The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) today revealed a submission made to the agency by Telstra which reports various flaws in the G9’s proposed fibre-to-the-node network, calling it a “dangerous scheme” which would “degrade services”.The submission says that the scheme is expensive and would make customers worse of than they are today, actually locking out a faster, more innovative broadband network.
Telstra’s Executive Director of Regulatory, Dr Tony Warren, actually goes so far as to say that the G9 is asking Australians to take part in an experience that no-one in the world has been game enough to try, considering the negative consequences.
“What G9 is proposing is to physically cut the copper lines that supply services to customers’ homes and attach those lines to their own new network. Yet, there are no transition plans. Millions of customers are just expected to be cut over ‘cold turkey’,” he said.
“Who knows if emergency 000 calls will still work? We are being asked to take on trust the technical competence of a group of companies with limited technical experience.
“Going forward, there will be no end-to-end management of the network, leading to blame shifting and inefficient service hand-offs, making it almost impossible to detect and repair faults in a timely manner.
“G9’s incompetence is highlighted by the many issues that their undertaking simply fails to address. For example, they appear to be blissfully ignorant of the fact their proposal would disable a host of services that underpin everyday essential activities such as the coordination of city traffic light systems or the operations of payphones.
“With such glaring gaps in their expertise and planning, how could they be trusted to take over responsibility for vital infrastructure?
“This substantial risk is not balanced by any upside. The G9 proposal locks Australia to slower technologies.
“The minimum downstream rate of G9 is 1.5Mbps – which is already available from the existing Telstra network. The targeted minimum downstream peak rate from Telstra’s VDSL2 proposal is 25Mbps.
“G9 wants to short-change Australian consumers with an inferior technical solution to keep costs artificially and unrealistically low.
“Prices for broadband services under G9 will skyrocket when proper costs are factored in – such as the true cost of confiscating Telstra’s network – and G9 has based its pricing on a tricky formula that loads all the cost and risk onto the consumer.
“The proposal shows they are not serious about delivering Australian’s the services they need for the 21st century. The fact that the ACCC and the government have publicly encouraged such a flawed proposal is a testimony to why Australia continues to fall down the global broadband ladder.”