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Networking Government News

Australia To Build Fiber-To-the-Premises Network 300

Posted by kdawson
from the no-censorship-on-the-wire-of-course dept.
candiman writes "The Australian PM, Kevin Rudd, has just announced that none of the private sector submissions to build a National Broadband Network was up to the standard, so instead the government is going to form a private company to build a fiber to the premises network. The network will connect to 90% of premises delivering 100Mb/s. The remaining 10% will be reached with wireless and satellite delivering up to 12Mb/s. The network cost has been estimated at 43 billion AU dollars over 8 years of construction — and is expected to employ 47,000 people at peak. It will be wholesale only and completely open access. As an Australian who voted for the other guys, all I can say is, wow."
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Australia To Build Fiber-To-the-Premises Network

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  • Damn... (Score:3, Funny)

    by Elitist_Phoenix (808424) on Tuesday April 07, 2009 @02:24AM (#27485617)

    8 Years?! Oh god won't someone please think of the pornography?!

    • Re:Damn... (Score:4, Funny)

      by Namarrgon (105036) on Tuesday April 07, 2009 @03:11AM (#27485951) Homepage
      Don't worry - if you're in Tasmania (and who isn't?), they'll start building your PornoPipes as early as July.
      • Due to our english ancestry, we call them TuppingTubes
      • There are 21,262,641 [cia.gov] people in Australia. Forty-three billion is 2,022 Australian dollars for every man, woman, and child in the country. It's difficult to believe that the government could spend that much money, particularly since I understand that Australia does not have sufficiently fast internet connections with the rest of the world.

        Read the Australian government announcement [dbcde.gov.au].

        LOL: "... if you're in Tasmania (and who isn't?)"
        • by WillKemp (1338605)

          [......]I understand that Australia does not have sufficiently fast internet connections with the rest of the world.

          True enough. It will be a massive boost for the domestic porn industry too!

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by caramelcarrot (778148)
            Don't worry, that'll be outlawed in time - you'll only be allowed to download children's TV and watch party political broadcasts (so long as they aren't too worrying).
            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by Kell Bengal (711123)
              As a Canberran I can tell you that's BS. Our pornography industry is what keeps the politicians coming here.
    • by wisty (1335733)

      90%? That's like, Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, and maybe Adelaide or Perth.

      After it's done, we will still be limited by pissy little pipes going to the real world (i.e. China then Europe, or transatlantic cables to the USA).

      It'll still be pretty cool though.

  • What's the point (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 07, 2009 @02:24AM (#27485625)

    Australia is a censor black hole. If anything this is a trick to install filtering equipment everywhere.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by mjwx (966435)
      How did this get modded up?

      For the last time, this has already been voted down in parliament once. Every new government tries something like this only to see it shot down. Labour could never hope to get this passed without the support of the Greens and they don't have the support of the Greens.
      • by tpgp (48001) *

        How did this get modded up?

        Because Conroy was talking it up on National TV [abc.net.au] less than a fortnight ago.

      • by BrokenHalo (565198) on Tuesday April 07, 2009 @03:36AM (#27486089)
        For the last time, this has already been voted down in parliament once.

        Sure. But until it is slapped down definitively, Conroy is going to keep talking the thing up. Trouble is, there are still far too many nanny-state idealogues in Parliament, and I am not nearly so confident that this censorship won't be imposed. There are also too many naive twits there who fail to see the "thin end of the wedge" aspect of the thing with regard to freedom of speech.
        • Re:What's the point (Score:5, Informative)

          by mjwx (966435) on Tuesday April 07, 2009 @04:06AM (#27486207)
          Conroy and labour lost the support of Xenofon (Anti-gambling) and the Greens (anti-pollution) so unless he gets 6 Liberals to help him out this is all but buried.

          To be totally honest I don't think that Conroy hasn't got much of a career left, if labour has any brains they'll drop him for the next election. The Greens and Xenofon want the public to forget that they were ever in favour of this because they need the public to vote for them as they don't have what the major parties consider safe seats.

          For all the idealoges in Australian parliament there is enough people who rely on public popularity and sentiment just to stay in parliament to counter them. Conroy's getting plenty of negative press regarding the internet filter (which is why the NBN announcement came from Kevin Rudd not the Minister of Communications), although enough people see through the "think of the childern" rhetoric (the more he says child porn the less people beleive him) but that's no reason for us to let up on him.
  • Filtering (Score:5, Insightful)

    by james.mcarthur (154849) on Tuesday April 07, 2009 @02:25AM (#27485627)
    Wow, a fibre-to-the-home network by the same Government that wants to filter the internet out of existence.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    90% of premises already HAVE access to high-speed internet in the form of ADSL2+ or cable. And these are the same premises which are going to get upgraded while those with only low-speed DSL and dialup are going to be ignored again. Rage.

    • by QuantumG (50515) *

      Start your own company providing WiMax.. Australia has some of the most open regulations in the world when it comes to broadband providers.

      • by XaXXon (202882)

        That's a GREAT idea. Compete with the government. That's bound to work.

        • The original coward sez:

          90% of premises already HAVE access to high-speed internet in the form of ADSL2+ or cable. And these are the same premises which are going to get upgraded while those with only low-speed DSL and dialup are going to be ignored again. Rage.

          QuantumG comes up with a solution:

          Start your own company providing WiMax.. Australia has some of the most open regulations in the world when it comes to broadband providers.

          XaXXon reveals his inability to read:

          That's a GREAT idea. Compete with the go

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        Australia had one of the first WiMax commercial rollouts. Guess what - it failed. WiMax is still a pipe dream. Be interesting to see how it pans out in San Fran.
    • by eclectro (227083)

      Cable and dsl no matter how fantastic is still a dirt road compared to 100 Mb/s coming from fiber.

      • by afidel (530433)
        Uh Euro DOCSIS 3 is either 222/122 or 444/122 depending on the number of channels, so significantly faster than 100Mb. As long as node sizes are kept reasonable DOCSIS 3 really is fast enough for just about all home applications I can think of for the next 5 or so years and with future extensions to allow for more channel bonding it is projected to reach gigabit speeds.
        • 'Cept it's shared (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Namarrgon (105036)
          Better hope that you have no more than 4 customers on your node, and that they think "torrents" are what you see in Fargo streets.
        • by SlashWombat (1227578) on Tuesday April 07, 2009 @03:44AM (#27486115)
          But DOCSIS is on a shared cable, so you cannot get those speeds 24/7. If 100 subscribers are all on the same bit of cable, the ultimate potential bandwidth could well drop to only 2.2 or 4.4 megabits per second!
          You might think this is not reasonable, but if Video on demand becomes popular, there might well be very little bandwidth left. Where as, with 100 mbit fibre, you are not going to be sharing that bandwidth.

          If Australia wants to maintain, or even improve its status with OECD countries (WRT education/poplations intelligence), this is exactly the right way to go!
          • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

            by snaz555 (903274)

            DOCSIS is TDMA, which just doesn't play nice with TCP congestion control. This is why once the time slots become more intermittent as utilization goes up TCP performance tanks.

    • RTFA (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Namarrgon (105036) on Tuesday April 07, 2009 @02:52AM (#27485789) Homepage

      The other 10% will get satellite or wireless support, at 12 Mbps. It's still a big improvement for many.

      Fact is, it's a big country, and running FTTH to every cattle station out in woop-woop is just silly. Can't please everyone.

      • Re:RTFA (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Eunuchswear (210685) on Tuesday April 07, 2009 @06:22AM (#27486819) Journal

        Fact is, it's a big country, and running FTTH to every cattle station out in woop-woop is just silly. Can't please everyone.

        Why? Fiber is cheap. Copper is expensive - rip out the copper and sell it.

        (Ok, now the economy is fucked this is less true than it was the year before last).

        Installing fiber in built-up areas is more expensive than in rural areas - here in Paris they're having to use the sewers 'cos digging new holes would be insanely expensive. (Just this morning saw the poor guy in his shit-stained overalls sat in a truck bonding connectors to a huge bundle of fiber).

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          Fine. How much would you like to go and dig a trench across 100 km of sun-scorched dirt? Oh, and it has to be properly done - not just buried, but surveyed and ducted, and flood proof, and bushfire proof, and wombat proof (no I'm not kidding, the little buggers dig like mad). The cost of the fibre is, in comparison, bugger all. It's the cost of laying it that makes the difference between fibre and satellite as the best choice to Farmer Trev.
          • by lazybeam (162300)

            Wouldn't it be easiest to just string it along the overhead power lines? Electricity companies already have fibre connecting their substations for monitoring and internal use so I'm sure they could add another one there. How long can a strand of fibre go without a repeater?

            Or they will just bury it like they buried a lot of the copper: with a plough...

        • Re:RTFA (Score:5, Informative)

          by ozphx (1061292) on Tuesday April 07, 2009 @09:47AM (#27488517) Homepage

          Digging a trench is expensive.

          Also our largest cattle ranch is bigger than Texas. Literally.

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Don't knock Woop-woop! It's a great place, right up there with Wollongong, Blowhard, Cockburn, Bonnin Head and Mount Mee!

        Australian place names ftw.

    • by kaos07 (1113443) on Tuesday April 07, 2009 @03:32AM (#27486071)
      Rubbish. Do a tiny bit of research. NO ONE in Australia has access to 100mbps. SOME people have cable (10mbps) and SOME people live next door to the DSLAM and get 24mbps ADSL2+. I live in the inner-city, but I'm stuck between two exchanges so I only get 8-10mbps. Me, and 90% of Australia will be getting fibre to the home and speeds of 100mbps. Unfortunately for rural folk, it's completely un-feasible to roll out fibre to every backwater town. So to make up for that, they're getting what they were promised at the last election - 12mbps.
      • by Dan B. (20610)

        Don't rubbish people and tell them to "Do some research" without first doing your own.

        I have an apartment in a building where everyone has 10MB/s ethernet straight out of the wall. And it is just about to be upped to 100MB/s because we don't even remotely use the 1Gb/s on the fibre coming in to the basement!

        FTTN does already exist in some places, just no where you have lived, apparently.

      • by mariushm (1022195)

        Don't worry. The government will will build the 100mbps pipes to premises but they'll sell it to companies which in turn will give you 1mbps with 10 GB monthly limit for 200 Australian dollars.

        You wouldn't want them to compete with their own products now, would you...

    • by Malc (1751)

      Seems to me that the bottleneck is the inter-continental links. My line hasn't been upgraded to ADSL2+, yet I occasionally see 600+KB/s downloads in Firefox when I hit a local server (or maybe a CDN like Akamai with local content), but rarely more than 150KB/s for most things, and frequently slower. Reach.com in Sydney seems to have latency problems with some of my connections before it even crosses the Pacific to California. Grrr. I'd bet most people in Australia who already having throughput problems

      • by williamhb (758070)

        It's also costing $2,000 per person (far higher per tax payer)... it seems this kind of money could be better spent.

        Hmm, by the time they wholesale out to ISPs -- perhaps in the same manner that electricity is retailed in Queensland -- and perhaps charge broadcasters for access to the network, the return on investment might be less than a decade. That's not bad for a government infrastructure project. Especially when a fair chunk of the money spent comes right back to the government in income tax, compa

        • by the_raptor (652941) on Tuesday April 07, 2009 @04:30AM (#27486331)

          Oh, that's right THE CUSTOMER DOES. This is the taxpayer paying off the taxpayers debt. The only way this is worthwhile is if it leads to an increase in production. Otherwise it is just bread and HD porn for the masses.

          It isn't like I don't want high speed internet, but with some states nearly going broke and having trouble keeping the health system running, this is a colossal waste of taxpayer dollars.

          • by Whiteox (919863) <<moc.liamg> <ta> <hcetscth>> on Tuesday April 07, 2009 @07:26AM (#27487145) Journal

            Errr... Look at the big picture for a while. Massive infrastructure projects helped pull a lot of countries out of the Great Depression in the 30's - except maybe Germany that spent all of their gdp on militarizing.
            It's the jobs that count here. More infrastructure projects like Canberra's new terminal, rail, inland ports, schools and so on, on a State and National level is only good and probably the best strategy.
            Yes, $2000/head of population is a lot of money, but Joe Blow can invest in it via bonds, get a job through it, and use it 6 years from now. It also involves every industry, from building towers, ditches, cable making, a whole pile of IT work as well as providing continued employment in many sectors for years to come.

  • If I was cynical (Score:4, Interesting)

    by davisk (664811) on Tuesday April 07, 2009 @02:27AM (#27485635)
    And I am, I'd label this an attempt by Senator Conroy to backdoor his internet filtering into existence by tacking it onto a massive government controlled network. Also, being Australia, we'll likely have to pay $100/month for access and be limited to 20GB of data traffic (both up and downstream) per month.
    • by mjwx (966435) on Tuesday April 07, 2009 @02:37AM (#27485681)

      And I am, I'd label this an attempt by Senator Conroy to backdoor his internet filtering into existence by tacking it onto a massive government controlled network. Also, being Australia, we'll likely have to pay $100/month for access and be limited to 20GB of data traffic (both up and downstream) per month.

      Not cynical enough good sir. The next Liberal government will just privatise the entire network just like they did to every other bit of government infrastructure to raise enough cash to give themselves a pay rise.

      • by baileydau (1037622) on Tuesday April 07, 2009 @02:51AM (#27485781)

        Not cynical enough good sir. The next Liberal government will just privatise the entire network just like they did to every other bit of government infrastructure to raise enough cash to give themselves a pay rise.

        Actually, according to the Whirlpool [whirlpool.net.au] homepage story they are already planning it's ultimate sale (in the not too distant future)

        Private industry would contribute up to 49% of the funds, and the government would sell the company after operating it for 5 years, he said.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          I doubt there is a business case for private industry to buy back a $50bn investment in a fibre network. The buyers would be lucky to turn in $2bn in revenue from household and business use of the network. Much of that revenue the industry is already making via use of existing broadband technologies such as ADSL, Cable and private fibre networks. "Up to" 100Mbps internet by 2018 is not an impressive aim either. Many large businesses in Australia already have access to private 1Gbps private fibre networks wi

          • by mjwx (966435) on Tuesday April 07, 2009 @04:15AM (#27486253)

            Another problem is Australia will turn into a Korea/Japan situation where internal bandwidth capacity within the country is impressive, but external transit to the rest of the world is still expensive/in short supply.

            What do you mean by "will"?

            Internal bandwidth already outstrips international bandwidth, and the average broadband speed is 1.5 mbit/s. Australia only has 3 pipes out of the country.

            • the huge ones people are always talking about 'dropping as needed'

              why the hell isn't there a mother large cache (squidlike) server just before each one of those 3 pipes.

              even if it only kept the last 5 minutes of requests- for a NATIONAL sized pool of http requests, there have to be tons or redundant requests in any given 5 minutes. Even just the readership of websites like this one or the NY times...

      • by enoz (1181117)

        Privatisation is no secret, infact it's part of the plan:

        Once the project has been up and running for five years, the Government will begin selling its stake

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by BrokenHalo (565198)
        The next Liberal government will just privatise...

        Sure. Just like the present Liberal government. ;-)

        Although I was one of those who helped elect Rudd, I was never under any illusions that current Labor party policy is in any way distinguishable from the Liberals'. We just needed to get rid of that vile little twerp John Howard and his posse of jackbooted fascists.

        Rudd's short tenancy has been characterised by the odd ray of sunshine here and there, but for the most part he has been a sheep in sheep's
        • by mjwx (966435)

          Although I was one of those who helped elect Rudd, I was never under any illusions that current Labor party policy is in any way distinguishable from the Liberals'. We just needed to get rid of that vile little twerp John Howard and his posse of jackbooted fascists.

          So did I (well Greens, but preference).

          Its sad that we have to chose between a government that wants dictatorial control over our work lives and a government that wants dictatorial control over our personal lives but what are our options?

          • Human greed and other assorted motivations towards corruption have not changed, and they're unlikely to. The results will not change, and it's extremely unlikely that the method of dealing with them will change.

            The only innovation in the field, I suppose, has been the work of M. Gandhi. Something tells me that throwing off a foreign oppressor in the current political landscape of Australia will be tough.

            "We have met the enemy, and he is us" - Pogo

    • Re:If I was cynical (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Namarrgon (105036) on Tuesday April 07, 2009 @02:59AM (#27485839) Homepage

      I'd label this an attempt by Senator Conroy to backdoor his internet filtering into existence

      He doesn't need to spend $43B to do that; passing legislation to force ISPs to do it for him is quite sufficient.

      we'll likely have to pay $100/month for access and be limited to 20GB of data traffic (both up and downstream) per month.

      We'd be wishing for $100/20GB, if Telstra built the network. Because this is wholesale-only (no Telstra-style conflicts of interest), ISPs can compete fairly.

      The other side of the coin is our overseas links. Right now there's a comfortable duopoly keeping prices high (and quotas low), but that may change a little when PIPE Networks gets their Guam cable [pipeinternational.com] built. We're going to need a lot more, though, when 19M people get their connections bumped up to 100Mbps.

      • by Spit (23158)

        We'd be wishing for $100/20GB, if Telstra built the network.

        Oh man will it be sweet once the real ISPs like Internode and iiNet can fuck off Telstra for good.

    • by rdnetto (955205)

      Take a look at www.iinet.net.au. For that price, you can get a 60-100 GB cap right now, provided you bundle VOIP.
      iiNet is the 3rd largest ISP in Aus, yet they don't advertise for some reason. IMHO, they certainly beat Telstra & Optus hands down (not that that's saying much).

    • by jonwil (467024)

      The government will not be running any services over this network. Everyone will be able to choose plans from any ISP who wants to offer plans over the network.

      Since the ISPs will be the ones owning the routers, gateways and other layer 3 kit (and the ones giving you an IP address), any filtering or the like will be done by them. (whether filtering happens anyway with the ISPs being forced into it somehow is another matter)

  • They have the opportunity to do things right. The smart answer on this is for the feds to build a MINIMAL monopoly. Basically build out a fiber (or wireless) from a block-level, or even subdivision level green box to the end point. After that, allow the private enterprise to connect to the boxes and then provide various services. If they do that, they would see prices drop QUICKLY.
    • by Namarrgon (105036) on Tuesday April 07, 2009 @03:10AM (#27485941) Homepage

      build out a fiber (or wireless) from a block-level, or even subdivision level green box to the end point. After that, allow the private enterprise to connect to the boxes and then provide various services.

      Building out the last mile but not the backhaul would still entail spending 96% of the money, and wouldn't leave you with a working network. This way, the whole thing is out of the control of Telstra, so that access can be sold wholesale without any conflicts of interest. ISPs will still get to compete on price (even small ones), and the bigger ones could still replace the backhaul segment with their own connection if they felt it gave them a competitive advantage.

  • Sounds Great (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Frogbert (589961) <frogbert@@@gmail...com> on Tuesday April 07, 2009 @02:40AM (#27485697)

    It sounds great in theory, and I applaud the thought, but the cynic in me says "I'll believe it when I'm connected to it".

  • by Jane Q. Public (1010737) on Tuesday April 07, 2009 @02:49AM (#27485765)
    took the Federal money that was to be used for fiber to the home, and used it for other things instead.

    Now, they are complaining about Cable monopolies and the cost of taking fiber to the home, in order to combat cable.

    Boo hoo. We have lots to complain about, with these cable companies. But the telcos are as guilty for creating the status quo as anyone else.
  • by WaXHeLL (452463) on Tuesday April 07, 2009 @02:50AM (#27485773)

    Too bad Australia needs a bigger pipe to the rest of the world first before this will be a decent benefit.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by dakameleon (1126377)

      Exactly what I was about to say - all well and good that we can chuck bytes at each other fast, but we're constrained by the puny pipes out of the country to the US (shared with 3 million in NZ), Japan and Singapore.

      OTOH, lag on Australian servers should be non-existant - that's got to be incentive to host locally. Not bad for my future employment prospects.

    • by Namarrgon (105036) on Tuesday April 07, 2009 @03:23AM (#27486029) Homepage
      • Southern Cross have upgraded [southerncrosscables.com] their US link from 600Gbps to 860Gbps.
      • Telstra and Alcatel are landing their new 1.3Tbps cable [itnews.com.au] to Hawaii
      • PIPE Networks are on track [pipeinternational.com] with their 1.9Tbps cable to Guam.
  • This sounds almost like the right direction, but the devil may be in the details. A private company that the government will later sell will end up with monopoly control over the last mile of everyone's internet connection. Whoever ends up owning this network will want to maximise profits and recoup the cost of their investment. This still has the potential to end up horribly wrong.
    • by jamesh (87723)

      A private company that the government will later sell will end up with monopoly control over the last mile of everyone's internet connection.

      Sad but history does have a habit of repeating itself. By all means sell of the retail arm (of which this new company will have none if I understand correctly) but to sell off the wholesale part like they did with Telstra is just stupid.

      IMHO, it makes sense for a telecommunications network infrastructure to be government owned, because it's simply not something that wo

    • by kaos07 (1113443)
      They've committed themselves to structural reform and floated not only the idea of complete open-access for this network (which is a given, this lot is far more clever than the previous bunch) but forcing separation on the existing copper network.
  • Wahoo! (Score:5, Funny)

    by mcrbids (148650) on Tuesday April 07, 2009 @02:53AM (#27485801) Journal

    Soon, people down under will be able to hit their download caps in a matter of minutes! Yay progress!!!!

  • Telstra's back door (Score:2, Interesting)

    by ghostdoc (1235612)

    So Telstra got kicked out of the previous attempt, so they lean on a few of their mates in government and sure enough the old plan is scrapped and a new one is started.
    Only the new plan is completely taxpayer-funded, subject to no open tendering process, and managed by some demonic clique of Aussie politicians.

    Plus, Conroy can give up on his plan to make the commercial ISP's filter content when he can just wedge his filtering plans into this (and any vote becomes 'have nothing or have a filtered feed'). and

    • by marcushnk (90744) <senectus AT gmail DOT com> on Tuesday April 07, 2009 @03:07AM (#27485919) Journal

      eh?
      It's 51% taxpayer funded, 49% private investment then wholly sold off after 5years of running (Like Telstra, for a fucking huge profit).

      Huge bonus' to this plan.. (stolen from the good Simon Hackett shining knight of Aussie ISP's)
      Best path: FTTH (not FTTN) (Fibre To The Home/Node)

      Retain ADSL2+
      Abandon flawed FTTN approach
      same (high) speeds for everyone
      Retain copper access regime
      New infrastructure in parallel
      Retain competitive tension
      Retain innovation
      Retain competitive pricing
      No overbuild protection needed
      No legal battles needed
      more innovation, more choice
      long term consumer benefit

      • by renoX (11677)

        >Abandon flawed FTTN approach

        Could you explain to me why FTTN is flawed?

        FTTH seems to me much more expensive than FTTN without much benefit: FTTN + high speed SDSL seems "good enough" to me.

        • by marcushnk (90744)

          I'll let Simon say if for me:
          www.simonhackett.com/submissions/inconvenient-truth-fttn-hackett.pdf

          Also it's worth noting that FTTH will force Telstra to split up to compete with it.

    • by dbIII (701233)
      It's not Telstra's backdoor - it's telling Telstra to go get buggered and setting up a new version of a bit of Telstra. Even the conservatives who were always preaching "government should be run like a business" should have realised by now that selling of Telstra and putting a politically well connected clueless ex-farmer and Sol in charge of it should have seen how bad an idea it was in every sense - paticularly bad for business. We took the US example of bad telephone company behaviour as inspiration an
  • Someone should tell them that fibre to the premises doesn't mean sheep's wool. That'll piss on their barbie.
  • Unsurprising (Score:3, Interesting)

    by rastilin (752802) on Tuesday April 07, 2009 @04:03AM (#27486195)

    none of the private sector submissions to build a National Broadband Network was up to the standard,

    Living in Australia at the moment, this phrase doesn't surprise me in the least. The best thing you can say about Telstra is. "Their incompetence is the only thing saving us from their evil.". Right now I'm paying $70 AUD for ADSL2 with a 150GB. There's no fuzziness on what's permissible use either; they do provide 150GB... Telstra on the other hand, for $80 gives 12GB at 1.5Mbit, $100 if you want ADSL2, $160 if you want 60GB. What's worse is that my company rents lines from Telstra, so you'd think they could be AT LEAST as good as their competitors.

  • by wrmrxxx (696969) on Tuesday April 07, 2009 @04:14AM (#27486245)

    This seems to me to be not just about getting better internet connections, but about ending Telstra's monopoly on wired communications.

    At the moment, Telstra has a monopoly on the phone network due to their control over the copper lines, but as a company that's about the only thing it's got going for it. They sell access to the network both as a wholesaler and retailer. This new broadband network proposal won't be controlled by Telstra, so once users have an attractive high bandwidth alternative Telstra's business model might be in trouble.

  • by AbRASiON (589899) * on Tuesday April 07, 2009 @05:11AM (#27486463) Journal

    I couldn't possibly care less.

    We've got a global financial crises on our hands, we've got a water shortage in Melbourne, we're relying on non self sustaining fuels and all we can spend our money on is a 900$ handout to a tonne of taxpayers who will promptly donate the money to Sony, Microsoft, Apple, Panasonic, Samsung, Dolce and Gabana, Reebok, Nike or a plethora of other companies or we'll drop a tonne of coin on fibre internet.

    Really?

    I've got 15mbit now with ADSL2, I am happy with this, infact considering copper lines have been layed for years and are still maintained let's look at some ADSL 3 action and how about we look at somehow increasing our average download caps which seem to be between 5 and 50gb.

    I want cleaner air, I want solar, wind and wave electricity, I want money put into Australian business's which will produce products internationally, I want to see poor bastard farmers looked after who have been doing it extremely tough for 10 years.
    All this and I'm a selfish as hell geek!

    Don't get me wrong I'd love fibre to my house but is this really a priority? 43billion isn't chump change, we only have a population of 20million, let's piss it away on something more important than people needing more bandwidth to update their twitter pages.

    Oh and I guess at 31 I've finally reached enlightenment with government PR and the media, the first thing I thought to myself when I heard of this is, I'll believe it when I see it.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by arctanx (1187415)

      As another Australian geek, I think that this project is about more than getting some faster tubes.

      You're right: we do have a global financial crisis and the stimulus money is mostly going to go to global corporations who are in no trouble whatsoever. This NBN project is going to provide jobs to thousands of Australians during these troubled times -- directly to Australians, who are then going to use that money to live, not to buy things from Sony.

      When we have faster Internet access Australia will be more a

      • by AbRASiON (589899) *

        I think if it was 43million sure, but 43billion?

        How many of the following can be built with that money?
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sustainable_energy [wikipedia.org]

        Also, I'm going to make a stupid post, see if I can get away with it.
        NO ONE will ever host in this country (for overseas) because it's like hosting on the bloody moon.

        You can have a billion gigabytes a second to the moon, it's useless if the latency is at least 200ms.

        Better internet, great, 43billion dollars of better internet, when we've got retirees who just

  • by davydmadeley (267470) on Tuesday April 07, 2009 @05:18AM (#27486499) Homepage

    Is it just me, or is this quite a clever way to spend money in a recession?

    Building dams and bridges is no longer work that requires thousands of relatively unskilled labourers (compared to skilled tradespeople).

    You need a plan that's going to take a long time to complete, and employ a lot of people who have become recently unemployed from sectors like mining. So what do you do? Propose to dig a trench to every single house in Australia!

    Brilliant!

    • by Whiteox (919863)

      Aha! Someone who can actually see the trees in the forest. Well done!
      This infrastructure building (and there's more in the pipeline), will benefit everyone.

  • "As an Australian who voted for the other guys, all I can say is, wow."

    You expected more infrastructure building from the Liberal party? Which planet do you live on?

  • by Anonymous Coward

    great, now we can catch up with the rest of the world... in another 8 years time.

    FTTH is in operation in many parts of the world, including developing countries. I think 100Mbps in a decade is an anti-climax.

    See Wiki's 'Fiber to the premises by country'
    >> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fiber_to_the_premises_by_country [wikipedia.org]

  • If the Aussie gov't in the guise of a private company is providing the fibre won't that make it very very easy (least from an ownership point of view) to implement their idea of a internet blacklist (leaving aside the technological issues)...?

  • Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has announced that the Australian government will build a new $43 billion national broadband network [today.com], connecting 90% of homes to 100-megabit fibre internet. "We believe that fast broadband is absolutely essential for our nation's future", he said.

    "Telstra has raised issues with the amount of bandwidth usage this will produce, but our Great Firewall of Australia Internet filtering project should keep usage down to reasonable levels at near-dialup speeds."

    The Great Firewall will reliably block all illegal material, child pornography, terrorism and unhappy thoughts on the network.

    "Not only are the contents of the list illegal," said Senator Stephen Conroy, " but revealing the list is also illegal, as is linking to someone linking to someone purporting to reveal the list. So blocking Google Search is required. This will also help keep usage down to an acceptable level."

    Calling it, the "single largest infrastructure decision in Australia's history," Mr Rudd said the project would employ up to 37,000 people a year scanning citizens' net access, reading their email and correcting spelling errors in their football forum posts.

    A consultative process will occur to determine the regulatory framework for the network. "We're considering getting Senator Fielding to do it personally," said Senator Conroy, "since he's the dickhead who demanded the censorship in return for his vote. Hopefully it'll melt his brain. Bloody balance of power. At least Nick Xenophon's bloody sane."

  • As an Australian who voted for the other guys, all I can say is, wow."

    Grail Knight: He chose....poorly

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