Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Transcript of Mike Quigley, CEO NBN Co, Address Today

NBN Co chief executive, Mike Quigley gave the 2010 Charles Todd Memorial Oration today. This was organised by the Australian Computer Society months ago, but became very topical with the election this Saturday and both parties having broadband central to their election policies. ARN have provided a full transcript of Mr. Quigley's address. See: 2010 Charles Todd Memorial Oration by NBN Co chief executive, Mike Quigley, Full transcript of the address to the Australian Computer Society, ARN Staff (ARN), 18 August, 2010 14:22. Some excerpts:
... I plan to use this speech to outline:
  1. Why it’s better to invest $27 billion rather than spend $6 billion
  2. Creating a monopoly helps competition
  3. Why a ubiquitous broadband network isn’t just equitable, it’s essential for the delivery of social, economic and productivity benefits
  4. Why wireless can’t, on its own, serve all our long term broadband needs but a combination of wireless and fibre can.
... Some have claimed that the FTTP network would end up not being used because of the growing capability of mobile networks. ...
So the question is, is it a good use of public financing to build the NBN? ...

NBN Co is planning for the provision of Uniform National Pricing. That is pricing which is distance and technology independent. We are currently working with Government on the practical application of Uniform National Pricing which is critical for lowering the barriers to entry for Retail Service Providers and delivering effective national retail competition. ...

Unlike these projects, the NBN is a scalable network. It is composed of integrated pieces which work together but which also work in their own right. There are four major components:
  • the satellite solution for 3% of premises which will provide much improved broadband for more than 200k premises;
  • the fixed wireless solution which will serve 4% of premises;
  • the FTTP solution that serves 93% of premises; and,
  • the transit backhaul network which connects the three access technologies to the common Points of Interconnect.

The satellite and fixed wireless solutions are badly needed to dramatically improve the services that can be provided to rural and remote communities. ...

Remember this is a highly repeatable build of very similar modules as we rollout across the country. The scope for applying continuous improvement methodologies to drive down costs is huge. ...

So there are two questions:
  1. What is it that all these Telcos know about wireless that eludes some in Australia?
  2. Why is it that you can’t buy anything close to a 50 GByte per month plan on a mobile network?
... It is now time to say a few words about the benefits to Australia of a ubiquitous and standardised broadband platform.

Recent studies have noted the substantial annual benefits that flow from broadband in terms of GDP (xi). One such study of a fibre access network estimated a US$160 billion economic benefit over 4 years (xii). This same study estimated an annual increase in jobs of more than 210,000 ...

It’s proper therefore that this nation-building proposal be subjected to the tough questions and to a very rigorous public debate. I’m sure that was the case when the Overland Telegraph and the Copper Access Network were proposed.

They would have had their doubters and skeptics and I’m sure Charles Todd had to – from time to time - defend the Overland Telegraph. However like all debates, this one is best conducted with the benefit of a few facts.

And that is what I have sought to do today - place on the record the facts which are driving NBN Co to the positions we are taking. I’m sure Charles Todd would approve.

Thank you.

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