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  • Blog, Telecommunications - Written by on Thursday, November 15, 2012 10:50 - 61 Comments

    Budde praises Coalition NBN plan

    blog Fans of the Coalition’s rival broadband policy can be hard to find in Australia’s technology sector, with most preferring the Labor Federal Government’s more expansive National Broadband Network policy. However, according to telecommunications analyst Paul Budde, the Coalition’s plan may be better than many people think. In a new blog post entitled “The Coalition’s NBN plan is starting to look interesting”, Budde writes:

    “BuddeComm’s understanding is that in principle the Coalition agrees that: The NBN is not a waste of money. It is important for the digital economy of this country as a key enabler of productivity. Fast ubiquitous broadband is a ‘must’, not a ‘would like to have’. They also agree that there are good reasons to believe that over time FttH could be the end result and that any technology path chosen should enable this to happen.

    If this is indeed the case then we do believe that the future of the NBN would be secure under a Coalition government. No doubt they will skin the cat in a different way, but with these very important principles in place it will be interesting to see what alternatives they can come up with … the Coalition’s broad NBN framework is now more or less in place and the principles that we understand they agree to are providing a good platform to look for alternatives. Of course, if within this framework the Coalition believes it can deliver the NBN cheaper and faster then such a plan deserves our full consideration.”

    Broadly I agree with Budde, as I have previously written, that the Coalition’s rival NBN plan has merit. If implemented as Shadow Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull has outlined it, it will maintain the structure of the NBN as under Labor, but focus on a faster and perhaps better targeted fibre to the node rollout as compared to the current fibre to the home plan, and retain some existing infrastructure, such as the HFC cable networks operated by Telstra and Optus. There’s also quite a lot of additional common ground — such as the separation of Telstra and the use of satellite and wireless services in rural areas.

    Of course, that doesn’t mean that the Coalition’s rival NBN plan is a better plan than Labor’s NBN vision. Right now, I think it’s clear that Labor has the better and more visionary broadband vision for Australia; and it’s certainly mapped out in far more detail and has the support of more of the technology industry than the Coalition’s plan does. Australia will be better off under Labor’s broadband vision. But I guess what Budde is saying here — and I agree — is that Australia won’t be badly off if the Coalition takes power at the next election and enacts its policy. Coalition NBN policy has rapidly been approaching “viable” and “workable” over the past 12 months; and that is a very good thing for Australia indeed.

    Image credit: Office of Malcolm Turnbull

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    1. Dy4me
      Posted 15/11/2012 at 11:01 am | Permalink |

      At the end of the day people vote for something that the can see and has been in action for months like the Labor NBN. Not the coalitions non existent broadband plan that they tell us will be released only after the election if they do win it. At least me. I vote for people with policy. not those with out one that oppose everything and say you will see our policy once we win the election.

      • Simon Reidy
        Posted 15/11/2012 at 4:40 pm | Permalink |

        +1. The Libs are all talk and no costed policy. Budde sounds like he’s talking about the Coalition NBN as he would like to see it. I have no faith in the Liberal party to deliver anything they say, while they still have half their party misleading people about things like wireless, and suggesting that no one needs 100mbps (and their own leader saying he thinks the market is better off delivering broadband than the government).

    2. Paul Grenfell
      Posted 15/11/2012 at 11:06 am | Permalink |

      What plan? What costings? FTTH? I dont see that in the equation?
      In fact i cant see Budde “praising” the alternate anywhere, Just that the alternate plan should resemble the current NBN rollout.
      I wont accept any alternative bandaids.. We have the best solution now. Leave it be.

      • TechinBris
        Posted 15/11/2012 at 1:14 pm | Permalink |

        Gee, I would love to say “Can we have a CBA with that!”

    3. swearyanthony
      Posted 15/11/2012 at 11:10 am | Permalink |

      Paul Budde is still around? Huh.

    4. Markie Linhart
      Posted 15/11/2012 at 11:27 am | Permalink |

      “…over time FttH could be the end result…”

      Well doing it right from the get go a la NBN will be cheaper in the long run , neh ?

    5. Trevor
      Posted 15/11/2012 at 11:43 am | Permalink |

      Broadly speaking, before they got into power Labor were just as contrary as the LNP are now. The difference is they are actually doing some positive things in the interests of all Australians, instead of just the financial & business elite as Liberal spent more than a decade representing, to the detriment if the country as a whole.

      But that’s really beside the point – yes, it’s encouraging to see that the LNP are likely to do a backflip on their anti-NBN policy (although that’s still mostly conjecture and far from certain at this point). But the facts remain that the LNP as a cohesive party have willingly and knowingly decieved the Australian public through obfuscation, misdirection and downright falsification of facts in the NBN debate, a debate not so interesting because it is an extreme example of political malfeasance, but because we have very hard numbers and evidence in the public domain, making it obvious when a politician is attempting to distort or spin the truth.

      I don’t believe it is appropriate to dismiss this policy from the LNP as ‘politics as usual’ just because it is desperate politics. The only appropriate response if Australians don’t want to set a precedent leading to ever spiralling dishonesty from the political class is to unequivocally reject the LNP from this round of politics. By all means, lend them your ear and give them another chance in 2016 if they manage to divest themselves of these dispicable policies (and their misogynist leader), but even allowing them a look in next year after their ‘war on truth, facts and evidence’ will be a vast mistake that all Australians will pay for, even if it proves not to be in the area of the NBN.

      • TechinBris
        Posted 15/11/2012 at 1:47 pm | Permalink |

        Fool me once, shame on you!
        Fool me twice, shame on me!
        Fool me thrice, …………………………

        Go on Australia, we know you love to be done over! Past history shows you do!

    6. looktall
      Posted 15/11/2012 at 12:09 pm | Permalink |

      Turnbull’s so called policy (the policy that was fully costed, but then suddenly wasn’t and nobody but him has seen) will never see the light of day if Abbott and co get their way.

      having said that, if there is a successful leadership challenge from turnbull i would not at all be surprised if his policy looked more and more like labor’s policy.

    7. Posted 15/11/2012 at 12:16 pm | Permalink |

      How, Interesting would it be if after the next election not one liberal seat was won in the lower house as a back lash of their lies and deciet. my oh my would they be a different party in 2016. spouting truth and honesty and integrity. :)

      • TechinBris
        Posted 15/11/2012 at 1:35 pm | Permalink |

        No, they’d just change their name and market it as “Newer” “Brighter” and probably “Bliss on a Stick”. They’d also say “Guaranteed to remove all those stains from those good times of the past!” all presented with Babes dancing around. Sex sells after all. Nothing like soft porn to sell a crap product.

    8. SMEmatt
      Posted 15/11/2012 at 12:35 pm | Permalink |

      So far the Coalition Broadband Plan is like Bigfoot. Believers don’t agree with each other on what it is, with shadow ministers and the opposition leader saying different contradictory things about it depending on the day of the week and the audience. Also like Bigfoot until concrete evidence to the contrary presents itself (they actually release the policy) we are better off treating it like it doesn’t exist and stop wasting our time with this nonsense.

      • Ken
        Posted 15/11/2012 at 3:20 pm | Permalink |

        +100

    9. Abel Adamski
      Posted 15/11/2012 at 12:51 pm | Permalink |

      Do not overlook the reality that we have a MINORITY Government, the independents are just that.
      The coalition has always had the opportunity to have legislation passed.
      Just present a good costed policy that is for the benefit of the Nation and they could gain the support of the independents for that legislation. So to claim hamstrung as in opposition. –
      A complete copout and B.S in the extreme

      • TechinBris
        Posted 15/11/2012 at 1:28 pm | Permalink |

        +1

        • Posted 15/11/2012 at 8:19 pm | Permalink |

          +2
          If anything, I prefer a minority government where things work more fairly with multiple views heard.

          Im hoping the greens pick up a few more seats as well. I’d imagine disafected liberals will at least be a percentage, with a smaller percentage of nationals as they become more and more irrelevant by towing the Liberal line. If they broke the deal at the next election & voted for the interests of their mostly country constituents now that would be a political shake up. I like the compromised position we have at the moment. No single party has dominance to ram anything through before we the people notice. (however the ruling elite can still easily act ‘for the good of the people’ with such wonderful things as spying powers and so on)

          • TechinBris
            Posted 16/11/2012 at 7:52 am | Permalink |

            +1
            Democracy works best when it is at its most chaotic. Seems weird, but it actually does. I like this Parliament. I wish it was even more fractious. I like the fact everything is belted out and many ideas are pushed and new things tried and done so transparently. Doing the same thing that has been tried and not worked elsewhere, is for unimaginative people who obediently will just follow some Psychopaths along, just as to avoid responsibility. Australia made its own path once in the past (though psychologically in the protective shadow of the British Empire) and we stood up and took our place in the world. Now we slink and follow and do as we are told and are afraid we might upset our big bully “friends”.
            Let’s get our Parliament to work for its people rather than Wall Street and London’s City. We have the knowledge, the stamina and the drive to do great things if we re-embraced our past égalitarianism. We were respected once for it, but now, alas, we have just become another Nation of spoilt rich Brats screaming for it to be all our way, or no way. If we unlearned it and applied ourselves to what we can do in showing that we ourselves can do what is correct and right economically, socially and ecologically, we will show the world how to really survive.
            Why can we do that? Because we have done it before with the knowledge we had then. Now we are even smarter, but we have yet to utilise those smarts smarter. NBN has shown we are starting to move out of the pack and do it right. Sure there are better ways to do it, but just stopping it is a fool’s answer. Luddites were like that. But of course, all the naysayers are vital to make sure we carefully walk forward. But they have to remember to move also lest they stagnate and die.
            All it takes is a step, into the unknown. Failure and success is just another part of life. But we learn from failure, just as we do from success.

      • Nich
        Posted 15/11/2012 at 10:34 pm | Permalink |

        In theory I think that’d work, but it gets tricky in that the Libs, as the non-Govt, can’t fund it from the budget.

      • djos
        Posted 16/11/2012 at 8:24 am | Permalink |

        I completely agree, imagine if Turnbull had been opposition leader since the last election, I’d put money on him having been constructive and working across the isle (greens, independants) to get his own legislation passed.

        but instead we have Dr. No trying to wreck the joint in the biggest political tantrum of all time backed up by a right wing leaning main stream media that refuses to pull him up for it!

    10. SaveTheNBN
      Posted 15/11/2012 at 12:54 pm | Permalink |

      How can any technology writer think that the coalition plan has merit without any analysis of the claims. Please show how the coalition non plan will be cheaper and faster given that they have to start from scratch, buy/lease the copper off Telstra, renegotiate the ACCC deal, install 50000 – 70000 powered air conditioned nodes, pay large subsidies to Telcos, and implement a broadband lottery system of 25-80Mps with abysmal upload speeds. Then they will still have to upgrade to fibre in the very near future.

      The people that think there are viable other options to the FTTH seem to be living in some sort of alternate universe. Let them have a crappy FTTN system for the next 30 years and let the rest of us who live in a real world of true analysis enjoy our FTTH system at whatever speed we want to pay for.

      • damien
        Posted 15/11/2012 at 3:03 pm | Permalink |

        +1. It’s not unusual for Renai flip-flop on this issue.

      • Posted 15/11/2012 at 3:08 pm | Permalink |

        “How can any technology writer think that the coalition plan has merit without any analysis of the claims. ”

        Yes. Because I have never analysed the Coalition’s NBN proposals on Delimiter.

        • Paul Grenfell
          Posted 15/11/2012 at 3:19 pm | Permalink |

          No plan, no policy, no costings = no merit..

          • GongGav
            Posted 15/11/2012 at 4:12 pm | Permalink |

            Alternatively, as things stand it cant run over budget, it cant run over time, and it cant possibly be dead end technology. There are absolutely no facts to claim any of those will happen…

        • SaveTheNBN
          Posted 15/11/2012 at 4:15 pm | Permalink |

          No analysis is the problem. These sorts of articles give the coalitions policies credibility based on no evidence whatsoever. I expect this from journalists at the Australian who are rabidly anti NBN (only to please Lord Rupert) and even at the Financial review and other media outlets who obviously don’t have a clue about broadband. When it comes to tech websites I expect a lot more in the terms of evidence based reporting.

          From what I have seen from the coalition the dear leader Mr Abbott wants to “pause” the NBN. There should be no further reporting on the coalitions broadband policy until this is either confirmed or denied anything else is fantasy land and should only be reported as “Coalition policy for the NBN is dead, buried and cremated with no alternative plan as per work choices”. If then the answer is I didn’t really mean “pause” then you could actually get Turnbull to answer some real questions about his policy which could then be examined for its technical and cost benefits. Speculating on what may or may not happen lets politicians get away with spin and rubbish. The public are sick of this and want facts and evidence based policy discussions.

          • BuildFTTP
            Posted 15/11/2012 at 7:12 pm | Permalink |

            +1. I have to agree. I don’t favour labor over libs, just the policy it’s self. Giving the liberals ‘plan’ credit on what it might do really doesn’t impress me. When they release their policy it’s a different story but until then, articles like this feel like balance for the sake of balance, regardless of how bad one side of the debate might be.

        • looktall
          Posted 15/11/2012 at 5:42 pm | Permalink |

          Yes. Because I have never analysed the Coalition’s NBN proposals on Delimiter

          i must have missed that article.

          the one where you analysed the alternative NBN policy put forward by the coalition.

          where they went into specifics of what they would do and how instead of just saying that they would build it faster, cheaper, better.

          where it was officially announced as policy that the entire coalition was behind, not just one politician thinking out loud which had no real support from anyone else in the party.

          please link me. :)

          as others have said, until they actually lay it out on the table for all to see, there is no alternative NBN policy from the coalition.
          they can think out loud all they like, but until they stop contradicting each other and stand shoulder to shoulder behind an officially announced policy this is all just smoke and mirrors.

          journalists/commentators/bloggers etc who continue to comment on these non-policy statements from the coalition as though it is what they will do should they win are just giving the coalition free rein to plant the seeds of misinform into the minds of the voting public and once the voting public has something in their mind it is very hard to shift that idea from their consciousness, even if it is wrong.

          instead, what the journalists/commentators/bloggers etc should be doing is not putting this misinformation into the consciousness of the voting public by refusing to speculate about non-policy.

          there is no policy. there never has been under this leadership and until there is one, there is nothing to discuss.

        • Posted 15/11/2012 at 6:00 pm | Permalink |

          The Coalition’s current NBN policy is about a thousand times more detailed than the policy which Labor took to the 2007 election. At that time, that policy was seen as a laughing stock by many, as it was woefully lacking detail. Yet it has been developed into the NBN project we have today. The Coalition currently has the bones of something similar — and those bones are much, much more developed than the policy Labor took to the 2007 election.

          I think many people who read Delimiter would not be satisfied until I spent all my time slamming the Coalition and praising Labor. Frankly, I would prefer it if such people, who have obvious biases one way or the other, not read Delimiter. This is a site for evidence-based rationality, and the fact of the matter is that despite its obvious flaws (and remembering that I mentioned in the article that Labor’s NBN policy is better than that of the Coalition at the moment), the Coalition’s NBN policy does have some merit. It’s certainly better than the last policy the Coalition had, that they took to the 2010 election.

          • djos
            Posted 15/11/2012 at 6:11 pm | Permalink |

            Renai, no one disputes that labor’s policy lacked detail back in 2007 but many of us voted for it (myself included) because it was miles ahead of the status quo as offered by the liberal party (which as to do nothing and let the market take are of it – sounds familiar right?).

            Right now the opposite is true, the libs are offering a vague policy with no real commitments or detail that also happens to be a massive backwards step over what Labor are actually delivering right now as we speak!

          • looktall
            Posted 15/11/2012 at 6:22 pm | Permalink |

            The Coalition’s current NBN policy is about a thousand times more detailed than the policy which Labor took to the 2007 election. At that time, that policy was seen as a laughing stock by many, as it was woefully lacking detail. Yet it has been developed into the NBN project we have today.

            yes the policy labor took to the 2007 election was lacking in detail and quite vague, but it was a policy nonetheless.
            the coalition does not even have that much.

            i’ll say it again, there is no coalition policy.
            there is only the musings of a man ( The Turnbull – who if given half a chance could produce a fantastic policy) that has no support for his statements from his party leader or the other senior players.

            until all of the senior figures in the coalition come together and stand behind the statements being put upon us by The Turnbull (even if it remains as vague as it is now), it is not policy, it is smoke and mirrors.

            by the way, whoever coined the name “The Turnbull”, brilliant. we should all endeavour from this point on to always refer to him as The Turnbull. :)

            lastly, Renai, i like your attempt to bring balance to the NBN reporting.
            i think the only reason some readers perceive a bias from you towards labor is because most of the NBN related cockups come from the coalition and other anti-NBN parties.

            • Posted 15/11/2012 at 6:52 pm | Permalink |

              “yes the policy labor took to the 2007 election was lacking in detail and quite vague, but it was a policy nonetheless. the coalition does not even have that much.”

              Factually incorrect. There is little evidence that Turnbull doesn’t have the support of the Opposition Leader — just speculation. Until we do see some concrete evidence along those lines, we have to take what Turnbull says is policy as being policy. And I say again: Check out what Conroy took to the 2007 election. It was in no way as detailed as what Turnbull has now, or thought through at all, basically. As a Shadow Communications Minister, Conroy was incompetent. As a Shadow, Turnbull normally does a pretty solid job — he’s across the issues and he has evolved a workable policy.

              I hate it how readers post this bullshit about me trying to bring “balance” to the debate. I don’t give a shit about balance. I give a shit about facts. And the facts are that the Coalition has a workable NBN policy. It’s not as good as Labor’s: That’s also a fact. But it is a policy, and if the Coalition took power I have no doubt Turnbull has the competence to deliver on the shared goal of better broadband for Australia. That’s a damn sight better than the situation we had at the 2007 and 2010 elections. In 2007 both parties had half-baked nothings, really. At 2010 Labor had a solid policy which was taking its time to be implemented, and the Coalition still had next to nothing.

              In the next election, we will at least be able to have a reasonable debate, centred, I would bet, on Turnbull’s claim that the Coalition can implement its policy much faster than Labor.

              Now that will be a worthwhile policy debate.

              • looktall
                Posted 15/11/2012 at 7:03 pm | Permalink |

                There is little evidence that Turnbull doesn’t have the support of the Opposition Leader — just speculation. Until we do see some concrete evidence along those lines, we have to take what Turnbull says is policy as being policy.

                given that The Turnbull has been contradicted on at least two occasions by members of the coalition (Abbott http://delimiter.com.au/2012/10/21/abbott-contradicts-turnbull-on-nbn-costs/
                and Hockey http://delimiter.com.au/2012/10/23/now-hockey-contradicts-turnbull-on-nbn-costs/) i would have to say that there is in fact quite clear evidence that he does not have their support.

                when he makes statements to the public about where the coalition is heading with regards to the NBN and he is contradicted by other members of his own party that tells us that he is not speaking from party lines, therefore what he says is not policy.

                still not convinced?
                http://delimiter.com.au/2012/11/01/market-better-to-deliver-broadband-says-abbott/

              • TechinBris
                Posted 16/11/2012 at 8:08 am | Permalink |

                Well said Renai. Balance for balance sake is crap. You just end up selling snake oil next the a good anti-biotic for the Nation’s illness. Facts and logical sane discussion brings a prognosis that is Peer reviewed and decided as the best course of action and a careful step forward toward the solution is enacted, tested and once again reviewed.
                Standard Scientific Methodology. It works.

          • NBNAlex
            Posted 15/11/2012 at 7:18 pm | Permalink |

            As a pro-NBNer (so by default a current Labor voter thereof) trying to stay impartial…

            That’s not quite as I remember 2007 Renai?

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

            ” 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.

            —-

            Sure there may not have been then nitty gritty, but a policy was there “and before the government’s – which was a bit thin on detail too I might add” (remember the $600m subsidy which magically jumped to almost $1B)?

            The way I recall it Labor wanted FttN (or FttP according to the later RFP) private/public and the Coalition government decided upon FttN in urban areas (private) and Wi-MAX in the bush – subsidies to private (and remember OPEL did SFA until canned – yet the NBN haters bag NBNCo’s schedule:/)

            Then what about those groundhog day quotes, such as…

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

            Sound familiar?

            I do note a difference these days though! The Coalition now use the word quicker (a very sneaky term in broadband lingo) instead of sooner. You know you will have “quicker” BB… very sly.

            And don’t forget these gems…

            MICHAEL VAILE, DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER: So Labor’s “fraudband” proposal where they’re going to steal $2 billion from the bush, they’re not going to achieve 98 per cent…

            MICHAEL VALE: They’re only going to achieve 75 per cent coverage and, Mr Speaker, their “fraudband” proposal is only going to be completed in 2013. We’re going to have ours done in 2009.

            Fraudband…LOL!

            Maybe MT can revisit WI-MAX too…? Well they have tried everything else, rather than doing it properly (ala` NBN) so why not?

            • NBNAlex
              Posted 15/11/2012 at 7:24 pm | Permalink |

              For the record, I agree Renai…

              Although not really detailed officially, we do know the crux of the Coalition’s broadband plan, which has gradually improved to such a degree that had they announced this previous to the last election they may just have won government…?

              But yes, nonetheless Labor’s plan is still vastly better IMO

          • Zok
            Posted 15/11/2012 at 7:43 pm | Permalink |

            Renai,

            The Coalition’s current NBN policy is about a thousand times more detailed than the policy which Labor took to the 2007 election

            That is simply untrue. This is the Labor party policy published 9 months before elections in 2007 (and signed by then opposition leader, Kevin Rudd): A Broadband Future for
            Australia – Building a National
            Broadband Network

            Please point us to the “more detailed” Coalition policy. It doesn’t even have to be “a thousand times more detailed”.

            (As a related issue, Tony Abbot and the Coalition have been calling for early elections for the last two years, hoping to quickly get into government but without specifying or officially publishing any of their policies. They deserve to govern; just because!)

          • NPSF3000
            Posted 15/11/2012 at 8:55 pm | Permalink |

            “The Coalition’s current NBN policy is about a thousand times more detailed than the policy which Labor took to the 2007 election. ”

            Conveniently forgetting that the benchmarks have changed.

            “This is a site for evidence-based rationality, and the fact of the matter is that despite its obvious flaws (and remembering that I mentioned in the article that Labor’s NBN policy is better than that of the Coalition at the moment), the Coalition’s NBN policy does have some merit. ”

            You’ll find that the evidence for a Coalition BB policy is low. We have one minister exposing some ideas, which may or may not come to be, that directly contradict what other senior ministers are saying. That a policy not make.

          • SaveTheNBN
            Posted 15/11/2012 at 10:27 pm | Permalink |

            Renai I detect a certain glass jaw to reasonable criticism. I like Delimiter and its usually high standards. In this case though it looks like a rehash of a LNP (Turnbull) press release. This site should not be an episode of Gossip Girl all guess work and dreams with no technical analysis. You make the mistake of linking criticism of yourself and your reporting on the NBN to Labor supporters. I along with I assume a few others don’t care about which party implements the NBN just that it is done properly first time avoiding bullshit half baked temporary solutions. If only the LNP would ditch their basically ideological stance that the NBN is bad and get on board the next election would be a walkover.

            You talk about only looking for the facts but where is the factual analysis on the LNP policy that they refuse to answer. How about we see an article with a few facts on the following regarding a LNP FTTN “solution”

            1) When will fibre to the premises be required to meet demand. If the answer is never you are talking to Alan Jones, Tony Abbott or Joe Hockey and the following are pointless as the FTTN will never be implemented.
            2) What proportion of the population will be covered. (93%) (63%)
            3) How can FTTN be cheaper given that they have to buy/lease back the copper from Telstra who can ask whatever price they like, maintain this copper for whatever period specified in answer (1), install 50000 -70000 powered air conditioned nodes and then change to fibre anyway.
            4) How can FTTN be faster given they will have to start again from scratch, renegotiate with Telstra, redesign the whole rollout, get ACCC approval and finally start installing. By then the current NBN rollout would be mostly complete.
            5) How can I afford to upgrade to fibre from my crappy 25Mbs due to the node lottery as I am at the wrong end of the street , but I am the only 1 who needs it so I have to pay the full tote $3000, $5000 or who knows what.
            6) Given that the NBN is not going to cost the taxpayers a cent but actually make a 7% return why would you even consider an inferior system that will cost taxpayers money.
            7) Explain to the Australian people in 10 years time why we have the worst broadband in the world

            These are the sort of facts that need to be analysed and debated on a tech website and I would welcome some real debate. I know you have asked similar questions of Turnbull but got no response so in this case I would simply ignore anything the LNP puts out. Simply guessing and dreaming of a competent LNP policy is no substitute for facts as you say. Letting the LNP get to the next election in this factual vacuum before releasing details will be too late for any real analysis.

            • djos
              Posted 15/11/2012 at 10:30 pm | Permalink |

              ” I along with I assume a few others don’t care about which party implements the NBN just that it is done properly first time avoiding bullshit half baked temporary solutions. If only the LNP would ditch their basically ideological stance that the NBN is bad and get on board the next election would be a walkover.

              Nailed it!

            • damien
              Posted 16/11/2012 at 1:06 am | Permalink |

              “Renai I detect a certain glass jaw to reasonable criticism”.

              Indeed. The manner in which the blog author responds to valid criticism shows rather poor journalistic form. He has been pulled up many times on presenting a false balance of argument, when clearly only one side has any credibility at all (so far). Worse, he equates support for a superior NBN policy to having a bias towards the Labor party. Wrong. Sometimes a better policy is just a better policy, regardless of party of origin.

              But paradoxically, next week, you might get an article with is completely pro Labor NBN and trashes the LNP policy de jour, even though nothing will have materially changed. A desire not to be seen as being pro Labor? Almost certainly.

    11. TechinBris
      Posted 15/11/2012 at 1:25 pm | Permalink |

      I am worried with the “over time” phrase. That is exactly what we were told by Telstra all those years ago and also Honest Johnny promised us telecommunications Nirvana on a stick if he could jiggle things his way. 10 years later there was still not a whiff of it to sniff, so we moved to the NBN to go around those little brick walls they built up to protect their profits. Whilst I can agree with the rhetoric, past history is staining the Coalition’s promises to deliver. Gotta give it to them for trying….especially after the horse has bolted (and it’s name wasn’t Andrew).
      I smell another stall tactic. *Whew!* That is a disgusting stink. What died?

    12. Richard Ure
      Posted 15/11/2012 at 1:41 pm | Permalink |

      Well this piece achieved its aims of gathering a few more its on the site when there isn’t much real news.

      Among those who know what they are talking about (aka most other contributors to this discussion) there isn’t much else to talk about beyond manufactured controversies.

      Let’s all move on.

    13. Stephen H
      Posted 15/11/2012 at 3:04 pm | Permalink |

      He’s putting words into the Coalition’s mouth. He’s jumping to conclusions about what they will do based on extremely vague “promises”. And this is supposed to leave us thinking that the Coalition won’t do what they did last time they were in charge, and sell the NBN off to the highest bidder as a monopoly operation?

    14. Paul Grenfell
      Posted 15/11/2012 at 3:16 pm | Permalink |

      http://www.afr.com/p/technology/nbn_users_download_up_to_four_times_wmA31MpSFodrAEKpJRsRpM

      NBN users download up to four times more data..
      Now Who you gonna call? Fud busters..

    15. djos
      Posted 15/11/2012 at 3:27 pm | Permalink |

      Do it once, do it right, do it with fibre!

    16. bern
      Posted 15/11/2012 at 3:39 pm | Permalink |

      Can you do this on FttN? Or legacy HFC? Or wireless, or any other technology the Coalition have been spruiking as a valid alternative to the Labor NBN?

      Sure, I probably wouldn’t use 700Mbps speeds right now.

      But in ten years time, when the NBN is complete?

      Ten years ago, I was on 56k dialup.

      I can’t imagine the pain dialup users have using the web these days, with all the imagery / videos / animated ads you get on most pages. You certainly wouldn’t dream of using something like YouTube back then, so what applications are we going to be using when developers can rely on everyone 100Mbps or more? Yes, it’s not the entry-level NBN speed, but can anything other than FttH deliver it on a large scale?

      • GongGav
        Posted 15/11/2012 at 4:14 pm | Permalink |

        “The only possible use for ADSL is for those dirty music pirates to download those MP3 things. No other need for the speed of ADSL bar that…” — technophobes, circa 1999.

        • Posted 15/11/2012 at 4:45 pm | Permalink |

          Yeah, they had no idea what they were talking about. People use ADSL speeds to download MP4s. :)

    17. Posted 15/11/2012 at 3:42 pm | Permalink |

      My hopes arent high that the Coalition will come up with anything substantial, let alone backed up with REAL engineering evidence – not “my buddy in so-and-so ISP said it’d work”.

      I watched 15 minutes of the news this morning, showing the PM at the Brisbane Community Cabinet.

      There were alot of people angry at labor prior to the very public ousting of Premier Bligh, however now thats totally swung in the opposite direction. Almost the whole crowd was interested to see what PM Gillard was going to do, had planned or where she would assist those in QLD outside of the LNP Government here.

      There is alot of resentment for the LNP here currently, I’d imagine – just as always – QLD is going to be the swing state to define who will be Prime Minister. If Abbott keeps swinging around not listening to the populace and not defining said ‘policies’ like their alternative NBN, they wont get voted for.

      • GongGav
        Posted 15/11/2012 at 4:17 pm | Permalink |

        A good friend of mine is about to lose her job of 20-something years in the NSW public service, for no other reason than the Liberal Premier cutting jobs to save money. Not because the jobs arent needed (they are), or because she was incompetent (far from it), but because the Liberals want to cut public sector jobs so they can show a surplus.

        Unsurprisingly, only outside of Sydney, in areas that need the jobs. When people voted for the Liberals at the state elections, it wasnt because of their policies. And at the time I was saying to people to be careful what they wished for, because they might just get it. And they did…

        • NBNAlex
          Posted 15/11/2012 at 4:35 pm | Permalink |

          Sad part is, lots of people like her would have voted for them (being sick of the previously entrenched Labor gov.) and not realising the consequences.

    18. Cameron
      Posted 15/11/2012 at 3:52 pm | Permalink |

      Labor says “FTTH”. Turnbull says “FTTN”. The rest of the Libs say “no no no”. Budde’s analysis is correct if you replace every occurrence of “Coalition” with “Turnbull”. Otherwise it’s complete fantasy. Turnbull’s ideas are mere suggestions that most likely won’t make it into official LNP policy unless he’s leading them. So far, the only official policy we’ve heard is “no no no”.

      • GongGav
        Posted 15/11/2012 at 4:20 pm | Permalink |

        Lets test that out…

        “BuddeComm’s understanding is that in principle the Turnbull agrees that: The NBN is not a waste of money. It is important for the digital economy of this country as a key enabler of productivity. Fast ubiquitous broadband is a ‘must’, not a ‘would like to have’. They also agree that there are good reasons to believe that over time FttH could be the end result and that any technology path chosen should enable this to happen.
        If this is indeed the case then we do believe that the future of the NBN would be secure under a Turnbull government. No doubt they will skin the cat in a different way, but with these very important principles in place it will be interesting to see what alternatives they can come up with … the Turnbull’s broad NBN framework is now more or less in place and the principles that we understand they agree to are providing a good platform to look for alternatives. Of course, if within this framework the Turnbull believes it can deliver the NBN cheaper and faster then such a plan deserves our full consideration.”

        Hmm… The Turnbull may be onto something…

    19. Zok
      Posted 15/11/2012 at 4:57 pm | Permalink |

      Coalition’s broadband plan has a lot of merit. How can anyone be against a better, faster, cheaper broadband? Not only that, but it is also not going to be a white elephant like the current Labor plan. And it will not lock us into a technology that will be obsolete by the time the deployment is finished. We will have less of those pesky wires string up over poles, and will enjoy a glorious wireless future with sharks with lasers.

      What’s there not to like?

      Now stare into this spinning swirl and repeat after me: Coalition’s broadband plan has merit and is credible…

      • djos
        Posted 15/11/2012 at 5:19 pm | Permalink |

        Well now that you put it like that …..

        :-D

    20. Tinman_au
      Posted 15/11/2012 at 5:04 pm | Permalink |

      I think Paul was just trying to show that, in principle, there isn’t that much difference between the Liberal and Labor views, that Australia needs fast, reliable and pervasive broadband. the main difference between them is in how they’ll achieve it.

      Two problems i have with that is:

      1. The “Liberals” broadband policy seems to be more “Malcolm Turnbulls” policy, the other Libs don’t seem to agree with him and want to (variously), kill, pause or put on hold the whole thing depending on which one you talk to. (As an aside, it’s kinda scarey that they don’t seem to have any coherent polices as a party, each one seems to have different ideas about any given subject….they need to have a few meetings and sort that stuff out before the election).

      2. As FttH seems to be the way they both say the NBN will end up going “in the future”, why mess about with a 2 stage plan when the current one step plan is actually…like….being rolled out. I also have zero faith that Malcolms plan will be able to be implemented quicker/faster/better as it would require re-planning, re-negotiating and re-scheduling pretty well everything, adding all that extra time onto the top of what is already being built “right now” on a daily basis.

      Actually, there is a third “issue” I have with MT’s plan, he wants to get the PC (Productivity Commission) involved to see what the best way to deliver a NBN is, but isn’t the current one based of work/advice they did???

    21. Posted 16/11/2012 at 8:45 am | Permalink |

      I think Paul has missed the point in this- sure, if the Coalition were to proceed as Turnbull has suggested and they DO believe fast, ubiquitous broadband is imperative, not optional, we could wear FTTN. As big of a waste of time and money as it is.

      But they AREN’T going to. Why? Abbott. ABBOTT is in charge of the Coalition. ABBOTT is the one contradicting Turnbull and ABBOTT is the one who believes broadband is nothing but a luxury that can easily and affordably (for the people who matter) provided by the private sector, no problems.

      I like Paul and generally like his analysis, but I struggle to understand how he separates PURE telecommunications from politics in the NBN sphere. They are, for better or worse, inextricably linked. You cannot simply choose to ignore the politics of the Coalition in favour of the apparent attitude of ONE isolated and informed Shadow Minister who may very well be rolled regardless at the next election.

    22. Goresh
      Posted 16/11/2012 at 9:37 am | Permalink |

      The problem is that the “coalition” plan being commented on is Turnbull’s coalition plan which appears to be significantly different from Abbott’s coalition plan which, since HE is the leader, seems the more likely route they will take after the election.

    23. Abel Adamski
      Posted 16/11/2012 at 11:55 am | Permalink |

      Regardless
      The comments from the Coalition now appear to support improved broadband (leaving Malcolms at least thought out policy out of it )
      The comments from the Coalition as a whole indicate very clearly that they believe it should be done by the private sector and competition – so multiple competing infrastructure providers and mediums with wildly variable outcomes and substantial “transparent subsidies and incentives” taxpayer gifts from the budget bottom line, with of course massive hidden subsidies in health, education, government and public service operations, rural assistance packages, etc etc.

      This of course will lose much of which an integrated platform will provide and as has been demonstrated in the US be inneffective at the wholesale level as each infrastructure provider as a consequence of cost of providing thr infrstructure and their own operational systems etc , also face competition and inertia they will have no choice but to focus on retail, so mini Telstra’s everywhere desperately protecting their turf and their income.

      Very messy, will be unsatisfactory and a veritable National disaster over the longer term. The egg being scrambled a National Solution will NEVER EVER be possible. Enough hassles negotiating with Telstra and Optus, let alone a pack of would be mini Telstra’s with their own infrastructure and shareholders

    24. Brendan
      Posted 19/11/2012 at 12:28 pm | Permalink |

      People “want” to believe Turnbull can gain traction and have a quasi-NBN deployment solution ready to go.

      The problem has never been FTTN, versus FTTH. It’s always been ideology.

      Turnbull isn’t going to have the support to get an actual, viable alternative to NBN across the line. It would cost more than the L/NP party can stand to allow.

      Abbott and Hockey have made it clear, that the NBN will be (effectively) tomb-stoned should they win; this will not magically change.

      A few comms pundits (including Budde now; has he become the so called “climate denier” too?) have this rose-tinted vision of what it “might look like” if an Abbott-lead government is formed post election.

      It will be okay, they say. He (Turnbull) will do us proud. It’s not really that bad.

      Note I said Abbott-lead. Not Turnbull lead. No spill, no potential leadership change. Sorry. It is what it is.

      We have decades of ample example of what L/NP policy (or lack there-of) looks like. Times haven’t changed. At the end of the day, whatever Turnbull manages to deliver, wouldn’t look anything like what is being proposed now.

      It’s about time people start challenging the L/NP on polices with the same vigour as has occurred with Labor.

    25. djos
      Posted 19/11/2012 at 12:40 pm | Permalink |

      Anybody who thinks Turbulls FTTN plan can be implemented needs to read what the industry contractors rolling out the NBN actually think:

      http://t.co/cq5qM5zu




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