays model in order to upgrade to the FTTP option, which no doubt will add considerably more overhead.
The Coalition also wants to essentially dismantle the NBN Co, and would effectively reverse deals between Telstra and Optus, allowing them to continue to utilise their fixed line cable networks, allowing Telstra and Optus to continue a century old monopoly, hmm, how many shares do these clowns have in these companies, my guess, thousands…
What should be happening, is to have a single fixed line technology, that is easily maintainable and cost effective, instead of having a thousand different technologies all requiring different skills and technologies to maintain, driving up running and maintenance costs significantly.
FTTN will still require the use of ‘last mile’ copper, with an already ageing copper network, it appears that the Coalition has not taken into account how much copper needs to be replaced in the network, let alone the billion dollar a year cost to maintain it.
In reality, we’re looking at long term cost effectiveness. While this is an investment, it’s like buying a car, what’s going to be the most cost effective and reliable in the long term, in this case, FTTP wins on all factors.
The UK have already rolled out FTTN, and they’ve reported that it’s the worst thing they’ve ever done, and now they’re wanting to roll out FTTP. With a network size that will be considerably larger in Australia, do we really think we should ignore past experience? The Coalition are not learning from others mistakes, nor taking their advice, they’re just going on about things they don’t understand, just to win their jobs at the next election.
On costs alone, FTTN does not make sense. Looking into the future with the potential for technology, and the fact that with just simple hardware changes, 100mbit can be changed to 1gbit and beyond, FTTP makes the perfect choice in technology, not the antiquated backwards technology that is used to deliver FTTN, as well as the patches of various other technologies to fill holes.
The NBN is a major economic agenda in Australia, and as such should be be taken seriously. I only wish that the two major political parties would grow up and think about what’s best for the country instead of what’s best for their own arses.