“Internet junkie” Turnbull comes out swinging


Mere hours after he was appointed Shadow Communications Minister, Liberal stalwart Malcolm Turnbull has come out swinging in the portfolio, slamming Labor’s National Broadband Network and filter projects and describing himself as “an internet junkie”.

“I am a notorious internet junkie — I love it,” Turnbull told the ABC’s PM radio program this afternoon. Turnbull was famously an investor in one of Australia’s first major ISPs — OzEmail — from which he made a fortune in the late 1990s. And the MP also carries around an iPad, which replaced his Amazon Kindle.

“I have been involved in the internet since 1994, so I’m very committed to it, and I’m very committed to the amazing things we can do with technology,” he added.

However, Turnbull said — referring to the NBN — what he wasn’t committed to was “wasting tens of billions of dollars of taxpayers’ money”.

Turnbull said everything he had seen with respect to Labor’s NBN project demonstrated that the financial investment in the effort could not be justified. He highlighted the NBN Implementation Study produced by consulting firms KPMG and McKinsey and the low levels of take-up of NBN services so far in Tasmania — just hundreds of households so far — as examples.

According to the MP, the NBN would eventually be worth between a half and quarter of the total estimated cost of the network — normally put at $43 billion, although NBN Co expects its deal with Telstra to cut that price down significantly.

In a separate statement, Turnbull called for Labor to put together a cost-benefit analysis and business plan for the project.

“At the heart of this issue is not a question of technologies, but a question of democracy itself. What price democracy, accountability, transparency or the new “sunshine” era of Federal Parliament if a $43 billion investment can be embarked on by Government without any financial analysis capable of demonstrating the money will be well spent?” he said.

“Senator Conroy has not yet been honest with the Australian people about these financial implications for the NBN of Labor’s negotiations with the independents. He must do so now.”

Turnbull claimed the new rollout schedule for the NBN — agreed with several of the independent MPs who helped Labor form government — would also hurt residents in outer metropolitan areas, as it would see fibre rolled in from the bush instead of out from the cities. In addition, Turnbull said, this approach would “greatly increase” the amount the Government would need to invest in the network.

On the matter of whether Telstra should be separated into wholesale and retail arms, Turnbull said many people had argued for a separation. But he said it was not necessary, as long as there was an access regime where rivals could gain access to competitors.

The Coalition’s own broadband plan was widely slammed by sections of the telecommunications industry and the business community when it was released during the election. On radio, Turnbull said it wasn’t for him to comment on whether it wasn’t sold well — but he described the Coalition’s plan was being “certainly superior to the NBN”.

Many consider Labor’s internet filter project dead, with both the Coalition and the Greens having vowed to block the proposal in the Senate. However, Communications Minister Stephen Conroy has committed to pushing ahead with the project.

Turnbull has previously pilloried the filter project — holding a special forum during the election to address the issue — and reiterated his comments today to ABC PM.

“I am absolutely and utterly opposed to it — it really is a bad idea in all respects,” he said. “I have nothing good to say about the filter. The best thing the Government could do is drop it.”

Turnbull said the filter would slow down the internet and create a false sense of security, where parents would believe it was safe to let their children use the internet without supervision because of the filter. He said the filter would not catch much of the objectionable content distributed online, because it would not be funnelled through the world wide web.

The former Opposition Leader was also questioned on one other point — would he ever challenge for the Liberal leadership again?

“I support the leader,” he said, referring to Tony Abbott. “I’m very happy being communications shadow, and I’m delighted to have that role.”

Image credit: Office of Malcolm Turnbull


  1. Turnbull is going to need to lift his game if “would also hurt residents in outer metropolitan areas”, cause the bush is getting it first is a major arguement.

    That would still fit within the 8 year timetable of the NBN roll out. Which is still intact despite the deal with the independents.

    10 years ago when Turnbull got out of the industry, 56k was the max, we didn’t have Youtube, HD video etc… now we do. The game has changed, and Turnbull will need to show that he gets this as well and not just say 12mbps is enough for everyone.

  2. Masterstroke by the Liberals.

    Not only is he far tech savvier than Senator Conroy, but he is a more experienced and more charismatic politician.

    He will really put the pressure on the labour party to be seen to do the right thing in this particular portfolio because he is very outspoken and widely respected.

    hopefully Senator Conroy will be sent packing back through the Portal from whence he came.

    forget Tony Abbott and Alexander Downer, Turnbull can keep his boat shoes under my bed anyday. ha ha ha.

  3. Clever spin from the Coalition here. In labelling the NBN plan as a waste of taxpayer funds, he doesn’t seem to realise that the Coalition alternative would have been a waste of $6.5b – (or more) – in and of itself.

    Consider – if the Coalition had won power, and spent this $6.5b retrofitting and “optimising” an aging copper-based infrastructure to reach maybe 24Mbps for some people close enough to concentration points – (whether they be the local exchange or remote nodes) – what happens 5 or 10 years from now when 24Mbps isn’t enough?

    More money will need to be spent to “optimise” this infrastructure – (which will be 5 or 10 years more deteriorated) – or replace it with an NBN-style solution, categorising the initial $6.5b expense into the “wasted” column.

    Many in the Coalition have expressed their opinion – (Warren Truss most publicly) – that the NBN is a superior plan than the Coalition plan, but in the interests of short-term politician point scoring, they are pushing the “our plan is cheaper than their plan” agenda.

    In the long term, the doing the NBN right now could be far cheaper than continuning to patch up the existing copper network every few years. The NBN also lays out the structural separation that is badly needed in the telecommunications market in this country.

    Glad that Turnbull is holding up the “no filter” line, and these latest statements now pretty much guarantee that it will die – possibly without needing to go to the senate at all – but I wish he would cut the political spin out of the broadband debate, and treat it for what it really is.

    • Its not the question of is 24Mbps enough. Only the top 10% of people will get this, over half the people will get less than 12Mbps. For example, I myself am 3km in cable length away from the exchange, and only a 3 minute drive away from the exchange. This means I only sync at around 6Mbps with the highest profile (which causes me stability issues). So really, the money they plan to spend will do nothing to fix the internet speeds, it will only introduce these systems in the bush where they will get incredibly bad speeds (way worse than myself). The question is what systems they plan to implement – and wireless/shared mediums is NOT the answer.

  4. I’m going to be unpopular on this site and agree with the Libs that Labor’s NBN is a massive waste of money.

    I agree that the nation needs fibre, but let’s build the backbone to cities and suburbs first before wasting our money digging up every man and his dog’s driveway. Instead, put those funds towards building our own trans-pacific cable so we also own the data highway that connects Australia to the rest of the world. Furthermore, let’s put some thinking and investment into building a national industry that can provide content and services that will make use of the network and improve the average Australian’s quality of life.

    The risk we all face if Labor get their way is a digital elephant that panders to bandwidth-obsessed internet junkies and offers no real value to the majority of Australians.

    • Sorry to burst your bubble there Ian, but the things you are describing as a priority are already happening.

      The Regional Broadband Blackspots program forms a large part of the NBN backbone – but is not part of the NBN project itself. It is the first step in providing the backhaul network to support the NBN. It would have gone ahead with or without the NBN. Many areas that are currently not able to be serviced effectively by existing ADSL technology for backhaul reasons, will now be able to be serviced. That completely ignores any NBN factor.

      Secondly, the backhaul out of Australia is increasing MASSIVELY:


      I remember the days when Australia was served by a single cable to the US, and a backup satellite link in Melbourne. When the cable was ruptured by an undersea earthquake in 1994, ALL traffic went via the satellite link. Thankfully, we have come a long way since then.

      The initial cable was significantly upgraded to become what we now know as the Southern Cross Cable. We also have the Telstra Endeavour cable, the Australia-Japan cable, plus the newly commissioned PPC-1, and several others. The Pacific Fibre Cable will be another massive increase.

      You agree that we need fibre, but only after the backhaul networks are improved. There are currently doing so.

      I guess there is nothing left to do but dig up every man and his dog’s driveway.

  5. @Micheal,

    Most of the 6 Billion you talk about will be spent on backhaul which means fibre… Which will NOT be replaced. Yes there will be infrastructure which into the future is not used but we are talking in the order of a billion not 43! There are many option other then fibre to boost people’s access to the internet but the main issue we currently face is NOT last mile. it’s in fact backhaul! Rims face major issues because the money has not been put in to the back haul. Current trends see us requiring around 10Mbps if we wish to stream and full HD with out encoding but having said that encoding is really getting quite good and I would see this being pushed to around 6Mbps (This is if we don’t want any buffering) We can fit this is current pipes. The only real issue with BB we have is two way HD video chatting. Although web video (1mbps is fine for most there are issues doing HD chat) This can be solve by Bonded ADSL which almost every House hold has the ability to get (once the DSLAMs are upgraded)) People fight the cost by changing subject the problem IS cost so why haven’t we seen a cost benefit analysis? I think Turnbul Will embarrass Conroy and hopefully stop this white elephant in Tasmania!

    • The backhaul isnt the issue at all, your on a ISP that has crappy transit if it is.

      We currently have around 10Tbit/s of international capacity, and by the time the NBN is finished around 20Tbit/s

  6. Michael – thanks for the details on the backbone and backhaul infrastructure. So once we dig up every man and his dog’s driveway, what do you propose the average Australian does with their bandwidth?

    • Nobody will be forcing anyone to pay for 1Gbps…nobody. If you only want 25Mbps, you can have that. If you only want 50Mbps, you can have that. If you want/need 1Gbps, it will be available.

      What do you do with your bandwidth? If you can’t conceive that the mere existence of the NBN will provide a basis for innovative products and services that haven’t even been dreamed up yet, then I’m sorry.

      People laughed when the electricity grid was proposed – why would we want electricity everywhere? I have a perfectly good gas or paraffin lantern right here…I don’t need no electric lights!

      Where would the world be now with an electricity grid?

      Why would a business locate itself in a regional area, right now, where there is poor communications infrastructure? Why? They wouldn’t. So they all have to congregate around the major cities, because that’s where the communications infrastructure exists, despite the higher costs of doing business in big cities – (rental, rates, taxes, etc)…

      People need those jobs, so they move to the cities too. The regional areas wither on the vine because people are leaving.

      Give businesses the opportunity and actively encourage them to locate themselves in regional areas with decent communications, and lower costs in regional areas, and you create jobs in regional areas, you create economic activity in regional areas.

      I’m sorry if people don’t have the vision to see the flow on effects of the NBN – get your heads away from this preposterous idea that the NBN is all about internet. It is NOT the “NIN”…(National Internet Network)…broadband is a great deal more than just internet.

      Spend $6.5b on a solution that lasts 5 or 10 years or spend $43b on a solution that lasts 50 or 60 years? I know which one I want…and that’s got absolutely ZIP to do with whatever bandwidth I can or cannot get.

      • @Michael

        First, let’s not draw on inaccurate comparisons. You simply can’t liken those who disagree with the NBN as the sort who would have been against the electricity grid. That’s just plain offensive and demonstrates you have no respect for quality debate on this issue.

        Why would a business not locate to a regional area? You need more infrastructure than just fast internet to support a business in a regional area. Just because you can run fibre to a tin shed in a paddock doesn’t mean you’ll find skilled staff or the necessary infrastructure to run your business. Fast internet is not the answer to keeping people in regional areas – it’s a much more complex issue that that!

        Finally – on innovation..

        @Barret and @Michael – Sorry, but answering the question of “how will the NBN be used?” with “the NBN will provide a basis for innovative products and services that haven’t even been dreamed up yet” and “We will have a market that is looking for products so that the bandwidth can be fully utilized” shows how dimwitted your arguments really are!

        If you propose to spend $43 BILLION dollars on something you can’t tell me the benefit of, beyond some vague promise of yet to be developed “innovation”, then I suggest you spend your own money on it and not the Australian tax payers.

        • @ Ian,

          The reason why the tax payers are footing the bill is because private companies would saturate the higher populated areas first. Incentives to roll out to the bush. So no, I won’t pay for it, because I know exactly what stakeholders in my company would be after – profits.

          Are you working in the I.T. industry? From a “tin shed in a paddock”, with fibre as you suggest, I could –

          1. Maintain multiple site’s user administrative capabilities
          2. Monitor 1000’s of servers
          3. Have a hi-def video conferences with managers across the country

          Again, scratching the surface.

          Now say that there are numerous tin sheds, and in each tin shed a fibre link. Are you getting where I’m going? Remote users. Each one a staff member.

        • The build of the electricity grid was sneered at as overly expensive and unnecessary by many who did not understand its potential. These are the exact same noises that people are making over the NBN – overly expensive, and unnecessary.

          I fail to see how there is no comparison in this respect. There is no need to attack my position as “offensive”, simply because you do not agree with it. I have been working in telecommunications for more than 15 years, and understand that the parallels between the establishment of the electricity grid and a national network for broadband services are extremely analogous.

          I completely agree with you when you say that “fast internet is not the answer to keeping people in regional areas”, and that there are many other factors…but having run my own business, I can assure you that communications options are a HUGE factor – draw a line through decent comms, and businesses won’t even look at the other factors.

          Many commercial properties in poorly served areas – (including metropolitan suburbs, inner AND outer) – have great difficulty in remaining let, because xDSL services are slow, unstable, and in many cases, unavailable.

          I also note that once again, you are throwing this debate back to “fast internet”…the ability to deliver very fast internet is only a tiny part of what this network will be able to do. If you are technically minded, the internet as an application is a Layer 3 service – the NBN will provide a Layer 2 service, so “internet” is actually partially irrelevant to the discussion.

          I grew up in a regional area and know very much what regional areas do and do not have in comparison to metropolitan areas.

          For the record – I have no particular political belief – if anything I tend to be a Liberal voter. My position on the NBN is formed from a purely technical and economic standpoint. It is vastly superior to the “back-of-a-napkin” solution proposed by the Coalition, and in the long term, it can easily be much cheaper.

          The Coalition are simply playing the “our version is cheaper” card, and it won them a lot of votes. They are good politicians, but poor in the “visionary” department.

          That’s my position – clearly you disagree. Sorry.

          • I completely agree with you that the proposed NBN is superior from a technical point of view – but what really irks me about the debate on the NBN is that proponents can’t account for the benefits of spending $43 billion. Wishy-washy talk about innovation or regional connectivity are not valid justifications for such an enourmous spend!

          • If that is so, might I point out that the opponents of the NBN have not been able to demonstrate in any conclusive way, exactly why it is a so-called “white elephant”…a knife cuts both ways…

          • I’d be a very rich man if I could take investor’s money on the basis that they couldn’t justify not investing! Thanks for the tip!

  7. @Chris – How is last mile not the problem when i can’t get over 3Mb/s because of my distance from the exchange?

  8. I think I mentioned this on some news site not long ago.

    Do you know what innovation is Ian?

    We will have a market that is looking for products so that the bandwidth can be fully utilized.

    It is going to be interesting to see who comes up with what.

    And since there are multiple sites out there with 512kb links that connect to HO…I’d say we can use bandwidth for:

    Dumb terminals
    Folder redirection
    Remote support

    This is just scratching the surface.

    And as these towns grow? The bandwidth, along with the infrastructure, will already be there to support it.

    • @Barrett & @Michael Wyres

      Your arguments are based on the assumption that Australia is full of would-be innovators who need to be provided with universal high-speed data before they start showing their wares.

      If there’s any evidence for this, you haven’t tried to present it. All you’ve done is feign incredulousness that anyone could think this isn’t the case. Do that if you wish, but it’s not going to persuade anyone.

      As someone who’s been immersed in the Australian “innovation” space for many years, I don’t see any signs that what you claim is true. Those few people who are coming up with really interesting innovations aren’t complaining that universal bandwidth is the limiting factor. And frankly, there aren’t enough innovators who have made such good use of the bandwidth we already have that one could be confident of things taking a big leap forward when even more bandwidth is supplied.

      There are all kinds of speculative investments the company could make in the hope that innovators would step forward and figure out a way to make them useful, but traditionally it’s considered prudent to respond to existing, verifiable demand.

      Answer this: what amount of money would you consider excessive to spend on a project which, as you concede yourselves, has no currently known practical use:
      – $43 billion
      – $100 billion
      – $200 billion
      – $500 billion
      – $1 trillion
      – $5 trillion
      – $10 trillion
      – $100 trillion
      – $1 quadrillion

  9. @Ian

    Every time the world has produced technological improvements that improve the capacity of a technology, innovation has come along to gobble that capacity up, stretch it’s limits and demand more. Every time the computer industry has produced faster processors, larger hard drives, greater RAM capability – they are always seen originally as ‘more than most people would ever need’, but we always ALWAYS find ways to use them. Few people consciously wanted to keep thousands of music, video and image files on their computers before it was possible, but now that we have the space available, that’s exactly what most people do. We found a use because we are an enterprising species that crawled out of the muck and then kept trying new things. What makes you think it would be different this time?

    I don’t know why you have trouble believing that profitable and useful applications can be imagined for the NBN. Just extrapolate from what we use the internet for today.

    For just one example: the entertainment industry is changing. Online content is becoming more and more important. It is entirely possible that in the future, with a fast NBN, we will be regularly streaming TV/movies on demand via our internet connections, even buying our favourite shows/movies via the internet and then downloading them instantly; the TVs in our living rooms will be big computer monitors, hooked up to the net to provide us almost instantly with all the entertainment consumables we can handle and the industry will make a killing off of it. There are loads of commercial possibilities for the entertainment industry surrounding that idea alone. Foxtel and other Pay TV services will also stream via the internet instead of installing satellites etc in our homes. They will save on infrastructure and maintenance while we get everything on demand. And with all of this entertainment inevitably comes advertising, and that’s where the industry will make it’s real money. Business is gonna boom.

    Lets see, what else is there? How about live-via-internet video medical advice/doctor’s appointments for rural/regional areas (and indeed, everyone)? How about live-streamed appointments with ANY expert who you would normally have to travel to see? How about university lectures and tutorials streamed live to students nationwide, instead of so many kids having to relocate to a major city just to get a tertiary education? This reduces pressure on housing space/prices in such cities too, which need it badly. How about large numbers of office drones working from home and conferencing live with their colleagues instead of having to be provided with office space rented at a premium? How about, as Michael suggested above, real and profitable business opportunities in regional and rural areas that would never otherwise be considered? Not to mention the employment opportunities that will then open up to people who don’t happen to live in major cities.

    I could sit here thinking things up all day. Just because you don’t have any imagination, doesn’t mean the rest of us don’t.

    • Sarah – how imaginative and revolutionary your thoughts are! Can we get dentists on this idea too, because I hate going to the dentist and I’m sure it would be less painful over video conference.

      • @ Ian

        Please, sarcasm is the lowest form of wit.

        @ Tom

        Look at the train system. Once the rails became available, something called the Shinkansen came about. Why? Because now the infrastructure became available.

        Same with the NBN. I don’t even need to talk about innovation as of yet. The $43 billion has already kickstarted the roll out of fibre in regional areas. Why didn’t the liberals come up with this first? A 6 billion dollar hodge podge mish mash of technologies only came about because of the looming election.

        Can you ever predict what happens within innovation?


        Simple google search. I even did it for you.

        • Let’s all pray we don’t end up in the mess Japan’s been in the past decade.

          Labour doesn’t win by spending 7x the money than the Liberals. It’s the quality of the spend that matters – what does it actually do to people’s standard of living?

          Most of the results in your Google link are announcements of governments throwing more money at innovation initiatives. We’re in no disagreement over whether this is a successful exercise in governments throwing taxpayers’ money around. The issue is how effective it is.

          We’ve had HFC and ADSL/ADSL2+ available to most of the population for a long time. Whether it’s for television, VoIP, Videoconferencing or internet, the evidence is that most ordinary people don’t care enough about it to pay much money for it, and no one has yet managed to come up with any magical innovations to change that.

          Don’t get me wrong, I am as passionate as anyone about technological progress, economic advancement and innovation: these are all things I spend most of my time thinking about and working on.

          But I don’t trust a government – and particularly this government – to do a better job than the private sector in making a scheme like this work.

          I ask again:
          – $43 billion
          – $100 billion
          – $200 billion
          – $500 billion
          – $1 trillion
          – $5 trillion
          – $10 trillion
          – $100 trillion
          – $1 quadrillion

          • I agree with you – at first I argued that this was going to be of massive cost to the tax payer. I was furious that a cost benefit analysis wasn’t released. But the figure is 43 BILLION [as Abbott would emphasize it] dollars, not the inflated amounts you have put down.

            You say a private company could do it better. I’ve said a private company places it’s shareholders first, which means, getting a large share price, most likely through profits. The profits would come from a lot of paying customers in a small area i.e. metro areas. They aren’t interested in rolling out to low density, regional areas. What are your thoughts on this?

          • The government is also *claiming* this will be profitable, so they agree with my view (and disagree with yours) that it is best for the venture to make money rather than losing it.

            In revealing your suspicious view of the profit motive you show your economic hand and make it apparent we probably won’t be able to reach consensus here.

            But for what it’s worth:
            The profit motive is what ensures investments are made in a way that delivers value to the greatest number of people at the lowest possible cost. That is, by being forced to make decisions that preserve and grow their shareholders’ capital, by delivering products that consumers want at a price they’re happy to pay, the overall objectives of society are met.

            Whilst the government is trying to convince us that they can run this venture profitably, history has shown over and over that governments cannot run profitable companies, quite simply because politicians and bureaucrats lack the skills or incentives to do so – that’s why they become politicians and bureaucrats rather than entrepreneurs.

            The coalition’s plan is to allow the private sector to do what it does best and build the network in pursuit of profit, whilst subsidising services to areas where they cannot be provided profitably.

            Whether the coalition’s plan is as good as it can be, I don’t have a strong opinion, but I’d back it purely on the basis that it allows less scope for a government to waste taxpayers’ money and screw things up as they’ve always done in the past.

          • Have you ever heard of planned obsolescence?
            How companies sell people garbage, so that people will keep consuming?
            The profit motive sure is noble.

          • It only works if people like the idea of frequently upgrading – which in the case of items normally subject to planned obsolescence (eg, computers and phones), they do. If sturdiness and durability is what people want, there’s nothing stopping companies offering that and profiting from it.

            That aside, nobility has nothing to do with it. Arguments for the profit motive make no claims about nobility and if anything they assume it doesn’t exist. All it says is that private entrepreneurs acting in their own profit-driven self-interest will do a better job of delivering societal outcomes than politicians and bureaucrats acting in power-driven self-interest.

            Empirically, that generally seems to be true.

            Sure, profit-driven outcomes aren’t perfect; nothing in economics is. But they’re pretty much always less imperfect than bureaucrat-driven outcomes. We now have centuries worth of data proving that.

          • My biggest doubt about you propose in regards to having the private sector building the rest of the network that the Libs don’t, lies right around where you said ‘subsidized’

            Depending on how much the costs for rolling out to the bush are subsidized will depend on whether the private sector will bother or not. Then you have privateers arguing with the government over the subsidary and the populace being put on hold.

          • To answer your question, I think $43bn over 10 years ($4.3bn a year) is a perfect sum to spend on a project that benefits every single person in Australia, has the potential to boost economy, encourage business’s etc.

            $100bn ($10bn/year) I would be ok with also, but more is starting to get a bit excessive.

            For some comparisons:

            All those figures are yearly, yet most exceed the total NBN cost, a NBN that coses $32bn will only be 1% of the budget…

  10. NBN is rubbish rubbish rubbish

    The average Ausi is paying for this. Somewhere around 5k per household plus access costs.

    Someone explain too me why the average Ausi really needs anything over a solid 12mb.

    The only answer I can come up with is media: legal and pirated video and of course social networking.

    Labour are going to indebt future taxpayers for faster media?

    100mb will not even increase most of the current speeds as there are bottlenecks outside of Australia!

    A goverment that wants to look like they are modern and informed yet with an egomaniac Senator pimping its agenda.

    • The bottleneck is the copper, not the international cables, we will have over 20 Terabits of international capacity by the time the NBN is complete.

      Why does the average Aussie need to have $5k of their tax dollars invested into something they don’t need? The same reason $50k of my tax dollars is invested in Welfare….

      The government is here to provide services, for everyone, many happen to want faster broadband.

  11. Sarah, you would like a high speed link, heck so would I but what about the grandmother down the road or the strugling family who barely manage owning a computer let alone needing 100mb.

    Your point on medical links is a tiny tiny one on the scale of the overall NBN needs and while it sounds good its not economically practical for years to come.

    Yes we could innovate all day but at what cost do you encourage innovation when there are hospital emergency carparks full of ambulances WAITING to offload there patient?

  12. Currently were only able to sync at 1100 on adsl2. We are 2km from the exchange as the crow flies and when switching ISP recently we were going to be hooked up to the 2nd copper line to our house. The 2nd line was not viable and so the 1st line had to be used. When the wife watches iView I’m not able to do much else online gaming or voip wise or even download at a decent speed with out either getting lag/slow speed or impacting the streaming of iView.

    Both of us using iView at the same time is out of the question. I can see in a few years time when we have kids and they start using internet attached devices, we are going to run into bandwidth issues.

    Something like the NBN, which would be provide a solid steady speed will be great.

    Also to achieve the speed I’m connecting at I have to put my connection profile to high speed (or something like that) which can cause issues. I was having connection issues when it rained for a few days in a row the other day and had to change the profile back down to a ‘stable’ one. Which gave me a sync of 8000. (which causes iView to pause every so often to buffer and not stream smoothly)

  13. @Barret

    So you think Ausi taxpayers should take a punt on some potential for inovation paying for the largest Government build ever? How is this innovation going to recoup our future tax dollars?

    90% of Ausi’s can get ADSL2 or cable and they can’t innovate on that?

    Is it more than half of Tasmania NBN properties have delcinded to have it installed??? lol, what does that say…

      • The average DSL sync is 8Mbit, this means over half the people on ADSL don’t even get 8Mbit, which means they can’t do a number of things online.

        Let alone multiple people using that connection at once..

        Cable has under 20% coverage.

    • @ Karlos

      I believe you aren’t in the telecommunications industry. Therefore you haven’t had a lot of exposure to the issues that people with ADSL 2 currently have.

      ADSL runs through a medium with a finite length compared to fibre. The signal degenerates the further it goes. I’m on ADSL 2+, less than a kilometer from the exchange, and I get about 1.1 MB a second on a 15 MB speed test [Pretty much downloading 15 MB in 15 seconds.]

      Karlos, you also say that ‘why would people need more than 12MB/s?’ – for starters, when someone says ‘you will get the maximum amount of throughput possible’, you won’t, and secondly – look back in the history of computers. It was said we wouldn’t need more RAM/Processing power/hard drive space than we had available to us over 10 years ago. But look what happened.

      And Mike Quigley says the speeds are going to be 1024 MB/s. Now people are never going to reach this amount of throughput [throughput = actual speed, bandwidth = speed capable] but now that he has said it, a lot of people must think “well, 100MB/s sounds quite slow, give us a gig”

      Because it is possible with fibre.

      Labour has pushed this through. Although I don’t agree with how they’ve done it, nor do I feel 100% safe for my kid’s future on the internet, I think that this will be good for Australia.

  14. Well i live in a regional area and i work with servers specifically web and gaming servers. what dose the NBN mean to me?

    Should i be lucky enough to get it i will no longer be required to spend $150 a month per server in the data centers to give you an idea i currently have 27 of them all on 10/100mbps connections being able to run even 10 of them from home or the office which are on pair gains a.k.a. 56kbs max theoretical speed in practice closer to 28.8kbs!!! would save me thousands of dollars a month thats thousands of dollars i can spend upgrading hardware or the employment of local technicians to maintain those systems.

    6 years now i have been trying to get off of pair gains only to find out even if they did lay new lines which they wont theres no room left on the DSLAM anyhow so it would be a pointless venture without upgrading the backhaul. oh and i cannot pay for the infrastructure because then i would own it and privately owned companies don’t like the idea of paying to access that infrastructure.

    90% of the population live in metro areas so dose that mean the other 10% who live in regional Australia should have to cop massive bills for trying to run their business from their part of the country?

    Most regional areas have wireless to solve the poor infrastructure and let me tell you with an antenna i still get barely 512kbs speeds regardless of which isp i choose.

    Anyone in the city complaining that its going to be rolled out from the bush to the city get

    If i had the NBN i could make far higher profits allowing me to develop new systems and business ventures that i am currently unable to do at this time.

    Those that say its a waste of money and no one needs or could make use of it simply has their head in the sand as far as I’m concerned and clearly cannot identify any potential markets in the industry or more then likely you have no idea about any of the technical aspects of the internet or even a computer so your thought process could never comprehend the reasoning behind catching up to the rest of the world in terms of network infrastructure.


    • I understand you want faster broadband more cheaply. Anyone who values broadband would want this. And I don’t doubt you would love to make higher profits. (Interesting how differently people view the right of large corporations to be profit-driven.)

      The issue is whether the whole national network should be built by the government, and if so, how much taxpayers as a whole should subsidise it. For you to make your profits, the money has to come from somewhere. Some people here would have it that it’s self-evident that overall economic growth will cover the costs, but they’re light on for evidence – as is the government. Not to mention that governments are notorious at screwing these sorts of projects up.

      As I’ve asked other commenters here, what amount of money would you consider excessive for a government to risk on this project?

    • @Leslie – you would run servers with production traffic from your home? Would you tell your clients that is where the servers are colocated?
      What Tier DC would you class your house?
      Do you have primary and redundant cooling?
      Mains power backed up by primary and redundant UPS?
      Primary and redundant gensets?
      How much diesel can you store onsite? Do you have priority contracts to get your diesel tanks refilled?
      Do you have vehicle traps, mantraps, onsite security and biometric identification to get onto the colo floor?

      Do you offer tours of your colo/servers to clients?

      Maybe using a real DC to host servers isn’t such a bad idea after all…

      • It’d be his datacentre and he could run it how ever he felt like running it.

        I don’t see why he’d need of that stuff you listed, it just depends on what level of service he was looking at offering.

  15. It’s all very well to say that the Labour NBN was poorly planned or costed, but what did the opposition have to offer instead? Absolutely nothing, just another 3 years or more of an aging copper network in monopoly ownership by Telstra.

  16. For an internet junkie Turnbull doesn’t seem to be very knowledegable that is for sure.

    • Turnbull knows plenty.

      He is pretending to be Abbott’s lapdog so he can lead the Liberals when the time comes.

      Notice how he isn’t saying ‘Can the NBN, it is a load of bollocks, I say we bring in Liberal’s 6 billion dollar network’

      He isn’t!

      He is saying ‘where is the cost benefit analysis’ so later on he can say ‘well I NEVER said the NBN was a bad idea…I was just asking questions’


      He is a sharp cookie.

  17. I love all the hypothesizing!
    Some hard facts:
    OECD figures show no, zero, zilch, nada correlation between broadband penetration and GDP growth. In fact, they show a negative correlation!
    Japan has an average broadband rate of over 100Mbps, but one of the worst GDP growth rates!
    South Korea – only matched the average GDP growth with one of the best broadband penetrations!
    Where is all this flourishing and innovation that is meant to “just happen”???

    Can we please stop all the “Just build it and they will come! Innovation will flourish!” lines, this is not borne out by the cold, hard figures.


    • Japan is a tiny little country with 127 million people.

      Australia is a great big country with resources, and only 22 million people.

      Japan has little scope for growth, Australia has plenty.

  18. another article that has a damaging title without any revelence to the content of the article including half of the article on the Web Filter.

    • How so?
      The title of the article is “”internet Junkie’ Turnbull comes out swinging”

      He is quoted as saying ““I am a notorious internet junkie — I love it,” Turnbull told”

      So there is part of the revelence to the article title right there.

      The “comes out swinging” part, we he’s just been appointed the position and so he ‘comes out’ stating these things which are ‘blows’ at Conroy/NBN/Filter.

      The title is very relevant to what Turnbull said, and the article isn’t about the NBN, its about what Turnbull said….the comments being made are purely about the NBN though

  19. i have plenty of land to store fuel and already store 180L for farm equipment like the tractor putting in larger tanks is an option but not necessary at this time remember not in a city so land is cheap even in large quantities

    i already have backup generators and wind/solar power as well as the normal power grid which can be unreliable hence the small grid i have myself

    site is secure-not mentioning why or what is in place as would defeat the purpose of telling you its secure

    cooling would be included in costing for the servers unless you are referring to the cooling of the building itself in which case would be the whirly gig things in the roof or possibly extractor fans however i’m not in a position that i would have 1,000 machines to produce this kind of heat

    biometric scanners are no problem and are not very expensive
    already using ups systems switching to my small grid with 4 days running time without any wind/sun obviously the generators are used in such scenarios with the addition of 20-30 servers would reduce the battery life to around 2-3 days running time at full load

    clients would not have access to site at all except via video link

    obviously would have backup systems still in the DC for natural disasters and such as cannot know that a earthquake or something may happen and destroy the site however DC’s are not immune to such things either.

    ultimately the only thing preventing me building my own data center is access to high speed networking with the other data centers and i know none of the current isp’s will front the installation costs nor would allow me to own the infrastructure and connect to their networks without paying the wholesale fees for using their networks. may as well start my own isp if i have to pay those fees to cover the costs involved

    however it is irrelevant to the discussion. what infrastructure i have on site is not related to the thread

    my post was merely to show some people in this thread that their is already existing businesses as well and many who have not even begun that could make appropriate use of the NBN in regional Australia as i saw that some people do not seem to see any apparent benefit of rolling out the NBN to regional Australia first.

    Simply an example as a business owner i am aware of what services the DC’s offer and i am also aware i could provide those services myself assuming i had the Bandwidth requirements met if i lived in the city i would need a 100m ++ to setup a DC in the bush could be done for a tiny fraction of that cost yet due to technical restrictions it is still only a dream and this world is built on those dreams

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