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  • News, Telecommunications - Written by on Thursday, August 2, 2012 10:29 - 105 Comments

    Sell off the NBN? Abbott won’t confirm or deny

    news Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has repeatedly refused to confirm or deny whether the Coalition would sell off finished portions of the National Broadband Network infrastructure if it won the next Federal Election, stating only that the Coalition believed the private sector could deliver broadband to Australia better than the Government.

    Earlier this week, Abbott was asked on air by ABC Radio presenter Jon Faine (a recording of the broadcast is available online here) whether the Coalition would sell those portions of the NBN which had been constructed if it won Government. A substantial portion of NBN fibre, wireless and satellite infrastructure will have been constructed by the time the next Federal Election is slated to be held in 2013, with hundreds of thousands of Australian premises already receiving fibre broadband.

    Faine asked Abbott about the issue several times repeatedly, but did not receive a conclusive answer from the Opposition Leader.

    “I’m not going to get into the sorts of specifics that we’ll be announcing in our policy pre-election,” Abbott responded to one question, “but certainly nationalised telecommunications is the way of the 1960′s, it’s not the way of the current century. We’ve said all along that we don’t need nationalised broadband, we need better national broadband, and we can get that using the private sector with a lot less government funding than the $50-odd billion the government has committed.”

    “We certainly don’t believe in throwing good money after bad,” Abbott responded to another. “We think competition between private businesses is the best way to deliver the national broadband that we need … I’m not going to go into the precise details on what we’d do, because it’ll be confirmed in the run up to the next election. The point I keep making is that we believe in free enterprise, we believe in the free market, certainly there’s got to be regulations and all the rest, but generally speaking, we think private business is better at goods and services than nationalised industry.”

    Later in the interview Abbott said if a Coalition Government didn’t proceed with what he described as “the nationalised broadband network”, it would have more funding available to spend on “useful things”, such as “roads” and the National Disability Insurance Scheme currently proposed by the Gillard Labor Government.

    It is believed that this statement is inaccurate or at best highly controversial — with the NBN being expected to make a long-term return on investment rather than act as a cost. With this in mind, cancelling the NBN project would be likely to cost the Government money in the long term, rather than saving it money that could be spent on other projects.

    Abbott’s comments reflect only the most recent occasion on which he has criticised Labor’s NBN project. In early July, for example, Abbott stated that Australia didn’t “need” the National Broadband Network project and the billions being invested in the initiative would be better spent on “our roads, our rail and our ports” under a Coalition Government.

    “I think that federal and state Labor governments have left us with a serious infrastructure deficit,” Abbott told the ACE Regional Radio Network in Victoria at the time, “and one of the reasons why I’m so hostile to the National Broadband Network is because it’s a $50 billion investment with borrowed money that we don’t need. What we do need is much more money being spent on our roads, our rail and our ports and that’s what will happen under the Coalition.” The Opposition leader similarly criticised the NBN in May 2011, and again in January that year.

    If a Coalition Government did sell off the NBN infrastructure, this action would appear to run contrary to comments recently made by the member of his cabinet responsible for broadband policy, Shadow Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

    In a recent interview with the Sydney Morning Herald, Turnbull stated that a Coalition Government would proceed with the NBN project. “No, the Coalition will not cancel or roll back the NBN,” he said. “The NBN will continue to roll out but we will do so in a cost-effective manner in particular in built-up areas.” The comments echo comments Turnbull made the previous month, when the Liberal MP publicly gave what he described as a “solemn undertaking” to the Australian people that a Coalition Government would “complete the job of NBN Co”, instead of ripping up the network or abandoning Labor’s NBN policy altogether.

    At the time, the comments appear to represent something of a backflip for the Coalition. When Turnbull was appointed to the role in September 2010, the ABC reported that Opposition Leader Tony Abbott had ordered the Member for Wentworth to “demolish” the NBN. At the time, Abbott said he believed the NBN would “turn out to be a white elephant on a massive scale … school halls on steroids”. Abbott’s comments on the issue are likely to re-awaken fears that the Coalition would scrap the NBN project wholesale if it was elected.

    opinion/analysis
    To be honest, I’m not quite sure where Jon Faine got the idea that the Coalition would sell off the completed portions of the NBN, because I haven’t heard the idea being discussed in public for a while.

    My opinion is that Abbott and his Shadow Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull haven’t yet completely finalised their telecommunications policy, and won’t do so until shortly before the next Federal Election. I remain doubtful that such a policy would include a wholesale sell-off of the completed portions of NBN infrastructure — Turnbull has previously intimated that the overall NBN strategy would remain, but with substantial Coalition modifications, such as replacing fibre to the home with fibre to the node. Certainly we haven’t seen the Coalition discussing a sell-off of the NBN for quite some time.

    In addition, selling off the completed portions of the NBN would be horribly messy and wouldn’t really make much sense. The current NBN network is a real patchwork affair — bits of residential fibre here and there, wireless in patches, some substantial backhaul links, and satellite stations under construction. It doesn’t seem to make much sense to sell off those bits and pieces shortly after they were built — that, in my opinion, would mediate against a long-term Coalition FTTN strategy.

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    1. Clinton
      Posted 02/08/2012 at 10:39 am | Permalink |

      “I think that federal and state Labor governments have left us with a serious infrastructure deficit,”
      that’s a bit rich coming from a member of one of australia’s longest serving governments.

      • Posted 02/08/2012 at 11:14 am | Permalink |

        “I think that federal and state Labor governments have left us with a serious infrastructure deficit,”

        followed by:

        “and one of the reasons why I’m so hostile to the National Broadband Network is because it’s a $50 billion investment with borrowed money that we don’t need. What we do need is much more money being spent on our roads, our rail and our ports and that’s what will happen under the Coalition.”

        If the NBN ISN’T infrastructure….WHAT THE HELL IS!!!???

        The guy is contradictory at contradicting himself. In the same breath as saying “we don’t need the NBN”, one of Australia’s biggest ever infrastructure projects, he says “we’ve been left with a infrastructure deficit by Labor”….which is bollocks anyway, because it was Howard that did it at a Federal level.

        • NBNAccuracy
          Posted 02/08/2012 at 11:27 am | Permalink |

          “The irritation is more profound for Abbott’s opponents on the other end of the political spectrum. He doesn’t just disagree with them, he tells them their black is really white. And then he says it so often that black becomes white. Climate change becomes a fraud. Infrastructure spending becomes a waste. Progressive government activity is just another great big new tax.”
          The irritating Mr Abbott
          http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/2898940.html

          Another example of the reality distortion field.

          • djos
            Posted 02/08/2012 at 11:38 am | Permalink |

            and all aided and abetted by his conservative mates in the mainstream media!

          • Posted 02/08/2012 at 1:34 pm | Permalink |

            This Ultra-Conservative line he trolls is going to be one of two scenarios.

            Hes going to:

            A – Risk alienating segments of the party that could be considered green, liberal, democrat or national which may then lead into an election, LNP win, then the colossal failure of ultra-conservative politics and an LNP split.

            OR

            B – Labor is reelected, the LNP backroom dealers throw him out as leader and the infighting continues.

            You cant run a government as ultra-conservative. You have to spend money on infrastructure, let alone anything. The two key things here that he claims he can spend 50 billion on are both money sinks. Neither (re – Roads / NDIS) return money to the economy, neither make a gradual investment return and both are costs on the taxpayer. I just dont understand why this man insists on being this way, when he can clearly see the benefits, clearly knows what the goals are and how it will benefit the economy and how the previous market has failed.

            It boggles the mind that Tony Abbott has absolutely no idea what hes doing. If people think hes going to do what he says, (ie turn back the boats, rip up the carbon tax, cancel the nbn , remove the mrrt) they obviously cant see the forest through the trees.

            • djos
              Posted 02/08/2012 at 1:44 pm | Permalink |

              Good article here: “Why Abbott could lose the ‘unloseable’ election”

              http://www.climatespectator.com.au/commentary/why-abbott-could-lose-unloseable-election?&utm_source=exact&utm_medium=email&utm_content=85001&utm_campaign=kgb&modapt=commentary

              (may need a free sub)

              I hope Abbott does lose, frankly I think ppl will wake up to the idea of TA as PM = bad for this country as he has nothing constructive to offer – just look at the mess his mate CN is making in QLD already by firing thousands of public servants to implement his “small gov” policy! All he will do is hurt the economy by creating additional unemployment. QLD is not broke like SA was in the early 90′s after the State Bank collapsed!

              • Simon Reidy
                Posted 02/08/2012 at 2:02 pm | Permalink |

                Great story. Very interesting reading. It made me feel ever so slightly more optimistic about the chances of a Labor victory after reading this bit:

                From Climate Spectator:
                “History is, as they say, ‘there to be broken’, but if an election were held today, Abbott would be the most unpopular Opposition leader to win a federal election since polling first came onto the national landscape six decades ago. At this point it should be noted that few prime ministers have seen their disapproval ratings at the low depths of Julia Gillard’s but it is hard to see a rout while perceptions of Abbott remain so modest.”

                Let’s just hope that Abbott’s approval rating continues to drop. Not that Gillard’s approval has much chance of rising, but this needs to be an election about “Keeping the LNP out” more so than enthusiastically “keeping Labor in”. Or at least that’s how I feel about it, given my mixed support for Labor policy and the PM’s view of the world.

              • Posted 02/08/2012 at 2:10 pm | Permalink |

                “QLD is not broke like SA was in the early 90′s after the State Bank collapsed!”

                It’s not far off being broke ;) What Newman is doing is highly legitimate.

                • Posted 02/08/2012 at 2:12 pm | Permalink |

                  Careful Renai, we’re getting into politics here :P

                  Remember, it is an ideological choice to sack public workforce to slash budgets. There are other ways, but they’re not as attractive to more conservative ideology.

                • djos
                  Posted 02/08/2012 at 2:19 pm | Permalink |

                  All im saying is that CN’s claims are exaggerated.

                  Good opinion piece here: http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/4163296.html

                  What about government debt? Spain’s is large, growing and expensive. On one measure, Spanish government debt is around 72 per cent of gross domestic product. With its bond yields spiking above 7 per cent recently, the ability of the Spanish government to service its debt is in serious doubt. Investors and ratings agencies have issued a string of warnings about possible default.

                  In contrast, Queensland’s state debt is a modest 20 per cent of its gross state product, and 3-year bond yields are running at a cheap 3.35 per cent. Not only can Queensland comfortably service its debt, but it is paying the kind of interest rates that a householder with a mortgage can only dream of.

                  With the Queensland economy expected to grow strongly in coming years, driven in part by federal flood reconstruction funding, the state’s tax revenue will automatically improve even if no further efforts are made to cut spending.

                  For entirely political reasons, Newman and many members of his Liberal National Party government have put a particularly negative spin on Queensland’s debt and deficit issues since coming to office.

                  • Posted 02/08/2012 at 2:34 pm | Permalink |

                    How about this paragraph which you left out of the quote?

                    How broke is Queensland, actually? The state’s money troubles are certainly significant. According to the recent Commission of Audit, Queensland is running a $1.8 billion deficit, a figure estimated to widen to nearly $4.9 billion in 2012-13.

                    $4.9 billion deficit in just one years… up from $1.8 billion. Pretty decent problems there.

                    The Queensland deficit is currently exploding. Sure, its economy is also growing, but I think you’ll find broad support within the state for reining in government spending. This is quite normal behaviour for a state which has had a Labor Govt for 20-odd years and is now in Coalition hands.

                    I’ve dealt quite a lot with the Qld Govt myself in my capacity as a journalist, and I certainly agree it is overweight in quite a few areas. It has expanded as the state has expanded — but whenever that kind of explosive growth goes on, things tend to get out of control in some areas, and this is a perfect case of that.

                    • djos
                      Posted 02/08/2012 at 3:00 pm | Permalink |

                      Im not saying a good prune isnt needed, our Labor Gov here in SA gives the the Public service a yearly prune but does so in a much smarter manner than what CN seems to be proposing – plus important stuff like Health and Law Enforcement are usually exempt here in SA.

                      • Posted 02/08/2012 at 3:23 pm | Permalink |

                        Yes, but the problem is in Queensland, the Govt decides to be fiscally responsible only once a decade, so things got a lot more out of control ;) In SA they are a lot more reliable on a more regular basis :)

                      • djos
                        Posted 02/08/2012 at 3:24 pm | Permalink |

                        Fair enuf. :-)

                      • Posted 02/08/2012 at 3:46 pm | Permalink |

                        Queensland has been seeing incredible growth for many years, well before I was born.

                        I think what we’re seeing here can be difficult to term as ‘conservative liberalism’ in Queensland, due to the sheer fact that they’re trying to cut costs without cutting growth projects and infrastructure spending.

                        Quite the opposite approach to what the hell TA’s trying to do.

                      • GongGav
                        Posted 02/08/2012 at 3:49 pm | Permalink |

                        @Renai – perhaps its because SA has had more experience being broke…

                      • djos
                        Posted 02/08/2012 at 3:51 pm | Permalink |

                        Yeah we know what it’s like to have a genuinely FCUK’d economy – it’s the #1 reason I spent 10 years living in the eastern states and only moved back in 2007.

                      • Clytie Siddall
                        Posted 05/08/2012 at 3:34 pm | Permalink |

                        While they slash education to the bone. In addition to the forced amalgamations (“it will be the community’s choice” – hah!) of schools, and the removal of funding for adult re-entry, now we’re going to privatize TAFE in the same way which led to the current disaster in Victoria. :(

                    • Brett Haydon
                      Posted 02/08/2012 at 7:39 pm | Permalink |

                      That’s such a load of rubbish. You only need to look at the actual treasury figures produced by his own government.

                      If Queensland were a household with house worth 500k (Total assets), they owe 160k (Total liabilities not just borrowing) with an annual income of 90k and an interest rate of less than 4% and an annual interest bill of 4k. If only most households were in such as state!

                      Oh yes, you might say – they spent more than they earn’t this year. Well yes, because they had to spend 10k (that 4.9 billion you allude to) after a little ‘flood’.

                      That’s not to say that they don’t have ‘income’ issues going forward because they choose to be a lower taxing state compared with their peers ACT, NSW, VIC, and WA but If commission of audit produced by Peter Costello isn’t a political exercise I’ll eat my hat.

                      • Peter Kelley
                        Posted 07/08/2012 at 10:12 am | Permalink |

                        I see your point but the analogy doesn’t quite work – they can’t exactly sell the “house” to repay the debt now can they? Maybe a low rate credit card is a better analogy?

                      • Brett Haydon
                        Posted 07/08/2012 at 11:36 am | Permalink |

                        @Peter Kelley – financial assets (liquid) represent 120k of that total.

                        The point is that they aren’t close to a position where they need to sell the house… The choices they are making are to try and protect their AAA credit rating rather than one born out of necessity, but they’re trying to pretend they’re in a dire financial position when they’re not.

                • Bern
                  Posted 02/08/2012 at 2:34 pm | Permalink |

                  It may be ‘legitimate’, but it’s seriously hurting the Queensland economy.

                  Spending has plummeted, both by the private and public sectors. Consultants (and considering the decades long trend to outsourcing, there are a lot of them!) are struggling to get work. Contractors have no work. The service sector (cafes, restaurants, shops) in the city are are suffering badly, as public servants are either fired or afraid they’re next, so they stop eating out & shopping.

                  When the numbers start coming through, I think you’re going to see a substantial contraction of the Qld economy over 2012.

                  Unless you’re a wealthy coal baron or gas company who’s getting projects approved left, right & centre, of course…

                  • nonny-moose
                    Posted 02/08/2012 at 7:27 pm | Permalink |

                    i have every expectation of this being the case for those exact reasons cited. you take money out of the state economy in terms of some thousands of salaried workers and the things those wages bought no longer get bought. food, petrol transport, ‘luxury’ goods – tho a bottle of something nice might be more like medicine if you cop one of the redundancies Campbell is spruiking as ‘job cuts we’d be happy to have’ (!!!).

                    i dont know what effing planet he lives on where he can have job cuts and good thing in the same sentence and think thats going to be looked on kindly by the electorate. im interested in the other Qld commentators, if they are also noticing distinct airs of buyers remorse since the Can Do empire opened its doors – i certainly am. (could have told em it was coming, tho i have no love for Bligh either).

                    Newman keeps bleating about the state of the economy after Bligh – presumably to set us up for being ready for tales of economic doom and gloom – when its arguable that even IF the QLD govt is as bad as its made out to be, those cuts will make it worse. CN must love that kind of self fulfilling prophecy.

                    in any case contraction is what im pegging – to me, odd considering Qld is a mining state and should be in front? oh thats right CN will cut green tape, all good if you are in CSG then….

        • Posted 02/08/2012 at 1:00 pm | Permalink |

          “I’m no Bill Gates”.

          – Tony Abbott, 2010

          • tom
            Posted 02/08/2012 at 2:48 pm | Permalink |

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tpN7VCzDTdg

            Scary stuff, to hear a potential PM looking so incompetent.

            Another classic Tony Abbot quote: “I also think that if you want to put a price on carbon, ah, why not just do it with a simple tax.”

        • RocK_M
          Posted 02/08/2012 at 4:39 pm | Permalink |

          He already lost me the moment he went -

          “We’ve said all along that we don’t need nationalised broadband, we need better national broadband, and we can get that using the private sector with a lot less government funding than the $50-odd billion the government has committed.”

          Really? “Better” broadband through the private sector?

          GODDAMNIT REALLY?! SO THESE PAST 15-20 YEARS OF STAGNATION SINCE *PRIVATISATION* WAS THE WAY OF THE FUTURE?!

          *ahem*

          Sorry but that’s always been a massive sore spot for me. “Private Sector” has sat on its thumbs for near on 20 years. While the broaband world moved on. They started advertising “Now you too can get Bigpond ADSL!” on areas Telstra *KNEW* could not be done because they were RIM estates! If it takes near 5 years for the private sector to even get basic broadband of 256kbps whilst the world was already upgrading to 512kbps-1.5mbps

      • Mike K
        Posted 02/08/2012 at 7:39 pm | Permalink |

        The Howard governement left us with an 80 billion dollar infrastructure deficit.

    2. Dean
      Posted 02/08/2012 at 10:58 am | Permalink |

      I’m not going to get into the sorts of specifics that we’ll be announcing in our policy pre-election.

      This is why I don’t expect much in the way of a useful response from the questions we came up with the other day.

      • NPSF3000
        Posted 02/08/2012 at 11:07 am | Permalink |

        “I’m not going to get into the sorts of specifics that we’ll be announcing in our policy pre-election.”

        Or more importantly, the lack of specifics if past history is anything to go by.

      • nonny-moose
        Posted 02/08/2012 at 7:34 pm | Permalink |

        never mind the fact Tony would have loved an election called any minute since the last one! i seriously wonder, if hed had his wish, how caught short he’d have been on producing policy for any putative election had the govt suddenly lost its Independents buffer..

        if hes ‘not getting into specifics’ because he has no policy that part of any future election threatens to look a whole lot like the last attempt (6 wks out, no Oppn leader attending etc etc?). lightning couldnt strike twice….. could it?

    3. Paul H
      Posted 02/08/2012 at 11:06 am | Permalink |

      Won’t matter whether NBN Co is sold or not. Under the Coalition the country will be left with a very different and vastly inferior outcome.

    4. Bob.H
      Posted 02/08/2012 at 11:11 am | Permalink |

      On the face of it, it seems that the Coalition really can’t make up their mind what they want to do with the NBN if they win the next election.

      Surely the leader of the opposition should be well aware of what the policy is and if it doesn’t exist should just say so.

      Having the Leader of the party say one thing and the nominated spokesman (shadow minister) say another hardly inspires confidence in the ability of the party to provide stable government in the future.

    5. GongGav
      Posted 02/08/2012 at 11:18 am | Permalink |

      For some reason, when I read this I had a picture in my head of Abbott clutching a crayon and trying to scribble some sort of policy on the back of a napkin.

      I need a holiday…

      • Posted 02/08/2012 at 11:21 am | Permalink |

        ….wow, that’s remarkably similar to how I see most of Abbott’s “speeches” on the NBN….

        • GongGav
          Posted 02/08/2012 at 12:50 pm | Permalink |

          Its getting that way isnt it? The mental images are becoming more detailed as well – he holds a different colored crayon depending on the FUD he’s pushing. Blue (dunno why blue – cat 6 cable color perhaps?) for tech FUD, green for carbon FUD, red for general Labor FUD, and so on.

          The brown crayon is the worst, i know its just crap no matter what he’s on about.

          Still need that holiday…

    6. Posted 02/08/2012 at 11:19 am | Permalink |

      It doesn’t seem to make much sense to sell off those bits and pieces shortly after they were built — that, in my opinion, would mediate against a long-term Coalition FTTN strategy.

      Sorry Renai, but IMO you’re missing the point. The Coalition don’t WANT to have a broadband policy. At least, Turnbull might. Maybe even Fletcher. But Abbott and the powers that be, don’t. They’re not interested. They’re interested in being in power and dealing with the issues they want to, like Industrial Relations, Taxation, Carbon Pricing, MRRT and Asylum seekers. Broadband is not on the high scale agenda.

      Hence, my belief they will sell it off at the first possible moment. Most likely to Telstra as they are the most likely buyer because of their inherent ability to be able to “fix the mess” as you say of a partially built NBN. I’m becoming more and more convinced we will see very little from the Coalition on the NBN. They’re strategy is to neutralise it as an issue and deal with it later, which will likely result in it being sold to “save money” even though it’ll do no such thing.

    7. Bern
      Posted 02/08/2012 at 11:20 am | Permalink |

      They don’t have to break up NBNCo and sell it piecemeal – they can sell the whole lot, lock stock & barrel, to a private bidder. Who in Australia would have the cash to buy it? Well, gee, I wonder…

      As I mentioned in a comment the other day, I expect the Libs will try to flog it off to Telstra (whether that’s Telstra Retail or Telstra Wholesale), to re-form Australia’s privately-owned telecommunications monopoly (because, you know, a privately owned monopoly is *so much better* than a government-owned one… )

      • Markie
        Posted 02/08/2012 at 12:27 pm | Permalink |

        Well, if this scenario ever plays out along these lines wouldn’t it be ironic if the ‘buyer’ was Optus.
        Optus being owned by SingTel which belongs to the Singapore government – so the the NBN would be ‘nationalised’ by government albeit a foreign one…

        • Anthony
          Posted 02/08/2012 at 6:44 pm | Permalink |

          Or Google…..

      • jw
        Posted 02/08/2012 at 6:30 pm | Permalink |

        ” Who in Australia would have the cash to buy it? ”

        Anyone if they sell it cheap enough and just say “See, it wasn’t worth the $50 billion Labor spent!”

        • Mike
          Posted 03/08/2012 at 7:27 am | Permalink |

          According to the head of the NBN, its unsellable, no one will buy it. Most of the regional work and the 2 satellites wont make a profit, the NBN wont make a profit until you include the cities and their surrounding built up areas.
          Anyway I would be more worried about your job security, once the coalition get into government out come the razors, cut back and more cut backs, we are broke because of the Labour government, even though they went into debt to get us throught the world financial crisis.

          • Markie
            Posted 03/08/2012 at 8:04 am | Permalink |

            Broke? Where some of you get your information and ideas from astounds me sometimes.
            The only bad debt is debt that’s not serviceable – and Australia is well placed to do this. Let’s be clear about this, budget surpluses or deficits have nothing to do with external government debt…
            By not spending money the Howard government shifted the debt burden onto us punters, er sorry, voters, so some government debt became private debt – the biggest snow job ever.
            Hey, but that’s ok, give Tony the job and find out for yourself…

            • Mike
              Posted 03/08/2012 at 11:34 am | Permalink |

              Markie, what I mean was the coalition if they win the next election will say we are broke or in too much debt and they will slash jobs and expenditure.

              • Markie
                Posted 03/08/2012 at 12:18 pm | Permalink |

                You’re probably on the money there…(no pun intended – and yet…)

            • Northern Blue
              Posted 04/08/2012 at 8:25 am | Permalink |

              “The only bad debt is debt that’s not serviceable”

              That might be what is taught in economics classes by reality is different. In reality a bad debt is more often one where the person lending the money deems it to be so. I have been privy to two regional enterprises that have gone through this whilst I was contract coding quietly in the background but privy to the goings on (they were very nice people to chat to). The key was both companies had accumulated large debt through equipment renewal and in one of the cases they also acquired a smaller similar operating business in another district. In both cases the banks (the lenders) had changed their support officer. In both cases they had been been bouncing along but were making all payments and the P&L position was improving quite well. I used to see the figures on the GL as the accounting code was my area.

              Both thrown to the receivers. At no point did they meet the definition you provided. The lenders had a different formula though. Basically 50+ people on the unemployment line and lots of community angst due to a change of pencil pusher 3000km away who had no idea of the industry nor ever visited the region.

    8. djos
      Posted 02/08/2012 at 11:29 am | Permalink |

      Can the Libs please wake up and de-throne this moron, Im so sick of Abbott and his stupidity!!

    9. Chuq
      Posted 02/08/2012 at 11:41 am | Permalink |

      Abbott: ‘Later in the interview Abbott said if a Coalition Government didn’t proceed with what he described as “the nationalised broadband network”, it would have more funding available to spend on “useful things”, such as “roads”’

      AGAIN? the old “more funding available for roads” line? How many times can Abbott get away with saying this before he gets called out on it?

      • SMEMatt
        Posted 02/08/2012 at 1:11 pm | Permalink |

        Isn’t private sector competition able to deliver roads cheaper?

        • Paul Thompson
          Posted 03/08/2012 at 11:22 am | Permalink |

          Well played, sir.

          • Anthony
            Posted 03/08/2012 at 2:56 pm | Permalink |

            Agreed.
            Though it isn’t the whole story.
            Roads are good but are still conjested.
            Rail is good, but it still isn’t up to scratch.
            Much of it because of lack of spending on the ‘network’ which – is government funded.

            These projects are PPP’s Public Private Partnerships.
            The can works sometimes.
            Other times they don’t.

            Remember the government Tendered for building of the NBN (FTTN NBN If I remember correctly), and they couldn’t get anyone to play ball.

            I guess it was a bit early for Google to tender, but I think most of us would still prefer as much money stayed in the country as possible, without say, 20% in profits going offshore…

            It usually comes down to the management of the PPP.

            Good management (and good legislation) Good outcome
            Bad management, Bad outcome.

            So far so good with NBNco, however we’ll know more on Wednesday…

        • Alex
          Posted 03/08/2012 at 4:12 pm | Permalink |

          @SMEMatt…

          Let’s take the private do it better logic to the nth degree.

          Couldn’t the private sector deliver government/governance better?

    10. CMOTDibbler
      Posted 02/08/2012 at 12:21 pm | Permalink |

      If they keep the NBN they will have to keep the NBNCo. This goes against everything the Coalition has said about the private sector being the best option.

      If they won’t provide any clarity on what they will build let’s at least have some clarity on who will build it. The government owned NBNCo or the private sector? Simple question.

      What Turnbull was saying a few months ago was starting to form a coherent plan. Now, though, if we take what the Coalition as a whole is saying and writing all we have is a mess of contradictions. That’s possibly even worse than the half-baked excuse for a policy they took to the last election.

    11. Simon Reidy
      Posted 02/08/2012 at 12:27 pm | Permalink |

      “I’m not going to go into the precise details on what we’d do, because it’ll be confirmed in the run up to the next election. The point I keep making is that we believe in free enterprise, we believe in the free market, certainly there’s got to be regulations and all the rest, but generally speaking, we think private business is better at goods and services than nationalised industry.”

      Wow, like, Abbott is so articulate ‘n stuff. He knows we like, need regulations and all the rest.

    12. Markie
      Posted 02/08/2012 at 12:31 pm | Permalink |

      “…we think private business is better at goods and services than nationalised industry.”
      Question from the floor: Isn’t NBNCo a private company set up with equity funding by the current government?

    13. Markie
      Posted 02/08/2012 at 12:32 pm | Permalink |

      …and, isn’t the plan to sell it all off once it’s completed?

      • Bob.H
        Posted 02/08/2012 at 12:39 pm | Permalink |

        It is a government owned company as the government owns all the shares. They do intend to sell it off later down the track.

        • Posted 02/08/2012 at 12:57 pm | Permalink |

          @Bob H

          I think the point being made was it is privately run. The government doesn’t control its functions and operations.

          • Bob.H
            Posted 02/08/2012 at 5:09 pm | Permalink |

            @seven_tech I agree the day to day running of the NBN is not being controlled by the Government but NBN’s policies seem to be. eg http://www.smh.com.au/technology/technology-news/nbn-seeks-verdict-on-wall-warts-20120801-23for.html.

            I think that the government position with the NBN is the same as the Board of Directors in a public company. They dictate the policy direction and approve the policy and procedures but are not involved in the actual day to day running of the company. Which is how it should be run in my opinion.

            • Posted 02/08/2012 at 5:42 pm | Permalink |

              Mmmm, again Bob H, that’s an objective, not operational. It is a USO objective and unless the government release them from it, they must comply unless they believe it is ultimately detrimental.

              In this case, the battery backup is a pain, but it’s not crucial to the whole NBN connection. But the government should just get off its’ arse and say they’re not compulsory.

              • Bob.H
                Posted 02/08/2012 at 6:04 pm | Permalink |

                Ahhh I agree that he USO is an objective and if I recall correctly is included in the legislation. This is equivalent to a private/public companies “policy”.

                The way I see the control system is:

                NBN
                Taxpayer ——> Parliament ——–> NBN Co

                Private/public Company
                Shareholders —–> Board of Directors ———-> Management

                For both the NBN and a private/public company the setting of policy direction rests exactly at the same level (Parliament or The Board). Unfortunately the expertise at the policy setting level is variable in both systems.

                I agree with you that at the very least battery backup should be optional as it is only useful if you have a phone connection.

                • Posted 02/08/2012 at 6:32 pm | Permalink |

                  @Bob H

                  And even THEN you might not want it. I don’t. I may or may not have a phone (analogue)- will most likely go with VOIP. But even if I didn’t, I wouldn’t want the battery backup.

                  This is a fault of the government AND the Senate Committee who won’t recommend anything either way. It’s a stupid deadlock that is likely to have very little affect, so they should just make it optional.

              • Anthony
                Posted 02/08/2012 at 6:46 pm | Permalink |

                They aren’t compulsory. They are ‘opt out’.

      • Chuq
        Posted 02/08/2012 at 12:47 pm | Permalink |

        With the approval of the government at the time. ie. Basically if the Greens have balance of power in the Senate, it won’t get sold.

      • Northern Blue
        Posted 02/08/2012 at 1:58 pm | Permalink |

        ” isn’t the plan to sell it all off once it’s completed?”

        That’s indeed what they said they would do. The government owned monopoly will be a private owned monopoly. I’ve seen this before somewhere (???) only in this instance the monopoly is guaranteed a yearly CPI increase in the fees it charges and possibly no ACCC interference as well.

        Also – they announced delays in the NBN rollout two days ago but that didn’t seem to be mentioned on this site. Our business district is not on the current 3year commencement list so I guess we are looking for the beyond 5 year commencement timeframe at best now.

        • Posted 02/08/2012 at 2:07 pm | Permalink |

          @Northern Blue

          Also – they announced delays in the NBN rollout two days ago but that didn’t seem to be mentioned on this site. Our business district is not on the current 3year commencement list so I guess we are looking for the beyond 5 year commencement timeframe at best now.

          I’m sorry Northern Blue, but you’ve been misinformed by poor reporting.

          These delays were announced months ago, in many different newspapers. They were a consequence of the Telstra deal being delayed, the GNAF address data being 1/3 wrong and the Greenfields legislation fight between Telstra and the government. All this was known before the 3 year rollout announcement.

          There is NO evidence for your town, having not been on the 3 year rollout initially being “pushed back” because of these delays. The 3 year rollout is current. The delays refer to the 2010 Corporate Plan predictions. The new Corporate Plan, due out tomorrow, will reflect this AND show how the 3 Year Rollout fits.

          Unfortunately, you have a wait. So do I. I’m not on the 3 year rollout either. But this is a NATIONAL rollout- it is not possible to do it in “a few years” and get it right. But it is fundamentally changing our telecommunications industry for the better- removing the dominance of vertically integrated Telstra.

    14. SMEMatt
      Posted 02/08/2012 at 1:21 pm | Permalink |

      Abbott won’t confirm or deny anything because ATM the LNP don’t have any actual policies, only catch phrases.

    15. Bruce H.
      Posted 02/08/2012 at 2:01 pm | Permalink |

      I can’t believe that even believe what he is saying… the Coalition’s policies appear to be made on the run and shift with the feedback from push polling and focus groups.

      Two things to keep in mind.

      1. Politicians break election promises. Fact. They always have an excuse to fall back on. In this case it will be that their coalition partner, The Nationals who may nott allow it, being that for the most part, Regional Australia has been held back and or excluded from decent telecommunications infrastructure and have been held ransom by that other privately owned monoply, Telstra for far too long. As regional Australia becomes switched on to the NBN prior to the next election, I believe sitting Nationals may become targets of uncomfortable questining about the Coalition’s NBN policy. Regional Australia gave up believing a long time ago that Telstra would bring them into the world of 21st Century telecommunications. Many would argue that they were left by the side of a back country lane while the “Information Superhighway” bypassed their villages back in the 90′s and noughties.

      2. Unless the Coalition win absolute majorities to govern in their own right in both the House of Representatives and the Senate, they have will have buckley’s chance of breaking up or selling off the NBN. Remember, it took the Coalition a couple of elections and nearly 10 years since 1996 before they could introduce a very watered down “Work Choices” legislation which was the main reason why Howard & Co were booted out by Rudd in 2007.

      Anyway, it’s time for me to go back to teasing my local Nationals member why 2 jam tins connected with a long piece of twine should not be considered to be a broadband network :)

      • Simon Reidy
        Posted 02/08/2012 at 2:12 pm | Permalink |

        “why 2 jam tins connected with a long piece of twine should not be considered to be a broadband network :)”

        Don’t knock the jam tin and twine! It still has many years left in it. FTTJT (fibre to the jam tin) is one the Coalition’s best ideas ever and will give you at least 14kbps. And as we all know no one needs anything over 14kbps! ;)

        • Alex
          Posted 02/08/2012 at 3:43 pm | Permalink |

          They only need the jam tins now Simon…

          It’s a new fandoogled techy thingy called “wireless”!

          • Simon Reidy
            Posted 02/08/2012 at 5:47 pm | Permalink |

            that’s true, but I hear the signal gets jammed a lot ;)

          • Elijah B.
            Posted 02/08/2012 at 7:16 pm | Permalink |

            You can tell if it’s wireless if there are two cans and no twine connecting them; the further apart the cans the louder you have to shout until you go out of range of being heard.

        • jw
          Posted 02/08/2012 at 7:13 pm | Permalink |

          But if you can save money by using a shorter bit of twine and just shouting louder, isn’t it worth the extra effort? What? Still can’t hear because the twine stops 500 metres away instead of going all the way to your house? That’s ok, you don’t need it at home anyway. Just run down the road when every you want to use your jam tin. It’ll only take a few minutes, and the twine even though 500 metres shorter still save the time you would have spent running all the way to the other end of the twine to the other tin..

      • bob
        Posted 02/08/2012 at 5:28 pm | Permalink |

        My jam tin gets water in it. keeps dropping out :(

    16. tom
      Posted 02/08/2012 at 2:50 pm | Permalink |

      Why you shouldn’t bother listening to Tony Abbot on TV or radio:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tc5ljcri6Nk

      He says himself, you can’t trust what he says.

      • GongGav
        Posted 02/08/2012 at 3:22 pm | Permalink |

        If someone took the time to go through all the foot-in-mouth footage of Abbot, there would be enough for a feature length movie.

        Wait… never mind, someone did it already with The Three Stooges…

        Seriously, that would be one funny project.

    17. Markie
      Posted 02/08/2012 at 3:31 pm | Permalink |

      Oh goodie, here comes another hung parliament…

      • Alex
        Posted 02/08/2012 at 3:44 pm | Permalink |

        Personally Markie, I’d prefer that to a landslide either way…

        I.e. no one to keep the bastards honest

        • GongGav
          Posted 02/08/2012 at 3:50 pm | Permalink |

          Except the Greens in the senate…

          • Alex
            Posted 03/08/2012 at 12:21 am | Permalink |

            Yeah.. for now!

    18. NBNAccuracy
      Posted 02/08/2012 at 5:51 pm | Permalink |

      Wow. Does this scenario this scenario sound familiar?

      http://www.zdnet.com/broadband-policy-could-bring-back-bt-monopoly-claims-lords-report-7000001883/

      It seems to be exactly what people on here have been predicting the Coalition “NBN” policy will do. I hope next time MT mentions UK FTTN as being some sort of holy grail whoever is interviewing him brings up the problems from this article.

      • Observer
        Posted 02/08/2012 at 8:17 pm | Permalink |

        “The Lords Select Committee report on Communications, published on Tuesday, accuses the government of focusing too much on short-term speed targets and not enough on future upgradeability. The peers also criticised the government’s approach to subsidies for rural communities, saying it had effectively eliminated competition to BT in those areas and failed to serve urban citizens who are on the wrong side of the ‘digital divide’.”

        MT should be asked to comment on this. Sounds like they’re attacking his policy, if you could call it that.

    19. socrates
      Posted 02/08/2012 at 6:33 pm | Permalink |

      So Abbott won’t ‘confirm or deny’ that after his incoming government has aborted NBN, they will sell off the parts of it that have been built up to that point. No surprises there, but -

      Having also stated that ‘the private sector could deliver broadband to Australia better than the Government’, it’s all too clear what the coalition will do. A quick and dirty sale to the suddenly government-friendly old monopolist, and we’re all back to the future of, say, 1990.

      Ahh, the good old days of backward tech, lousy service and true monopoly price gouging.

    20. jw
      Posted 02/08/2012 at 6:38 pm | Permalink |

      Abbot says “nationalised telecommunications is the way of the 1960′s, it’s not the way of the current century. … we don’t need nationalised broadband, we need better national broadband, and we can get that using the private sector with a lot less government funding”

      and then

      “if a Coalition Government didn’t proceed with what he described as “the nationalised broadband network”, it would have more funding available to spend on “useful things”, such as “roads”

      So instead of spending on the Nationalised Broadband Network, he claims he will spend it on the Nationalised Road Network! Isn’t that just as EVIL and SOCIALISTIC? If means what he says about NBN, then he should privatise all the roads, and charge everyone to use it, just like Telstra charges to use their copper network.

      And we will continue to pay the same charges we pay Telstra to maintain their outdated copper network instead of paying that to NBNco for their new futuristic fibre one.

    21. James Q
      Posted 02/08/2012 at 6:44 pm | Permalink |

      Tony seems to have some weird mental block that prevents him from seeing the NBN as infrastructure.

      • jw
        Posted 02/08/2012 at 7:08 pm | Permalink |

        How can it be infrastructure? (What’s that anyway?) NBN is technology thing like iPads and iPhones that you should only buy if you can afford one (otherwise just use your old GSM mobile) and all this tech stuff gets obsolete and has be replaced after 2 years anyway, not like a concrete building that lasts and lasts, and anyway private companies can do it cheaper – look at all those Amaysim and Hello Mobile services – they don’t need fibre or towers to work!

        Sigh :(

    22. Arran
      Posted 02/08/2012 at 7:09 pm | Permalink |

      Wot a loser :)

      • Elijah B.
        Posted 02/08/2012 at 7:25 pm | Permalink |

        It’s always annoyed me when people who don’t know the facts hold forth with an opinion based upon ignorance and personal preferences as if their opinion is actually worth anything, and even worse when they think their ignorant opinion is actually superior to the opinion of an informed person.

    23. Arran
      Posted 02/08/2012 at 7:11 pm | Permalink |

      Wireless technology will always be depended on how many people you have on it…you can’t put the entire nation on it, thats just a stupid though. This guys have no education ..

    24. Bob Smith
      Posted 02/08/2012 at 7:25 pm | Permalink |

      I don’t get it. Clearly Abbott gets the internal polling that shows nearly everyone in the country wants the “Labor NBN”. Surely he would just go, yep we are in and “truely” neutralise the issue. His persistent commentary surrounding using the incorrect figure of $50 billion to spend on roads instead is so contradictory its hard to know where to begin. If private enterprise builds broadband better, then surely by the same stroke of the pen they do roads better? If I was Gillard/Conroy I would simply be repeating “If you want fibre to your door (which a large majority clearly do) , vote for us, because the other guy isn’t going to give you that”, say it over and over and over and over a gain.

    25. Stephen
      Posted 02/08/2012 at 7:44 pm | Permalink |

      Of course he’s going to sell it. He’ll have Telstra waiting to buy the NBN at a decent mate’s rate, to prop up its monopoly (oops, I mean competitive market position in the deregulated telecommunications market created by the last Liberal PM).

      Renai, just going back to your comments about Queensland – the only people who really benefit from “small government” are the rich. Small government means less regulation, less control over businesses, less prosecution of white-collar crime…

      Big government is generally better for the average person even when they do pay a bit more tax, because big governments have enough power to level playing fields. But since Maggie Thatcher and Ronnie Reagan made a mess of their countries (noting that Thatcher said “there’s no such thing as a society”), there’s been this ideological bent that says: business must do things better than government; and small government is always best.

      The guy who wants a “government he can drown in a teacup” isn’t thinking about a government that can promise equality of opportunity. He’s a Clive Palmerite. And that’s the direction Tony Abbott’s faced all his life – he’s more than comfortable keeping the rich end of town happy as long as he’s in power.

      On the idea of nationalised infrastructure being bad, California’s first blackouts in decades came after privatisation. The rest of the US has had similar problems, because private enterprise doesn’t like to spend lots of money on infrastructure – it eats into profits. Private enterprise isn’t about delivering service, or providing infrastructure, it’s about profit. Privatise jails? You get lobbyists for tougher sentencing. Privatise education? You get degrees for sale. Of course, you control that through regulation, but then if you decide to go for smaller government…

      This belief – no, faith, in the power of “capitalism” is totally misplaced.

    26. Jason
      Posted 02/08/2012 at 7:51 pm | Permalink |

      Private businesses have had decades to implement something like the NBN, and they are still faffing about with useless copper. Australia is falling behind the rest of the world. It’s time for fibre.

      Liberals need to get their heads around this; if they don’t support NBN as a FTTH solution, then they are not getting the geek vote. FTTN and LTE won’t cut the mustard. FTTH or go home.

      Geek vote is at least a few percent. Enough to swing an election.

      • Hubert Cumberdale
        Posted 02/08/2012 at 8:18 pm | Permalink |

        Except it’s more than just geeks. Consider in 2013 there will be new voters voting that didn’t vote in 2010. In 2016 there will be new voters and they’ll be wondering where that NBN everyone was talking about is. The coalition will seem even more antiquated at this point. The backlash from not completing the NBN could have serious consequences for the coalition in future elections. This typifies their general attitude and their inability to look beyond the next election. They are not concerned about what our future internet needs are and they seem to be unaware there are elections beyond 2013.

        • GongGav
          Posted 03/08/2012 at 9:55 am | Permalink |

          My worry now is how much damage could Abbot do in 3 years. He gets power Nov next year, halts the FttH rollout immediately, does his CBA or whatever, and then rolls out FttN through private companies…

          In 2016, you’re going to have a bunch of infrastructure that ISNT FttH, so if Labor gets back in then, they will need to undo whatever’s been tainted by Abbot. He sells the FttH components off to Telstra, what does Labor need to do to get it back? What does Labor need to do to undo any FttN contracts or rollout?

          No matter WHAT the Liberals do, its going to do damage to Labor’s NBN plan. Damage that may not be undoable.

          • RocK_M
            Posted 03/08/2012 at 11:27 am | Permalink |

            My theory is If we have to go by history its basically a “Start from scratch scenario” Like w/ Medicare.

            Except it would be much much more costly because of the politics involved in “bypassing/using” the fibre that would have been sold off to the private sector AND the existing Copper.. as opposed to just now where the only problem is the existing Copper.

            At which point we’re back where we started (delays due to politicing and legislation) before any reasonable roll out starts. And one can only hope the Labor government at the time can hold on long enough to get it built because it sure as hell will be aborted *again* and blamed as “further waste” should Libs get their hands on a v2 a second time. =/

    27. Observer
      Posted 02/08/2012 at 8:20 pm | Permalink |

      “nationalised telecommunications is the way of the 1960′s”

      And supporting the monarchy is so much more current?

    28. ungulate
      Posted 03/08/2012 at 1:55 am | Permalink |

      “To be honest, I’m not quite sure where Jon Faine got the idea that the Coalition would sell off the completed portions of the NBN, because I haven’t heard the idea being discussed in public for a while.”

      To be honest, Renai, its exactly the things that don’t get mentioned in public that you should be the most vigilant about. Jon Faine is being quite insightful in understanding that that’s precisely the sort of thing that might happen and asking the question that needed to be asked.

      “My opinion is that Abbott and his Shadow Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull haven’t yet completely finalised their telecommunications policy, and won’t do so until shortly before the next Federal Election.”

      Sorry, Renai, but that’s just being naive. Abbott and company already have discussed in detail what they want to do. They may not be sure how to get away with it. The words you get shortly before the next election will have been considered carefully and will bear no resemblance to truth. As I’ve said before, you often commit the error of actually taking the Liberals seriously. That somehow they are well meaning, honest and intend to give good governance and aren’t simply trying to lie their way into office. You even seem to think, as I’ve pointed out before that there is a “alternative broadband policy” that exists, somehow waiting in the wings, that they can somehow latch onto. On that makes sense and yet doesn’t involve NBNco or something like it.

      “Turnbull has previously intimated that the overall NBN strategy would remain, but with substantial Coalition modifications, such as replacing fibre to the home with fibre to the node.”

      And your own articles go into great detail about how this would be nonsense.

      “Certainly we haven’t seen the Coalition discussing a sell-off of the NBN for quite some time.”

      And why the hell would the be honest or open about this?

      “In addition, selling off the completed portions of the NBN would be horribly messy and wouldn’t really make much sense. The current NBN network is a real patchwork affair — bits of residential fibre here and there, wireless in patches, some substantial backhaul links, and satellite stations under construction. It doesn’t seem to make much sense to sell off those bits and pieces shortly after they were built”

      But Renai, you again naively assume the Liberals will do something sensible. Why? They’re motivated by ideology. As I’ve said before, the reason the Liberals will NOT re-engineer the NBN (with FTTN etc) is because that would be a political disaster – ending up with them having not much to show for themselves at an election in 2016 in a world where people have begun to sit up and take notice as to the overwhelming superiority of FTTH in all aspects.

      And the only thing that will come between the Liberals and an effective sell off of NBNco (by whatever means, mean or tricky) is public awareness. And I can’t see that happening with the media the way it is. Perhaps you should become aware of this possibility yourself and perhaps if more people were aware that voting for the Liberals amounts to a sell off of NBNco then there is a chance they might stop and think about it.

      Renai, there is a sound argument for why the Liberals will sell NBNco. And that starts with the realisation that they can be predicted on two simple premises. First, ideology. They believe that privatisation cures all. Second, political expediency. They don’t want to “own” a redesign of the network. They want to disown it as soon as possible. Let people blame Telstra. But by no means do they want to end up at another election with a million odd people connected to fibre, a few thousand people on trial FTTN sites and the overwhelming weight of public opinion coming down in favour of fibre.

      Think about it carefully. The only sane conclusion you can come to is the Liberals will want to get it out of their hands as quickly as possible and the quickest path is for them to instruct NBNco in a manner that ensures it will become privately owned. And quite probably in the hands of Telstra or a subsidiary.

      It doesn’t make sense for the Liberals to flog off little bits and pieces of the NBN either. Its a lot easier for them politically to do their dirty work via their control (as shareholder) of NBNco and thus destroy the NBN as we know it.

      The future under the Liberals is a Telstra FTTH monopoly. And by then there will be nothing a future government can do about.

      As Orwell wrote, “imagine a boot stomping on a human face, forever”…

      • Posted 03/08/2012 at 11:51 am | Permalink |

        I agree whole heartedly ungulate. I really dont think we’re going to see the LNP do ANYTHING other than grandstanding.

        At most they might say they’re removing things like Carbon tax or MRRT, but they wont. Given the income it brings into the budget – it would be political suicide to remove it.

    29. Abel Adamski
      Posted 03/08/2012 at 2:05 am | Permalink |

      Haven’t had the time to read all the comments, so sorry if already covered.
      1) Too many True Believers still holding T2 and T1 shares they were conned into paying $7 for
      2) Telstra’s NBN plans appear to be designed to discourage migration to the NBN
      3) Telstra is currently madly installing Top Hats (FTTN) effectively shutting out competitor products and stitching up 2 year contracts ahead of NBN
      4) The NBN contracts with telstra and penalties, remember Telstra Ducting, Trenches and Pits, plus much leased telstra Dark Fibre in use

      Abbott will just hand the NBN assets to Telstra with exemption from ACCC oversight to wipe the Debt Commitment to Telstra..

      Come in Suckers

      • SMEMatt
        Posted 03/08/2012 at 1:10 pm | Permalink |

        1) how soon they forget who conned them.

      • Abel Adamski
        Posted 03/08/2012 at 8:31 pm | Permalink |

        IMO Telstra is intentionally setting out to minimise NBN takeup in full knowledge if the ideological and political factors. I don’t blame them, the National best interest is meaningless to them, their obligations is to their shareholders and rightly so.
        Low uptake guaranteed sale and destruction of an advanced ubiquitous affordable business upgradeable wholesale network. Telstra will have 90+% of the Nations communications infrastructure and competition will be effectively impossible.

        I can’t help but believe that that is the Coalitions intent, bugger the nation and our future, look after a select group of investors

    30. Vitman
      Posted 03/08/2012 at 7:53 am | Permalink |

      Why can’t we get a decent politician that knows technology and oh nah never work in this country as it will always be run by complete retards. :(

    31. Brett Haydon
      Posted 03/08/2012 at 10:37 am | Permalink |

      I don’t really care who owns the NBN, as long as the existing regulatory legislation remains in place for any new owner – and I can’t see why it wouldn’t.

      The main problem for the NBN under non government ownership at this point is that it can’t raise funds at the bargain basement government rated interest rate around 3-4%, which almost certainly means they would have to increase prices to cover the higher borrowing costs and probably they would expect a slightly higher rate of return for the increased risk factor.

      • Abel Adamski
        Posted 03/08/2012 at 8:37 pm | Permalink |

        And they will be looking at the total cost paid within 5-10 years, plus a margin of at least 20%.
        Effectively close to doubling the retail cost with very limited retail competition or choice.

        Can anyone formulate a different or better end result in that scenarioand how could it be achieved. The investor must have a rapid return of their capital and a solid dividend otherwise why invest

    32. andrew
      Posted 03/08/2012 at 1:32 pm | Permalink |

      So maybe we are all fools to not be buying telstra shares.. they’ve been doing fairly well recently.. as we get closer to the election if Abbot is looking to win the share price should go sky high :)

    33. SuperiorIQ
      Posted 03/08/2012 at 11:21 pm | Permalink |

      The only white elephant i can see in the room is you sir and you need to go quick for the sake of this countries future. Who wants to vote for a party that only knows to do nothing and destroy things for the sake of their own egos, sure Labor isn’t perfect but atleast they do things. You know the word ‘do’? you want to look it up some time things don’t magically appear out of thin air they need to be built.




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    • Android in the enterprise: Three Aussie examples from Samsung androidapple

      Forget iOS and Windows. Today we present three decently sized deployments of Android in the Australian market on Samsung’s hardware, which the Korean vendor has dug up from its archives over the past several years for us after a little prompting :)

    • Businesslink cancelled Office 365 rollout cancelled

      Microsoft has been on a bit of a tear recently in Australia with its cloud-based Office 365 platform, signing up major customers such as the Queensland Government, Qantas, V8 Supercars and rental chain Mr Rental. And it’s not hard to see why, with the platform’s hybrid cloud/traditional deployment model giving customers substantial options. However, as iTNews reported last week, it hasn’t been all plain sailing for Redmond in this arena.

    • Qld Govt inks $26.5m deal for Office 365 walker

      The Queensland State Government yesterday announced it had signed a $26.5 million deal with Microsoft which will gain the state access to Microsoft’s Office 365 software and services platform. However, with the deal not covering operating system licences and not being mandatory for departments and agencies, it remains unclear what its impact will be.

    • Hospital IT booking system ‘putting lives at risk’ doctor

      A new IT booking platform at the Austin Hospital and Olivia Newton-John Cancer and Wellness Centre in Melbourne is reportedly placing the welfare of patients with serious conditions at risk.

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