[LINK] NBN to be 1Gbps

Crispin Harris crispin.harris at gmail.com
Thu Aug 12 11:46:35 AEST 2010

Hi Jan, Linkers,

On Thu, Aug 12, 2010 at 8:36 AM, Jan Whitaker <jwhit at janwhitaker.com> wrote:

> At the end of the article:
> "It would offer unlimited download capacity at one gigabit per second
> wholesale rates to retail internet providers, but service provider
> Internode said it was not reasonable to give consumers unlimited
> downloads."
> http://www.theage.com.au/national/broadband-network-vows-to-deliver-an-even-faster-future-20100811-11ztb.html
>  http://snipurl.com/10kkfi
> --
> Why unreasonable? It is common in other countries. Why not here? My
> US friends scratch their heads when I ask if something they might do
> would take up their data quota. They don't know the concept.
> I think ISPs need to broaden their thinking as well.

The main reason that ISPs in Australia have to limit downloads is because of
the wholesale cost of the backhaul bandwidth that they purchase.
My understanding (and this is a bit dated, I haven't kept up with recent
figures) is that the majority of Australian downloads originate overseas. In
practice this means that a very large proportion of data provided to the
end-point has had to come over trans-oceanic cable.

Unfortunately, access to the trans-oceanic cable is expensive, and purchased
per-gigabit in multi-year contracts.

In the US and Europe, the situation is different - the majority of content
comes from the same land-mass/language group, and there is so much fibre
that backbone bandwidth is cheap. Because of this, they are able to offer
plans with "effectively unlimited usage" at very cheap prices.

Of course, when you get into the detail the picture is more complicated
(with "peering contracts", local/peer content delivery and services such an

Again I haven't looked recently, but retail margins for ISPs are thin, and
there is a great deal of competition.


Crispin Harris
crispin.harris at gmail.com
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