Friday, 28 September 2012

NBN: Local NBN opportunities - TransACT FTTN

To show I'm ideologically "only fibre will do", here's a small proposal the Coalition might pick up on with their opportunistic NBN model.

iiNet acquired the $280MM assets of TransACT for $60MM in Nov-2011.
This included the $80MM FTTN network built around 2002, VDSL max 300m, passing ~55,000 premises, with a VDSL2 upgrade (full or partial?) around 2008.

Whilst TransACT/iiNet have deployed pure Fibre, passing 11,000 premises since 2008, they could revamp their FTTN network, making it "layer 2 ethernet" compatible with NBN Co.

They are already an "open access" wholesale provider, with full backhaul installed within their operating region. If the network was built with a 35-year design life, it still has 25 years to run economically.

Does this need any FedGovt support or incentives?
Probably not, but it could push iiNet to quickly provide "fast broadband" available via the general NBN Co arrangements.

Under the new Telecommunications legislation, NBN Co is not the only wholesale provider, but all providers need to offer "open access" to their wholesale networks, presumably through the "Points of Interconnect" using 802.1QinQ (ethernet Layer 2 VLAN in VLAN).

If this iiNet decided this was profitable, it would show two things:

  • that FTTN could be profitable against FTTH, albeit with already installed and significantly discounted Customer Access Network for a limited time, and
  • the NBN Co overbuild of TransACT's FTTN could be economically countered.
But in the end, I do want 100Mbps, which I suspect I won't get with VDSL even over 300m of purpose-laid cable.

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