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  • Blog, Telecommunications - Written by on Friday, January 11, 2013 11:46 - 66 Comments

    Turnbull continues to attract IT industry bile

    blog Regular readers will know that I believe Labor’s National Broadband Network policy to currently be the best telecommunications policy on offer in Australia, although I have also publicly stated that the Coalition’s rival policy is a workable policy that has the potential to achieve some of the same aims. However, I am conscious that this is a minority view and that the overwhelming majority of Australia’s technology community is starkly on the side of the NBN in this long-running and vitriolic debate. The NBN has stood the test of time and Coalition criticism.

    That’s why it’s not hard to understand the sheer frustration and disappointment in this public letter to Shadow Communications by local IT pro Kieran Cummings, who, you will recall, was behind the attempt to clear up Tony Abbott’s little server timestamp issue. On his blog, Cummings writes (we recommend you click here for the full post):

    “I write this letter out of frustration & disappointment in your current discourse regarding the state & future of Australian telecommunications. I have been working in IT for almost 20 years & have been supportive of any positive change to Australia’s ailing copper network. Over the past few years you have done nothing but attempt to sabotage the largest infrastructure project Australia (maybe even the world) has ever seen, all for political gain while not considering the consequences of your actions.

    After watching the speech you gave at Woodford Folk Festival I feel that your hypocrisy has gone too far.

    You speak of truth in politics, of ’one-line sound bites’, of the need for fact checking, yet you have spent the last year lying, using one-line sound bites, & denouncing those fact checkers you demand. When presented with evidence you are dismissive at best, downright ignorant at worst. When asked for your broadband policy documents, you refuse to hand them over to anyone. When asked for evidence to back up your claims, you attack the National Broadband Network.”

    There’s a lot more in this vein, and I have to say, while I don’t agree with everything written here, I do feel as though Cummings has accurately summed up the views of most of those who work in Australia’s technology industry towards the Coalition’s approach to technology and telecommunications policy at this point. Not since Communications Minister Stephen Conroy was strongly pushing the Internet filter project several years ago have I seen this level of frustration with a politician regarding a technology policy.

    I’ve expressed the sentiment before in several articles that I don’t believe Turnbull is currently measuring up to the ideals which he publicly espouses. I have particularly been unimpressed with the way Turnbull has publicly slandered the well-regarded chief executive of NBN Co, Mike Quigley, and there’s a range of other areas in which Turnbull could have pulled his head in by now. I am especially tired of Turnbull railing against the media for what he claims is its pro-NBN bias.

    Do I still have faith in Malcolm Turnbull? Yes. He’s still my preferred leader of the Liberal Party and I feel he would make an excellent Prime Minister or Communications Minister, although he will have to try hard to better the accomplishments of Stephen Conroy in the portfolio. I feel many of Turnbull’s best years are ahead of him.

    However, like Cummings, as a new year dawns, I also feel it a good time to remind Turnbull and the Coalition in general that with the overwhelming majority of Australia in favour of the NBN and it being a factor in the Coalition not winning the 2010 Federal Election, it may be a good time to re-evaluate Coalition policy in this area.

    It’s usually not a fantastic idea to take policies to elections which are unpopular, and it’s usually not a good idea to sledge the media for pointing out that fact and the holes in your rival policy. The Coalition’s rival NBN policy still needs a great deal of work, and I’d prefer that a more comprehensive version was released sometime soon to give us enough time to analyse it — not days before the election like last time. And if Turnbull could tone down some of the vitriol along the way and bring rogue NBN commentators like Christopher Pyne and Joe Hockey into line as well, that would a very good thing. At that stage, a lot of this industry bile towards Turnbull and his colleagues would start to disappear.

    Image credit: Office of Malcolm Turnbull

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    1. Cameron
      Posted 11/01/2013 at 11:55 am | Permalink |

      It makes you wonder what a LNP broadband policy would look like if Turnbull was leader and Fletcher Comms minister does’t it?

      Turnbull needs to stop blindly attacking NBNco and start trying to offer improvements, the ALP haven’t got everything right and NBNco is bound by government policy.

      • tinman_au
        Posted 11/01/2013 at 12:25 pm | Permalink |

        “Turnbull needs to stop blindly attacking NBNco and start trying to offer improvements”

        But that was his exact charge from Tony when he got the gig, and he’s been doing what he was asked to do very well IMHO.

        This (at least partially) explains Malcolms “Jekyll and Hyde” act I suspect, his beliefs (all the speeches he’s done) conflict with what the leader of the Liberal party has told him to do.

        • Woolfe
          Posted 11/01/2013 at 1:17 pm | Permalink |

          This … This to me rings very true….

        • Reeper
          Posted 18/01/2013 at 1:56 pm | Permalink |

          For Abbott, it kills two birds with one stone – An IT industry chief trashes government NBN policy which sways the non-IT savvy sector of the population who don’t understand or care about the NBN anyway; while the people who can see the real value in the NBN view Malcolm T as a goose thus generating poor polling form him and reducing the chances of another leadership challenge.

          Abbott’s a very savvy political animal, but that doesn’t make him a good national leader. Id be much happier if Malcolm was holding the reins as he seems to have an ethical and economic frame (as opposed to Abbott’s purely political frame) shaping his decision making (at least while he was leader) but it looks like the Libs are going to blindly follow Abbot down the politically expedient road where every end justifies his means.

    2. Bob.H
      Posted 11/01/2013 at 11:58 am | Permalink |

      Well said Renai

    3. Brad Cann
      Posted 11/01/2013 at 12:02 pm | Permalink |

      ok, so turnbull bought into ozemail at the right time, and uses an ipad and claims to be “up” on technology. Other then being an astute investor, i’ve still yet to hear him utter anything that even remotely resembles an inkling towards really understanding technology and its impacts and implications. Can anyone show me where he has had direct input on a technical level at ozemail or really anywhere else that shows he has an idea about technology rather then just being an avid user? To me turnbull is little more then like most of the CIO’s out there, he can use some buzzwords, suggest whatever is in the latest issue of CIO monthly, but has little to no real understanding of technology and how it will become the biggest generator of income this country has seen, hell it might even rival mining in the next decade or so. The NBN is going to be THE GAME changer for australia in so many industries and facets of life, if and only if we can avoid the liberals getting into power.

      To me canning the NBN is like when they built the harbour bridge, and cancelling it halfway through and going…. well there are ferries you can use or just drive the long way around.

      • Posted 11/01/2013 at 12:28 pm | Permalink |

        Turnbull does have quite a solid grasp of the underlying IT, he gets it wrong at times, but he is much more across the tech than previous LNP Comms Ministers/Shadows

        We geeks have to remember is he doesn’t give a rats about our opinion, he is preaching to
        the LNP base which don’t care about facts, it’s all politics and spin

        The hip pocket effect of house prices being affected due to the NBN will be interesting to watch

        • Posted 12/01/2013 at 3:07 pm | Permalink |

          Yup, Truffles is talking to the base and disregarding fact. Was at a meeting Southcott had called to discuss the NBN (http://polanimal.com.au/wp/2012/11/08/a-meeting-with-truffles/) and crapped on about FTTN. I (on pair gain) and quite a few of the Liberal luvvies there (they just about swooned when someone mentioned PM Turnbull) brought up issues about the copper, in fact, just about every question had to do with the state of the copper.

          Turnbull damn well knows the copper is not fit for use in FTTN. He also gave me a non–answer about time for and price demanded re renegotiations with Telstra.

          Turnbull is lying his head off.

    4. Posted 11/01/2013 at 12:03 pm | Permalink |

      There is also some interesting NBN rollout news that’s about to break… *teaser*

      • Posted 11/01/2013 at 12:04 pm | Permalink |

        Oops…spoke to soon…here it is:

        http://nbnco.com.au/news-and-events/news/achieved-year-end-target.html

        • Cameron
          Posted 11/01/2013 at 12:25 pm | Permalink |

          Check Turnbull’s comments here http://www.malcolmturnbull.com.au/media/transcripts/transcript-sky-news-28-feb-2012/

          MALCOLM TURNBULL:
          Well, we are both smiling — neither of us think they will. This is an extraordinary promise. If they can do that, I guess there will be a lot of admiration in terms of construction. So we have got to make sure she is not being slippery with the figures here or the terminology.

          So I guess that leaves arguing about what NBNco defines as “Under Construction” and using a slippery out, despite NBNco being very clear about what their terminology means.

          • Posted 11/01/2013 at 12:39 pm | Permalink |

            Ha! We both remember the same interview, obviously:

            http://michaelwyres.com/2013/01/turnbull-must-now-accept-nbn-has-not-completely-failed/

            • GongGav
              Posted 11/01/2013 at 1:02 pm | Permalink |

              Then theres the followup comment – “Either plugged in or under construction. Now, what most people would think that meant — I would think and you would think it meant — was that it is either plugged in and ready to go or it is run down the street and it is able to be plugged in.”

              Delibrately limiting the definition, despite it clearly including commenced. His response will be something like “The numbers are a clear fabrication, there are only 50,000 premises able to connect. Not 758,000 like she promised. The Prime Minister should resign for delibrately lieing to the public like this.”

              Well, it usually is something like that anyhow…

              All part of the reason why, and I quote this threads headline, Turnbull continues to attract IT industry bile.

              • Cameron
                Posted 11/01/2013 at 1:16 pm | Permalink |

                “Construction Commenced” is defined on page 90 of the corporate plan here http://www.nbnco.com.au/assets/documents/nbn-co-corporate-plan-6-aug-2012.pdf

                If Malcolm is going to try to use Tony Abbott’s trick of claiming he hasn’t read it , or Julia Gillard’s trick of redefining the meaning of the term he is going to appear to be one of those lying, sneaky politicians he has spoken against on numerous occasions.

                • GongGav
                  Posted 11/01/2013 at 1:53 pm | Permalink |

                  Hey, I agree! If you look at the interview linked from the start of last year though, his stance makes it clear that he only cares about passed, not under construction, and is using the numbers to try and prove NBNCo isnt up to the task.

                  Numbers he quotes: 20,000 passed to date, 758,000 target. A quote somewhere in there states very clearly that he expects 738,000 more premises to be the magic number, then goes on to imply that he basically expects that to be 738,000 premises passed.

                  Point being, he delibrately mixes passed and commenced to make his point. Its a constant trick he pulls time after time which, while we wont fall for it, plenty of everyday Aussies do. He throws as much mud as he can, knowing some of it will stick.

                  Its all delibrate I expect because as the lower number it presents a weaker representation of the project position, which is the whole aim. Which looks worse after 4 years? 750,000 commenced, or 50,000 ready to go?

                  Note that the 50,000 number is totally random and I’m just using it to fill a gap.

                  I just hope it backfires, because at a point in the interview he does recognise that the 758,000 number is both passed and commenced.

              • Dan
                Posted 11/01/2013 at 8:11 pm | Permalink |

                Read the ‘notes to editors’ under the NBNCo press release for their definition of commenced or constructed numbers. Pretty non-vague to anyone following the project

        • tinman_au
          Posted 11/01/2013 at 12:28 pm | Permalink |

          wow, nice one!

        • Posted 11/01/2013 at 12:31 pm | Permalink |

          hi Michael,

          NBN Co is not returning calls yet on that media release an hour after it was released. Personally, I’m taking it with a huge grain of salt until I see detail. There is absolutely no detail in that media release, or a similar one released by Kim Carr’s office (he’s acting Comms Minister with Conroy away) this morning.

          Renai

          • Posted 11/01/2013 at 12:40 pm | Permalink |

            That’s cool – I appreciate your stance on the rollout figures… :)

          • Posted 11/01/2013 at 12:56 pm | Permalink |

            Hopefully we’ll begin to see if this translates to more switch ons (passed) than planned before the election.

            If it does, MT and the LNP are going to have a VERY hard time saying NBNCo. aren’t doing a good job…but no doubt they will anyway….

    5. NBNAccuracy
      Posted 11/01/2013 at 12:05 pm | Permalink |

      Malcolm Turnbull✔
      @TurnbullMalcolm

      @sortius you would be more convincing if you itemised the statements of mine relevant to the FTTP/N qn you claim to be factually incorrect.

      Yer, like that hasn’t been done by numerous people and Turnbull totally ignores, gives a glib reply, points to some News Limited article, then doesn’t engage further.

      All respect lost for MT quite a while ago. Bad enough the refusal to engage in debate on the NBN with anything meaningful. Then there his constant attacks on people and media who don’t tow the Coalition line. Support for Abbott, it really makes me disappointed, similar to the way I felt when The US elected GWB for the SECOND time. I have usually supported the Liberal Party. I think the current bunch have turned me off them for like. What a bunch of ignorant, business toadying hypocryts.

    6. Posted 11/01/2013 at 12:06 pm | Permalink |

      I love the twitter comment from Malcolm Turnbull to Kieran Cummings (on the full article), he’s just a total dick. He’s baiting him out by saying ‘please reference where my FTTN claims are incorrect’

      The mans the political equivalent of a Real-Life Troll.

      Mr Cummings makes every effort to set the man straight and the MP just spits in his face some more. Who does this MP think he answers to?

      While I agree Malcolm Turnbull would be a better PM than Tony Abbott, a cricket bat would be a similar quality candidate to be PM. I do solidly agree that if the LNP continue to toe this line that the NBN is bad, we’re likely to see some form of network rollout change. I – like many – are praying that we’ll be too far through for the plans to change.

      • nonny-moose
        Posted 11/01/2013 at 12:52 pm | Permalink |

        I was very unimpressed at the response. Quite frankly, its nearly everything he’s ever said against the nbn with one or two correct observations on the way. But particularly on costs, both nbns (which he overinflates) and his alternative (where large gaps remain, and it is difficult if not impossible to fit the build costs into a figure significantly cheaper than Nbnco, with nothing to speak of the technical problems it introduces as well). Particularly with the abilities (or not) of alternate systems – he’s already changed once, from spruiking wireless to fttn, indicative of realisation that wireless won’t cut it.

        That last actually points to my big problem – he’s doing it as a top down exercise ‘we’re going to build a network, this network’ and THEN bringing on engineers or advice, necessitating mucking around with the policy later on when the folk who will put it in actualisation say ‘waitaminnit, we can’t do that’. I don’t see any sign that the deeper considerations of his policy have at all been looked at, in stark contrast to Nbnco who have been very clear on what the policy involves, the hardware, who gets what(93%,4%,3%), company structure, financing, and its only when we get to contracts and company to company dealings where c-in-c shutters come down.

        There’s an awful lot he’s left himself to do in an election year both internal to policy and in explaining it publicly. the later and later it goes the lower and lower I will score it. Rather than throwing brickbats at the tech industry he should be using them as crowdsourcing to improve his policy.

        That’s why the pro and am punditry are fact checking you Malcolm, not to get up your nose or for some nbn zealotry but because we see technical problems with your proposal. If you are offended at fact checks sledging the author is not the solution you should be seeking and takes you away from bettering your policy rather than towards it, by virtue of the fact that those people will be less inclined to get involved on past experiences.

        And that’s all without considering the hypocritical push to ‘civilise’ parliament, all the while doing exactly what you rail against! And when called out on it, filibuster the complainant by asking for an itemised list! I really do see that as acting in bad faith, giving the impression of wanting dialogue and yet batting it away at every step.

    7. Posted 11/01/2013 at 12:18 pm | Permalink |

      Personally, anyone who is childish enough to retort something like this…

      https://twitter.com/TurnbullMalcolm/status/284235422798852096

      “so if you believe that I guess you believe Santa brought you your presents on a sleigh with reindeers, right?”

      …to someone holding an opposing view needs to be viewed a little less seriously than they otherwise might.

      Malcolm is perfectly entitled to his own view, and perfectly entitled to express it – but everyone else has that same right, and firing trolling barbs like the above does nothing to help how your opinion is viewed.

      • NBNAccuracy
        Posted 11/01/2013 at 12:29 pm | Permalink |

        I notice that is in reply to the a question he always want to dodge. He claims that the NBN will cost more, return less and isn’t viable. He has never produced numbers to show why he believes this and constantly bobs and weives. The closest I have seen is him saying some people in the industry told him it would have to cost 100B, never who, never figures to back up the claim
        I really think a year or so ago he got on google, searched on “FTTN FTTH” read a few articles to spot some points he could use and reguritates them ad infinitum. There is no policy, there is only BS.

      • tinman_au
        Posted 11/01/2013 at 12:59 pm | Permalink |

        I don’t get the whole “If you believe that, you must believe in Santa” thing. Malcolm has shown no evidence at all that NBNCo won’t achieve it’s plan, so comments he makes like that must just be based on belief only, not facts.

        Basically, he’s the very thing thing he tried to make the insult about, so it really doesn’t seem that clever/funny (except in a “Jokes actually on you” way)…

        • Posted 11/01/2013 at 1:35 pm | Permalink |

          It was a “you’re so crazy, you must still believe in Santa Claus, right?” defence. Along the lines of the “Chewbacca Defense” from South Park.

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chewbacca_defense

          It was belittling, and unnecessary – particularly since it was on the same day he made his speech at the folk festival, calling for the end of the “glib one-liners”.

      • Posted 12/01/2013 at 9:22 am | Permalink |

        I was away at the time he tweeted that stuff, you can bet if I was tweeting I’d have said something to Turnbull. He was wrong on so many tweets after that, especially this one:

        https://twitter.com/TurnbullMalcolm/status/284242382709456896

        AT&T, BT & DT are NOT using the same approach as the Coalition.

        DT: Upgrading their FTTN that’s been there for years already to FTTH

        BT: Being forced to upgrade to FTTH because the FTTN network is a joke & was slammed by the House of Lords.

        AT&T: A private monopoly that’s ripping off customers & refusing to upgrade infrastructure.

        Maybe Turnbull is hinting that the Coalition are going to use the AT&T approach. See, I’d prefer the Google approach, fibre everything, offer free tier pricing, pump it to max speed for paying customers.

    8. Posted 11/01/2013 at 12:54 pm | Permalink |

      He continues to attract bile, because he produces bile.

      GIGO, as we comp nerds know.

      It’s getting old Malcolm. It’s getting really old….

    9. tinman_au
      Posted 11/01/2013 at 1:05 pm | Permalink |

      Anyone else notice Malcolm on Twitter “sounds” a lot like Malcolm in Parliament (actually, like a lot of pollies in parliament).

      Makes you wonder, is the quality of debate on the internet being dragged down by politicians??

      • Posted 11/01/2013 at 2:02 pm | Permalink |

        If you mean question time, it sounds nothing like Turnbull in Parliament. He asked TWO questions all year in question time. So he normally sounds completely silent.

        • NBNAccuracy
          Posted 11/01/2013 at 2:24 pm | Permalink |

          Busy tracking his overseas FTTH investments on his iPad I guess.

    10. Soth
      Posted 11/01/2013 at 2:30 pm | Permalink |

      “and it being a factor in the Coalition not winning the 2010 Federal Election”
      Hit the nail on the head, it lost them the last election, you’d think they’d change their view.

      • Posted 12/01/2013 at 10:32 am | Permalink |

        No, they hate it because it cost them. So they’re out to get it.

    11. Myke
      Posted 11/01/2013 at 2:46 pm | Permalink |

      http://www.zdnet.com/au/nbn-co-exceeds-2012-target-7000009683/

      NBN Co has set the target of completing all necessary construction for __286,000__ premises by the end of the June 2013. By the end of 2021, 93 percent of the Australian population will be in the fibre footprint for the NBN if the project reaches completion.

      http://www.malcolmturnbull.com.au/blogs/malcolms-blog/gillard-government-misleads-again-on-nbn-rollout/

      As at September 30 the NBN Co had active connections of its fibre network to a mere 6,358 prremises and had passed 52,014 premises. Their revised corporate plan of August 2012 states that by June 30 2013 there will be __54,000__ premises connected to the fibre network. By 2021 the same plan forecasts 8.5 million will be connected to the fibre. A long way to go!

      54k vs 286k ? Are they different figures or is someone wrong?

      • Myke
        Posted 11/01/2013 at 2:48 pm | Permalink |

        Read all of turnbulls – the back peddling ….

      • Posted 11/01/2013 at 2:56 pm | Permalink |

        @Myke

        The 286K is premises passed- that is, ABLE to connect to the NBN

        The 54K is premises ACTUALLY CONNECTED to the NBN.

        They are different numbers. Turnbull likes to mix and latch to confuse people.

        • Myke
          Posted 11/01/2013 at 3:08 pm | Permalink |

          Cheers so Josh’s article would be clearer stating aiming for 286 premises passed, ‘construction completed’, makes me think they’d be connected.

          • Posted 11/01/2013 at 3:22 pm | Permalink |

            @Myke

            You have to be careful with the word ‘connected’. It means a specific thing in NBN language. It means actually with a retail service in use by an end-customer. ‘Passed’ means the ABILITY to order a retail service, or the ability to BE ‘connected.’

            In the real world of course, you MIGHT actually call those 286K users ‘connected’ to the NBN as they would have a fibre cable connected to the side of their house (except for a VERY few who didn’t during trials or opted out), but that isn’t how NBNCo. use the metric

          • NBNAccuracy
            Posted 11/01/2013 at 3:26 pm | Permalink |

            “‘construction completed’, makes me think they’d be connected.”
            I cannot see why. They are able to connect to the NBN any time after completion. Connected I assumed would mean they have taken the step of taking up an NBN based internet plan.

            • Posted 12/01/2013 at 10:35 am | Permalink |

              Yes, just as in right now you might have a copper wire running into your house, but you don’t have to have a service connected using it.

              The copper network passes approximately 11,000,000 premises, that doesn’t mean all 11,000,000 are using it.

              Malcolm forgets that what we have now, and what would have later are no different in that respect.

    12. Brendan
      Posted 11/01/2013 at 3:05 pm | Permalink |

      It won’t matter what the figures say; the “story” from Uncle Malcolm is that the NBNco are wrong, Conroy is wrong, and he’s going to expose the supposed “lie” for what it is.

      It’s an incredibly defeatist, negative tilt at Broadband, Comms and people associated in general. The extreme negativity and low-balling going on from the Liberal party over a policy that is, ostensibly, doing everything he’s refused to do (define it, price it, deliver it) is about as transparent as it gets.

      That the Member for Wentworth’s only response to valid concerns (over a very nebulous, ill-defined Liberal plan, that is yet to be manifest) is to increasingly revert to ad-hominem retorts, proves that he can’t even sell his own solution, let alone factually rebut the NBNco’s efforts effectively.

      Hands up anyone who actually, honestly understands what the Liberal plan is, what it sets out to achieve, what the targets are, what the investment level will be, and what the last-mile plan is, in a decade-or-two’s time. If you can get much past “some nodes, some tubes, some copper and.. maybe some number-eight wire?” you’re doing rather well.

      Whether you consider passed, or actual, it’s doesn’t actually matter; the key point is that NBNco is delivering on the policy set forth. It’s doing. Uncle Malcom can’t even define how he’d get started, yet.

      • NBNAccuracy
        Posted 11/01/2013 at 3:31 pm | Permalink |

        “he’s going to expose the supposed “lie” for what it is”
        He has been saying that for ages. All he does is makes the claim of these lies and never presents any evidence of them. He must have gone to the same school as the Slipper case prosecutor. Make outrageous claims that grab headlines then don’t come foward with any evidence.

        “Hands up anyone who actually… ” Malcolm’s hand goes up, “honestly…” hand comes down, talks to Abbott, has a meeting with Telstra, hand goes up again and his nose grows and inch.

      • Karl
        Posted 11/01/2013 at 4:04 pm | Permalink |

        “Hands up anyone who actually, honestly understands what the Liberal plan is, what it sets out to achieve, what the targets are, what the investment level will be, and what the last-mile plan is, in a decade-or-two’s time.”
        This is an easy one. The plan is to try and make FttP look needlessly wasteful in the eyes of the layman, and if they do somehow get elected do whatever it takes to make the whole issue go away without too much damage to their further electoral prospects.

        • RyanH
          Posted 11/01/2013 at 4:35 pm | Permalink |

          It is so sad that this seems to be the truth.

          To make me more disillusioned with politics today I find that the politicians offering the most intelligent commentary on that guy who stuffed up Whitehaven Coal’s share price for 3 hours are a bunch of tree-hugging, bendo, dope smoking communists.

          Awww crap, where’s my weekend?

      • tinman_au
        Posted 11/01/2013 at 4:28 pm | Permalink |

        Lets face it, when the man resorts to insults about Santa to rebuff an argument, it pretty obvious he wont be swayed by something like “facts”. It also seems obvious he’s getting frustrated that the political “tricks” that work(?) for Tony don’t seem to work for him…

    13. Stephen
      Posted 12/01/2013 at 12:02 pm | Permalink |

      Turnbull is the Wile E Coyote of Australian politics. Very smart, very determined, utterly convinced of the brilliance of his plans, but the combination of overconfidence and misdirected application of genius means constant, full-speed failure. Good on paper, rubbish in practice. Can’t win a trick.

      • NBNAlex
        Posted 12/01/2013 at 2:35 pm | Permalink |

        So FttN is the ACME plan?

    14. Trevor
      Posted 12/01/2013 at 1:43 pm | Permalink |

      The thing that continues to strike me with this situation is not the obfuscation of Turnbull or his party, as that behaviour is expected and obvious. It is the lack of commentary and analysis of the broader issue for Australia beyond the current election cycle. It seems fairly obvious to me that if the Liberals ever manage to get into power in the future, they will do whatever they can to dismantle NBN Co and decouple it from the public sector, either allowing it to be purchased by Telstra or spawning a new privately held monopoly with a remit to return profits as high as possible to shareholders at the expense of the Australian public… Again.

      • Trevor
        Posted 12/01/2013 at 1:48 pm | Permalink |

        As there can be no assurances or guarantees to stop a future Liberal party from privatising the NBN, that leads one to the logical conclusion that Australians can neverpermit a Liberal federal government to come to power.

        • NBNAlex
          Posted 12/01/2013 at 2:38 pm | Permalink |

          To be fair though Trevor, at the initial announcement by Conroy April 2009, he said they would also sell down their interests within 5 years of completion.

        • Cameron
          Posted 12/01/2013 at 2:54 pm | Permalink |

          Th legislation is already enacted that provides for the sale of NBNco, admittedly with some safeguard amendments to protect the public’s interest from Greens Senator, Scott Ludlam. It is currently the plan of the ALP to sell of NBNco some time after construction is complete.

          Ludlam is one of the few in parliament trying to look out for the public interest and ensure that the NBN doesn’t just get kicked around as a political football.

          I’d love to see a reworked business plan that reflected the government not selling off NBNco and targeting 0% IRR.
          * Would NBNco need the same kind of CVC charges?
          * Could NBNco drop tiered AVC?
          * Could NBNco even let the RSP implement speed tiers themselves in the NTD or using current mechanism?

          I love the idea of the NBN (FTTP), I not saying that it couldn’t be improved though. This is where the real discussion should be…
          * How it is progressing now, and
          * How could it be improved?

          • Posted 12/01/2013 at 2:59 pm | Permalink |

            @Cameron

            Th legislation is already enacted that provides for the sale of NBNco

            Actually, that’s not quite right. The legislation is IN PLACE and IF it is enacted NBNCo. CAN be sold. Nothing in the legislation gives a definite timeline for it. We’ve had an in depth discussion over this at WP. It CAN be sold but it doesn’t HAVE to be, even with the current legislation.

            I love the idea of the NBN (FTTP), I not saying that it couldn’t be improved though. This is where the real discussion should be…
            * How it is progressing now, and
            * How could it be improved?

            Mmmm, while I’d like that to be true, at the moment, it isn’t. Right now, the discussion should continue to be:

            Will the NBN make it INTACT as primarily FTTH through the next election?

            The business plan could almost certainly be improved (in terms of not requiring a return….if that is what you call improved), as could the last 7%. But if the NBN as a whole doesn’t make it through the next election, you can kiss the network goodbye and any improvements you’d like too.

            • Trevor
              Posted 12/01/2013 at 3:32 pm | Permalink |

              Absolutely. I’m not trying to suggest anyone should focus on long-term possibilities and disregard or gloss over current concerns, merely that the discussion never seems to touch on longer-term implications of Liberal party policy.

              As for the allowance within the legislation for eventual sale of the NBN, can you honestly see the Government managing to get the green light for the NBN on a purely Socialist platform (ignoring the fact that they are far too middle-right to actually want that, anyway) in this country? Espousing Socialist theory or ideals in this country is tantamount to being a card-carrying communist torturer & a paedophile to boot, according to mainstream media and accepted political rhetoric.

              • Posted 14/01/2013 at 1:49 pm | Permalink |

                Trevor, i couldnt have said it better myself :)

                I always thought the sale option was mainly to get it through in the first place..

                With the risk of sounding like i need a tin foil hat.. Surely the NBN was part of the deal with Telstra being sold in the first place.. the government sold it off , let it run its network into the ground and now will replace the network and the cycle will repeat in another 30-40 years..

            • Cameron
              Posted 12/01/2013 at 6:15 pm | Permalink |

              @seven_tech
              Actually, that’s not quite right. The legislation is IN PLACE and IF it is enacted NBNCo. CAN be sold. Nothing in the legislation gives a definite timeline for it. We’ve had an in depth discussion over this at WP. It CAN be sold but it doesn’t HAVE to be, even with the current legislation.

              Yeah, maybe I could have chosen my words more carefully but we are on the same page I think. Admit I don’t follow the WP threads as closely as I should but what I meant to say was consistent with what you clarified. :)

              Mmmm, while I’d like that to be true, at the moment, it isn’t. Right now, the discussion should continue to be:
              Will the NBN make it INTACT as primarily FTTH through the next election?

              I mostly agree with you, I guess I was trying to point out that there is still plenty to argue about (that seems to be way the politics are working at the moment) that doesn’t mean wholesale destruction of the NBN.

              The beauty of the NBN, as planned, seems to me that even if some of the finer points of policy are not 100% correct now they can be tweaked in the future (POIs?). If on the other hand, the LNP get into government and sell off NBNco to Telstra we will be in a worse situation than if it never began in the first place.

              • Posted 14/01/2013 at 12:49 am | Permalink |

                The beauty of the NBN, as planned, seems to me that even if some of the finer points of policy are not 100% correct now they can be tweaked in the future (POIs?)

                Mmm, for many points (wholesale pricing basis, POI count, network topology) these things are somewhat fixed. Once the network is designed and regulations in place, it is hard to undo them. Yes, it would be possible certainly- you can reduce the number of POIs, but it would require alot of on the fly rejigging of RSPs connections. And you can change the basis of how the wholesale prices are charged….but then the ACCC has to sign off on them AND all the industry has to agree- it’s already gone past 2 years for the NBNCo’s WBA to be signed off on and it’s STILL in ACCC analysis, though looks set to likely pass this time after 1 rejected and one recalled attempt.

                If on the other hand, the LNP get into government and sell off NBNco to Telstra we will be in a worse situation than if it never began in the first place.

                This regularly gets brought up, however, what I’ve been thinking about is- how can they? Sure, I’m not saying the LNP wouldn’t try, that’s right up their alley. But the ACCC have to sign off on ALL aquisitions of regulated services. This is no different. The LNP could, I believe, overule the ACCC….but I bet there’d be an ALMIGHTY uproar from it.

                I think it more likely the NBN will either:

                1- Simply be stopped entirely as soon as practicable and any running costs subsidised direct from government till they can decide what to do with it
                2- Stopped and changed to FTTN
                3- Left the same and “tweaked” to make it appear the LNP did a better job than Labor and it was only under their rule that it became a decent policy

                Personally I’m still betting on the first with Tony at the head, or the third if he’s rolled or overruled some other way. I’m hoping nobody would be stupid enough to try the second- it would be a logistical nightmare to pulldown a rapidly ramped up rollout of FTTH to FTTN and would takes years and end up a mess.

                • nonny-moose
                  Posted 14/01/2013 at 4:51 pm | Permalink |

                  1 and 2 are likely to cost a large amount of money. I still haven’t seen any acknowledgement from Malcolm that he’s effectively tearing up the Telstra agreement dudding them out of ~9bn, what that will do to a) the share price and b) the negotiations for the copper.

                  My feeling is the market currently has the agreement priced in; as 2bn upfront and 9 in payments as connects are turned over to Nbnco.

                  So ultimately the lnp are looking at a significant set of costs, depending on who winds up running the show (Tony or Mal) what they do and how far they go. There’s any applicable contract termination costs, there’s the effects of putting it ‘on hold’ which if I understand rightly effectively puts it on the budget books. There’s the stake cost of fttn, citis 17bn placeholder here.

                  There’s access to copper, for which I have a hard time believing Telstra will do for less than the value lost in the current deal, otherwise the shares will be repriced down. There’s time costs in the reneg, and getting things going again after nobbling a build that’s reached full ramp, assuming that it does hit that mark before polls open. There’s all that ACCC argybargy you’ve referenced. theres time costs in parliament to modify or lay in new legislation to deal with it all.

                  So worst case, getting bingo on everything, it goes from investment to a cost, on budget. I estimate two or three bn in cancel contract costs, the 17bn, at least 7 for copper cutover. Throw in another bn for reports, negotiations and negotiators, ACCC costs (I presume a new sau will be mandatory). ive completely ignored the effects of the senate and assumed they have almost carte blanche to do as they like. But the effect of tipping over the nbn to a fttn rollout I rate at somewhere close to 30bn if not a tad over.

                  the only palatable option looks like 3 tho i dont really see how it can be tweaked down, even cutting and merging POIs isnt going to save much after said ACCC argybargy is done. They can pull the 93% figure down but that will be unpopular with the electorate, regardless rural or metro. Its simpler to leave it and let it go through but I worry they will be ideologically obliged to mess with it anyway, and I fail to see where any significant savings are. certainly flogging it off to Telstra is likely to be blocked in senate, so there’s a limit to how far they can go I feel, but of 1,2,3, all looks like more costs to me, in one way or another.

                  • nonny-moose
                    Posted 14/01/2013 at 4:57 pm | Permalink |

                    Oh and I forgot to include monies already spent or committed, another few bin I believe.

    15. Abel Adamski
      Posted 13/01/2013 at 6:55 pm | Permalink |

      The Point is whether the NBN or anything similar does go ahead.
      Motley Fool, a very highly regarded investment (economic and Political ) analysist has his own views on the matter
      His bottom line
      “2013 is election year, and the Federal opposition is no fan of the current NBN plan. Should we have a change of government later this year, we could see the current NBN rollout grind to a halt.”

      http://www.fool.com.au/2013/01/investing/nbn-rollout-on-track/

      • Abel Adamski
        Posted 13/01/2013 at 7:07 pm | Permalink |

        He obviously does not place much value on MT’s ramblings

        • socrates
          Posted 14/01/2013 at 4:35 pm | Permalink |

          But nowhere in MT’s ramblings has he said ‘We will continue NBN as planned.’

          He’s used a lot of clever words to make gullible people think that might be the effect of what he said, but it is impossible to avoid the fposition that the Coalition will stop any further construction of NBN, beyond the contracts that are running when they are elected.

          To assume anything else would be wishful thinking and a flight from reality. The only thing they will retain will be the name, in a deceitful attempt to cover their actions.

          • Cameron
            Posted 14/01/2013 at 5:12 pm | Permalink |

            But nowhere in MT’s ramblings has he said ‘We will continue NBN as planned.’

            He’s used a lot of clever words to make gullible people think that might be the effect of what he said, but it is impossible to avoid the fposition that the Coalition will stop any further construction of NBN, beyond the contracts that are running when they are elected.

            It could be argued that Malcolm Turnbull has been doing nothing but obfuscating, he has been leading everyone along… the public, but also his fearless leader Tony Abbott.

            This may be to appear a “team player” that his party room did not see during the Godwin Grech UteGate affair and consequently lost his job. Whilst giving himself the wiggle room, should he be PM (or comms minister with non-abbott PM) if the LNP win the next election.

            I am nearly certain that the LNP broadband policy would be very different with Tony Abbott as LNP leader compared to someone else.

            If Malcolm Turnbull believes his “Trust me. I love you and I will respect you in the morning (or post election)” so called policy will sway voters he is mistaken.

      • Abel Adamski
        Posted 15/01/2013 at 4:08 pm | Permalink |

        Then of course we have the New Technology Spectator comment in this item, only comment that I got through was on the Mobile/WiFi aspect

        http://www.technologyspectator.com.au/top-ten-tech-predictions-2013

        Read the NBN sections, obviously limited operational experience, single vendor infrastructure solution is usually more reliable and consistent, who the Vendor is depends on the results of tenders and trials., besides terminal equipment provider changed from Tassie trials .
        Note he is stating that the NBN will go ahead as planned except it will be 60% FTTH and of the 30% FTTN, that will mostly be MDU’s, completely different to what MT stated when he stated that even the contacts in place would be changed where possible to FTTN.

        Funny when I tried to point out these and other salient on record facts and statements that comment went into moderation and has never appeared

    16. Stephen H
      Posted 14/01/2013 at 1:29 pm | Permalink |

      “I have binders here. Binders full of women. Er, communists. Er, women communists who prove that the NBN is a failure”.

      Oops, I seem to have confused Malcolm Turnbull with Mitt Romney and Joe McCarthy. How could that have happened?




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