Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Australia goes structural separation for near-nationwide FTTP

After Singapore and New Zealand, now it's Australia to help fund a National Broadband Network. It will be FTTP after all: FTTH + FTTO. (There are 21.5m Australians in 7.5m homes, but how many offices? - anybody?)

Here are the specs:
  • Ownership: government, managed at an arm's length; majority i.e. at least 51%; may not be sold until 5 yr after launch; private investment expected; any RSP max 15%.
  • Technology, topology: FTTP, max 100 Mb/s, to cover 90% (all towns of >= 1k people), elsewhere wireless/satelliet, 12 Mb/s.
  • Total cost: AUD 43bn (initially AUD 4.3bn), funding through Building Australia Fund and the issuance of Aussie Infrastructure Bonds (AIBs)
  • Time-line: 8 year roll-out; simultaneously in metro, regional and rural areas from early 2010; first national backbone and Tasmania (July 2009, to be built by Aurora); FTTP mandatory in greenfields from July 2010.
  • Jobs: 47k jobs, 25k staff every year (peak: 37k).
  • Government strategy: facilitate access to land, poles, ducts; e-health, e-learning; FTTP required for greenfields from July 1 2010.
  • Regulation: consultation on measures considered at Telstra: access, functional separation, horizontal separation; response due June 3 2009.
Questions remaining:
  • PON (effectively 2-layer; no unbundling, just WBA) or P2P (3-layer, WBA or ODF access) network?
  • How about in-home wiring?
  • Role of Telstra: horizontal and/or vertical separation; access to infrastructure; spin-off assets into the new company?
  • Pricing?
  • Penetration targets?
  • Will 1 Gb/s come into play?
Remarks: similarities to Singapore (PON) and New Zealand (probably P2P - see page 26):
  • Clear choice for FTTP over FTTN.
  • Mixed ownership of the passive layer.
  • Open access.
  • Structural separation.


Paul Budde said...

Hi Tim,

We are very excited about this Down Under. Yes it includes business and there are around 1 million of them in Australia. For my comments on the announcement see www.buddeblog.com.au

DaLin said...


I think this article is erroreous. In April 2009 the Australian Government just announced to build a new access company (National Broadband Network)with only the consideration of taking Telstra's access unit into the new company. Only in September 2009 the Amendment of Telecommunications Legislation has been enforced and the structural separation of Telstra becomes a legal-based issue.