NBN Co says TWO broadband connections are better than one

Praises new FTTP plus HFC product in Singapore

WTF?

+Comment NBN Co, the entity building Australia's national broadband network, has come up with an odd suggestion: two broadband connections, each running on different access technologies, are better than one.

The suggestion is odd because NBN Co's mandate is to give each Australian household and business one internet connection using one access technology. Yet in this blog post the company praises a Singaporean offering that sees local telco StarHub bundle a fibre-to-the-premises and hybrid fibre coax connection, both delivered to the same premises.

The post praises this idea because the two services terminate in different parts of a home, which means a chance for wider WiFi coverage. Indeed, StarHub will also send a technician to setup WiFi under this bundle.

“StarHub’s focus on providing premium in-home wi-fi shows once again that with the number of internet connected devices increasing that wi-fi is becoming an ever more important access tool that operators ignore at their peril,” the post says, adding that the bundle shows it's a good idea to recycle HFC assets.

+Comment Nobody doubts that recycling HFC is a decent idea – if the core network can be reconfigured so that the contention problems many users currently experience can be addressed. It's also impossible to dispute WiFi's importance.

But the post is also odd given that Australia and Singapore are very different: in the former nation dwellings are likely to be far larger than they are in the Lion City.

NBN Co suggesting dual connections is therefore apposite – big Australian houses may well need more than one WiFi Access point. But NBN Co simply won't be able to deploy two different services over two different media to one dwelling, because it is sworn not to do such a thing in the name of saving money on wasteful duplicated overbuild.

That the post ignores the existence of WiFi extenders and of ethernet-over-powerline-to-WiFi-access-points gadgets is therefore notable, not least because such kit is retailers' responsibility.

If the point of the post is to give retail service providers a nudge towards premium services, well and good.

But without that aim being made plain, this is an odd thought bubble indeed given it praises a product and an outcome NBN Co simply can't deliver or control. ®

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