[LINK] Local council goes around federal government to secure better NBN technology

David Boxall linkdb at boxall.name
Thu Aug 31 09:36:16 AEST 2017

A reasonable start, but not what I'd call a win. If nbn™ runs true to 
form, then the network won't support upgrading to FttP at full capacity 
(>1 Gb/s). I can't find anything on FttC in the current design rules. If 
anyone can point me in the right direction, I'd be grateful.

> In the absence of federal government action, a local council has taken 
> matters into its own hands and negotiated directly with NBN Co to 
> successfully secure superior fibre connections.
> In what has been a major win for the Bellingen Shire community in New 
> South Wales, homes and businesses initially designated to receive 
> fibre-to-the-node (FTTN) will now receive fibre-to-the-curb (FTTC) 
> technology.
> This could set a precedent for other councils across Australia to also 
> advocate for faster, more reliable internet connections as the 
> remainder of the National Broadband Network (NBN) is rolled out.
> With a population of 12,600, residents and local businesses in the 
> Bellingen region south-west of Coffs Harbour argued that the inferior 
> FTTN could adversely affect property prices and was “not a long-term, 
> technologically sustainable option”.
> Senior NBN Co representatives attended meetings in late June with 
> Bellingen Shire council staff, local chamber of commerce members, 
> Telstra and a policy adviser to Shadow Communications Minister 
> Michelle Rowland.
> NBN Co subsequently announced that the FTTN-designated segment of the 
> shire’s network would be switched over to FTTC. However, some areas of 
> the shire remain pegged for fixed wireless rather than the preferred 
> fibre connection.
> Jason Errey, 44, who lives and works in Bellingen for an ocean and 
> environmental management business, played a major role in advocating 
> to council to instigate the change.
> “NBN basically got laughed out the building,” Mr Errey said, 
> describing one of the meetings.
> “My business is sitting on the cutting edge of technology. It is all 
> about communicating our ideas and the more I can interact with 
> engineers and the banks and everyone else, the higher the chance of 
> being able to sell our technology.
> “The only way I can do that is with the NBN. But 10 Mbps speeds … I 
> can’t work with that.”
> Bellingen Shire councillors voted unanimously for a “fair and 
> equitable” deployment of NBN services across the shire, demanding FTTC 
> “as a minimum”.
> The council is continuing to lobby state and federal politicians for 
> the best possible outcome, and has called on other NSW councils to do 
> the same.
> Is this precedent for local councils to upgrade their NBN?
> Bellingen mayor Dominic King said councils can play an important role 
> in pushing for better NBN outcomes in their communities.
> “This is what happens when a community stands up and makes its voice 
> heard,” Mr King said.
> “It is really important that councils actively advocate on behalf of 
> their communities and the outcomes that a small council has been able 
> to achieve for its community is an absolute testament to that.
> “Council’s preference was full-fibre [FTTP] because it is faster and 
> more reliable … but FTTC [a low-cost fibre alternative] is a good 
> outcome.”
> RMIT University’s Mark Gregory, an associate professor in network 
> engineering, told The New Daily that Bellingen’s success could open 
> the floodgates for further wins at the local level.
> “This is a win for common sense and demonstrates that councils and 
> state governments need to get more involved to prevent their 
> constituents being left behind with obsolete technologies being used,” 
> Assoc Prof Gregory said.
> Shadow Communications Minister Ms Rowland told The New Daily the door 
> had been opened for other councils to pressure NBN to upgrade the 
> rollout intended for their area.
> Labor announced a major campaign on Wednesday, pressuring the 
> government to scrap fibre-to-the-node and instead expand its 
> fibre-to-the-curb rollout.
> NBN Co downplayed Bellingen Shire Council’s win, denying it had been 
> successful in changing the rollout across its shire.
> “These changes were due to standard planning and design process,” a 
> NBN Co spokesman said.
> “In the case of Bellingen Shire, the planning and design work was not 
> finalised when the decision was made to build FTTC. There was no cost 
> to NBN in moving technology.
> “FTTC was decided as the most appropriate access technology for the 
> community following analysis of [various] factors.”

David Boxall                    |  Australia's problem isn't fake news,
                                 |  it's fake government.
http://david.boxall.id.au       |                        --Ross Gittins
                                     Sydney Morning Herald 27 March 2017

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