In what has to be a Federal Election stunt, NBN Co boss Mike Quigley suddenly announced yesterday that the new NBN network will be capable of operating at speeds of 1Gbps, a service which Telstra CEO David Thodey said was “fast but will have little appeal with consumers” due primarily to the cost of such speeds.
Thodey said “we already have a 1Gbps service for business however I see very little demand for it in the home”.
Not surprisingly the fate of the NBN is hanging on return of the Gillard Labor Government at the August 21 election after the Opposition said that they would dump the NBN if elected.
Quigley would have known this was possible months ago, but never mentioned it untill he was sitting alongside Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Comms and Broadband Minister, Stephen Conroy.
Back in February, Google announced that it plans to deploy its own “experimental” fibre-optic network to at least 50,000 homes at speeds of 1 gigabit-per-second, which is more than 20 times faster than residential fibre optic services currently offered in the U.S.
At the time the company said that they were planning to build and test ultra high-speed broadband networks in a small number of trial locations. We’ll deliver Internet speeds more than 100 times faster than what most Americans have access to today with 1 gigabit per second, fiber-to-the-home connections, they said.
Yesterday Quigley declared the fibre-to-the-premises portion of planned National Broadband Network could operate at 1Gbps. That is 10 times faster than the 100Mbps speed previously suggested by the Government.
NBN Co boss, Mike Quigley, confirmed the figure at an Australian Information Industry Association luncheon in Sydney, after PM Julia Gillard and Comms and Broadband Minister Stephen Conroy mentioned it earlier in the day at the official opening of the Tasmanian section of the NBN in Hobart.
The Skull made it plain that 1Gbps packages would be aimed principally at large business and academic users, as well as e-health and e-education applications, while home users were likely to be happy with 100Mbps.
“It (1Gbps) can be done and we are doing it,” he told yesterday’s audience at the Sydney Westin – situated appropriately enough in the old GPO building in Martin Place. The option would involve 1GPs downloads and 400Gps uploads, he said.
Quigley said FttP users should be able to download an average of around 2000 gigabytes – or two terabytes – of data per month, compared with around 20GB for existing ADSL users.
He said HFC cable – espoused by the Liberal/National Coalition as its fastest choice for capital city broadband users – was “not a wise choice for expanding infrastructure in Australia”. HFC offered 20-30MBps downloads but only 1-1.7Mbps uploads, he said.
Quigley later said it would be necessary for NBNCo to launch its own two Ka-band satellites for the 3 percent of the population not covered by fibre (93 percent) or fixed wireless connections (4 percent).