[LINK] NBN retail costs

Richard Chirgwin rchirgwin at ozemail.com.au
Thu Mar 10 07:53:42 AEDT 2011

On 9/03/11 8:10 PM, stephen at melbpc.org.au wrote:
> It seems to me, unfortunately, it's very possible, that our NBN could
> price itself out of consideration, for lots of Aussie broadband users.
> For eg:<http://broadbandguide.com.au/virgin-mobile/plan/1237-5127-mobile-
> broadband-1.5gb--usb-modem>
> The above is virtually-anywhere wireless broadband, and with a free USB
> modem, no set up fees, the Optus 3G/HSPA (Dual Band) Network, and 1.5GB
> of monthly shaped data, with no excess usage charges, *for $19 a month*
> Or for $14 a month when it's bundled with a post-paid mobile phone plan.
> Sure, it's 1.5G. But as some linkers know, i own and manage an FM radio
> station within our 12 station network. (And, now cover most of Northern
> Victoria). Within our network, we relay our signal from the studio with
> the best DJ, and MP3 music around six hours every day and 7 days a week.
> In other words we stream audio for 42 hours a week between our stations.
> And none of us have ever gone over 1.5G / month. So, for normal MP3 use
> six hours a day around home, in our experience 1.5G broadband is plenty.
I'm going to turn your experience on its head. I *don't* use streaming 
much, but in my work I suck down the GB way past 1.5 GB (generally 
downloading map tiles from a subscription service).

We could argue proofs-by-exception on either side, practically forever, 
without reaching a conclusion. But a network builder can't build to 
individuals: a network needs a mass market of some kind. *Some* kind of 
"best fit" to mass requirements is needed.

Regardless of the individual experience, the ABS data tells us that the 
average of all household downloads comes out at more than 6 GB per month 
(a figure worked out by Shara Evans of Market Clarity in this paper, 
correcting the raw data with an estimate for business downloads: 
[PDF warning!]). So the mass experience is already well above the 1.5 
GB, although well below the 200 GB plans that already exist.

Of course, "how much do I download" is a slightly different question to 
network performance. I can't tell you about streaming on a 3G service, 
but I can tell you that VoIP (I tried Skype and my old Firefly services 
in January when away from home) is a dead duck on 3G. Latency was the 
killer, and my mobile phone bill went through the ceiling.

Horses, courses, etc.

> So, 3G broadband that's *mobile* with sufficient data, for dialup costs.
> That's $228 (or $168) a year, for mobile broadband, vrs $720+ fixed NBN?
> Perhaps somewhat of a no-brainer, unless NBN Co will lower access costs?
> Cheers,
> Stephen
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