PDA

View Full Version : Telstra sold their copper network to the government??



Arkhum_Eramak
21st June 2010, 10:11 AM
Link to Engadget (http://www.engadget.com/2010/06/20/australia-to-pay-telstra-a-11-billion-for-entire-copper-network/)

Apparently Telstra have sold their entire copper network to the government (back to the government??) pending approval from shareholders/regulators.

I guess Telstra are going to use the $11b to expand their already formidable wireless network...probably offloading their dead weight copper for future wireless opportunities. Apparently they were given a letter of approval from the Prime Minister to bid on LTE wireless space.

What does everyone else think of this?

decryption
21st June 2010, 10:14 AM
Copper is dead, time to move on.
Wireless is the future and Telstra know it.

OziMac
21st June 2010, 10:17 AM
Isn't the point that the copper will be replaced with fibre using the current infrastructure?

In which case, it makes somewhat more sense...

mac_man_luke
21st June 2010, 10:28 AM
Getting rid of it while it still has some value. Smart move by telstra.

Poor investment by the government but really they dont have any choice?

Maybe it will make ADSL cheaper due to more fair access to exchanges?

Arkhum_Eramak
21st June 2010, 10:56 AM
I agree, Telstra win either way with this deal!

bartron
21st June 2010, 10:57 AM
Copper is dead, time to move on.
Wireless is the future and Telstra know it.

Call me old fashioned, but when I'm at home I prefer a physical cable. Wireless is fine for big cities but Australia has only a handful of those, plus it's expensive.



Poor investment by the government but really they dont have any choice?

Not really a poor investment. The existing copper network may be ho-hum but it's gives the government access to everything it needs to, the infrastructure to contain new copper/fibre and connections to nearly every home in the country, and all without needing to pay ongoing rent or access fees to a third party. We could finally see a standard level of internet connectivity offered as a public utility....and that's a good thing.

ruegen
21st June 2010, 11:14 AM
Government = tax payer dollars

Government wants us to pay the $11b for an aging copper network when devices are going wireless
Here's a fairly clear indication things are going mobile (http://techcrunch.com/2010/02/23/tim-cook-apple-mobile-device-company/)


Telstra aren't stupid, they are getting a deal for something no company wants to buy.

decryption
21st June 2010, 11:14 AM
Call me old fashioned, but when I'm at home I prefer a physical cable. Wireless is fine for big cities but Australia has only a handful of those, plus it's expensive.

And that's where fiber comes in to play ;)

mac_man_luke
21st June 2010, 11:24 AM
now that i think about it, if it gives them access to all pits/conduit/access to run fibre it is most likely make deploying FTTH much cheaper than if they had to dig new trenches or rent from telstra

tcn33
21st June 2010, 11:26 AM
now that i think about it, if it gives them access to all pits/conduit/access to run fibre it is most likely make deploying FTTH much cheaper than if they had to dig new trenches or rent from telstra

And that's the point. The $9b isn't for the copper, it's for the trenches, pits and conduits. The retirement of the copper network is a condition of the deal.

OziMac
21st June 2010, 11:35 AM
It's interesting to see how, with all the Rudd government negativity at the moment (much, but not all, deserved), this is so easily spun into:

"Government dudded by Telstra into spending billions of tax-payer dollars on aging copper network, while Telstra build war-chest to dominate wireless"

The deal is actually a bit of the rare old win-win, given the awful circumstances it had to rectify. Expensive for the government, gutting for Telstra's cash-cow landline business, but a step in the right direction for once.

I would have thought that FTTH or even FTTN is essential to providing the backbone of an effective 4G wireless network as well. :confused:

ruegen
21st June 2010, 11:56 AM
It's interesting to see how, with all the Rudd government negativity at the moment (much, but not all, deserved), this is so easily spun into:

"Government dudded by Telstra into spending billions of tax-payer dollars on aging copper network, while Telstra build war-chest to dominate wireless"

The deal is actually a bit of the rare old win-win, given the awful circumstances it had to rectify. Expensive for the government, gutting for Telstra's cash-cow landline business, but a step in the right direction for once.

I would have thought that FTTH or even FTTN is essential to providing the backbone of an effective 4G wireless network as well. :confused:

Buying out the right to decommission a copper network is essentially buying it then shutting it down and then paying telstra to build a fibre network.

Also paying Telstra $100m to retrain their own staff (copper technicians) into fibre technicians as a part of that whole deal.

bartron
21st June 2010, 11:56 AM
And that's where fiber comes in to play ;)

I already have fibre (the optic ends about 15m from my house and it's 100mbit ethernet the rest of the way) but it's expensive as it was set up by a third party and they had all sorts of issues dealing with Telstra for access to the poles/conduit and as a result the customer pays for it.

The point was though that wireless may seem be the future but it's expensive to set up and doesn't hold up too well to node saturation (case in point...the USA). Copper is already everywhere and the infrastructure is already there top make it so.

Wireless is really nice to have, but a hardline is preferable if the device isn't mobile (i.e. connecting your home office via a 3g dongle or two isn't an efficient use of resources.)


now that i think about it, if it gives them access to all pits/conduit/access to run fibre it is most likely make deploying FTTH much cheaper than if they had to dig new trenches or rent from telstra

This is what I was thinking. 11bn out of their 40something billion budget buys them two things 1) a basic copper service already established which is important as a starting point and 2) ease of access for upgrading as time goes on.

It really is win win...telstra wasn't going to do anything with it whereas the government needed a starting point for the NBN.

ruegen
21st June 2010, 12:11 PM
Wireless is really nice to have, but a hardline is preferable if the device isn't mobile (i.e. connecting your home office via a 3g dongle or two isn't an efficient use of resources.)

You do know Telstra sell home 3G wifi modems right? Ones much like the dsl/cable home modems only wireless

Vzzzbx
21st June 2010, 12:42 PM
The network shouldn't have been privatised in the first place.

Failure to split infrastructure from retail is why the Rudd government has had to stage this buy-back. It's also why Australia's landline/broadband market was so overpriced for so many years.

ruegen
21st June 2010, 12:49 PM
Wireless is a demand driven network. You can set up a wireless tower in one area in one place and whoever wishes to use it can buy a connection (modem) without the cost of running it to the home. 90% promise of fibre to homes is a costly venture and doesn’t include new homes and development.

Phillo
21st June 2010, 12:49 PM
Seriously, who gives a shit about wireless??

Once we get fibre it will all change.

The core copper infrastructure that we currently use has been around for almost 100 years and is now nearing the end of its useful life.

In 20 years time we will be more than happy with fibre and worried what the fuss was about way back in 2010.

My theory is that the NBN is going to look like a disaster for the next 10 - 15 years before we see the real benefits of it.

Its a bit like a mortgage on a house. The first few years of repayments are painful and you dont seem to be paying off the interest. Then... as your income increases and the value of the property increases you are sitting in a nice position.

The same thing will happen with the NBN and in the long term it will be a very good investment and provide some great benefits to most people in Aus.

All in all, I am not a big fan of KRudd.... but his handling of this particular issue has been quite good.

Also:


Wireless is a demand driven network. You can set up a wireless tower in one area in one place and whoever wishes to use it can buy a connection (modem) without the cost of running it to the home. 90% promise of fibre to homes is a costly venture and doesn’t include new homes and development.

True - Sort of.

Part of the NBN legislation mandates that greenfield developments require fibre to the home at the development stage.

Now with the Telstra agreement, they will not run copper in addition to the fibre.

SO... if you buy a house in a greenfield development, you should have access to fibre out of the box. (it will take a bit of time before that flows down to real developments tho).

ruegen
21st June 2010, 12:51 PM
My theory is that the NBN is going to look like a disaster for the next 10 - 15 years before we see the real benefits of it.


Its a bit like a mortgage on a house. The first few years of repayments are painful and you dont seem to be paying off the interest. Then... as your income increases and the value of the property increases you are sitting in a nice position.

By that time the fibre network will be outdated and everyone will be using wireless instead.

Pretty expensive and now useless mortgage.

Phillo
21st June 2010, 12:58 PM
By that time the fibre network will be outdated and everyone will be using wireless instead.

Pretty expensive and now useless mortgage.

I disagree with that.

In the last 20 years we have gone through nearly 4 generations of large scale wireless networks.

Through that time, fibre has been used to deliver services to telcos, corporates and now direct to the home.

Fibre is not going anywhere soon and is continually upgradeable (and then... only with the equipment on the home/telco end... not the cable itself).

The laying of the actual cable is the expensive bit and the bit that doesnt need upgrading.

bartron
21st June 2010, 12:59 PM
You do know Telstra sell home 3G wifi modems right? Ones much like the dsl/cable home modems only wireless

I know....I'll never buy one unless I was in a situation where it was the only connection option.

forno
21st June 2010, 01:07 PM
The network shouldn't have been privatised in the first place.




Exactly, same as water & public transport

Vzzzbx
21st June 2010, 01:18 PM
By that time the fibre network will be outdated and everyone will be using wireless instead.

Pretty expensive and now useless mortgage.
Wireless is a tricky medium. It works all right if you're close enough to your nearest cell, if there's a reasonable line of sight to that cell, if your local council doesn't deny the installation of a cell because the tower's so ugly, if the frequency isn't too congested, if there is sufficiently low electrical interference in the area, if the weather is nice and if signal reflection isn't a problem in your chosen square foot.

There are parts of Melbourne which still don't have adequate 3G coverage, much less adequate wireless data speeds. Dingley Village is flat, but sections of it are completely out of the range of Optus, VHA and Telstra range. Many houses in the Dandenongs get crap coverage too, mainly for topographical and reflective reasons but also because the shire doesn't want big ugly towers on every corner.

Technological advances might overcome some wireless problems in the next 10–15 years, but there are still issues concerning placement of the actual cells, council approvals, etc., as well as properties inherent to radio frequencies. You can't instruct a line-of-sight radio wave to bend around a mountain, for example.

Fibre optic cables don't require you to be within 2 km of your nearest cell, or even within line-of-sight of the exchange. They don't make the skyline ugly, they're not susceptible to radio or reflective interference, congestion can be alleviated without allocating new radio spectrum and they're immune to cloudy weather.

The NBN will provide high speeds to homes by the use of dedicated cables, and in doing so can guarantee a far higher quality of service than that which is possible with wireless broadband – certainly now, and most likely in 15 years as well.

Vzzzbx
21st June 2010, 01:20 PM
Exactly, same as water & public transport
Precisely. As rubbish as this government is at, well, everything, at least it understands that the internet is now a vital utility.

Going down the post office to pay a bill by cheque is exactly the same as going down the creek to fetch a bucket of water.

NORMANDY
21st June 2010, 01:54 PM
http://resources2.news.com.au/images/2010/06/21/1225882/140050-rudd-and-conroy.jpg

I think this picture sums it up (from todays news.com.au site about the Telstra deal). I think the caption should be, Rudd saying "ha ha, we sell it and then we buy it back again, and the Australian Tax payer is still no better off, ha ha"

what do you think the caption should be?

Vzzzbx
21st June 2010, 02:00 PM
what do you think the caption should be?
With a bit of luck: 'Aaaaargh they shot me'

Abaddon
21st June 2010, 02:10 PM
what do you think the caption should be?

I think this microphone has had The Filter applied to it!

ruegen
21st June 2010, 02:23 PM
Wireless is a tricky medium. It works all right if you're close enough to your nearest cell, if there's a reasonable line of sight to that cell, if your local council doesn't deny the installation of a cell because the tower's so ugly, if the frequency isn't too congested, if there is sufficiently low electrical interference in the area, if the weather is nice and if signal reflection isn't a problem in your chosen square foot.

There are parts of Melbourne which still don't have adequate 3G coverage, much less adequate wireless data speeds. Dingley Village is flat, but sections of it are completely out of the range of Optus, VHA and Telstra range. Many houses in the Dandenongs get crap coverage too, mainly for topographical and reflective reasons but also because the shire doesn't want big ugly towers on every corner.

Technological advances might overcome some wireless problems in the next 10–15 years, but there are still issues concerning placement of the actual cells, council approvals, etc., as well as properties inherent to radio frequencies. You can't instruct a line-of-sight radio wave to bend around a mountain, for example.

Fibre optic cables don't require you to be within 2 km of your nearest cell, or even within line-of-sight of the exchange. They don't make the skyline ugly, they're not susceptible to radio or reflective interference, congestion can be alleviated without allocating new radio spectrum and they're immune to cloudy weather.

The NBN will provide high speeds to homes by the use of dedicated cables, and in doing so can guarantee a far higher quality of service than that which is possible with wireless broadband – certainly now, and most likely in 15 years as well.

It’s a fair argument that wireless has come a long way in 10-15 years. More in another 10 and with devices and chips being manufactured towards wireless the demand is only going to be greater. The technology will grow with investment too.

3G chips will suck less power, become even smaller and better as well as 4G and better technology on the horizon. Many of these small new devices not just phones, laptops (growing number itself) etc will utilise these chips.

Vzzzbx
21st June 2010, 02:37 PM
It’s a fair argument that wireless has come a long way in 10-15 years. More in another 10 and with devices and chips being manufactured towards wireless the demand is only going to be greater. The technology will grow with investment too.
We can't assume anything. 15 years ago we all thought battery life would have progressed exponentially, but it hasn't. (I still don't have my flying car btw.)


3G chips will suck less power, become even smaller and better as well as 4G and better technology on the horizon. Many of these small new devices not just phones, laptops (growing number itself) etc will utilise these chips.
Yes, but again wireless techology has the same very real physical issues that it's always had. Fibre optic cables are immune to those right now, so it makes perfect sense to invest in a fibre optic rollout.

gikku
21st June 2010, 02:49 PM
Fibre optic cables don't require you to be within 2 km of your nearest cell

Presumably to need to be closer than 2km from a cable?

Vzzzbx
21st June 2010, 03:00 PM
Presumably to need to be closer than 2km from a cable?
An exchange, not a cable.

adamd
21st June 2010, 03:33 PM
You do know Telstra sell home 3G wifi modems right? Ones much like the dsl/cable home modems only wireless

speed of 3G != Fibre.

I will not pay for a 3G connection in place of my ADSL line which won't provide a greater speed of ADSL. End of story.

We've been promised Fibre, and I want my fibre. Telstra can do what they like. Their shit service will mean they never see my money again.

Bogus Jimmy
21st June 2010, 04:08 PM
now that i think about it, if it gives them access to all pits/conduit/access to run fibre it is most likely make deploying FTTH much cheaper than if they had to dig new trenches or rent from telstra

This is the key.

nibbles
21st June 2010, 04:38 PM
speed of 3G != Fibre.

I will not pay for a 3G connection in place of my ADSL line which won't provide a greater speed of ADSL. End of story.

We've been promised Fibre, and I want my fibre. Telstra can do what they like. Their shit service will mean they never see my money again.

I agree, I want my fibre! and to those who say wireless is better, correct me if I am wrong but the radio/ wireless signals don't travel the speed of light like fibre does?!

jellway
21st June 2010, 04:41 PM
now that i think about it, if it gives them access to all pits/conduit/access to run fibre it is most likely make deploying FTTH much cheaper than if they had to dig new trenches or rent from telstra

With this in mind, I wonder what the implications are for maintaining the existing copper infrastructure that will probably run along side the fibre cables for a fair while yet...

Will it be the the governments responsibility?
Is a maintenance contract part of the Telstra agreement?....

hewball
21st June 2010, 05:29 PM
And that's the point. The $9b isn't for the copper, it's for the trenches, pits and conduits. The retirement of the copper network is a condition of the deal.
you will find that Telstra still own the Pits and Pipe.... they only get the copper the backhaul and the access, everything else Telstra still own

ruegen
21st June 2010, 05:51 PM
I agree, I want my fibre! and to those who say wireless is better, correct me if I am wrong but the radio/ wireless signals don't travel the speed of light like fibre does?!


Light is part of the electromagnetic radiation spectrum, it's just that we can see it.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/f1/EM_spectrum.svg

marc
21st June 2010, 06:10 PM
what do you think the caption should be?


Now we own the infrastructure, we can filter it... and there's NOTHING ANYONE CAN DO ABOUT IT. MWWWAAAHHAHAHAHHA... MWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHH!!

entropy
21st June 2010, 06:55 PM
Speaking as a telstra shareholder, I am very happy.

All Telstra have given up is the copper network and giving access to the ducts and conduits. The government could have legislated that Telstra had to give access to the ducts, but in order to hurry the process along, have given telstra:

$11b of taxpayers' money
a guarantee that telstra can use that $11b to further build out its 3G and most importantly, purchase spectrum for future LTE networks. Optus and Voda must be weeping right now.
telstra is allowed to use wireless to compete with the NBN
telstra has guaranteed access to the NBN
a guarantee that the NBN will not enter the retail market to compete against telstra
the government is paying telstra $100m to train its copper maintenance people on the use of fibre. How many people are we talking about? 5000? We're in the money
courtesy of the above, telstra is now in the jump seat for contracts to roll out the fibre
telstra no longer has to comply with the Universal Service Agreement. That is now is the responsibility of a new government agency. I wish them well. They might even have to pay telstra.


Telstra's share price has been in the doldrums ever since it became clear the government intended to legislate access to telstra infrastructure and hobble the copper network. Today's price rises reflects the injection of $11b and the realisation that telstra will dominate wireless networks for the foreseeable future, which to telstra is a fair exchange for losing the copper network, particularly if, as now seems likely telstra will probably get the lion's share of the build out of FTTH and thus the closest relationship with the retail customer. While there will no doubt be profit taking in the next few days, telstra's share price should only improve long run.


Speaking as a taxpayer, I have been dudded. The scuttlebutt I have heard is that Rudd wanted a deal by last Friday. But the deal could not be stitched up until midnight Saturday and the telstra board had to meet at sparrow's fart Sunday to agree or it was off.

Why the hurry? Apparently Rudd was worried about the Newspoll that was to be conducted over the weekend. Ironically he didn't make it (more specifically Conroy didn't make it), or at least the announcement only got the last bit of the poll (while the announcement didn't occur until around lunchtime, I had heard a deal was made when I woke up on Sunday). But in his zeal to beat the poll, he had already agreed to the $.

Rudd didn't need to agree to the $. He could have forced access through regulation. The only reason I can see is to make the announcement now, rather than go through a tedious legislative process, but of course it also conveniently eliminates the copper network as a competitive threat (I mean on an individual customer level CBA - not speed: not everyone needs fibre speeds, and would prefer to keep the cash).

Telstra 1: Government 0

entropy
21st June 2010, 07:00 PM
http://resources2.news.com.au/images/2010/06/21/1225882/140050-rudd-and-conroy.jpg

what do you think the caption should be?

"Hah, nobody can hear us calling them suckers with this big fat hairy filter over the interwebs"

MarkW
21st June 2010, 07:26 PM
...

Keving
21st June 2010, 07:44 PM
"Hah, nobody can hear us calling them suckers with this big fat hairy filter over the interwebs"

Awesome.

NORMANDY
25th June 2010, 11:40 AM
now it should be "i just got sacked.. and your next conroy!.. ha ha ha"

antzzz
26th June 2010, 01:57 PM
Telstra didn't sell their copper network!!

Telstra have simply sold 'access' to the Government to their ducts/pipes/etc...

The Government will 'progressively' pay Telstra the $11 billion as customers are 'transitioned' from the copper network to the fibre network.

So in essence, the Government is paying Telstra to 'decommission' the copper network.

...and those that are saying the copper network is 100 years old, you need to check your facts.

Anyway, my opinion on fibre VS wireless - of course fibre is far more reliable and efficient... however I'm of the opinion that by the time fibre reaches every home in Australia, then wireless tech should be up to spec by then to offer what we need...

Look at the step we took between 2G and 3G... 3G has been a game changer.

decryption
26th June 2010, 02:28 PM
Anyway, my opinion on fibre VS wireless - of course fibre is far more reliable and efficient... however I'm of the opinion that by the time fibre reaches every home in Australia, then wireless tech should be up to spec by then to offer what we need...

Look at the step we took between 2G and 3G... 3G has been a game changer.


I kind of agree - whilst I want fibre in my home, without doubt, within the 3-6 years the NBN is slated to roll out to the majority of the public, LTE/4G tech will be out and offering (quote from the LTE minimum spec (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/3GPP_Long_Term_Evolution)): "The LTE specification provides downlink peak rates of at least 100 Mbps, an uplink of at least 50 Mbps and RAN round-trip times of less than 10 ms."

Sure, fibre may be faster still, and isn't prone to reception issues - but I think for a lot of people who want internet on their laptop, they could just get a USB modem to plug in to the LTE network (which all the wireless telcos will progress too - VHA, Optus & Telstra) and get basically, what the NBN will do and possibly, be cheaper and more flexible (can use it at home, at work, out and about, doesn't matter, it's wireless).

Don't get me wrong, I *want* fibre in my house, but wireless tech is pretty amazing, cheaper to roll out and with LTE, just as fast for all practical consumer purposes, with the flexibility of not being chained to a room (but also with the disadvantage of signal issues).

I just hope Australia isn't left behind :(

NeoRicen
26th June 2010, 03:30 PM
God I hate it when people say 'Tax payers money'.

It's not your goddamn money anymore! As long as you live in this country, especially if it's taken from your pay before you got it, it never was.

entropy
26th June 2010, 04:35 PM
Of course it is taxpayers' money. The only reason people agree to the transfer is so that the government can, well, govern. And as such the government should use it wisely, and as sparingly as if it was supporting their own family.

I think it is important that anyone making decision on how to spend tax appropriations* should be required before every decision to pause and think about the money that has been given to them on trust by ordinary people. hairdressers, mechanics, farmers, nurses, teachers, doctors, etc..

* a good start is to think of it as tax appropriations rather than tax revenue. It is not as though ATO has earned it.

And Decryption makes a good point: wireless, to outcompete the NBN, need only be pretty fast. I am pretty sure that when I get the laptop of the future I will want to be always connected, and thus I will join a wireless network. As such I will not pay for a both a wireless network AND a fibre connection, desirable as that may be.

mjankor
26th June 2010, 04:54 PM
I think having some competition between wireless and fibre would be good though.

Especially if only one telco ended up with decent wireless coverage.

kyte
28th June 2010, 06:05 AM
Anyway, my opinion on fibre VS wireless - of course fibre is far more reliable and efficient... however I'm of the opinion that by the time fibre reaches every home in Australia, then wireless tech should be up to spec by then to offer what we need...

Look at the step we took between 2G and 3G... 3G has been a game changer.

Fibre in my home, in my dreams. I only got broadband access 5 years ago. Up til then, I was on 28.8 dialup, thanks to the RIM (and because of it, still on ADSL1). I'll be long dead before fibre gets into this street.