nbn 's CVC discounts worked - ISPs splashed for 38 per cent more bandwidth

Still just 1.53 Mbps per user, so let's not let that distract us from the ongoing build bungles

Australia's internet service providers have responded to discounts in the Connectivity Virtual Circuit (CVC) by buying more bandwidth for their users, but the news isn't all good because they're still offering just 1.53 Mbps per user.

That last figure comes from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) which today announced the news. The Commission tied the change to a decision by nbn , the company building and operating Australia's national broadband network (NBN), to discount the CVC in September 2017.

NBN logo

nbn™tries to ease peak hour crunch with cheaper bundles


The Commission noted that 1.53 Mbps is 38 per cent higher than was the case before the discount and that nbn™ contracted to supply a total of 5,385 gigabits per second of CVC capacity in the three months ending December 31st, 2017. That figure was just 3,452 gig in the September quarter).

All of those lovely leaps led ACCC chair Rod Sims to say "With this level of CVC consumers will have faster broadband speeds and hopefully less congestion during peak evening periods."

It's a bold quote for a couple of reasons. Firstly, nbn™ added another discount in December 2017, so there may be more to come.

Secondly, more CVC won't guarantee better end-user experience because there's still plenty of choke points in the networks beyond the NBN and plenty of online services that don't make much of an effort to groom their traffic. And also because the ACCC's Wholesale Market Indicators Report for the quarter noted that just five of Australia's ISPs are connected to all 121 points of interconnect that connect their networks to the NBN, leaving smaller ISPs with inferior service as they likely need to traverse backbone operators or rivals' links to reach the NBN.

The ACCC also published a wodge of other wholesale data, here, in which it offered the table below that describes a snapshot of the NBN as of December 31st, 2017.

ACCC data on all NBN connections, Dec 31, 2017

The State of the NBN as of Dec 31, 2017. Click here to embiggen

The table above reports 3,467,306 wholesale connections were active at the end of 2017, with slow packages offering either 12/1 or 25/5 upload/download speeds, all in megabits per second, dominating the market.

Critics of the NBN have long argued that the network is not future-proof, or even very good at current applications like streaming 4K video. With Australian consumer seemingly opting for modest connection speeds, it is unclear if there's a chicken-and-egg situation or if consumers and businesses don't fancy and/or cannot afford faster internet.

And let's not forget, also, that nbn™ is having all sorts of fun with its build, having been forced to pause the rollout of hybrid fibre coax while it gets the network fit for purpose. Horror stories of a poor nbn™-ISP interface also persist, often resulting in delayed installations, buck-passing and frustration. ®

Other stories you might like

  • AI tool finds hundreds of genes related to human motor neuron disease

    Breakthrough could lead to development of drugs to target illness

    A machine-learning algorithm has helped scientists find 690 human genes associated with a higher risk of developing motor neuron disease, according to research published in Cell this week.

    Neuronal cells in the central nervous system and brain break down and die in people with motor neuron disease, like amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) more commonly known as Lou Gehrig's disease, named after the baseball player who developed it. They lose control over their bodies, and as the disease progresses patients become completely paralyzed. There is currently no verified cure for ALS.

    Motor neuron disease typically affects people in old age and its causes are unknown. Johnathan Cooper-Knock, a clinical lecturer at the University of Sheffield in England and leader of Project MinE, an ambitious effort to perform whole genome sequencing of ALS, believes that understanding how genes affect cellular function could help scientists develop new drugs to treat the disease.

    Continue reading
  • Need to prioritize security bug patches? Don't forget to scan Twitter as well as use CVSS scores

    Exploit, vulnerability discussion online can offer useful signals

    Organizations looking to minimize exposure to exploitable software should scan Twitter for mentions of security bugs as well as use the Common Vulnerability Scoring System or CVSS, Kenna Security argues.

    Better still is prioritizing the repair of vulnerabilities for which exploit code is available, if that information is known.

    CVSS is a framework for rating the severity of software vulnerabilities (identified using CVE, or Common Vulnerability Enumeration, numbers), on a scale from 1 (least severe) to 10 (most severe). It's overseen by First.org, a US-based, non-profit computer security organization.

    Continue reading
  • Sniff those Ukrainian emails a little more carefully, advises Uncle Sam in wake of Belarusian digital vandalism

    NotPetya started over there, don't forget

    US companies should be on the lookout for security nasties from Ukrainian partners following the digital graffiti and malware attack launched against Ukraine by Belarus, the CISA has warned.

    In a statement issued on Tuesday, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency said it "strongly urges leaders and network defenders to be on alert for malicious cyber activity," having issued a checklist [PDF] of recommended actions to take.

    "If working with Ukrainian organizations, take extra care to monitor, inspect, and isolate traffic from those organizations; closely review access controls for that traffic," added CISA, which also advised reviewing backups and disaster recovery drills.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022