NBN CEO Says Aussies Wouldn't Use Superfast Internet Even If It Was Free

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And in today's basket of "are you fucking kidding" news, I present NBN Co CEO Bill Morrow.

A solid majority of the country is waiting eagerly to get connected to the National Broadband Network, and with good reason: Australia's internet sucks. But at the announcement of NBN Co's half yearly results yesterday, NBN Co chief executive Bill Morrow figured things weren't too bad and that we didn't really mind that much anyway.

When asked about the possibility of offering connection speeds of more than 100 megabits per second, Morrow reasoned that the demand wasn't "that big" and the data from providers overseas showed consumers that had access to superfast speeds weren't making the most of that capacity.

That's perfectly understandable. And then Morrow, as reported by the Courier-Mail, said this.

“Even if we offered it for free, we see the evidence around the world that they wouldn’t use it anyway ... we know there are things on the horizon that are going to increase the need for further demand."

Understandably, people aren't impressed.

According to iTnews, the NBN chief executive added that "roughly" 1.5 million Australian homes had the ability to receive a gigabit internet connection. "A couple of retailers have signed up to our trial base where they’re looking at what a 1Gbps service might look like but they have chosen not to offer it consumers ... I presume there isn’t that big a demand out there for them to actually develop a product to sell to those end users."

Again, that's a wholly reasonable statement to make. But the premise that Aussies wouldn't use superfast internet even if it was free?

Yeah, nah.


    Give me free fibre. Go for it. Put your money where mouth is you overpaid sack of crap.

    Last edited 10/02/17 11:35 am

      Come on mate. What would you even use it for? Internet is only for checking your online banking.

        No no... one of the pollies famously said it's for porn and games.

      I'd take free fibre. Hell, I'd pay for fibre. And be using the shit out of it. Trouble is the bastards still aren't offering it in my area yet

        They wanted to charge me $22k for a fibre installation at my house.

        This is welcome news.

      Ease off mate. Clearly he didn't mean no one would use it - "they" would refer to average Aussie consumer. And he's probably right. The average Aussie isn't desperate for lag-free gaming, nor ultra-fast movie downloads. As long as Facebook loads and the Skype connection isn't total balls then the average Aussie is happy. Why spend zillions of dollars to cater to the relative minority?

      But then again, I have the luxury of sitting here in NZ with my 100 megabits fibre connection. I can view things a little more objectively since I'm not waiting for my torrent to download at snail's pace ;)

        As an Aussie that saw Labors day was done and Abbott was going to rape the NBN the way he did and planned for it by building a new house on a street with FTTP on it and has never once downloaded a torrent using it and regularly gets upwards of 800GB of use out of my monthly connection, I'd say there are other uses for fast net than torrents. But what do I know, just anecdotal.

          800GB a month, and never downloaded a torrent? So you use usenet instead, like that's really any different.

            Nope. Sorry mate. Never used that either. 4k netflix, plenty of other legit streaming (Alpha, Geek and Sundry, youtube, twitch, crunchyroll etc). Admittedly 2 or 3 shows a week on free streaming sites but that's gonna account for a couple of GB at best. 2 people with 2 PCs (250+ steam library, a dozen or so on Origin, a dozen or so on uplay, couple on GoG) and 2 X1s (around 200 games on the X1 that are digital, not disc) and a handful of ps4 games.
            Tbh i reckon it's the legit video streaming mixed with the game downloads/updates.

            Last edited 14/02/17 8:11 am

          Exactly. In this day and age of multi-gigabyte game patches and hell, outright online game purchases it's not hard to envisage a legitimate use for gigabit speeds and terabyte download limits. Add that to legal streaming (audio and video), working from home, video chat and so on it's pretty easy to see gigabit being desirable. And the problem just gets worse as you get more users, I dread to think what it'd be like for a family with several teens.

          I think the NBN idiot, I mean NBN Chief Exec, is misinterpreting data as well. It would not surprise me if lots of Aussies are using the cheapest, slowest version of NBN. But I believe for at least some (maybe even most) the key word there is "cheapest". They're looking at their monthly budget and saying "I can't afford 100mbit" not "I don't need 100mbit".

          NBN Co should be looking at the reason *why* people don't want the fastest speed. Not the other way round.

            They are just with the wrong isps or in an area that doesnt get coverage by a lot of isps.
            Living in suburban Adelaide gives me resonable choice so I can get MyRepublics great deal 100/40 Unlimited for $60 per month. $15 a week. I'll switch to them in 6 months when our 24 month contract with iiNet finishes. Only paying $40 ($100) more a month with iiNet but not happy with the service after they got bought by TPG.
            My mate in Mackay QLD can only get Telstra and 2 other choices pretty much. I've got around 40 choices last time I checked.

            Last edited 14/02/17 4:21 pm

              Sure and that's a valid reason that NBN Co should be making note of. Lack of competition from ISPs.

              I'll add too that even $60 a month is too expensive for some people. My retired Mum basically wants the cheapest possible plan, partly because she doesn't need the speed/download but also because she's on a pension. Another 40ish friend of mine wants a cheap plan because paying for a family is too expensive so he needs to save money where he can.

                Yeah, i suppose some people would see $15 a week as too expensive. I'm paying for our connection and my mums at her place.

            You are spot-on,with the benefits of hindsight moving to the NBN is the easiest way to a frustrating slow patchy connection and or a much larger BILLS. My cable service was very satisfactory, the Telcos just saw the NBN as an easy way to increase their profits. There needs to be a comprehensive enquiry in to who is doing who over it is a mess that needs to be investigated and put on the right track.

    I was coming here to reiterate my views but I see you already included my tasteful, succinct tweet on the matter.

      I don't have a tattoo gun, but I have chisels and a ton of pens.

        There is not enough need for tattoo guns. The Australian people don't need tattoo guns.
        -Bill Morrow.

          Even if we made tattoo guns free, Australian's wouldn't use them. I've never seen an Australian with a tattoo. Mummy can I go play now?
          - Bill Morrow.

      Congratulations on being featured. Well deserved.

      I heard you are a good sex doer, is this true?

        That is technically my title for now. I have completed my units for my mastery in sex-doering but the next intake isn't until 2022.

      All that makes me think of is Michael tattooing a penis on Lazlow in GTA V, heh. Good times.

    It's too early in the morning for this kind of drivel Bill Morrow. Go back to bed.

    Sack this incompetent useless fucker. Sack him. SACK HIM! FUCKING NOW, DAMN IT!

    So do these highers up think only children and elderly people use the internet or sumthin?

      Yes, if you recall they once said, "Facebook loads fast enough on my iPad"

    People wouldn't use free internet? Insane

    Why the hell do they continue to put luddites like Bill in charge of future tech?!

    Last edited 10/02/17 12:03 pm

    Maybe they arent offeribg it to consumers because it would cost more than any normal user would be willing to pay for enough cvc capacity to not cripple the poi its available on

      Yes. In fact, Alex even pointed that out at the end of the article.

      However, the point of contention is that the luddite in charge thinks that we wouldn't use it, even if it was completely free.

    NBN Co CEO Bill Morrow sounds like a dumb ass.
    I average 800GB usage per month and it would be higher but my internet is too slow

      Yeah but they have no interest in helping you, you're not an average customer.

      If there was a million of you MAYBE they would listen, maybe...

        I may not be an average customer but I do get average service lol

          Average service for the average person please!

    Last I heard the ISPs were complaining about the prices NBN made them pay because it was too high and then they can't offer reasonable prices that the market expects. So where gigabit is possible I'd hazard a guess that the NBN is selling it for a damn high price that wouldn't work in the market, hence ISPs don't want to buy it from them.

    I'm starting to think that the politicians receive too much blame for the NBN though, with an idiot like that in charge.

    NBN Co CEO: "Aussies Wouldn't Use Superfast Internet Even If It Was Free"

    Australians: "BULLSH*T!"

    I use 150-200GB a month. I probably wouldn't use a lot more, to start with at least, but getting patches and updates, and nice low latency, and being able to watch movies without initial buffering times in the minutes would be nice.

    I've always said that in Version 1.0 of the NBN, they shouldn't have the lower speed tiers (now called NBN 12 and NBN 25)...and had 50 as the minimum and go from there

    Bill Morrow is just a Turnbull puppet....and a damn fool at that

    So I pay $90/ month for a barely stable 2mbit ADSL connection, but WOULDN'T use a free 100mbit NBN connection? Apparently I like paying stupid amounts of money to not be able to reliably stream videos above 240p and end all my BF1 sessions with a lag-induced ragequit

    This incompetent sack of shit needs to be fired.

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    I've honestly never had a dream this realistic before. It actually feels like I'm typing a comment onto a kotaku article about the actual ceo of nbn saying that Australians don't want fast internet.
    I must be on drugs to be dreaming this, surely.

    NBN Co. the problem is customers want value and they dont understand the difference between entry level and highest speed NBN... they dont know why they should pay an extra $20-30 dollars a month. Value for money is key (which is why the free NBN comment is moronically blind)

    Give everyone on NBN a free upgrade month or two at the highest speed... then roll it back. Then those people will tell you with their wallets if the extra speed is worth it. You will see results.

    People want fast internet, but dont know what they want UNTIL you give it to them and then take it away. Seriously who are you marketing team if they think CGI graphics sell internet, rather than a test drive.

    Dont tell people what fast internet does... dont show them... let them experience it.

    With a free trail at max speed, Also include like a free month on Stan or Netflix and they can see high speed streaming first hand.

      Dont tell people what fast internet does... dont show them... let them experience it.

      I did a brief stint years ago working in car sales. The same principle applied.

      "The feel of the wheel will seal the deal."

      Thing is even if everyone was on fttp on 100/50 connections people wouldn't get that speed. The NBN is already plagued with congestion (which makes the NBN ceo's comments an outright lie) and nothing is being done to fix it as no minimum standard guarantee is written in law.

      The nbn has the capacity but the businesses charges retailers for the extra capacity and since the retailers are interested in money first they aren't purchasing the extra capacity when needed. So when your 100mbps connection you're paying extra for is only a real world 6mbps connection - that's your retailer not purchasing extra capacity.

      What we consumers really need is a minimum service guarantee to force retailers to buy the extra capacity when needed.

        Who are you through? Is it your ISP or maybe the area you're in that's seeing massive congestion?

        6mbps on a 100mbps connection is pretty rubbish. I regularly see 80-90mbps speeds on mine. I might see a single slow download, but that's the end server's fault not my connection.

          Well the Nbn peeps didnt keep to their install appointment so I'm with nobody.

          I'm relaying information of others experiences as well as explaining the business model where congestion can be artificial - the capacity is there but the RSP isn't buying. It's not a large issue atm because not many are connected but it is expected to become a problem as more switch to the nbn.

          This is different to current congestion issues as that's largely (not entirely) infrastructure and hardware related. What I'm explaining is certain customers experiencing congestion solely because of the nbn's business model of pricing throughput capacity and the retailer not purchasing more throughput capacity during peek times.

          There is no law or guarantee for minimum service hence the retailer (RSP as opposed to ISP) have no need to purchase extra throughput capacity.

          The issues of the business model have only just begun appearing now.

            Ah, in that case don't believe everything you hear. While there may be a few people getting terrible speeds due to congestion that's certainly not the case for everyone.

            I do however, agree that there should be some form of guarantee on service and performance on the part of both the retailer and NBN. Which is a different and difficult situation. Even the best ISPs will not buy 1:1 capacity so even the best ISP has the potential to suffer from congestion. The problem of course being it's not cost effective to buy 1:1 capacity.

            I am hoping we see some form of industry standard benchmark developed for service/performance in the near future. eg: 99% uptime, minimum speed guarantee of 90% for 90% of the time. Of course that sort of thing would have some caveats like required hardware, specific sites and so on.

    No superfast Broadband as said by the NBN CEO You can't be serious man.
    You should be delivering NBN speeds for the people across Australia to help people learn have fun how to stay in touch with the people we love even when we visit the GP seriously NBN CO continue delivering more Internet speeds because the project will be completed in 2021 since it's still underway.

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      Location ID is beyond a joke.

      As someone who works for NBN I can tell you that there are SLAs in theory, however due to the massive backlog of repairs and escalations these are impossible to meet. It's a shitstorm to say the least. In certain departments there are teams of only 10 people or less trying to deal with 500+ signal fault issues a day. Fun times.

    It all comes back to NBN Co's pricing model. CVC charges are astronomical ($12 month per megabit), so contention ratios at even 100\40 are astronomical, so no RSP can actually offer Gigabit connections without it costing an absolute bucket.

    "A couple of retailers have signed up to our trial base where they’re looking at what a 1Gbps service might look like but they have chosen not to offer it consumers ... I presume there isn’t that big a demand out there for them to actually develop a product to sell to those end users."

    Probably because the retailers realise that they would quickly get flooded with requests and not be able to meet demand.

      Actually that's the dream situation for a retailer, because then they can jack up prices.

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