EFnet has announced today plans to begin a rollout of VDSL2, to 70 national exchanges in a partnership with PIPE networks.
This is great news for anyone within 1.6KM of a exchange getting enabled, as they will have faster access to the internet (around 50-100Mbps, so you can nearly setup an ethernet suburb).
I think however, they are moving too fast for VDSL2, considering that any advantage delivered is quickly taken by the fact that we have expensive international access.
The real issue for Australia still remains, and that is cheap international access (well, fair priced is a better word).
PIPE is also behind a goal to get international access cheaper, by deploying its own cable to Guam, which will almost certainly help those get full advantage of VDSL2 when it starts its rollout in the first or second quarter of 2008.
VDSL2 is a great move, as it shows that innovation still does exist in the industry, despite only a smaller number of exchanges will see it.
It would be fantastic if the smaller players all decided to move nationally, and put pressure on the cherry picking that happens.
It’s almost like each ISP follows each other into an exchange.
Optus enters one, and if iiNet don’t have one, but can get backhaul, they’ll follow, Internode follows, TPG follows, and so on.
Optus probably doesn’t enter first however, but indeed they all follow each other.
This news could be a little on the bad side for iiNet, who just rolled out a lot of ADSL2+ DSLAMs and will no doubt be facing competitive threat in the 70 exchanges that they plan to install VDSL2 into.
They plan to deploy using MSANs, which was on the iiNet agenda a while ago, and taken off, seemingly due to financials not stacking up in ii’s favour.
I think iiNet are still in the process of realising returns on its ADSL2+ deployment, and won’t be finished paying back the funds used to deploy that for a little while, which means this could put pricing pressure on ii’s ADSL2+ to try and retain customers, but I could be wrong about most of that as well (I’m not 100% sure on iiNet funding).
A national player certainly would be a welcome change to the landscape, so that no one gets left behind due to issues such as backhaul.
PIPE rep, Bevan Slattery, indicated that the backhaul into regional areas was on hold due to FTTN uncertainty.
Which makes me question, why deploy VDSL2 if FTTN shows uncertain grounds?