Australia makes fiber official: no more copper wires, ever!

Telstra realizes that it is better for them to support this effort than try to compete.  If they chose to compete against service providers using the NBN, they would burn capital needlessly and still not achieve the results of their competition.  They would be offering less HD and 3D programming and slower Internet speeds than their competition.  So to participate in NBN, Telstra gives up its ducts and existing mid-mile fiber, and the government will operate its phone services, emergency services, and payphones.  Although I applaud the creation of an open-access fiber infrastructure, I think that the Australian government has encroached too far into private enterprise.  The government is essentially entering the telecommunications business through the creation of USO Co. which takes them back to the days of Telecom Australia when they were the PTT.

Australia’s going all-in with its government-run fiber network. The government has now convinced the country’s dominant telco, Telstra, to sign on with the scheme, get rid of its copper and cable lines, and transition its subscribers to the open-access national fiber program. When the project is complete, Australia will have taken an almost unprecedented step for a country of its size: legacy telecommunications infrastructure will be almost gone.

Although Australia had planned to move forward with its AUS$43 billion fiber network with or without Telstra, Telstra’s decision to join the party is a significant one—the company could have held out and fought to keep its customers from defecting to fiber, setting the stage for a long platform war. In the end, though, there just weren’t many benefits to doing this; a recent report from McKinsey and KPMG reemphasized the fact that the new fiber buildout would “accelerate the evolution of the industry,” and it would be hard to compete with open-access fiber-to-the-home on speed.

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New Report Says Net Neutrality Regulations Could Cost up to 500,000 Jobs and $80 Billion per Year in Lost GDP

I agree with the premise of the report that net neutrality as it is currently defined will stifle competition.  AT&T has publicly stated that it will halt U-verse deployments if net neutrality is passed.  Verizon has already capped its FiOS project.  The warning signs are already there.  The Internet is a vital component to the U.S. economy as it transitions from a manufacturing-based to knowledge-based economy.  Any potential threat to its vitality must be stopped.  There are several assumptions in this study that I believe are overstated or flawed.  Even if they are corrected, the result will be that as the FCC has defined net neutrality, jobs will be lost in our economy.  The Internet must remain open and accessible for all users despite methods of access.  On the other hand, the FCC must not be heavy-handed in regulating it as not to impede innovation.  All of these points bring me back to my assertion that open-access municipal networks will go a long way to continue the freedom and innovation of the Internet.

Broadband experts warn of depressed network investment, limits on new business models, and deterred rollout of broadband-enabled services

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)– According to research released today from Charles M. Davidson, director of The Advanced Communications Law & Policy Institute at New York Law School, and Bret Swanson, president of technology research firm Entropy Economics, new regulations for providers of broadband Internet service could result in the loss of hundreds of thousands of jobs. The new Internet regulations, the report estimates, could also reduce U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by tens of billions of dollars per year. The report, “Net Neutrality, Investment & Jobs: Assessing the Potential Impacts of the FCC’s Proposed Net Neutrality Rules on the Broadband Ecosystem,” examines the extent of likely damages to investment, jobs, and U.S. GDP resulting from the implementation of the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) proposed net neutrality regulations.

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75% of New Zealanders to get 100Mbps fiber by 2020

Add New Zealand to the list of countries that understand that the key to broadband penetration is building and open-access infrastructure.  The Kiwis join their neighbors Australia and other Asia-Pacific countries like Singapore in building an independent open-access fiber infrastructure.  Even though the country is small, the federal government recognizes the need to build the infrastructure on a local level through a public/private partnership.  While the FCC is trying to flex its enforcement muscles, other countries are implementing plans to increase their broadband penetration via affordable, open-access networks.  If more U.S. municipalities pursued open-access networks, net neutrality would be less of an issue.

By Nate Anderson | Last updated 33 minutes ago

Taking a page from the Australian broadband playbook, New Zealand has decided not to sit around while incumbent DSL operators milk the withered dugs of their cash cow until it keels over from old age. Instead, the Kiwis have established a government-owned corporation to invest NZ$1.5 billion for open-access fiber to the home. By 2020, 75 percent of residents should have, at a bare minimum, 100Mbps down/50 Mbps up with a choice of providers.

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Brigham City hears from UTOPIA

The sponsoring cities and UTOPIA have the right concept.  UTOPIA is now being better managed, and the network penetration is increasing.  I know that they can start meeting their objectives and eventually be profitable, but their members need to continue to invest in them.  The $54,000 that the city of Brigham needs to contribute to keep UTOPIA going is a small price to pay for the economic and consumer benefits the network brings.  I’ve seen cities blow that much money on studies that are never implemented and just sit on a shelf.   I hope Brigham residents and the council have the foresight to continue investing in this valuable asset.

By Nancy B. Fuller (Standard-Examiner correspondent)

BRIGHAM CITY — After months of rumors, the Brigham City Council had its first formal meeting with UTOPIA executive directors on options for implementation and long-term commitments for the city to continue with the fiber-optic network.

The meeting was held one hour before the regular city council meeting, which didn’t leave enough time for council members to address their concerns, so the council requested another meeting with UTOPIA.

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Inside Google’s Ultra-High-Speed Plans

How The Online Giant’s Fiber Project Could Change The Future Of Internet Access

As the scrutiny intensifies over the United States’ inability to keep up with the broadband efforts of other countries, a potential savior has emerged. With its upcoming Fiber For Communities project, Google will deliver Internet connections of more than 1Gbps to one or more trial communities, in turn spawning hope across the rest of the country that ultra-fast broadband could soon be a reality for almost everyone.

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UTOPIA network is worth new bonds to foster Utah growth

By Mike Winder

Published: Sunday, April 18, 2010 12:04 a.m. MDT

I was not an elected official when my city committed to the Utah Telecommunication Open Infrastructure Agency (UTOPIA). But now as mayor of the largest UTOPIA city, I find that what to do with our city’s network has become one of the greatest challenges I face — not just because of West Valley City’s enormous commitment ($147 million between 2010 and 2040), but importantly because of the enormous potential benefits. I find the question is not, “Was UTOPIA a good idea or a bad idea?” The question is: “Looking at our hand today, what is our best way forward?”

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