With the recent press release by the FTTH council on the United States FCC strategic plan for broadband we are seeing a very similar situation here in Australa; where the initial intent of the Labour Party policy for a National Broadband Network was well intended, but the implemention has so far gone astray.

Deploying FTTN with speeds only 30Mbps down and 5Mbps up is going to put Australia well and truely behind when it comes to the world's digital economy. Just looking at the recent joint press release on global FTTH market, 14 countries now have greater than 1% penetration and half of those with greater than 5%. While 1% does not represent much, when you look at counties such as China that equates to 7.5 million subscribers; and this rollout has occurred in less than 2 years.

According to my statistics based on our current growth rates within the greenfield deployments we will not reach the 1% figure (80,000 subscribers) until 2012-2013, by which time Japan, China, United State and Europe will have over 100 million FTTH subscribers each receiving at least 100Mbps SYMMETRICAL.

If we are serious about maintaining or growing our position in the world's digital economy we must forget about FTTN and last mile copper loops and start thinking about deploying FTTH, even if it is only to 75% of households.

It think this statement by Shoichi Hanatani, President of the FTTH Council Asia Pacific, sums up the situation extremely well, "This is an exciting time for FTTH broadband in Asia. FTTH has overtaken DSL in South Korea and will soon do the same in Japan. Here in the Asia-Pac region, we are witnessing the end of a hundred years of telecom history as copper loops are quickly being replaced by optical fiber access networks."


At 29 July, 2008 05:32 mere-mortal said...

Realistically how can we bring down the cost of backhaul in Australia. This is what is slowing the implementation in Australia not the price of FTTx itself.

It is the same old story we have so few populaton compared to out geographic area.

We we need to do and what in reality can be done are often a divide that in the current environment cannot be bridged.

At 29 July, 2008 11:07 Stephen Davies said...

Within metro areas and some regional location, backhaul tends not to be the problem, and a national rollout of FTTH (in metro areas) would in itself create the backhaul as the access is being built.

Yes our population is small compared to many countries, but 75% of our population lives in 15 major cities around Australia. Build the NBN in those cities and consider FTTN or WiMAX/LRE/HSDPA in the regional areas.

At 01 August, 2008 14:47 Anonymous said...

100% agree with u Stephen... had enough of slow downloads and when ever i go to play any game online on any platform the connection quality from nsw to wa is shocking it is nearly as bad as trying to connect to Americans... why bother run cables to Guam if we don't even have a good set up nationally... labor think just running the cables will solve the problem i consider it a band aid to the proplem.. all metro areas should get ftth and hopefully all or most regional 1 people can to.

At 22 September, 2008 14:40 Anonymous said...

You're 100% right mate. FTTN is a lame stopgap that will be obsolete before its even rolled out.

FTTH is the only way we'll ever jump the curve and carve out a real future in telecommunications for ourselves in Australia.

I'd like to see a consumer driven organisation built to challenge Telstra's leadership on this.


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