NBNCo is boasting of delivering 100/40 Mbps connections to new FttC (Fibre to the Curb) customers in the Melbourne suburb of Coburg. But CEO Bill Morrow is questioning whether the company will ever be financially competitive as other technologies steal its thunder in delivering fast connectivity.
The Good News
According to NBNCo, they connected a trial premises and achieved speeds of 109Mbps downstream and 44Mbps upstream using VDSL technology over a 70 metre copper line that serves the premises. That's nothing to be sneezed at although I still wonder what they'd get with FttP.
Given NBNCo is now committed to a multi-technology mix to deliver the network, this is not a terrible option although what real world results we'll see when more customers are connected and contention ratios become a part of the equation remains to be seen. Anyone with an ADSL connection knows of the daily slowdown after school and during other peak periods.
The Bad News
Bill Morrow has made comments saying the cost of delivering the NBN to a household is about $52 per month but the company is only getting about $43 from retail service providers. You don't need to be a genius that a monthly loss of $9 per premises gets to be big money pretty quickly.
Morrow says fast mobile broadband is eating into the market and the company may never be profitable.
Whether you're a fan or foe of the NBN, it's play to see the entire project has been a steaming pile of political manure. Form the outset, the project has been misrepresented to the public. It has been presented a technology project where it really is a civl engineering project. And the NBN board has had very little engineering expertise on board.
But they did spend almost half a million dollars on coffee machines so that's something.
I count myself as fortunate, having, over the last 20 years or so, having access to HFC for my broadband using both Telstra and Optus as my service providers. So, reliable and fast connections have been the norm for me.
But it's no wonder people are frustrated by the NBN. Those on the network are getting inconsistent performance, and there's still no clear vision or impetus to make it a forward looking project, with most of the strategic thinking limited to arresting our fall down the Netflix connectivity ratings.