Jason Clare Tore Malcolm Turnbull A New One Over The NBN

Jason Clare Tore Malcolm Turnbull A New One Over The NBN

In general, Australian internet is not great. We’re aware of that. And the Australian government’s solution to that has been fraught with controversy. You could make the argument that the NBN we could have had has been ripped apart by partisan politics and in-fighting.

Yesterday a Labor MP laid out the failings of Malcolm Turnbull in a ten minute speech that was part political grandstanding, part depressing evaluation.

It’s an interesting speech — and on point — but this sort of dissention is in its own way part of the problem. Instead of being the service Australia needed, the NBN become a political football. Absolutely brutal.

Via Reddit


  • The problems with the NBN are rooted in the general public not actually caring about it or understanding what its uses are. It wasn’t a big point in the last election so solid policies weren’t created and debated. It was more focused on the public “wanting a change”…what we got was Abbott so well done people.

    • Yeah, I made the flippant remark before the election: “If you want better internet, vote for Labor!” Didn’t go down well with my older friends (50-ish). A few eye-rolls and comments about how that’s not exactly a priority.

      But they all do online banking, online shopping, online viewing, etc.

      • The sad part is the general public still doesn’t really care….I’m waiting for the ball to drop and for the sudden screams of outrage when something they care about needs better internet.

        Who knows, maybe it’ll be VR requiring more bandwidth to stream or download movies or environments or porn or whatever we’ll use it for.

      • Yeah, but all that stuff works for them just fine now. They probably just didn’t see the value of spending however many billions of dollars on a “new internet” when the one they’ve got now does what they want just fine.

        It’s hard to explain to some people the benefits of something like this until after it’s done and they can try it for themselves. It’s kind of like back when HDTVs were becoming a thing and they’d have news stories about them on TV. Problem is, you were sitting there watching the story on your old CRT SDTV, so it was hard to get excited until you saw one first hand so you could actually see the difference for yourself.

        • I think it will start to get noticed when people start trying to archive their stuff ‘in the cloud’ that they will realise that not only does it take f-o-r-e-v-e-r on ADSL, it also grinds all other internet usage on that connection to a halt.

        • There’s a lot of people (particularly on ADSL or oversubscribed cable etc) who don’t have a “just fine” experience, but rather a “that’s just the way it is” experience. They have regular issues with their internet service, but if they try to sort it out with their ISP they get long hold times on the phone, slow response via email, and/or get bounced around with “that’s not us, that’s Telstra” back and forth etc. Internet drops out when it’s raining “oh well, it’ll be back in a couple hours/days, no point ringing tech support about it, I’ll end up wasting half an hour going through “have you reset the modem, tried another modem” rigmarole and then they’ll just do nothing anyway”.

          The whole “it’s really much more reliable” thing has been completely overlooked in the discussion so far, and that’s a shame, because I really think that is the strongest selling point rather than “it’s faster than you’ll ever need so why should we pay for that”.

          • It is sooooo much more reliable. From reseting my new router/modem every 2-3 days on adsl2+ (4.5down/0.8up Adam internet), I’ve reset the router 2 times in 6 months due to ip address conflicts (2 x1s sometimes give each other conflicts) on fiber (100down/40up iiNet).

      • This is the same sort of person who will whine and cry to Optus or Telstra when their connection sucks in their area.

        • Wouldn’t anyone complain about this? I know I did when my download speed went from 19Mb/s to less than 1Mb/s a year ago. Thought it was an ISP issue (I did not go over my download quota), but later found out it was a Telstra issue (that apparently affected up to 50 or so homes, yet the fact they sent the tech guy to my place seems to imply that either I was the only one who complained, or had proof. Keep you landline phones. They saved me from having to pay Telstra).

    • Agreed most people don’t really understand the power of the internet and how vital its role will be in the future. The technology is moving so fast our infrastructure needs to support that, a bit of overkill now is not a bad thing. Anyone who voted for Abbott seriously needs to evaluate their life.

      • Anyone who thinks that you vote for the prime minister candidate instead of the local MP/senatorial candidate who best represents your interests in an Australian federal election seriously needs to re-evaluate whether or not they have the gumption or intelligence to be able to vote

        Hope your not in a swing electorate, otherwise they’d just need to have the shiniest sign to win you over wouldn’t they?

        • Rather than making a snarky, bad-faith comment, perhaps you could add something to the discussion instead of mindlessly correcting someone on the internet?

          @thompson may indeed not truly understand our electoral system, or they might be making a good point about people voting for Abbott – plenty of people’s votes around the country are determined by their like or dislike for the leader of the ALP or LNP come election time. It is exactly how the LNP were elected last time around – they successfully made the ALP leadership so unpopular that plenty of people voted for “not Rudd”.

          But, to the point, @thompson is right about a little overkill being a good thing. Anyone who works or plays closely with technology understands that when you upgrade, you’re best off going over your requirements by a small amount as a buffer against future requirements or against a system that doesn’t quite perform as expected.

        • Ouch! As @spadge said loads of people don’t research what their local candidates specific views and are therefore are just voting for a party or a leader. So anyone that did that and picked Abbott is an idiot… so even though you are very mean spirited I guess we kind of agree 😉

          And just so you know I don’t vote for the shiniest sign, I vote for the biggest smile.

          • I’m really just echoing @spadge ‘s points, but local candidates are by-and-large bound by what the leader (or their party committee) wants anyway lest they be expelled from the party, so following the leader’s policies is, fundamentally, not a bad way to decide who to vote for. It doesn’t matter how nice the local candidate is, if you voted Liberal in the last election you very much voted for Abbott.

            The issue in Australia is that people, by-and-large don’t even look into policy, they just vote for whoever their parents voted for – regardless if they are troglodytic narcissistic racists who care more about their own super balance than properly funding health and education.

          • Not entirely true. Most big policies are voted on in either the Caucus or the Party Room depending on the flavour of the party. They also will rumble a leader if they are going to lose their job because they didn’t listen to their constituents. Have you not been watching federal politics in the last few years? Sure all you see is reports about minister this and minister that backstabbing and ringing around to get the numbers, well guess what those numbers are the numbats that we vote for. They will back the leader that will let them keep their seat by having policies that meet the needs of most of their electorate.

          • So true about people voting for who their parents did. I never asked my parents who they vote for as I wanted to make my own choice.

            My wife on the other hand didn’t really understand any of it and voted Liberal like her parents…Now she votes for whoever I do instead.

    • The problems with the NBN are rooted in the general public not actually caring about it or understanding what its uses are.

      The ABC doing its best to promote FTTN by killing articles showing the negatives compared to FTTP and ordering hit pieces on the government because “Abbott’s going to win, we don’t want to rock the boat.



      • Yeah, I’m aware of all that but doubt it would have made a difference anyway. People just didn’t care to begin with. Being told that what they would get under Libs would be bad wouldn’t bother them when they don’t care.

        • If they were broadcasting “FTTN will cost billions more for less” I’m sure the oldies would have cared about frivolous spending.

          • I banged that drum for months to people. Heck I’m still repeating myself reminding people that FTTN will cost us billions more than what was “saved” in a few years.

    • One reason is they don’t know any better. I lived in Hong Kong for 2.5 years with gigabit fibre into the home. Coming back to live in Melbourne now shows how disgraceful our connection speeds are when things that used to take seconds can now take hours.

  • Bahaha “If you’re watching this and it’s still buffering, blame the prime minister” classic Aussie politics right there!

  • I can not understand how much they have messed this up when the rewards for it were HUGE. Benefit to every citizen, business and government agency, faster internet benefits science education medicine industry construction entertainment even tourism… and it would create jobs and guarantee a return on money, it would be a monopoly that they own and control which would of returned Austrslia government as the leading Telco in the country. Instead politics ruin a goid thing and makes it mediocre and incomplete.

    • Because they were told to by their mates with vested interest. Should the real NBN have happened the Murdoch owned Foxtel would have had a very difficult time trying to justify their high prices once they’d lost their monopoly.

      • Seriously, what Murdoch owned Foxtel?

        Nobody owns Foxtel; it’s a 50/50 split partnership between (now) 21st Century Fox and Telstra, the latter having everything to lose if NBN went ahead while the former had everything to gain.

        And kindly drop his Murdoch-Coalition link. The unions don’t control Labor so by that same reasoning News Corp doesn’t control the Coalition.

        If you want to put a face to the scrapping for the NBN, it’s Turnbull because he didn’t want to follow an idea Labor started.

        Instead of dragging that insignificant man in and drawing the heat away from the politicians in question, it is wiser to keep the heat on them until they bake.

        • If you think that Murdoch doesn’t have a massive stake in the NBNs failure than you must be blissfully ignorant. Newscorp has a lot of control over the media (and thus voters and thus politicians), and is incredibly biased towards the Coalition. Just look at their coverage leading up to Tony Abbots victory.

          • Newscorp has a lot of control over the media (and thus voters and thus politicians)

            Your own statement implies people are lemmings which is not the case.

            And by your own reasoning, if something is wrong with Labor then we should be blaming the unions as they pull the strings which is not the case.

            just look at their coverage leading up to Tony Abbots victory.

            Yeah, they gave preferential treatment to him, and Rudd before him, and Howard before him. Like a racing form, the editors (not Keith Jr) favorited the winning bet.

            Murdoch doesn’t have a massive stake in the NBNs failure than you must be blissfully ignorant.

            I’m not going to ignore the fact that Turnbull coveted the fame getting the NBN in place without credit to Labor just to make a Murdoch centric fallacy hold.

            If the NBN went ahead, 21st Century Fox would survive but Telstra would not.

            Here’s the hard reality with the Foxtel Partnership (which was originally 25% before Consolidated Media Holdings was acquired), Telstra needs the Fox library more than Fox needs Telstra’s telecommunications portfolio.

            Discussion over. The scrapping of the NBN is all Turnbull; not Abbott, not Murdoch, and (despite him giving plenty of reason to do so) not Conroy either.

          • Foxtel have a lot to lose when it comes to NBN. Without good internet Netflix isn’t viable and people have to use their services.
            As for people they really can be lemmings. A lot of people still form opinions based on media coverage, newspapers in particular – and Newscorp has the most coverage and saturation by far.

        • Of course it’s stupid to say that Murdoch controls the government, but he has an unbelievable amount of power for a guy who gave up his Aus citizenship decades ago.

          Abbott personally called him on the phone to discuss major policy works before announcing them publicly. The prime minister sought approval from a foreign businessman before passing laws to run the country. That’s a huge problem.

    • Basically it came down to a gross misunderstanding of what the NBN is for, accompanied by a desperation to appear fiscally responsible.

      The misunderstanding was in the belief – seen quoted in many places – that people only wanted a “faster internet” for downloading streaming video, and that FTTN is “fast enough” for that purpose.

      This overlooks a few things. The aging of the Telstra copper, which will require replacement eventually; the need for fast uplinks as well as downlinks; and the futureproofing (in that the same fibre can carry speeds much faster than 100Mbps should it ever be necessary) that fibre offers over copper.

      Surveys at the time showed that the majority overall (across the entire voter base) preferred the Labor model – the NBN was an electoral disadvantage for the Coalition. Unfortunately, voters at the time were less interested in voting the (already unpopular) Tony Abbott in than they were in voting musical-chairs Rudd out. If the election had been run solely on NBN policy, Labor would have won.

      And now we’re seeing that the Coalition leadership is not inherently more stable than Labor’s – no thanks to Tony Abbott. I don’t think we’ve ever seen a more self-centred politician, and with Rudd in the running that’s quite a strong statement.

      Personally I used to vote Australian Democrats, and these days vote Green, since their moral compass is usually on track IMO (with the probable exception of rejecting the fuel increase hike.)

  • Again, I’d advise against blatantly partisan headlines about such matters.

    Leave it to us to be the cheerleaders here one/either party in the comments.

    Yes, the NBN is a tale of woe.

    Yes it is a football, albeit a round one.

    The general public don’t know – or care – about the ins and outs of it though.

    The major parties have engaged in such toxic and odious behaviour that the population is largely softened up now in regards to anything political. We could invade Iraq by ourselves (this almost happened) or allow the Chinese to buy a shipping port (this did happen) today and nobody would care.

    Apologies for the dig at soccer.

    • There’s being partisan, and there’s being factually correct. That’s what the Coalition don’t seem to understand. There’s can be no “balanced” debate when the two competing ideas are “the best thing ever” and “statistically shitter in every way”. The Libs have destroyed the future prospects that come from innovation in this country by destroying the infrastructure that it relies upon, and they deserve all the hate they get for it.

    • Coalition (the Liberals are too small to form government).

      And either way, we already know that their retort will be. Labor bad, ours faster, cheaper, sooner.

      At the heart of it all (as with other projects) the NBN was just a means to sure up votes and that is how it’s used on both sides. Look at what both sides are doing; aiming for the marginal seats which can change by the day rather than make the infrastructure sustainable by getting it installed in CBDs, etc.

      Brushing politics aside (big broom I know but I think we’re stick to death of them!) there are still other factors.

      The main one is good ol’ Sol, Telstra’s former CEO. What has he actually done?

      Sadly, he has torn any remaining wealth out of the company I seriously doubt any of the back end infrastructure has been upgraded in decades. Some cannot even get ADSL because there is no more room on their exchange.

      Seriously, the population is growing but Telstra basically keep the number of ports down to keep the price of access up.

      Don’t get me wrong, fibre is the way to go but given the current revenue problems it is the same reasoning as why some rent; they can’t afford a mortgage.

      So any form of upgrade is better than keeping the status quo. Even if they laid cable (like what Foxtel did before it exclusively used satellites) and offered Internet and telecommunications over that it would be better than the cheap arse copper being laid now.

      Sadly at the end of the day, neither side is ever going to stop using the NBN as a draw card to make those undecided vote for them.

      • Oh indeed. I do actually back Jasons view, I just find myself interested in the spin the *coalition* (my bad lol) put on it. 🙂

        • I wouldn’t say spin as let’s face it that implies some maturity and neither side has as such.

          As it sands, Labor is ‘fudge’ slinging and the Coalition’s response is to power a giant fan; messy, gross, but very accurate.

          EDIT: Stopped watching the video after starting. It is rich for Jason to say Turnbull has made a mess of the NBN when Labor was no different.

          Before Labor starts trying to call out the Coaltion’s mess, they should clean themselves up first. The Coalition messed up the MTM NBN, true. But Labor let it’s own FTTP NBN be trashed and fall into disrepair.

          If Labor really wasn’t to draw votes, starting to admit where they went wrong is a good start.

          • This is a stupid way to think. Are you saying the opposition shouldn’t hold the government to account because their project wasn’t any good either? That’s dumb.

          • Holding the government to account is one thing.

            Stonewalling for the sake of it is another. There is far more of the latter than the former so I’m not making an dumb claim, I’m pointing out the elephant that many think will go away if they pretend hard enough it is not there.

          • But Labor let it’s own FTTP NBN be trashed and fall into disrepair.

            Not entirely sure how something that was only just starting can fall into disrepair.

          • It wasn’t just started it was well underway. And when it started it was going well; there is no denying that.

            But as time went on, the oversight required become more lax. Labor simply started paying less attention to what was going on, the roll out was slowing down, it was coming to light some contractors being used we inexperienced (there was one story where they were removing asbestos up wind of houses from an open pit with their bare hands).

            If Labor kept at it rather than fighting with itself, changing its Prime Minister and chasing the popularity vote, the NBN would have gotten further and (most likely) made it political suicide to halt.

            Nevermind Turnbull coveting a goal Labor started towards, Labor basically made it easy for Turnbull to drop the fibre NBN so he could run with his (not Abbott’s, Turnbull’s) MTM mix and not have to credit Labor.

      • ours faster, cheaper, sooner

        Did they ever actually claim that theirs would be FASTER than Labor’s? Because regardless of anybody’s political preferences, that is just an outright lie if they did say it.

        • Did they ever actually claim that theirs would be FASTER than Labor’s?

          It doesn’t matter the context. The failure is both in possible speed and in the roll out. Maybe if they stopped trying to layout a MTM NBN to Farm Jon’s outhouse and focused on big businesses in the Australian CBDs it might be different but no, they need Jon’s vote so he gets something he’ll never need while others who do miss out.

          Despite having the best idea, Labor was letting our government debt run rampant so the Fibre NBN would have been nice but it was likely Wayne Swan would have bankrupted the country before it was freaking finished!

          So it’s a case of choose your illness; budget being (eventually) brought back under control with joke of a Internet -or- half complete Fibre NBN with the economy in tatters.

          No matter the choice, one is sick afterwards.

          • No, not true at all.

            You keep telling yourself that. Not going to change the reality but at least this is still a free country for you to do as you please as long as it’s within the law.

          • Last I checked Liberals have nearly doubled the debt they started with. How long can we keep rolling out “it was Labors fault!” excuse for? Surely there’s an expiry date on it

          • How much is it the fault of the Coalition (Liberals can’t govern due to their size) and the costings locked in by Labor?

          • @WiseHacker how about you answer that one, for a change? Can’t remember the last time you actually backed up any of your claims.

            It’s always “Labor’s crippling debt, and they’re still doing it somehow”, never mind the fact that Labor’s policies still left us with one of the best debt/GDP ratios in the developed world, after the GFC. Far from crippling, we were the envy of other governments, despite your “free country” personal opinions.

          • @namarrgon:

            how about you answer that one, for a change? Can’t remember the last time you actually backed up any of your claims.

            They have been backed up. Just because it doesn’t stack up to your view doesn’t mean I did not back them up nor does it mean I have not answered the question.

            The question has been answered. It’s not my fault I’m not providing the answer you and others are after.

            never mind the fact that Labor’s policies still left us with one of the best debt/GDP ratios in the developed world, after the GFC

            A GFC they survived thanks to a surplus the inherited from the Coalition which you and others try to dodge because it shows how poor Labor was economic management.

            My claims are always backed up and if there is something missing there is nothing stopping you from doing your own research the fill the gaps sans yourself.

            Given you past behaviour, I have no time for your antics so this discussion between you and I is at its end.

            You know the expression, ‘Don’t feed the troll.’

            If you deem me as such, as you are entitled to with this still being a free country, then I advise you to do the same.

          • @WiseHacker: nor does it mean I have not answered the question.Except you didn’t. Please quote the part of your response that you think answered the question of “how much is the fault of the Coalition, and the costings locked in by Labor”. Is it the part where you claim someone else answered it at some other time and place?

            A GFC they survived thanks to a surplus the inherited from the CoalitionAfter all these discussions, you’re still confused between budget surplus/deficit, and government debt.

            The Coalition produced a budget surplus of around $1.6B per year for their last few years, which continued in Rudd’s first year of 2008 as well – 0.15% of GDP, which did little to offset the nearly $60B of government debt that Rudd inherited from the Coalition. This was the same level of debt we had in 2004, despite the small yearly budget surplus. And being $60B in the red didn’t really help at all when Australia’s GDP plunged $130B during the GFC.

            How Labor “survived” was with timely stimulus packages (in this Nobel laureate’s opinion) that successfully avoided the recessions that hit most of the developed world while still keeping our government debt to a relatively small fraction of our GDP – which is still the envy of most major nations. Better than the US, better than China, better than Germany – though this debt ratio is still climbing steadily under the Coalition.

            Of course you’ve declared “the discussion is at an end” once again, so I don’t expect you to actually respond with anything like evidence, but I remain hopeful that you’ll look past the opinions and preconceptions, check out the actual numbers at the source for yourself, and put them into the context of the rest of the world. (edit: formatting)

          • Joke of an internet or economy in tatters? Why choose?! As it happens, we ended up with both! 😀

            *cue Old El-Paso ad music*

          • You right, we will end up with both. Partly because of bad choices by the Coalition but mostly because of the stone walling from Labor and the Greens.

            So it’s a team effort from both sides.

          • The Greens are happy to pass any fair and sensible laws through parliament. They helped the tax transparency laws for multinationals pass, and now they’re offering to help with work on tax reform. It’s not their fault that to date, 99% of Liberal Policies have been “what if we give rich people more money and poorer people less?”

          • “what if we give rich people more money and poorer people less?”

            If I wanted to hear that rhetoric, I’d listen to another tantrum from Shorten.

            The Greens are happy to pass any fair and sensible laws through parliament.

            So why do they side with Labor to cause us harm? Like blocking some budget saving measures and most recently blocking attempts to bring back the ABCC?

            Stonewalling is stonewalling and no amount of Shorten rhetoric will disguise the truth.

            For example the Medicare levy. The Greens and Labor said it would come after the sick and poor.

            But in reading the documents in question, the very people they said would be harmed were excluded from the levy and would not be affected.

            The Greens, like others, are only too happy to use anything for political point scoring. The only sense to them is sense-lessness.

          • @wisehacker
            Are you referring to the item that increases the Medicare surcharge levy for low-income families? If that’s the case then it might be worth mentioning the only reason this item exists is that the 2014-15 budget proposes a freeze on the Medicare surcharge levy between 2015-18. The proposed reason for doing this is to contribute to the nebulous $20bn medical research fund.

            The Coalition inducing bracket creep on the Medicare surcharge levy, and then complaining about stonewalling over low-income family alleviation, is a weak move. I see the freeze on indexation and the failed proposal for a GP co-payment, both of which were purported to fund a seemingly non-existent research fund, as worthy subjects of scrutiny and stonewalling.

          • This comment essentially comes straight from the coalition playbook. “But Labor bad”. Come on, you haven’t even attempted to refute the financial management myth.

            Most of the massively publicised policy decisions that were blocked by labor and the greens during Abbott’s term would have been detrimental to the majority, and provided the greatest overall benefit to the wealthy. Unless you want to see us go the way of America and see average students crippled with staggering debts just to get an education, and healthcare to be primarily for the wealthy?

            Yes, Labor had/has their faults, but the abysmal NBN and the future Australia will face as a technological backwater (even more so than it is already considered by much of the world) is a fault that can be laid squarely at the feet of Abbott and Turnbull.

            Any other viewpoint is simply ignoring the facts.

          • Unless you want to see us go the way of America and see average students crippled with staggering debts just to get an education, and healthcare to be primarily for the wealthy?

            You say I haven’t even attempted to refute the myth yet you go and spin one of Labor’s own about Coalition policy.

            Having actually read the details at lot of what Labor claimed would happen turned out to be false. Case in point the Medicare surcharge of $7 dollars.

            Labor claimed it would harm the sick and poor.

            But guess what the details of the policy said?

            On a disability pension or similar? Surcharge waved.

            Over a certain age? Surcharge waved.

            And there are more exclusions.

            Yes, Labor had/has their faults, but the abysmal NBN and the future Australia will face as a technological backwater

            First, we already are. And second even with Labor’s NBN we would have been as such.

            There is more to technology than just infrastructure. There is also a need for proper attitude.

            And what do both sides have? Complete and utter contempt. The goal of the NBN was never to improve communication, that came as a convenient side effect.

            From the get go it was a political football and was used as such and will continue to be as such.

          • The guys make a fair point, Wise. It’s a pretty old trick to tack some unreasonable shit onto some very reasonable things, and then point at your opponents blocking reasonable things when they’re actually blocking the unreasonable shit.

          • Thing is, Transient, that’s not what’s happening.

            For example, the restoration of the ABCC to keep unions in check so bullies like the CFMEU don’t have their way.

            Bringing that back is reasonable but the other side are simply stopping it as a massive “up yours!” while pretending they are defending Australians.

            90% of the time, they block for the sake of it and it’s getting harder to tell if they genuinely are blocking bad policy because an election is coming up and they are trying to muddy the Coalition rather than look at the mess they (Labor) are themselves and clean house before we go to the polls.

            But I’m no fool. Everyone is voting with emotion at the moment. I’m saying this here and now and will be surprised if I’m wrong: 2016 will see a Labor government despite Australia not being ready for Labor.

        • I think when they claimed “faster” they meant that it would be rolled out and completed “faster” – which is also turning out to be false.

          • I once saw in question time (when Abbott was still PM) Turnbull sticking it to Labor when he found out that while the infrastructure for NBN Wireless was in place in some areas, nobody had bothers to purchase the transmission spectrum needed to use them.

            While it comes as no surprise it doesn’t make it any less sickening.

            Sadder still though, he ran with that claim for about a month and till this day I still doubt that problem has been fixed because the votes are now elsewhere.

          • Wouldnt that have been because they were waiting for the Analogue TV switch off in those regional areas? They couldn’t use spectrum that was already in use

          • This was after the analog shut down. Hence why I’m sickened by Turnbull being quick to stick it to Labor yet won’t do anything about it himself.

      • I still blame Howard for this mess. Telstra should never have been sold as a whole entity. The wholesale division should have been cleaved off retained for the continuation of infrastructure development. It could have been privatised later, after the country was future proofed. NBN Co is just a massive money hole, and totally unneccesary if common sense had prevailed.

        The benefits to the country should have outweighed the short term gains for politicians and (assumed) gains for mum n dad shareholders.

        • The rule I learned over time is you vote Labor in to get projects moving and you vote the Coalition in after a while to replenish the coffers.

          The Howard Government shouldn’t have sold off Telstra but they still had a budget to fix.

          Back to the present though, both sides have proven spineless when it comes to Telstra. Just recently the Coalition bought the network back from Telstra (and most likely gave them a budget of four and half cents hence why copper is now being rolled out again) but when Labor was in office I could only cringe.

          Conroy kept say his party will give Telstra (then run by Sol) the smack down to ensure the NBN wasn’t inhibited.

          What happened though was he came back and effectively said “We talked and Sol had some very convincing arguments”. Conroy didn’t even both to wipe the lipstick off his face or take the fuzzy hand cuffs off his arm.

          • ‘and you vote the Coalition in after a while to replenish the coffers.’

            This indicates you gain your information about politics from Channel 7, or chain emails.

            Do your research. The greatest myth in Australian politics regards the alleged fiscal responsibility of the LNP, a myth taken to dizzying heights by Rupert Murdoch until it is peddled as fact by everyone too lazy to use their critical thinking skills.

            John Howard, icon of the Right, oversaw the most wasteful government in our history, for example.

            A quick trip to Google will provide you all the evidence you need.

            Filling the coffers has very little to do with ideology and much more to do with silly things like international commodity prices.

          • Too true.

            Essentially the economy was in a major boom until 2007 – just a few months after Labor took power, when the GFC hit. Until that point, sure the budget was in surplus… but the surpluses were much, much smaller than they should have been at that point in the economic cycle.

            The difference was blown largely on middle-class welfare and tax cuts – long-term revenue reduction and spending increase measures which were therefore difficult to get rid of. Most of Labor’s big spending initiatives (with the NBN being the notable exception) were strictly short-term, to avoid the same mistake.

            Then when the Coalition is elected their two biggest initiatives are to repeal the mining tax and the carbon tax (replacing it with the “Direct Action” policy which COSTS money and has resulted in an increase in carbon emissions.) (You’ll also see “stopping the boats” as a coalition boast but that’s mostly due to a policy introduced by Labor months earlier – the boats were already stopping before the Coalition was elected.)

            Admittedly most of their spending reduction measures were voted down in the Senate, but in essentially all cases those reductions were for areas where the Coalition had stated before the election there would BE no reductions. Essentially, the Senate has been keeping the Coalition honest.

      • Faster? I was meant to have the NBN installed between Sep 2014-2015. It’s Feb 2016 and we’ve still got no idea when (if ever), it’ll get here.

  • HOw ABOUT We actually get the NBN to do some work and do the rollover and we ignore this the said she said crap ….

    Oh wait this is what we pay the politicians huge amounts of money for arguing with each-other.

    Any anyone says they dont need the NBN is so ignorant that they donot understand how viewing a webpage works. We are more then happy to take computers off anyone who thinks the NBN is worthless .. back to the stone age?

    • Well Labor had started the rollout, then Libs came in, stopped it, wrecked it, and then came out with the lame excuse for a policy we have now. As opposition Labor currently has no control over the NBN rollout so all they can really do is point out how screwed up it is and hope they get reelected.

    • Ignorance is precisely the problem.

      I’d guarantee a lot of those saying things like “It’s worthless…” are usually the types of people who’s internet usage amounts to email or Facebook, as such current NBN connections are absolutely wasted on them.

      What this results in is a tonne of people running around like, “Well I’m fine looking at Facebook with what we have now… So it’s CLEARLY not that important.”

      They truly don’t get just how much relies on the internet these days, and how much better it could all function now and in the future with a far better system in place.

      • Well it’s definitely impacting on my ability to make a living. I get 12/0.8 at best, and that’s after I spent a lot of effort on finetuning my configuration. When it takes 3 hours to upload a 15 minute segment of video I’m just not able to say it’s worth the effort.

    • Thinking of themselves. They don’t need to be in the chamber to do that.

      Heck, there was an uproar over when Clive Palmer was found out to be sleeping in the chamber during question time.

      Worst part is, he still does!

      • I look at it this way… The one time you can be sure a politician isn’t doing anything to fuck over the country for personal gain is when they’re asleep.

  • Having worked in the industry in a few different roles with different isps and wholesalers primarily in connecting end users to fibre connections and fixing the never ending stream of bugger ups along the provisioning process I can safely confirm how much of a mess the Telstra fibre network and infrastructure are.

    Even though connecting the proper NBN ftth service almost always ends up being a longwinded uphill battle, once its connected/installed at a location it is a borderline faultless service that can be activated within the time it takes to call your isp and sign up.

    • I can safely confirm how much of a mess the Telstra fibre network and infrastructure are.

      You talking about the backend works or has Telstra actually laid fibre to the door step before?

      • No, I’m referring to Telstra Velocity/Reach Fibre services, so the same copper/fibre to the node that they had been referring to.

        I once had to look after an install where due to the prior tenant not having cancelled their phone service (Telstras fibre to the node still requires a phone service to connect for the most part >. < ) our customer couldn’t connect to any form of fixed line internet or phone service. As opposed to simply cancelling the long gone prior tenants service we ended up having to install a second line and NTD into this customers house.

        To make it even better, the NTD’s that get installed actually have multiple connection points for up to 4 services functioning independantly with their own bandwidth, but only one phone/internet service is able to be connected at a time as they block off the other ports in case there is an issue with the phone service (Customer service guarantees and all that).

  • Ahh you can blame who you want, it doesn’t change the fact this is a big mess.

    It needs to get sorted and get DONE, fibre to the point.

    My Dad is one of the very few people to get fibre to the house on the NBN scheme. It works, 100mbit down… max westnet will give us…
    I have tested it and downloaded games and it took bugger all time (approx 50GB in 20min running at 10MBPS). Its good, except for the crappy netphone.

    I was hoping for my suburb to get connected mid this year…. looks like its all gone down the drain tho…. can u imagine paying for a connection that is worse???

    • I already do, with the FTTN configuration my best estimates going off current speed and known distance works out around twice as fast as I currently have at best, ignoring the kilometre or so of copper that can and does short out when it rains or other situations that impact the speed. Still too slow on the upstream to be a financial advantage for me personally.

      • yeah not only do we need a big downstream….we need it in reverse
        so you can be a streamer or video uploader and that’s beneficial to some peoples life/work/play/job/ect

  • I used to get 1.5 Mbps on adsl2+ but now i get 100Mbps on Telstra cable. From what im hearing i would be better off if nbn didn’t come to my area.

  • I am currently living in NZ.
    We have fibre to the home here. They are slow to install, but getting 100Mb/s down 20Mbit/s up is worth it.
    I am confused how the Government could think fibre to the node could hold up with current global internet speeds, let alone the 10+ year expansion of the network.
    Not only that, how is business supposed to survive. The company I currently work for would be unable to operate with such a poor internet service.

  • I love living where I do – I got 100mbit cable through Telstra when it was still available and the luddites where I live don’t use cable (i used to work at telstra so i could check in wizard >.>), it’s awesome.

  • The original NBN proposal was famously 1 (count them) page per billion dollars of expenditure. It was always going to be a train wreck no matter who was running it and the reasons are MANY.
    There just isn’t enough people (ie: market) in Australia to pay for the roll-out of such an enormous slab of infrastructure across such a vast area. Yes it works in Hong Kong, Singapore Qatar and Sth Korea because the population density, market size and labour costs to build it are different.
    The creative accounting that meant it could be government funded because it was an “asset” and off the books was pure fantasy and frankly placed (and still places) billions of dollars at risk of never realising value ie: NOT an asset but a liability. Their plan was build it then sell it (privatisation) well and good, but they can’t sell the satellite business they have now to anyone because it isn’t profitable enough let alone the satellites which supposedly would provide internet access to the remaining 5-10% of regional Australia it wasn’t feasible to run fibre to. Then the whole: we’ll make a profit privatising the rest of it down the track… so… who to? Are you going to hand all your communications infrastructure over to a foreign entity?? Singtel? Huwei?? No? Well then its back to Telstra again isn’t it. back to monopoly telecoms and because there is only ONE logical buyer are you likely to sell it at a profit – in order to meet your requirement to allow the government to fund it in the first place?? sincerely doubt it. Then … why oh why did the government think it was wise to place 50 billion taxpayer dollars at risk building such a thing? What they should have done is incentivised private industry to do it, then set regulations for interoperability and where should be serviced in what order. Governments fail hard at large infrastructure- the Australian government in particular (Collins class, JSF, VicRoads, the list is endless). IMHO such an incentive scheme allows you to limit the taxpayer dollars thrown at the boondoggle rather than winding up in “project too big and must not fail now” land. Sure, I know incentive+regulation won’t necessarily be perfect either, but it pushes more of the risk on private industry rather than having government which we know gives not a damn for our tax dollars ROI fritter billions away in the name of getting itself re-elected.
    Finally, the plan that Labour signed us up to meant that there was no possibility of a staged and efficient roll-out of the network. (to be fair, the libs later made this worse by rewriting the plan) Instead of having a staged project where each phase is followed by its successor, you’ve got people and equipment spread from one side of the country to the other wasting their time packing, unpacking and travelling- and when the next crew reaches the job site 3 months later they find the job was incorrect and have to go away until someone can be scheduled to rectify the problem. Its as big a joke as our government. There is no credible plan from Liberal or Labour and there never was. What they did was try and accelerate a project into 2-3 electoral terms, hoping it would keep their snouts in the gravy bucket when doing it right should take longer. We all know accelerating projects is another source of insane cost blowouts.
    Finally, let’s not kid ourselves people bang on about how it will revolutionize our economy and enable us to do this and that. This is another fantasy. Australians can do that if we have the will but additional bandwidth won’t magically make it happen. The people really enjoying any digital revolution will be those who provide their human labour at a fraction of the cost that we can and their digital access will allow them to sell those services in other markets with higher labour rates. All Australia is is a cash cow to be milked via our consumption of digital content. That’s what the NBN is really all about and what Australians will do with it- expand their leisure time. Imagine how much capacity would exist on our infrastructure if the frivolous use of it were filtered out? (shudder.. did I just paraphrase Trump’s “get Bill Gates to turn off the internet becuz terrorists?”). The only people government should provide infrastructure for directly are remote and regional Australians who can get less than 100Mb/s (that’s megabits people and only God can deal with latency) download. Everyone else can stfu, buy the Blu Ray or move rather than whinging about their netflix buffering. Got 50 billion? fix the education system.

  • Hello from Luxembourg where I will be attending the FTTH 2016 Conference.

    I was previously employed during the initial phase of the NBN design and development plan which was to include only FTTP before Turnbull took over and introduced FTTN.

    Our team opposed the use of FTTN because of several issues:
    – The node costs a lot to maintain. Higher costs means higher rates and RSP’s will have to charge higher monthly costs
    – (Unsure if this is still the case) – If you have a fault, only NBNco is responsible for the fibre connection to the node and Telstra Wholesale/NBNco/RSP’s is responsible for the copper connection from node to end users boundary point
    – The biggest issue that we discovered when our team (mostly from British Telecom) found that FTTN causes a hell of a lot of congestion. BT eventually scrapped FTTN in favour of FTTH. This was also proposed to Turnbull but was dismissed even though we had forecasts of budget blowouts for a few billion
    – The original Labor governments FTTP plan would have been very slow to release and just cost a few billion less than what it is now but congestion would have been far and few between
    – Eventually some of our team was made redundant and replaced by a team that had never designed nor developed FTTP plans. The few of us left had roles as consultants and weren’t allowed any input regarding the design and development

    Basically FTTN is old technology. I work for a different company now.

    Case in point:
    – End Users in Geelong using HFC have reported speeds of 270Mbps/160Mbps when the speed limit was left uncapped
    – Some of our competitors here in some parts of Europe are reportings speeds of up to 930Mbps/382Mbps for FTTH via GPON or Gigabit Passive Optical Network

    The potential is there but it’s your government and the wholesale providers that are limiting it’s potential. When people from other countries come to Australia, we get frustrated to be told that an internet service is not considered essential and are frustrated by the speeds and congestion. How the current government can consider using old technology to provide services to its people is beyond me.

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