"It doesn't matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn't matter how smart you are. If it doesn't agree with experiment, it's wrong." Richard P. Feynman

Monday, August 16, 2010

Aussie National Broadband -Ten Times Singapore Cost!

The Australian election is being lost by the Coalition by it's complete inability to articulate a rebuttal to a ridiculously expensive NBN rollout which is Labor policy. The Coalition has failed to make basic points  covered in this report which would justify their position and damage that of Labor.
 The Coalition policy cost—at $300 per head—compares with that of Singapore’s NBN government funding contribution, which costs around A$200 per head of population and New Zealand’s at around A$330. Most of Europe doesn’t even dare to mount interventions on the level of Australia’s as it is against EU policy on crowding-out of private sector investment: the most notable European NBN-style plan, that of Greece’s, was deferred under budgetary pressures.
That's right- the only European  country with a similar scheme is Greece whose economic credibility is non-existent. Abbott should be having a party with this - Costello certainly would.
Also at ten times the Singapore cost this rollout would make the insulation and school hall fiascos seem small change.
Even in South Korea, the current five year upgrade plan to bring fibre beyond the basement and into all homes is being 95% funded by the private sector, the government contribution equating to a mere A$25 per head of Korean population. So the Coalition’s proposed government investment is only miserly by comparison to the ALP’s plan—it appears to be quite consistent with the international average on what is deemed as a necessary degree of public subsidy in broadband markets
The South Korean system Labor prattles about is being fundamentally funded by private enterprise
Performance of the Coalition's system in all practicality will not be a lot different at the user modem.
Conroy’s assertions yesterday that “non-fibre platforms” lacked the symmetrical speeds necessary for these applications are not necessarily correct: commercial DOCSIS 3.0 offerings overseas tout upload speeds of tens of megabits and the specification supports 122Mbps upload at the node. VDSL—the platform that many “fibre” networks in Asia use today as their reach usually extends only to the apartment block basement—supports 16-20Mbps uploads per subscriber, VDSL2 even more.

As I say, Stephen Conroy has strategic reasons for not submitting his policy to the tests of the dismal science, but the telecommunications industry does not. It is disgraceful that the economic (and career) beneficiaries of Labor’s NBN policy believe that they should have a bipartisan entitlement to tens of billions of dollars of gifted resources without themselves resourcing any form of credible analysis on the economics of fibre to back their claims.

To defend an NBN policy that, amongst other things, is the world’s most generous telecom industry welfare scheme by reference to one American city’s economic analysis strikes me as a spectacular cultural cringe and an astonishing indictment.
Finally the fastest and best system in Japan is run by private enterprise as is South Korea.
The Coalition has lost it's way!

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