[LINK] National Broadband Network - except it's not national.

Richard Chirgwin rchirgwin at ozemail.com.au
Sat May 8 16:08:26 AEST 2010

Bernard Robertson-Dunn wrote:
> So, in this context, national means it exists in the nation of 
> Australia, not that it's a National Network?
> On 7/05/2010 1:21 PM, Paul Brooks wrote:
>> As seen by the ISP, its a totally different beast - a disjoint
>> collection of 200+ finger-networks providing access from each POI
>> location to the houses/businesses/schools/traffic-lights close to that
>> POI location. The ISP has to figure out from the normal non-NBN sources
>> how to link their systems and infrastructure to each of those POIs that
>> they wish to serve - there won;t be anything in the middle.
>> (Interesting problem - NBNCo will presumably need to lease low-bandwidth
>> capacity from the existing long-haul transmission suppliers to carry
>> their network management traffic at the very least from their NOC
>> locations to their equipment at each of the 200+ POIs )
>> P.
> So NBNCo will need to create a National Network to manage its 
> infrastructure holistically, but won't offer a holistic data service to 
> ISPs?


The problem is that the NBN has to resolve so many conflicting 

1. Provide high-speed access to end users.
2. Introduce competition to Telstra where there is currently no competition.
3. Don't compete with other fibre owners (ie, where there is a 
competitive market, such as the Sydney-Melbourne corridor, why should 
NBN overbuild it?)

There are others, but this will do for now.

Today, an ISP with a presence in Broken Hill has to buy backhaul to get 
from its DSLAM to Sydney. Post-NBN, the ISP will still have to get from 
Broken Hill to Sydney - but it will have a competitive provider; if not 
NBN Co, then someone else. So its backhaul should be cheaper than today 
(I selected Broken Hill because it's a one-horse town). So the situation 
is better for the ISP, not worse.

And, of course, the ISP gets to access the fibre link to the customer 
instead of copper from a DSLAM.

Another improvement from the ISP's point of view is that 200 local POIs 
is far fewer than (say) 500 exchanges (that's the number of exchanges 
currently running competitive DSL, by my rough count). So they will be 
buying fewer backhaul links and are guaranteed at least a minimal amount 
of competitive backhaul supply.

Apart from the semantics - "it's not national" (actually, the *access* 
network will be national or nearly so. NBN Co is simply not briefed to 
build a replacement long-haul fibre network as well) - I'm not sure what 
the problem is.


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