Labor's NBN compromise

Labor is preparing to change its NBN policy.

Labor's NBN compromise

Labor communications spokesperson Michelle Rowland this week revealed that the party is preparing change its NBN policy, switching and plans from fibre-to-the-premises technology to a fibre-to-the-kerb method.

"The challenge with NBN is you can't simply change it post-election like a piece of legislation – there are realities on the ground," Ms Rowland told Fairfax Media.

Labor understands that, if it does win the next election, installation of the NBN will be almost complete Australia-wide. Introducing fibre-to-the-premises will be near impossible without compromise at this stage of deployment.

Going forward, if fibre-to-the-kerb were to be implemented, it would give Labor a technology base from which it could eventually upgrade and implement fibre-to-the-premises in the future.

"FTTP remains the Labor policy with FTTC being the next best alternative for consumers." Ms Rowland said. "This won't fix the NBN – and it's not fibre-to-the-premises – but it will salvage something better for those households, guarantee better speeds and modestly improve the economics of the NBN."

The NBN has already been connected to 1 million premises through a fibre-to-the-kerb model. Labor is calling on the Government to use fibre-to-the-kerb for all remaining premises not yet in the design and construction pipeline.

What do you think? Is compromising at this late stage too little too late? Are you worried about fibre-to-the-node being installed in your area?

Read more at theage.com.au

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    COMMENTS

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    Waiting to retire at 70
    25th Jul 2017
    10:29am
    Current rollout is experiencing a high level of complaint from users. Is it reasonable to expect complaints? The short answer is Yes. It's not so good when you look at the overall number of complaints, particularly as a percentage of total users and also in particular when you look at the most common types of complaints. Many of which are, or should have been, anticipated in advance and planned for avoidance - it's not as if this was the first time ever that someone has tried to rollout such technology.

    Putting all that aside for the moment, one thing everyone SHOULD HAVE learnt from technology over the last 40 years is it NEVER remains the same and, for the foreseeable future, will continue to change, more often for the better. Accepting the NBN as it is now isn't an option.

    Taking the unacceptable (and already way out of date) baseline service delivered by the NBN and leaving it as it is delivered will be disastrous. Continued upgrading of any technology must be a given, if we are to remain competitive in a world fighting for 'market share'. After all, we don't all drive around in T-Model Fords today.

    Neither the current government, nor the NBN have any published plans for NBN 2.0 So a start by Michelle Rowland this week may encourage further public dialogue. Any debate will have the appalling failures of the NBN to date to assist in improving future technology upgrades and allowing proper and real exploitation of it to the benefit of everyone.
    Theo1943
    25th Jul 2017
    2:46pm
    Hang on a minute. I do have a T-Model Ford in my carport. But I don't drive it much. :-)
    Retired Knowall
    31st Jul 2017
    7:30am
    You can always promise what you like as long as you don't have to pay for it.
    Ted Wards
    25th Jul 2017
    10:43am
    Why is it the government always promises but never delivers? Anything they go to change always ends up a disaster that costs tax payers millions of dollars. It seems its better to rush and get any result than be patient and get the right result that's best for Australia. This is yet another case of the government, and it doesn't matter which party seems to be in power, is more interested in delivering promises than delivering results. NBN is yet one more example of how politics lets Australia down and keeps us behind.
    MICK
    25th Jul 2017
    10:47am
    True Ted but not sure how it would have played out had Labor not been pushed out of government. Who would ever know.
    Anonymous
    26th Jul 2017
    12:28am
    What we do know is that fibre to the node was never a sensible plan. The copper was always going to slow things down and create higher risk of outages. That was a fact well known and recognized by anyone who understands the technology. It's mind-boggling that a government could even consider opting for fibre to the node, but I guess it was all about convincing the unknowing public that you were more ''economically responsible''. Yeah, right!
    Rosret
    26th Jul 2017
    8:53am
    Ted - have you watch Yes Minster and Utopia. I am sure we are all old enough on this site to have figured out how it goes. :)

    One thing I didn't realise until my later years is than there is a "bucket" of promotional money reserved for political vote gain.
    "We are going to give xxx to Gambling reform"
    "We are going to give xxx to laptops in schools"
    However you can't have both - so this election you can have the gambling reform and the next laptops but the gambling reform infrastructure will have the rug pulled out from under it.
    The trick is to identify which projects are in the promotional bucket and which are life time investment bucket.
    So which is the NBN? - its evolving technology - probably needs a different bucket again.
    MICK
    25th Jul 2017
    10:44am
    Fibre to the kerb? Brilliant. That way households decide how much they want real NBN. Like anything else in life the consumer pays if he/she wants the service.
    The sad reality is that the (current) Turnbull solution has not only butchered the NBN but it has also cost more than the original estimate to do the job properly. We never seem to ever hear any more about that....but neither do we hear about the huge debt which has been run up in the past 5 years. You only hear about such reports repeatedly when Labor does it. Seems rather strange.
    I like the solution to the NBN debacle. Bring it on.
    Waiting to retire at 70
    25th Jul 2017
    11:14am
    True
    Anonymous
    25th Jul 2017
    11:51am
    MICK, I have tried to establish a costing on the NBN since it was thought of in 2007 without much luck. The last figure that can be verified is $43B, reduced to $37.4B in 2008. After that date it seems that the costs have gone off budget papers because it is considered an investment which will give a return to taxpayers, not a cost on government. Can you give me a source to find out the actual costings?
    Rosret
    25th Jul 2017
    1:04pm
    We have fibre to the node and it is fine.
    Its how the NBN providers are slicing up the available bandwidth that is causing so much grief - even in areas where they proudly boast 100Mbps. That may be what is sent - its just not what the household receives.
    MICK
    25th Jul 2017
    8:25pm
    I am working with the figures given through the media as per your figures above. Of course who would ever know as this is game where the truth is often not the truth.
    I would have thought the NBN would be compelled to release accurate figures irrespective of who was in power.
    Tiny
    25th Jul 2017
    9:19pm
    Rosret it's good to hear you have FTTN and you are happy with it, you must be the one in a million.

    I have FTTN and average around 5-7 megabits at best on a 25megabit plan.

    If I went for the 12megabit plan I would struggle to get 3 megabits, which is less than what I got when on ADSL2 where I averaged 3.8 to 4.2.

    Have been advised by NBN Co that the distance from the Node, the so called congestion (Excuse used by providers), how much my provider purchases (megabits) to share with other customers, and the aging copper cabling in my area, I will not get much better than what I am currently getting.
    Anonymous
    26th Jul 2017
    12:37am
    Fibre to the node cannot ever deliver high speed connection reliably because when you push high volume into old copper pipes, there is congestion. Rosret, providers do slice up the bandwidth in ways that create inefficiency, but the basic concept of fibre to the node IS flawed and no matter what providers do, the copper pipes for ''the last mile'' (or whatever distance it is from node to premises) will always result in major degradation of service. That's basic science!
    MICK
    26th Jul 2017
    5:42pm
    The weakest link Rainey. That is what always fails in any piece of equipment or process.
    Retired Knowall
    27th Jul 2017
    8:36am
    And now for some Glass Half Full comments.
    My internet speed has doubled (5.2Mbs to over 11.3Mbs)
    MICK
    27th Jul 2017
    1:57pm
    Good one Retired Knowall. So have mine. Unfortunately what we have is still a shadow of what we were promised. 100 Mbps is what we should all have rather than the Turnbull inspired lemon we now have.
    Anonymous
    28th Jul 2017
    7:11am
    Well, hurrah Retired Knowall. That makes it all okay then. Stuff the rest of the nation, as long as you are okay everything's fine. It's called self-interest, and it's rather loathsome actually.
    Retired Knowall
    31st Jul 2017
    7:39am
    Rainey you are a typical left wing Drop Kick. I was merely stating what my NDN speed was. I can't it if you are intellectually challenged and can't stand anyone having success at anything. You must a real joy to live with.
    Anonymous
    31st Jul 2017
    8:38am
    Very happy to see anyone succeed and enjoy life, RK. I'm just fed up with the lack of empathy and the argumentative dismissal of any comment that reflects concern with something that isn't working. Some of the ''I'm okay Jack, bugger you'' and ''holier-than-though'' posters here seem to assume that if they don't have a problem, it can't exist and anyone who complains is at fault somehow. A little respect and compassion would go a long way.
    BTW. My partner, children, neighbours and friends tell me I am a joy to be around, thank you - probably because I understand that happiness comes from being grateful, but being grateful doesn't require scorning or wishing hurt on those not so well off.
    Retired Knowall
    31st Jul 2017
    11:02am
    Please explain how my posting that I have doubled my internet speed with my NBN, scorning those less fortunate or wishing them harm. I know there are problems with the current NBN, it's not a problem for everyone, should I feel guilty that most things are right in my world.
    So go on...explain, maybe I'm missing something.
    mIKER
    25th Jul 2017
    11:46am
    The Coalition believed its own propaganda about the NBN instead of listening to the real experts who warned that, for example, purchasing the Optus copper network would result in a second rate service and proved to be a complete waste of $600 million tax payer dollars. However, the need to denigrate anything promoted by Labor proved overwhelming and we have ended up with a disaster. Very sadly for Australia the Abbott/ Turnbull primacy is more inept and incompetent than any of its predecessors.
    Eddy
    25th Jul 2017
    1:07pm
    I suggest the NBN is just as important for Australia as was the Snowy Mountains Scheme in the 1940's and 50's. Just as well Mr Menzies was a better politician and visionary than the current crop of so-called Liberals or we would never have had the Labour initiated Snowy Mountains Scheme completed, it would have been stopped in it's gestation.
    The current NBN plan of fibre-to-the-node is comparable to building a 6-lane freeway with a 110kph speed limit then channelling the traffic onto a 50kph 2-lane road. Fibre-to-the-kerb is not much better, something like increasing the 2-lane road to 100kph.
    MICK
    25th Jul 2017
    8:31pm
    Spot on mIKER.....and I believe it was the Telstra copper network.
    What I find galling is that it is acceptable to squander $50 billion of taxpayer money and not be held liable. Instead you get that arrogant rich man's snigger and the routine Labor scapegoating for what was done in the absence of prudent government.
    4b2
    25th Jul 2017
    12:26pm
    Anything would be better than the current model. So much for faster better and cheaper, everything the current Government ministers said prior to the election and since have been found wanting. Remember Power prices will fall after we get rid of the carbon Tax! wow look at the cost of electricity now. Get rid of them. Usless the lot of them.
    MICK
    25th Jul 2017
    8:35pm
    Don't tell me you actually believed the slogan "you have electricity prices because of the Carbon Tax"? That was run over an over again day after day. Pretty obvious whose palm was being greased and the incredible price hikes have hopefully rubbed salt into the wounds enough for coalition voters to stop and have a hard look at their football team.
    Don't know how anybody could vote Liberal after Herr Abbott. Some did!
    Pablo
    25th Jul 2017
    12:26pm
    The NBN is just one more example of Governments changing the technology which results in unnecessary cost to Australian citizens. My experience with mobile phones is just one example - with analogue, I could get good mobile coverage all the way from Sydney to Canberra, and with digital phones I lost the signal all the time. There was also Digital TV which pixelates and loses signal whenever it rains, despite the costs to me having to upgrade my aerial and all the internal wiring in the house. With analogue TV, I was always able to get a good signal. And the cost of analogue - digital convertors was also a ridiculous expense. And now the new, you beut NBN that I will get is FIXED WIRELESS and all the problems that come with that. I just wish the Government would buy out of technology upgrades!
    Rosret
    25th Jul 2017
    12:58pm
    With he be able to address the private telcos who are dividing up the access 100 fold so the individual is receiving data at 1990 dial up speed despite paying for top speeds.
    It's hard to take on the big guys - especially foreign companies as we are finding out to our detriment with gas and electricity ....and health care.
    baza18
    25th Jul 2017
    3:22pm
    Everyone forgets that Labor left no funding for the NBN & as usual the Libs got it left in their lap & that is partly why they can't afford to go fibre optic right to the house
    MICK
    25th Jul 2017
    8:36pm
    Perhaps the media should have left Labor with another term as Labor had put forward its model and the debt was also going down year on year. That is an inconvenient fact which is kept hidden and you have to ask why.
    Anonymous
    28th Jul 2017
    7:09am
    Because LNP has more money to influence media to keep spreading untruths, and very few people ever bother to check the facts.
    Anonymous
    28th Jul 2017
    7:13am
    Oh, and did I forget to mention LNP has those horrid trolls - OG and Bonny - who are unbelievably persistent with their nastiness and untruths.
    niemakawa
    25th Jul 2017
    4:08pm
    Promises, promises, lame promises. All politicians should be hooked-up to a lie detector evertime they open their mouths.
    Anonymous
    26th Jul 2017
    12:32am
    They should be charged with fraud and suffer the standard penalties when they don't deliver on their promises. It IS fraud to gain a power and a high income by deception.
    niemakawa
    26th Jul 2017
    12:34am
    Rainey, and confiscate all of their assets.
    PlanB
    25th Jul 2017
    4:21pm
    I have not read the other post but-- I have been able to get the NBN now for over 12 months but due to the amount of trouble that people have had -- being off line with phone and the internet for up to 5 weeks more than once I have held off -- MR BROADBAND should have stuck with Labours idea -- as this is taking us back 100 years -- with a power outage you have NO PHONe and NO INTERNET -- what a pack of idiots this mob is!
    Tiny
    25th Jul 2017
    8:57pm
    Also,people need to be aware, if you happen to have 2 phone socket outlets in your house, once you get the NBN connected you will loose the second line.

    As you alluded to, if there is a power outage in your house you loose your phone use.

    Also be aware if the provider to the FTTN cabinets loose power you also will have no phone, even if you have power.
    Aviatorman
    25th Jul 2017
    10:48pm
    Quote; "lose the second line' Unquote... WHY.??
    Have heard this said.. but people go ahead and connect more and they seem to work OK
    Couldabeen
    26th Jul 2017
    12:23am
    FTTP was always going to be a loss of service with a loss of power. That is not a change that came about with the FTTN system. Initially there was talk that the Nodes would include a battery back-uo so that at least people with copper to their home would retain landline phone function during a blackout, but somewhere along the line NBN Co dropped that security. Or so I've been told. You cannot blame the LNP coalition for that.
    You may like to actually look at what domestic telephone services were available 100 years ago as when connected, they worked.
    PlanB
    29th Jul 2017
    8:44am
    This system is going BACK eons-- and is a worse system than we already have -- at least if you have a power outage you can still plug in an old Telstra phone and have the landline -- these scum should be made to get it sorted B4 they make us all go on it.
    You also have to have a Mobile which in some cases is going to cost a HELL of a lot as many older folks do not have one -- and what happens in an outage of 10 days like we had the last time with a ----g storm how the ----k are you going to charge your ---g mobile!? at least in that outage we STILL had a land line!
    Tiny
    25th Jul 2017
    6:10pm
    This whole NBN is becoming or should I say has become a Joke.

    How many systems are we going to end up with, it just keeps growing.

    We have FTTP, FTTN, now FTTC, in addition people still on ADSL, ADSL2, Satalite and those that have nothing.

    This will if not already happening, have an impact on if you can sell your house, because of the system being provided.

    Let's be honest the FTTP was and should have been the only system rolled out, instead of the other options.

    There has not been really any savings, and because the speeds are rubbish for most, the costs recouped to pay back the build will take 10 times longer.

    Australia is at last look around 60th in the World with average speeds of 13 megabits, yes megabits not Megabytes.

    Singapore on the other hand ranked No 1 has an average speed of 137 megabits.

    I wait with baited breath all the reviews, reports, and the threat of court action, against the provides, but feel it will be a long wait.
    MICK
    25th Jul 2017
    8:39pm
    CORRECT.
    If you move from horse and cart transport to motorised transport YOU DO NOT PUT LEGS ON A CAR. Turnbull did! And we got a disaster which cost more than the budgeted original.
    Couldabeen
    26th Jul 2017
    12:34am
    FTTC is not a different system, it is just FTTN, except that the Labor minister doesn't know all that much about how it all fits together.
    As was found very early on, FTTP was a totally unrealistic and unafordable system. It is still going to be very difficult to install in multiple occupancy dwellings.
    As has been discussed in the media recently, one of the main reasons that users are getting very poor speeds is directly related to which ISP they have chosen as not all ISPs are buying enough bandwidth within the exchanges for all of their customers to get the advertised speeds. This is not a fault of the Government or NBN Co.
    In real terms, existing ADSL and ADSL2 was more than adequate for over 90% of domestic users.
    To compare the service provided in Singapore with urban Australia is meaningless as over 90% of the subscribers in Singapore will be within a couple of kilometres of an exchange or data hub.
    MICK
    26th Jul 2017
    10:18am
    If you think that Labor did not know how to put together a system which worked then please discuss what Turnbull did as this is what the country is now saddled with: a lemon which has cost more than the original model and does not/will not ever work.
    Labor used professionals to put together its model. It would have worked as it was designed from bottom up. Turnbull did it different when he was shadow Communications Minister. He made a decree. Now we have a lemon and the media will not blame him for his woeful waste of taxpayer money. Funny how Labor gets all the blame from the media and coalition governments get none on the big mistakes.
    niemakawa
    25th Jul 2017
    8:49pm
    What excuses does our Government or the Opposition have?

    http://www.smh.com.au/technology/technology-news/australias-internet-speeds-lag-behind-world-20170315-guyh4u.html
    Aviatorman
    25th Jul 2017
    10:59pm
    Why is Labor suddenly 'cashing in' on the Govt's FTTC rollout which is now being being acted upon. Our street is being prepared at this moment.. eliminating the bulk of the copper wiring... so, if a fault presents itself at our property only... then its likely to be my copper cable only.. (Great improvement)
    MICK
    26th Jul 2017
    5:25pm
    Labor has called this ill fated butchering of the real NBN out from day one. It is the media which decides if and when to run with the issue.

    Be happy if you have the full service because most places only have FTTN which is Turnbull's hybrid solution. Luke warm at best. A total disaster at worst.
    Old Geezer
    26th Jul 2017
    10:39am
    Faster wireless internet is already here so why bother with the NBN at all then?
    jackyd
    26th Jul 2017
    1:51pm
    Spot on OG....although I am enjoying some of the
    amusing comments. ..
    Do believe however that a direct line of sight from the tower to the dish is required for wireless to function.
    MICK
    26th Jul 2017
    5:32pm
    Here you are again running the Turnbull FAILED model or have nil understanding of the technologies OG.
    Wireless runs at 25/5 - that is 25 Mbps download speed & 5 Mbps upload speed.
    Fibre optic runs at 100/40.
    Pretty clear which is the superior technology.
    So are you suggesting the Turnbull solution: THROW MONEY INTO HIS NEXT LEMON? I certainly hope not.
    Anonymous
    26th Jul 2017
    6:16pm
    shush... o.g and jackyd, by giving this lot, the likes of labor mick etc. easy clues of how to fix the problem, You might rob us of having a great laugh reading their comments
    Old Geezer
    26th Jul 2017
    7:08pm
    Those new digital signals have even been proved to passed through shielded buildings as phones need very little signal to work. Data will work when your phone won't. I have used Skype to make calls when I can't make voice calls on a mobile or tablet.

    Devices like Netgears NIghthawk are just the tip of the iceberg of what there is to come.
    MICK
    26th Jul 2017
    9:39pm
    Yeah OG. If all else fails ignore the facts.
    Methinks you need to check your citizenship heemsjerk. Also, you forget to mention unions, school halls and pink batts.
    jackyd
    26th Jul 2017
    11:27pm
    Well well Mick, so you want to run Battle Station Galactica when most of us bigger boys are happy with a fast efficient service to do our normal stuff....good luck to ya.
    PlanB
    27th Jul 2017
    9:14am
    Not everyone can get wireless
    MICK
    27th Jul 2017
    3:05pm
    You are talking th talk of dinosaurs jackyd.
    Do you still use a computer with a 32 kB ram or do you use one with 1,000 times that size? And for that matter are you still using Dial-UP internet?
    You need to look at the irrelevance of your comment. Of course we need fast broadband and it ain't about the Turnbull line of 'downloading videos". Have a look at remote medicine for a starter.
    I think you have been retired too long mate!
    PlanB
    26th Jul 2017
    1:00pm
    Now we are being blackmailed into getting this *&^%$*^ NBN -- was informed that the rental is going up another $2 from $40.95 to $42.95 and to ring 132200 for questions -- then they told me -- OH we can give it to you for $25 -- but then I was told not unless you go onto the NBN NOW -- I might add I still have 6 months b4 I HAVE to -- I am about over the bloody lot of this crap -- so many are having SO MUCH trouble with the NBN here -- AND you have to have a MOBILE -- so that is an extra cost -- and I was told you have to have both land line AND the internet with the one company -- I wanted to stay with Internode for the internet.
    ex PS
    31st Jul 2017
    11:06am
    Would not have to compromise if the Lib's hadn't stuffed up the original plan for purely ideological reasons. These current mob of idiots need to be taken down a peg, if for no other reason than to demonstrate to all politicians that if they lie to get into power they will be punished at the next poll.
    Everyone knows that the cheapest solution is not always the best solution, value for money should be the criteria.
    PlanB
    31st Jul 2017
    12:09pm
    I agree PS, a lot of the time the dearest option ends up the cheapest in the long run