The Internet Reacts To Mitch Fifield Saying NBN Is Better Now

The Internet Reacts To Mitch Fifield Saying NBN Is Better Now
Image: AAP Image/Mick Tsikas

What’s the plural for bullshit?

The answer, at least not in the technical sense, isn’t the NBN. The Communications Minister Mitch Fifield seems to think the NBN is actually a vast improvement on the previous iteration, penning an op-ed for the Australian where he described it as a “failed Labor project, flawed in conception and design” that has since been “salvaged”.

“The rest of the world, like Australia, had a fibre backbone to its network, but unlike Australia, used a range of technologies for the final connection. Why? Because it was cost effective and faster to do so,” the minister wrote, ignoring the bit where fibre installations cost less to rollout over time, as New Zealand telco Chorus showed.

That left out the part where the telco industry is preparing for a writedown of the network that could cost up to $20 billion. Or the bit where over 180,000 FTTN users can’t even get 25mbps, which is equivalent to 7.6 percent of all users connected via FTTN. Or the under-reported levels of conversion in the fixed wireless network, where one in ten users on microwave and fibre transmission are getting speeds of less than 6mbps in busy periods.

Australia Has Spoken

Earlier today NBN Co released its progress summary for the first quarter of FY2019... right when the above image was doing the rounds on the internet. How's that for timing?

Read more

Naturally, Australian internet did not take the Minister’s op-ed well.

Others replied by highlighting the quality of their service or installations.

Celebrations for the NBN’s 10-year anniversary arrived not long after the government passed laws that would fine and impose jail terms on social media companies and their executives if they failed to remove abhorrent content within a reasonable time frame. The ABC revealed on Friday that social media companies were consulted about the legislation after it was passed.


  • “failed Labor project, flawed in conception and design” that has since been “salvaged”.

    As someone on Labors FTTP, yeah i don’t think so.

      • As someone stuck on the shitty FttN capable of getting maybe 1/12th the speed your connection is capable of on my best day, I hate you both, and REALLY don’t think so.

    • I’m also one of the lucky few on FTTP. I pay less than half the amount per month that I used to for bonded ADSL which got me 24 Mbps (2.5 Mbps up), and now get a rock-steady 95 Mbps (35 Mbps up). So yeah, I also don’t think so!

  • It’s like Mighty No 9, better than nothing and it leaves you crying like an anime fan on prom night.

  • Its the biggest shame is that the key pieces of technology that makes mobile, wifi and fibre optic data communication even possible was developed by our underfunded scientific researchers the CSIRO sold for measly amounts… and then when we actually get to rollout that technology, we completely mess it up cause our leaders refuse to use those clever ideas and instead hold on obsolete technology out of sheer ignorance.

  • They know that if they say it enough, enough people will believe it. They’re counting on the fact that many people have no clue on the technology, keeps the rest of the sheep in line with financial scares.

    Their arrogance is utterly vulgar, but given these arse clowns have lasted this long they arguably do have every right to act this way. People have (and continue) to swallow everything else they’ve said and done, and they know it.

    • People dont believe it when their NBN is delayed or not working as promised. The lie is a fantasy, the reality shatters that illusion.

  • As a historical reference, here is the government’s promises from 2013:

    In real terms, I guess the NBN is better today than it was at that election. Back then, fibre installation at my house was planned for about a year out. Today, the NBN has made its way all the way to a box outside my house (HFC cable leading to a terminator in a plastic box). There’s a remote possibility the cable will extend the final few metres before the election, although it probably won’t. I guess you could say that is an improvement?

  • The current state of the NBN highlights how messed up Australian politics are today. Labor had a national project going that would have provided serious economic and social gains for Australia but costed money, the Liberal/National Party decided to tap into their stereotype that Labor “spends/wastes too much money” and made the election about how bad and wasteful the NBN was and that it was going to be obsolete and a waste of money. The LNP then won the election (barely) and were going to scrap the project, only to later realise that it wasn’t actually a bad idea and since they had been spouting crap about “Labor’s NBN” they had to do something to justify their election speak. Hence, we now have a crappy NBN that is going to be getting obsolete before it even gets finished at a higher cost then what a relatively future-proof fibre network would have cost. The only real benefit of the LNP NBN is that they may finish it off a bit quicker because they decided to throw a lot more people onto crappy wireless and satellite connections.

    • They didn’t realise the Nbn was not a bad idea. They knew it was a good idea all along but opposed it for opposition’s sake. The mixed technology Nbn became a policy because they realised it was not going away so easily and was costing them votes and so they got their spin doctors onto it.

      • Oh they absolutely knew it was a good idea for Australia. Trouble for them was that it was a bad idea for Rupert Murdoch and Foxtel, and guess who the LNP would rather work for?

  • Locally here in Wollongong, the irony with the Liberal rollout is strong. 90% of the two closest exchanges to me are FttP, with the outskirts of their footprints not being started in time. So under the Liberals “Sooner. Faster. Quicker” bullshit they got FttN instead. Just the fringes of the footprints, not the bulk. To repeat, the bulk of the exchanges were FttP. That should be clear enough 🙂

    So, those outskirts. The irony is in those. Both outskirts that got FttN instead of FttP (like the rest of those exchanges footprints got) were immediately next to Wollongong University campuses. Where students were concentrated. The core demographic that would get the most out of faster broadband.

    So a network being built for the future, screws over the future users so badly while everyone else living around them gets the ideal option. With no alternative for upgrading but to build over the top of it. There was no sense, political or otherwise, in making those outskirts FttN, yet here we are.

    And theres no way you can put that on Labor either, its purely a LNP created problem.

  • When run through the LNP priority filter of preserving Foxtel’s stranglehold and asset-stripping the country to have an imaginary surplus, I suppose it is better.

    Too bad I have to live in reality.

  • The Liberal government lie about everything, why wouldn’t they lie about this. Divisive, society sabotaging, hate mongering corrupt af government. That about sums them up.

  • I remember trying to warn everyone this would happen 8 years ago before they got in and my “right voting” mates were like “LOL… I’ll take a stable economy over a stable internet connection any day”. Yet the Libs NBN has cost us billions, been a disaster and will now eventually need to be upgraded again in the near future.


  • Ah, the conjunction of politics and technology.

    I have somehow always moved into areas with terrible internet, or away from suburbs recieving broadband. It was fine when I moved to Maribyrnong, but has since slowed to a crawl as apartment buildings went up around me. It’s now sub 6mbs at the best of times, and drops out constantly during peak periods.

    NBN is expected Jan-Jun 2020… probably 6 months after I move.

  • We need a political revolution in Australia. These fuckheads are failing the country at every level and in every sense. And yet the system is so entrenched that literally the only option on election day is to pick which fuckhead you think is the least biggest fuckhead.

    • Well the amount of fuckhead varies greatly. Labor are “bad” but they’re no where near as bad as the LNP and anyone who argues that is clearly not paying attention.
      When Labor fuck up it’s a good policy done poorly.
      When Liberals fuck up it’s a bad policy done badly.

  • I don’t know what it is with the NBN, but in my town of Esperance, I have not had any issue with it (only a billing issue, but that’s Telstra’s fault, not the NBN), but mind you we are lucky to have a node basically out from of our house (it’s 2 houses down the street).

    • Congrats. That right there is the FttNBN Lotto in a nutshell. When you win, as you have, there aren’t any real issues. When you lose, there are. The difference between the two is astounding, because of the physical limitations of the copper wiring.

      When it’s a short enough loop, it can be fast enough. When its too long, it cant. That’s the core problem with FttN – its the current level of technology where the copper loop may not be short enough to guarantee the speeds modern society demands.

      The only solution is to have a shorter copper loop, and the only current practical option to do that for FttN is to basically ignore it and put FttP in anyway. I think there are now ways to upgrade the FttN nodes, but they effectively mean ripping up the copper just like FttP needs anyway. They may or may not apply to the nodes we use here.

      Those of us on FttP basically have a copper loop as long as the Ethernet cable from the router to the device.

  • Its bad enough the Liberal party torpedoed vital technological infrastructure, now the domestic IT industry has to deal with the constant rush to implement laws regarding data retention, access to encrypted information and even policing content available on social media platforms (laws which Labor recognised as flaw, yet still voted in favour of). We no longer make things, and we can only dig stuff out of the ground for so long, that last thing an isolated nation should be doing is taking a sector with immense potential for growth, that brings us closer to the rest of the world, and cutting it off at the knees. The only thing worse than the short sighted, narrow mindedness of this current government, is the fact there isn’t a realistic alternative. Labor will do the exact same thing to appeal to the very same luddites.

  • We seriously should have saved our tax dollars and gone hard on 5G. It was sitting just over the horizon laughing at wired networks the whole time. Even my 10yo son asked me why we bother with wired internet?

    • Well next time he asks you can explain the difference between speed and capacity.

      The reason data on phone plans is so low is that if they just gave everyone unlimited data it would seriously cripple the performance of the network.

      5G is going to be a technology that complements a fixed line system, not replace it.

    • 5G for every internet connection is a really really bad idea. Really bad! I mean, it’s so bad, I’m surprised that the LNP haven’t tried to go that direction.

    • No.

      You and others need to stop repeating the falsehood that 5G is a viable alternative to a fibre backbone.

      5G can not and would not sustain an entire countries main internet connection. It would cripple under such usage. Basic physics tells you that. The radio spectrum is severely limited compared to Optical fibre.

      Stop repeating this falsehood.

  • delivered earlier
    Huh. That must be why the NBN in my area has been pushed back four times, and still isn’t due to arrive until 2020.

  • Abbott and Turnbull should be locked up for what they did to the NBN.

    And all the other awful stuff, obviously.

  • Had Labour said anything about if they would do anything about the NBN in they are elected? Or is it just too late?

  • Heres some non nbn fun you can try if you can acquire a Telstra smart modem with a 4G backup SIM inside and can afford the bullshit costs of an unlimited mobile data plan.
    1. Remove the 4G sim
    2. Get a sim on a unlimited data plan from your least hated provider (Telstra has $199 a month)
    3. change the APN in the GUI to Telstra.Internet for Telstra, or whatever APN your service provider uses.
    4. Never plug anything into the dsl or wan port of your smart modem.
    5. Connect your devices to the modem as normal.
    6. Enjoy whatever speeds your unlimited mobile plan gives you.

    Or you can hotspot your phone ^^/

  • Well, I’ll let you know how I feel about it the moment I stop having to rely on wireless on account of the fact that nobody in my area has it, Mitch.

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