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Topic # 182547 20-Oct-2015 17:41
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On the surface, the UFB project is working pretty well, people can choose between many ISPs and have a pretty good service. This choice however, will turn out to be a façade if something goes wrong, because there’s a single monopoly fibre company in your area. We’ve all heard the horror stories. Also things take a really long time to get done.

 

I’m wondering if things would work better if there are multiple ISPs in each area, all providing services over their own network, Google Fibre style? The government could help by setting policies that encourage / streamline the process for companies to put in new networks, plus the government don’t have to put in so much money.

 

A middle ground would be the originally proposed UFB model (and what Singapore has done), where the fibre company provides the dark GPON fibre and your ISP provides the ONT.

 

Do you think these policies would work better than what we have right now?

 

Current policy

 

Advantages

 

  • Wide coverage across the country
  • Low barrier of entry, lots of ISPs
  • Switching ISPs is easy and quick
Disadvantages

 

  • Half the monthly price goes to the fibre company, keeps prices high and this won’t change much in the foreseeable future
  • ISP has no visibility over the network, makes it hard to troubleshoot
  • ISP has no control over the network or the service provided by the network techs
  • Customer calls ISP, ISP calls network company, network company calls service company, service company calls tech. Too many layers leading to miscommunications.
  • Monopoly network company
  • Long delays in installation

 

Independent networks

 

Advantages

 

  • ISP control their network from end to end and can provide great service if they want to. Example: Google Fibre’s stats
  • ISP has total control over their costs and prices
  • Less investment required from government
Disadvantages

 

  • Cherry picking of profitable areas
  • High barrier to entry, risk of oligopoly
  • Roads could be dug up a lot of times

 

Dark fibre

 

Advantages

 

  • Line rental is only $15/month, ISPs can choose what optics they use and how fast it goes, so they can offer unlimited gigabit for only $50/month, or 2 gig fibre
  • More control for ISPs

 

Disadvantages

 

  • Higher barrier to entry, fewer ISPs
  • Longer to switch ISPs, as you have to swap the splitter and change the ONT
  • Still has a monopoly network company

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  Reply # 1409988 20-Oct-2015 18:07
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No. I don't. I suspect you have undercooked the disadvantages for the Independent networks and Dark fibre.. By. A. Lot.

Cheers - N


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  Reply # 1409992 20-Oct-2015 18:17
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nope, ufb is great. 

Without it I may not get faster than ADSL internet, ever. 



I don't agree with your disadvantages of UFB either. 

Cost is very good already. 

The whole chorus thing is an issue with regulations , perhaps more than chorus. 

As for faults, they get dealt with quickly too.    You'll always get 'edge' scenarios but that is non-specific to UFB. 


Being tied into another 'telecom' would be unfathomable for me. 



 
 
 
 


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  Reply # 1410011 20-Oct-2015 18:26
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The only real gripe I have with the current setup is I believe the LFC's should all be non profits or community trusts. In my view there is no place for profit in a government granted monopoly of an essential service.









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  Reply # 1410014 20-Oct-2015 18:31
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The disadvantages of UFB that you've listed has more to do with horrible mismanagement which would be present in the alternatives rather than something inherently problematic with the model today. Take installations where my one was started middle of July with the permissions by neighbours handed back instantly and it will finally be installed 5 November. That could be addressed by having stipulations that once the permission has been granted by the neighbours that the UFB installers have one month to install it - every day after the one month mark will result in penalties. Any local government body that slows down the progress resulting in the contractor unable keep the installation time the central government will also fine the local councils with a stipulation that rates cannot be raised to offset fines incurred due to mismanagement by local city councils.




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  Reply # 1410015 20-Oct-2015 18:33
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Lias: The only real gripe I have with the current setup is I believe the LFC's should all be non profits or community trusts. In my view there is no place for profit in a government granted monopoly of an essential service.



Good point. 

But, isn't that like transpower in the power industry too? 

I'm guessing it might be the best solution that doesn't involve govt who are notoriously bad at delivering services. 



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  Reply # 1410023 20-Oct-2015 18:42
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kawaii: The disadvantages of UFB that you've listed has more to do with horrible mismanagement which would be present in the alternatives rather than something inherently problematic with the model today. Take installations where my one was started middle of July with the permissions by neighbours handed back instantly and it will finally be installed 5 November. That could be addressed by having stipulations that once the permission has been granted that the UFB installers have one month to install it - every day after the one month mark will result in penalties. Any local government body that slows down the progress resulting in the contractor unable keep the installation time the central government will also fine the local councils with a stipulation that rates cannot be raised to offset fines incurred due to mismanagement by local city councils.


I doubt it would be any different with a fully privatised model,  other than you'd likely be paying more. 

There were horrendous stories when telecom ran everything too .

Your installation took 4 months, which does not seem completely unreasonable given this is a nationwide brand new rollout and demand is high.  And in the meantime you still had your previous service so no huge deal really was it?  

And, yours is not necessarily the representative scenario -- my installation was completely finished in about 2 weeks. 

Personally, as long as I still had my previous service the 4 month wait time would not be the end of the world. 




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  Reply # 1410096 20-Oct-2015 20:00
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surfisup1000:

Cost is very good already. 

The whole chorus thing is an issue with regulations , perhaps more than chorus. 

As for faults, they get dealt with quickly too.



UFB pricing is good, especially compared to what we had before, no question about that. The question is could it have been better if we had a different model?

I don't have the statistics, but I had quite a few fibre customers where Chorus took a week to fix the fault. This almost never happens on copper.

Also there are all sorts of weird provisioning issues, where the settings Chorus set up is different to what the ISP requested, there has also been a time when a customer has been connected to the wrong ISP handover. That almost never happens on copper either.

kawaii: The disadvantages of UFB that you've listed has more to do with horrible mismanagement which would be present in the alternatives rather than something inherently problematic with the model today. ... That could be addressed by having stipulations that once the permission has been granted by the neighbours that the UFB installers have one month to install it - every day after the one month mark will result in penalties.


Would there be a better outcome if we have multiple competing networks, instead of applying regulations to a monopoly network?

surfisup1000: Personally, as long as I still had my previous service the 4 month wait time would not be the end of the world. 


Spare a thought for the people in fibre-only subdivisions. Some had to wait months while Chorus sort it out and they can't get anything else.

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  Reply # 1410130 20-Oct-2015 20:37
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DarkShadow:
surfisup1000:

Cost is very good already. 

The whole chorus thing is an issue with regulations , perhaps more than chorus. 

As for faults, they get dealt with quickly too.



UFB pricing is good, especially compared to what we had before, no question about that. The question is could it have been better if we had a different model?

I don't have the statistics, but I had quite a few fibre customers where Chorus took a week to fix the fault. This almost never happens on copper.

Also there are all sorts of weird provisioning issues, where the settings Chorus set up is different to what the ISP requested, there has also been a time when a customer has been connected to the wrong ISP handover. That almost never happens on copper either.

kawaii: The disadvantages of UFB that you've listed has more to do with horrible mismanagement which would be present in the alternatives rather than something inherently problematic with the model today. ... That could be addressed by having stipulations that once the permission has been granted by the neighbours that the UFB installers have one month to install it - every day after the one month mark will result in penalties.


Would there be a better outcome if we have multiple competing networks, instead of applying regulations to a monopoly network?

surfisup1000: Personally, as long as I still had my previous service the 4 month wait time would not be the end of the world. 


Spare a thought for the people in fibre-only subdivisions. Some had to wait months while Chorus sort it out and they can't get anything else.


Ouch, a logistical nightmare, if every street had 5 cables running in them owned by 5 cable providers. Same with 5 power line feeds, 5 letterboxes. 5 Post Offices brands. 
Competition is great, but sometimes a single solution makes more sense. Then let the 5 competitors (for my example) provide the end user experience off only one network. 

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  Reply # 1410155 20-Oct-2015 21:10
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Your logic assumes that a network provider could drop the average $4500 or so per premises past (for the network build and the installation) by probably 90% to make such a network affordable. This cost by itself is why such a project can't really happen without government backing.



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  Reply # 1410189 20-Oct-2015 21:22
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surfisup1000:
Lias: The only real gripe I have with the current setup is I believe the LFC's should all be non profits or community trusts. In my view there is no place for profit in a government granted monopoly of an essential service.



Good point. 

But, isn't that like transpower in the power industry too? 

I'm guessing it might be the best solution that doesn't involve govt who are notoriously bad at delivering services. 

Many of the lines companies do operate as community trusts,  see WelNetworks or Electra for an example. I'd like to see all the ones that don't, and Transpower migrated to that model, but that's for another thread :-) I also think that one of the generators and one of the retailers should be run on the same model but competing with the private sector. Should in theory drive efficiency and benefit consumers ;-)








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  Reply # 1410266 21-Oct-2015 00:16
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surfisup1000:
kawaii: The disadvantages of UFB that you've listed has more to do with horrible mismanagement which would be present in the alternatives rather than something inherently problematic with the model today. Take installations where my one was started middle of July with the permissions by neighbours handed back instantly and it will finally be installed 5 November. That could be addressed by having stipulations that once the permission has been granted that the UFB installers have one month to install it - every day after the one month mark will result in penalties. Any local government body that slows down the progress resulting in the contractor unable keep the installation time the central government will also fine the local councils with a stipulation that rates cannot be raised to offset fines incurred due to mismanagement by local city councils.


I doubt it would be any different with a fully privatised model,  other than you'd likely be paying more. 

There were horrendous stories when telecom ran everything too .

Your installation took 4 months, which does not seem completely unreasonable given this is a nationwide brand new rollout and demand is high.  And in the meantime you still had your previous service so no huge deal really was it?  

And, yours is not necessarily the representative scenario -- my installation was completely finished in about 2 weeks. 

Personally, as long as I still had my previous service the 4 month wait time would not be the end of the world. 


But equally there have been complaints that the up take hasn't be as high or as great as some have expected and that is due to the procrastination when it comes to installing it. I don't want to sound overly simplistic but if there is the demand that you say then there should be a massive recruitment drive getting the man power to be pushing it out and installation times taking a couple of weeks rather than 4 month worth of waiting - it should be something that is simple and fast rather than being drawn out and customers having second thoughts after waiting 2 months before Chorus finally get their act together and install the line.




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  Reply # 1410287 21-Oct-2015 07:16
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kawaii:

But equally there have been complaints that the up take hasn't be as high or as great as some have expected


The only people saying this are the Labour party. They're so anti UFB and I can only conclude it's because it was National's project. The official figures certainly don't support this statement with uptake and the project build both ahead of projections.

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  Reply # 1410326 21-Oct-2015 09:06
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sbiddle:
kawaii:

But equally there have been complaints that the up take hasn't be as high or as great as some have expected


The only people saying this are the Labour party. They're so anti UFB and I can only conclude it's because it was National's project. The official figures certainly don't support this statement with uptake and the project build both ahead of projections.


It is also not available everywhere yet, so it's not like "its finished, but no ones using it". 

Recently fibre infrastructure was layed down our street.  I got a call from Vodafone (my isp) saying Fibre is ready, did I want it installed?  It will be free installation into your home!  I was then told to call Vodafone (didn't vodafone just ring me?).  I call vodafone, only to find out it will not be ready for up to another whole year lol.  Even the person at vodafone was confused why I was called so early.
It may be that I can get it next month, or early Jan.  But if I take the advice of the person from Vodafone from which I rang, who said it will not be ready until August 2016.  Then I am also contributing to the stats that say people are not taking this service up as it becomes available.

Too many factors.  But I am excited for the new UFB and when I can join the network.




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  Reply # 1410340 21-Oct-2015 09:39
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sbiddle:
kawaii:

But equally there have been complaints that the up take hasn't be as high or as great as some have expected


The only people saying this are the Labour party. They're so anti UFB and I can only conclude it's because it was National's project. The official figures certainly don't support this statement with uptake and the project build both ahead of projections.


Yep,  whilst there are definitely serious issues with chorus process, consent rules etc,  by any standard the rollout and uptake is proceeding nicely ahead of projections,  and very well compared to most other countries.

Especially when you take into account rolling out Fibre past 500 houses in NZ is significantly harder, more expensive and time consuming than rolling out fibre to 500 apartments in a single building in Hong Kong.

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  Reply # 1410367 21-Oct-2015 10:14
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One thing to keep in mind, there is a date far in the future which ISP's can unbundle the Fibre network by putting their GPON kit into the exchanges, very much like what has happened in the ADSL/VDSL world.

If that actually happens is another story, but its currently in the deal with LFC's.



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