Thursday, 29 September 2016 00:54

Internet Australia applauds NBN move from HFC to FTTdp Featured

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Internet Australia, the peak body representing Internet users, has applauded NBN’s decision not to use the “old Optus Pay-TV cables” and adopt a fibre to the distribution point (FTTdp) solution.

“It has long been known that much of Australia’s HCF (Pay-TV) cabling has not been well maintained and would not be fit-for-purpose“, IA chief executive Laurie Patton says.

“In recent weeks it has been revealed that only about a third of the premises where the FTTN (copper) network has been built have actually been connected.

“It is to be hoped that this is the beginning of the industry’s long desired return to building a 21st Century broadband network. The next stage needs to be abandoning the ageing Telstra copper wires in favour of an all fibre rollout, except in the remote areas where fixed wireless or satellite is the only answer.“

IA’s support for NBN’s decision to use its newest technology — fibre to the distribution point (FTTdp) — in place of Optus HFC, follows Patton’s comments on Tuesday on NBN’s ongoing rollout of fibre-to-the node (FttN), when he said it was “commendable” that NBN is meeting its targets, but that it is “nonetheless rolling out an inferior copper-based network that will need to be replaced in 10-15 years’ time, if not sooner”.

“What’s more, the fact that only a third of homes ‘passed’ have actually been connected confirms the view expressed by the minister last week that their wholesale charging mechanism needs to be reviewed.

“Their resellers simply aren’t being sufficiently incentivised to move their ADSL customers over to the NBN,” Patton said.

On the FttN rollout, NBN Co reported that nearly three quarters of a million Australian premises can now sign up for a Fibre-to-the Node (FttN) service one year after it commercially launched FttN services.

It also said that around a quarter of a million premises are also now activated via FttN.

And, according to NBN Co, if you include the figures from its Fibre-to-the-Building (FttB) deployment, then it has a total of 854,000 premises ready for service across FttN and FttB combined.

But, while Internet Australia applauds the decision by NBN to use FTTdp and not the Optus HFC network, as iTWire’s Alex Zaharov-Reutt reports, the changes have raised the ire of the Labor Party’s shadow communications minister, Michelle Rowland.

“Yet today we hear of the latest backflip from the Government. NBN has ditched the Optus HFC network it paid $800 million for and will instead connect 700,000 customers to FTTdp,” Rowland says.

“This confirms what everyone already knew – that the HFC network was a lemon and could not deliver the broadband speeds and quality Australians expect and deserve.”

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham - retired in 2020. He is a veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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