Wednesday, 17 July 2013

NBN: Turnbull's FTTN just like the UK - Paid Installs?

This update from April on a FTTC Self-Install Trial in the UK confirms my suspicions that there will be significant additional CPE (Customer Premises Equipment) and Install costs under the Turnbull Plan.

Anyone that wants Turnbull's "screamingly fast" 25Mbps will be up for ~$500 more than their neighbours who lucked out with a direct Fibre (GPON) connection. On top of that, if you later opt to upgrade to Vectoring, you had better hope you bought a modem/router that is at least"Vectoring friendly", preferably compliant.

Vectoring doesn't give any direct improvement unless the modem also co-operates.

Like the "no disruption to your service" pledge, which means "you're stuck on ADSL speeds unless you pay lots", the promise of vectoring carries with it an unacknowledged high price.

The article specifically talks about BT-Openreach currently using technicians to install

What's insidious and pernicious about these costs, is that the Coalition have deliberately excluded then from their project costings, on the basis "what happens in the home is no concern of ours" and when directly challenged on them, Turnbull's aides deny them.

Turnbull has already backed away from one of his outrageous and exaggerated claims that customers can buy a VDSL2 modem "for $50". He either hadn't researched the topic or was simply dissembling and fabricating 'facts'.

The only VDSL2 ISP in Australia, Adam Internet, sells modems for $150 or more.
Telstra charges over $300 for service calls requiring a Technician visit, so a total of about $500 for CPE that is supplied & fitted without charge by NBN Co Fibre, Fixed Wireless and Satellite network.

This is not to be confused with the in-home network that every Broadband user has to install themselves in their premises to use multiple devices, no matter what sort of connection they get.

The article cites "£100" or ~A$150, but we know that pricing regimes between our two countries vary significantly. For example, we get untimed local calls, whereas in the UK, tolls for all calls are per-second.

From the article:
Currently anybody who buys a Fibre-to-the-Cabinet service has to, with the exception of some special ISP offers, pay a one-off installation fee that can cost around £100 (includes the cost of a VDSL Modem and engineer installation). The holy grail for most ISPs would be to make it so that customers could install the service themselves, which would remove the need for a costly engineer visit and potentially also make contract terms more flexible.

But the road to an FTTC Self Install product is not a smooth one and BTOpenreach has already confirmed that “the use of microfilters may result in reduced speeds when compared to an engineer-based installation“, which is due to a number of factors.

An engineer does quite a bit of physical work to ensure that interference is reduced to a minimum and the best line speed obtained, which is not possible when simply plugging in a Microfilter device into your phone socket. Expectations about the speed detriment vary but many fear that it could be quite significant.

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