Propaganda: Govt creates NBN newspaper


news Stephen Conroy’s broadband department has created its own tabloid-style print newspaper, which will be distributed to Australian residences and businesses in an effort to continue educating local communities about the benefit of the Federal Government’s flagship National Broadband Network project.

Dubbed ‘Connecting Australia’, the newspaper has been produced by the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy as part of a community information kit which the National Broadband Network Company is distributing. Delimiter believes the material will be distributed in NBN rollout zones as the network is progressively rolled out. You can download a 2.4MB zip file containing the entire newspaper here.

The publication features articles, photos and advertisements which are formatted to appear very similar to a commercial newspaper. However, the articles are all on a single topic, comprising articles about those who have adopted the NBN already and commentators detailing the benefits of the project. There are no author bylines attached to any of the articles, and the eight-page publication is marked as being produced by the “Australian Government”.

For example, the lead front-page article details what it describes as a “revolution” in telecommunications. “The National Broadband Network is a once in a generation project that will change Australia forever,” it proclaims. “The country’s biggest nation-building project since the Snowy Mountain Hydro Electricity Scheme six decades ago is now under way.”

On the front page is featured the Rathsmann family, which operates a station in the Northern Territory. The lead article quotes the various members of the family discussing how “being connected to the NBN takes some of the remoteness out of living on their Northern Territory cattle station, two hours south of Darwin”.

Other pages contain feature articles in areas such as language, sport, indigenous affairs, education and so on — mimicking the normal sections of a major newspaper. In addition, Communications Minister Stephen Conroy has a featured commentary, where he outlines his vision for an Australia which will rank much higher in the global technology scale than it currently does. In other articles, leading academics, sportspeople, businesspeople and other community figures are quotes about the benefits of the NBN. There are also several sections of the newspaper styled as advertisements, with information from NBN Co contained within. The publication is labelled as being the “Winter 2012” edition.

In general, the statements made in Connecting Australia are accurate, with only a couple of minor exceptions. However, the newspaper is almost entirely focused on positive aspects of the National Broadband Network project and does not detail any of the alternative views or continuing debate about it, which has raged on an ongoing basis since then-Telstra chief executive Sol Trujillo first proposed the idea of upgrading Australia’s copper network back in late 2005.

In a satirical video posted on his web site last night, Shadow Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull lampooned the Connecting Australia newspaper. Turnbull’s office has obtained a copy of the NBN information kit being distributed to areas connected to the network, which contained some 350 copies of Connecting Australia. Delimiter sourced a copy from Turnbull’s office.

“The one thing we can be sure is that the NBN, far from being a threat to the newspaper industry, is absolutely committed to it,” Turnbull said. “This is where the newspaper industry can be relieved. Far from being a threat, the NBN Co is going into the newspaper business. Most of this box is filled with 350 copies of the NBN’s own newspaper, called ‘Connecting Australia’.”

“Now I don’t know whether Stephen Conroy or [NBN Co CEO] Mike Quigley would pass the public interest test which they’re proposing to apply to the rest of the media,” Turnbull added. “After all, there seems a distinct lack of balance in this newspaper about the NBN. I can’t see anything in here about them missing their forecasts, or the blowout in costs, and there’s no mention of any of the criticisms which I’ve been making about it. It does seem very one-sided.”

Asked about the newspaper, a spokesperson for Conroy this morning said the Government and NBN Co had started and would continue a “comprehensive communication program”, which includes explaining the benefits and opportunities of the NBN. “This is in line with recommendations from the Joint Committee on the NBN to make Australians more aware of the NBN,” they added.

“Unlike Mr Turnbull, not everyone has an iPad. Therefore, the Government is using traditional forms of communication, such as print, TV, and radio to deliver correct information about the NBN. Instead of stunts, Mr Turnbull should come up with a broadband policy.”

However, Conroy’s office did not respond to a question about whether the characterisation of the NBN information as a newspaper was misleading to residents and businesses who would receive it.

I am somewhat torn with regard to this ‘Connecting Australia’ newspaper which Conroy’s department has started distributing around Australia in collaboration with NBN Co.

On the one hand, as I read through the entire newspaper last night, I was forced to agree with almost all of the material in it. With the exception of a couple of small, likely inadvertent errors, the articles produced in the newspaper are broadly accurate and do accurately represent the potential of the NBN project to transform Australia’s telecommunications landscape, bolstering our ‘digital economy’ along the way. Anyone reading this newspaper would be educated about the benefits of the NBN. And they are legitimate benefits which will accrue from the network — this newspaper does not lie.

However, it also remains a clear fact, as Turnbull noted, that this NBN newspaper is, baldly speaking, propaganda, in the best Soviet tradition. It very heavily pushes the Government’s point of view about the NBN, in the guise of normal editorial such as you would find in a commercial newspaper, magazine, or website. There is only one point of view being expressed in ‘Connecting Australia’, and that point of view is the Government’s; the view of the ruling Labor party. There is no dissenting view or ‘balance’ to be found here. It presents an extremely one-sided view of the project as a whole. If Connecting Australia errs, it is by ommission. Not all of the facts are here — just the ones Conroy’s department wants Australians to read.

I feel distinctly uncomfortable with the idea that the Government should be distributing its own propaganda-style newspaper to Australians, and I would vastly prefer it if Conroy’s department stuck to information pamphlets which are much more obviously government-produced material. The Government should not be attempting to cloak its education campaign in the guise of legitimate editorial material. It is misleading

You can also imagine how confusing it would get for Australians if other departments followed Conroy’s lead. Can you imagine receiving a newspaper from the Attorney-General’s Department, for example, ‘explaining’ the benefits of its data retention scheme? Or perhaps a ‘Greening Australia’ newspaper from Gillard discussing the carbon tax? That is the precedent being set by Conroy here. No. Governments already have many existing ways of communicating with constituents. Printing a Government newspaper should not be one of those ways.

There is also an incredible irony here. The NBN is a project which will dramatically enhance the ability of everyday Australians to obtain up to date information about the world through a web browser. However, Conroy’s department is educating them about this potential by printing up thousands of pages of newspaper copy on a traditional printing press and then shipping that dead tree material physically to their doorstep. I couldn’t help but laugh when I saw the huge box of NBN newspapers which Malcolm Turnbull has in his office. It’s absurd. And we don’t know how many other hundreds of such boxes (thousands?) are currently being shipped around Australia. Will this newspaper be distributed to all of the millions of residences slated to receive the NBN over the next few years? We don’t yet know.

I have no doubt that this initiative by Conroy’s office was the product of a meeting between a number of bureaucrats disconnected from the real world and an overly zealous marketing agency. But I would advise the Government against pursuing this publishing project. If it does so, writers such as myself will find the opportunity to satirise it continually to be irresistible, as Turnbull did last night.

Image credit: Screenshot of ‘Connecting Australia’


  1. All sides of politics create propaganda. Turnbull’s video can be labelled similarly.

    The benefits of the NBN do need to be better sold to the nation – but this was a little cringeworthy, indeed.

      • Mmm, sorry Renai, but it was BARELY satire. And I certainly wouldn’t call it intelligent criticism “They give you lots of pens, so you and your friends can write letters….”….Hardly intelligent criticism.

        I DON’T agree with propaganda and frankly this is just rubbish Government “advertising” at it’s worst. But What the Coalition peddle against the NBN is, often, almost outright lies. As you say yourself, the “NBN newspaper” never lies.

        Perhaps it is simply redressing the balance, in a cringe-worthy and ultimately useless way, but still.

        FYI, I’ll be posting my own video “satire” rebuttal of Turnbull’s video this evening. Shall link when I’m done. Nothing suss, just pointing out some…..flaws in Turnbull satirising Labor’s plan, while ignoring the satire in his own….

        • If this is the worst thing Conroy does in response to the lies spread by the coalition then I’m all for it. Sure, usually it would be a bad thing and horribly one-sided, and it sets an uneasy precident, but personally I can make an exception in this case.

          Hell, I’ll be recommending people read it if they want to know the benefit of the NBN when it rolls out in their area.

          • Apologies.
            I think one thing that gets lost on tech blogs is that about a fifth of Australians are not on the internet for various reasons. The nbn campaign is as much about getting people from zero to internet savvy. That is a challenge as we can’t expect people who aren’t online to hit whirlpool to figure out the did.

      • If that fumbling performance was satire, then I must be a text ventriloquist.

        I’ve seen a cat being put down. It’s death throes were were about on par with that for humour.

      • I don’t really see the difference between this and all the newspapers that release bias articles damning the NBN and its rollout (Correcting themselves only when call up on it). While very crude, they are still getting some of the other side out there.

      • To me its an information pack presented in a format that ALL AUSTRALIANS young and old, connected and not connected to the Internet, would be familiar with.

        This is an argument going not where, its the usual Turnbull crap, even the use of iron curtain vocabulary (propaganda). Please move on before we starting arguing about the colour of Conroys underwear.

      • Satire my ass, he was trying to make a mockery of it. He’s nothing more than Abbotts trained lapdog.

        Why didn’t I get one of these newspapers? Oh well, I’ll be connected to the NBN within a couple of weeks that’ll do me. BRING IT ON!!!!

        • They Bob, when you get connected can you let us all know what its like to have an optical fibre connection. Lucky shit.

  2. Ironic that the government propaganda is more accurate than most of the professional journalism around the NBN.

    • This is kind of what I was thinking.

      A lot of what Renai has said about “Connecting Australia” in terms of its one-sided-ness seems like an apt description of a lot of ‘real’ newspapers in this country.

      Except for the bit about everything being factually correct…

    • Considering a the FUD being pushed by the “real” newspapers I think this is a much needed way of educating the populace who don’t follow quality tech news sites like delimiter!

  3. I don’t see this as any different than the pamphlets sent to every home when there’s a major reform (e.g: carbon tax, GST).

    Sure, it’s propaganda, but how else is the government supposed to get information out there, without a middleman, re-interpreting (often incorrectly) its message?

    The irony of a newspaper used as the medium though…

    • I agree with Anthony…

      While the concept may come across as a bit cheesy or as I’m sure the critics will suggest, desperate… it is no different to the lovely glossy little booklets (propaganda?) I receive periodically from both my local federal (Liberal) and state (Labor) reps telling me how hard they are working for me :/

  4. I find it amusing that this can be labeled “propaganda” and The Oz’s vendetta — reviving the ancient art of kanly — against the NBN is “journalism”.

    You have to laugh at democracy in action. Complain there’s not enough NBN education; complain when education is forthcoming.

    Of course it’s propaganda. It’s also informing the constituency at large; and for my money, if it’s informing using fact, and not the pseudo-science, made-up-what-if-commercial-interests-and-wireless-will-do, then it’s at worst, balancing the discussion.

    Hopefully it’s doing what should have been done 6-12 months ago. Keeping people informed; knowledge is a good thing.

  5. While I certainly can see the potential reason for concern… I can’t the harm here.

    According to Renai the articles are generally accurate [haven’t read all of them yet], and it’s clearly labelled as government provided material.

  6. I don’t think that this publication should be called a newspaper. I haven’t seen it as yet but does it make a claim to being a newspaper? Is it only being called a newspaper because it was dubbed one by Mr Turnbull?

    I fully support the idea of correct information about the NBN being widely distributed in a newsletter. To be honest a lot of organisations are happy to send you newsletters which are of course nearly always one sided in the presentation and not always completely factual. A lot of advertising brochures look like a newspaper but I have never heard anyone call them a newspaper.

    As to calling this publication a newspaper I have the impression that it is just more FUD.

    • It looks and is designed exactly like a newspaper. Without a detailed look, some people would have a hard time determining that it was not a commercial publication.

      • And? People relate a newspaper to generally containing fact (unless you turn to page 13’s full page spread, where it’s more fake than real, but that’s not really important right now).

        I might mistake this place for an opinionated blog, and not informed discussion. I could simply dismiss it outright as irrelevant; I don’t, because I have a brain and can discern value by simply reading it.

        The NBN is a deployment, it’s run by the NBNco, sure; but it’s still government policy.

        A government keeping it’s people informed, is better than a government whom doesn’t. No?

        As a side note: this is in stark contrast to the Liberal viewpoint, which is, for the love of cthulhu, don’t tell anyone what the plan is. Policy? Good lord, that means it’s written down so people might trust that’s what we intend to do.

        • “As a side note: this is in stark contrast to the Liberal viewpoint, which is, for the love of cthulhu, don’t tell anyone what the plan is. Policy? Good lord, that means it’s written down so people might trust that’s what we intend to do.”


          Can we start flooding Malcolm on Twitter with questions regarding the Coalition’s communications policy or lack thereof?

          Where is that policy Malcolm? Is it costed? Did Joe say Eleventy Billion?

      • As anybody who has accidentally picked up the Citizens Electoral Council “newspaper” would tell you, you can’t always tell a paper by it’s cover.

      • The Australian Government’s logo is pretty prominent in the title. But I can see where you’re coming from: why publish this as a “newspaper” when government pamphlets are what people would be expecting?

        I assume they chose this format specifically because most people probably just throw the pamphlets out without reading them, but this being a bit of a novelty, people would be more likely to read it.

      • “some people would have a hard time determining that it was not a commercial publication”

        Maybe that was the plan. I mean are these “some people” the same that are opposing the NBN? Perhaps the government decided the best way to educate them was in a more familiar way since that is all they know.

        I’m certainly not endorsing this newspaper of course, I haven’t read it and I dont intend to and I imagine I am not the target audience anyway however I found Turnbulls video to be even more questionable and not just the content. As I mentioned yesterday the highest resolution available was 480p, no 720p or 1080p at all…

        • It was optimised for Wireless (4G?) access via iPad. Clearly.

          I may now also be chuckling. Just a bit.

          Not sure if many spotted the “complaint” regarding Turnbull’s fixed line service. Apparently it’s not up to the Shadow Minister’s standards, and wireless is clearly the better option (which he later qualifies, recants).

          Imagine if there was some sort of plan to deploy ubiquitous access over a high-speed service, that might reach his EO? .. that sort of sounds, well, vaguely familiar.

          • 22mbps up. That’s very interesting. Makes you wonder why Malcolm endorses a FttN patchwork solution that according to him will do “5-10mbps upload” and according to him that is all anyone needs.

          • Thats really funny. I actually laughed out loud. (The Network Operations Centre is normally incredibly loud so luckily noone heard)

            Turnbull complaining about the ADSL speed has to be possibly the dumbest thing hes said all year.

            Turnbull good sir, you need to get a clue.

      • Yeah, but The Australian looks like a newspaper too, while actually being a propoganda sheet paid for by a golem and his minions to support Tony and the Negatives ( that well known band of pollies that dwell philosophically in ’50s dreamtime…)

      • Tha fact that it does not have a recognised commercial tabloid banner across the top, but instead has the “Australian Government” text with the Kangaroo and Emu coat of arms prominently in the top left, kind of screams I AM NOT A COMMECIAL NEWSPAPER.

        And there aren’t any ads, comics, or obituary notices.

        Plenty of other non-news related companies use the ‘newsprint’, because of the low cost to print. Ie., local supermarkets.

  7. With the “real” newspapers so anti-NBN, it’s no surprise that the government would be putting this out.

    Hopefully it’s not a one hit wonder like some of the things we have seen in the past (both labour & liberal).

    I liken this to a NBN monthly newsletter – I think it’s a bit anti-NBN of delimiter to go round labelling it as a “tabloid style print newspaper” that is “propaganda”.

    It’s a promotional initiative. Bloody good one too, considering that talkback radio shock jocks are so anti-NBN as well, with a few exceptions.

    • Agree with everything said Jason.

      Now we need to push Turnbull to come up with a policy. Why are we even airing anything that is being released by him until we have an actual policy in our hands?

      I’d love to see Renai tell Malcolm to “Get %^@*ed” until he releases an actual written policy platform which is endorsed by the Liberal executive, fully costed.

  8. So the NBN which is designed to bring network services to places which currently have little option is getting in shit because it produced a newsletter (funny I’ve never heard a newsletter called a “paper” since primary school).

    Is there any actual comment on the content to support the notion that it is “propaganda”? Or just parrotting Turnbull’s embarrassing video?

    The govt should get nothing but praise for the NBN – it was a visionary and long overdue network upgrade that will create billions in opportunities to the Australian economy – the Coalition has been grumbling about it ever since.

  9. If the mainstream Media were doing their job of being impartial towards the NBN, rather than heavily thrashing the NBN at every opportunity, i dare-say the Govt could have just used the Media rather than create their own promotional “paper”.

    • The bitch of it is — if you had the choice, in order to feed your family, of endlessly shooting fish in a barrel, versus the effort of going out on a hunt — which would you choose?

      The barrel, right? Even if there’s actually some good hunting available.

      The greater Australian Press corps is much the same; when possible, take the short-cut, cheap solution of mocking the same thing, every week, regurgitating the same inane tripe that has virtually no basis in fact, rather than actually cover the entire debate.

    • Correct. Renai says in his article that the problem with the “newspaper” is that it is one sided, and only represents the view of the govt. Surely this has to be weighed against the wider medias bias against the govt, and them not presenting the facts as they are presented by NBN Co and the govt. In the bigger picture, the govts newspaper is providing much needed balance.

    • I’ve worked in a government communications role, and I think I can contribute a few points to this debate…

      Firstly, it is a recognised duty of governments to keep people informed about enacted government programs that can affect them in a significant way. And there’s the key difference – when a policy has been enshrined in legislation or otherwise given reality with a budget, staff, operating regulations etc, it is no longer a policy in the realm of “politics”. It is a government program, capable of being administered by apolitical public servants or government-owned corporations (like NBN Co).

      It is at the political stage when governments do not (and should not) advertise or advocate for policy. It is for the politicians, parties and their political apparatus to do that. And in this case (and almost all others) that is what has happened.

      The Opposition want to muddy the waters distinguishing these two stages, simply because they disagree with the original policy. They are perfectly entitled to disagree of course; but unlike before, when the NBN was only an ALP policy, it has now been enacted into law by the Federal Parliament. That matters. It is THE key distinction.

      If a government-funded publication sought to attack the Opposition explicitly, thent that would clearly be crossing the line. If the publication’s statements merely differ from the Opposition’s policy in a given area, that is not an implicit political attack, nor is it taking sides.

      Politicians set policy; governments carry them out. A government department does not have the luxury of setting its own policy, but those departmental employees do have the professional, apolitical obligation to execute that policy to the best of their ability, including communicating any necessary information regarding the programs created by that policy.

  10. Y’know what I think is funny about this (the newspaper that is, not Delimiter)?

    That Malcolm Turnbull has actually played right into Stephen Conroy’s hands. People will watch his Youtube video, see the newspaper (possibly even agree with MT as well).

    But what else will they do? They’ll go and READ IT to see what they’re complaining about/supporting.

    Touche Mr Conroy. Well played sir.

      • djos you might be interested to know that Andrew Bolt described it as “Turnbull’s greatest hit” which is quite sad if you think about it, I mean even they know it’s all down hill for the coalition from now on when it comes to broadband. If even a simpleton like Bolt can figure that out perhaps there is hope for tosh here too.

    • It is just another distraction from the fact that he STILL hasn’t released enough details about his policy.

    • john,

      after reading and replying (for not one response I believe) to your previous comments and having now seen you referring to MT as a legend, there is really no further need to try to explain why it is you “impartially” disapprove of every facet of the NBN…


  11. Its intertesting isnt it. The govt get criticised for not getting their message out there. The mainstream media are either anti-govt, or arent interested in reporting the facts around the NBN, only the negatives that create a headline that will sell. There is a lot of good information out there from the govt and NBN Co that doesnt see the light of day in the media, and that is no fault of the govt or NBN Co. They are putting it out there, but journalism these days is more about sensationalism and opinion than actual fact, and so the stuff being put out doesnt get reported. So now the govt take matters into its own hands and put out a publication to present this detail that the media as a whole is happily ignoring, and the govt get shot down for doing that. Damned if they do, and damned if they dont.
    How is the govt and NBN Co supposed to get the message out there if the media wont report it?

  12. Funny how Turnbull criticises the government for producing a newspaper, that is actually remarkable factually accurate…

    I guess he is more accustomed to the traditional way of putting his point across…having his liberal mates owned media outlets publish as much factually inaccurate and utterly ridiculous anti-NBN propaganda as they can daily in newspapers that actually ARE supposed to be unbiased!

    God forbid the government trying to educate the public against all the BS they are reading in the “normal” newspapers…

  13. Maybe they should’ve release a talkback style CD with voice impersonators doing Messrs. Alan J, Ray H, John L & Steve P extolling the benefits and virtues of the NBN.

    Might suck the rednecks in thinking it was real ..

  14. @Renai

    [b]I strongly suggest[/b] you change you headline from the Sensationalist [b]”Propaganda: Govt creates NBN newspaper”[/b] to something minus the “propaganda tag, as this CANT BE propaganda as it’s factual and should be considered educational material.

    Propaganda is defined by the oxford dictionary as:

    1 [mass noun] information, especially of a [b]biased or misleading nature,[/b] used to promote a political cause or point of view:
    he was charged with distributing enemy propaganda
    the dissemination of propaganda as a political strategy:

    Even by your own admission it is clear that this publication is [b]not misleading[/b]

    [i]In general, the statements made in Connecting Australia are accurate, with only a couple of minor exceptions. However, the newspaper is almost entirely focused on positive aspects of the National Broadband Network project and does not detail any of the alternative views or continuing debate about it,[/i]

    and because it is trying to educate folk on the benefits of the project not covering opposing points of view is completely irrelevant! To call this type of promotional material [i]”biased and misleading”[/i] for not showing the other side of the story is like complaining that educating folk on the dangers of eating too much junk food ignores the point of view of MacDonalds restaurant owners!!

    • The material is published by the government, only presents positive views about a government project and masquerades in the guise of a commercial newspaper.


      I have to admit I am surprised at the response of many Delimiter readers to this article. Those who have criticised the mainstream media for unfairly slamming the NBN at every opportunity are correct; it’s unfair. But that doesn’t justify the government publishing its own newspaper to put its own point of view, omitting many other relevant facts about the NBN (and in fact, virtually any detail about the rollout itself). The two do not balance each other out — two wrongs do not make a right.

      The best publishing approach in general is to publish the objective truth, and when that is under dispute, at least published a balanced view of the situation, with the various aspects represented. This is the approach I take on Delimiter.

      The responses to this article do make me wonder whether Delimiter is becoming purely a haven for pro-NBN supporters, as some readers have recently suggested. This isn’t my aim for the site — I wish, above all, to promote rational, reasonable thinking based on evidence. I will monitor the situation carefully.

      • Sorry Renai but you can’t call it propaganda if it’s 99.99% factual barring a few minor errors! The two concepts a diametrically apposed!

        Propaganda is by its very nature misleading and deceptive and as you yourself have pointed out the material released by Conroys dept is factual!

        Call it one sided all you like, it’s still factual and therefore not propaganda!

      • The best publishing approach in general is to publish the objective truth, and when that is under dispute, at least published a balanced view of the situation, with the various aspects represented. This is the approach I take on Delimiter.

        What you say is absolutely right Renai if you are talking about a general news delivery service such as TV news, newspapers, radio news, internet news sites specialised or not.. I am sure that we all appreciate your efforts to keep Delimiter balanced.

        What Turnbull talked about in his video is not a newspaper. At best it is a newsletter the same as the regular newsletter I get from my local members of both persuasions lauding the efforts of their Government in my particular seat. Calling something like that a newspaper is, to say the least, ridiculous.

        There is a big difference between a newsletter and a newspaper and the publication of a balanced view is not expected in all publications in circulation. What you are in effect saying Renai is that Coles have to say in their mail advertising that Woolworths are probably just as good a place to shop and might be cheaper on some items. Sorry but I really must disagree with your broad brush approach.

      • Personally Renai, as a pro-NBNer, imo I believe Delimiter does appear to now have many more people such as myself here, than those who oppose the NBN.

        However imo, the pro people do by and large appear to be from a range of demographics. Although, of course being pro-NBN either places one in the Labor voter out of choice (i.e. will vote Labor regardless) or Labor/Green voter by default (swinging voter but pro-NBN = Labor or Greens). I personally fit into the latter category.

        In saying that, “from my experience”, it is rare (non-existent) to come across anyone at any blog who is against the NBN for any conceivable reason but politics/being associated with/a supporter of the Coalition or a small number who feel the NBN will impact upon their own direct finances, personally. As such, I also find the political crusaders always seem to reduce discussions to pedantics and semantics and drag the discussions down (yes I was binned for being dragged into a childish tit for tat – my bad).

        They do this because, I believe it’s hard for anti-NBNers to argue on any other grounds but political ideology, as the NBN offers –

        * Ubiquitous access
        * Comms being a natural monopoly (like other utilities) = the NBN being one cohesive universal system
        * Being a natural monopoly, it avoids costly duplication/increase in consumer prices (think HFC).
        * This leaves RSP’s to concentrate on their core business of providing plans, not building networks.
        * Although a natural monopoly network, NBNCo will not have a conflict of interest – i.e. no retail side
        * By having a separate wholesaler it allows many retailers to access and resell for greater competition
        * The project is estimated to provide a modest ROI, making it fiscally responsible
        * By having a modest ROI and cities subsidising rural areas, it lessens the digital divide
        * Funding from borrowings/assets – meaning budgetary areas, such as health, education won’t suffer
        * Modest ROI also equates to affordability for RSP’s and in turn, consumers
        * Is projected to pay for itself by 2034 (Corp plan Mk1)
        * Provides State of the Art technology for the nation
        * Provides employment and economic stimulus
        * Is as future proof technology as is possible and will last for decades
        * If the promised wireless inventions come to fruition, the fibre links for towers will already be in place
        * Finally takes away the complete stranglehold the incumbent has had

        The list goes on… all positive. But is the NBN perfect, no, of course not… but no other alternative comes close imo!

        Should we question the Government/NBNCo? Yes of course.

        Do we need to keep the bastards honest? “Definitely”.

        Do we need baseless doomsday FUD? ***NO***

        So apart from concerns over –

        * Network competition, which we don’t have now anyway imo – we basically have different Telstra flavours throughout Oz or HFC from Optus or guess who, available to about 30%.
        * Concerns over an NBN monopoly – but not having a retail side like Telstra is an improvement.
        * Concerns over regulations. Ongoing or worse, if the copper is used for FttN.
        * Arguments over $ (cost, ROI, affordability, AVC/CVC). On going no matter what.
        * Wireless perhaps doing the job. Invalid until/if…

        I feel the NBN critics don’t really have much evidence based (as required at Delimiter) info to support their views. Which is why they are disappearing from Delimiter where the posters here are pretty switched on – even the Editor knows a thing or two ;) or their lack of evidence based comments gets them in strife with the comments policy.

        So to again revisit the crux of your last comment, yes there’s more pro-NBN opinions here now – so perhaps the positive NBN message is finally getting through after all :)

        End rant

      • Renai, I refer you to my comment above (so as not to rehash the same points here).

        It is falling into a bit of an easy trap to call something “propaganda” just because it is a government publication. Are the countless leaflets, brochures and posters I see at my local RTA office, or Medicare office, really “propaganda” because they perform the function of promoting a government policy?

        Should a Medicare brochure contain “balance” by noting that “some people” consider Medicare to be socialised medicine, and therefore morally repugnant? Or is it sufficient merely to convey the factual information about a program (say, for free mammogram screening) in a way that can reach the people it is intended to help?

        If the publication contains slanted or inaccurate information, then yes, it would not pass the above test. But by your own admission, the DBCDE publication is accurate to a very high level of factual scrutiny.

        It old be a pity if the idea of presenting information in a newsprint format became toxic despite it being a good way of communicating complex information to people in a way they feel comfortable receiving.

        • +1,
          the use of the word propaganda has a strong communist connotation, I would also find it uncomfortable to here Labor supports using words like capitalist or bourgeois.

      • prop·a·gan·da/ˌpräpəˈgandə/
        Information, esp. of a biased or misleading nature, used to promote or publicize a particular political cause or point of view.
        The dissemination of such information as a political strategy.

        While this information can certainly be considered propaganda we have to consider why this is suddenly so surprising. Any political party when it disseminates information will try to encourage people to see the benefits of the Party, this is no different from the normal promotional leaflets and brochures that are delivered to your mailbox. The major thing is that the information is accurate, if the government were lying then I would completely understand your distaste. However it is my view that there is sufficient warning that this is a government source, even if the logo and general tone does not give that away the fact that it only discusses the NBN should give clear indication that this is for a specific thing.

        There is no way people who consider things fully should get this confused, it is up to them how they wish to understand the information. They may completely reject it as you may have done as propoganda or they may see the points as being valid.

        If you want a political party to deliver balanced viewpoints on their policies in their publications you are out of luck, I do not see how the form of a newspaper necessitates that it undergo stricter controls. Using creative means to push your message and frankly in this case I do not believe immoral. I personally believe the Coalition pushes their outright lies through more traditional media to a far greater detriment that releasing positive/biased truths.

        I like you, would like to see full and frank public discourse without a twisting of the truth. This will not happen, no political party has that kind of backbone to be completely truthful.

      • I must say Renai, I am surprised that you think the govt should print negatives about its own policy. What government does that? What political party does that – full stop?
        The best we should expect from the govt is to tell us the truth about its policy, and by your own admission they have done that. The Oppositions job is to question the negatives, and propose alternatives. To date, again by your own admission, the Opposition hasn’t been truthful in its response to the NBN, and nor have they provided any real alternative. The govt are doing what they should be, and the opposition arent. The govt shouldnt wear the blame here.

        Of course, the big failing in all this is the journalists. Its is the JOURNALISTS job to question and to report both sides. The govt will provide the positives, the Opposition the negatives, and journalists should be in the middle presenting both. To date, the reporting in the mainstream media has been very very biased to the negative. There is no balance. Again, the govt shouldnt be wearing the blame for that.

        I will ask again, how is the govt supposed to get its positive message out if the journalists wont report it, and apparently the govt arent supposed to be promoting the positives of its own policy.

        As I said before, they are damned if they do, and damned if they dont.

      • “that doesn’t justify the government publishing its own newspaper to put its own point of view, omitting many other relevant facts about the NBN”

        OK, generally speaking that’s true. So how do they do that? Considering most of the opposition is NOT based in facts, what do they print? How can they possibly draw the line on what faux-articles they should include to detail possible downsides to the NBN?

        Maybe something like this:
        “Some people say there are cheaper ways to do the NBN. They don’t have any evidence to support that theory, and the NBN isn’t really going to cost us anything, but that’s what they say!”

        Somehow I think that would be worse.

      • Perhaps Renai. Or perhaps the actual debate has come and gone and all we are left with is, on the one side, a policy that the community has embraced and on the other, political rhetoric. It would be lazy journalism to do the “triangulation of truth” where two opposing opinions get an equal share of voice even if one of the two parties is Charles Manson demanding that Ridley Scott inspired aliens are the only ones which can build the NBN. This forum and MT’s own YouTube channel comments on his video are roundly in support. One the YouTube channel those which are supporting MT are also ranting about stopping the boats and the carbon tax which is probably not doing much to further the debate about NBN. And finally, Peter Reith’s analysis of the last election tells the NBN story better than any … two seats were lost in Tasmania (which would have put the coalition in power) and the research he did showed that those seats were lost directly because of NBN rollout in those areas. When people understand what the NBN is, how it works and what the difference is between ftth and fttn they generally want it. So Renai, don’t be surprised, perhaps the community is getting a little more informed and is warming to the idea.

      • I think the problem as I see it is the lack of a detailed policy from the Opposition. Support and criticism of the NBN is currently the main focus of discussion because that’s all there is to discuss. Should the coalition ever provide us with a fully fleshed out policy. The focus would move to the respective merits of each policy but without it, all we have is speculation.

        As for this forum having a pro NBN bias, again it is a question of labels. When does a preference becomes opinion or a bias? It has great deal to do with the way it came to be. If it is the result of informed and varied gathering of information, it more likely to be a preference. If it is the product of blind acceptance of an ideology, it could be termed a bias.

        From my personal experience of this site, I am yet to read comments from those opposing the NBN which did not involve some support of the coalition philosophy and derision of those who do not share their views.


      • I think you have missed the point here Renai, you claim that this is government propaganda because it only promotes government policy being the pro’s of the NBN, yet it cant publish the oppositions policy as they have not released one.

      • @Renai we all think you are a pretty responsible Journo who genuinely cares about the quality of his work but you risk harming your reputation by clinging to your Propaganda claim.

        Just fobbing us off as Pro NBN supporters having a whinge is really a cop out. You claim the publication

        But that doesn’t justify the government publishing its own newspaper to put its own point of view, omitting many other relevant facts about the NBN (and in fact, virtually any detail about the rollout itself). The two do not balance each other out — two wrongs do not make a right.

        what are these “relevant facts” you are claim to have been omitted and how do these “facts” change the information being presented?

      • I dont know about the rest Renai, but my gripe with the mainstream media is that they get the facts wrong. They trot out misinformation, or simply incorrect information, which undermines everything positive the NBN delivers. I dont critisize them because its one sided, I critisize it because its wrong.

        This little stunt by NBN IS a balance to that. Its not wrong, and takes the game to their playground. Is it a stunt? Definitely. But we get Govt publications every time a new policy is rolled out. We got flooded with information praising GST before it came out, publications vouching for WorkCover being the right option, etc etc.

        Its nothing new.

      • “Those who have criticised the mainstream media for unfairly slamming the NBN at every opportunity are correct; it’s unfair. But that doesn’t justify the government publishing its own newspaper to put its own point of view, omitting many other relevant facts about the NBN (and in fact, virtually any detail about the rollout itself).’

        Renai, the question here is: Does the publication unfairly praise the NBN?. This, I think is the crux of it all. Most on this forum criticise the unfairness, not the positivity or negativity of the information.

        Although I have reservations about some aspects of the project, I support its general aim and goals. Perfection is seldom found in the real world but, in this case, on the balance of things, the positive far outweigh the negative.

        • The publication isn’t technically inaccurate, but it paints an overly optimistic view of the network. The best case scenario, if you will — if absolutely everything goes to plan.

          As I noted in the article, ‘Connecting Australia’ errs by ommission, not commission.

          • Some could say, as they have, that that is redressing the balance of the Coalition who are taking the opposite stance, and WORST case scenario. However, I take your point.

            I don’t like to see this degrade into what it has. It shouldn’t be necessary. This is a technically GOOD solution. Best? No. Good and weel planeed? Yes.

          • @Renai, Frankly the worst thing you can say about this publication is that it is advertising and when was the last time you saw advertising pointing out the the short comings of the product or idea it is pushing?

          • Advertising has to be disclosed as advertising under Australian law. The way this publication does so is misleading — it appears to be editorial, not advertising. I don’t have a problem with the material — just the way it is presented.

          • And by presented you are taking the line that MT has put forward, that it is a newspaper therefore it needs to portray both sides of the argument, as opposed to say a newsletter, or an information brouchure. If it had been a glossy 10 page A4 or A3 brochure would you have been more pleased to sing its praise’s as an informative handout for what to expect from the NBN as it sits now, or what it may offer when we are finally connected in the future and the benifits it will bring to Australia as a nation, or would you have slammed the cost of producing it as being ridiculously over the top.

          • @Malcolm

            The newspaper style is used across the world as a familiar form of publishing. While mainstream newspapers do indeed need to present balanced reporting from both sides of a story (something which many Australian and particularly News Ltd. newspapers have repeatedly failed to comply with, and been fined over, in relation to the NBN) the STYLE of newspaper publishing in itself does not denote the writing requirements therein.

            I have been to Battle in the UK. The tourist shop there produces a ‘newspaper’ about the 1066 battle, in a factual and insightful way. There are even pretend adverts in it, for horseshoes and mail armor. Would this be considered propaganda, considering it paints the victor in a generally well held light?

            This is only a comparison, not an indication. What we are ACTUALLY talking here is whether MT is correct in his criticism of the DBCDE (NOT NBNCo. as he states, as they did not produce this) for publishing this type of material in the form that it is. Any Joe public who is ‘fooled’ into believing this is an ACTUAL media newspaper perhaps needs to stop reading newspapers as they are likely to be misinformed by any number of articles that aren’t entirely accurate/biased. The published material is CLEARLY marked with Australian Government and our coat of arms.

            This material is a DIRECT result of the Senate Committee on the NBN’s recommendation that the government more heavily promote the NBN and its’ advantages for communities. This ‘newspaper’ style is an effective, albeit cheesy, way to achieve this. Seeing as MT is ON the Senate Committee, perhaps he would care to elaborate on what he believes would’ve been appropriate. However, seeing as MT and the other Liberal Senator’s issued PAGES of ‘minority’ recommendations (that is, recommendations the whole Committee did NOT approve of) on changing legislation of the NBN to allow FTTN (the Coalitions stated goal) thereby showing COMPLETE bias towards party lines, rather than actually CONSTRUCTIVELY criticising the NBN, as the REST of the Committee did, you would forgive me if believing what MT would ‘recommend’ the government doing for this public info campaign, would be HIGHLY LNP biased and with little merit as a campaign.

            This campaign may not be to many people’s liking. But it is NOT misleading (Renai says as much) and it IS in line with many other organisations that use this type of publishing for a campaign. Considerably better than the Coalition’s efforts on the NBN, which have been, at BEST biased and partisan and at worst, outright lies, hidden under political guise.

      • The important thing about the word “propaganda” is not what it MEANS, but what it IMPLIES. The use of “propaganda” as a word may be technically accurate, but using it is misleading as it implies that the publication itself is misleading – and this comes from popular use of the word “propaganda”: as something with negative connotations. It would have been just as accurate but more impartial to have used the title “Publication: Govt creates NBN newsletter”. Not quite as catchy though, I admit.

  15. Oh dear, people getting accurate information about the NBN from our Government, the NBNCo itself and the users who are using it.

    If it’s factual it’s not propaganda.

  16. The big failing of Labor in relation to the NBN has been its failure to successfully educate people on what the NBN is and what it will do for them. This is not NBNCo’s job – theirs is to build the thing – but the governments.

    It seems absurd to criticise DBCDE for supplying exactly such an accurate education package in a format that the one-third of Australians without decent broadband can access, though the exact format chosen is a matter of taste!

    At a children’s birthday, it would be like singing a consolation ditty for the other kids whose birthday it isn’t. (Would you call that, ahem, PARTY politics? Sorry, I withdraw the question. I would have deleted the awful pun, but have unfortunately already hit POST…)

  17. propaganda /
    “chiefly information, esp. of a biased or misleading nature, used to promote or publicize a particular political cause or point of view”

  18. This is a strange area. I have the concern that the Coalition and general media sources (not sites like delimiter) are pushing their own lines so this could be seen as a counter balance. Having not read it myself I hope it is at least broadly accurate.

    Hopefully both sides of politics can at least shape up so they present the truth, printing favorable information is far from new, I do not think that a newspaper style will confuse, I mean it has the federal governments logo on it!

  19. By definition this newspaper is propaganda. It promotes a biased political view.

    However the same can be said of any media release, flyer, brochure, letter,newspaper etc distributed by labor, liberals, nationals, greens or even the sex party. Maybe this should not be the case but particularly at the moment it seems if given an inch, the opposition and other media out
    The negatives are being sprooked daily and Conroy probably wanted to limit the ammunition provided to Abbot, Fairfax, Murdoch etc.

  20. I think looking like a newspaper is a plus. A lot of government pamphlets go straight from mailbox to rubbish bin without being read. By looking a bit different this one might actually get read. A very good effort by the government and the NBNCo imo.

    afaik no government has ever advertised the opposition’s position or their thoughts on government policy. I don’t remember John Howard advertising Labor’s opinion of the GST. The best way for Turnbull to counter this advertising/education is to put out a policy of his own.

  21. Rofl. Malcolm doesn’t feel threatened by this “newspaper”. (So, there is no need for him to counter it.)

    The fact that Malcolm is satirising the Government’s propaganda efforts in a video skit shows that the Liberals are feeling very comfortable with their policy position and how they’re travelling. Sitting back and watching Labor’s NBN fall to shambles with all the cock-ups, mismanagement and missed deadlines must be fun for the Opposition.

    One thing’s for sure, the more vicious, nasty and abusive the attacks on Malcolm get, the more certain it is that the Coalition will romp home in 2013.. . . somewhat resembling a canary in a coalmine effect.

    As to the hostile reaction to this article,. . .Confucius says, “Man who feeds vultures risks getting bitten.. . . .”

    • “One thing’s for sure, the more vicious, nasty and abusive the attacks on Malcolm get”

      boo hoo hoo, poor poor malcolm, the truth sometimes hurts :-(

      “the more certain it is that the Coalition will romp home in 2013”

      Thank [insert mythical deity of choice here] for that. That means you dont need to post here anymore tosh. To think all it took was Turnbulls worn out rhetoric baked in YouTube form.

      “Confucius says, “Man who feeds vultures risks getting bitten.. . . .””

      Hubert says: Thanks for stopping by.

      • As I said in my rant and right on cue Hubert…

        … “from my experience, it is rare (non-existent) to come across anyone at any blog who is against the NBN for any conceivable reason but politics/being associated with/a supporter of the Coalition or a small number who feel the NBN will impact upon their own direct finances, personally. As such, I also find the political crusaders always seem to reduce discussions to pedantics and semantics and drag the discussions down…”

        • Indeed you are right Alex, however it’s quite funny that it seems we are not even allowed to question the coalition when it comes to the NBN. This lot wants to govern the country yet they wont even give us any details and then you have the apologists crying foul because we dared to question them. Of course censoring the outspoken has always been a favourite pursuit of the right and it can only dull down our culture to complacent mediocrity unfortunately.

    • If there is no need for him to “counter” it, why did he produce that video?

      Anyway, you make an important point. The Coalition *is* comfortable with their position. They are very comfortable with the fact that it has VERY few details, so they can do whatever they hell they like if they get voted in and it won’t break any promises. This is not a good thing.

      The other problem is that, if the project really as going as badly as you suggest, it would be wasting large amounts of tax dollars, which is no laughing matter.

      I don’t vote for parties that refuse to reveal their plans, refuse to commit to anything and laugh at wasted money. That just reeks of a party that doesn’t take things seriously enough.

      In reality, the project is going about as well as any project of its size. Delays and missed targets are to be expected – what is important is if the project can deliver roughly on time and on budget.

      A six month delay on a ten year project is roughly the same in magnitude as a barista taking three extra seconds to make your coffee. In the long run, it’s not a big deal, and if the project is managed well, it might not shift the end date at all.

      The Coalition has been pre-emptively declaring the project a failure since the beginning, and yet it keeps hitting important milestones – the legislation got passed, the trial sites were set up (and many are past 30% takeup already), the Telstra deal was signed, etc.

      When they decide to criticise it, they never put their comments into context – they don’t mention the REASON why, say, they passed 15,000 homes instead of 100,000. They just throw out the number and hope the reader makes some assumptions (since they can’t outright say what they want you to think, because it would be a lie). As a fun exercise, ask a crazed Coalition supporter about the NBN, and compare their criticisms to Turnbull’s. You’ll notice that they are MUCH more extreme, and even further from the truth. Usually, they are even more extreme than Tony!

      If Turnbull went on to mention that the missed target is primarily caused by Telstra taking ages to sign a deal, it would damage the picture he is trying to paint. If he then said that his policy would also have been delayed by Telstra taking their time, it would damage his claims of “faster and cheaper”.

      It was already a given that some targets would be missed when the Telstra deal wasn’t signed by the originally planned date, but the Coalition mostly kept quiet at that time because they didn’t want to blame the private sector (they certainly didn’t blame the private sector for home insulation fires, even though it is their responsibility to train their contractors in how to safely install it).

      Anyway, this publication is a response to the Joint Committee recommending more public education about what the network is and what the network is for. That is what the paper tries to explain. Implementation details which don’t significantly impact what the project will deliver (such as delays) are simply irrelevant.

      It has a government logo on the front, and on several other pages. Why would a government publication include disingenuous criticisms from an opposition that doesn’t even have a solid policy? Even if they had a clear policy and some actual points to debate, why would it go into that at all?

      Anyway, I don’t particularly like either of the major parties, but right now Labor is pretty much just doing what they were told.

      • oh FFS

        What’s with the endless nonsense that the Coalition do not have a policy? Malcolm’s been screaming their policy off the rooftops for the past 12 months. (Just because you don’t like their policy doesn’t mean they don’t have one.)

        Let me summarize the pertinent bit for you:

        The Coalition will not build FTTP. Over Joe’s dead body.

        So, if you think FTTP is the most important issue to you, vote Labor in 2013.

        The last thing the Liberals will do is adopt Labor’s broadband policy scam (“pushing fibre everywhere won’t hurt taxpayers or consumers”) and tarnish the Liberal political brand of sound economic management and policy making forever.

          • When I read John’s comment, my heart started to bit that little faster. I foolishly thought that he might know something that those us not in the know about the subtleties of the opposition policy, would not be unaware of.

            But wait for it, the policy that Malcolm Turnbull has been screaming off the rooftops is…. (drum roll)

            “The Coalition will not build FTTP. Over Joe’s dead body.”.

            Now I understand, his disappointment. How foolish of us to ignore it. It so comprehensive. This is probably why the opposition doesn’t have its own newsletter. Nice slogan, though!

          • Indeed, however since the Coalition have clearly said they ‘will” be doing FttP in Greenfields (where cost effective, yawn) seems one of those Greenfileds will need a nice hole… for Joe’s dead body ;-)

        • @John

          I have a slight disagreement with your post:

          You state “What’s with the endless nonsense that the Coalition do not have a policy? Malcolm’s been screaming their policy off the rooftops for the past 12 months.”

          And their policy as: “The Coalition will not build FTTP.”

          I’m sorry John, THAT IS NOT A POLICY. Political policy is a fleshed out idea, based along party ideology. You are simply saying their policy is to oppose the current policy. THAT IS RUBBISH POLITICS.

          We have REPEATEDLY asked for DETAILED information on their “policy” and have been ignored. We WANT to compare policies, but THEY DON’T HAVE ONE TO COMPARE.

          Please, stop the party rhetoric. I would’ve thought you would be asking the Coalition yourself what the details are so you could shove the in our face……

        • “What’s with the endless nonsense that the Coalition do not have a policy? Malcolm’s been screaming their policy off the rooftops for the past 12 months.”

          They may have a policy but it still amount to nothing without the details. All we know is that they want some kind of FttN patchwork, want to make use of HFC and are in no way committed to FttH for the majority of Australia. 0/10.

          “pushing fibre everywhere won’t hurt taxpayers or consumers”


          “tarnish the Liberal political brand of sound economic management and policy making forever.”

          It’s a bit late for that. They endorse a FttN patchwork that is a colossal waste of money as it will be have to be upgraded before it is even finished wasting more taxpayers money in the process.

      • @Jean W. I like your reasoned thinking, Ignore the serial pests, they will end up banned with their FFS’s.

  22. Renai is correct that professional reporting should be “balanced”, offering more than one side on a story where there would be differing views. In that context the NBN paper isn’t journalistic reporting but a publication designed to advance one point of view, even if what is provided is factual.

    However, it isn’t any worse than the usual main stream publications at the times when they also present a one-sided point of view, don’t ask probing questions, and repeat LNP press statements without skepticism.

    A tabloid format for the NBN information may be intended to reach those who would normally throw government pamphlets in the bin without reading them. Who knows? It’s not attempting to present a balanced piece of journalism; it’s very much like adverts in newspapers that look like real journalism and have a header that says “Advertisement” to indicate what it really is.

    I also agree with Renai about possible future misuses of this approach: I wouldn’t like to see a masquerade of a newspaper format used to advance an LNP government’s praise of selling off the NBNCo.

    On the other hand, it used to be standard practice 100+ years ago that newspapers were propaganda tools used for whatever the owner wanted to influence people with; journalistic independence and balance was a hard fought battle that hasn’t ended yet.

    There is no easy answer to all this. Perhaps a prominent line at the top of the NBN paper saying, “An information publication by the Australian Government” (in the way that newspapers may say, “Advertisement” when they run an advert that resembles reporting and editorials) might take some of the sting out of the complaints.

  23. I’m still not convinced this could be called propaganda.

    Public campaigning in an awkward, often cringe-worthy and simplistic way, yes. But as many people have already stated, it’s no different from many flyers/magazines/community outreach newletters that both parties put out.

    I think Turnbull’s satire of it heightens the IDEA that it is propaganda…..what would we call all the posters the Coalition are sending out re: Carbon Tax to businesses?…’s not necessarily based in fact either….

    • I got to say, after reading these comments I find the title propaganda no longer appropriate. A government program [not a labor/liberal policy anymore] distributing clearly named and generally factual information about itself is expect if not required behavior!

  24. Oh dear, the NBN mob is rioting. . .

    I’d say it’s time to churn out another headline containing “Coalition” and “lies” to pacify the mob

  25. Just a question – how can it be biased if the alternative viewpoint is incorrect?

    If the opposing opinion is misinformation or lies, then it has no place in the debate. And until the opposition gives some detail thats factually provable, then including their repeatedly stated stance is closer to propaganda than this is.

  26. Is there a difference between a newsletter and a newspaper? Would you be happy with the former? Is this material any more or less one sided that the average corporate or university magazine? Given the amount of rubbish that continues to flow from the nay-sayers, criticising the format of this material which you graciously admit is largely factual and does not hide it authorship, hardly seems deserving of your nit-picking criticism.

    A newspaper format is adopted because that is the tried and tested way of informing people. To deny the pro case because it follows that practice is churlish in the extreme. I know you have to find a story a day, but this carping criticism is disappointing. Remember the great unwashed have barely heard of the NBN and, according to the unthinking media, are all on the point of stress and bankruptcy despite copious evidence to the contrary that the country is uniquely advantaged.

  27. I think it’s sad that this paper actually needs to exist. If it were not for the amount of misinformation out there regarding the NBN, such a soviet style propaganda piece would not be required.

    Here’s a tip for Malcolm – Stop misleading the general public and we all win. No need for this paper, and people and you can have a nice warm feeling inside knowing that you’r being honest to yourself.

  28. Lol so when does a monopoly need advertising. How often did Telecom publish newspapers saying how amazing copper was. How installing a thing called a phone could do wonders like you could communicate with people that are far away without seeing them.

    This NBN newspaper sounds like a whimsical desperation to me. So a newspaper thats 10% owned by Reinhart is a problem.

    And a newspaper that is 100% owned by NBN Co isn’t. If i have problems with the publication who do i complain to investigate this paper.

    • @ not same

      ‘And a newspaper that is 100% owned by NBN Co isn’t.’

      Probably wouldnt be. But that’s a hypothetical. NBNCo. have NOTHING to do with ‘publishing’ this newspaper. It’s published by the government….

      So nice try….

    • Do you in fact “have problems with this paper”? What are they and why wouldn’t you complain to your local member, it being a clearly government authorised publication? That is what one normally does.

      Do you complain to anyone about News Limited’s incorrect publications?

  29. If it had any pretentions to being accurate and correct it would be titled “Connecting (11% of) Australia”. That’s the sign-up rate. And the equivalent propaganda sheet for the Kiwi version of the NBN would be titled “Connecting (1.44% of) New Zealand”. That’s the sign-up rate there.

    • @Gordan

      For a start, if you had any pretentions of being correct, you’d know the overall takeup rate is 18% NOT 11%.

      Secondly, it will connect 100% of Australia regardless. Anyone on copper or HFC will be migrated to it….therefore everyone will be on it….

    • If you want to get technical, they could call it “providing the necessary infrastructure for retailers to offer 12/1 plans to 100% and 100/40 to 93% at uniform wholesale pricing”, but that would be a bit of a mouthful.

      PS. Take-up in many of the trial areas is past 30% already and RISING. Take-up isn’t a once-off, it’s ongoing…

    • Seems we have found today’s anti-NBN contradiction…

      One poster above asking “when does a *monopoly* need advertising” (you know, the old we will “all be forced onto the monopoly”) and another only three or four comments down telling us the NBN should be called “connecting *11%* of Australia.”


  30. May I ask in which way you received this paper? It looks like the print head of the WA Community Newspapers (who of which are for the NBN). If so I would think they would insert them in the sneaky way they do with all their inserts, class it actually as the paper to avoid paying fees for inserts.

  31. I’m not ‘pro NBN’, I’m just a rational, logical person who is capable of understanding and evaluating the facts. It just so happens the facts demonstrate that the NBN is the best option on the table, providing the best outcomes technically, socially and economically. Given the available facts, you would have to be either biassed (and quite selfish) or logically impaired to be ‘anti-NBN’.

  32. One interesting thing in the NBN newspaper ‘how fast is fast’ table the times were based on fibre at 85mbps (ADSL at 12mbps). However their pricing table below shows wholesale fibre at $24 based on 12mbps. Would be good to have some realistic comparisons in these tables.

    • @John

      Completely agree. They’re obviously trying to show the speeds you can get, as compared to now, but then mixing pricing making it confusing. This doesn’t help their argument. It needs to be precise, clear information which I agree has been difficult to get.

      However the pricing IS comparable, in general, because 50% of people CAN’T get over 12mbps. The pricing for 12mbps on the NBN blows away most ADSL just because of line rental and that’s what many people forget.

  33. I would hardly call it propaganda. The ‘Connecting Australia newspaper’ has its place in the scheme of things, to inform and explain what the NBN can do for the average Joe.
    Not everyone in Australia is a tech geek. Not everyone has access to Internet to get the low down on what is happening with the NBN (ie., look at the roll out 3 year plan).
    This information has to get to those people who don’t have that access. Those do don’t have regular access. Those who don’t like reading things on the computer apart from email from their grandkids. And shows what the NBN can do for those communities that have had issues getting broadband in the past.
    I did not see any commercial involvement in the content, that either puts companies like Telsta in either a good or bad light. It only showed the truth.

    Renai, if you are looking to find a more balanced view on what is in the ‘Connecting Australia newspaper’, then please go and find people who have access to the NBN, but have not connected. And ask them why they haven’t. Find people who have had isues with the NBN.

Comments are closed.