That’s the magical question put forth to the leaders today when they are ready to go forth and choose a supplier to win the rights to building Australia’s First FTTN network.
Are consumers prepared to pay more for faster speeds?
Ask yourself (to Telstra): Do you think consumers care more about the speed of their broadband service, or more about the price they pay to access a basic broadband service?
The answer doesn’t take more than a split second to find. The reason G9 got in on FTTN, is because if Telstra did it, they’d have serious business hassles, on the other hand, if they do it now, they will make average low returns on it, and can enhance those returns as the infrastructure is paid off.
Think of it like a mortgage on a house, it eventually works its way down, and all of a sudden, you live rent free, or alternatively, get rent.
But that’s a problematic topic of its own.
The issue being bought up: Are Consumers Prepared To Pay More, is a key issue.
There’s no real point running a fibre cable to every node in Australia if there’s no one going to be able to afford it, simply because it’s faster speeds at higher prices.
The price Telstra proposed for a 512k service with basic telephone access was $59 ex GST for a Wholesale Rate.
This price simply cannot be allowed, regardless of who you are (Telstra Shareholder, or Common Consumer).
Australia needs a network that encourages take up of services, then, when take up consumes, users will discover they want faster, or more data, and in following that through, we can see that they will progress to faster connections as technology requires them to.
Many right now, without a doubt get by on a 256k connection, much like all those poor buggers sitting on dial up still due to no access to alternative infrastructure and Telstra and its laziness (Pair Gains), or the lack of funding to supply those areas, or the timing of OPEL’s announcement and Telstra’s threat to sue Coonan drawing the Mid 2009 date out longer for their own pig feeding schedule.
I mentioned the key points to be considered in an FTTN proposal by any half reasonable person, which are basically, does it satisfy current, and near future consumer demand? All nodes can be upgraded in any proposal, so that points pretty much a self resolving point, but providing services at prices consumers will afford and be able to use.