Frank O'Connor foconnor at ozemail.com.au
Thu Apr 9 17:50:12 AEST 2009


First ... Telstra currently gets $360-$400 per year from me, for 
rental on an obsolete copper connection that should have been 
depreciated to a nil value sometime about 10 years after it was laid 
... let's be generous and say the mid 1960's. It's been the copper 
cash cow of the century. Against that $550 per annum for a state of 
the art fibre optic connection capable of a 1000 times the bandwidth 
seems like a real bargain.

Second ... there's nothing to say that this puppy will cost $43 
billion. There are numerous things that could happen to defray the 

For example Telstra could get functionally separated, and the new 
wholesale entity might decide that its already laid fibre would serve 
as a great backbone for wholesale services in this country. And if 
the government wanted to splice its fibre to the household off the 
Telstra backbone, Telstra would offer a long term deal to allow other 
competitors to unrestricted use its backbone for a minimal $20 per 
month rental ... "Hey, government this would probably reduce your 
costs to less than $20 billion, and we could make moolah on an 
investment we never completed" ... and everybody could win ... 
Telstra would keep its position at the core of the Australian 
communications infrastructure, the government would get its NBN, and 
the average punter would get whatever services they were prepared to 
pay for from whatever player they elected to go with.

No ... wait ... wait. That sounds too damn rational and sensible. 
Sorry everyone ... my apologies.

Telstra will kick and scream and be functionally separated by force, 
the government will appoint some bozo consultants with a record of 
failure a mile long who have no experience at network engineering 
(Accenture?) to build an NBN from scratch, the real cost will 
probably be in the realms of $200 billion, Telstra's fibre optic 
venture of the 80's will remain a White Elephant in much the same way 
as its investment in cable/Foxtel and other Telstra money making 
ventures have collapsed over the years (Hong Kong, Sensis etc) and 
the average punter will still be cruisin' on copper in 10 years time.

We're doomed I tell you! Doomed!

At 5:05 PM +1000 9/4/09, Ivan Trundle wrote:
>On 09/04/2009, at 3:29 PM, steve jenkin wrote:
>>  Some info not yet on this thread.
>>  The bit I really don't understand is the estimated cost/household 
>>  (or is
>>  that dwelling?)
>>  $43B / 7.8M houses = $5,500/house... Which seems *very* high.
>>  If it were $1,500/house, the economics would be appealing.
>What about businesses? Hospitals? Schools? Shacks? Clubhouses? 
>Government offices?
>The term 'dwelling' is rather limiting in this context (it generally 
>only means 'occupied private dwelling' in the census), but I can 
>imagine easily the desire for multiple cables to large establishments.
>Also, even discounting these possibilities, and reverting to the 
>narrow focus of 'dwellings', if the equipment were to last 10 years 
>(which is quite reasonable), then the cost is $550 per household.
>Link mailing list
>Link at mailman.anu.edu.au

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