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  • News, Telecommunications - Written by on Wednesday, September 26, 2012 10:53 - 109 Comments

    Turnbull won’t disclose rival NBN policy details

    news Shadow Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull has repeatedly declined to be nailed down on the specific details of how much the Coalition’s rival National Broadband Network policy will cost taxpayers, what speeds it will provide or how many Australians its infrastructure will reach, in a wide-ranging television interview this week.

    The Coalition is focusing on a rival NBN policy predominantly based on fibre to the node technology, which would see fibre rolled out to neighbourhood ‘nodes’ and the rest of the distanct to premises covered by Telstra’s existing copper network, as opposed to the fibre to the home model preferred by the current Labor Federal Government.

    Labor has guaranteed that its fibre network will provide 100Mbps speeds, and eventually 1Gbps speeds, to 93 percent of Australian homes, schools and workplaces, with the remaining 7 percent to receive either fixed wireless or satellite connections providing speeds of up to 12Mbps. In addition, although the NBN will require a substantial initial capital investment from the Government of about $37 billion, it is slated to make a long-term financial return of about 7.1 percent.

    However, speaking in an interview on the ABC’s 7:30 program on Monday night (full video and transcript here), Turnbull declined to provide equivalent details about the Coalition’s rival policy. Referencing the Government’s NBN capital investment cost, host Leigh Sales asked Turnbull: “Would you please give me a comparable figure for your policy?”

    “Well our figure will be a lot less than that. I don’t think the Government by the way can do it for anything approaching $37 billion and I don’t think they can do it within 10 years,” said Turnbull. “… By taking the fibre to a cabinet that is, say, 1,000 metres or less, mostly less, from the premises, that’s a saving of about three quarters. It’s about – the difference between fibre to the cabinet and fibre to the premises cost differential is about four to one.”

    “So does that mean you think your policy’s going to be around $10 to $12 billion?” fired back Sales. “Well, this is where I’m reluctant to put a precise figure on it, Leigh, only because I don’t know what contracts they’ve entered into,” said Turnbull. “Now if Stephen Conroy were to open up the books of the NBN Co and allow us to do have access to it, we could do the work and come up with a different set of numbers.”

    Turnbull’s comments come despite the fact that the Liberal MP told the Financial Review newspaper in mid-August that the Coalition had a fully costed policy document regarding the NBN ready to be released. However, in a new separate interview with the ABC this week, Turnbull appeared to have changed his position on the issue, noting that the Coalition would not be able to fully cost its policy before the next Federal Election.

    Similarly, Turnbull was unable to provide Sales with precise details on the coverage or speeds which the Coalition’s rival policy would provide.

    “… fibre to the cabinet will deliver for most of its customers in those areas in less than 1,000 metres speeds of between 25 megabits per second for the people that are the furthest away, for most people speeds of 50 or better and for a third, 80 megabits per second,” he said. Pressed on the issue, Turnbull said there would always “be somebody that’s living on top of a mountain … it depends on the length of the copper.”

    Turnbull further extrapolated that between three quarters of the addressable population would receive between 50Mbps and 80Mbps, and those on the edge of the rollout might be in the 25Mbps area.

    “Sorry, when you can’t give specific detail about cost or exactly about who will have what speeds, doesn’t it mean that your vow that, “We’ll definitely bring it in for less than the Government, we’ll definitely get it running faster,” that’s meaningless if you can’t give the specific details of your policy?” Sales told Turnbull.

    Turnbull also claimed that sources in the civil construction and engineering industries had estimated that the NBN would cost 20 years – not the current 10 – to deliver, and that it would cost twice the amount that it is currently slated to.

    The news also comes as Turnbull’s office has not responded to a list of questions regarding the Coalition’s FTTN plans forwarded to it last month, following a fact-checking exercise conducted by Delimiter into an article Turnbull published in July strongly pushing for the potential for the NBN project to be modified to focus on fibre to the node technology instead of its current fibre to the home rollout. At the time, a consensus had appeared to develop amongst those commenting on the National Broadband Network project on Delimiter that Turnbull needed to provide more evidence that Fibre to the Node is the best style of broadband infrastructure rollout for Australia’s long-term telecommunications needs. The questions were:

    • What international examples of FTTN-style broadband deployments do you consider most pertinent to the Australian situation, and why?
    • How long do you estimate it would take, if the Coalition wins the next Federal Election, to deploy FTTN to more than 90 percent of the Australian population?
    • What, specifically, do you estimate would be the cost difference between deploying FTTN and FTTH as part of the NBN rollout?
    • Do you consider it possible to re-work the current Telstra/NBN contract to focus on FTTN instead of FTTH, and how long do you estimate this would take?
    • What broad details of this contract would need to change, and how long do you anticipate the ACCC would take to approve a modified version?
    • Do you have a long-term plan to upgrade a FTTN-style network to a FTTH-style network, or a medium-term plan to allow ad-hoc upgrades of this network to FTTH?
    • What do you consider to be the time frame on which a FTTN-style network would continue to be used without an upgrade to FTTH? Will there, in fact, be a need to upgrade in the long-term to FTTH? On what evidence do you have these beliefs?
    • How would you address the claim that FTTN is a short to medium-term technology that will be superceded over the next several decades by FTTH, and that Australia should only be investing for the long-term when it comes to this kind of telecommunications infrastructure? On what evidence do you feel this way?

    opinion/analysis
    This is a quick message to everyone out there who thinks I’ve been too hard on Malcolm Turnbull and the Coalition with respect to their NBN policy and other issues such as data retention recently. Believe me, I don’t want to be, but he keeps on forcing me into it.

    What am I supposed to do? What am I supposed to do with Mr Turnbull, when he appears on national television and cannot give core details of his rival NBN policy, yet demands that level of detail from the Government? What am I supposed to do with Mr Turnbull when he backflips over whether the Coalition’s NBN policy is costed or not? What am I supposed to do with Mr Turnbull when he won’t comment on the single biggest government policy that the technology community is concerned about, Nicola Roxon’s data retention and surveillance proposal? This is one Shadow Minister who appears to be trying his best to use his portfolio to hang himself. All I can do is continue to report on how tight the rope is getting.

    It’s normal for journalists to work closely with the Opposition. We have a highly common interest in mind – holding the Government to account – and most journalists who interact with the political sphere receive a constant series of useful info-tidbits from the Shadow Minister in their portfolio, which helps in holding the Government of the day to account and making sure they don’t get out of line too much. And boy, do I love holding Communications Minister Stephen Conroy to account. It’s one of my greatest joys in life.

    However, in Turnbull’s case, he’s just not giving journalists much to work with. He’s doing everything wrong. Firstly he’s presenting an inferior policy as an alternative to a highly popular and visionary Government policy, and then getting all arrogant and huffy when journalists point out how his policy is inferior. He’s entered a direct conflict of interest situation with respect to his personal financial investments, and one that places him in an embarrassingly hypocritical position with respect to his criticism of Government policy. He’s continually and unfairly attacked an executive who has the respect of his industry and a huge amount of personal integrity – exactly the wrong target for Turnbull. And he’s completely ignored the issues – Nicola Roxon’s data retention scheme and Stephen Conroy’s mandatory Internet filter – which the population does want him to focus on.

    Right now, Malcolm Turnbull is a mess. Oppositions usually give journalists ammunition to shoot at the government. But the only ammunition coming out of the Shadow Minister’s camp right now is the kind which blows up in your face.

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    109 Comments

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    1. Posted 26/09/2012 at 10:55 am | Permalink |

      Snake oil salesman.

      • PeterA
        Posted 26/09/2012 at 11:14 am | Permalink |

        That can’t even tell you what the snake oil purports to do, or how much he can sell it to you for.

        • GongGav
          Posted 26/09/2012 at 11:28 am | Permalink |

          But its much better than the current oil you use.

          • Posted 26/09/2012 at 11:44 am | Permalink |

            But don’t know how much it costs.

            • Paul Grenfell
              Posted 26/09/2012 at 12:47 pm | Permalink |

              How long is a piece of string?

              • Dean
                Posted 26/09/2012 at 12:48 pm | Permalink |

                About as long as the copper wire from the cabinet to your house.

                • Paul Grenfell
                  Posted 26/09/2012 at 12:49 pm | Permalink |

                  “up to” 3kms?

                  • Rhys
                    Posted 26/09/2012 at 1:14 pm | Permalink |

                    Not including those on the top of a mountain.

                    • Paul Grenfell
                      Posted 26/09/2012 at 1:33 pm | Permalink |

                      Doh…!

                      • Posted 26/09/2012 at 2:03 pm | Permalink |

                        Apt comment. He seems to be fumbling around in the portfolio like Homer Simpson.

                  • Posted 26/09/2012 at 1:59 pm | Permalink |

                    The Turnbull wire is only 1km long for 25Mbps, but no service if you live on the top of a mountain,.

                    Guess, 600m geographical radius.

                    • nonny-moose
                      Posted 26/09/2012 at 2:11 pm | Permalink |

                      i had it pegged as ~650m max based on the 50 mbit claim. somewhere in the early 600s would be ballpark, id say.

              • GongGav
                Posted 26/09/2012 at 1:38 pm | Permalink |

                Is that piece of string still as long if you tie a knot in it?

          • MikeK
            Posted 26/09/2012 at 1:18 pm | Permalink |

            (But its much better than the current oil you use.)

            Not if you have cable, pair gain or are in a black spot.

      • Duke
        Posted 27/09/2012 at 2:58 am | Permalink |

        Time to recall Alston to give the coalition some integrity re telecommunications I reckon…

        … no, wait,

    2. Jimmah
      Posted 26/09/2012 at 11:12 am | Permalink |

      Any time a politician says ‘Trust me, our plan/scheme/project/study/etc is better’…

      All the Member for Wentworth is doing is showing that the Oppositions plan is inferior to the current Labor policy. You don’t hide a better, cheaper plan from the public.

      • Posted 26/09/2012 at 11:16 am | Permalink |

        This.

      • Mud Guts
        Posted 26/09/2012 at 2:02 pm | Permalink |

        Mal’s Atomic Banana is a massive white elephant, doomed to fail even before it begins. New Zealand realised this. The UK are realising it.

        The tired mantra he keeps bleating about it being cheaper and faster is his default. This is all we can expect until the election.

        He’s embedded so deeply into FTTN that it’s so difficult and embarrassing for him to admit he’s got it wrong. When pushed, he bags out how slow NBNCo are, bends the facts to suit his Atomic Banana and bangs on about how greenfield estates have no wireline service when it’s the lazy cheap developers who are to blame, not the NBNCo.

        WAKE UP Mr. TURNBULL. Your deception is your undoing. The voters spoke last election because a lack of communications policies, they’ll do the same about your doomed Atomic Banana.

        Copper is the weakness in FTTN. It will never provide the speeds demanded by Australians.

        Your Atomic Banana gives speeds of “up to” 80 Mbps. The FTTP NBN provides guaranteed speeds of 100Mbps and soon 1Gbps with none of this up to garbage.

        Get with the program, pull your head in and admit you’ve got it wrong.

        • Richard Ure
          Posted 26/09/2012 at 7:21 pm | Permalink |

          “Mal’s Atomic Banana is a massive white elephant, doomed to fail even before it begins. New Zealand realised this. The UK are realising it.”

          Is that elephant very big and very white? Be thankful, very thankful we aren’t leaving it to the private sector http://gu.com/p/2hh3x

          • TechinBris
            Posted 28/09/2012 at 2:37 pm | Permalink |

            I think if Mal keeps sniffing or smoking whatever it is, soon that White Elephant will be pink! Maybe that is why he’s not answering. He’soff his face and in an alternate reality, like their communications policies and his Leader.

      • Posted 26/09/2012 at 2:04 pm | Permalink |

        First rule: Never trust anyone who says ‘Trust Me’.

      • PeterA
        Posted 26/09/2012 at 2:46 pm | Permalink |

        I am particuarly sad Leigh didn’t have the quote regarding the “fully costed plan” from the AFR on hand.

        Something Kerry wouldn’t have missed!

    3. Posted 26/09/2012 at 12:06 pm | Permalink |

      In addition, although the NBN will require a substantial initial capital investment from the Government of about $37 billion

      I know it’s a tired argument, but it’s not $37 Billion to the Government- that’s the Capex. It’s $30.4 Billion.

      Sorry to Nit Pick.

      Back on-topic, I truly barely read what Turnbull says about his “policy” these days. I skim most of it, looking for actual numbers and when I don’t see them as usual I click the next link and move on.

      I think I’ll be doing this right up till Sept/Oct/Nov next year…..

    4. Bob.H
      Posted 26/09/2012 at 12:14 pm | Permalink |

      I don’t think you are being too hard on poor Malcolm. Infact I think the press is being too lenient with our politicians.

      My belief is that if a politician comes out with an “aspirational” policy that has no factual backing or costing the press should be reporting exactly that. eg “Mr Abbott has said he wants to increase spending on Defense by 3% each year but he is unable to give any details of what he wants to spend the money on or how he is going to pay for it.” No space should be given to fairy-tales and fantasy.

      I wonder how long it would take for the politicians to decide to propose costed, real achievable objectives based on factual information. PDQ I would think.

      • Michael
        Posted 26/09/2012 at 1:09 pm | Permalink |

        I agree entirely.

        The NDIS, Gonski, wage increases for “private sector” social workers and dental reforms all fall into these categories yet have been lauded as worthy pledges.

        But back to the NBN, would you expect MT to release a full package when if you remember back to the 2007 election before labour got into power it had what as a IT policy? It certainly was not a fully costed and prepared plan. In addition do you expect anyone to be able to fully plan out a policy when you have to inherit a company which will have signed legally binding contracts that you are unable to view?

        I personally would view it with a lot more scepticism if MT released a “costed” policy when he does not have access to sensitive financial information from NBN Co. The extent of contracts signed, termination agreements etc will greatly affect what ability he has to redesign the policy to suit his vision of it.

        • Posted 26/09/2012 at 1:20 pm | Permalink |

          @Michael

          2 things:

          1- Turnbull could happily cost his network in isolation, making it clear that these numbers could change, but this was the best possible outcome for a FTTN in isolation. People would then need to assume a certain amount of leeway because of current contracts. He could then have a concrete number which could be held up against the “Labor waste” hence making their economic credentials sound. Win-Win.

          2- You are happy to vote for a policy that:

          - Has no costings, however rough and changeable
          - Has no guaranteed mandate
          - Has no timeframe
          - Has no significant chance of removing Telstra’s monopoly

          Over the NBN, which has all those and more and MAY end up costing more than it has been budgeted??

          • Michael
            Posted 26/09/2012 at 1:36 pm | Permalink |

            1- Costing the policy in isolation is incredibly stupid. The NBN has already been partially constructed and consequently the best outcome that can be achieved for MT will be to make a hybrid of both schemes. This will require using NBN Co’s completed infrastructure and resources. Why waste what you already have?

            2. I would feel much more comfortable voting for a good idea based in solid policy development processes rather than a thought bubble than happened to work out.

            E.g. “Great” thought bubbles – BER, Pink batts, Green Loans, Grocery Watch, Fuel Watch, Live cattle export ban, Tax changes to employee share schemes, Infinite bank gaurantee, RSPT, East Timor Solution.

            I would rather base my preferences in sound groundwork and processes than a hit and hope style solution which more often than not leads to poor outcomes.

            - As an aside, a mandate is not the best idea when they are driven by politics and not public interest.
            a Commercial IRR and reducing costs for consumers does seem to be contradictory and very much open to abuse by moving in either direction rather than finding that perfect middle ground. It is somewhat like communism, it sounds great on paper but….

            • Bern
              Posted 26/09/2012 at 2:09 pm | Permalink |

              “Why waste what you already have?”

              Because that’s what politicians *do*…

            • PeterA
              Posted 26/09/2012 at 2:32 pm | Permalink |

              Labour did (broadly) cost all of their NBN policies.

              In 2007 it said 5 billion dollars of government money for a total build of an estimated 10 billion dollars.
              In 2010 it said 40 billion dollars of government money.

              What is the liberal policy going to cost?

              2. I would feel much more comfortable voting for a good idea based in solid policy development processes rather than a thought bubble than happened to work out.

              The liberal policy is just a thought bubble. The FTTP NBN is solid policy developed by industry leaders. I don’t understand why you think otherwise?

              Oh wait, I understand your point now and realise why I will never convince you. It is the principles that give birth to a policy, rather than the policy itself that makes the NBN bad.

            • Drew
              Posted 26/09/2012 at 3:40 pm | Permalink |

              @Michael, it’s no contest. The Turnbull NBN proposal is inferior. That’s not a general criticism of the coalition, just their NBN policy. Both sides of politics are guilty of uncosted thought bubbles, but so what? This discussion is about one policy issue: getting the best and most cost effective NBN for Australia. On that basis I disagree with your statement that “the best outcome for MT would be to make a hybrid of both schemes”. Why weaken the existing NBN so MT can save his political skin? He just needs to admit he was wrong, adopt a bipartisan approach and make this a non-issue for voters.

            • Karl
              Posted 26/09/2012 at 6:05 pm | Permalink |

              The difference between Labor’s proposal when they were in opposition and MT’s current proposal is that when Labor came up with theirs, everyone knew something needed to be done with broadband and they had a pretty simple position; “we’ll spend some billions on a better fixed line infrastructure rollout because ADSL is just not cutting the mustard.”

              MT’s proposal is much more complicated, because he is saying “our plan is cheaper and faster to roll out than the NBN”. If he wants to say that, fine, he’ll need to provide some evidence. Given practically everybody with any technical knowledge of the sector agrees that what he says is at best extremely improbable, he especially needs to provide some evidence to back up his empty claims, any evidence at all would do nicely. But he doesn’t, because he can’t.

            • Richard Ure
              Posted 26/09/2012 at 6:24 pm | Permalink |

              Malcolm is going to instal x cabinets with 8x batteries where Labor is going to instal none, so the question of “existing contracts” is so much bovine excrement. The trouble is we are not told what x is.

              Malcolm is going to rip up and replace y km of copper to deliver speeds between 25 and 80 Mbps, faster than ADSL2+ can deliver at its peak on existing copper. Labor is going to replace no copper, so again existing contracts are irrelevant, but what is the value of y?

              Malcolm claims to know the values of x and y otherwise how can his plan be fully costed?

            • Posted 26/09/2012 at 6:59 pm | Permalink |

              @Michael

              Costing the policy in isolation is incredibly stupid.

              Really? So therefore costing Abbott’s ‘Direct Action’ with the Carbon Tax already in place is stupid? And costing Abbott’s defends increase and education increase while simultaneously cutting the MRRT and without knowing how much it will actually garner yet, is stupid? Odd. Why are they doing those things then? Same reason if they want Australians to vote for them regarding the NBN they will release the closings in isolation comparison.

              Australians don’t trust Abbott, particularly after their $11 Billion black hole they chucked a tanty at Treasury over. They won’t accept ‘trust us it’ll be cheaper’.

              Oh and by the way, Labor did EXACTLY that in the 2007 election and then for NBN mk2- coated them both in complete isolation. It helped win them the 2007 election and went on the help win them the 2010 election, even with KPMG only confirming the NBN was viable JUST before the 2010 election.

              This will require using NBN Co’s completed infrastructure and resources. Why waste what you already have?

              You cannot use that infrastructure. It isn’t compatible with FTTN. Only the POI’s are. The beat they could hope would be not having to rollout so much FTTN because of already completed FTTH areas and passing on and absorbing into their plan the cost of the wireless/satellite. Right there, with those thing, you can easily come up with basic coatings. They wouldn’t be far off either…..except for the elephant in the room Telstra’s copper….

              I would feel much more comfortable voting for a good idea based in solid policy development processes rather than a thought bubble than happened to work out.

              I’m sorry if I’m being unfair here Michael but it appears your bias is beginning to show. You talk of wanting to vote more sensibly for the solid policy option…..but the Coalition haven’t GOT a solid policy option. A solid policy would have preliminary planning, industry comments, basic coatings and ideas about how to implement it as quickly as possible. The Coalition have none of that.

              Second, as I said before- the NBN may have well been a ‘lucky thought bubble’ but it didn’t GET lucky, it was worked on damn hard for the last 5 years. I cannot understand how people cannot accept this. There are VOLUMES of reports and Senate hearings about just the setup of NBNCo. let alone the planning of the network. I’m sorry, but your argument isn’t valid here.

              As an aside, a mandate is not the best idea when they are driven by politics and not public interest.

              Again, you appear to have this backwards. If Labor were all about political expediency with the NBN do you REALLY think they would continually at this I a long term project and that you have to be patient?? People aren’t stupid enough to fall for the ‘just vote for us one more term and you’ll see this project is great’ line. They’re doing it because it is the right thing to do for Australia. Rudd knew it. Conroy knows it and Julia now knows it.

              The Coalition have done nothing but backpedal on their Broadband stance as they’ve shifted with the political wind that the NBN has produced. They’ve gone from ‘the NBN is a waste, wireless is the way forward’ to ‘The NBN is too expensive. We can do it better and cheaper’ to ‘the money isn’t the issue here, it’s the inefficiency and the time’ (see Turnbull’s comments on the ABC-that is what he said)

              The Coalition policy is about politics. The NBN is about nation building.

              • Michael
                Posted 26/09/2012 at 9:22 pm | Permalink |

                Seven_Tech,

                We will have to agree to disagree as unfortunately to me you seem to fall into a category where anyone who criticises the NBN or Conroy does not know what they are talking about.

                “You cannot use that infrastructure.”

                Yes FTTN cannot use the same infrastructure as FTTP entirely but sections where FTTP has been contructed (contracted) could be left as FTTP. There are deals in place for satelite and WIFI towers that would be included. There is the existing backbone network to the POI as you stated all of which would need to be taken into account. In addition given the longer timeframe it would make sense to prioritise ares for FTTN to upgrade internet capacity to par where the NBN rollout is not going in parrallel with going to FTTP where the copper is to old. Not to mention the deal with Telstra for use of the ducts and assests.

                “I’m sorry if I’m being unfair here Michael but it appears your bias is beginning to show.”

                You assume I support the LNP option as I defend MT, but I often do so as there needs to be two sides to any debate or group think sets in. I personally suport the NBN in a different form. The current political climate where any critcism is met with scathing personal attacks is a very sad environment and contributes to the lack of mature debate. (IT policy has relatively little impact on my voting intentions as the NBN is a relatively small part of the overall economic debate)

                If it is such a strong public asset then the requirement that it earns a commercial IRR should be removed. Lowering prices will increase takeup and further the benefits of the NBN instead of providing simply more revenue through an implicit tax.

                Why did we need to pay Telstra over 11bn and Optus 3bn. Instead, why not build the NBN and allow it compete on prices while providing a direct subsidy to lower prices in rural areas. This would improve accountability and ensure prices stay low instead of requiring hidden cross subsidies. (Unfortunately the direct subsidy would be on the budget and therefore politically not viable.)

                When building the NBN there are two major directions – Addressing internet dead zones, or maximising profits. They are often conflicting due to the size of our country and low population (Hence why comparisons to the french FTTP rollout are not really viable). If it is a strong public good then why not roll it out in the dead zones first and allow Telstra / Optus to continue providing in the cities (CBD’s) and not have to pay them so much to migrate customers. If it is truly superior Telstra / Optus would either need to have their own FTTP or they would migrate across naturally once it is built.

                “Second, as I said before- the NBN may have well been a ‘lucky thought bubble’ but it didn’t GET lucky, it was worked on damn hard for the last 5 years.”

                The NBN was supposedly thought up on the back of an envelope during a flight. Whether or not it is true, it was originally a thought bubble with no strong costing. The reports were not designed to investigate the viability of different options. That never happened. The reports only investigated how to enable the NBN to be created to meet the artificial criteria already set by the government announcements. It got lucky that it was able to come up with a viable plan to meet those numbers.

                And yes they have worked damn hard to make that occur but even still personally do you really want to reward a decision making process that so often leads downhill?

                “Again, you appear to have this backwards. If Labor were all about political expediency with the NBN do you REALLY think they would continually at this I a long term project and that you have to be patient?? ”

                Yes. This is one of their best policy’s they have implemented. However nestled inside the NBN’s driving mandate are politically driven agenda’s. Keep the NBN off budget at all costs. That is a political goal. Why hasnt the notion of a direct subsidy vs cross subsidy ever been investigated? Where are the CBA’s of different rollout plans? (Again dictated by independants at election). They do not limit it from being a good project but they severly limit the options the project has when being developed.

                Btw on the length of planning an interesting comparison is to the Sydney harbour bridge. Swan has commented that if the LNP built it, it would only have 2 lanes. I bring it up in relation to planning, the initial CBA and feasibility studies were conducted in the 1890′s and the planning phase lasted for over 10 years. The Snowy Mountain Hydro scheme had a planning phase which was similar in length. Tge NBN has been compared to both of these schemes for the vision it represents, but it does need to be compared accurately. Why have the planning phases for those two projects been so much longer? If it is so important to the nation why have people been so unwilling to consider alternatives?
                Why not spend a little bit of money investigating that we are in fact doing the best option. Why was the government so scared of a CBA when it was happy to waste cash on other schemes?

                In either case I will be watching eargerly to see how the situation evolves and if it can meet predictions.

                • Karl
                  Posted 26/09/2012 at 11:04 pm | Permalink |

                  “given the longer timeframe it would make sense to prioritise ares for FTTN to upgrade internet capacity to par where the NBN rollout is not going”
                  How does that make sense? That makes absolutely no sense, why would you spend billions of dollars putting in FttN infrastructure just to replace it will FttH a couple of years later? That’s the complete opposite of making sense.

                  “The current political climate where any critcism is met with scathing personal attacks is a very sad environment and contributes to the lack of mature debate.”
                  I really don’t see how you can call what seven_tech said a ‘scathing personal attack’. It seemed to be a perfectly valid comment given what you had just said had that certain Tony Abbott ring to it.

                  “If it is such a strong public asset then the requirement that it earns a commercial IRR should be removed. Lowering prices will increase takeup and further the benefits of the NBN instead of providing simply more revenue through an implicit tax.”
                  How exactly do you think it would be paid for in that situation? If you remove the rate of return nobody is going to invest in it from the private sector, and so it would have to be paid for by taxpayers. Lowering prices just so everybody can pay for it again via taxes sounds a bit crazy, don’t you think?

                  “why not build the NBN and allow it compete on prices while providing a direct subsidy to lower prices in rural areas.”
                  I seriously cannot believe I’m reading this. How can it do both of those things? No really, explain it to me. It’s supposed to compete, and it’s supposed to increase it’s takings in competitive areas to pay for a subsidy at the same time? It’s supposed to compete on those terms against the same Telstra that deliberately overbuilt Optus and undercut them to kill off HFC as a competitive medium? I’d really love to know how you suggest that might happen.

                  “The NBN was supposedly thought up on the back of an envelope during a flight. Whether or not it is true, it was originally a thought bubble with no strong costing”
                  Now you’re complaining that the idea wasn’t costed at the moment of it’s inception? I don’t know about you, but when I have an idea to roll out ubiquitous high speed broadband to entire nations, I don’t immediately know how much it’s going to cost. If you do, I suspect you must be some kind of savant, because that is amazing.

                  “Keep the NBN off budget at all costs.”
                  You mean other than the NBN-related costs that have been put on budget?

                  “Why have the planning phases for those two projects been so much longer?”
                  I don’t know, I wasn’t there. I’m damned glad the NBN didn’t take that long to plan though, otherwise the LNP would just get back to power and can it before it had a chance.

                  “If it is so important to the nation why have people been so unwilling to consider alternatives?”
                  Sorry? Physics and our level of technological advancement proves that FttN is the only alternative, and it was considered before FttH. You seem to be conveniently ignoring that little fact. As for now, FttN has been considered to death, and as far as our understanding of technology and finance goes, FttN just isn’t a viable competitor to FttH. Apparently Malcolm seems to have a better understanding of these things than the rest of us, but he refuses to tell us why we’re wrong so what are we to do?

                  “Why was the government so scared of a CBA”
                  It’s not scared of them, it just knows that it would be a waste of time and money given that you can’t properly measure the Benefits of a project like this.

                  “when it was happy to waste cash on other schemes?”
                  There’s that bias again. Oh sorry I forgot, you insist it doesn’t exist.

                • Michael
                  Posted 27/09/2012 at 12:49 am | Permalink |

                  “That makes absolutely no sense, why would you spend billions of dollars putting in FttN infrastructure just to replace it will FttH a couple of years later?”

                  Is the aim to install FTTP or is it to enable faster broadband for residents? If the aim is to just install the FTTP then it does not make sense. However If the aim is to ensure that all have access to fast internet then why not install something? Have you not ever rented while saving up for a house?

                  -No your right, Seven_Tech made a good reply which is why i took the time and effort to respond to his points. I’m sorry if that came off as it was aimed at him, but it is my impression from reading numerous tech sites. Anyone who questions the NBN is an infidel.

                  “How exactly do you think it would be paid for in that situation? If you remove the rate of return nobody is going to invest in it from the private sector, and so it would have to be paid for by taxpayers. Lowering prices just so everybody can pay for it again via taxes sounds a bit crazy, don’t you think?”

                  This is an issue that is skipped over by many people. If the NBN is infrastructure, beneficial to all australians, they why shouldnt the taxpayer pay for it? Taxpayer funds are used for a lot worse causes (baby bonus / first home buyer grant). If the NBN has numerous benefits that cant be measured why don’t we all treat it like roads and have the public invest in it? (Even currently it is still semi public as an IRR of 7% is only acceptable as borrowing is at Govt interest rate). Choose either it is a commercial venture earning a commercial IRR of 12-14% (let alone venture capital rates 30-45%) or it is public infrastructure and taxpayers fund it.

                  Quoting Seven_Tech “The NBN is about nation building.” Again, if it is nation building why wouldn’t it be entitled to public funds?

                  The purpose of asking it as a question is to get people to question if this is the best model to achieve the NBN? I personally believe MT has a personal view much closer to that prefferred by the tech community but has to walk the party line. My strongest evidence for this is how the coalition policy has evolved since he become minister.

                  “I seriously cannot believe I’m reading this. How can it do both of those things? No really, explain it to me”

                  Here i feel you are confused. The NBN can act as a competetive player in providing FTTP wholesale services. To compensate for the significantly higher cost of rural premises which it is legally compelled to service the Govt can provide a direct subsidy to cover additional per unit costs. If Telstra decided to overbuild its network to compete wouldn’t we have a privately funded network at no cost to taxpayer in addition to the NBN? If a Govt company is providing minimum levels of service why do you care how the private sector competes?

                  “Why was the government so scared of a CBA”
                  It’s not scared of them, it just knows that it would be a waste of time and money given that you can’t properly measure the Benefits of a project like this.

                  This is a poor reason not to conduct a CBA. In the case of unquantifiable benefits, as a suggestion – why not fix the projects aim i.e. internet coverage to x% of pop at y minimum speed. Then you can compare different alternatives. The best part about a well done CBA is not the direct outcome as that can be easily manipulated depending on assumptions (See tollways in Qld for overly optimistic predictions) but the sensitivity analysis. It is important to know how the outcome changes when the variables do not meet predictions or exceed them.

                  Is the scenario robust to change?
                  Are there key benchmarks that must be met to stop the project from failing entirely?
                  What are the most sensitive determinants of revenue?
                  Is the outcome presented the most optimistic / pessimistic?
                  How does the chosen outcome compare to the alternatives?

                  With a business plan that spans 20+years and multiple governments I would be very surprised if it was accurate at its end.

                  “Actually I would say Turnbull is the worst of them. At least Abbott open admits to being a liar, whereas Turnbull laments the poor state of politics as if he is better than the rest of them. Turnbull is just as misleading, he’s just better at getting away with it.”

                  On this note – I’m not going to debate whether or not MT is lieing, but TA does it as well from the LNP. From labour the list goes on as well (Julia Gillard – Carbon Tax, Kevin Rudd – fiscal conservative, Wayne Swan – budget will not grow by more 2% real p.a., last year it grew by 4.8%) . It is not limited to either side of politics. It is upto the media and public to call politicans to account for it.

                  If the media allows either side an easy ride then all will do it.

                  • Karl
                    Posted 27/09/2012 at 4:18 am | Permalink |

                    Woops, I totally screwed up my reply, see the first part: http://delimiter.com.au/2012/09/26/turnbull-wont-disclose-rival-nbn-policy-details/#comment-498872

                    “To compensate for the significantly higher cost of rural premises which it is legally compelled to service the Govt can provide a direct subsidy to cover additional per unit costs.”
                    Again, the subsidy is still coming out of the taxpayer’s pocket. I guess it’s slightly better that way if you were to allow infrastructure competition because everybody is paying for the subsidy whoever their provider, but:

                    “If a Govt company is providing minimum levels of service why do you care how the private sector competes?”
                    Because economies of scale come into play. Even if only 1 in 10 signed up to Telstra’s network, it would reduce the NBN’s revenue significantly and increase prices for everyone. Fixed line infrastructure competition just doesn’t make sense, which is why it generally doesn’t exist.

                    “In the case of unquantifiable benefits, as a suggestion – why not fix the projects aim i.e. internet coverage to x% of pop at y minimum speed.”
                    That does nothing to weigh the benefits though. Providing speed and coverage isn’t the benefit, it’s the method. You can’t extrapolate what benefits there will be for one speed point or another. Here’s a nice simple cost benefit analysis for you:
                    FttP
                    Costs:
                    - an ass-load
                    Benefits:
                    - everybody on the wired portion will be able to use any internet service they desire
                    - the above benefit, for as long as can be imagined
                    - no more Telstra yay

                    FttN
                    Costs:
                    - slightly less than an ass-load, if the stars align
                    Benefits:
                    - some people on the wired portion will be able to use any internet service they desire
                    - the above benefit, to a continuously diminishing portion of the people, for about the next decade

                    “With a business plan that spans 20+years and multiple governments I would be very surprised if it was accurate at its end.”
                    Absolutely, but how would that be different for any other option? Side note: the business plan has been pretty accurate so far.

                    “I’m not going to debate whether or not MT is lieing, but TA does it as well from the LNP. From labour the list goes on as well (Julia Gillard – Carbon Tax, Kevin Rudd – fiscal conservative, Wayne Swan – budget will not grow by more 2% real p.a., last year it grew by 4.8%) . It is not limited to either side of politics.”
                    The common theme being that the Labor ‘lies’ you highlight were made lies by the circumstances, whereas at least some of the lies MT & TA tell are demonstrably false before they even utter them – and assuming they’re doing their jobs properly they know they’re false.

                    ps. What carbon tax?

                  • Harimau
                    Posted 27/09/2012 at 2:04 pm | Permalink |

                    You’re pretending to be a “victim” of “unreasonable NBN proponents” because it lets you discredit (without having to disprove) the arguments made by those proponents. But it isn’t working.

                    The objective is not to provide a stopgap solution and provide all Australians with some form of internet sooner (e.g. FTTN), it is to meet Australia’s current and future internet needs (e.g. FTTH). That is the objective: A *long-term* *future-proof* *world-class* broadband solution. Personally, when the long-term plan is to provide high-speed world-class broadband to every Australian household, I think you are only obliged to provide a stopgap solution if you’re creating the gap itself, not when the gap already exists – those gaps will be filled in time with the plan you’re proposing, and the solution will be more relevant and more robust.

                    The politically expedient thing may have been to prioritise those areas without any fixed line internet access with FTTH – but if that roll-out was contradictory to a more technically optimal roll-out and therefore less cost-efficient, then it costs everyone more in the long term for no long-term benefit.

                    It’s clear from this debate that Labor is about the “future” – providing all of Australia’s long-term internet needs, competing internationally in the future and opening doors for future Australians (while being insensitive to the political realities of the present).
                    On the other hand, the Coalition is about “now” – some form of broadband “now”, get me the prime ministerial job “now” (and never mind the future).

                    I said this elsewhere, but everyone has three options:
                    1. You can wait for the NBN/FTTH to come to you (for free)
                    2. You can go to where the NBN/FTTH is (and pay for that privilege)
                    3. You can just not have the NBN/FTTH at all (and vote the coalition in)

                • Posted 27/09/2012 at 8:20 am | Permalink |

                  We will have to agree to disagree as unfortunately to me you seem to fall into a category where anyone who criticises the NBN or Conroy does not know what they are talking about.

                  We can agree to disagree. But not on that point. I am happy for people to criticise either (especially Conroy- I don’t particularly like him) but not without merit or explanation, which is what the Coalition do.

                  Yes FTTN cannot use the same infrastructure…..

                  That entire paragraph, not to be rude, is exactly what I stated. The FTTP areas could be incorporated, the Wireless and Sat used and the POI’s used for FTTN…..but those are the SMALLEST parts of the FTTP infrastructure. The FTTP is $25 Billion worth.

                  it would make sense to prioritise ares for FTTN to upgrade

                  I don’t disagree with this. But the same way it would be a waste of money upgrading overall to FTTN THEN to FTTP almost as soon as finished (which is what would be needed) upgrading SOME areas to FTTN while FTTP is rolling out would be a larger waste of money.

                  Not to mention the deal with Telstra for use of the ducts and assets.

                  This deal cannot be used as is for FTTN. For a start, the lead-in conduits are not required (as they are now using Telstra copper instead of putting new GPON fibre in them) so that would be a waste of money to lease. Unless you suggest leasing the conduits AND buying/leasing Telstra’s copper? That would almost certainly make the $11 Billion go up to $15 Billion or similar.

                  The current political climate where any critcism is met with scathing personal attacks is a very sad environment and contributes to the lack of mature debate.

                  I couldn’t agree more. Personal attacks in politics or debate or unnecessary, rude and downright disgusting sometimes, as MT is showing with his mud-slinging campaign against Quigley.

                  Lowering prices will increase takeup and further the benefits of the NBN instead of providing simply more revenue through an implicit tax.

                  Prices cannot be lowered any further. The current prices are subsidised across anything from remote regions satellite, to regional wireless/outlying fibre, to semit-urban fibre. Removing the IRR would remove the cross-subsidy. The government would then have to pour in, in excess, of $1 Billion EACH YEAR to ensure those in the regional and remote areas on fibre, wireless and sat and even those in low-density urban areas, don’t end up paying $200 a month for basic FTTP internet. Also, the prices would NOT be lowered- they are already on par or BETTER than ADSL. Takeup would not increase- the Telstra and Optus deals ensure 100% takeup from those who want a landline at all by 2021….you can’t get higher than that. An implicit tax would just be like the Carbon Tax- taking money from one place and putting it in another……which is exactly what the “user pays” model does- take money people would pay for their internet anyway and give it to a government funded GBE to provide cheap, reliable, low-cost, high-speed internet to the whole country regardless of location.

                  Why did we need to pay Telstra over 11bn and Optus 3bn.

                  For a start, it was $800 Million to Optus, let’s not get carried away. And the reason it had to be done was simple- Telstra. Telstra have strangled the market to where it is. Telstra dominate and monopolise 85% of landline systems. Telstra control the telecommunications industry with an iron-fist in this country. Primarily due to Howard’s refusal to separate them when selling it off in 1996 (even though Keating had meant for them to be). TELSTRA are the reason NBNCo. has to bypass their infrastructure AND pay to use their in-the-ground infrastructure- because one of the primary 3 goals of the NBN was to remove the monopoly of Telstra. Those payments ensure takeup on the NBN, which ensure revenue, which ensures low prices for all in a user pays system.

                  This would improve accountability and ensure prices stay low instead of requiring hidden cross subsidies.

                  They are only “hidden” in the sense that people are unsure whether they are paying $3 each to subsidise regional rural areas or $4 each. The amount is known. It is easy to calculate from NBN OPEX.

                  (Unfortunately the direct subsidy would be on the budget and therefore politically not viable.)

                  Correct. It would also be fiscally less responsible to have an ongoing, unknown growth on-budget subsidy compared to a user pays system which subsidises by nature.

                  If it is a strong public good then why not roll it out in the dead zones first and allow Telstra / Optus to continue providing in the cities (CBD’s) and not have to pay them so much to migrate customers.

                  Because the profitable (cheap to rollout) zones are what allow NBNCo. to begin making a profit to cover OPEX immediately. Migrating customers was ALWAYS going to be required unless the NBN was left to compete against Telstra. And Telstra would’ve dropped the bottom out of their profits for several years to do just that and ensure NBNCo. couldn’t make money, so Telstra would gain the monopoly again in a few years. They have only a responsibility to their shareholders and that would be the sensible thing for them to do, as it was with the cable wars. It is is the WRONG thing to do for Australia….but they aren’t owned by Australia. They’re owned by their shareholders.

                  If it is truly superior Telstra / Optus would either need to have their own FTTP or they would migrate across naturally once it is built.

                  This was exactly what the ACCC struggled with. But the point they came down to was this- Would Telstra simply sit idly by and let their monopoly die without fighting tooth and nail if leaving NBNCo to fight the competition? The answer is no. And the PUBLIC would be the losers, NOT Telstra. That is why the ACCC approved the deals. Yes, it’s unfortunate that Telstra and Optus get money out of it. But it allows Telstra’s stranglehold to be completely removed and massively benefits the consumer for decades to come as a result. Again, one of the primary 3 goals of the NBN was the separation of Telstra and removal of its’ monopoly which has been strangling this country for almost 20 years.

                  The reports were not designed to investigate the viability of different options.

                  That’s because the FTTN option….was not an option then thanks to Sol and Telstra. They would’ve had a go at bankrupting the government by rolling out FTTP across their FTTN systems ON PURPOSE and then when the government GBE collapsed because of non-profitability…..we’re left with a monopoly FTTP that, essentially, the public have paid for TWICE- once for FTTN and once for FTTP through usage fees to Telstra (because of course the performances can’t be compared and FTTN would ultimately be useless) AGAIN, this was part of the point of the snap decision of FTTP to bypass Telstra- remove their stranglehold. It was a hasty decision, but the report confirmed it could be done properly, for a decent price AND in a way that is equitable for the consumer.

                  And yes they have worked damn hard to make that occur but even still personally do you really want to reward a decision making process that so often leads downhill?

                  So now we should disagree with the NBN on the principle of its’ thought up beginnings rather than the merit of its’ plan and goals? That’s just cutting off the nose to spite the face. Policies are thought up for any number of reasons, good and bad. If they’re good policies, hell, take what you can get, cause we get few enough of them as it is. Politics is not a fair game. It’s a win all or lose all game.

                  Keep the NBN off budget at all costs.

                  The Interest is on-budget.

                  Why hasnt the notion of a direct subsidy vs cross subsidy ever been investigated?

                  For exactly the reason I listed- the Howard way of ongoing, continually growing year-on-year subsidies is fiscally irresponsible. THAT is why Labor don’t want to do it. Not just because it is better to be off-budget. Don’t get me wrong- Howard did some good work. But ongoing subsidies, when a capital outlay once, followed by small upgrades can do the job better and cheaper overall is much more sensible. The Coalition does not understand this ideology though. It goes against their grain that private always = better.

                  Why not spend a little bit of money investigating that we are in fact doing the best option. Why was the government so scared of a CBA when it was happy to waste cash on other schemes?

                  A little bit of money?? A proper CBA would cost at LEAST $100 Million a take 1-2 years. That’s not a little bit of money, especially if it confirms, as many people believed it would, that the benefit of removing Telstra’s monopoly outweighed anything it would cost to build the NBN. And that’s the point- a CBA WOULD NOT take factors like that into account. It would only look at basic economics and social benefit. The Internet is beyond basic social benefit- it is the foundation on which to grow a digital economy and one tat we NEED as the mining booms tail off over the next 20-30 years. A CBA cannot, without several YEARS of study, take that into account.

                  And by the way, again, it is your opinion those “other schemes” were a waste. Let’s not bring them into the NBN debate- that’s base politics at work there, not arguments for or against the NBN itself.

                  In either case I will be watching eargerly to see how the situation evolves and if it can meet predictions.

                  As will I. The NBN is not bulletproof. But if it is managed properly (and I believe Quigley is the right man to manage it currently) then it will succeed. And in 10 years we will wonder what on Earth we were all whinging about so much…..

                  • Posted 27/09/2012 at 8:21 am | Permalink |

                    Sorry Renai. I really need to just use quotes instead of italics…..

                  • Michael
                    Posted 27/09/2012 at 1:43 pm | Permalink |

                    Thanks for the reply.

                    If I have been inconsistant on some issues, it is probably from the time at which i wrote the reply and my apologies and thanks for correcting my errors.

                    The only point I will continue to raise is with subsidies. As the NBN is a natural monopoly, there is little incentive for it to lower prices to the socially optimal level. It will maximise revenue. (Charging taxpayers to return money to Govt – taxpayers). This will lead to inefficiencies in the cycle so there will be deadweight loss. (Again we all have personal bias and my bias against middle class welfare comes out. Howard started it and no one has the courage so far to get rid of it.)

                    The argument for a direct subsidy is that with the government subsidising the need to provide rural services the NBN Co can compete very efficiently in the city area’s and will negate the advantage of cherry picking. The subsidy will be naturally kept small by political forces wishing as to trim revenue from the budget as much as possible. In addition as an open budget cost there will be more scope for FOI requests and transparency.

                    • ungulate
                      Posted 27/09/2012 at 2:03 pm | Permalink |

                      May I suggest you google for, and read, the NBN SAU (special access undertaking)

                    • Posted 27/09/2012 at 2:15 pm | Permalink |

                      @Michael

                      I always enjoy vigorous debate of the subject. Especially with people such as yourself who don’t mindlessly believe in a political ideology or just troll for fun….

                      My thoughts on subsidies run thusly-

                      The NBNCo. has a mandate to reach an IRR of 7%. Once it reaches this, the government don’t require them to earn more money. The government require them to give better broadband to Australians and only return whatever is left over as profit to the government. A government doesn’t need money like a business- they should and normally do prefer a GBE to plough over-profits back into better prices/services for citizens (Australia Post).

                      This is exactly what Quigley has said- once they reach 7% (and they will and more- the FTTP section is actually MAJORLY profitable when up and running- around 70% profit believe it or not) they will lower wholesale prices and expand services (10Gbps, 50Mbps on wireless, new sats, new fibre footprint etc.)

                      I don’t believe in middle-class welfare either. But that is not what this is. This is a sensible fiscal policy to continue providing Australians with decent broadband for decades to come. I don’t agree with selling the NBN- it should remain in government hands to benefit the country, much like I believe other utilities should. An on-budget subsidy ALSO has the possibility of being cut in hard times. And that would be disastrous for low-income regional and rural customers in a period of downturn. Especially with the Internet becoming integral to stable economics in a country more and more over the next decades.

                      • Richard Ure
                        Posted 27/09/2012 at 3:16 pm | Permalink |

                        “This is a sensible fiscal policy to continue providing Australians with decent broadband for decades to come.” AND to help realise the dream of practical de-centralisation. The cross subsidies of the NBN could well be more effective than all the other attempts to achieve this.

            • ungulate
              Posted 27/09/2012 at 10:46 am | Permalink |

              Michael,

              Thanks for bringing up the usual anti Labor beat ups. BER: Success story. Pink batts: several times safer than previous installs. The truth is trickling in now: http://www.smh.com.au/environment/earth-hour/key-saving-strategy-bounces-back-after-a-pink-battering-20120323-1vnyj.html

              The NBN’s single biggest threat is the lies and beat ups against Labor in other fronts. It aint just Turnbull spouting rubbish. Its all part of the same strategy. Go negative, Stay negative. Truth is of no consequence.

              • Tinman_au
                Posted 27/09/2012 at 12:01 pm | Permalink |

                It’s quite telling when anyone brings up BER or Pink Batts as “failures” in a discussion, it just shows they believe the Liberal spin over reports from the Productivity Commission…

                • Michael
                  Posted 27/09/2012 at 1:28 pm | Permalink |

                  Tinman_au

                  Just a short reply to those points, these are a difference of opinion. I personally disagree with general Keynesian theory – To avoid a recession the Govt needs to spend cash to prop up demand until private sector recovers. His famour example was that you could pay people to bury cash and then dig it up again.

                  To constast compare with economic thoery of productivity cycles, where producitivity naturally cycles up and down and this leads to recessions.

                  General theory aside, I personally do not believe spending on grossly inflated programs is a good idea to prevent recessions. Building which are 30% above catholic sector and more for private sector is not an efficient use or cash. If stimulating the economy is the aim use direct handouts or tax refunds to avoid waste and infrastructure should be completed once adequate planning is completed.

                  BER – $900,000 for a COLA? I have friends who have bough houses in Melbourne for less.

                  I can understand the justification using speed as part of the explanation but I don’t agree with it.

                • ungulate
                  Posted 27/09/2012 at 2:01 pm | Permalink |

                  We paid a premium for speed but it certainly wasn’t 20 or 30 percent.

                  http://www.theaustralian.com.au/in-depth/schools-watch/ber-is-a-success-inquiry-chief-brad-orgill-says/story-fn56ulhe-1225881556537

                  And worth a careful read:

                  http://aussieobserver.blogspot.com.au/2010/08/crikey-on-orgill-report.html

                  • Michael
                    Posted 27/09/2012 at 8:31 pm | Permalink |

                    I am sceptical of hand appointed committee’s when governments choose the members. It should be an independant body doing the review that already exists. Selection bias is always a problem. (Yes both sides are guilty of this.)

                    This is another link with hard numbers about the program.
                    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/state-politics/just-64pc-of-ber-spent-on-building/story-e6frgczx-1226144931299

                    For school halls, 3285/2204 = 1.49.

                    For school halls in NSW the margin over Catholic schools (independant managed even cheaper but not a fair comparison) is 49%. I know NSW was one of the worst but it exemplifies why I feel it is good to challenge expenditure and transparency is necessary to ensure that the public gets the best value for money.

                    • Posted 27/09/2012 at 8:42 pm | Permalink |

                      @Michael

                      2 issues I see there. 1) that is from the Australian. They couldn’t agree the BER was necessary in any form if you offered to buy every newspaper they could print for a year. They are Labor hunters.

                      2) It appears to me the worst was NSW at about 26% not spent on building, mainly because of high contractor fees (artificially inflated of course- part of the reason both the BER and HIP were more expensive than they shouldve been. Anything to make a buck gouging the government…) The rest are below 20%. 10% is normal project overrun. So 20% would be about right for the public sector. We might not like it, but blame the contractors. Don’t blame the government. I used to work for a company that provided installation and equipment to government- my boss inflated the prices by 20-30% because he knew they’d accept it to save time and money in stuffing around tendering multiple times.

        • NBNAlex
          Posted 26/09/2012 at 4:01 pm | Permalink |

          @ Michael…

          “But back to the NBN, would you expect MT to release a full package when if you remember back to the 2007 election before labour got into power it had what as a IT policy? It certainly was not a fully costed and prepared plan.”

          Absolutely, 100%… “incorrect”…

          http://www.abc.net.au/7.30/content/2007/s1954840.htm

          18/6/2007… “And today – months after Labor announced its plan for a fast national broadband network – the government presented its own proposal. Labor’s $4.7 billion program would roll out a fibre to the node network (that is, fibre optic delivery close to the home or business) across the nation.”

          The then opposition released it policy, with basic costings (and coverage elsewhere) months ‘before” the government”… Of course that policy has morphed into a complete and better package now (and the others have primarily picked up Labor’s scraps). But it got the ball rolling…

          But here’s my favourites from within… (remember 2007)

          “The Government will deliver a national broadband network, sooner and cheaper than the Labor plan.”

          LOL… sound familiar.

          My equal favourite was Deputy PM Vaile referring to Labor’s FttN as fraudband…ROFL!

        • Mud Guts
          Posted 26/09/2012 at 4:52 pm | Permalink |

          Then Turnbull should not have bullshitted about having a fully costed model for his Atomic Banana.

          His credibility is shot. The Coalition’s credibility is zero with Abbott being the worst offender.

          • Karl
            Posted 26/09/2012 at 7:53 pm | Permalink |

            Actually I would say Turnbull is the worst of them. At least Abbott open admits to being a liar, whereas Turnbull laments the poor state of politics as if he is better than the rest of them. Turnbull is just as misleading, he’s just better at getting away with it.

        • jane
          Posted 02/10/2012 at 12:19 am | Permalink |

          But he has stated that his NBG policy was fully costed, then back flipped and accused the government of a “Look over there” to avoid scrutiny.

    5. PeterA
      Posted 26/09/2012 at 1:04 pm | Permalink |

      Just watched the interview, he had one good point on the NBN and that was the already covered greenfields issue regarding rollout of fibre to existing estates. (The provider of last resort backlog is perhaps the simplest way of explaining it?). And is valid on that point.

      I was with him on parliamentary reform (trying to make it less adversarial?) until he blamed the government for not answering questions properly. (Would help if they got asked more than 1 question a week).

      • nonny-moose
        Posted 26/09/2012 at 2:07 pm | Permalink |

        one REAL question, yeah ive seen that, the rest being just so much veiled sledging and circulatory arguments, designed to spin away minutes until such time as one can be let off.

        as to the main story, I’m with Renai on this one: MT is playing Don Quioxte, tilting at a windmill called NBN and ignoring the real problems nearby. its baffling.

        its grating even.. Jimmah i think has it : if you are hiding it while swearing up and down, black and blue, its so good! …. people start to wonder if there is any there there in the first place (as it were). in that worst case scenario, theres plenty of time before the next election to hastily slap something together; sure. but i still think its not a good look either way, whether it exists but kept under wraps cos its an unpolished turd, or it doesnt and there is now the need for it to, and be credible. hes not closing the credibility gap for me with this performance with Sales.

    6. Dy4me
      Posted 26/09/2012 at 1:32 pm | Permalink |

      Fancy a MP thinking we will vote for him based on non existent policy. I know where my vote is not going.

      • socrates
        Posted 26/09/2012 at 2:20 pm | Permalink |

        Hey, straighten up, there, guys.

        If that very plausible Mr Turnbull says his unspecified marvel, to be delivered by an unknown date, is going to be ‘faster and cheaper’, then we all know exactly what it’s going to be. Don’t we?

    7. not same
      Posted 26/09/2012 at 1:59 pm | Permalink |

      Clever blamed labour for the lack of costing. Basically saying unless he knows what secret contracts they signed so he cant give a costing. Any party that tries to keep their policies going outside their term is kind of deceitful t me. I know where my vote is not going.

    8. MikeK
      Posted 26/09/2012 at 2:10 pm | Permalink |

      Yes Malcolm, NO Malcolm, here Malcolm have a banana.

      Just looked up Exetel fibre, I’m salvinating like Pavlov’s dog, $70 for 300GB at 100.000/40000 imagine when we have GB connection.

      Mike Quigley for Australian of the Year, pass it on.

      • Mud Guts
        Posted 26/09/2012 at 4:53 pm | Permalink |

        Mal’s got a Banana – an Atomic one.

      • Richard Ure
        Posted 27/09/2012 at 2:47 pm | Permalink |

        Check out the UK’s FTTN-is-cheaper and leave BT owning the copper experience http://goo.gl/TX9sU.

    9. Zok
      Posted 26/09/2012 at 2:42 pm | Permalink |

      Another important question Mr Turnbull needs to be asked is:

      If Coaliton’s alternative network’s deployment cost is going to be one quarter or one third of the cost of Labour’s NBN, does that mean that the price of broadband plans available to the end user is also going to be around 25% or 30% of the price of current plans (with nearest comparable speeds)? And if not — why not?

      • ungulate
        Posted 26/09/2012 at 6:09 pm | Permalink |

        Some round numbers for you Zok.

        $40B buys you a whole bunch of brand new fibre that physically lasts about 50 years. NBNco expects to pay for itself over 20 years. That leaves it with a network that is paid for but still has decades of useful life.

        FTTN costs in the order of $10B to $15B (these are rough figures, but near enough). That’s for the new stuff. On top of that, the copper itself will cost north of $11B to lease or buy.

        That’s the very short version. I could have also explained that FTTN is cheaper, if you happen to be Telstra and you happen to own the copper, but this is not the case, according to Turnbull.

        So straight away you’re in the $25B ballpark. Others could argue it is more. I don’t care that much because on the other side of the equation things look even worse.

        FTTN involves a maintenance bill for the copper of $700M per year and climbing. On top of that you don’t have the luxury of repayment over 20 years. In essence FTTN is a 5 to 10 year stopgap measure. And its that short repayment period that means that FTTN will cost as much if not more at retail.

        You’ll notice that in all Turnbull’s statements there are two things he never mentions. One is the sheer difference in lifespan when comparing FTTN and FTTH. On the one hand you have ageing copper. On the other you have brand new fibre. The other thing is he never mentions that his “one quarter to one third” figure ignores the cost of the copper.

        So much of the Liberal Party’s rhetoric on this issue seems predicated on their apparently being no future. FTTN is good enough and its good enough forever.

        But in the real word, fibre is the technology we will end up with. And we’ll get there even if we do nothing because even in a world dominated by Telstra, it suits their interests to gradually rip up the copper and replace it with fibre – its simply cheaper for them to do so.

        So, given the inevitability of fibre and the fact that over some period of time the cost of bring fibre to every house is a cost that must and will be met, does it make any sense at all to throw money at something that has to be scrapped in only a few years? Of course not. But its this pretense that the future will never come that is at the core of the Liberals grand deception on this issue.

        What really matters is not which technology we will eventually end up with. That’s fibre. What matters is how and when we build that fibre network, who owns it, who funds it and how much ultimately it costs to use.

        NBNco enjoys the benefit of economies of scale. Instead of having to spend even more money replacing the copper network bit by bit, it is far more economical to do it as one singular task.

        NBNco enjoys the benefit of the very low interest rates that the Australian government enjoys.

        NBNco enjoys the protection of the government.

        If you sat and thought about first, what the future looks like, and then how to get there, you always end up with the same conclusions. Its fibre, and the best way to build that fibre is with a GBE like NBNco.

        FTTN is neither faster nor cheaper. And it is nothing if not a waste of money over the long term.

        • WhatsNew
          Posted 26/09/2012 at 7:27 pm | Permalink |

          You forgot another difference in the operational costs: FTTN will require more energy (for the equipment in the cabinets) that FTTH does not require. The power consumption per user is roughly double on FTTN, requiring the equivalent of 2~3 small power stations (according to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=akKjo0e8V3k&feature=youtu.be). The users will have to pay for that ongoing energy need, so it will have to be factored into the wholesale price too. So, even putting aside the lower and inconsistent speeds on FTTN, its shorter lifespan, you also have higher maintenance (copper) and energy costs eating into the supposed savings. I suppose Malcolm will make up for it by making us all buy our own VDSLx modems for FTTN. He’s good at cost shifting in order to get that headline capital expenditure figure down.

          • Paul Thompson
            Posted 27/09/2012 at 8:51 am | Permalink |

            I would also add in something about the resale value.

            While I personally disagree with the current proposal to sell off the NBN at some stage, I would be the first to say that in the event of a sale then at least it needs to be worth something.

            Malcolm’s FTTN mishmash would be worthless. The FTTP will hold it’s value and would sell for a premium price.

            Right now I am going to pull a figure out of my bottom, but to illustrate a point. Sorry if my bottom isn’t accurate. Let’s say that the FTTP could sell for 25 billion more than the FTTN mishmash – shouldn’t we take that into account when doing the economics now? Why isn’t Malcolm looking at this side of things too?

    10. Mark M
      Posted 26/09/2012 at 2:43 pm | Permalink |

      Hey everyone I have plan that is cheaper and can be done faster than the Coalition’s but I cant show you because then I would have to explain everything. Now please vote for me you know you can trust me.

    11. Posted 26/09/2012 at 2:44 pm | Permalink |

      After jousting with Malcolm Turnbull on twitter yesterday. I wrote a very similar blog post myself. He does get quite upset when you burst his bubble.

      • Karl
        Posted 26/09/2012 at 8:24 pm | Permalink |

        Just read your latest blog post and it was quite good. One thing I didn’t realise is that the VDSL MT talks about requires 3 bonded pairs. This must be part of the reason he refuses to release any specifics, if he did anyone with the technical knowledge would tell him his plan is impossible and would basically need the copper to be re-laid; he’d then have to argue that laying copper everywhere instead of fibre is a good thing.

        Do you have any sources for that? It’d be nice to throw it in MT’s face whenever possible.

        • Posted 27/09/2012 at 8:38 am | Permalink |

          It’s a 2 wire bonded pair service. To get 80Mbps on Profile 8 (the limit of what most of Australia’s copper can handle due to the diameter of the copper wires) you need to run a bonded (4 wire/2pair) service.

          The whitepaper I linked on my blog explains a lot of the limitations: http://www.ictregulationtoolkit.org/en/document.2957.pdf

          Figure 7 on page 8 clearly shows that Profile 17 (17Mhz) is not suited to what Turnbull has been describing. Essentially Mal has been thrown numbers by an adviser & run with them without fact checking.

          It literally took me 30 seconds to find the VDSL2 whitepaper (published in 2006), so I’m not sure how Mal couldn’t find it. When I showed it to him he refuted the data in it & went with BT’s “up to 76Mbps” to mean that was network wide. The reality is closer to 30Mbps on BT’s Infinity VDSL2.

    12. Mark M
      Posted 26/09/2012 at 2:46 pm | Permalink |

      PS don’t worry about the ageing copper network I know a bloke who can get me a good deal on some Brasso that fill make the copper like new.

      • MikeK
        Posted 26/09/2012 at 3:09 pm | Permalink |

        @ Mark M

        You cant do that Mark unless your a Certified Telstra brass monkey.

    13. Cooper Corbett
      Posted 26/09/2012 at 3:00 pm | Permalink |

      Turnbull is visiting my town tomorrow to give an open forum on the NBN, wonder how that’ll go now.

      • Paul Grenfell
        Posted 26/09/2012 at 3:03 pm | Permalink |

        What town is that ?

        • Cooper Corbett
          Posted 26/09/2012 at 4:53 pm | Permalink |

          Rosebud on the Mornington Peninsula, Victoria

          • Mud Guts
            Posted 26/09/2012 at 4:54 pm | Permalink |

            Where and what time. I really want to have at him for his bullshit around this Atomic Banana.

            • Cooper Corbett
              Posted 26/09/2012 at 4:57 pm | Permalink |

              Rosebud Town Hall, 9am. BTW all local residents received a letter inviting us to this ‘forum’.

      • Richard Ure
        Posted 26/09/2012 at 6:42 pm | Permalink |

        I went to the Bennelong one where he recently threatened to make Mike Quigley redundant when/if he gets the chance. The meeting started with the old Dorothy Dixers about wireless and so on, then moves on as more knowledgeable folk start to challenge him. But he dissembles like a pro.

        I couldn’t say he won any hearts and minds but there is still a lot of ignorance of the issues. I wonder if he is making the best use of his time? Surely if he had credible answers to the issues raised here many times and shred them with his audience, he would accomplish more.

        Then again, let’s face it, he has no answers.

    14. MikeK
      Posted 26/09/2012 at 3:06 pm | Permalink |

      Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak likes NBN so much, he’s applying for citizenship, if Abbott and Turnball have their way he will be moving to New Zealand to get the NBN and that would be a bitter pill to swallow.

    15. Jason
      Posted 26/09/2012 at 3:23 pm | Permalink |

      I applaud Renai LeMay keeping the pressure on turnbull and the coalition

    16. Daniel
      Posted 26/09/2012 at 3:40 pm | Permalink |

      Problem is even if your only 300 metres from exchange you can be 3 km’s in copper lenght from exchange. Had mate he could see the exchange from his house and as crow flies was only 300 but online tools indicated cable lenght to his house was 3km. Snaking up and down streets will do that :) so his policy is doomed to failure.

    17. Josh
      Posted 26/09/2012 at 3:52 pm | Permalink |

      I continue to find it amusing how MT states his NQRBN will be faster and cheaper than the NBN. He must have an enormous broom to sweep the $15-20B payment Telstra will command for their copper network under the rug (or into TA’s 70B budget blackhole).

      Does he seriously think David is just going to hand it over for a free beer at the pub or something?
      In my book $15B + $15B = $30B for a rubbish network and were expected to swallow that?
      No thank you Mr T & TA

    18. MikeK
      Posted 26/09/2012 at 4:02 pm | Permalink |

      Forget Turnball, hes turned Australian comms into a joke. Now Abbott is a different kettle of fish, you have to ask yourself one question ?

      Would you hand over the furure of your children to a person who trained to be a catholic priest ? mmmmm

      Its a valid question Renai dont delete it.

      • MikeK
        Posted 26/09/2012 at 4:39 pm | Permalink |

        I’ll add to that last comment to avoid confusion…is our future comms, consequentiy our childrens future eduction, health and socialization thru social media including delimiter, based on reason and logic (fact) or based on superstition.

      • Mud Guts
        Posted 26/09/2012 at 5:42 pm | Permalink |

        Well you know the requirement to be a catholic priest? 18 and male. Welcome to the church.

        What a mad freak he is, angry and just odd.

    19. ungulate
      Posted 26/09/2012 at 5:30 pm | Permalink |

      The statement “the Coalition is focusing on a rival NBN policy predominantly focused on fibre to the node technology” is a little too generous. We’re led to believe that the Coalition have a policy and that if elected they would enact this policy. Under the circumstances, that is naive.

      What the Coalition is actually doing is trying to neutralize the NBN as a vote changer for Labor. And their tactic is to reassure Liberal-leaning voters that it is “safe” to vote Liberal. “Trust us, we’ll do something like that. It won’t be as nice, but it’ll be cheaper”.

      The Coalition got themselves into this situation by adopting the tactics of the Republican Party from the US. Go negative. Stay negative. Never, ever acknowledge your opponent has done something right, even if it means adopting an indefensible “alternative” position, even if it means repudiating experts. To simply turn round and accept the NBN would be to collapse their entire rhetorical position. It would implode their narrative about Labor.

      Now that they’ve got themselves into this position their approach is simply smokescreen and bookmark. The smokescreen is to make it look like they’re doing something. Grasp onto “alternate technologies”. Obfuscate. The bookmark refers to the fact that this is not about having a viable alternative approach – one they will actually implement. Its about getting over the line at the election. Once that’s done, the Liberals are then free to follow the following basic principles.

      Principle 1: Implement Liberal ideology.
      Principle 2: Stay under the radar.

      In this case, the ideology is simply expressed as this. The NBN is an anathema to the Liberals so long as its not being handled in the private sector.

      Staying under the radar means not getting in the news, not doing anything that Sir Humphrey would describe as courageous. In this case what they don’t want is to own a policy disaster. What they do want is to make the problem go away. They have no interest in good outcomes for the country, especially in what they see as the domain of private enterprise. All they care about is it not being a political anchor. And that is amply evidenced by the years of procrastination and then band-aids under Howard.

      What the Liberals cannot do is actually implement FTTN.

      Not because it can’t be done, but because of the extreme difficulty in doing so and the fact that in the final analysis to do so would leave them defending the indefensible at the election in 2016 against a superior policy offered by Labor. In short, trying to actually implement FTTN would be a political liability.

      Think about it for a moment. Forget the better/faster/cheaper rhetoric and just think about the complexities in turning NBNco around and redirecting it towards having a “business case” involving FTTN. Just think about the organisational, procedural, financial and legal hurdles. Forgetting even for a moment the likely show stoppers in the Senate, the Liberals would be lucky to have some “trial” sites operational before the 2016 election. And can you imagine the politics of this, with the Liberals now confronted with the realities that FTTN isn’t that much cheaper and has no future. With a much wider understanding in the community of the benefits and longevity of fibre?

      I really don’t need to expand on this because it should be obvious and besides I’ve commented on this before. There really isn’t an outcome that involves the Liberal party actually going ahead with FTTN and gaining from it. As Iron Man said “there is no version of this where you come out on top”.

      They know this.

      So what can they do? The answer is simple. Disown the problem.

      In short – flog off NBNco.

      If its at all possible they will do so. It suits the two prime directives. Ideology and political safety.

      And let me repeat this, the Liberals know this. They are planning to do nothing of the sort. No FTTN, No marvelous alternative solution. Simply the handing over of the NBN in its present design to Telstra.

      Here’s a picture of what this means: A privately owned fibre to the home monopoly where you get to pay 50% or more extra retail. That’s what you get when you vote Liberal.

      The Liberals also know this. But then, they also think that they can pull this off and we won’t get to see the end result (higher prices) until after we vote for them in 2016. And then of course we will eventually forget.

      So what’s Turnbull doing now? He knows he cannot and will not do anything related to his “suitable alternate technologies”. He knows that’s a smokescreen.

      And we are being played along if we believe that his “alternative” has any substance backed by real intent.

      We should stop worrying about the intricacies of FTTN and start asking ourselves questions about how and by what means NBNco will be sold off or transferred out of government ownership and how the Liberals will succeed in denaturing or working around the regulations that control pricing.

      We have a golden opportunity to get rid of the mistake that was Telstra and in doing so build the world’s best network. But there is a real danger that the Liberals could turn this into a monopoly that cannot be undone.

      • NBNAlex
        Posted 26/09/2012 at 5:37 pm | Permalink |

        Impressive +1

      • Avid Gamer
        Posted 26/09/2012 at 6:07 pm | Permalink |

        +1000, could not have said it better. Can I copy that to show all my friends/family/acquaintances???? It explains it all clearly and articulately.

        • ungulate
          Posted 26/09/2012 at 6:17 pm | Permalink |

          Sure.

      • Richard Ure
        Posted 26/09/2012 at 6:50 pm | Permalink |

        Favouring Telstra this way would mainly benefit workers’ super benefits. Do the Libs care for working people to that extent?

      • Mike
        Posted 27/09/2012 at 12:10 pm | Permalink |

        I absolutely agree with you. I have long suspected, and said publicly, that this is the ultimate LNP plan. Think about it. It would tick all the boxes for Turnbull. It would be “cheaper” because it would be privately funded. Hey, he’s never ever defined ‘cheaper’ so this would be the cry – “no more taxpayer’s money!” And, of course, a LNP Government wouldn’t then need to pay Telstra an infrastructure “rent”. It could be faster – Telstra just need to dust off the original plans they probably still have on the shelf. Again, faster has never ever been defined, but he’ll no doubt find a meaning that fits!

        So – cheaper – tick. Faster – provisional tick. An unmitigated disaster for Australia and Australian consumers? A bloody great HUGE tick!

      • RocK_M
        Posted 27/09/2012 at 3:56 pm | Permalink |

        +1

        Pretty much correlates w/ the point I put up ages ago on another topic – all these calls for “fiscal responsibility” is nothing more than a smokescreen/sham for the benefit of the party faithful. Only two parties would ever completely swallow this – the party faithful who truly believe it will be better because its Coalition and the one’s they can convince the NBN is a luxury and not infrastructure (therefore any spending would be ‘waste’ anyway).

        One side doesn’t need convincing to stick to Coalitions “better” plan just an apple for them to bite on and say they have an “alternative” and the other you can increase by derailing discussion by shifting focus away from “what’s going on” to “what’s going wrong” and convince enough people it’s a “waste” or “not needed” (you know just like Medicare v.1 – ‘Medibank’).

        At the end of the day however if your going to logically pursue this w/o politics and just looking at plain numbers on paper the NBN wins hands down by default only because its the ONLY plan w/ plain numbers on paper. All the Coalition is offering is a “better solution” on their word.

        You cannot argue the merits for an alternative plan if at best its just a nebulous ideal.

      • Harimau
        Posted 27/09/2012 at 4:05 pm | Permalink |

        Brilliant analysis.

        Renai should re-publish this :p

    20. Avid Gamer
      Posted 26/09/2012 at 5:55 pm | Permalink |

      Cooper Corbett says “Rosebud Town Hall, 9am. BTW all local residents received a letter inviting us to this ‘forum’.”

      I REALLY REALLY WISH that Turnbull would come and visit us here in Whyalla to tell us how the Coalition would deliver very fast broadband to our area “faster and cheaper” Considering that NBNCo has Whyalla scheduled to begin building/laying fibre in March 2014. And that their version (whatever that means???) is going to be MUCH MUCH BETTER for Whyalla in the long run.

      Mr. Turnbull, I DARE YOU to come here (Whyalla) and try to convince me (and all of Whyalla) that we should trust you in delivering what’s best for Whyalla and in fact ALL of Australia’s long term Telecommunications needs. By trading a NBN FTTP build start date of March 2014 to the Liberal’s build (FTTN/fixed wireless or ??????) start date of ???????????
      CONVINCE ME PLEEEEEESE!!!

      I’m in fact also curious if Turnbull would ever visit any areas that are in the 3 year rollout plan to start with. I doubt it very much though probably concentrate on areas outside the first 3 year plan to continue spreading Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt.

      • jane
        Posted 02/10/2012 at 12:36 am | Permalink |

        But, but didn’t Whyalla vanish on 1 July?

    21. Markie Linhart
      Posted 26/09/2012 at 6:42 pm | Permalink |

      This idea that everything must happen with a 3 year election cycle with no vision for a future beyond that is getting more and more depressing by the day.

      Oh, and it must be done for less money than the other mob, so that’s ok, it’ll be ‘better’.

      Given that it took 35 YEARS for the copper line telephone network to reach 90 percent of the place, I think that a projected 10- years for the NBN to reach 93 percent is very bloody fast!

      Back off Malcolm and let it happen ffs…

    22. CMOTDibbler
      Posted 26/09/2012 at 7:11 pm | Permalink |

      How much will Abbott let Turnbull say?

      How much of what Turnbull has already said is supported by Abbott, Hockey, Robb, etc?

      Turnbull doesn’t have a policy, costed or uncosted, unless and until it is supported by his party. I haven’t seen any indication of this. Quite the opposite. Right now, Turnbull has nothing more than a collection of thought bubbles.

      • Mud Guts
        Posted 26/09/2012 at 10:54 pm | Permalink |

        Tony Abbott has made it clear that communications is a low priority portfolio. He’s no interest in the internet or broadband.

        Just watch. Turnbull will be shuffled into another ministry if the Coalition are elected and some other goon get the communications portfolio.

        Turnbull’s not a team player, it’s partly why he lost the leadership.

    23. Karl
      Posted 27/09/2012 at 3:43 am | Permalink |

      “Is the aim to install FTTP or is it to enable faster broadband for residents?”
      The aim is to:
      - enable faster broadband
      - make the country’s broadband more reliable
      - create a system that can meet future needs
      - seperate Telstra from the infrastructure
      FttN only does the first one, simple as that. And it doesn’t do it for less cost than FttP.

      “If the NBN is infrastructure, beneficial to all australians, they why shouldnt the taxpayer pay for it?”
      Well, they do pay for it, just not through taxes. It doesn’t really matter how they pay for it, it’s a philosophical question really. Personally I prefer the NBN system, where businesses and people pay for the level of access they need and/or want. It just seems odd to me that you’d charge everyone a base rate for it even if they don’t use it.

    24. Tinman_au
      Posted 27/09/2012 at 12:04 pm | Permalink |

      Well……we all know what a Liberal “promise” that isn’t written down and signed in blood is worth, right?

      No wonder they are such a bunch of aggro hot heads, hardly anyone can believe a thing they say…

    25. damien
      Posted 27/09/2012 at 1:45 pm | Permalink |

      Well done Renai. You’ve come a long way since the days of reporting things like ‘there’s a lot to like about the coalition’s NBN policy’!

    26. Abel Adamski
      Posted 28/09/2012 at 1:21 am | Permalink |

      http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/malcolm-turnbull-briefed-on-chinese-nbn-ban/story-e6frg6n6-1226482965339

      Hmmmm

      Actually worth reading

      • Posted 28/09/2012 at 1:29 am | Permalink |

        @Abel

        Well, would you look at that. MT has been caught actually lying On the NBN AND by the Australian. I’ll be waiting for the bacon to fall tomorrow when said pig hits QF2 on it’s way to LA.

        Malcolm, you are showing yourself to be as untrustworthy and devious as your leader. Shame.

        • Abel Adamski
          Posted 28/09/2012 at 7:13 am | Permalink |

          7T
          Too true
          Look at who else received a full briefing AND their comments

          Are any of them worth a comment let alone led a Nation ?

        • Abel Adamski
          Posted 28/09/2012 at 7:16 am | Permalink |

          7T

          I suspect it has a lot to do with trying to keep their favorite puppet as Leader, the Yahoo Poll has 57% would change their vote to Liberal if Malcolm was Leader. Abbots popularity is approaching a slab of bacon at a Bar Mitzvah.

          Implications for NBN ?

          • Richard Ure
            Posted 28/09/2012 at 9:16 am | Permalink |

            And at long last the media pack, which likes nothing more than to depose leaders (leaders of anything) to reinforce its power, is beginning to shine a spotlight on TA’s shortcomings instead of regurgitating everything he says without question.

    27. Abel Adamski
      Posted 28/09/2012 at 1:28 am | Permalink |

      http://www.commsday.com/commsday/2012/nbn-build-undersea-cable-prices-fall/

      If the mountain won’t come…….

    28. Posted 19/10/2012 at 9:24 am | Permalink |

      Good post. I learn something totally new and challenging on blogs I stumbleupon everyday.
      It’s always exciting to read through articles from other writers and use a little something from other web sites.

    29. Posted 19/10/2012 at 9:04 pm | Permalink |

      Greetings! I know this is kinda off topic but I was wondering if you knew where I could get a captcha plugin for
      my comment form? I’m using the same blog platform as yours and I’m having problems finding one?
      Thanks a lot!




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