[LINK] nice idea Ross, but ..

stephen at melbpc.org.au stephen at melbpc.org.au
Tue Jun 9 01:13:13 EST 2009


Ross Kelso on NBN ..

"It is inconceivable to commit such a huge investment in creating nation-
building infrastructure which would then require substantial upgrading in 
a decade's time.

Furthermore, he says, its ability to give multiple content and service 
providers truly open and competitive access to customers is limited and 
he advocates instead, a home run - a dedicated fibre pair from exchange 
to each customer, or wavelength division PON - dedicated wavelength to 
each customer, or active star - a compromise between PON and the other 
solutions as better solutions."


--
Future FTTH network should be buried, and shouldn't be PON    

Stuart Corner, Mon 8th June 2009, www.itwire.com/content/view/25514/127


With 40 years in telecoms engineering, management and consulting Ross 
Kelso brings an informed and independent perspective to the debate around 
Australia's National Broadband Networks and his submission to the 
Government's review of the regulatory environment has some interesting 
ideas.


First, he believes that rollout of the NBN presents a unique opportunity 
to bury Australia's existing overhead power and communications 
infrastructure. 


Secondly he claims that what appears to have been accepted as the option 
for fibre to the home - passive optical networking - enjoys its 
popularity thanks in large part to incumbent telcos upgrading their 
copper networks and "seeking to satisfy their immediate commercial and 
strategic needs for incremental deployment."


Undergrounding of Australia's overhead power and communication cabling is 
an idea that has been floated before, and studied in great detail. 
Following the furore over Telstra and Optus' mad scramble to rollout 
overlapping HFC infrastructure in the mid nineties, the Government 
commissioned a study into the feasibility of undergrounding all power and 
communications cabling in urban and suburban areas.


It submitted its report in 1998, putting the cost just shy of $24 
billion, about $5.5k per household. Quantifiable benefits - savings in 
maintenance costs for telecommunications carriers and electricity 
distributors, savings in tree pruning costs and reduction in motor 
vehicle collisions with poles were estimated at 10 percent of the total 
cost.


According to Kelso, adjusting that figure for inflation brings it close 
to $43b - the upper limit of the Government's estimate of the NBN, of 
which an unspecified portion is planned to be installed overhead.


Kelso who was a member of the Putting Cables Underground Working Group, 
says: "The addition of yet another cable for the NBN will inevitably 
further degrade the visual environment, reduce the clearance above road 
and driveway levels and totally kill off any remaining opportunity to 
retrospectively underground all aerial cables and lines throughout 
Australia."


Given the frequency with which overhead cables can be brought down by 
adverse weather conditions, Kelso argues "It is simply ludicrous to 
create a next generation data network whose aerial component will 
inevitably face reduced service reliability." And he told iTWire that the 
costs could be much lower than estimated. The PCUG working group 
identified "a number of innovative ideas which could potentially reduce 
the cost of putting cables underground by up to 20 percent in a large 
project in the first year and up to 35 percent over five years." but 
Kelso said that, with sufficient scale, the costs could be less than half 
those of a small scale project.


He notes also that, following the enormous opposition to overhead cables 
created by the Telstra/Optus HFC rollout, these are no longer classified 
as low impact facilities and so, unless legislation is amended, rollout 
of the NBN will require development approval from state, territory and/or 
local governments.


On the subject of network architectures, Kelso says "for a new-start 
deployment of FTTH as proposed with the government's National Broadband 
Network, the traditional PON architecture will become increasingly unable 
to satisfy future customer and service provider demands. 


It is inconceivable to commit such a huge investment in creating nation-
building infrastructure which would then require substantial upgrading in 
a decade's time."


Furthermore, he says its ability to give multiple content and service 
providers truly open and competitive access to customers is limited and 
he advocates instead a home run - a dedicated fibre pair from exchange to 
each customer, or wavelength division PON - dedicated wavelength to each 
customer, or active star - a compromise between PON and the other 
solutions as better solutions.


While these solutions presently do not enjoy the economies of scale of 
PON, Kelso argues falling costs and increasing demand for bandwidth 
favour them over PON.



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