Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Australia goes ballistic

From the little broadband backwater Australia has <announced its own plans to go ballistic on broadband. I guess this will make tickets to the FTTH Council in Melbourne in May the hot item of the month.

But its been really hard to work out what's going on. The announcement include a summary from the Expert Panel evaluation which said that no proposals met the criteria but a path forward could be found with a mix and match from various proposals.

The price tag of $43B is just a projection from these elements to deliver Fibre to the Home to 90% of the population at 100Mbps, and 12Mbps to the remainder through satellite and next generation wireless. But outside of Tasmania we have no idea who the providers will be nor how they will be chosen.

Because the Tasmanian fibre is only offering 100Mbps one can safely assume that is GPON. Bad news is that GPON suffers the same "not future proof" characteristics as FttN. It also doesn't really come with an estalished competition model for innovation.

The wireless component is unspecified technology in unspecified spectrum. In Australia right now the only available technology is WiMAX and the only spectrum owners weren't bidders.

As for the satellite component to deliver 12Mbps to the 2-6% of the population that might be serviced that may require one or two more satellites than are currently planned.

Plenty of opportunity. The big loser remains the incumbent telco elstra - especialy as the accompanying regulatory review foreshadows that their second and third strategies after FttN (use their pay TV infrastructure or wireless) may be barred to them through forced divestiture of the Pay TV business and the capping of future spectrum.

As Benoit Felton says;

Overall, both of these announcements, much as they may be frought with risk, are momentous because they dare to break the current paradigm that was inherited from the (largely botched) telco liberalisation back in the 80s-90s. It's hard to anticipate how either will play out simply because for a large part we are now in unknown territory.

No comments:

Post a Comment