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NBN - Is it too expensive?


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#1 Caelum

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Posted 06 August 2013 - 06:45 PM

I originally posted this on facebook, but thought it deserved a thread here as well... NBN Thought experiment for the night: Lets say you own an old house. This particular house needs the roof to be replaced pretty soon, as it's run down. A big storm comes along, and a tree branch falls on the roof, and damages half of it. Now you've got two options: 1) Replace the whole roof for $40,000 2) Replace the damaged part of the roof for $30,000 Issue being, that the rest of the roof will need to be replaced in another 5 years anyway, because it is so run down. So now, assuming you choose #2, you're going to pay another $20,000 in 5 years to get the other half fixed up. It'll probably be by another contractor who uses different construction techniques, and potentially not up to the same standard. There will also be a visible join between the two roof repairs that lets some water through, unfortunately. That's the difference between building the NBN all in one stage (as per current design plans) or in two stages, which would be required if we only did fibre to the node now, rather than fibre to the home (ie, Liberal vs Labor policies on the NBN). The copper WILL need to be replaced. It is a simple physical fact that copper can not provide enough bandwidth for our future demands for data services. So that means that if FTTN (liberal policy) goes ahead, we're going to need to go through and patch up the failed parts of the broadband network after the fact. Simple fact there is, that it is *always* a messy job to revisit/refurbish a project after it was completed, rather than just doing it right the first time. The current NBN design means that we will only need to build it once, it will all be built to the same standard, using the same hardware (this is a big thing, when it comes to operational expenses), and none of the fibre optics will need to be replaced in order to get a faster speed. All that would need to be done for faster speeds to be put through the network is a new device is installed in the local NBN 'exchange', and then as required the customers on that exchange can upgrade their speed if they need to - if they don't need to have faster speeds all their existing hardware will still work as it always has. My final point is - Don't take this as me saying that the NBN design is as good as it possibly can be. What you can take from this is me saying that the current NBN design is *far* superior to the Liberal police NBN design.
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#2 NukeJockey

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Posted 06 August 2013 - 07:00 PM

You'll find that many people were arguing that in the nbn thread, the liberal nbn supporters don't seem to see it that way though.
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#3 Flouncy

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Posted 06 August 2013 - 07:11 PM

The most comprehensive and reasonable guide you'll ever read.

Answer: no. It's essential and fuck Murdoch's brainwash campaign.
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#4 GoFaster

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Posted 06 August 2013 - 07:18 PM

The most comprehensive and reasonable guide you'll ever read.

Answer: no. It's essential and fuck Murdoch's brainwash campaign.



Playing Devils Advocate here:

From the article
"As this graph from European FttN-provider, Asotel, illustrates. If you're more than 2KM from the node right now, FttN isn't going to help you at all."

The Coalition have been pretty clear that if you can't reach 25 Mbps on copper you will get a fibre connection...

Edited by GoFaster, 06 August 2013 - 07:19 PM.


#5 Caelum

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Posted 06 August 2013 - 07:28 PM

25mbit being the 'standard'? Come on... I could saturate 100MBit today, using legitimate (ie, non-pirate) purposes.
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#6 AccessDenied

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Posted 06 August 2013 - 07:30 PM

Actually, they have stated that they will put in fibre if the existing copper will not support it, otherwise they will look at a series of 'mini-nodes'. This is a timeconsuming and expensive option (Despite what the naysayers will say). What I'd like to see is a hard line drawn. If the copper has x attenuation/km then it's bad and needs to be fibre. We will never get the promise of course. But meh. Politics. AD
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#7 GoFaster

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Posted 06 August 2013 - 07:40 PM

While you might be able to use a 100Mbps connection, to what extent do you need it and to what extent to the general public need a high speed internet connection.

On a general I think your analogy is flawed it misses, what I think is probably one of the fairer points that Leonid makes, that using FttN the initial outlay is cheaper and quicker which should(!) allow a quicker return on the investment.

Also something something nano(pico?) nodes something something profit :P

#8 AccessDenied

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Posted 06 August 2013 - 07:48 PM

I appreciate what you say, but where Leo has trouble is with the reality of the copper. You only get return of investment on a working product. The Liberal proposal will likely take just as long, but will result in an inferior product. You can scream about the wonders of Vectoring with VDSL2 until you are blue in the face, but it only works if there are sufficient pairs of copper in the ground that are operational. We are talking a requirement of 100% redunancy on existing copper. (Ie. Every house has 2 pairs available to it). This doesn't exist anymore. We are close to 20 - 30 % redunancy. Do you think there will only be 20 - 30% uptake? If so, home and hosed. Otherwise, we're out of copper. AD
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#9 Caelum

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Posted 06 August 2013 - 07:51 PM

I need it for my work, so i absolutely need it.

The general public might not need that much NOW, and they don't have to buy that much, they can buy 12mbit, if they so wish...

Personally, i'd buy 100mbit now. In 5 years time, i'd probably be looking for more, as demands increase. That's the thing - when we're talking about something that could be around for 20 or 30 years time (or hell, 5-10 years time), you're going to be looking at a massive increase in the data usage requirements of the 'net.



And the above statements are based on me - a single man. IF you're talking family requirements, you can basically double the requirements, depending on age of children and number in the family total...



And then there's the whole 'if you want fibre anyway, you can pay $5000 (or some other arbitrary figure) to get it connected. The issue being what about rental properties? There's no incentive for the landlord to pay the money for it to be connected, and there's no way that a tenant would ever pay $5000 (or even half that) in order to get the NBN connected (in addition to opex fees).
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#10 eveln

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Posted 06 August 2013 - 07:55 PM

Just like to say thanks for such a concise explanation Caelum, and providing that's the way it unfolds I'm all for the Labor NBN ;)

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#11 GoFaster

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Posted 06 August 2013 - 07:57 PM

If you need it for work, then arguably you should be the one paying for it not the state. Otherwise I still think your missing my point, high speed internet of any kind isn't a need it's a want. What's so important about this want that the state is the one that must provide it. AD: I quick look around the net and it seems like VDSL2 (non-vectored) can come down a single line, it's range and speed are more limited than the vectored version but it still seems quite snappy.

Edited by GoFaster, 06 August 2013 - 07:59 PM.


#12 Caelum

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Posted 06 August 2013 - 08:01 PM

Yeah, you're right... it is a want. I want to be more productive, so that i can do more work, get paid more for the work i do, and grow our economy. Or is that a bad thing? I don't understand. Regardless, whilst the 'state' (being Australia as a whole) is 'paying' for it... the return on investment over time (both through productivity and the eventual privatisation of the wholesaler) will result in a net negative cost. edit:typo

Edited by Caelum, 06 August 2013 - 08:08 PM.

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#13 eveln

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Posted 06 August 2013 - 08:06 PM

Um ... GoFaster don't you think we the people that live in the State are the State ? I mean we will pay...

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#14 GoFaster

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Posted 06 August 2013 - 08:10 PM

Yeah, you're right... it is a want.

I want to be more productive, so that i can do more work, get paid more for the work i do, and grow out economy.


Or is that a bad thing? I don't understand.


Regardless, whilst the 'state' (being Australia as a whole) is 'paying' for it... the return on investment over time (both through productivity and the eventual privatisation of the wholesaler) will result in a net negative cost.


There is already a mechanism through which the a business or individuals can get 'compensated' for capital works or any other work related expenses. What's so special about you/your work that you can't use the same method as, say, the gas fields up north?

On that final point the one thing that annoys me about Labor's NBN is the decision to sell it off at some point, corporatise it if they have to but hang on to it and use the profit for other stuff.

Edit: Me grammar good :S

Edited by GoFaster, 06 August 2013 - 08:24 PM.


#15 chrisg

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Posted 06 August 2013 - 08:19 PM

:) Best analogy I've seen... I'm a little busy with shit right now, so Cael, here's the gloves, go box with Leo for a bit - myself, AD and others have been, for months :) Cheers
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#16 Caelum

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Posted 06 August 2013 - 08:31 PM

I have time for people who have well reasoned arguments. Not sure about Leo though ;) <3
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#17 AccessDenied

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Posted 06 August 2013 - 08:42 PM

The purpose of vectoring is to reduce noise on the lines (When using multiple pairs) and allow longer transmission distances without the need for mini-nodes. If you want VDSL2 without vectoring we REQUIRE mini-nodes. No ifs. No buts. Even if we had good quality copper. The transmission range is relatively short for the guarantee. It's actually a sad case of the copper we have in the ground isn't really sufficient. They were assessing putting 0.9mm copper in, and instead opt'd for 0.64 (IIRC. This is something I learnt back years ago and have not looked at since). The big issue is, you can't just whack 0.9 copper down 0.64 conduits. The bend radius are completely different, and at the end of the day, it likely wouldn't fit. (There is some slack, but not a lot) All I can say as a summary is this: If Liberal win, within 2 years I will be saying "Told you so" AD
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#18 aliali

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Posted 06 August 2013 - 08:43 PM

On that final point the one thing that annoys me about Labor's NBN is the decision to sell it off at some point, corporatise it if they have to but hang on to it and use the profit for other stuff.

Edit: Me grammar good :S

Ye that is the only thing that I think is bloody stupid. The current goddam obsession by the major parties with selling off all national infrastructure just totally bamboozles me.

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#19 chrisg

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Posted 06 August 2013 - 08:49 PM

:) Oh shit, I forgot - some commentary upon my current mental state - ali has been fighting the good fight with some kind of belt-fed shotgun too :) Cheers
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#20 .:Cyb3rGlitch:.

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Posted 07 August 2013 - 01:46 AM

The only argument I've seen against the Labor NBN which makes sense is the limited capacity of the 2.5Gbps GPON units. That leaves a maximum bandwidth of 78Mbps across 32 households. Of course, that assumes that every household will opt for the 100Mbps plan (which is highly unlikely), and the network has been designed for easy upgrades to higher capacity GPON units without additional fibre.

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