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  • Featured, News, Telecommunications - Written by on Monday, January 14, 2013 10:22 - 200 Comments

    NBN hard rollout data ‘not yet finalised’

    work-in-progress-1

    news The National Broadband Network Company has again declined to release hard data measures relating to the rollout and uptake of its fibre infrastructure in the last quarter of 2012, stating that the figures were still being “finalised”, despite stating the release of more nebulous rollout data last week meant it was meeting its targets.

    Late last week, NBN Co released a brief media statement (PDF) stating that it had slightly exceeded its target of having construction commenced or completed in areas covering 758,000 premises around Australia before the end of 2012. The company said the total number of premises in areas where construction had commenced or completed was 784,592 by the end of the year.

    However, the ‘premises commenced or completed’ figure is not recognised by many commentators as a hard figure reflecting NBN Co’s actual rollout progress, and is not a standard telecommunications industry measure for network rollout progress. This is because the figure may not represent the actual commencement of construction in some areas, with NBN Co defining a premise as having commenced construction when it issues instructions to its contractors to start work in an area — not when the work has actually begun, or when it has been finished.

    There are two more concrete measures by which NBN Co measures its rollout progress: ‘Premises passed’, which refers to the company having completed construction to a premise, and ‘premises activated’, which refers to a customer having taken up a NBN service. NBN Co’s corporate plan focuses on using these two measures for its progress.

    NBN Co is committed to releasing these hard figures quarterly, but has declined several times to release this data for the final quarter of 2012 through to the end of December. Last week the company would say only that the figures for premises passed and active premises were “still being finalised”, with the company planning to release those hard figures “in the near future”. Asked why the company didn’t hold off issuing a progress report until it could release that data, an NBN Co spokesperson said the ‘premises commenced or completed’ figure was “ready to go” and represented “such a prominent goal”.

    “People wanted to know,” they said.

    Despite the fact that NBN Co has not yet released hard data regarding its network rollout progress in the final quarter of 2012, the Federal Government last week hailed the company’s media release as representing a victory for the project. Acting Communications Minister Kim Carr highlighted comments made by Shadow Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull in February 2012 regarding the ‘premises commenced or completed construction’ target.

    “In February last year, Malcolm Turnbull expressed disbelief at this ambitious target,” Senator Carr said in a statement. “He told Sky News that it was ‘an extraordinary promise’ and that ‘there’ll be a lot of admiration’ for NBN Co if it was achieved. It’s not often I get to acknowledge Mr Turnbull’s prescience, but I’m delighted the opportunity has arisen for him to fulfil his commitment – I look forward to him praising NBN Co’s achievement.”

    “By the end of 2012, NBN Co had commenced or completed construction for 784,592 homes and businesses across Australia. Work on the NBN is now happening in more than 70 locations and in every state and territory. Exceeding this target is just the beginning. The ramp up of NBN construction activity will continue in 2013, with more workers hauling fibre, more areas switching on the NBN, and more families and businesses connecting.”

    “As the Gillard Government gets on with the job of providing the NBN’s fast, affordable and reliable broadband to all Australians, all we hear from Tony Abbott is that he’ll eliminate the NBN. The choice for Australians this election year is clear: Vote for Labor and you’ll get the NBN; vote for Tony Abbott and you won’t.”

    For his part, Turnbull issued his own media release stating that the Federal Government was ‘misleading’ the Australian public with regard to the progress of the NBN rollout. “There are three key questions about the NBN’s rollout – how many premises the network passes, how many premises it’s connected to and what it’s costing to get to them,” he said. “Today’s release by the NBN answers none of those.”

    Turnbull said that all telcos in the world used two important metrics when it comes to their networks: Premises passed and premises connected.

    “In February 2012, the NBN began talking about a new metric, which was “houses in areas where construction has been commenced or completed”,” he said, adding that Prime Minister Julia Gillard was using the somewhat nebulous figure to create the impression that some 758,000 premises would be in the process of being passed by fibre — with construction crews actually commencing work in neighbourhoods around Australia.

    However, Turnbull pointed out the figure only referred to how many premises NBN Co had issued paper work orders for — meaning work might not actually yet be being carried out in some areas coming in under the statistics. “Hence my scepticism about the figure – a scepticism borne out over time as we have seen how slow the actual rollout of premises connected and passed have been (these being the only relevant metrics),” the Liberal MP said. “It is noteworthy that today’s announcement does not include updated figures for premises with active connections or premises passed with fibre.”

    “And it is worth noting here again that the “premises passed” figure is also questionable as it appears that the NBN Co is including in that figure premises in multi dwelling units such as apartment blocks which are not yet able to be connected on request. To be consistent with other telcos’ use of the term a premise should only be referred to as being passed if the householder can ring up the telco and within a reasonable time get a service connected. NBN Co could clear this definition up and should do so.”

    “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!”

    In early December, NBN Co also declined to provide updated statistics at that point relating to how premises its network had completed construction to, stating that it would only release updated details on its rollout every calendar quarter. Normally, government entities such as NBN Co are required to respond to such FoI requests within several weeks.

    However, since that time NBN Co has sought an extension of time to respond to the FoI request, stating that its office was shut down over the Christmas holiday period and that this and other factors meant that it would be unable to respond to the FoI request in the normal timeframe (which would have made the FoI request due on 10 January 2013).

    “… the information requested falls outside of NBN Co’s normal reporting processes,” one of the company’s FoI officers wrote in an email to Delimiter seeking an extension to respond to the FoI request. “In that context, NBN Co staff are required to collect, review and – in particular – verify the above figures, which is a complex task.”

    In further email communication, the FoI officer noted that to meet the FoI request, “NBN Co staff will need to collate and reconcile data from across various NBN Co databases”. They added: “This will take place over, roughly, the next month and it will take some time and planning, particularly for the formal reconciliation.”

    The extent to which NBN Co has rolled out its network by the time of the next Federal Election is expected to be a critical factor determining the overall future of the project. Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has repeatedly indicated that he does not see value in the project and may halt or cancel it. Shadow Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull has taken a more moderate approach to the project; however, Turnbull currently prefers a more limited fibre to the node rollout, compared to the fibre to the home deployment under the current NBN model. It is unclear to what extent the Coalition will continue with the current FTTH NBN deployment, should it take power at the next election.

    opinion/analysis
    As I wrote in this extensive analysis piece in late November, Turnbull is right that the ‘premises commenced or completed’ measure for NBN Co’s network rollout is a misleading and nebulous statistic which does not accurately show NBN Co’s progress on its network rollout and the uptake of that network. It is a useful measure in terms of its ability to give a flavour for the overall construction work NBN Co is undertaking at the moment, but it should not be the main metric benchmarking NBN Co’s progress.

    Since mid-December when I started seeking a higher level of transparency from NBN Co on this issue, the company has fought every step of the way to prevent hard premises completed and active services data being released, either through its media relations spokespeople or through its Freedom of Information arm.

    Last week’s media release by the company and the separate release by the Government was as blatant an attempt at spin as I have seen on this issue. How is it possible for NBN Co and the Government to claim victory in its network rollout progress, if the pair will not even say how many premises NBN Co has connected fibre to, or how many people have signed up to its service?

    I know this article on Delimiter will be an unpopular one. But before you all jump in and start slamming me, consider this question again. Let it roll around your head for a few minutes.

    I say again: How is it possible for NBN Co and the Government to claim victory in its network rollout progress, if the pair will not even say how many premises NBN Co has connected fibre to, or how many people have signed up to its service?

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    1. Posted 14/01/2013 at 10:35 am | Permalink |

      Interesting that Malcolm has brought up the MDU topic, claiming that NBN Co are “wrongly” including MDUs in their premises passed metric, even though they have already let contracts for the connection of premises within those buildings.

      I wonder if he’s forgotten that he was telling us a year ago that the Telstra and Optus HFC networks pass “30%” of Australian premises, when in fact a huge proportion of premises in MDUs cannot connect to that HFC at all, let alone “within a reasonable timeframe”.

      Once again, Mr Turnbull’s statements are a lesson in hypocrisy.

    2. Posted 14/01/2013 at 10:37 am | Permalink |

      I honestly believe that “premises passed”, “premises under construction”, “premises connected”, and “premises with active services” are all valid measures.

      I also believe that “premises passed or under construction” is an equally valid measure. That figure is a combination of the first two, obviously.

      But given that Turnbull has promised – (at this stage at least) – to honour all in-place contracts should the government change, the combined number is an indicator of the number of premises that will be completed, at such time as that happens.

      There is a clearly a degree of polity in actively promoting that figure, sure – but it’s a political project as well as a technology and infrastructure project.

      As long as the project is a political football, the politics will play a role. We may or may not be comfortable with that, but it is what it is.

      I don’t have any particularly objection to any of these metrics – they are all valuable within the debate.

      • Simon Reidy
        Posted 14/01/2013 at 11:53 am | Permalink |

        Well put. I agree entirely. All the metrics tell us different things and are valuable to know in their own right. Given we know everyone on Telstra copper will be migrated to the NBN eventually anyway, and that there is still a lot of ignorance out there about the NBN’s advantages, it also doesn’t matter so much if people aren’t choosing to be connected or signing up for a plan at time of ‘premised passed’, given many of the houses are still likely under an ADSL or wireless contract. Or they might simply be content with whatever plan they are on for now.

        It’s still important for us to know where fibre has been lain, regardless of exact uptake figures (they are also important figures of course, but should not be used to gauge the popularity of the NBN as a whole, given the above issues).

    3. Zac Spitzer (@zackster)
      Posted 14/01/2013 at 10:47 am | Permalink |

      These quibbles over #NBN rollout stats are becoming extremely boring…..

      look at the trend, time to go find something else to argue/write about

      • Karl
        Posted 14/01/2013 at 11:52 am | Permalink |

        Sorry to let you know, but this isn’t twitter.

      • tinman_au
        Posted 14/01/2013 at 2:53 pm | Permalink |

        That attitude leads to “QLD health Payroll” type debacles…

      • KingForce
        Posted 15/01/2013 at 4:56 pm | Permalink |

        Here is the trend Zac. The trend is that NBN Co are doing their best to hide key information and want to confuse the public.

    4. Posted 14/01/2013 at 11:11 am | Permalink |

      They should release 3 figures – 1) Planning commenced – Detailed inspection and design. 2) Construction commenced – Digging holes, stringing wires etc. 3) Construction complete – Ready for service.
      Something similar to when the ADSL DSLAMs were being rolled out.
      Takeup rates are an entirely different subject.

    5. Paul Grenfell
      Posted 14/01/2013 at 11:13 am | Permalink |

      Metrics Rubbish, sorry Renai, i disagree on your stance here .. its fruitless.. the NBN is Rolling out and ramping up as we speak. The Greatest Infrastructure build in the Nations history which will bring untold benefits far exceeding that of the long served Copper Network.
      The alternative is “Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has repeatedly indicated that he does not see value in the project and may halt or cancel it. ” and you know it.. Fttn hasnt been presented in any details of reach, cost or speed. Zilch.
      Forget the metrics, we are getting the NBN, thats all that matters.. On with the show.

      • Posted 14/01/2013 at 11:28 am | Permalink |

        While I agree with your general sentiment, we can’t forget the metrics. They ARE important.

        Think of rail gauge standardisation between states – that was planned a century ago, and it still hasn’t happened. If there were “metrics” on progress, people would be screaming about it.

        Yes the NBN is rolling out, and yes it is important. But it is important to understand how well it is or isn’t rolling out, lest we have another “rail gauge standardisation” debacle.

        With the opposition plan we are more likely to have wildly varying standards of connectivity – (hell, Turnbull even says different areas will end up with different results) – that’s a given.

        But it’s fair and reasonable to measure progress, and discuss the results – whatever way it goes.

      • tinman_au
        Posted 14/01/2013 at 2:25 pm | Permalink |

        “Forget the metrics, we are getting the NBN, thats all that matters.. On with the show.”

        The metrics are very important.

        Consider this, if the LNP win (Limited News seem to think it’s the election Tony can’t lose, heck, some of thier journos are already talking like he has), it will be much easier for the Australian public to pressure them into keeping the NBN going if the stats show NBNCo are actually on time and budget. If there are issues with the roll-out, it needs to be dealt with quickly, not swept under the rug.

        One concern I have with what they are doing at the moment, is that the numbers Renai is after are key/core metrics for the business. I’m boggled that they don’t have easy access to the numbers requested, as they are needed both to bill customers, and pay contractors.

        With the way they are holding off, I get this horrible feeling that they may be “massaging” things. If the numbers are low, then fair enough, the ramp up has only just started, I’m (and probably many others) willing to let that go for a while to see where things settle after things are “ramped”, but fudging key info is never a good idea.

    6. Posted 14/01/2013 at 11:26 am | Permalink |

      I’ll be waiting for when they do release the premises passed figure.

      I’m really not in a hurry to find out. As I’ve said before, it is a 9 year project and month by month updates don’t serve any purpose but to micro manage something that is already being so by MT every second week.

      They will release the data soon for the December quarter and they will release the March quarter 3 months or so after that and the June quarter 3 months or so after that.

      And as long as they are all within cooee of their targets, there is no issue.

      Oh and can I also note, the 4th report on the rolllout was actually due in December, but I guess the committee decided funnily enough they didn’t want to break their holiday over Christmas either….just like NBNCo. And that could also have something to do with why they’re not re,easing the figure yet- they’d always planned on releasing it at the 4th report?….

    7. Bob.H
      Posted 14/01/2013 at 11:28 am | Permalink |

      I agree with you Renai when you say ” How is it possible for NBN Co and the Government to claim victory in its network rollout progress, if the pair will not even say how many premises NBN Co has connected fibre to”.

      I am not sure that the number who have signed up for the service is quite as important. The number that will sign up will largely be influenced by the current commitments of the user. The simple fact is that people are going to come on to the NBN because copper is going to shut down. While I would be interested to see how many have signed up and in which speed tier I don’t think this is indicative of the success of the NBN.

      In my opinion the only true measure of NBN Co success is whether it has connected as many premises ready for service to the NBN as they had planned.

      Under construction doesn’t give anyone access to an NBN service it is possible (although remote) for construction to be never completed. I think using this as a measure is a bit like saying that you are on holidays when you start planning to take one instead of when you actually start.

      • Posted 14/01/2013 at 11:31 am | Permalink |

        “Under construction doesn’t give anyone access to an NBN service it is possible (although remote) for construction to be never completed. I think using this as a measure is a bit like saying that you are on holidays when you start planning to take one instead of when you actually start.”

        “Under construction” is an important figure. Turnbull has stated no existing contracts will be terminated should the government change. Presuming a change of government, the “completed or under construction” figure represents what WILL be completed.

        It’s a political metric that no doubt Conroy has asked for, but it isn’t an irrelevant number.

        • Posted 14/01/2013 at 11:36 am | Permalink |

          @Michael

          +1 The metric was undoubtedly born out of the ridiculous politics. But is still a relevant and important metric. And is not at ALL the only metric NBNCo. Produces.

        • Bob.H
          Posted 14/01/2013 at 11:49 am | Permalink |

          ” Turnbull has stated no existing contracts will be terminated should the government change”

          This would be the same bloke who told us he had a fully costed alternative plan ready last year but can’t produce it. Sorry Michael but for some reason I don’t really trust him.

          I am not saying that “under construction” is an irrelevant stat. What I am saying is that the true measure of success is the number of premises able to connect using the NBN. To give another example if Ford manufacture 1,000 cars in a year and sell 500 and Holden manufacture 800 cars and sell 700 which is the most successful? Ford who has manufactured 1,000 cars or Holden who have sold 700 cars. Most people would agree that the company who sold the most cars was the most successful. I don’t see any good reason for the NBN Co to be judged any differently.

          • Posted 14/01/2013 at 11:52 am | Permalink |

            Didn’t say I trust him either.

            But the contracts are between the Commonwealth and the builders, not the political parties. Turnbull says it to sound responsible, but ultimately he couldn’t do much with in-place contracts without paying them out.

            Either, either.

          • Harimau
            Posted 15/01/2013 at 12:58 pm | Permalink |

            That’s a poor analogy.
            Here’s a better one.
            Kelloggs has manufactured 100,000 units of cereal, and Nestle has manufactured 80,000 units of cereal. Both Kelloggs and Nestle have sold all of their units to retailers, namely Woolworths, Coles and others. However, Woolworths and Coles themselves have only sold 50,000 units of Kelloggs cereal and 70,000 units of Nestle cereal. (For now.)
            Which, Kelloggs or Nestle, is more successful?

        • KingForce
          Posted 15/01/2013 at 5:00 pm | Permalink |

          Did you say “political”? I guess that explains everything.

      • Paul Grenfell
        Posted 14/01/2013 at 11:34 am | Permalink |

        And the Sydney Harbour Bridge didnt have one Customer until it was Completed.. Hows that for Metrics?
        We could keep going ie Snowy Hydro Scheme and so forth.
        Even the old PSTN of the day was a failure under construction..
        Look at the big picture, not the nitpicking..

        • Posted 14/01/2013 at 11:39 am | Permalink |

          They are building 12 million bridges. Slightly different.

          • Paul Grenfell
            Posted 14/01/2013 at 11:48 am | Permalink |

            Exactly and they already have customers..

            • Posted 14/01/2013 at 11:54 am | Permalink |

              But the ways you measure the KPIs between one Sydney Harbour Bridge, and 12 million “Fibre Harbour Bridges” are succinctly different.

              And they must be measured.

              • Paul Grenfell
                Posted 14/01/2013 at 11:59 am | Permalink |

                Agreed, but be careful where you draw the line of success..
                The PSTN Copper network took 25years? to build and if you took the same measuring stick to it, it would been judged a failure and stopped well and truly a long time ago.
                So you need to measure its success on its completion, not during build.

                • Posted 14/01/2013 at 12:03 pm | Permalink |

                  When managing any project, you cannot do so without mapping out progress along the way to allow you to continue to appropriately resource the project as it proceeds further.

                  Project Management 101

                  • Paul Grenfell
                    Posted 14/01/2013 at 12:09 pm | Permalink |

                    As with Copper PSTN Network, as with Snowy Scheme as with Rail, as with Sydney Harbour Bridge, yes there was project management , costings etc, but none of them were cancelled , even though they were costing the Taxpayer a bundle. Why,? Because they were looking at the greater good, the end result, the benefits to the Nation. The NBN is in even better position than all those projects, because at least it will take the burden away from the Taxpayer and pay for itself.. But,.. only if its completed.
                    You cant build a harbour bridge halfway and stop it..

                    • Posted 14/01/2013 at 12:26 pm | Permalink |

                      Is it the greater good when if not properly managed and measured, that it suddenly ended up costing 10 times as much?

                      In project management, the measures are made to compare progress against costs, particularly labour costs, to make sure it doesn’t blow out.

                      You can’t do it – (responsibly at least) – if you don’t measure progress. I’m not saying we should stop building it.

                      But can’t just say “frig the consequences, because it’s important”.

                      It’s about being responsible for the project – one of the key focuses Mike Quigley has, and which he does admirably.

                      I don’t wish to sound like I’m attacking you, but you clearly have no experience with formally managed projects. I’m involved with them every day of my working life.

                      The NBN, like any project, needs to be measured for progress, and as a public, and very high profile project at that, those measurements need to be publicised.

                      You might not like it, but that’s how the world works.

                      • Paul Grenfell
                        Posted 14/01/2013 at 12:40 pm | Permalink |

                        Michael, i was responsible for expenditure of a Major Govt Dept. I do know where im coming from. We had large projects that never to fruit for at least 25years.. they were long term investments. Yes, it took 25 years to get any income, but they were profitable investments.
                        Just like Quigley, we did all the checks and balances and stuck to a project Management Plan.
                        As you can imagine, over 25 years, not everything always went to plan.. But we never cancelled a project, because we knew the State depended on our persistence.
                        The NBN is just like that, a long term investment with a Corp. Plan and Checks and Balances and even Senate Reviews. Yes there were some hiccups, like every other Plan has, but the NBN is on Track and there is no indication its going to cost “10 times”.
                        There have been suggestions from experts, that even if the NBN doesnt pay for itself, it will be a huge benefit to the Nation.
                        What i am saying is, that available projections and figures are satisfactory in my book and twisting metrics is purely a Political Ploy to give the NBN a degraded image in the hope of Cancelling it.
                        I wont accept that.

                      • Posted 14/01/2013 at 1:00 pm | Permalink |

                        Ahem.

                        Forget the metrics, we are getting the NBN, thats all that matters.

                      • tinman_au
                        Posted 14/01/2013 at 2:37 pm | Permalink |

                        Hi Paul

                        I expect QLD Health said the exact same stuff about the payroll system that blew out from a few hundred million to over a billion dollars. It’s a shame the spotlight wasn’t on them a lot earlier.

                        Renai is doing his job by asking for these metrics, media is the fourth pillar of democracy and is meant to keep the other pillars (Parliament, Administrative, Judiciary) honest. People saying he should stop asking are basically being undemocratic (and telling Renai not to do his job).

                        And to the people that keep saying this is a 9 year project, it might not be, it may only run for another 8-12 months once/if the LNP get in…

                      • Posted 14/01/2013 at 2:41 pm | Permalink |

                        “Forget the metrics, we are getting the NBN, thats all that matters.”

                        That’s exactly why I’m attempting to pursue this line of inquiry with NBN Co. I’m attempting to ascertain whether we are, in fact, getting the NBN, and how fast we’re getting it. NBN Co really has only one metric — whether it rolls out its network or not — and right now we really don’t know how fast that is happening.

                    • Guest
                      Posted 14/01/2013 at 5:36 pm | Permalink |

                      you are being ridiculus and should have your comments stricken for trolling. comparing a nationwide fibre rollout with a bridge is retarded. a fibre connection to a single premises is usable for a start. anything less than fully rolled out is usable once the first connection is up. it then becomes a matter of how usable. anything less than a full bridge is not usable

                      Stop playing the troll.

                      NBNCo know the numbers. They couldnt not know. and they must be ashamed of them if they arent releasing them. I guarantee if they were on track, they’d be shouting the figures from every rooftop. The fact they put up this much of a fight means somethings wrong. very wrong.

              • Paul Grenfell
                Posted 14/01/2013 at 12:01 pm | Permalink |

                I think was 40 years not 25..correction.

    8. djos
      Posted 14/01/2013 at 11:38 am | Permalink |

      Im a huge NBN supporter however I do think that the numbers should be reported as:

      * Number of Premises under Construction: (started/being built now)
      * Number of Premises Passed: (PCD installed on the outside wall)
      * Number of Premises with an Active Connection:

      These numbers would imo remove much of the fuel from the “they are bogus numbers” debate and the “# of Premises under Construction” would still be useful in showing how much work is currently going on and making it harder for a potential Lieberal Gov to cancel the FTTP rollout.

      • Paul Grenfell
        Posted 14/01/2013 at 11:49 am | Permalink |

        Yep, all this measuring is just trying to find some excuse for them to Cancel the NBN, make it look like a failure.. Im not falling for it.

      • Posted 14/01/2013 at 12:00 pm | Permalink |

        +1

      • NBNAccuracy
        Posted 14/01/2013 at 12:21 pm | Permalink |

        I think they would like to release like that. But commenced or completed is a number NBNCo has on hand. The other figures requires reports from their contractors, probably spot checks to make sure what they say has been completed is complete. They then have to do that for all contractors and correlate.
        Can you imagine the field day MT would have if a contractor ran behind over Christmas and lied about some numbers? News Ltd would be saying Quigley or Conroy or even Gillard were lying or the fudged numbers may become blown out from a few percentage to claims of half, etc. After all there were only 2.7% complaints on school halls, the report on the examination of cost blowouts showed around 5% but it didn’t stop the Coalition, the media and then subsequently the public claiming they paid 2 and 3 times what they should have cost.

        • Mathew
          Posted 15/01/2013 at 1:39 am | Permalink |

          If NBNCo don’t know how many active services they have then they cannot bill RSPs.

          NBNCo receive an order from an RSP to connect the service and configure the network. If they don’t know which services are active on the network and connected to which RSP then serious issues exist.

          None of the above points rely on third parties and are integral to the running of NBNCo.

          • Posted 15/01/2013 at 5:40 am | Permalink |

            @Matthew

            I agree they could release ‘active services’ data. But if they did that without producing ‘passed’ data at the same time, they’d be accused of trying to hide something, even though active services is an easy number to produce and premises passed may be considerably harder to recognise.

            I have no doubt that is precisely why in a few weeks time no doubt, they will release BOTH the active premises and passed premises together.

            • Mathew
              Posted 15/01/2013 at 9:37 am | Permalink |

              Your argument is that the active connections figures are being held back because the premises passed may be a harder figure to produce and NBNCo want to present both figures to avoid being accused of hiding information. The whole point of this argument is questioning why NBNCo have released only one figure which is positive.

              In my experience good news is released quickly in bright lights with press conferences while bad news is hidden.

              • Posted 15/01/2013 at 12:11 pm | Permalink |

                @Matthew

                Your argument is that the active connections figures are being held back because the premises passed may be a harder figure to produce and NBNCo want to present both figures to avoid being accused of hiding information.

                What’s with this “held back” thing?? They’re not releasing them RIGHT THIS INSTANT because they haven’t consolidated it. Once they have,. they’ll release them. What is going to change between now and 3 or 4 weeks time except to add a few more active premises??

                In my experience good news is released quickly in bright lights with press conferences while bad news is hidden.

                If they’re releasing the information, even if it’s not on YOUR preferred timetable, how is that hiding something?? You assume because the FOI request was denied they are automatically hiding something. That is very often not the case with FOI. Simply that it isn’t possible to collate the info or, if it is (as in this case) that it will be being released shortly, so the FOI request is invalidated as they are in the process of collating said data.

                I would agree with you IF the data isn’t released at all. It will be, you just don’t like the timeline. That’s just impatience to look for the worst on your part, not hiding something on NBNCo’s part. Otherwise, they wouldn’t release it.

      • CMOTDibbler
        Posted 14/01/2013 at 1:00 pm | Permalink |

        I agree. Those metrics are unambiguous. The NBNCo should report those metrics, actual against targets, each quarter within a set time of the end of the quarter. Clear and unarguable.

        Having said that, I think it will be in the NBNCo’s interest to report monthly once the ‘premises passed’ figure starts to accelerate. Monthly reports will show the speed of the roll out better than quarterly reports imo. Also, we don’t want to go into an election with numbers that may be a couple of months out of date.

    9. Karl
      Posted 14/01/2013 at 12:04 pm | Permalink |

      “How is it possible for NBN Co and the Government to claim victory in its network rollout progress”
      The 758k target has been built up by many including Turnbull as a big deal, the figure is obviously much easier for them to confirm as it requires no communication back from the contractor, so they release it.

      “…if the pair will not even say how many premises NBN Co has connected fibre to, or how many people have signed up to its service?”
      Can not and will not aren’t the same thing. All this proves is what we already know, it takes time to collate numbers over such a big project, I don’t see what the story is here. I know what would be a story: instead of waiting a week or 2 longer they rush it, and give us a wrong number.

    10. Ian
      Posted 14/01/2013 at 12:28 pm | Permalink |

      Keep fighting for real numbers Renai. Do you think you can get NBN Co give separate data for the fixed wireless vs satellite while you’re at it? The way they report only one number for two very different technologies smells like there’s something they’re not proud of to me.

      • Posted 14/01/2013 at 12:39 pm | Permalink |

        I agree on the fixed wireless vs satellite — conflating those numbers is a bad joke. I am pushing for this very thing.

        I have informed NBN Co that I will be questioning them each month (1st of the month) on this issue this year (as it’s the crux year), and if we don’t get more transparency, I will be filing Freedom of Information requests as I already have for December.

      • Michael
        Posted 14/01/2013 at 5:04 pm | Permalink |

        I’m sure the reason they report fixed wireless and satellite together is because almost nobody is on fixed wireless yet. Simple as that; what other reason would there be?

        For satellite they capture that 3% in the “premises passed” the instant they flick the switch, which they’ve already done, so it looks like a big win in their numbers.

        • Posted 14/01/2013 at 5:29 pm | Permalink |

          @Michael

          Well, that’s not really surprising- with all the community NIMBYs trying to stop NBN towers they haven’t been exactly firing along and the majority aren’t going to be connected until the majority of towers are up. So far, only 1/3 of towers are in or have approval. We should hopefully be getting an update on that soon, maybe March or June.

    11. Posted 14/01/2013 at 12:40 pm | Permalink |

      Hey everyone,

      just a quick point which I want people to take note of:

      NBN Co does not need to go out in the field and check physical deployment to know how many “active services” it has on its network. Getting this figure is a matter of querying its operational systems — which should take very little time.

      Cheers,

      Renai

      • Jon
        Posted 14/01/2013 at 1:07 pm | Permalink |

        But surely they’d have a difficult time ringing around to the hundreds of contractors over Christmas and asking them each to tell NBNCo – “exactly how many houses you have passed today”. As this work is farmed out, NBNCo probably don’t know the day-to-day counts you are asking for – hence the “It will take time” line.

        Me personally – I don’t care how many houses have been planned, passed or connected. I’m only interested in when one particular house is planned. I only care that I will get it, and I’m concerned about that other mob who don’t want to provide it.

        • tinman_au
          Posted 14/01/2013 at 2:41 pm | Permalink |

          I doubt NBNCo just sends contractors out into “the wild” and say “See you in three months”. They’d be getting weekly summaries, surely?

          • Posted 14/01/2013 at 5:18 pm | Permalink |

            @tinman

            Why would they? They sign contracts for an entire FSAM and the entire construction of it. They would likely set deadlines for completion of basic distro laying, then full FTTH completion and finally commissioning. They wouldn’t know how many houses have been passed each week by any means- it would be entirely dependent on what internal KPIs they use.

            Seriously, can anyone tell me why NBNCo. would DEFINITELY know how many houses are passed each week?? Do we all see their contracts??? At work, we have a weekly meeting, which discusses nothing note than access required to continue a project. The monthly meeting discusses general progress of projects but no KPIs are measured at that stage. The KPIs are measured every quarter and that is standard for all contractors our client deals with.

            I don’t know how NBNCo. have their KPIs for contractors reported or what timeframe they have, but is it ANY more likely to be weekly or monthly than quarterly which is the industry standard?? (Note: Our client is a sub section of the state government)

            honestly, why would it be weekly???

      • Posted 14/01/2013 at 1:38 pm | Permalink |

        @Renai

        Active services, yes, that’s easy as I’ve said before. But not ‘passed’ premises. That is an entirely different beast. And I have no difficulty believing that reconciling on a quarterly basis means they cannot easily reproduce passed premises numbers at the drop of a hat.

    12. Trevor
      Posted 14/01/2013 at 12:45 pm | Permalink |

      How is it possible for the govt to claim victory on the network rollout process? Well, I’m not sure they are claiming ‘victory’; what they are doing is celebrating achievement of a milestone that NBN Co have actually exceeded, which is a separate measure to others (which, as has been pointed out, are equally as important, but do describe different metrics).

      Sorry Ren, but it does seem strange that you can claim this as govt spin while pursuing this angle, which appears to me to be following the spin emanating from certain federal Liberal party offices. Call it as it is: yes, the govt may be celebrating a metric which doesn’t tell the whole story, but in order for it to be spin they would have to be deliberately obscuring the facts, which it isn’t in any way clear that they are – they’re simply pushing out positive press based on incomplete data, which is only misleading if those who are reporting it fail to mention the limitations of what the metric means (which, clearly, you haven’t done).

      Try reporting scientific publications some time – the importance of what isn’t included could fill volumes, yet this is routine in all the world’s most prominent scientific journals. It is up to the reader to understand the subject well enough to draw the correct conclusions (or publish a paper pointing out the omissions, in some cases). It is the job of specialist journalists to write accurate, illuminating articles to help their readership understand the issues at hand with the benefit of all available data and any bias, vested interest or obfuscation deconstructed. Yes, there is bias and vested interest, but from BOTH sides of politics, and I’m afraid the only spin and obfuscation of facts is coming from the opposition at this point – the govt’s reporting is factually accurate, if incomplete, and you have successfully filled in the blanks without resorting to accusing them of spin.

      • Mathew
        Posted 15/01/2013 at 1:54 am | Permalink |

        The problem with the work started metric is that it is based purely on paperwork and all too easy to fudge. Hypothetically, NBNCo could easily have sent out instructions to contractors to commence work on 100,000 premises on 31st December. The paperwork may be incomplete, however the target has been exceeded, press release published and bonuses secured.

        I’m sure all of us have stories of being told white lies about progress on a project or sub-optimal workflows to meet requirements for project milestones.

        • Posted 15/01/2013 at 5:46 am | Permalink |

          @Matthew

          No, in fact, they can’t. Telstra remediation has to happen BEFORE they can declare an FSAM ‘commenced’. There are several Gantt diagrams for the FSAM construction process that show precisely that. By their own metric work on the area must have actually started before they can declare it commenced.

          • Mathew
            Posted 15/01/2013 at 9:43 am | Permalink |

            Quoting Renia in the above article:
            > This is because the figure may not represent the actual commencement of construction in some areas, with NBN Co defining a premise as having commenced construction when it issues instructions to its contractors to start work in an area — not when the work has actually begun, or when it has been finished.

            Do you have references for the Gantt charts that show Telstra remediation work must be complete before instructions to contractors can be issued? Can instructions to contractors be issued based on Telstra’s expected completion of remediation work?

            • Posted 15/01/2013 at 12:06 pm | Permalink |

              @Matthew

              Do you have references for the Gantt charts that show Telstra remediation work must be complete before instructions to contractors can be issued?

              It was posted in Whirlpool as part of a PDF, so it’s not searchable. It disagrees with a Gantt diagram done by a local council on NBNCo’s construction process, in that the Telstra remediation is listed BEFORE public listing of FSAM commenced, but it is actually FROM NBNCo, as opposed to the Council made one. It was in either the NBN rollout or FUD thread. I will keep looking, but it is difficult thanks to the number of pages.

              Can instructions to contractors be issued based on Telstra’s expected completion of remediation work?

              I have no idea. You’d have to ask NBNCo. I doubt it- I would assume the contract would be drawn up and would only be issued once Telstra reports completion. But I’m not involved in the planning process. Fact remains, the contract is specified and would have a deadline, so once the contract is signed, there is a finite amount of time for that FSAM and hence it is appropriate to put it under the “commenced or completed” metric.

              • Mathew
                Posted 15/01/2013 at 1:55 pm | Permalink |

                So you don’t have any evidence to support your statement, so it will have to remain doubtful. Therefore it is equally valid that the numbers could be fudged.

                I also find this statement made by Quigley to the Environment and Communications Legislation Committee – 24/05/2012 – Estimates – BROADBAND, COMMUNICATIONS AND THE DIGITAL ECONOMY PORTFOLIO – NBN Co. Ltd
                (http://parlinfo.aph.gov.au/parlInfo/search/display/display.w3p;query=Id%3A%22committees%2Festimate%2F862505e2-8be8-402e-b9e0-f5383b939a7d%2F0004%22)
                > Second, I do not agree that it duplicates information already provided to parliament. Let me give you some examples. The rollout statistics I provide in my opening statements are the latest available. They are often as at the day of the hearing, so they certainly do not repeat information provided twice a year to the Joint Committee on the NBN, the JCNBN.

                Funny how NBNCo able to provide current figures on active connections to the Senate committee, but cannot respond to a FOI information question.

                • Posted 15/01/2013 at 2:10 pm | Permalink |

                  @Matthew

                  Funny how NBNCo able to provide current figures on active connections to the Senate committee, but cannot respond to a FOI information question.

                  Not at all. The Senate heating is set months in advance and NBNCo. will no doubt prepare numbers specifically knowing they will be asked- its expected they need up to dare numbers for hearings. FOI requests can come any time. If you can’t understand the difference there….

                  • Mathew
                    Posted 15/01/2013 at 8:46 pm | Permalink |

                    > Not at all. The Senate heating is set months in advance and NBNCo. will no doubt prepare numbers specifically knowing they will be asked- its expected they need up to dare numbers for hearings. FOI requests can come any time. If you can’t understand the difference there….

                    Considering that the rollout report I referred you to is produced every six months and that the December 2012 report is due now, I would expect NBNCo to be tracking the exact figure closely and have them available.

                    I suggest reading and performing some analysis of the available information.

    13. Brendan
      Posted 14/01/2013 at 12:47 pm | Permalink |

      We’ve been over this; all of the metrics are relevant. Whether or not you aree with them, is a little irrelevant, in the context of overall deployment. Sorry, but apart from splitting hairs, it’s disingenuous to ignore a set of statistics because they don’t fit some pre-defined exception.

      Turnbull doesn’t want people to think about the NBN really at all, but most certainly not all metrics together, as they tell the story that the NBN is actually succeeding.

      Is it perfect? No. Should we ignore a portion of the project simply because it’s not a “job done” metric? No. They are all part of the deployment cycle, from in-build to actual. Services don’t just magically appear out of the ether; they are built.

      That metric is just as important as premisses passed. Context is everything; without it, how can you form a reasonable opinion, or simply just understand the facts?

      • Posted 14/01/2013 at 12:50 pm | Permalink |

        “all of the metrics are relevant”

        Completely agree, which is why NBN Co should release all of the metrics.

        • Brendan
          Posted 14/01/2013 at 12:51 pm | Permalink |

          And we have an indication that they will, if perhaps not as fast as we would like. :)

          • jasmcd
            Posted 14/01/2013 at 1:30 pm | Permalink |

            But I want them monthly, in a sealed hand delivered envelope, broken down into easy to understand data, which is 100% true and accurate record of the daily progress of many different contractors working for NBNco. Extra points will be given if the report is in lots of pretty colours.

            These monthly reports should be available within 5 business days of the end of the month and should be directly comparable to any other reports released prior to or after the report is due.

            • tinman_au
              Posted 14/01/2013 at 2:48 pm | Permalink |

              That actually sounds pretty reasonable.

              It’s not like the contractors would be sending in progress reports via carrier pigeon every three months ;o)

              And if the info is that hard to get, how do they work out who to pay for work completed, and who to bill for being connected?

              • jasmcd
                Posted 14/01/2013 at 3:38 pm | Permalink |

                Your kidding right?

                Anyone proclaiming that these figures should be available at the press of a button either has no experience with project management and large scale reporting or is ignoring the obvious political pressure that is being leveraged on NBNco.

                They will be cut no slack. If some of their figures are found to be inaccurate, it will turn into a field day for the opposition who will claim that obviously none of the figures released by NBNco can be believed, and they will have a case in point to back up their claim.

                In a project that is going to take 10 years to complete, asking for indepth monthly figures is akin to asking for full progress reports for every 0.83% of project schedule that passes.

                Funnily enough quarterly reporting works out to progress update every 2.5% of the full schedule.

                • tinman_au
                  Posted 14/01/2013 at 5:07 pm | Permalink |

                  So answer my question then if it’s so obvious to you that they just can’t manage it.

                  How do they work out who to pay for work completed, and who to bill for being connected?

                  I’m pretty sure they don’t pay, or are paid, on a quarterly basis…

                  • Posted 14/01/2013 at 5:25 pm | Permalink |

                    @tinman

                    I’m pretty sure they don’t pay, or are paid, on a quarterly basis…

                    I don’t wanna get frustrated here, but how could you POSSIBLY know how NBNCo. pay their contractors???

                    It might be 1/2 upfront and balance upon completion. It might be per month, it might be per quarter. It might be invoices for equipment and man hours paid direct at the end of every month but that doesn’t tell NBNCo. That month how many they’ve passed as KPI meetings may only be quarterly.

                    I’m sorry tinman, but you’ve absolutely NO evidence whatsoever that’s how they do or don’t pay their contractora., so saying ‘I’m pretty sure’ means nothing- you couldn’t possibly know unless you were involves in the contract and then it would be CiC.

                    Again, at my work, we are paid by invoice for costs on equipment and planning fees, only final invoice is paid after commissioning. And this is a State government department.

                    • tinman_au
                      Posted 18/01/2013 at 4:44 pm | Permalink |

                      No worries seven, it’s starting to become obvious that this could well be turning into the usual government IT run disaster that most of the government run stuff seems to turn out now days.

                      More than likely, their projects turn out so bad exactly because they don’t actually know where they are up to until months after they really needed to sort the issues out…

                      Three months into the project: “Oh, hey, those numbers look a bit low”. “Nah, it’s OK, we’ll see how the next set look”.

                      Six months into the project: “Hmm…your right, they do seem a bit low”. “Ok, lets try this then”.

                      Nine months into the project: “Nope, that didn’t work, maybe we should check with the Head of Construction?”

                      One year later: “Lets just report on how many we’ve “Commenced or completed”!”.

                      I shouldn’t be too hard on government run projects though, plenty of private enterprise ones are just as bad when they aren’t run under an appropriate project framework with accountable mileposts.

                      • Posted 18/01/2013 at 4:57 pm | Permalink |

                        @tinman

                        To be fair, few Federal projects have been like this (with the exception of the ridiculousness that was the ATO “Systems upgrade”.

                        It is STATE governments this happens with. Just trawl back through Renai’s archive and you’ll find 80-90% of them are State governments.

                        Federal hasn’t had a good run on IT overall, but the government isn’t running this. NBNCo. are. THAT is why it’s different. I’d likely agree, if it were being run by the DBCDE, it would likely cost $120 billion and come in 17 years late. But it isn’t.

                      • tinman_au
                        Posted 18/01/2013 at 5:40 pm | Permalink |

                        I want to see the data so I can have some reassurance that everything you just said is actually the case. If they are on target, Malcolm can spin all he likes, he’ll just look like that little Dutch kid with his finger in the dyke…

                      • Posted 18/01/2013 at 5:43 pm | Permalink |

                        @tinman

                        I agree. And the data will no doubt be forthcoming shortly. Whether we get it now or in a months time (unlikely to be that late) really makes no difference. The data is the same.

                        But you do know there are no Dec 2012 targets to compare it to anyway?….

                      • tinman_au
                        Posted 18/01/2013 at 6:07 pm | Permalink |

                        The sooner the data is released, the sooner the benchmark is set :o)

                        This is a very important year for the NBN (probably it’s most important). They really need to get it right and be seen to be transparent, correct and achieving, not perceived as hiding failure thanks to MT.

                        Get rid of the Uncertainty, and he no longer has his FUD, no FUD and his effectiveness is vastly reduced…

                      • Posted 18/01/2013 at 6:25 pm | Permalink |

                        @tinman

                        I think you VASTLY underestimate MT’s or rather the LNP in general, ability to spread FUD even in the face of bare-faced facts….

                        I do not expect them to retract any of their arguments against the NBN, even if it’s shown NBNCo. are passing 350 000 (which I’m not suggesting is going to happen) premises in June.

                • jasmcd
                  Posted 14/01/2013 at 5:58 pm | Permalink |

                  There would be many possible options for how contractor payment would occur. I honestly would not have a clue how they have set up payment arrangements with their contractors, however possibilities that come to mind are:

                  - quarterly payments to principal contractors who then in turn may pay sub-contractors monthly. In which case the reporting period in which the principal must adhere to would already be negotiated.
                  - ongoing (maintenance) payments until set areas are completed and premises counted.
                  - payment per premises passed.

                  After each premises has been counted, I would expect NBNco to be keeping records of which contractor (company) was responsible for the installation, date of completion, maps of install position and method etc. I would be sorely dissapointed in NBNco if they were not at least trying to capture all of this information to ensure quality of service and avoid future problems such by being able to provide accurate DBYD info.

                  All this data takes time to collate and confirm. Also, being in the early stages of the rollout there would be no gurantees that the paperwork being submitted at this stage would be done so correctly, complete or handed in on time. From my experience such communications with the ground force is more of a work in progress than anything.

                  Given the size and scope of the project, in a year or so’s time monthly reporting will seem pointless anyway as the number of premises passed should be relatively stable by then and the differences from month to month will be miniscule. What variability that will exist from month to month should also be nicely smoothed out over a 3 month period.

                  Also as time goes on the more information will become available. The quality of that information will also grow over time as will the quality of inferences that can be made from the collected data set.

                  I wonder if peoples expectations for this project are functions of their backgrounds. Given the IT/tech topic of this site, most readers would be aware of the possibilities of having GPS linked tablets on site with the installers, electronic forms and paperwork, established data reporting systems etc. all being linked to provide real time data on progress etc.

                  To have an indepth reporting system to provide accurate “push button” reporting can take years of planning by itself (for established businesses). I may be surprised but I envisage at this early stage of the roll-out, most of the data collected would have started as pen and paper based on site and sent back to contractors offices for data entry.

                  • jasmcd
                    Posted 14/01/2013 at 8:15 pm | Permalink |

                    Just saw you responded to that first seven_tech. I should hit refresh more often.

    14. Brendan
      Posted 14/01/2013 at 12:51 pm | Permalink |

      When was the last time you actioned a project, and ignored the timeframes and metrics for all of the sub tasks, regardless of actions, until they were 100% complete?

      Anyone? Exactly.

      Yet Turnbull wants us to assume there is no actual activity. Just poor take up numbers; he’s purposefully ignoring the timeframes and metrics, to further the “story” that the NBN is an expensive white elephant.

      In context? Tell ‘im he’s dreamin’.

      • CMOTDibbler
        Posted 14/01/2013 at 1:09 pm | Permalink |

        We’re not talking about managing the project, we’re talking about executive/stakeholder level reporting. What they’re generally interested in in terms of these numbers is targets vs baseline, if you’ve hit the targets you should have reached and if you’re on track to hit the future targets. This is what the NBN oversight committee wants to know. They have said they don’t see the value of the ‘commenced’ (WuW) metric.

        Of course, what they’re most interested in is the money: capex, opex and revenue. How often are those numbers released?

        • Posted 14/01/2013 at 1:46 pm | Permalink |

          Having the metrics is part of running the project. A very important part of it.

          Lets not mix up the debate here though – we are arguing which are the “right” metrics to have, not whether we should or should not have them.

          Any project needs to measure itself to effectively reach its goal.

          • CMOTDibbler
            Posted 14/01/2013 at 2:19 pm | Permalink |

            “Lets not mix up the debate here though – we are arguing which are the “right” metrics to have, not whether we should or should not have them.”

            Of course. Different metrics are “right” at different levels of project management and reporting. What we’re discussing here is executive/stakeholder level reporting.

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

          @CMOT

          Of course, what they’re most interested in is the money: capex, opex

          If that is all the oversight committee is truly interested in, we need a new committee. The project as a whole, both progress on the ground AND the cost of that ground work are BOTH equally important.

          Opex, Capex and revenue are reported yearly, as every other company in Australia does. If the Oversight committee feels they need to do so more often, no doubt they will ask for it. They regularly ask for monetary information at the Reports on the rollout.

          I think perhaps everyone is jumping the gun here- we’re all raring to go and get back into it in the new year. The 4th report on the rollout however was due a month ago and the committee still have no response date…so obviously we don’t have the info we’d like from a month ago. I think people are getting very impatient with all this. I really don’t understand that attitude. I realise it is an election year but all that attitude is doing is pandering to the 24 hour news cycle.

          • CMOTDibbler
            Posted 14/01/2013 at 2:23 pm | Permalink |

            “If that is all the oversight committee is truly interested in, we need a new committee.”

            Yep. I didn’t say “all” though.

            “Opex, Capex and revenue are reported yearly, as every other company in Australia does.”

            I doubt any projects only report financial metrics annually. I expect the oversight committee to want to see them more often than that.

      • Mathew
        Posted 15/01/2013 at 9:59 am | Permalink |

        > When was the last time you actioned a project, and ignored the timeframes and metrics for all of the sub tasks, regardless of actions, until they were 100% complete?

        When was the last time that you were given inflated progress figures because they were not measurable?

        • NBNAlex
          Posted 15/01/2013 at 11:38 am | Permalink |

          MT’s last and ever changing broadband alternative to the actual, already being built NBN, would be my guess.

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

      Yes, it would be nice to have a clue how the project is going. No, I am not incredibly concerned that it may be overspending and underperforming. The right people are managing it.

      This is a once-in-a-generation infrastructure project. Can you imagine Malcolm Turnbull saying of the Snowy River Hydroelectric “These guys are failing their metrics. It’s been 18 months since the project start and the water level has barely started rising”? Of course with projects like that and the Sydney Harbour Bridge there was a tangible signal of progress – it is rather more difficult to measure something that is connecting to almost every house in the country.

      A rushed project tends to turn out poorly. Let’s see the numbers, but let’s also make sure the project is being run properly rather than hastily. I get the impression that everyone is focussing on the wrong metrics at the moment, and if NBN Co reacts to perception then we may end up with poor outcomes.

    16. Mr Creosote
      Posted 14/01/2013 at 2:46 pm | Permalink |

      Still flabergasted that people dont think Commnced and Completed – i.e. work in progress is a valid metric for measuring NBN progress!
      Money and resources are applied to far more areas than just a small subset of completed connections.
      Turnbull and Co are regularly complaining about the “cost” of the NBN. The cost of the NBN cant, and shouldnt be expected to be, measured solely in completed connections. Ignoring work in progress completely leaves you open to rorting and cost blowouts all the way up to the completed connection. Too late to do anything about it then.
      As a stakeholder (taxpayer who is currently funding the NBN) we should be told about all areas our money is being applied to. Thats certainly how projects are looked at in the real world. Jobs are measured and reviewed all the way to completion. Completion is not the only valid metric as is being made out here. Running a project like that is a sure way to bankruptcy.

      • KingForce
        Posted 15/01/2013 at 5:15 pm | Permalink |

        Of course there are other metrics but look at it from the point of view of your non techincal, voting, Australian taxpayer; they want a simple number that gives an idea of NBN progress.

        It’s obvious that most people replying here are strong supporters of the NBN, so that explains the desperate attempts to defend NBN Co’s flimsy excuses for not releasing numbers of premises passed.

        At the water cooler and down at the pub the average person only wants to know two things:
        (1) When will I get connected?
        (2) Will the price for broadband go up?

        Renai’s article relates to the first point which is why NBN Co should release the key metrics that Renai is asking for.

        • Kevin Davies
          Posted 15/01/2013 at 5:43 pm | Permalink |

          They do release a metric. It’s one that measures their progress of deployment as a wholesale provider. It’s the only metric that is relevant for them. All other metrics are dependant on third parties over which they have little control. So asking them to report a statistic that has little to do with the progress of their rollout is pointless and has rightly been ignored. You want connected users, then ask the RSP’s and and not NBNCo.

        • Posted 15/01/2013 at 5:49 pm | Permalink |

          @KingForce

          It’s obvious that most people replying here are strong supporters of the NBN, so that explains the desperate attempts to defend NBN Co’s flimsy excuses for not releasing numbers of premises passed.

          Nope, no excuses. Simply a disagreement on timeframe. You want it now, to poo poo it as much as possible. We on the other hand are happy to get it at the Quarterly report, as NBNCo. are required to and WILL produce. There is no hiding or conspiracy-0 the metric WILL be reported. Just not right this instant.

        • NBNAlex
          Posted 15/01/2013 at 6:43 pm | Permalink |

          @Kingforce

          Answers to tell the chaps at the water cooler and lads at the pub…

          1. It may take time but you will get it. Without the NBN, you may never get any improvement at all.
          2. No it won’t cost more (like for like)..in fact theres’s a guarantee that you will receive equal for less or better for no more. Plus there is “more choice”. I.e. packages which greatly outdo up/down, what is or what would be, alternatively available.

          But of course you would never tell them those facts, would you :(

    17. Goresh
      Posted 14/01/2013 at 6:53 pm | Permalink |

      The Conservative Party (they no longer deserve the Liberal moniker) is idealogically opposed to any form of governemnt spend on infrastructure.

      It is ironic that in the eyes of Tony Abbott, the party founder, who attempted to ban the Communist Party, is a left wing pinko radical.

      Robert Menzies achievements in nation building and social equity and promotion of scientific advance include:
      Matrimonial Causes Act (14 grounds for divorce including adultery, desertion, cruelty, habitual drunkenness, imprisonment and insanity)
      Radio Australia
      Mawson Station in Antarctica
      Commonwealth Conciliation and Arbitration Commission
      Lake Burley Griffin
      Commonwealth Bank
      Reserve Bank
      Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme
      National Astronomical Observatory (Parkes)
      The Mooney Oilfield
      Interstate Direct Dial Telephones (Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne coax)
      Australian Ballet (first performance Swan Lake in Sydney)
      International Direct Dial Telephones (COMPAC 80 phone circuits, 22 telegraph)
      Joined INTESAT

      What were the achievements of the Howard government and what has his protoge Abbott promised us?

    18. Paul
      Posted 14/01/2013 at 10:26 pm | Permalink |

      I wonder if they are still going to try to claim 165 000 as premises past for the interim satellite, even though they cannot connect that many premises to the interim satellite. AFAIK the limit was around 30 000.

      • Posted 14/01/2013 at 11:23 pm | Permalink |

        @Paul

        The 165000 premises are able to connect, up until they run out of space. 17000 have connected so far after 18 months and not all are able to connect at once due to their ABG status, exactly the reason they put it in place- to spread the load. Until they reach 30000, any of those premises are able to be connected, which is the very definition of the metric ‘premises passed’. It is a valid number.

        It is a testament to the decent job NBNCo. have done delivering a quality product from aggregated services that it is in such high demand.

    19. Fourbypete
      Posted 15/01/2013 at 7:40 am | Permalink |

      My greatest concern as an Australian voter is “How many people who have an NTU bolted to there house before the election this year will once again vote LNP after there service is switched on?”
      Anybody want to take a guess at those numbers?

      IMO nothing else above matters.

      On a separate note, I’d like to take this opportunity to say thank you to the Australian Labor Party for undertaking the single greatest infrastructure project that Australia has ever seen (The NBN). And to also say that thanks to there BER scheme there will be a lot less school children developing skin cancer as a result of there hard work.

      • Mathew
        Posted 15/01/2013 at 9:56 am | Permalink |

        I’d like to thank the government’s BER plan for providing the biggest boost to private schools in decades. Parents at private schools I’ve talked with have talked about completing 10 year building plans with BER funding. Contrast this with the government run schools where buildingshave been shown to cost significantly more than private schools, as Labor state governments creamed off management fees.

        I’d like to thank the government for introducing a mining tax that produces zero revenue. I guess that is what happens when you take political advisors to a meeting with the miners and omit to take treasury officials because you want a quick political fix.

        Don’t forget the immigration, pink bats or the unfunded education and disability scheme promises.

        So based on the Labor government record, I think we have legitimate grounds to be sceptical and subject their programs to scrutiny.

        • Posted 15/01/2013 at 12:18 pm | Permalink |

          @Matthew

          Contrast this with the government run schools where buildingshave been shown to cost significantly more than private schools

          No they weren’t. They costed, on average, 7% more. That’s not particularly significant. 20% might be.

          as Labor state governments creamed off management fees.

          And that has to do with the Federal government….how? Corrupt State governments and officials (particularly as one as bad as NSW old one) are a fact of life, even in a Democratic society. 7% increase in cost for a Stimulus package that kept Australia out of recession AND supplied 90% of schools with something they wanted and/or needed is a pretty good trade to me.

          I’d like to thank the government for introducing a mining tax that produces zero revenue. I guess that is what happens when you take political advisors to a meeting with the miners and omit to take treasury officials because you want a quick political fix.

          I’d like to thank the miners for screwing the Australian public by spending tens of MILLIONS of dollars on a scare tactic campaign that convinced voters the mining tax would put us into a recession we already narrowly avoided. I’d like to thank Labor for at least setting precedence and putting IN a mining tax so further policy creep can up it in years to come.

          Don’t forget the immigration, pink bats or the unfunded education and disability scheme promises.

          Don’t forget Ju”liar”, Conjob Conroy ad infinitum…..any more rhetoric?

          So based on the Labor government record, I think we have legitimate grounds to be sceptical and subject their programs to scrutiny.

          Based on your record, we have legitimate grounds to assume you will always think the worst of this Labor government, even when facts tell you otherwise- they are far from perfect, but they are also far from the demon hellfire as they’ve been portrayed.

          And, once again, The Labor government isn’t building the NBN- it is a Labor POLICY. NBNCo. are building it. Labor FUND it. NBNCo. look after the money. NBNCo. do the books. NBNCo. run the company. There IS no involvement from Labor, other than to change scope if required.

          • Mathew
            Posted 15/01/2013 at 1:58 pm | Permalink |

            > And, once again, The Labor government isn’t building the NBN- it is a Labor POLICY. NBNCo. are building it. Labor FUND it. NBNCo. look after the money. NBNCo. do the books. NBNCo. run the company. There IS no involvement from Labor, other than to change scope if required.

            Labor POLICY is the exact problem, and it will entrench social disadvantage through speed tiers.

            • Posted 15/01/2013 at 2:16 pm | Permalink |

              And how do you know it’s a policy decision that has enforced the need for speed tiers? It’s entirely possible, within the current (known) policy to abolish speed tiers, unless there is a piece of information I’m missing? If so please enlighten me to the relevant policy.

            • NBNAlex
              Posted 15/01/2013 at 4:23 pm | Permalink |

              Hmmm, we’ve had speed tiers, we have speed tiers, sans or with NBN we’d have/still have speed tiers and if the NBN is canned and the opposition’s plan implemented, we’ll probably have speed tiers.

              Yet the NBN is the only one which will entrench social injustice, because of speed tiers?

              Seriously :/

              • Mathew
                Posted 15/01/2013 at 6:59 pm | Permalink |

                We had speed tiers when Telstra was a monopoly seeking to extract monopolist profits. It enforce social injustice then because many chose the cheapest 256/64Kbps plan and couldn’t use services like VOIP. When competition was introduced to the market with ADSL2 services, competitors offered as fast as possible..

                NBNCo are predicting that 50% will choose 12/1Mbps, meaning they won’t have access to high quality video conferencing.

                The same hardware is used by NBNCo to deliver 12/1Mbps and 1000/400Mbps.

                • Posted 15/01/2013 at 7:30 pm | Permalink |

                  @Matthew

                  NBNCo are predicting that 50% will choose 12/1Mbps, meaning they won’t have access to high quality video conferencing.

                  And there’s no POSSIBLE way that prediction could be conservative is there….like how some 44% of TOTAL takeup of tiers is 100/40?….

                  Tires on internet speeds do not produce social injustice. Welfare, employment, housing crises and taxes create social injustice.

                  • Posted 15/01/2013 at 7:39 pm | Permalink |

                    Oh and by the way Matthew- if you TRULY believe speed tiers promote social injustice….why do you support the Coalition alternative?

                    In that scenario it isn’t even your willingness to pay an extra $10 a month for speed. It’s how far you live from the node. That’s GEOGRAPHIC injustice AND you’d have to be fairly well off to pay the $750-$2500 to get FTTH run just for you….that’s social injustice.

                    So the Coalition alternative has 2 types of injustice….

                    • Mathew
                      Posted 15/01/2013 at 8:49 pm | Permalink |

                      > Oh and by the way Matthew- if you TRULY believe speed tiers promote social injustice….why do you support the Coalition alternative?

                      Poor assumption – criticism of the current NBNCo Plan does not mean that I support a FTTN solution.

                      > In that scenario it isn’t even your willingness to pay an extra $10 a month for speed.

                      Except that it isn’t $10. It is closer to $120/month for the difference between 12/1Mbps and 1000/400Mbps.

                      • Posted 15/01/2013 at 9:06 pm | Permalink |

                        @Matthew

                        Except that it isn’t $10. It is closer to $120/month for the difference between 12/1Mbps and 1000/400Mbps.

                        1- 1Gbps is not required for 99.9% of applications of RESIDENTIAL customers. And when it is required, the price will no doubt have come down significantly as the CP predicts.

                        2- 100Mbps is only $14 more, wholesale.

                  • Mathew
                    Posted 15/01/2013 at 8:53 pm | Permalink |

                    > And there’s no POSSIBLE way that prediction could be conservative is there….like how some 44% of TOTAL takeup of tiers is 100/40?….

                    Considering that NBNCo took the opportunity in the revised 2011-2013 Corporate Plan to adjust the speed tiers but didn’t make significant changes to the prediction that 50% would connect at 12/1Mbps I’d consider that NBNCo’s modelling continues to see the 50% as a reasonable estimate.

                    Where is your reference for the 44%? Is it one isolated location similar to the much touted take up figures for Kiama that haven’t been repeated elsewhere? The 44% is most likely inflated significantly by early adopters who you would expect to select the higher speeds.

                • NBNAlex
                  Posted 16/01/2013 at 9:19 am | Permalink |

                  Yes Telstra did… glad you actually recall how bad things were.

                  Yet here you are feverishly arguing against the only alternative we have, the NBN, which will rid returning us to such profit only, social disadvantage and even stranger, actually accuse NBN of social injustice… go figure.

          • Mathew
            Posted 15/01/2013 at 8:38 pm | Permalink |

            > No they weren’t. They costed, on average, 7% more. That’s not particularly significant. 20% might be.

            Are you sure about those numbers? I seem to recollect the state education department management fees were 10%.

            There were widely reported information about transportable classrooms in NSW costing twice what the builder charged for the transportable. The builder didn’t increase their prices but the middlemen did.

            • Posted 15/01/2013 at 8:56 pm | Permalink |

              @Matthew

              You’ve been listening to the Australian again:

              http://www.independentaustralia.net/2012/business/media-2/the-australians-ber-campaign-building-an-election-result/

              LESS than 2% of all complaints related to money and Catholic schools cost more per square metre than NSW schools. The Australian however chose not to read into those facts when reporting on the over 1000 pages of reports by the Committee.

              The media portrayed the BER as utter waste and even blatantly lied over ‘cost blowouts’ while the taskforce concluded the exact opposite…..but you won’t see a retraction from them….

              • tinman_au
                Posted 18/01/2013 at 5:05 pm | Permalink |

                Just to add more to what seven is saying, theres more coverage here on the audit: http://blogs.crikey.com.au/pollytics/2010/05/05/the-ber-audit-report/

                That also includes a link to the actual report (something you might have trouble finding at The unAustralian).

                Basically, BER achieved it’s outcome of providing jobs to a flagging construction sector. Most of the complaints about cost were mostly due to the fact that folks didn’t understand that education requires a higher standard of build than a sheep shed does.

      • alain
        Posted 15/01/2013 at 11:32 am | Permalink |

        ‘“How many people who have an NTU bolted to there house before the election this year will once again vote LNP after there service is switched on?”
        Anybody want to take a guess at those numbers?’

        I am not sure where you are going with this, I assume you mean all voters that have an active NBN plan on election day this year will not vote Coalition.

        As the Coalition have stated many times all active NBN connections come election day will not be disconnected and all existing NBN supplier contracts honored, so active NBN connected voters may decide not to vote Labor for other reasons

        • Posted 15/01/2013 at 12:24 pm | Permalink |

          @alain

          As the Coalition have stated many times all active NBN connections come election day will not be disconnected and all existing NBN supplier contracts honored

          No. Malcolm Turnbull has stated this. Tony Abbott has refused to say anything of the sort. And he is the leader of the LNP. So until I hear it come from him, signed as an Opposition policy and costed by the Parliamentary Budget Office (the entire REASON the PBO was setup after the debacle that was the LNP “Audit” last election) I will not think anything of the sort. And I doubt anyone else will either who has followed this saga- after all, Tony lies. He said so himself.

          so active NBN connected voters may decide not to vote Labor for other reasons

          Of course they might. It’s a free country. However, many recognise what creek they might be up without the proverbial paddle if the NBN is stopped and they have to be farmed to recover revenue….

        • djos
          Posted 15/01/2013 at 1:24 pm | Permalink |

          That’s all ery nice Alain but MT’s planned changes will destroy the economics of the FTTP NBN leading to higher prices for consumers, especially those in regional areas!

    20. Kevin Davies
      Posted 15/01/2013 at 9:42 am | Permalink |

      Renai,

      The government states a metric and reports to that metric. Malcolm can’t fight them on the rollout progress so he is going after the stats themselves and you are buying into this behaviour by supporting it. It would be nice to know some of those figures but who cares. I don’t as long as the government continues to meet its targets and the rollout is progressing. Any further information just gives MT more angles to attack the government with misrepresentations from opposition government as per there track record. The government should stay with its stated metric and just ignore them.

      Please don’t buy into Malcolms bullshit. He is fighting a losing battle and looking for straws.

      • alain
        Posted 15/01/2013 at 10:47 am | Permalink |

        So to be fair Kevin if the Coalition win this years election you will champion the cause of their version of the NBN Co to stall on FOI requests on active connections and decide what metrics they will or will not report on as their rollout progresses?

        Not only should the Australian public how many active services are out there from the NBN Co but it also should be cross referenced independently to the ISP’s selling it and what they think as a total how many active services are connected.

        • alain
          Posted 15/01/2013 at 10:51 am | Permalink |

          *Not only should the Australian public know how……

        • Posted 15/01/2013 at 12:21 pm | Permalink |

          @alain

          Not only should the Australian public how many active services are out there from the NBN Co but it also should be cross referenced independently to the ISP’s selling it and what they think as a total how many active services are connected.

          That is entirely up the the RSPs- it has nothing to do with NBNCo. Perhaps you can go ask them yourself, see how far you get with an FOI from them…..oh wait, they have no obligation to comply….

        • Kevin Davies
          Posted 15/01/2013 at 1:19 pm | Permalink |

          Alain,

          The opposition has every right to set a metric and report against that metric when they are in government just like the present government does now. In fact this government has been VERY open about the entire project. Far more so than any other infrastructure project in this history of this country. The fact we can even read the business plan for NBNCo is a huge leap forward in accountability and all Australian’s should be grateful to even see this far into the depths of how this project operates. In the past you would just be told… its coming and thats about it. There would be NO projections, NO promises, and you or I would NEVER hear about internal targets in the public domain.

          So yes Alain, the opposition has every right, just like the current government. YOU should also give kudo’s to the government of the day for giving us the amazing amount of information we see today in regards to this project. They set a metric, they even said they would meet a deadline in the public arena and then they met that deadline as well. Think back of ANY public infrastructure project that has done has met its targets in the last decade.

          Their not doing so bad in m book. Maybe you should give them a little credit.

          • Kevin Davies
            Posted 15/01/2013 at 1:22 pm | Permalink |

            LOL @ Renai, you really dont like caps do you… moderation queue???

            • Posted 15/01/2013 at 1:28 pm | Permalink |

              huh? Have one of your posts gotten caught in the system?

              • Kevin Davies
                Posted 15/01/2013 at 1:32 pm | Permalink |

                It was but its all good now. Was just wondering what factor triggered the moderation queue. A new system, use of capital letters, or just my devilishly good looks? Or am I in the big black book :-)

                • Posted 15/01/2013 at 1:44 pm | Permalink |

                  Usually it’s only posts with a few URLs in them that get flagged, but occasionally Akismet goes all righteous on a post for no reason.

                • NBNAlex
                  Posted 15/01/2013 at 4:46 pm | Permalink |

                  I just received the moderation memo also…

        • NBNAlex
          Posted 15/01/2013 at 1:26 pm | Permalink |

          I’d suggest alain, as most of us pro-NBN posters here are simply wanting better comms for Australia and are not here on an ideology crusade… that if the Coalition win government and introduce their broadband plan, we will not expect anymore or any less of them than we do of NBNCo.

          Most here have enough sense and rationailty to see past politics and not expect the sorts of miracles from either NBNCo or the Coalition that you appear to expect of NBNCo.

          Being so, what’s more to the point is, will you hold the Coalition to the same strict, no excuses accepted whatsoever standards, you currently expect of NBNCo?

    21. Asmodai
      Posted 15/01/2013 at 12:24 pm | Permalink |

      I love these threads…

      When an organisation runs you round the block to give you information that should be readily available, it raises questions. You honestly think Quigley or the pollies don’t know the figure to within a week?

      And even if nothing is wrong, it gives the impression that something is wrong. Like asking a kid to show you what’s in their hand, if they say no it’s almost certainly something they’re going to get in to trouble for…

      And when a bunch of people fight so hard to justify a LACK OF INFORMATION, you can see they’re worried but are unwilling to admit it. If everything is fine, what do the have to worry about? What do YOU have to worry about?

      Lastly, I’m heartened to see a few regular contributors to the FUD complaint thread (ie. non stop bitching about the Oz and Turnbull) on Whirlpool come here and stomp all over a journalist who’s trying to clear the propaganda to reveal what is actually going on. You guys are exemplars of the noble profession of Hypocrite…

      • Posted 15/01/2013 at 12:32 pm | Permalink |

        @Asmodai

        And when a bunch of people fight so hard to justify a LACK OF INFORMATION, you can see they’re worried but are unwilling to admit it. If everything is fine, what do the have to worry about? What do YOU have to worry about?

        I think you’ll find no one in here is actually arguing the LACK of information is a good thing- we’re arguing the timeline you’re asking is unnecessary, unfair and inefficient. Renai is taking issue with NBNCo’s timeline, not the information itself. The information itself WILL BE RELEASED. GUARANTEED. You and others just have jumped to the conclusion because it hasn’t been released YET, it must therefore be being hidden.

        When an organisation runs you round the block to give you information that should be readily available, it raises questions. You honestly think Quigley or the pollies don’t know the figure to within a week?

        Why? Renai put in an FOI request. NBNCo. asked for a extension, likely KNOWING they would have the info this month, as opposed to December when Renai asked for it. When the deadline expired, rather than rush the figures and report incorrectly especially for a single journalist, NBNCo. chose to deny the request based on the fact that the information WILL BE RELEASED in the coming weeks.

        If you want NBNCo. wasting their time chasing up, making reports for EVERY request they get for new information, even when they only released that info a month or so back and their reporting period is ALL they need to be concerned with (Quarterly), I’d suggest you never go into project management….

        There is no conspiracy. No hiding facts. No “massive Labor cover up”. The Premises passed and active numbers WILL BE RELEASED. You just can’t accept that they don’t want to waste their time reconciling it every 2 weeks cause that’s what YOU or Renai or Joe Bloggs thinks is acceptable. If you have an issue with their timeline for reporting, write to the Senate Committee- it’s public hearings are due in March for the 5th Report on the rollout.

        • NBNAlex
          Posted 15/01/2013 at 1:38 pm | Permalink |

          Indeed 7T… from my understanding NBNCo are delivering the information they are required to, so :/

          But of course the naysayers will never be happy… if there were more readily available stats, what’s the bet they’d be whinging too many stats… we need less propaganda and more building *sigh*

          The oddity in all of this is, those who bag NBNCo for not supplying them with more and more info, are the same people who will readily accept the opposition’s largely info-less alternative, without any contestation whatsoever :/

      • Mr Creosote
        Posted 15/01/2013 at 12:56 pm | Permalink |

        Hey, org’asmo!
        Who is arguing for less information?

        At least from those who are here from Whirlpool that I have seen arent worried about using their same nom de plume.
        Still waiting for the sky to fall!!

    22. Paul Thompson
      Posted 15/01/2013 at 12:40 pm | Permalink |

      I would also be interested in seeing all of the facts and figures.

      However, I also see a risk in those figures being released. It is true that level heads might be able to see those figures and have a realistic idea of what they represent – the simple truth is also that they will be misrepresented as a failure by Turnbull, Alan Jones and the Australian etc.

      Openness and transparency is great when you are dealing with honest people. However it is a liability when you have sworn enemies who will stoop to any depth to bring you down.

      I would rather have less information than risk Turnbull having more ammunition for his deceit. Especially right now, when the future of the NBN is in a vulnerable state.

      Renai, you may unwittingly be undermining the NBN.

      • Posted 15/01/2013 at 1:08 pm | Permalink |

        “Renai, you may unwittingly be undermining the NBN.”

        It’s not really my job to support or undermine projects — my job is more to give you guys enough information so that you can make informed decisions about whether to support or undermine them :)

      • tinman_au
        Posted 15/01/2013 at 5:46 pm | Permalink |

        “The only way to dispel FUD is to hit it with an ion truth cannon” – Tinman_au, 2013

        Seriously, if the info was out there, Malcolm would have to be a lot more creative with his FUD, or pick on such small things that he’d sound even more petty than he currently does on some of these issues.

        • Paul Thompson
          Posted 16/01/2013 at 9:18 am | Permalink |

          Not if the truth is nuanced, but the lies are simple.

          I think you are overestimating the public.

          • tinman_au
            Posted 18/01/2013 at 5:09 pm | Permalink |

            Only the “Noalition” types, the rest of the Aussie public (the vast silent majority) aren’t actually stupid and tend to be able to sense BS a mile away ;)

      • Mathew
        Posted 15/01/2013 at 7:47 pm | Permalink |

        > Openness and transparency is great when you are dealing with honest people. However it is a liability when you have sworn enemies who will stoop to any depth to bring you down.

        If NBNCo are meeting their revised down targets, then transparency will put an end to arguments.

        > I would rather have less information than risk Turnbull having more ammunition for his deceit. Especially right now, when the future of the NBN is in a vulnerable state.

        The NBN is not in a vulnerable state now, but if the Liberals win the next election and the numbers have been shown to be fudged then the Liberals will use it as justification for axing the project.

        • Paul Thompson
          Posted 16/01/2013 at 9:23 am | Permalink |

          You can’t end an argument with someone who has sworn to destroy you. The truth is only useful in a rational situation. It is naive to think that truth is of any use when dealing with irrational people.

    23. Harimau
      Posted 15/01/2013 at 1:26 pm | Permalink |

      I like this debate, because it proves that everyone appears to be on the same page regarding the value of the NBN, and now we’re all just arguing semantics.

      Here’s my contribution to that semantic debate: I’ve said it before, but premises under construction vs premises passed are just optimistic vs pessimistic metrics. Premises that have begun construction will become premises passed in a matter of months, a year, and shouldn’t take very much longer. But if it does, that’s usually down to the capability of the contractors to deliver to deadlines, rather than NBNCo itself. But then perhaps NBNCo could be held responsible for hiring these contractors, but I imagine that in the contractors’ tenders there’s the assurance that they have the capability to meet deadlines for the projects they are assigned, so it would of course be the contractors’ responsibility. But then perhaps NBNCo could be criticised for being unable to discern an unrealistic tender. NBNCo just can’t win, can it?

      As for active services, that does have some bearing on the “popularity” of the project (hardly a valuable statistic unless you’re in politics) as well as whether a project will make its return – but it MUST be compared to the corporate plan. For example, 6000 active services at X date out of millions of planned premises doesn’t sound like a lot – but if the plan only expects 5500 active services at X date, then by that measure it is a significant success.

      When NBNCo does finally release all of its stats, I implore Renai to make these comparisons rather than take the Turnbull-esque position of “6000 out of 13,000,000 is not very many”. But I’m confident that you were going to do that anyway.

    24. Kevin Davies
      Posted 15/01/2013 at 1:54 pm | Permalink |

      What will Renai do with his time when then NBN is finished! Crikey nearly half his material will go poof! He might have to Bolt for the door and find some new material After Fudging Reading material thrown in the bins by News Ltd because it supports the Labor government…

      • Posted 15/01/2013 at 2:09 pm | Permalink |

        “What will Renai do with his time when then NBN is finished!”

        You mean in 2021?

      • NBNAlex
        Posted 15/01/2013 at 4:06 pm | Permalink |

        I think Renai will be busy come what may.

        Labor wins the next election… more of the same. We will be here positively discussing/critiquing the NBN, while the usual suspect naysayers will remain here negatively politicking about the evil, socialist, white elephant.

        Coalition wins, we will be here positively discussing/critiquing their broadband plan. But of course the usual suspects naysayers, job having been done, will disappear and want nothing to do with trying to explain what IMO is, an inferior, outdated, inevitably more expensive, ideological mish-mash, that we will be lumbered with :(

        • tinman_au
          Posted 15/01/2013 at 5:28 pm | Permalink |

          +1

        • Abel Adamski
          Posted 15/01/2013 at 5:47 pm | Permalink |

          +100

    25. alain
      Posted 15/01/2013 at 4:01 pm | Permalink |

      You have to laugh at the promotion of the extraordinary difficulty it is to get all the information together and consolidate the number of total active connections.

      How about we just knock on the NBN Co’s accounting dept door and ask how many connections did you bill ISP’s for last month, it’s the grand total after the invoice run.

      • Posted 15/01/2013 at 4:02 pm | Permalink |

        “How about we just knock on the NBN Co’s accounting dept door and ask how many connections did you bill ISP’s for last month, it’s the grand total after the invoice run.”

        It’s true, you would think they would be able to easily provide this information.

        • Posted 15/01/2013 at 4:29 pm | Permalink |

          I don’t wanna get into a sledge match here Renai, but may I point out in FOI regulations:

          3.34 The FOI Act does not generally require an agency to:

          collect information from a number of documents in its possession and create a new document, as it may, for example, in preparing a response to a Parliamentary question

          So I don’t wanna be facetious. But NBNCo. are in fact not required to comply with your request if the information is not already printed or available as a single document which at least premises passed is unlikely to be. They are going beyond their requirements to release it.

          • NBNAlex
            Posted 15/01/2013 at 4:43 pm | Permalink |

            Agree wholeheartedly 7T and I don’t think you are being unreasonable or getting into a sledging match at all…

            If NBNCo are fulfilling obligations/the law/their legalities and doing what they must/should, why would or should we expect more?

            Look this isn’t a political or an NBN lovers/haters quarrel, if the opposition win the next election, implement their network and provide their info legally… the same applies.

            It’s when either NBNCo or the opposition/future government aren’t meeting requirements (or benefit of the doubt – without a sound reason) we should complain.

            It’s like either of them meeting their targets and we say, well “I want better than your targets”, so why aren’t you exceeding?

            • tinman_au
              Posted 15/01/2013 at 5:26 pm | Permalink |

              “If NBNCo are fulfilling obligations/the law/their legalities and doing what they must/should, why would or should we expect more?”

              “It’s when either NBNCo or the opposition/future government aren’t meeting requirements (or benefit of the doubt – without a sound reason) we should complain. ”

              How are you going to know either of these things if they don’t release the metrics, especially when they release them as a “lump sum” that isn’t easy to pick apart? I’d hold the Libs roll-out to the same thing, it’s public money and we have a right to know they are using it correctly.

              If they aren’t meeting the targets, that’s fine by me, but I’d like an explanation of why. If, in the case of the Telstra negotiations, it’s due to externals, then there isn’t much they can do about it. Telstra put the project back 6 months thanks to dragging out the negotiations to 18 months.

              Once the project hits peak roll-out, them fine, make it every 3 months, but this early on I feel it’s very important for them to prove to the public that their are gaining momentum and that they can show that they can keep it up before an election. If they can show that, even if the Libs do win, that might make it very difficult for the Libs to axe it…

              • NBNAlex
                Posted 15/01/2013 at 5:51 pm | Permalink |

                Indeed good points :)

              • Posted 15/01/2013 at 5:54 pm | Permalink |

                @tinman

                Once the project hits peak roll-out, them fine, make it every 3 months, but this early on I feel it’s very important for them to prove to the public that their are gaining momentum and that they can show that they can keep it up before an election.

                I disagree I’m afraid. NBNCo. are here to do a job for the Australia people- that is, build the network. They are NOT here to justify their existence OR their success as a POLICY. They are here to build a network as quickly and efficiently as possible with public monies. That is their task. All other concerns, INCLUDING an election and whether or not their plans will survive it, are irrelevant. They aren’t to US of course, but they are in the context of the building of the network.

                Would you expect a construction company to stop and produce a Media release every time their investors disagreed on something?? No.

                Let them get on with the job. Micro managing just because we feel we NEED to know beyond what they are required to report is not helpful and wastes resources. Quarterly is more than enough. And we get it more often than that anyway. They reported it no less than 6 time last year due to Senate Committee, new Corporate Plan and Telstra agreement signing.

                I don’t understand this desperate requirement of information- the only thing we need is the number of premises passed in September this year (assuming a November election) to show if NBNCo. are successful. The 2 other reports of metrics, March and June, assuming they’re positive, will build the momentum of public support. Let NBNCo. do their job and pass premises THAT is what will vindicate them.

                • NBNAlex
                  Posted 15/01/2013 at 6:34 pm | Permalink |

                  Equally good points…

                  Interesting when the posters are making pertinent points, each with merit, without the FUD and BS of the dooms-dayers… nice work gents, this is what cordial, rational correspondence is all about…

                  :)

          • alain
            Posted 15/01/2013 at 5:03 pm | Permalink |

            @seven_tech

            So the NBN Co don’t know how many connections they bill ISP’s for every month?

            • NBNAlex
              Posted 15/01/2013 at 5:17 pm | Permalink |

              So you aren’t happy for NBNCo to provide all the information they are legally bound to provide?

              You want them to supply more (just because) and if not will argue that NBNCo are inept and hiding something, for not supplying you with more than they legally have to… really :/

            • Posted 15/01/2013 at 5:46 pm | Permalink |

              @alain

              So the NBN Co don’t know how many connections they bill ISP’s for every month?

              Where did I say that? I simply quoted the FOI Act which states that “Information” requested, if required to be “researched, collated or collected from several sources” is not required to be released.

              NBNCo. probably have a database of several different RSP connections- but whether or not they’re separated or require collating is entirely unknown.

              In practice however, I don’t disagree it should be possible to produce, fairly easily, a number of Active connections. But I do NOT believe that is the case with premises passed. and Active premises without premises passed has little context at this early stage of the build, so I’m not surprised NBNCo. don’t want to release it separately- more FUD for Turnbull to create out of context and unrealistic.

        • Fourbypete
          Posted 15/01/2013 at 4:45 pm | Permalink |

          Why not just ask the ISP’s how many NBN customers they have then correlate the data?

          • Posted 15/01/2013 at 5:46 pm | Permalink |

            @Fourbypete

            Because RSPs are not, in any way, obliged to report that to a 3rd party.

            • Mathew
              Posted 15/01/2013 at 9:01 pm | Permalink |

              Actually you will find that most large RSPs are now listed on the stock exchange. Subscriber numbers would be considered market sensitive information which means they are required to report it. Based on financial reports prepared by RSPs in the past which show dialup, own ADSL and Telstra wholesale ADSL connections, I would expect to see this information start to be published in the near future.

      • NBNAlex
        Posted 15/01/2013 at 4:14 pm | Permalink |

        Just thought I’d ask again alain (you must have somehow missed it) as your question was answered, by myself and other posters, but my same question back to you, still remains unanswered… curious????

        “Will you hold the Coalition to the same strict, no excuses accepted whatsoever standards, you currently expect of NBNCo?”

        Thank you

    26. Abel Adamski
      Posted 15/01/2013 at 6:04 pm | Permalink |

      One further practical point that needs to be considered is the Fact that the NBN has now had to also focus on Greenfields Developments. and are working hard to catch up on backlog
      Two points there.
      1) More than likely backhaul capacity will need to be built to link to an existing POI or FAN
      2) Many Greenfield sites will be vacant, in many cases up to 90%. , out of 100,000 sites passed there may only be 10-15, 000 possible connections (Due to economic factors, building starts have been at record lows)

      However the Anti NBN brigade and MT and Co will rant about the low take up rate conveniently ignoring the realities

    27. Abel Adamski
      Posted 15/01/2013 at 6:25 pm | Permalink |

      As I anticipate the Coalition will be voted in due to the Anti Labor/Whitewash the Coalition (Lipstick and Pigs) Media Blitz by we all know who.( Who will demand and receive their pound of flesh )

      I will expect
      1) Full transparency on both the terms of reference and criteria of any CBA as well as the results.
      2) Full costings and Corporate Plans of their version of the NBN
      3) Regular progress reports with verifyable forward projections and intentions as we now have
      4) Fault rates and repair and maintenance and operational costs for the copper pairs and FTTC Cabinets – Current climate/weather factors suggest increasingly extreme weather – both extended extreme heat periods and Monsoonal Rains extending further South . Active exposed cabinets are vulnerable.
      3) In the event of their privatising the NBN, the guarantees that both the Nation and the Taxpayer will be no worse off than under the current NBN and how that will be achieved in what time frame

      It is up to us the users of the internet to hold the Government and the Media of the Day (as well as the government in waiting [ the opposition of the day ] to account. They carry very serious responsibilities on their shoulders, once the media becomes as concentrated and powerfull as it has, we are the only defenders of the Nation and Demoicracy

    28. Mathew
      Posted 15/01/2013 at 7:43 pm | Permalink |

      > So I don’t wanna be facetious. But NBNCo. are in fact not required to comply with your request if the information is not already printed or available as a single document which at least premises passed is unlikely to be. They are going beyond their requirements to release it.

      Considering that the semi-annual Government Report to Joint Committee on the National Broadband Network on NBN Co Limited* have the following metrics on page 5: constructions commenced, premises passed and premises activated, NBNCo are tracking these numbers and are not going beyond their requirements to release it.

      *http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/House_of_Representatives_Committees?url=jcnbn/index.htm

      • Posted 15/01/2013 at 8:21 pm | Permalink |

        @Matthew

        And now you are removing the context of my comment to suit your end. I said NBNCo. are not required to reply to RENAI’s FOI REQUEST. I never once stated they aren’t required to report the metrics at all. Simply not whenever Renai or someone else decides they want to ask outside of normal reporting periods.

        You ignored my context entirely.

        • Mathew
          Posted 15/01/2013 at 8:57 pm | Permalink |

          > And now you are removing the context of my comment to suit your end. I said NBNCo. are not required to reply to RENAI’s FOI REQUEST. I never once stated they aren’t required to report the metrics at all. Simply not whenever Renai or someone else decides they want to ask outside of normal reporting periods.

          This would be valid, except as I’ve noted elsewhere and provided the link for you to verify the reporting period closed on 30-Dec-2012. Do you honestly think that NBNCo only calculate the metrics twice a year? I expect they would be calculating the metrics monthly and probably weekly in the last month before reporting to the government.

          • Posted 15/01/2013 at 8:59 pm | Permalink |

            @Matthew

            You have zero evidence of how and when they calculate the metrics. Assuming it’s weekly is not realistic and you know that.

            By the way, the reporting period may have ended Dec 2012, but the hearings aren’t until March. Therefore that is when NBNCo. will be called upon to deliver their metrics.

            • alain
              Posted 16/01/2013 at 9:55 am | Permalink |

              Billing is monthly.

              • Posted 16/01/2013 at 10:02 am | Permalink |

                @alain

                You’ve missed my point so many times now, it’s fairly obvious you’re ignoring it. The Active premises metric COULD be delivered now- but FOI regulations DO NOT REQUIRE NBNCo. to collate data for a FOI request.

                That is why NBNCo. will release it in a few weeks when they were going to anyway.

                Are you ignoring my point because you don’t understand it or because you have no retort for it?

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

                  I have made my retort to it , you have luke warmly agreed to how easy this figure can be obtained (from billing) in another post, I don’t have a problem with waiting for it in a few weeks , but let’s stop pretending how much hard complex head scratching admin work needs to take place to extract that elusive active connections figure.

                  • Posted 16/01/2013 at 1:52 pm | Permalink |

                    @alain

                    I never, ever, stated Active Premises was a figure they wouldn’t have, in fact I said it would likely be available BUT they’re not required to report it for FOI because it would require collating from a database and because they will be reporting it in the next few weeks (the reason they gave). I said PASSED premises was not the one they’d have on hand. Check back through all my comments. If you find it, I will retract it publicly otherwise.

                    I’m glad you are willing to wait. I find it a shame Renai isn’t and believes they should report it monthly regardless of their reporting period being quarterly, but that is his prerogative and he’s the journalist, so it’s his job to question. We will wait and see the numbers.

        • tinman_au
          Posted 18/01/2013 at 5:20 pm | Permalink |

          “I said NBNCo. are not required to reply to RENAI’s FOI REQUEST”.

          Actually seven, they are required, by law, to respond to it.

          http://www.oaic.gov.au/foi-portal/about_foi.html

          • Posted 18/01/2013 at 5:31 pm | Permalink |

            @tinman

            No no, you took that out of context. And I also used the wrong word.

            By law, they are required to RESPOND. But not to ANSWER. The FOI guidelines do not require collation of information if it is not available on a document to answer a request for information. If collation is required, the FOI request can be denied.

            • NBNAlex
              Posted 18/01/2013 at 6:09 pm | Permalink |

              That makes sense…

              If it’s there it must be produced. If not, they (as in any gov dept, not just NBNCo) are naturally not compelled to sit there and collate (i.e. pander to) every request.

              Now, whether we actually believe doc’s and answers are unavailable, when told so, is another thing all together though ;)

              • tinman_au
                Posted 21/01/2013 at 5:22 pm | Permalink |

                Well, logically they must have the “connected” information somewhere, as that’s a core part of the business that they need for billing.

                The figures for “completed” may be a little more rubbery/delayed, but I wouldn’t think even those would be difficult for them to get, that info is core to the business as well (knowing who can be hooked up because an area is “done”). heck, NBNCo tells people in the area that they can contact their RSP of choice when it’s done (“We’ll contact you when the NBN rollout has been completed in your area.”). They already know this info…

                Saying otherwise is just siding with MT that NBNCo isn’t run well, and from what I’ve seen from them so far, I don’t think they are any where near as bad as what he says.

                I’m now thinking that the “completed” numbers are not impressive, which is why they are clinging to the “commenced or completed” so much. The obviously are doing well with the FSAM side of things (being ahead of target), but there could be a problem with the companies doing the premise hook ups. We wont really know till the info is available…

    29. Mathew
      Posted 15/01/2013 at 9:06 pm | Permalink |

      > I don’t understand this desperate requirement of information- the only thing we need is the number of premises passed in September this year (assuming a November election) to show if NBNCo. are successful.

      Premises passed is not the critical measure of success for NBNCo. They could run past every premises in Australia and still turn out to be an over-priced white elephant. The most important metric is active connections (AVC revenue) and second most important is (CVC revenue). These numbers will determine if NBNCo will be able to deliver the promised return on investment.

      • Posted 15/01/2013 at 9:13 pm | Permalink |

        @Matthew

        Active connections is irrelevant. The Telstra deal ensures 100% takeup of those who want landlines a. You are well aware of that.

        And CVC revenue is already looking up thanks to the average 3 times normal quota usage of NBN connections.

        And besides, you have completely ignored the point of the NBN. ALL you have said is the only important metrics and numbers are its revenue. The NBN is about providing ubiquitous access to all Australians. Even if it comes in 20% over budget (which I am not suggesting nor think it will) if it performs its function of providing ubiquitous broadband. Total success does not equal usage/cost- it is a government program designed to improve the country’s comma infrastructure for decades to come.

        • Abel Adamski
          Posted 16/01/2013 at 1:16 am | Permalink |

          7T
          True, that is I think the defining difference in viewpoint between the Pro and Anti NBN sectors (including the Coalition as anti NBN)
          Matthews comments as well as MT’s “the fibre business” epitomise that stark schism.

          I am sure that even Matthew would admit, their primary objective is for the private sector to make large profits out of provision of broadband,even if it handicaps the Nations economy and limits business in many other areas, this would entail very substantial taxpayer subsidies to provide a minimal service to the rural sector, but that is OK because it is effectively pouring Millions, Billions over the years into the private sectors pockets and ensuring the maintenance of Monopoly Media services.

          The Pro sector are only interested in ensuring the best ubiquitous National communications infrastructure that will serve the entire Nation and be fair and equitable with open access and provide for the forseeable future, enabling .the Nation from entertainment, education, health, small business, entrepreneurs . medium and large business who will have better access to customers Nation Wide. All this to be at minimal cost to end user and taxpayer over the next 50 years.

          So simply the choice profit and power or serve the Nation

          • NBNAlex
            Posted 16/01/2013 at 8:40 am | Permalink |

            +1

        • alain
          Posted 16/01/2013 at 9:35 am | Permalink |

          ‘Active connections is irrelevant. The Telstra deal ensures 100% takeup of those who want landlines a. You are well aware of that.’

          You and others desperately want active connections to be irrelevant and reading the ‘dog ate my homework’ excuses as to why it is was not available when the passed by figures were published is amusing, but that’s all it is.

          The reason it is totally relevant as you and others skirt around the issue is that active connections tell us how popular NBN FTTH as a BB product is when it is up against so called inferior existing high speed fixed line competition, it’s all very well bragging how ‘popular’ it will be when Telstra shuts down exchange areas, but if FTTH is needed so much by residences as everyone tells us it is it should have near to 100% take-up in active areas.

          Then it becomes even more amusing when even more ‘dog ate my homework’ excuses are handed out like 2 year contracts are stopping residences signing up , but of course that overlooks the waiver Telstra Australia’s largest ISP has on at the moment where there are no exit fees transferring from a retail fixed line Telstra plan under contract to a retail Telstra NBN plan.

          As I keep saying the main impediment to NBN take-up rates is that Telstra has not shut down any exchange areas yet and residences forced onto the NBN, like digital television there is nothing like publishing the shut down dates of analogue TV transmission area by area to watch the amazing ‘popularity’ of digital set top boxes and digital TV’s uptake.

          • Posted 16/01/2013 at 10:01 am | Permalink |

            @alain

            You and others desperately want active connections to be irrelevant and reading the ‘dog ate my homework’ excuses as to why it is was not available when the passed by figures were published is amusing, but that’s all it is.

            Mmmm, no, we don’t WANT it to….it is. You just believe it isn’t.

            The reason it is totally relevant as you and others skirt around the issue is that active connections tell us how popular NBN FTTH as a BB product is when it is up against so called inferior existing high speed fixed line competition, it’s all very well bragging how ‘popular’ it will be when Telstra shuts down exchange areas, but if FTTH is needed so much by residences as everyone tells us it is it should have near to 100% take-up in active areas.

            See, you’re missing the point here alain and this is the problem- you are saying “FTTH isn’t popular, because people aren’t taking it up.” That’s not how it works. There are 6.5 MILLION ADSL connections and a million HFC connections….ALL those become FTTH connections. The fact that people may or may not take up the NBN BECAUSE it’s FTTH is irrelevant EXCEPT in your case you think they’d take up FTTN just as much. This is only an issue for those who are short-sighted enough to think that FTTN will be: 1-Cheaper, 2- Faster and 3- Better for the country in the long term. The fact that the NBN is FTTH does NOT change the fact that by end of construction it WILL have approx. 7-% takeup regardless which is enough and more to pay back the NBN. End of story. Therefore, takeup is irrelevant.

            but of course that overlooks the waiver Telstra Australia’s largest ISP has on at the moment where there are no exit fees transferring from a retail fixed line Telstra plan under contract to a retail Telstra NBN plan.

            Source? Telstra only use that waiver afaik when the copper cutoff comes into effect. Otherwise, they make you pay to transfer if you’re on a contract. Why else would they have done a massive sales drive to get people on their ADSL before the NBN comes through otherwise??

            As I keep saying the main impediment to NBN take-up rates is that Telstra has not shut down any exchange areas yet and residences forced onto the NBN, like digital television there is nothing like publishing the shut down dates of analogue TV transmission area by area to watch the amazing ‘popularity’ of digital set top boxes and digital TV’s uptake.

            And digital TV has allowed picture quality, channel selection, teletext and recording of TV shows to be vastly improved. Of course you ignore all that, the exact REASON for moving to Digital TV. In the same way you ignore the reliability, speed and lower maintenance over decades FTTH will give us.

            The popularity of FTTH as a PRODUCT in and of itself is irrelevant- the situation requires EVERYONE to eventually use it which means EVERYONE will eventually, if not now, then in a few years time, benefit from its’ advantages. This is no different from any other major public infrastructure upgrade- there is ALWAYS conservatives who believe change is the worst possible thing to happen. In 10 years time, even YOU will be wondering why you bothered opposing it.

            • alain
              Posted 16/01/2013 at 2:05 pm | Permalink |

              First of all the source of the exit fee waiver is Telstra and it is in effect NOW, secondly you still seem to be locked into the mantra that it doesn’t matter if residences want FTTH or not because when Telstra shuts down exchange areas when the minimum rollout area percentage is reached as per the NBN Co/Telstra agreement the Labor Government wants residences to stop thinking about fixed line choice and either connect to the NBN or go all wireless.

              Also I understand all the technical advantages of digital TV but shutting down analogue transmission is a great impetus to stop residences thinking about choice, the same principle that applies to the NBN, it’s the ‘like it or lump it’ approach Government bureaucracy loves to justify as in the NBN case a Labor Party political decision born out of a failure to put in place a much more cost effective private/public partnership deal.

              Just as an aside on choice I thought it was amusing reading that in the UK they have a annual fee TV license system where you pay 145.50 pound for a color license or 49 pound for black & white, according to the latest stats there are still 13000 black & white TV’s in use in the UK – perhaps they are all locked into long term loan contracts they cannot get out of? :)

              • Posted 16/01/2013 at 2:18 pm | Permalink |

                @alain

                the same principle that applies to the NBN, it’s the ‘like it or lump it’ approach Government bureaucracy loves to justify as in the NBN case a Labor Party political decision born out of a failure to put in place a much more cost effective private/public partnership deal.

                You are saying the consumer has a LACK of choice because they don’t have access to inferior, more expensive and less reliable infrastructure…..are you one of the people that opposed the car because it replaced the horse as the primary mode of transport?….seriously alain, look at that point of view, can you not see how HUGELY conservative (bordering on technophobic) it is?? EVERYONE can do EXACTLY what they want, right back to dial up if they REALLY want, on FTTH, OR they can run 1Gbps symmetrical (in 2014) and run a full enterprise backup solution in their garage. There is a FULL range of choice. There is ZERO reason they need to have copper. None. And stopping rollout for the 4% who think the copper will serve them fine for the next 25 years is utterly backwards and regressive.

                Just as an aside on choice I thought it was amusing reading that in the UK they have a annual fee TV license system where you pay 145.50 pound for a color license or 49 pound for black & white, according to the latest stats there are still 13000 black & white TV’s in use in the UK – perhaps they are all locked into long term loan contracts they cannot get out of? :)

                This illustrates my point nicely. The 13 000 is, what, LESS than 0.05% of the 30 odd MILLION TV licenses they have? So, if B&W costed to keep, to the point where the 13 000 licenses were paying for only (for arguments sake) 1/10th of the cost to run the equipment, they should KEEP B&W??? Talk about inefficiency. Private Enterprise is no different- they remove the superseded model after a time and remove support because it is unprofitable to keep it. You expect government to just keep paying regardless of if it costs money when there’s better, cheaper and more efficient tech available??? And you talk about THIS government being inefficient??

                The B&W costs NOTHING extra to run- the B&W TV simply doesn’t produce colour. That’s why they keep the form running, to serve the tiny, TINY number of people who want to pay slightly less for their TV license and it costs them nothing more to do so. That’s a government service. Just like the NBN. And JUST like our government is insisting on keeping the $22.95 for those who ONLY want basic phone service.

                Your argument is flawed.

                • alain
                  Posted 16/01/2013 at 6:01 pm | Permalink |

                  @seven_tech

                  ‘You are saying the consumer has a LACK of choice because they don’t have access to inferior, more expensive and less reliable infrastructure…’

                  Calling ADSL or HFC inferior is entirely in the eye of the beholder and the problem is you are assuming residences need FTTH because of the high speed benefit it gives the poor punters struggling through life on that inferior ADSL2+ and HFC connection.

                  According to the latest ACMA Communications Report this what people over 18 in metro areas use the internet for:

                  1. Checking bank balance/ transferring funds 66%
                  2. Paying bills 62%
                  3. Checking weather forecast 44%
                  4. Reading the news 39%
                  5. Planning a social activity 37%
                  6. Listening to music 29%
                  7. Purchasing movie/concert tickets 29%
                  8. Shopping 26%
                  9. Watching a video 25%
                  10. Watching TV programs 14%
                  11. Making dinner (getting recipes online etc) 11%

                  Residences need FTTH really? – hmm I wonder why the uptake of FTTH is average to lukewarm where there is adequate fixed line choice until the copper and HFC is be switched off.

                  Could a Coalition FTTN handle the mind boggling bandwidth overheads of the top categories of checking bank balances, paying bills, checking the weather forecast and reading the news? – hmm hard call that. :)

                  • tinman_au
                    Posted 18/01/2013 at 5:27 pm | Permalink |

                    it would be really interesting to compare that list with one from the 80′s (maybe even the early 90′s).

                    I bet half those entries wouldn’t even be on it, much like there would be a lot of new ones on a post-FTTP list!

                    Sometimes you need to plan for the future, not just live in the now :o)

                    • alain
                      Posted 19/01/2013 at 9:38 am | Permalink |

                      Yes got all of all that from all of you, but of course you ignore totally what the internet is mainly used for even in 2012, you also ignore that FTTN could quite adequately cope with all of that easily, you also prefer to put the head in the sand and the fingers in the ears that the NBN FTTH success in terms of active connections is not because it is technically superior but totally dependent on alternative fixed line choice being shut down.

                      The vast majority of residences in Australia in the coming years if and when we get to the exchange area/rollout region 90% NBN coverage as per the Telstra Agreement (assuming a Labor election win later this year!) will move onto the NBN because they will have no other fixed line choice.

                      • Djos
                        Posted 19/01/2013 at 10:19 am | Permalink |

                        @alain you and the other LNP trolls miss the point that the biggest beneficiary of FTTP in Australia is business! FTTN doesn’t benefit business at all and simply holds us all back in the copper age!

                        Wake up and get a clue ppl!

                      • alain
                        Posted 19/01/2013 at 12:42 pm | Permalink |

                        I guess that means that ALL
                        businesses overseas on FTTN are failing, and ALL businesses in Australia on ADSL2+ and HFC are doomed? :)

                      • NBNAlex
                        Posted 19/01/2013 at 1:03 pm | Permalink |

                        Yes they are all failing!

                        One silly comment deserves another.

                        BTW – since dial-up will do all those things you mentioned, “checking bank balances, paying bills, checking the weather forecast and reading the news” are you on dial-up?

                        If not, why not?

                      • djos
                        Posted 19/01/2013 at 1:26 pm | Permalink |

                        You are showing your lack of understanding as usual Alain!

                        Even big business need an FTTP rollout as most have branch offices relying on DSL or if they are lucky, and have line of sight to a suitable PoP, microwave very very which is expensive (aprox $2k per month).

                        The lack of proper comms infrastructure means they need more remote servers on site which are typically not able to be kept in proper secure & air-conditioned computer rooms (for many reasons, cost being a major one) with reliable power backup systems. All of this increases the cost of doing business and increases the risks of doing business to those remote sites. The other option is using Citrix to deliver apps and services to branch offices on low bandwidth connections which brings it’s own problems!

                        As an example, I’ve worked for IAG (the massive insurance company with includes the brands NRMA, CGU, SGIC etc) and most of their non-CBD branches are on ADSL which frequently drops out requiring calls to the service desk for citrix session resets etc. The cost this adds to their business is significant from branch office down-time to the cost of running a large service desk to handle all the calls generated by having to rely on a badly maintained and obsolete PSTN network that was not designed for the job it’s doing!

                        The amount of customers, big and small, I have looked after that are in this position is a long one – they would gladly take up FTTP for their branch offices to de-risk their business and lower their costs if it were available!

                      • tinman_au
                        Posted 21/01/2013 at 5:32 pm | Permalink |

                        Not sticking my head in the sand at all mate.

                        I just don’t believe Malcolms plan will be vastly cheaper, as he totally ignores the cost that the copper would be in his plan.

                        Various estimates place that cost between $17B-$47B. Add the fibre cost (~$15B) and his plan is between $32B and $62B, for a system even he admits isn’t as good as FTTP.

                        It’s about Australia’s future and value for money, not about political parties and ideology. That an Malcolms hypocrisy of half-truths (leaving out the cost of the copper from how much his plan would be) and sound bytes (glib one liners about believing in Santa), neither of which lead to constructive debate.

                  • Posted 18/01/2013 at 5:36 pm | Permalink |

                    @alain

                    That’s some lovely data and misses my point entirely. I said FTTH is more reliable, cheaper to maintain and faster overall. That makes it better. REGARDLESS of the speed you use it for. Technology gets replaced when better technology is available REGARDLESS of the users specifics. It’s called efficiency. You can go on about “we don’t use those speeds” all you like and apart from the fact that we don’t use them because the majority of us DON’T HAVE THEM, we WILL use them in the future.

                    Expect Streaming VOD and Personal Virtual interaction to rank high on that list once FTTH comes in….

                    • alain
                      Posted 19/01/2013 at 9:42 am | Permalink |

                      ‘Expect Streaming VOD and Personal Virtual interaction to rank high on that list once FTTH comes in….’

                      Well the NBN Co didn’t invent FTTH it has been Australia a long time now, any stats that these Greenfield and TransACT in Canberra areas have different rankings on streaming VOD etc than other areas on ADSL2+ or HFC?

                  • NBNAlex
                    Posted 18/01/2013 at 5:52 pm | Permalink |

                    Q. So why do we now enjoy your suggested “adequate fixed line choice”…alain?

                    A. Because thank goodness, people in the past had “more foresight” than to use your logic and say we don’t need ADSL, ADSL2 or HFC for “checking bank balances, paying bills, checking the weather forecast and reading the news”… “dial-up is all we’ll ever need!”

              • NBNAlex
                Posted 16/01/2013 at 3:29 pm | Permalink |

                Are you against all technological improvement and infrastructure upgrades, which benefit all Aussies or just one?

                Please do not answer, like the previous 3 or 4 questions I asked :/

    30. Douglas
      Posted 16/01/2013 at 11:32 am | Permalink |

      Just ducked into this NBN thread (my first Delimiter NBN thread in some months).
      Really quite sad to see the same people still arguing the same points as 12 months ago.
      You are never going to convince people with views opposed to yours that you are right and they are wrong.
      It’s a nice day. Why don’t you all kiss and make up and go to the pub :)

      Have a great day!

      Regards,
      Douglas.

      • Abel Adamski
        Posted 16/01/2013 at 12:04 pm | Permalink |

        I hear you Douglas and agree.
        However it is an important matter for Australia’s future, but unfortunately due to the misinformation and propaganda it has also become an issue about the continuance of Democracy or at least a vestige of it.

        It is extremely important that those who either know little about the subject or whose opinions are shaped entirely bu the MSM and vested interests and political rapaciousness have somewhere current where they can obtain relatively unbiased information and analysis. There are so few such sources. Whirlpool whilst excellent is literally daunting to the casual visitor due to the sheer volume, Delimiter and Tech Spectator etc, prior to Nwews Ltd. buyout of the Spectator group subsequent to Alan Kohler brutally honest analysis of Malcolm and the Coalitions NBN Policies.

        For the sake of Australia’s futur we must continue to present the facts and realities to the best of our abilities.
        If the situation was that it was a Coalition Govt in power at this time and it was Labor and the MSM fighting to cripple the NBN we would still be fighting the FUD and B.S

    31. Mr Creosote
      Posted 16/01/2013 at 2:50 pm | Permalink |

      Indications are that the regularly scheduled report from NBN Co (not the extra Renai is calling for) is about a week late.
      Given that there has been a management restructure going on at NBN Co, its not really surprising there is a delay.

      • Asmodai
        Posted 17/01/2013 at 4:54 pm | Permalink |

        That’s right Creo, absolutely any excuse to get them off the hook… Last time I checked, a management shuffle doesn’t stop rank and file staff from doing their jobs. Stranger still, how does the the booting of the construction chief effect reporting..? X D

        And of course, again, if you or any of the other WP cultists believe they don’t already know the results of the information Renai is requesting, you’re kidding yourselves…

        Also, regarding my posting name, a cursory inspection of my WP profile will show my gaming alias listed as Asmodai… With the same posting style and absolutely no attempt to hide who I am when previously asked/accused of being the same poster. I’m somewhat flattered that you’re so obsessive/compulsive about me that you have to go out of your way to try and score more petty points. /eyeroll And the nick I choose to post by at any given time? None of your business sweetie. X D

        Irt to the sky?

        http://delimiter.com.au/2013/01/16/nbn-makes-construction-chief-redundant/

        “Even the most fervent pro-NBN commenters will find it hard to put a positive spin on this one. Frankly, the build-out of the NBN is one of Australia’s largest construction jobs ever, and leading its construction is an incredibly prestigious role. If NBN Co has seen fit to make Flemming’s role redundant (and remember, he did not resign from the role; he was given his marching orders), there must have been very significant disagreement within NBN Co as to how that construction job was progressing.”

        He’s talking about you, start spinning… X D

        • NBNAlex
          Posted 18/01/2013 at 11:20 am | Permalink |

          A week late….. Nooooooo, the world will end, BER, Batts, waste of my taxes, socialist white elephant.

          Did I miss any :/

    32. alain
      Posted 18/01/2013 at 9:58 am | Permalink |

      I see Delimiter is not the only one after NBN Co information.

      ‘NBN Co has rejected a request from Optus, which was to seeking to get access to the company’s confidential financial information to ensure that NBN Co would not ultimately overcharge access seekers on the National Broadband Network.’

      http://www.zdnet.com/au/optus-denied-access-to-nbn-cos-confidential-financials-7000009916/

      • Brendan
        Posted 18/01/2013 at 5:09 pm | Permalink |

        Optus want to see the books, so they can see what everyone else is being charged. How else will they know it’s fair?

        I can see why the FoI might have been rejected, then. Asking to see the books isn’t quite the same as asking to see how the numbers are calculated.

        That sounds an awful lot like a competition concern. If only we had a federal body, perhaps a Commission, charged with upholding Australian Competition and Consumer concerns.

        I don’t have a problem with FoI requests; they have their place and are an incredibly important thing. But this has all the hallmarks of fishing expedition.

      • tinman_au
        Posted 18/01/2013 at 5:33 pm | Permalink |

        Now that I don’t have a problem with. Optus doesn’t need that info, the ACCC keep an eye on it to keep it level for all players.

      • Posted 18/01/2013 at 5:36 pm | Permalink |

        @alain

        Wow, Optus wants CiC data and can’t get it, so they do a FOI request to try and pull a shifty and get it that way.

        Yep, that’s comparable….




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