[LINK] Transcript of Mike Quigley, CEO NBN Co, Address Today

Tom Worthington tom.worthington at tomw.net.au
Wed Aug 18 15:59:50 AEST 2010

NBN Co chief executive, Mike Quigley gave the 2010 Charles Todd Memorial 
Oration today: 

This was organised by the Australian Computer Society months ago, but 
became very topical with the election this Saturday and both parties 
having broadband central to their election policies.

ARN have provided a full transcript of Mr. Quigley's address. See: "2010 
Charles Todd Memorial Oration by NBN Co chief executive, Mike Quigley, 
Full transcript of the address to the Australian Computer Society", ARN 
Staff (ARN), 18 August, 2010 14:22 

Some excerpts:

"... I plan to use this speech to outline:

1. Why it’s better to invest $27 billion rather than spend $6 billion
2. Creating a monopoly helps competition
3. Why a ubiquitous broadband network isn’t just equitable, it’s 
essential for the delivery of social, economic and productivity benefits
4. Why wireless can’t, on its own, serve all our long term broadband 
needs but a combination of wireless and fibre can.

... Some have claimed that the FTTP network would end up not being used 
because of the growing capability of mobile networks. ...
So the question is, is it a good use of public financing to build the 
NBN? ...

NBN Co is planning for the provision of Uniform National Pricing. That 
is pricing which is distance and technology independent. We are 
currently working with Government on the practical application of 
Uniform National Pricing which is critical for lowering the barriers to 
entry for Retail Service Providers and delivering effective national 
retail competition. ...

Unlike these projects, the NBN is a scalable network. It is composed of 
integrated pieces which work together but which also work in their own 
right. There are four major components:

         * the satellite solution for 3% of premises which will provide 
much improved broadband for more than 200k premises;
         * the fixed wireless solution which will serve 4% of premises;
         * the FTTP solution that serves 93% of premises; and,
         * the transit backhaul network which connects the three access 
technologies to the common Points of Interconnect.

     The satellite and fixed wireless solutions are badly needed to 
dramatically improve the services that can be provided to rural and 
remote communities. ...
     Remember this is a highly repeatable build of very similar modules 
as we rollout across the country. The scope for applying continuous 
improvement methodologies to drive down costs is huge. ...

     So there are two questions:

        1. What is it that all these Telcos know about wireless that 
eludes some in Australia?
        2. Why is it that you can’t buy anything close to a 50 GByte per 
month plan on a mobile network?

     ... It is now time to say a few words about the benefits to 
Australia of a ubiquitous and standardised broadband platform.

     Recent studies have noted the substantial annual benefits that flow 
from broadband in terms of GDP (xi). One such study of a fibre access 
network estimated a US$160 billion economic benefit over 4 years (xii). 
This same study estimated an annual increase in jobs of more than 
210,000 ...

     It’s proper therefore that this nation-building proposal be 
subjected to the tough questions and to a very rigorous public debate. 
I’m sure that was the case when the Overland Telegraph and the Copper 
Access Network were proposed.

     They would have had their doubters and skeptics and I’m sure 
Charles Todd had to – from time to time - defend the Overland Telegraph. 
However like all debates, this one is best conducted with the benefit of 
a few facts.

     And that is what I have sought to do today - place on the record 
the facts which are driving NBN Co to the positions we are taking. I’m 
sure Charles Todd would approve.

     Thank you."

Tom Worthington FACS CP HLM, TomW Communications Pty Ltd. t: 0419496150
PO Box 13, Belconnen ACT 2617, Australia  http://www.tomw.net.au
Adjunct Senior Lecturer, School of Computer Science, The
Australian National University http://cs.anu.edu.au/courses/COMP7310/

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