Former NBN Co chief Bill Morrow responded to the constant negative comparisons with New Zealand’s network in a blog post last year, in which he argued comparing the two countries was comparing “apples with oranges”.
The AFR reports:
New Zealanders will soon be getting internet speeds 20 times faster than those enjoyed by most Australians for just a few dollars more a month, further widening an already-huge gap between the two countries’ broadband networks.
Chorus, the ASX-listed company that operates New Zealand’s broadband network, revealed on Wednesday it would slash the wholesale price of its ultra-fast one-gigabit plan.
From the middle of next year, the price of the plan will go from $NZ65 ($61) to $NZ60 ($56.30) a month. Chorus will further reduce it to $NZ56 the following year.
Internet speeds of one gigabit per second (Gbps) are 20 times faster than the most popular speed available on Australia’s national broadband network of 50 megabits per second (Mbps), the plan almost half of NBN users are on.
That’s because National insisted on fibre to the home, rather than what Australia has which is fibre to a cabinet and then copper to the home.
NBN Co sells its 50 Mbps plan to retailers for $45 a month, only $7.50 less than Chorus will charge for its 1 Gbps plan by 2020.
$7.50 a month more for 20 times the speed. I’ll take that.
Of the half a million connections to Chorus’ high-speed network, about 70 per cent are on 100 Mbps plans. No connections are less than 50 Mbps, and 36,000 connections are 1 Gbps.
By contrast, of the 4.5 million connections to Australia’s NBN, 40 per cent are on speeds of 50 Mbps, and 30 per cent on speeds of just 12 Mbps. Less than 10 per cent are on speeds of 100 Mbps, while fewer than 600 individual connections are on speeds higher than 100 Mbps.
12 Mbps today is like what dial up used to be!
One of his central points was that unlike the NBN, the New Zealand network was built by Chorus, the infrastructure arm of formerly nationally-owned Telecom NZ, which already owned the nation’s copper network.
NBN Co, by contrast, had to buy or lease Telstra’s network, massively increasing the cost. Australia was unable to follow New Zealand’s model because it did not split Telstra into a retail and wholesale business when the telco giant was privatised in the late 1990s and early 2000s.
Thanks to David Cunliffe for the operational separation and Steven Joyce for the structural separation.