Everyone’s fuming over the ‘last mile’, but they shouldn’t — it’s kind of stupid.
Firstly, FTTN still eliminates the nightmare of pair gain — one of the loudest accomplishments of Labor’s NBN. Second, one of the greatest difficulties currently facing ADSL2+ is not the ‘last mile’ itself, but that in many cases that ‘last mile’ is actually several, making ADSL2+ difficult to implement. Since presumably the fibre nodes will be more widely distributed than the existing DSLAMs, many more people will have access to ADSL2+ speeds, a dramatic improvement to their existing internet connections.
Thirdly, I find it laughable how much stock media outlets such as Fairfax seem to have put in this idea that they were going to rush head-long into the IPTV game without facing any regulation, but my real third point is that IF IPTV IS VIABLE, COMPANIES SUCH AS FOXTEL WILL PAY TO CONNECT FIBRE TO CUSTOMERS HOMES. This is a simple market reality — if someone can make money off of FTTH, they need only stump up the $3-5K, and then recoup it through a subscription. Heck, I imagine there will be many ISP’s offering to connect you to FTTH on a 24-month contract. It won’t be that painful to get FTTH — it just won’t be ‘free’.
So, it’s this idea that the Coalition’s NBN is somehow ‘inferior’ for not arbitrarily connecting every doghouse, farmhouse and henhouse that’s the real #fail here. It’s simply unnecessary. Wherever FTTH is viable, the market will find a way to deliver it. In the meanwhile, many more people will get good solid ADSL2+ speeds of between 20 and 25 megabit for a much lower cost than they do now.
I personally want the really fast upstream fibre provides for commercial purposes, but when FTTN appears in my neighbourhood, I’ll pay for FTTH myself. There’s no reason for my neighbour to have to subsidise my business — which is what Labor’s NBN would have them do.