[LINK] NBN got what it paid for—will now cost almost half as much again to fix it

Bernard Robertson-Dunn brd at iimetro.com.au
Fri Nov 27 10:47:22 AEDT 2015

NBN got what it paid for—will now cost almost half as much again to fix it
26 November 2015
By  Lauraine McDonald

Deputy leader in the Senate, Stephen Conroy has accused the former nbn 
board of being “incompetent political hacks” who did not know what they 
were doing when they bought the Optus hybrid-fibre coaxial (HFC) network 
for use in the nbn.

In 2012 the nbn approved the $800 million purchase of the HFC 
network—which delivers broadband and pay-TV services—from Optus.

An NBN document titled ‘HFC Plan B: Overbuilding Optus’,  leaked 
yesterday, now suggests this network is “not fit for purpose.” [see 

“The nbn board are political hacks. They are incompetent. They did not 
know what they were doing,” the former communications minister raged. 
“Under Labour’s watch, the HFC network owned by Optus would have been 
shut down.”

nbn now acknowledges through the report that some of the equipment is 
“arriving at the end of life” and needs to be replaced, while other 
parts are “oversubscribed” and will not have enough capacity to deliver 
the superfast internet access speeds required of the nbn services. It 
says there is also “noise” on the HFC cable network which is causing 
interference and “degrading” end user speeds on the infrastructure.

According to the report, a range of alternative options would deliver a 
“higher probability of success” and “significant operational 
simplicity”. It suggests expanding the reach of Telstra’s cable TV 
network, overbuilding the network with either Telstra HFC cables or NBN 
fibre or using fibre-to-the-premise as a replacement.

The report says the preferred option is to use a mix of technologies 
which is expected to add another $150 million to $375 million (46% of 
the original Optus network purchase cost) to the cost of the nbn, and 
will make it miss its financial year 2017- 2018 connection targets.

At last count, the nbn's costs were expected to come in between $46 to 
$56 billion.

nbn has responded with reassurances that the document is part of a 
regular ongoing approach to risk mitigation and that so far there have 
been mimimal technical issues on the testig it's doing on the Optus 
network in Redcliffe.

It says, "nbn is conducting an HFC Pilot on the Optus HFC network in 
Redcliffe, QLD. The nbn HFC trial in Redcliffe has been built out to 
4,500 premises. It has activated end-users from several of its RSPs. 
End-users have been receiving speeds of up to 100Mbps/40Mbps. And nbn 
has not found any unexpected technical issues with the Optus network in 
the Redcliffe area."

“Let’s check the scorecard of who is using the nbn today,” Conroy said, 
adding there are 610,000 users of the national broadband network today 
that are using Labour’s fibre network, but after two years in government 
and a billion dollars wasted expenditure there are only 375 users of 
what he describes as "Prime Minister’s Turnbull’s network."



Bernard Robertson-Dunn
Sydney Australia
email: brd at iimetro.com.au
web:   www.drbrd.com
web:   www.problemsfirst.com
Blog:  www.problemsfirst.com/blog

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