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Blog, Telecommunications - Written by Renai LeMay on Thursday, February 14, 2013 16:52 - 70 Comments
This is what the NBN debate has come to
blog If you had any shred of belief that Australia’s debate over the National Broadband Network had further depths to sink to, let that belief be laid aside. Today, News Ltd (who else?) published an article attacking the amount of money which NBN Co spends on … coffee. That’s right; coffee. The NBN debate has officially reached the lowest possible point that it could reach. News Ltd reports (we don’t recommend you click here for the full article, it’s a joke):
“The 31 machines are costing almost $4000 a month in beans and their maintenance has cost more than $10,000.”
Wow. What a shocker. This incredible revelation was placed in News Ltd’s article above the far more interesting news of the delays NBN Co is suffering through its contractor Syntheo in some states. Which editor made that choice to elevate the coffee issue over the status of the rollout of a $37 billion infrastructure project? The mind boggles.
What’s even worse … Communications Minister Stephen Conroy was forced to take questions on the fraught coffee situation during a doorstop interview in Sydney this morning (he was suitable scathing), and this afternoon we received a media release from NBN Co (PDF) on the issue, to clarify the situation. The company said:
“NBN Co has dismissed claims about the high cost of coffee on the company’s premises. A single cup of coffee at NBN Co works out at around eight and a half cents per cup per working day per person. When the cost of the coffee machines and their annual maintenance is added to the equation, the price comes to about 16 cents a cup. The company was responding to media reports arising from an answer to a Question on Notice from the Senate Estimates Committee.
A detailed, multi-part question sought from NBN Co the cost of coffee, coffee pods, coffee machines and their maintenance, specifics about the type of coffee machines purchased as well as the reason for their purchase. Coffee and coffee machines have been purchased by NBN Co as an amenity for employees, contractors and visitors in order to aid productivity by reducing the time spent by staff purchasing coffee outside their offices.”
Let me be the first to damn the Coalition for pursuing this ridiculous line of reasoning, and the journalists who reported it for abdicating their duty to inform the Australian public of current events. Collectively, anyone who touched this line of inquiry with a bargepole is a flat out joke and should be ashamed to call themselves “professional”. It sickens me to see our democratic systems and NBN Co’s staff forced to waste time on this nonsense. Can’t we all just grow the hell up? Well, perhaps it’s the right day for a good farce.
Latest Delimiter 2.0 articles (subscriber content)
|Politicians from Australia’s major parties need to stop issuing ludicrous blanket pardons for the intelligence community’s ongoing misdemeanours and start applying a basic modicum of transparency and accountability to this important national security function.|
|The independent pro-fibre National Broadband Network movement is doing a far better job of promoting Labor’s Fibre to the Premises-based NBN policy than Labor itself. When is Labor going to wake from its slumber and start supporting this scrappy but energetic grassroots network of activists?|
|Ziggy Switkowski's first substantial public appearance since being appointed NBN Co chief executive has starkly demonstrated just how different he is from his predecessor, Mike Quigley, and just how strictly he will adhere to the guidelines which his patron, Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull, has set for him.|
|Australian technology companies have been virtually absent from the the nation’s public stockmarket over the past decade as the stigma of the dot com bust took its toll on investor confidence. But a clutch of new listings planned for the closing months of 2013 shows renewed interest in the sector and that local entrepreneurs are smelling money in the air once again.|
|NBN Co’s Strategic Review process gives the company an unmissable opportunity to re-evaluate the early decision to deploy its FTTP network primarily through Telstra’s underground ducts. The company and its new Coalition masters must now seriously consider deploying more fibre aerially on power poles in an effort to speed up its rollout substantially.|
|That moment which many Australian technologists fervently hoped for but never expected to see has come to pass: Simon Hackett has been appointed to the board of the National Broadband Network Company. But what questions should the Internode founder be asking NBN Co’s executive management team? Here’s five ideas to start with.|
|The rapid replacement of respected NBN Co chief operating officer Ralph Steffens with a Telstra executive who appears less experienced with fibre rollouts but better politically connected represents a key signal that NBN Co’s senior executive hiring process has now become completely politicised and is no longer independent from the Federal Government.|
Enterprise IT, Featured, News - Dec 9, 2013 11:35 - 0 Comments
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News, Telecommunications - Dec 9, 2013 17:23 - 19 Comments
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Industry, News, Startups - Dec 9, 2013 15:40 - 2 Comments
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Blog, Digital Rights, Gadgets - Dec 9, 2013 11:15 - 15 Comments
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