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Blog, Telecommunications - Written by Renai LeMay on Wednesday, March 6, 2013 10:58 - 45 Comments
Help us fact-check iTNews’ NBN figures
blog This morning some of you may have noticed that technology media outlet iTNews published a set of somewhat sensationalist claims regarding the National Broadband Network’s rollout progress. Under the headline “NBN Co fudges numbers to expand rollout”, the normally sober outlet alleged, among other things, that NBN Co had deliberately given a misleading impression of its rollout progress. Probably the key paragraph:
“NBN Co has continually promoted the impression of progress by announcing that its fibre rollout has expanded to new towns and cities. Today iTnews can reveal that NBN Co has resorted to connecting fewer premises within existing sites than originally promised to allow for this expansion.”
Now, it will come as no surprise that there’s already been a great amount of misleading reporting regarding the NBN over the past few years. Generally iTNews has kept its nose clean and out of the muck-raking that some of the other outlets have engaged in over that period. But there are some disturbing aspects to the iTNews article today which bear investigation.
For starters, the publication alleges not only misleading behaviour on the part of NBN Co in its rollout stats, but also clear intent to mislead. It explicitly links NBN Co’s rollout progress to suburbs in certain Labor electorates (implying politicisation). And there is no comment from NBN Co in the article. We’ve normally found NBN Co quite ethical and transparent with regard to its rollout processes and also open to commenting on this kind of story, so all of this is a little unusual. Personally, I suspect that this is a case where data taken in isolation from NBN Co’s spreadsheets may have been misinterpreted.
With all of this in mind, over the next few days Delimiter will be conducting a fact-checking exercise on this iTNews article. We’ve taken a complete screenshot copy of the article, in case it changes, and we’ll be examining its allegations to see whether they are in fact correct. To help meet these aims, we invite all Delimiter readers to help us. It appears as though all of the data iTNews has used to come to its conclusions is publicly available in the form of NBN Co’s regular monthly ‘ready for service’ updates. Let’s get to the bottom of this issue together and see how accurate the publication’s claims really are.
Let me say up front that if iTNews’ allegations are proven to be correct, Delimiter will join the media outlet in criticising NBN Co for poor behaviour. Likewise, if the allegations are proven to be overblown, we will be the first to call (again) for more accurate reporting of this important infrastructure project by the media. That seems only fair.
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, News - Dec 6, 2013 12:50 - 0 Comments
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News, Telecommunications - Dec 6, 2013 11:54 - 20 Comments
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