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  • Blog, Telecommunications - Written by on Tuesday, January 22, 2013 15:46 - 90 Comments

    Coalition must support FTTH, says Oakeshott

    blog Ever the supporter of the Federal Government’s National Broadband Network project, independent Rob Oakeshott has come out swinging this week to demand that the Coalition must support the fibre to the premises basis of the NBN, not the FTTN model the Coalition currently supports. The Financial Review reports (we recommend you click here for the full article):

    “Mr Oakeshott said he was “all ears” for a Coalition government come the next federal election, but said it must change its broadband policy to use the same technologies being rolled out under Labor’s $37.4 billion national broadband network.”

    Just as it was in the last Federal Election in 2010, the NBN is shaping up as a key battleground for the upcoming 2013 poll. And it’s not hard to see why. In a world where many of the game-changing Labor policies have not yet been enacted (I’m thinking here of the National Disability Insurance Scheme and the dental health insurance system) and others have proven anaemic (for example, the mining tax), the NBN represents a concrete, dare we say it, nation-building project which Labor can hold up as an example of how its reign has positively impacted Australia, although of course there are also questions about how effective Labor has been at delivering the NBN.

    In this context, it’s no surprise that the NBN would help sway Oakeshott towards Labor: After all, the MP cited the NBN as one reason he initially supported Julia Gillard to form government back in 2010. However, we can’t see Tony Abbott and Malcolm Turnbull suddenly bending over to announce that they support FTTP. The Coalition has discussed the FTTN option too many times now to easily flip over and support the Government on this one. One suspects this would only happen in the event of extreme political exigency.

    Image credit: Alex Sims, Creative Commons

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    1. CMOTDibbler
      Posted 22/01/2013 at 3:53 pm | Permalink |

      In all likelihood the only thing the next election will swing Oakeshott towards is Centrelink. The Coalition doesn’t care what he thinks. They just want his seat.

    2. Douglas
      Posted 22/01/2013 at 4:24 pm | Permalink |

      And if they don’t? He won’t serve them at McDonald’s after the next election?

      • Posted 22/01/2013 at 4:36 pm | Permalink |

        If it’s a hung parliament again, then Oakeshott’s vote may just be the difference between governments again.

        • Ryan
          Posted 22/01/2013 at 4:44 pm | Permalink |

          God help us if we have another 3 years of hung parliament!

          • nonny-moose
            Posted 22/01/2013 at 5:47 pm | Permalink |

            actually im perfectly comfortable with another three years worth of hung parliament. I dont trust the Liberal party given the paucity of policy on their part, and Labor clearly need someone – a third party – to pull them up short when they want to head off the reservation. i say third party because again i do not trust the Liberals to do anything other than that their ideology directs, which is an incredibly shortsighted view.

            so the two choices on that are a third party/independent determinated senate or a third party/independent determinated House. 3rd party in senate weve had for a long time and its not always proven to work – Meg Lees rolling on the GST might be one example. so for me there needs to be something at the house of reps level as well.

            Quite frankly if the Liberals werent so wedded to ‘no.no.no. no, no, no, no.’ (where is that video again…?) and actually involved in policy id be more inclined to leave it up to the senate. but given they are tipped to take control without any serious articulation first, i dont trust them as far as i could throw a Suzuki 800 hatch. until things change i think its the best option of a bad bunch.

          • Markie
            Posted 22/01/2013 at 8:57 pm | Permalink |

            Sorry, but what’s wrong with minority or hung parliament? Three years later it’s still working.

            Get used to it, because it may very well be a super close election later this year.

            If anyone thinks the LNP will romp in, they’ve been looking at the wrong newspapers/new channels…

          • Posted 23/01/2013 at 7:47 am | Permalink |

            I’m more than happy with another hung parliament.
            There’s been an especially productive legislative agenda that’s been progressively worked through and a large amount of it has been passed with only small amendment or bipartisan support. Sure, the daily derpfest of Question Time and the constant campaigning is a pain in the public ear, but it’s certainly not indicative of what actually happens in the broader context.
            The more time the major parties spend learning that they can’t just push through their policies and will need to work in broad coalitions (in the little-c sense) akin to what’s common in Northern Europe, the better, in my mind. We’re more likely to achieve a legislative landscape that works for the largest number of the population that way.

          • Woolfe
            Posted 23/01/2013 at 2:08 pm | Permalink |

            I’ve been loving the hung parliament personally. Everything I wanted has been happening.
            NBN +
            Filter dead in the water +
            Action on Climate Change +
            Mining Tax +
            R18+ games +
            Some focus on public education +

            I’m sure there is more, but thats just off the top of my head

          • Josh
            Posted 23/01/2013 at 3:16 pm | Permalink |

            I’m another that is happy with a hung parliament. In my view it’s barley a democracy at all if there is one party with a majority in power that defer to one leader.

            Bring on another hung parliament I say.

          • Stephen H
            Posted 23/01/2013 at 7:22 pm | Permalink |

            Hung parliament or independent-controlled senate is the best outcome to wish for at the moment. I trust neither of the major parties to do the right thing with my money.

        • Sathias
          Posted 22/01/2013 at 4:44 pm | Permalink |

          For all the polls which are done these days, I can’t recall seeing many on Windsor and Oakeshott’s electorates in particular. The Coalition line is that they will be dumped at the next election, but is that really the case? They have both been very visible and seem to have done a good job in representing their electorates as far as I can see. Surely, Armidale being an early release NBN site must help Windsor.

        • Quiet Observer
          Posted 22/01/2013 at 4:51 pm | Permalink |

          That’s if Oakeshott can even keep his seat, Renai. If polling in his own electorate is to be believed, there’s been a considerable swing against him to the Nationals. Polling also indicates that Tony Windsor is in an even worse situation.

          • Zok
            Posted 22/01/2013 at 5:04 pm | Permalink |

            There’s been a lot of talk of that “swing against the independents”, but is that from polling or just wishful thinking by Libs/Nationals/Murdoch media?

            Another hung parliament on the cards

            Another hung parliament has become a surprising possibility at the next federal election as support swings behind the key independents and the main parties admit that the crossbench may even grow.

            While the Nationals insist they would win the neighbouring northern NSW seats of New England and Lyne, sentiment is switching after the election of a conservative state government.

            The possibility of having yet another minority government, supported by independents, is not nearly as bad as a thought of having the modern day Luddites (in the form of the current Liberal/National front bench) in control.

            • tinman_au
              Posted 22/01/2013 at 6:02 pm | Permalink |

              I kinda think it’d be good to have more independents in, get some fresh ideas in (heck, half the things the ALP have brought in were because the Indies made them).

              And they are a hell of a lot more polite in the house than the two parties rabble…

            • Stephen H
              Posted 23/01/2013 at 7:23 pm | Permalink |

              Yes, the biggest thing in Julia’s favour at the moment is the switch from Labor to LNP state governments that’s occurred over the last few years.

          • Dave
            Posted 22/01/2013 at 5:15 pm | Permalink |

            Any recent polling? I can only find old ones.

        • alain
          Posted 22/01/2013 at 7:56 pm | Permalink |

          Probability is against it being another hung Parliament we have had only two, 1940 and 2010, I am not sure the Independents and the Greens will have the dream run they had in 2010 again.

          It will either be Labor or the Coalition in their own right without any horse trading.

        • Douglas
          Posted 23/01/2013 at 10:07 am | Permalink |

          Sure, *if* he retains his seat then the coalition may well rely on his vote.

          To be fair, Oakeshott is still an outside chance of winning, but in Armidale I would be surprised if Windsor even recontests his seat against Torbay, who is very popular and polling exceptionally well for the Nats.

          Anyway, this is way off topic. Apologies.

          • alain
            Posted 23/01/2013 at 10:51 am | Permalink |

            This is a discussion about Oakshottt, any comments about him retaining his seat and having any influence on the NBN whatever post a Coalition win are certainly on topic.

        • Posted 23/01/2013 at 11:51 am | Permalink |

          The electorate of Lyne was broadly livid when Oakshott put his support behind the ALP. It’s unlikely to matter what he thinks after the next election.

        • Adam
          Posted 16/02/2013 at 5:23 pm | Permalink |

          Even if its a hung parliament, it won’t be because of Oakeshott, he is gone from his electorate for sure.

    3. Brendan
      Posted 22/01/2013 at 5:36 pm | Permalink |

      The Coalition do not have any interest in Independent MPs. They do want their seats though. Preferably safely in Liberal hands.

      It was clear during the last election, that the Coalition would rather not form Government with others and put little to no effort in to court the Independents; I don’t see that anything has changed in that respect.

      • tinman_au
        Posted 22/01/2013 at 5:59 pm | Permalink |

        I think Tony regrets not putting a better deal to them after the last election, if he had, he would be PM and not Julia…

        • Ryan
          Posted 23/01/2013 at 8:53 am | Permalink |

          I think we are lucky Tony didnt put a good deal forward, if Tony had of won, there is a 99% chance the NBN in its current form would not exist. Mind you on the flip side of that, there is a good chance that the winning deal Tony would have to submit too would include the NBN as it is now……

    4. tinman_au
      Posted 22/01/2013 at 5:56 pm | Permalink |

      Hmmm….it wouldn’t really take much for the Libs to create a narrative of “Well, Labor might have started the NBN, but we are the ones that really made it happen” out of the current situation.

      I wonder how wedded to the FTTN frankenstein they really are?? It’s not like it was ever actually a concrete plan.

    5. alain
      Posted 22/01/2013 at 8:01 pm | Permalink |

      ‘The Coalition has discussed the FTTN option too many times now to easily flip over and support the Government on this one. One suspects this would only happen in the event of extreme political exigency.’

      ……or Telstra said we are not interested.

      • tinman_au
        Posted 23/01/2013 at 12:21 pm | Permalink |

        To be honest, the Coalition discussion has been all over the place, the would be Treasurer wants to make it Mobile (cause thats all you need for an iPad *boggle*), the Leader says he wants to kill it off altogether (cause who needs that internet thing anyway), and the Communications guy doesn’t have anything concrete (well, we could try this FTTN thing, though my own money is on FTTP). Chris and Paul have their own ideas….heck, there’s probably as many “Liberal NBN plans” as there are Liberal members…

        I think that pretty well sums it up, they basically don’t have anything coherent currently…

        And Telstra aren’t interested, same as they weren’t that interested in the original FTTN plan, their eggs (and money) are in the mobile basket.

    6. Graham
      Posted 23/01/2013 at 1:14 am | Permalink |

      The NBN as designed is extravagant and dated already. It serves only one purpose: to put the government totally in control of the NETWORK. This government is intent on forever removing free speech. Roxon’s current attack is a prime example. Censoring the ‘net’ would mean noone would know what was really going on in the World. Do you trust any government? This government lies its way into office and has lied about everything since. The node-to-node network is sufficient. Better still lets get uptodate and use satellites as France recently did. This government wants control in every sense – an end to our sovereign rights, an end to free speech, and an end to democracy.

      • Posted 23/01/2013 at 3:42 am | Permalink |

        @Graham

        That’s some bona-fide tin-foil hat stuff there….

        You do realise an “node-to-node” also know as an FTTN network, would be government controlled as well, right? NBNCo. would still build it. And they’re still government owned…

        Seriously, the government controlling the infrastructure has little/nothing to do with censorship in a Democratic country such as ours. There would be riots if an Australian government tried to censor the internet by forcing NBNCo. to implement hardware level filtering.

        It is no easier or harder for a government to censor any internet traffic with or without the NBN in place.

        Oh and “outdated”? Yeah….like the Wireless is outdated. You know, the thing that was invented in the 19th Century? That’s still allowing more and more communication using the same essential principles for over a century and a half?

        Meanwhile, fibre was invented in the 1970’s….we haven’t even tapped a TENTH of its’ potential yet. And what we have tapped already is 1000 times (literally 1000 times, physically) greater than the entirety of the wireless spectrum put together.

        Evidence based forum and all that….

        • alain
          Posted 23/01/2013 at 9:19 am | Permalink |

          ‘You do realise an “node-to-node” also know as an FTTN network, would be government controlled as well, right? NBNCo. would still build it. And they’re still government owned…’

          That is total conjecture on your part, the Coalition have not indicated how the ownership or control of their version of the NBN will be structured nor that the Government owned NBN Co as we know it today will build it.

          ‘Evidence based forum and all that….’

          Indeed seven_tech.

          • NBNAccuracy
            Posted 23/01/2013 at 11:05 am | Permalink |

            “That is total conjecture on your part, the Coalition have not indicated how the ownership or control of their version of the NBN will be structured nor that the Government owned NBN Co as we know it today will build it”

            You so often cite Turnbull, now you are saying he is a liar? He said it would be government built by NBNCo. Or has he back flipped on that? Or do you think he will just give it to Telstra even after saying he would get NBNCo to build it?

          • Posted 23/01/2013 at 11:41 am | Permalink |

            @alain

            Indeed, it is an evidence based forum. Here’s some:

            http://www.computerworld.com.au/article/435590/coalition_could_revoke_optus_telstra_nbn_agreements/

            While Turnbull restated his stance that he would keep NBN Co as a government-owned company to run the NBN…

            Sorry, you were saying?…

            • NBNAlex
              Posted 23/01/2013 at 12:28 pm | Permalink |

              +1

          • alain
            Posted 23/01/2013 at 1:10 pm | Permalink |

            Sorry seven_tech I didn’t know Turnbull had ever stated that, I stand corrected.

            • NBNAlex
              Posted 23/01/2013 at 1:16 pm | Permalink |

              +1 alain

            • Posted 23/01/2013 at 1:26 pm | Permalink |

              @alain

              No problems. MT makes many announcements on the NBN….they’re often hard to decipher let alone keep track of.

              • alain
                Posted 23/01/2013 at 2:00 pm | Permalink |

                That article link was most interesting, especially the comments from Telstra about a change of Government and FTTN from their point of view.

                • NBNAlex
                  Posted 23/01/2013 at 5:22 pm | Permalink |

                  Keeping in mind though, that was Sept ’12, when the polls were showing the government were so far behind that part of the NBN nay sayers commenting repertoire, when inevitably overwhelmed by facts was… “well all of your so called facts don’t matter anyway, because your precious NBN will be finished come election 2013… and that is a fact.

                  Seems like the rest of their argument, the only “fact” they had, isn’t even a fact anymore ;)

      • Ryan
        Posted 27/05/2013 at 12:26 pm | Permalink |

        Troll much?

    7. alain
      Posted 23/01/2013 at 9:04 am | Permalink |

      So after the 2010 hung Parliament election where you could say as many voters didn’t want the Labor NBN as wanted it one of the Independents who helped Labor gain power and was appointed by Labor after they gained power to the position of Chair of the Joint Committee on the NBN needs to be listened to by the Coalition on this directive about changing their BB policy to 100% Labor NBN policy because…..?

      • Paul Thompson
        Posted 23/01/2013 at 9:40 am | Permalink |

        They don’t need to listen.

        They proved this at the last election where they threw away the chance to become the government.

        • alain
          Posted 23/01/2013 at 11:03 am | Permalink |

          Well it’s all about making a call on what subject matter will influence the vote in 2013, let’s assume for a moment the Coalition change their mind and embrace the Labor FTTH rollout 100%, will this give them a better chance of being elected?

          Polling trends would indicate the Coalition don’t have to do this to get elected, all they have to do is make a commitment to keep already NBN rollout areas intact and provide a fast track timetable for FTTN at lower cost that leaves the the current NBN FTTH timetable and costings in the dust for it to have elector appeal.

          intact

          • Slim Bim Jim
            Posted 23/01/2013 at 12:08 pm | Permalink |

            Except they then have to prove that their model will cost the taxpayer less than the NBN which is won’t because there’s no FTTN model that will provide a return to the taxpayer.

            If ALP play the marketing right they can destroy LNP’s lies about ‘faster, cheaper etc’ and make it clear this is a project to make Australia a world class digital environment with clear benefits with regards to investment, innovation and skills retention and the destruction of it will see us slip further down the world’s digital leaderboard.

          • tinman_au
            Posted 23/01/2013 at 12:27 pm | Permalink |

            FTTN lower cost??? Where do you get that idea??

            • alain
              Posted 23/01/2013 at 1:17 pm | Permalink |

              Well it comes from the fact that the copper runs are already laid and a lot of pillar/RIM links to the exchange are already fibre, it would not take Telstra long to FTTN those suburbs where there is no NBN.

              • Paul Thompson
                Posted 23/01/2013 at 1:52 pm | Permalink |

                Firstly, you are using a strawman argument. Oakeshott has not spoken about the Coalition adopting the Labor NBN policy 100%. He has spoken about the technology. FTTH is a large part of the Labor NBN policy, but it isn’t anything like 100%.

                Secondly, the polling has had its ups and downs, and it is still pretty far out from the election to make a call about this. If you are making risk/benefit analysis then you would have to consider the entire situation, which includes public perception as the NBN gathers momentum.
                It is certain that adopting a policy closer to Labor’s policy would boost the Coalitions chances of winning the next election. It is also certain that it would help them with the Independents in the event of there being a hung parliament again.

                Thirdly, FTTN is not a cheaper option.
                FTTH is a government owned asset which will generate them money. FTTN is not, it is pure expenditure.
                FTTN will need replacing in the forseeable future, FTTH will not.
                FTTH will have value into the future if and when the government wants to sell it, FTTN will not.
                FTTN will have around 10 times the operational costs. It will also deliver less benefit to the economy as it is an inferior product.

                FTTH makes money, FTTN costs money. Anyone who says that FTTN is cheaper isn’t being honest.

              • Brendan
                Posted 23/01/2013 at 3:56 pm | Permalink |

                What about the cost to replace that last mile with Fibre.

                FttN is a stepping stone to FTTH. FTTH is the end goal. Go ask Malcolm about that end goal. He won’t answer. Why?

                Because FTTN + FTTH is more expensive than FTTH; Malcolm is mistaken. It is neither faster or cheaper.

                • alain
                  Posted 23/01/2013 at 4:48 pm | Permalink |

                  ‘Because FTTN + FTTH is more expensive than FTTH; Malcolm is mistaken. It is neither faster or cheaper.’

                  Telstra doesn’t agree with you.

                  ‘Mr Thodey described fibre to the home as “the ultimate solution” but said the fibre to the node solution favoured by the Coalition cost less and was faster to deploy.’

                  http://afr.com/p/technology/coalition_nbn_could_help_telstra_iifhDYL3Lgpx9OKvxKd4QN

                  • Posted 23/01/2013 at 5:04 pm | Permalink |

                    @alain

                    cost less and was faster to deploy

                    As in FTTN, IN ISOLATION, costs less and is faster to deploy. That is not a lie. Once you’ve already started BUILDING FTTH, it will almost certainly be more expensive to change architecture in the middle.

                    That is Turnbull’s weasel words.

                    • alain
                      Posted 23/01/2013 at 5:23 pm | Permalink |

                      Well they are not going to retrofit FTTN into already FTTH deployed areas, the changing of the architecture as you put it should not be a problem especially if you say to a area not scheduled to have NBN FTTH for example until 2016 at the earliest we can give you FTTN in 2014.

                      • NBNAlex
                        Posted 23/01/2013 at 5:31 pm | Permalink |

                        Unlike some I know that was a hypothetical… but regardless, they wouldn’t even have their CBA done by 2014 :/

                  • NBNAccuracy
                    Posted 23/01/2013 at 5:31 pm | Permalink |

                    FTTN will be cheaper to roll out. It would have been good to roll it out in 2005 or even as late as 2008. Now, with the expected “upto” 80Mb being sub par according to all major network players that means it will need to be upgrade to FTTH wither just as or before it is rolled out.
                    Hey, a $25K car is cheaper than a $50K car, but before you need to scrap it for no return to get your $50K car in a weeks time because it can only do 60kmph and you need something to drive on a freeway by then?

                  • Brendan
                    Posted 23/01/2013 at 5:38 pm | Permalink |

                    “Telstra doesn’t agree with you.”

                    Your own answer doesn’t agree with you.

                    FTTN+FTTH is not cheaper than FTTH. Simple mathematics clears that little white-lie up.

                    Telstra are stating it (FTTN) is cheaper than FTTH because the input cost for capital is less for FTTN, when you own the network, versus building a new one.

                    Turnbull’s solution has no investment component. Which means any funding is a straight loss. Ergo it’s not cheaper. It’s actually billions of dollars more expensive; and that’s JUST to bribe Telstra into building a few more cabinets.

                    How many billion in taxes (of which there is, again, NO return to the Government) to migrate from FTTN to FTTH?

                    No, alain, it’s not cheaper (for anyone apart from Telstra). It’s never been cheaper. It will never be cheaper.

                    • alain
                      Posted 23/01/2013 at 6:36 pm | Permalink |

                      How do you know there is no’ investment componen’t for taxpayers on FTTN, it depends how the ownership of the rollout is structured in terms of a private/Government partnership, you know like Labor had in mind before the 2007 election with an all FTTN solution and even after that election with the RFP which was proposed to be a private/Government partnership.

                      The Coalition could sell to the electorate such a outcome as a lower risk deal than a 100% Government owned all FTTH solution where even the NBN Co stated in their first SAU document that their rollout faces ‘demand uncertainty’.

                      • Brendan
                        Posted 24/01/2013 at 1:37 pm | Permalink |

                        “How do you know there is no’ investment componen’t for taxpayers on FTTN”

                        Because Turnbull is expecting the commercial to rally to his cause. And his “plans” utilise tax as a source for funding. There is no expected rate of return, because any funding would not be a loan.

                        Ergo, no loan, no return.

                        It’s dead money, thrown at the incumbent to build out FTTN. Assuming Telstra want to play along. Of course they will, because whether its FTTH, or FTTN Telstra will profit. Hence why they are just as happy with either.

                        This choice will come back to haunt the tax payer, because any upgrade to FTTH would also need funding to reach the areas that the infrastructure owner wouldn’t get a good rate of return on.

                        So, I know, because we know. Because Uncle Malcolm has already indicated what they would apparently do.

                        I suppose next you’ll claim it’s not fact because theres no policy so how can it be! Please, oh please do go down that road. That’ll be such a lot of fun. :)

                  • tinman_au
                    Posted 23/01/2013 at 5:40 pm | Permalink |

                    I think I see what your missing now, Telstra wasn’t lying, it would be cheaper _for them_ to do an FTTN, for anyone else, they’ll need to pay for Telstras copper.

                    Telstra isn’t interested in fixed line any more, so for Malcolm to get them interested, he’d need to loosen the purse strings a lot. So while it would be cheap for Telstra to do, they aren’t interested and it will cost anyone else a packet.

                    • alain
                      Posted 23/01/2013 at 6:41 pm | Permalink |

                      Well Labor is paying Telstra to shut the copper down, the Coalition pay Telstra to keep a portion of the copper going or don’t pay them anything at all, it depends how the ownership of FTTN deal is structured and revenue flows from that deal split up in a partnership.

                      • NBNAlex
                        Posted 23/01/2013 at 7:22 pm | Permalink |

                        FYI – NBNCo are also paying for Telstra’s & Optus’ clientele, which businesses do, to fast track revenue. Which you oddly never seem to mention :/

                        Also one of the many plusses of the NBN IMO, is taking the complete power over Australia’s comms away from Telstra. But having succeeded to the benefit of all Australian’s (even Telstra shareholders, TLS were $2.50 soon after Sol left ((iirc)) now $4.50) you now want to unscrabble the egg, with a lesser network, which may or may not have a ROI for taxpayers and inevitably when needing upgrading to FttP, may will cost more anyway…

                        Really?

                      • tinman_au
                        Posted 24/01/2013 at 11:21 am | Permalink |

                        The coppers being shut down because it wont be used. NBN allows Telstra to be released from it’s USO for NBN connected customers. The money paid to Telstra was just for the ducts and customers, not the copper.

                        If the copper is to be used, it will once again have value, value that Telstra will want a return on.

              • tinman_au
                Posted 23/01/2013 at 5:33 pm | Permalink |

                The copper may be there, but it’s owned by someone else, you don’t think it will be free to use do you Alain?

                • alain
                  Posted 23/01/2013 at 6:49 pm | Permalink |

                  No, see above.

    8. stoffs
      Posted 23/01/2013 at 9:17 am | Permalink |

      i still find it funny that a “coalition” …thinks that a government made up of different party’s and independents is wrong ..

      • GongGav
        Posted 23/01/2013 at 10:52 am | Permalink |

        I’ve always thought the same. Let the Liberals BY THEMSELVES win an election before scoffing at cross party deals.

        All the current climate means is that the Greens (and/or Independants) more or less take the role the Nationals do with the Liberals. An important partner propping numbers up to the point a Government can be formed.

        Only difference is the Nationals formalised the arrangement. If you look at the reality of the situation, the Greens are hardly going to be backing the Liberals, so are defacto Labor once things really matter.

        • Woolfe
          Posted 23/01/2013 at 2:22 pm | Permalink |

          Greens will likely get my vote again. Despite there often batshit insane environmental extremes, most of their other policies are in sync with my own. So under the assumption that the Greens won’t gain power on their own, and that the insane stuff will get watered down by other parties, I think they are the best choice for me at the moment.

          I won’t vote Lib while Abbott is head, and I won’t vote Labor whilst they continue to bend over to the US special interests. So Green will be it for me unless something radical occurs.

          • Josh
            Posted 23/01/2013 at 3:30 pm | Permalink |

            I think the batshit insane extremes have mostly left long ago. They used to be crazy, but then they grew up, a lot.

    9. Paul Krueger
      Posted 23/01/2013 at 11:16 am | Permalink |

      It’s funny that everyone else can see how superior the NBN (if not blinded by ideology) to the plan to develop a plan after the election policy of the LNP.

      But, did we really expect a rational examination in Australian politics?

      • GongGav
        Posted 23/01/2013 at 12:01 pm | Permalink |

        What gets annoying is that the Liberal plan (as we know it) isnt a BAD plan. Its just not a better plan.

        Because the Liberal plan actually has merit, its doing a good job of convincing people, which is undermining the once in a generation opportunity Labor’s plan offers.

        FttN isnt a bad idea. It improves our current setup quite significantly, and largely replaces the copper re have relied on for so long. Dont for a moment think that is a step backwards.

        But it doesnt solve ALL the problems, which FttP does. There is still copper involved. It relies on businesses with vested interests to do the dirty work. It discourages competition far more than a monopoly wholesale setup does.

        If you look at the Liberal plan in isolation, we’d be happy to be getting it. Its only when you look at what a FttP rollout delivers you realise how much more we get.

        • tinman_au
          Posted 23/01/2013 at 12:57 pm | Permalink |

          The biggest problem with the Libs NBN is that at NO stage has the cost of the copper been taken into account.

          Malcolm has said the fibre part of his plan will cost ~$15B.

          The ACCC put the cost of the CAN at $17.75B (that’s the absolute minimum Telstra could charge and not get in trouble with shareholders), and they would probably want more for it than that.

          But lets say Malcolm, using his famed leet skillz as a negotiator that (didn’t) manage to keep him in as Leader, manages to get it at cost, “his” network will be $32.75B. So he’s only saving $4B-$5B, for a network that arguably isn’t on par with the current NBN, and that will require constant maintenance to nurse the copper along (currently Telstra spends ~$700M a year on it).

          His conjecture that it will be “cheaper” is a furphy…it will be cost a little less to build, but we’ll be paying a lot more for it in the long run.

          • GongGav
            Posted 23/01/2013 at 2:11 pm | Permalink |

            Hey, you’re preaching to the choir here, I’m very much pro FttP. More just pointing out that if FttP wasnt being considered, the Liberal plan (as usual, as we know it) isnt a bad one.

            If we end up getting stuck with FttN we’ll still be better off than today. And that insidious little fact helps sell the FttN plan to the general public. Which is something that annoys me. Grey truths are still truths.

            HOW he sells it is just as bad – technically The Turnbull isn’t wrong, but there’s plenty not said as well (like the CAN costs you mention), which undermine his statements. You also need to add in costs to date. Whether its part of the Liberal plan or not, what’s been built, or commited to be built, will still form part of the NBN and hence the relevant costs are a part of that.

            Quicker rollout as well. It MIGHT be able to be rolled out faster, but when you factor in the renegotiations and planning that’s needed, then any difference is ultimately negligible. Not to mention the extra time and cost when FttN is ultimately upgraded to FttP.

            But again, that still doesnt mean its not an improvement over what we use today.

            There’s plenty to not like about the Liberal approach, but a lot of that dislike is only when you compare it to Labor’s vision.

            • Zok
              Posted 23/01/2013 at 3:15 pm | Permalink |

              There’s plenty to not like about the Liberal approach, but a lot of that dislike is only when you compare it to Labor’s vision.

              But that’s exactly the point: We are either going to get the continuation of Labor’s NBN as it currently stands, or the (unquestionably technically inferior) Liberal alternative. It is absolutely irrelevant whether that alternative is superior to the Labor broadband policy from 2007 or Liberal’s policy from 2001 or the Cuban policy for 2020. There is reality, and then there is the proposed change to that reality by the Opposition; the number of options on the table is clear (even if all the details of the second option are not.)

              • GongGav
                Posted 23/01/2013 at 4:32 pm | Permalink |

                Its not MY point. MY point is that when you talk to the average person, they have no clue about how good Labor’s NBN is, so if the only information they have to go on is The Turnbull’s soundbites, then its going to look good.

                Which is annoying when I personally see what the Labor plan offers. Its annoying because its deceptive and misleading. But its not wrong. The Turnbull is VERY careful to not lie, but only give half the truth.

                • alain
                  Posted 23/01/2013 at 5:04 pm | Permalink |

                  Come on let’s face the majority of the electorate who currently think ADSL2+ and HFC is just fine couldn’t give a stuff if it is FTTH or FTTN, they are just acronyms that don’t mean anything to the average punter. “fibre to the home/ fibre to the node near the home – same thing isn’t it?”

                  If the Coalition sells FTTN well on the basis it is cheaper and faster to deploy and paint the Labor FTTH as yet another costly rolls royce ‘Labor solution’ for the few with low takeup up rates in already activated areas I don’t see Communications Policy being crucial to either parties chances of a electoral win as many posting in here and other tech based forums like Whirlpool would like it to be.

                  • NBNAlex
                    Posted 23/01/2013 at 5:28 pm | Permalink |

                    http://delimiter.com.au/2011/07/19/nbn-helped-coalition-lose-2010-election/

                    • Soth
                      Posted 23/01/2013 at 5:51 pm | Permalink |

                      Yup it’s definitely a deal breaker.
                      I was on the fence about who to vote for before, but without an internet policy from the Liberals, they’ve made my voting much easier.

                      • alain
                        Posted 23/01/2013 at 6:48 pm | Permalink |

                        Well it got your vote, but each party got the exact same number of seats, so your vote was countered by someone not basing their vote on the Labor NBN, taking the simplistic and of course incorrect view that all votes were solely influenced by Communications Policy.

                      • Posted 23/01/2013 at 6:49 pm | Permalink |

                        @alain

                        Each party may have gotten the same number of seats. But they DIDN’T get the same number of votes. Labor actually got 50.1%. Our Democracy requires 51% majority however, to form government.

                        Just a cool fact for you.

                      • alain
                        Posted 23/01/2013 at 7:18 pm | Permalink |

                        No our democracy requires a majority of electoral seats to form Government, if only Labor or the Coalition just managed to get one more seat they would have governed in their own right without any subsequent horse trading required with the Independents and the Greens.

                      • Posted 23/01/2013 at 7:22 pm | Permalink |

                        @alain

                        Quite true. Which when you think about it is interesting- 51%, which is an outright majority, would actually not necessarily be enough.

                        It’d be interesting to see what combinations you could come up with- would it be possible to get 53%, say, of the vote, but not get 76 seats….

                      • NBNAlex
                        Posted 23/01/2013 at 7:35 pm | Permalink |

                        @ alain,

                        “No our democracy requires a majority of electoral seats to form Government, if only Labor or the Coalition just managed to get one more seat they would have governed in their own right without any subsequent horse trading required with the Independents and the Greens.”

                        But in the event of this not occurring, and the party’s tied, our democracy calls it a hung parliament and the two who tied try to form a minority government, which both Abbott and Gillard tried to do and Gillard achieved.

                        One cannot hypocritically say our democracy this or our democracy that and then deride or not accept the outcome of a hung parliament scenario, which is a very part of that same democracy.

                      • NBNAlex
                        Posted 23/01/2013 at 7:55 pm | Permalink |

                        @alain,

                        …”but each party got the exact same number of seats”

                        Since we are playing semantics because one can’t accept the outcome of our hung parliament…

                        “Each party did not get the exact same number of seats!”

                        Anyway enough, the overlord’s patience may be wavering :)

                  • NBNAccuracy
                    Posted 23/01/2013 at 5:34 pm | Permalink |

                    “Come on let’s face the majority of the electorate who currently think ADSL2+ and HFC …”

                    So, you are arguing that ignorance makes a bad policy good? Good in that it fools the average punter perhaps.

                    “paint the Labor FTTH as yet another costly rolls royce ”
                    More like putting in a train where the Coalition says Taxis are cheaper than a train. They are too, for a little while.

                    • Hubert Cumberdale
                      Posted 23/01/2013 at 7:28 pm | Permalink |

                      “Good in that it fools the average punter perhaps.”

                      Fooling people is what the coalition policy is based on and that is EXACTLY what they are counting on to work. It can but only for so long. It’s like buying a used car from a shady salesman; eventually you realise you brought a lemon and wasted your money. A FttN patchwork is no different.

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

                      The argument isnt that it makes a bad policy good, but that it makes a reasoanble policy sellable. Its not the best policy, but its good enough that people are buying the sell.

                      Like HC says, all the used car salesman has to do is sell you the car. If you realise later that the car is a lemon, then he’s still sold you the car. If you realise that for a tiny bit more you could get a new car, he’s still sold you the car. If you realise you’re going to need to replace it in a year because it wont do the job, he’s still sold you the car.

                      Its the used car salesman’s job to sell you the car. After that, he doesnt have to care. And The Turnbull is a very good used car salesman.

            • tinman_au
              Posted 23/01/2013 at 5:57 pm | Permalink |

              “There’s plenty to not like about the Liberal approach, but a lot of that dislike is only when you compare it to Labor’s vision.”

              I actually disagree that it’s actually a wholly “Labor vision”. Sure, they (and the Independents) had the vision to push it through, but the real idea for the plan came from the original expert panel (which is probably why it’s actually a good plan).

              And Newspoll back in November said 69% of Australians are in favour of the NBN (which makes it almost twice as popular as Tony Abbott :o)), so I think more are following it than people seem to think, and that they aren’t buying Tony/Malcolms “White Elephant” sound bytes and one liners about it.

              • alain
                Posted 23/01/2013 at 6:54 pm | Permalink |

                ‘And Newspoll back in November said 69% of Australians are in favour of the NBN’

                That may well be, but does that translate directly as being a definite Labor win at the end of this year?

                • tinman_au
                  Posted 24/01/2013 at 12:02 pm | Permalink |

                  Whose to know, a lot of people base their decision on who to vote for based off policy, but a lot of other folks base it off “My Dad always voted Liberal/Labor, so that’s who I vote for” (I gave up on that approach when I turned 25 and realised that policies actually effect your life, not parties).

                  Policy-wise, there’s only a few of Labors that I care about (NBN, Health and Renewable Energy being the chief ones).

                  So far the Librals have nothing I’m interested in, I’m not planning on having a baby, so have zero interest in Tony’s plan for baby leave, and their “soil magic” environmental plan is just plain wacky…have they released any other policies might have missed?

                  The ALP are beating the Libs on policy so far, and if the Libs want to win over policy based voters, they really need to pull their socks up.

                  • Ryan
                    Posted 27/05/2013 at 12:37 pm | Permalink |

                    People also tend to “revenge vote” or vote for preferred leader with no clue about their policies.

    10. Brendan
      Posted 23/01/2013 at 5:51 pm | Permalink |

      For those who still believe the FTTN is cheaper:

      If I spend $500 on an investment, and it returns $500, my net loss is ~$0.

      If I spend $250 on hookers and blow (and then drop another $500 on the blackjack table) my net loss is ~$250; and then another ~$500 for the losses at the table.

      ~$0 versus ~$750. It’s not really rocket science. Even if you ignore the second stage, as Turnbull has done, you’re still down the two-hundred-and-fifty bucks.

      FttN isn’t generally built in isolation; it’s a stepping stone.

      The NBN is being built with investment money, and has a stated rate of return. It’s net outcome is that there is no loss.

      Turnbull is relying on the hookers and blow model; throw money at it (Telstra). Then there’s the cost of migrating from FTTH; because that’s the next step, just like the blackjack table. In both cases, the costs are born by the tax payer and there’s no return.

      So, Telstra are happy because the Government is (yet again) helping fund their retail and wholesale monopoly; everyone is is, well, screwed.

      • jasmcd
        Posted 23/01/2013 at 9:24 pm | Permalink |

        So you are equating FTTN to gambling, narcotics and prostitution.

        Much like TA’s brand of politics.

        Gambling Australia’s Broadband Future, Distributing Half baked policies and and spreading filth on every street corner.

    11. Posted 30/04/2013 at 2:26 am | Permalink |

      Build it once build it right, the Coalition policy gives me a fright.

      I would rather the coalition did NOTHING, so then we would not waste the money on maintaining obsolete technology.

      To pretend that they are building a nationwide broadband network of similar quality is downright FRAUD.




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