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Australia - National Broadband Network - in early 2013

At the start of 2013 NBN Co indicated that the rollout plan was now slightly above target. This bodes well for a rapid rollout of the network, to reach close to four million connections by 2015. With all the major foundations now in place it should be reasonably plain sailing from here.

The ACCC has laid down its wholesale conditions for the transitional period and it is in this area that further tension will develop, especially at the point when the copper services are actually being cut off and all the customers are being transferred to the FttH network.

Also, more detailed information is becoming available from the Opposition and, while there remain strong areas of disagreement, the reality is that despite the possibility of a change of government in late 2013 the NBN is here to stay.

The Opposition certainly has some valid points of criticism, which we share with them. There is still a misalignment between the social and economic benefits of the NBN and NBN Co’s business plan. The Opposition also wants to prioritise the underserved areas and is looking at other technologies to create some earlier wins. The question, however, is how much can be changed at this late stage – and also if this really will lower costs and speed up the rollout.

Australia is highly reliant on its income from natural resources and, like other resource-rich countries, it needs to diversify its economy. Interestingly, it is these resource-rich countries that are leading the rollout of FttH around the globe. The key reason for the government’s involvement in the NBN is to increase the country’s competitiveness and productivity.

The first retail prices are very promising. Entry level charges are most competitive and will assist in a reasonably easy transition from the old networks to the NBN.


1. Synopsis
2. Will LTE steal the broadband revolution?
3. Multi Dwelling Unit broadband
4. Opposition’s NBN plan needs some further work
5. Why does the Opposition want an NBN?
6. With high-level bipartisan support for the NBN – what is its future?
7. Who is the cheapest plumber in town?
8. Why not take up Michael Quigley’s suggestion?
9. Is the NBN Co business model flawed?
10. Surge in high speed broadband demand
11. NBN leadership or NBN procrastination
12. The Dutch Disease, broadband and the mining boom
13. Comparisons with broadband plans from AT&T and BT (separate report)
14. NBN could slash telecoms maintenance costs
15. Broadband demand-side management
16. The NBN and the opportunity for ‘virtual’ players
17. Will infrastructure constrain the digital entertainment market?
18. Will the half-built HFC disaster be repeated?
19. Four million households within reach of the NBN by 2015
20. Digital infrastructure essential to manage the transition to the e-world
21. Increased support for the NBN
22. Related reports

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