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  • News, Telecommunications - Written by on Wednesday, March 6, 2013 7:38 - 93 Comments

    Turnbull to reveal the ‘shocking’ NBN truth

    Update: Malcolm Turnbull has clarified that his comments as reported in this article refer to the actions a Coalition Government would take if it won the Federal Election in September. For further background on the Coalition’s plans to conduct analysis of the NBN, also see this article.

    news Shadow Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull yesterday said a Coalition Government would, following the election, release a full analysis of what Labor’s NBN project would actually take in time and money to complete, an accounting which he said would leave the Australian public “shocked”.

    Currently the National Broadband Network Company plans to finish deploying its fibre network to most of the Australian population by 2021 (although its satellite and wireless components will be delivered much earlier, through 2015), at a total cost of $59.1 billion, including $35.9 billion of capital expenditure and some $23.2 billion of operating expenditure, although that operating expenditure will be offset by revenues in the same period. The company plans to use some government funding to complete the network and some private sector debt, with the eventual plan to pay back the Government’s investment with an additional return on top of seven percent.

    Although the company has suffered some delays in its rollout, due primarily to the difficulty of finalising its agreement with Telstra and an expanded remit over greenfields estates, NBN Co currently appears broadly on track with its deployment plans. In addition, uptake of the NBN’s higher value plans has been stronger than projected, leading to suggestions that it may be able to repay the Government’s investment in NBN Co sooner or cut its wholesale costs.

    However, in an interview with 2GB radio host Ray Hadley yesterday, the full transcript of which Turnbull has published on his website, the Liberal MP said the waste of money and delays in the NBN project as it currently stands were “shocking”. “The incompetence is startling,” Turnbull added “… That is just a recipe to get skinned … The NBN Co’s management have no discipline. No financial discipline at all.”

    “I’ll tell you what we’re going to do,” Turnbull added, in response to a question about how the Coalition would deal with the NBN if it won the election. “We are going to tell the Australian people the truth about the NBN. We will publish as soon as possible within literally within a few months if not sooner a full analysis of what it is going to cost in dollars and time to complete the network on Labor’s plan. And I think people will be shocked by that.”

    “They will be absolutely rocked by it. And then we’ll publish how much time and money you can save by making certain variations and then what we’ll then do with that information we’ll then say right, these are the changes we can make and you can see why we’re doing it. And we’ll do the analysis, the cost-benefit analysis that these guys never did.”

    Turnbull’s comments come as the Liberal MP has recently rejected out of hand a suggestion by NBN Co chief executive Mike Quigley that Australia’s telco industry independently back a study into the best technology to deliver Australians the next-generation of broadband infrastructure, with the Shadow Communications Minister describing the NBN Co chief executive’s move as a “cheap stunt”.

    Several weeks ago, as one part of a speech given to the American Chamber of Commerce in Australia, Quigley noted that there was likely to be an increasing debate in Australia this year about the merits of different broadband technologies. The Coalition is currently pushing a fibre to the node-based model for Australia’s NBN, in contrast with Labor’s more ambitious fibre to the home vision.

    Having that debate was a “good thing”, Quigley said. “The choices we make about our nation’s underlying telecommunications infrastructure will have an impact on how we live, work and compete.” Quigley noted that telco industry representative body the Communications Alliance was currently considering whether to embark on a study of the different options for broadband in Australia, and added that this might represent an opportunity for the industry to have its say on the matter.

    “The telecommunications industry is uniquely well-placed to provide context to various policy choices,” Quigley said, noting that the Communications Alliance had long been a forum for discussion and deliberation with respect to these kinds of issues, and might help “bring commercial reality to the theoretical debate” and give policy-makers the advantage of he best information and analysis which could be made available — not just on technical fronts, but with respect regulatory and commercial areas as well.

    As he has previously, Quigley noted that it was possible to deploy a number of different technologies to serve Australia’s broadband needs — from the existing FTTP model, to the FTTN approach preferred by the Coalition, to satellite, fixed wireless and HFC cable options.

    However, Turnbull instantly rejected Quigley’s comments, in a fiery statement published shortly after the NBN Co chief’s speech. Turnbull believes such a study would be more properly carried about by the Productivity Commission. “This is the most bizarre twist yet in the debate over broadband policy. Even more bizarre because Mr Quigley has made the announcement without obtaining the agreement of the Communications Alliance to commission the inquiry,” Turnbull said.

    I used to have a great deal of respect for Malcolm Turnbull’s intellect; his integrity and the respectful way he appeared to be going about his role as Shadow Communications Minister. However, over the past several months that respect has been totally eroded as Turnbull’s statements regarding the NBN have grown more and more wild and outlandish.

    If we go back six months to a year, Turnbull appeared to primarily be engaging in research with respect to the potential options which the Coalition could pursue with respect to the NBN. He was examining different areas of potential policy, looking at international examples, and speaking in depth to the local telecommunications industry.

    In recent months, however, the Member for Wentworth’s approach has drastically changed. At the moment Turnbull appears to be spending a great deal of time speaking to radio shockjocks such as Ray Hadley and generating sound bites, while avoiding the more serious parts of the media which are more focused on the actual nuances of policy.

    We see, in this new style of interview, that Turnbull has turned away from the kind of evidence-based approach to policy which regular readers will know Delimiter is so fond of. Without the slightest skerrick of evidence or context to back his statements, the Shadow Communications Minister has accused NBN Co of the grossest kind of financial and project mismanagement possible, and the Federal Government of basically burning bales of money when it comes to the NBN.

    To say that I am disturbed by this new approach from Turnbull is an understatement. Right now, as I will elaborate on in further detail in another article shortly, what the NBN project most needs from the Coalition is a pledge that it will be a safe pair of hands for the project to go forward with. What we’re getting from Turnbull at the moment is a ludicrous level of baseless fire and brimstone completely out of proportion to the situation at hand. The Member for Wentworth is rapidly destroying what credibility he has had in the portfolio.

    I want the rational-thinking, calm-headed, intellectual Malcolm Turnbull of days past back. This new Turnbull, the friend of radio shockjocks who seems content to throw accusations around without evidence to back them, reminds me a great deal too much of Opposition Leader Tony Abbott.

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    1. Ninja
      Posted 06/03/2013 at 7:46 am | Permalink |

      Malcolm’s can’t release proper costings and details on his own policy, yet suddenly he’ll be able to do so for the NBN. Political BS.

      • socrates
        Posted 06/03/2013 at 10:17 am | Permalink |

        Malcolm’s ‘Shocking NBN truth’ is that he appears to have consistently and wilfully misrepresented the NBN while demonstrating that he hasn’t got a clue about the detail of his alleged alternative policy.

        • nonny-moose
          Posted 06/03/2013 at 3:50 pm | Permalink |

          pretty much what i was going to say. the only thing ‘shocking’ to me will be the willingness to lie to get the desired outcome in the report. the selection of corner and edge cases to deliver a specific conclusion from a specific viewpoint i also ‘look forward to’. hah.

          Yes Renai, i long for the Malcolm of yore as well. i also blame proximity to Tony as well as the dismissal of evidence based policy for ideological based policy. its amazing how many people ive seen lately repeat snippets of the latter believing it is the former. thats certainly not to say the Govt of the day is innocent either, but there is quite a lot more of it showing on the oppositions side.

          they seem to have large sections of media along for the ride too. and given media power these days, id really like the media of the old days back as well. thanks to supersize mergers there are only a few voices left speaking, and having fewer voices to control and corral is easier than dealing with many. certainly everyone seems to have picked their side, and there is little willingness to dig into alternate positions. its easier to just repeat what youve already been given – you’ll get paid the same anyway. bleh.

    2. andyrob
      Posted 06/03/2013 at 7:53 am | Permalink |

      aaarrrrgghhh and the country is still waiting for true policy from the LNP, not just sooner, faster cheaper.

      This mob just drive me crazy.

      FTTP just is, simply, the best option forward into the future for 50 – 100 years.

      They should try to understand what the majority of people are thinking.


      • andyrob
        Posted 06/03/2013 at 8:24 am | Permalink |

        Just posted on his site:

        “Truth Malcolm, TRUTH. How about trying to tell it. You have access to it just as much as the other but you keep expelling BS from your mouth.

        I notice you didn’t care to mention that part of the rollout involves TELSTRA having to fix f…ked pits and conduit. That is simply out of NBN’s control. Yes Malcolm, TELSTRA, remember the mob you sold!!!”

      • alain
        Posted 06/03/2013 at 11:30 am | Permalink |

        Who or what is IPeXtreme?

        • PeterA
          Posted 06/03/2013 at 1:42 pm | Permalink |

          ???? Context?

          • alain
            Posted 06/03/2013 at 4:25 pm | Permalink |

            The survey link above.

    3. Posted 06/03/2013 at 7:55 am | Permalink |

      I really don’t know what to make on Turnbull lately.

      Does he realise that by not providing a solid policy platform with reasonable cost estimates is doing damage to the economy by creating policy uncertainty in the affected areas of the electorate?

      Now is not the time to be starting any high bandwidth Internet business in Australia. Now is not the time to create an ISP.

      I honestly don’t care if his policy is released and turns out to be a complete and utter turd anymore, which is unfortunate seemly increasingly likely, because at least then we could have honest debate about the two policies.

      And if Australian’s voted for that turd of a policy, at least they were adequately informed. As it is now, a vote for the Liberal NBN alternative is akin to taking out a lotto ticket. We could strike the jackpot, but the odds are very much against us.

      • Richard Ure
        Posted 06/03/2013 at 3:56 pm | Permalink |

        “I really don’t know what to make on Turnbull lately.”

        It’s quite easy really.

        Whenever asked, Liberal folk, from John Howard on, keep saying Tony Abbott is a great leader. If MT wants to be their leader, all he has to do is follow the example of a “successful” one. But if they really mean Leader of an Opposition, perhaps it is not the best tactic unless that is what MT wants to be.

    4. Bob.H
      Posted 06/03/2013 at 8:11 am | Permalink |

      ” This new Turnbull, the friend of radio shockjocks who seems content to throw accusations around without evidence to back them, reminds me a great deal too much of Opposition Leader Tony Abbott.”

      It is hardly surprising that Turnbull is starting to mimic Abbott. There is an election coming up and neither of them could be trusted to lie straight in bed. Unfortunately the vast majority of our politicians of all colours are exactly the same. They will say or do anything to get that 15 seconds of fame and try and bolster their chances of being re-elected.

      Surely it is time for the media to not only challenge the bullshit attitude of politicians and their backers but to call them out when they mislead and tell the voters. They should be saying in no uncertain terms that voting for a particular politician would be a sad mistake because of their actions/views. Until we see this sort of challenge to the current political attitude that treats the electorate as unthinking morons nothing will change,

      • andyrob
        Posted 06/03/2013 at 8:35 am | Permalink |

        Unfortunately Bob, the MSM (Murdoch) are in the LNP’s pocket and Murdoch doesn’t want to loose his vested interests.

        Check out http://theaimn.com/ at least they try to be independent.

        • SMEMatt
          Posted 06/03/2013 at 11:05 am | Permalink |

          Actually I think you have that wrong.
          We have the same problem on both sides of politics.
          Labor is in the pocket of the Unions, the LNP is in the pocket of a few billionaires, difference is billionaires own media empires unions don’t.

          • andyrob
            Posted 06/03/2013 at 1:22 pm | Permalink |

            Difference is Labor has a plan and is implementing it, LNP have nothing and can’t help them selves bagging it without any FACTS or thruths.

    5. Unchained
      Posted 06/03/2013 at 8:24 am | Permalink |

      If turnbull has evidence that nbn Co is wasting money hand over fist (and he is basically saying that he does), then lets see it. Now.

      Nbn Co spending money to do the job they have been tasked with is NOT waste Malcolm.

      Furthermore, he’d best be careful with his words where no evidence exists.

    6. Unchained
      Posted 06/03/2013 at 8:25 am | Permalink |

      If turnbull has evidence that nbn Co is wasting money hand over fist (and he is basically saying that he does), then lets see it. Now.

      Nbn Co spending money to do the jobless they have been tasked with is NOT waste Malcolm.

      Furthermore, he’d best be careful with his words where no evidence exists.

    7. stonemage
      Posted 06/03/2013 at 9:04 am | Permalink |

      I think this is Turnbull’s way of making his “policy” cheaper than the current implementation. By getting people to believe that the NBN as it stands is more expensive that it actually is, anything he puts forward will seem cheaper… negating the fact that the current implementation actually turns a profit.

      He’s now up to ~$60Bn in his “estimates”, so the one-third to one-half cheaper statement is looking better for him all the time.

    8. NBNAccuracy
      Posted 06/03/2013 at 9:06 am | Permalink |

      This report should be great. It will make a good drinking game. Someone could read it aloud and every time their is a gross distortion of facts you take a shot. I think it will take a very sessioned drinker to reach the end of it conscious. I can imagine, given his past distortion of statistics, how it will go.

      Project started 2008
      X premises passed
      Work out premises per day
      Look at money spent
      Work out dollars per day
      Look at the waste! It will take a thousand years and a bejillion dollars!!!

    9. Mark M
      Posted 06/03/2013 at 9:06 am | Permalink |

      Yep any truth that comes from Malcolm’s mouth would be shocking and a first

    10. Dy4me
      Posted 06/03/2013 at 9:33 am | Permalink |

      This is simply Malcolm Turnbull’s way of justifying why he is going to spend $37-50b or more on his FTTN +HFC network and still say its better than Labor’s FTTH network. and then they will say Labor’s FTTH method will cost $100B and take 20 years to complete by some imaginary research Joe Hockey did on the back of a napkin

    11. alain
      Posted 06/03/2013 at 9:33 am | Permalink |

      It will be interesting to see who does the ‘full analysis’ Turnbull is referring to in his tell all media grab.
      As he as previously indicated a proper CBA can only be done by the Productivity Commission so it certainly won’t be one of those in the time frame he indicated.

      If it is just an analysis by some internal Coalition ‘think tank’ the results can be easily dismissed as not being independant.

      • Abel Adamski
        Posted 06/03/2013 at 9:51 am | Permalink |

        Ergas and Morgan

        • David
          Posted 06/03/2013 at 11:35 am | Permalink |

          Peter Costello.

          • MikeK
            Posted 06/03/2013 at 3:25 pm | Permalink |

            It will be done by the local catering company.

      • Mr Creosote
        Posted 06/03/2013 at 11:50 am | Permalink |

        Joe Hockey, and the real cost will be Eleventy eleven billion and eleventy cents!!!!
        He will no doubt use the same accounting principles that have held the Libs in such good stead with all their previousfalse claims on costs etc (many of which are still being rolled out now even though they have been proven untrue)

      • pblakez
        Posted 06/03/2013 at 2:13 pm | Permalink |

        I think Turnbull must have already written the “Independent Report / Audit / Novel” as he seems to already have the results and they are surprisingly enough “Shocking!”


        • djos
          Posted 06/03/2013 at 2:21 pm | Permalink |

          what’s the old political adage?

          never have an inquiry unless you know the outcome beforehand?

    12. Djos
      Posted 06/03/2013 at 9:36 am | Permalink |

      Let’s all sing together folks,


      Etc etc

      MT, you are nothing but another blowhard Lieberal!

      • Dy4me
        Posted 06/03/2013 at 10:22 am | Permalink |

        @Djos. You mean Blowhard liar. right now i know its the same thing. Liberals=Liar. Heck even Labor = liar. but at least Labor =NBN.

        • djos
          Posted 06/03/2013 at 10:37 am | Permalink |

          the difference right now tho is that Labour engage in spin versus the Liberals engage in flat out lying to the aus public because the MSM is in their back pocket and dont question anything they say!

          • Karl
            Posted 06/03/2013 at 12:11 pm | Permalink |

            Yes! Thank you. I’m troubled by the number of people who confuse spin with lies. Even here where your average person seems to be rather logical and evidence-driven, people seem all too happy to say “yeah well what can you do? They all lie.”

            But they don’t all lie, they all spin sure, tell a story that sidesteps the flaws in your plan and highlights the strengths, but lying is what the Liberals are doing, and there’s a big difference. I really can’t believe they get away with it, it actually shocks me that the public in general don’t seem to care that they’re being lied to.

    13. Abel Adamski
      Posted 06/03/2013 at 10:29 am | Permalink |


      However no mention of the impact if any of any delays due to Telstra Remediation works, this especially if in the subs loop would indicate poor subs loop infrastructure which would have a massive impact on the FTTN faster and cheaper furphy.

      Telstra pretty much canned Maintenance as too expensive not only in exchanges but also in the copper infrastructure and moved to a reported fault rectification process instead, this meant feeder cables which are the ones being replaced by fibre in the FTTN scenario were more likely to have been replaced, usually by lighter gauge cheaper cables.

      Plus the impact of floods is mentioned , but in a way still held as a negative against the NBN.

      Will be interesting times ahead, make or break for Australia’s future.
      Our most valuable asset always will be our citizens our people and their capabilities

      • Posted 06/03/2013 at 10:39 am | Permalink |


        That itnews one is interesting. 55% on time, 36% TBA= 91%….but apparently 18% more have slipped….

        That’s some quality analysis work there….

    14. Mike
      Posted 06/03/2013 at 10:29 am | Permalink |

      Mal to aides: Come on guys, we need more things we can add as costs to the Labor NBN project!

      Aide: There was a car accident outside their office. Took down a lamp post.

      Mal: Great! That lamp post is $2000. Reckon I can add in the cost of the damage to the car too? Lost time from work and rehab costs?

      Aide: Sure can!

      Mal: Gees. Nearly forgot! The wear and tear on the bitumen outside… phew that was lucky!

      Aide: Don’t forget the cost of maintenance for every car that drives by the NBN office Mal.

      Ad infinitum…

    15. Fake Malcolm Turnbull
      Posted 06/03/2013 at 11:07 am | Permalink |

      > “We are going to tell the Australian people the truth about the NBN. We will publish as soon as possible within literally within a few months if not sooner a full analysis of what it is going to cost in dollars and time to complete the network on Labor’s plan. And I think people will be shocked by that.”

      And I mean it. It will be shocking. Cliff Gibson of Gibson Quai AAS made an estimate in the highly reputable and impartial – as you have seen recently – Commsday on the 16th of May 2011 at an ATUG gathering that stated that he was thinking that the cost of the FTTH rollout was $60 to $80 billion, which means the cost is $100 billion or potentially more!

      A simple look at the corporate plan by NBN Co reveals the truth too. If we look at how much money they are spending for each premise at the moment, we’ll be lucky to get away with $120 billion! And if we look at the progress Labor has made since 2007, we could be waiting around another 100 years! Sure, these are forward projections based on past data, but even by a generous halving of them, we’ll still be waiting about 50 years.

      In other news, I bought an apartment last month and it cost about $700,000. I guess I’ll have to lay low for the rest of the month – it means I’m spending $8.4 million a year on apartments. And in the past ten minutes I’ve bought a coffee and it cost $2. I guess that $288 a day on coffee is just not sustainable, so that’s why I’m taking a coffee break now. On the other hand, a car of mine has been a much wiser investment and substantially more thrifty – I only spent about $2000 on it. And I’m only spending $10 a day in maintenance (although it does need a bit more fuel as well, but nothing unmanageable) for it, much cheaper than the vast investment a new car would require and that would require a much more vast investment to pay off if we don’t want to pay interest!

      Anyway, I hope that my citing of experts and my own financial examples of prudence will show to you fervent zealots that the analysis we have conducted of NBN Co will be utterly convincing.

      • Posted 06/03/2013 at 11:19 am | Permalink |

        lol hilarious

      • Fake Malcolm Turnbull
        Posted 06/03/2013 at 12:15 pm | Permalink |

        And here is, just for a taste, one of the papers we’ll be citing, which is heavily centred on the willingness to pay for faster speeds: http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1465226

        As you can see, the willingness to pay increases by 3% a year, so no one ever wants it and it won’t ever be paid off.

        And in Telstra’s SAU submission we see that their most relied on growth estimate for bandwidth is 30% a year, which means that it will be too expensive for consumers. At some point in time, Telstra’s modelling shows that consumers if they want faster Internet will have to pay for that faster Internet linearly. That’s also why Optus thinks prices will increase 32.3% over the next decade.

        As you can see, if the SAU doesn’t commit NBN Co to reduce prices every year even more than CPI-1.5% people won’t be able to have the FTTH and ever increasing speeds they will rely on. … not rely on. Sorry. No one needs speeds that fast. Ignore that.

        And not least of all, NBN Co is tripling the ARPU it expects to get from users by 2040. (OK, not tripling but $24 to $63, but considering that the costs will inevitably blow out they’ll have to gouge more anyway from the average Aussie battlers) If we subtract inflation of 4% (only too likely considering the economic damage inflicted by Labor’s record debts) from that, we arrive at a 12% increase in real costs, going from a 2013 baseline. Surely no one would pay 4% more in real money than they are currently paying to get fibre – with 100 Mbps or more on average – instead of ADSL in the year of 2040, so NBN Co is completely deluded. With 3% inflation it comes out at a whopping 26% more!

        And we’ll also hear from Rob Kenny, whose blog is really worth following. http://commsthought.blogspot.com.au/2013/02/does-faster-broadband-encourage-usage.html

        Notice how there is no correlation between broadband speed and hours you spend online? In fact, he even shows that, with an R-squared of 0.04, there’s a negative correlation. I love how he italicises it. Negative. It’s so funny! But is also just one of many pieces of evidence that together conclusively show faster broadband is not needed and counter-productive and he has previously shown that faster broadband hurts GDP! And our plan will deliver faster broadband sooner!

        Here’s our dissenting report about the biggest white elephant in Australian history with more info: http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/House_of_Representatives_Committees?url=jcnbn/report4/dissent.pdf

        Why do we call it a white elephant? Because even from a technical perspective it’s a white elephant. We estimate the amount of fibre to be used, including cladding but excluding all the shielding to be about 600 tons worth, spun into fine threads at a cost of millions and millions! And here’s the crazy thing. Despite this, the cladding, the heaviest part, doesn’t even need to be that thick. Most of the NBN’s fibre even is going to waste. Nor does most of the fibre or its capacity get used when you’re sending a signal down it, it’s completely overengineered! Meanwhile, the copper, about 180,000 tons worth at the moment isn’t a white elephant because when you send a signal down it, all of it is needed – and the thickness of it matters. That’s why the copper access network, at a raw resource cost alone of billions, isn’t a white elephant but the NBN, which is spending hundreds of millions on the actual fibre, is.

    16. Brendan
      Posted 06/03/2013 at 11:19 am | Permalink |

      Shock! wait, no maybe not. It’s complicated. Let’s get a think-tank in to review? Or something.

      Turnbull is grasping at straws. Again. And when pressed on the topic back-pedals. A bit like the alternative FTTN plans.

    17. Posted 06/03/2013 at 11:23 am | Permalink |

      If we are going to be “shocked” by a full analysis of the NBN project, why is the Opposition waiting until after the election to release it? Makes no sense to me.

      • alain
        Posted 06/03/2013 at 11:34 am | Permalink |

        A ‘few months if not sooner’ is before the election, unless Turnbull is redefining what a few months means.

        • Posted 06/03/2013 at 11:43 am | Permalink |

          I’m going from the first sentence of the article:

          Shadow Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull yesterday said a Coalition Government would, following the election, release a full analysis of what Labor’s NBN project would actually take in time and money to complete, an accounting which he said would leave the Australian public “shocked”.

          • alain
            Posted 06/03/2013 at 11:49 am | Permalink |

            I see what you mean, there is a conflict of timing there, but you would assume that Turnbull would want to publish detrimental analysis of the Labor NBN before the election if he wants to use it to help get them into power, after the election is irrelevant, they are in Government until 2016 anyway.

            • Posted 06/03/2013 at 11:56 am | Permalink |

              They’re so confident of winning the next election that they really don’t think releasing a report on the NBN will matter.

            • aka Sam
              Posted 06/03/2013 at 1:31 pm | Permalink |

              The point of it is not to get them through the election, but to justify (after the fact) the promises they are making to get them elected.

              • PeterA
                Posted 06/03/2013 at 1:52 pm | Permalink |

                They are using a fact before it exists, to justify their election.

                Sadly; because the “internet” and/or computers are involved; peoples brains turn off and the fact that doesn’t exist yet will be proof enough that the Labor model is too expensive.

            • Brendan
              Posted 06/03/2013 at 3:29 pm | Permalink |

              The report will be intended to show the NBNco is negligent and the Wizard Of Wentworth will save us.

              After the election; when it’s too late to have informed opinion sway votes; and when it’s much easier to use it to validate sacking that pesky Quigley chap.

              Turnbull won’t have a policy or any official stance prior to the election; Policies and the discussion of are verboten by Herr Abbott.

            • Tinman_au
              Posted 06/03/2013 at 4:03 pm | Permalink |

              Alain said:
              I see what you mean, there is a conflict of timing there, but you would assume that Turnbull would want to publish detrimental analysis of the Labor NBN before the election if he wants to use it to help get them into power, after the election is irrelevant, they are in Government until 2016 anyway.

              So you support expensive waste when it’s a Liberal government “proving” expensive waste of an ALP government….interesting…

              • alain
                Posted 06/03/2013 at 4:16 pm | Permalink |

                Where did I say I supported it?

    18. Nich
      Posted 06/03/2013 at 11:46 am | Permalink |

      If they know we’ll be shocked and appaled and rocked by it, why wait until after the election to release what they seem to already know?

      Talk about begging the question.

      Talk about, potentially, slander.

      • Mr Creosote
        Posted 06/03/2013 at 11:57 am | Permalink |

        That kind of logic doesnt fair well in the Liberal Party though.

        The same argument should be made for the CBA Turnbull is promising. If it is so important to deciding the right outcome, it should be done before the election, and before their policy is decided. It should be a tool used to decide their policy. What is the benefit of a CBA after the policy is decided and after the elction is run when no one can factor it into their voting decisions?

        Turnbull is politicking. He has no interest in the proper solution. He is only interested in getting into government, and then overthrowing Abbott.

      • CMOYDibbler
        Posted 06/03/2013 at 3:54 pm | Permalink |

        My guess is he thinks he’s found holes in the corporate plan that he can’t expose unless/until he becomes a shareholder minister and gets access to the full plan.

        The question is … does he know something, ie. he has some insider information, or is he just blowing smoke?

      • Nick Jones
        Posted 06/03/2013 at 9:34 pm | Permalink |

        The idiot said himself that he doesn’t have access to NBN’s books, that’s why he can’t release a fully costed policy tellings us how much “cheaper” and how much “faster”. So what makes this dropkick so sure that the results of an analysis on the NBN will shock us? The idiot has no clue what state the NBN’s books are in, for all he knows the NBN could be millions under budget. He’s making shit up and the main stream media (that the majority of people follow) just let him get away with it.

    19. Phil Collins
      Posted 06/03/2013 at 11:54 am | Permalink |

      Hey Ren,
      You should run a sweepstake on the “true cost” Turnbull comes up with. $100b, $101b, $102b…

      • Mr Creosote
        Posted 06/03/2013 at 11:57 am | Permalink |

        My money is on eleventy billion! :)

        • TrevorX
          Posted 06/03/2013 at 1:07 pm | Permalink |

          That’s Numberwang!!

    20. aka Sam
      Posted 06/03/2013 at 12:16 pm | Permalink |

      “I want the rational-thinking, calm-headed, intellectual Malcolm Turnbull of days past back.”

      It’s at once hilariously ironic and soul-crushingly pathetic that the sharp decline of Mr Turnbull’s inputs to this debate broadly coincides with his speech on truth, honesty and justice in politics. By which I mean that he’s turned from cherry picking research to outright slanderous fabrications.

      Malcolm is quickly running out of space for his FTTN to be cheaper so he’s seeking to move the boundary line on the NBN. His post-election report will not be done by the Productivity Commission and will be engineered to ‘shock’. But the crime, the true crime, is that he will then use it to fraudulently justify the damage that he will do to our communications infrastructure and thence the sections of our economy that rely on it for the future.

    21. Karl
      Posted 06/03/2013 at 12:21 pm | Permalink |

      I don’t see how this can be anything but a damning admission that they would fudge the numbers to make the current rollout look as bad as possible. Surely if he knows people will be shocked he would release it before the election; but he doesn’t know, all he knows is what everybody knows – the corporate plan and the regular rollout updates. Unless he is saying he has some inside source at NBN Co who has told him they are covering up the truth, but then that would be an even more damaging accusation so why wouldn’t he tell us that before the election?

    22. alain
      Posted 06/03/2013 at 12:52 pm | Permalink |

      Reading through most of the comments here it seems the analysis of whatever analysis Turnbull intends to publish has been done just based on what it MIGHT contain.

      The conclusions have already been made, Turnbulll doesn’t even need to bother.


      • aka Sam
        Posted 06/03/2013 at 1:34 pm | Permalink |

        You are right; Malcolm has already published his conclusions. Shocking.

      • Brendan
        Posted 06/03/2013 at 3:32 pm | Permalink |

        It’s good of you to see the FUD for what it is, alain.

        There is hope for you, yet. Baby steps.

        • alain
          Posted 06/03/2013 at 4:02 pm | Permalink |

          Well after seeing the update Renai added to the article it has all turned into a bit of a fizzer.

          Is this innuendo hypothetical if-then-else type of discussion as good as it gets for the next seven months!!!!!!!!

    23. Kevin Cobley
      Posted 06/03/2013 at 1:12 pm | Permalink |

      He’s totally dishonest, he was in my area last Saturday a stated publicly he was going to do a much smarter and cheaper rollout of the NBN like New Zealand (how ever failed to mention that New Zealand is getting fibre to the home whist what we are going to get under his plan is copper to the home which is what we have already got and doesn’t work).
      As I have said Turnbull’s plan is like rugby always behind New Zealand.

    24. Non Puto
      Posted 06/03/2013 at 1:21 pm | Permalink |

      “I want the rational-thinking, calm-headed, intellectual Malcolm Turnbull of days past back.”

      Is Malcolm Turnbull the Mark Latham of the Liberal Party?

      • djos
        Posted 06/03/2013 at 1:47 pm | Permalink |

        No that’s Tony Abbott, only problem is Credlin wont let him hang around at press conferences etc long enuf to put his foot in his mouth … besides the MSM wouldn’t report on him doing that anyway!

    25. TrevorX
      Posted 06/03/2013 at 1:25 pm | Permalink |

      Yes, that’s what jumped out at me – MT has essentially just published the conclusions of a study before it has been conducted. Given that time travel is impossible, one can only conclude that his logic is flawed.

      Is the attempted (soon to be actual) sabotage of the state punishable as sedition? If not, why not?

    26. Phg
      Posted 06/03/2013 at 1:30 pm | Permalink |

      If Malcolm alreadys knows we will be shocked when he releases the full analysis post election.
      Why doesn’t he give us some more details on what it is we will be shocked about later in the year?
      Surely if he has more details, he should not be sitting on them. How irresponsible is that?
      Like a witness sitting on evidence to convict a criminal, until the timing suits his or his organisations own self interest.

    27. marcus
      Posted 06/03/2013 at 1:32 pm | Permalink |

      Turnbull has proven himself to be just another lying scumbag pollie.

      Leave Gillard in there… better the devil you know and all that.

    28. Gamertech
      Posted 06/03/2013 at 2:28 pm | Permalink |

      So they noalition is freely wasting all our money in order to fudge data and lie to us while simultaneously whinging about how the current NBN is ‘wasting taxpayers money’.

      Not to mention that at the same time as they are releasing every little detail they can about the NBN, they have conveniently forgotten to release anything about their own plan…

      • alain
        Posted 06/03/2013 at 3:46 pm | Permalink |

        Just think not all that long ago in year of Kevin07 Labor virtually did the same thing, Conroy constantly bagged the Coalition OPEL plan whilst hastily cobbling together a private/ Government FTTN rollout plan, which Labor totally changed after the election anyway.

        This time around the Coalition are bagging the NBN rollout whilst hastily cobbling together a plan with more exits contained in it than a concert hall which they will change after being elected anyway.

        • djos
          Posted 06/03/2013 at 3:51 pm | Permalink |

          Most of the ICT industry bagged the OPEL plan as being completely unworkable …. that is why it was canned, it was a joke and would not have come even close to performing as advertised!

          It was mainly just a very poor attempt to placate the National Party!

          • alain
            Posted 06/03/2013 at 4:11 pm | Permalink |

            I wasn’t referring to OPEL as such ( I didn’t like it either) but more to do with how political parties work.
            You disagree with what the other side does, then chip away at the weakness until hopefully they become gaping wounds.

            The Coalition strategy is not to necessarily enunciate their own policy but make the Labor NBN Policy look so bad the electorate conclude that anything would be an improvement.

    29. NBNAccuracy
      Posted 06/03/2013 at 3:31 pm | Permalink |

      Just saw the update. After the election. So he won’t even expose the terrible waste before the election. It is starting to sound like all that evidence that they had against Peter Slipper. It didn’t exist and the only reason they claimed it did was to try to ruin him in the media before the trial. Sounds a lot like what Turnbull’s doing.

    30. Soth
      Posted 06/03/2013 at 3:31 pm | Permalink |

      Turnbull knows the truth is out there… *x-files music*
      Labors NBN is just a way to get cables into our homes and spy on us! o_O

    31. MikeK
      Posted 06/03/2013 at 3:36 pm | Permalink |

      I didn’t bother reading the rest of your artical Renai as soon as I read the name Ray Hadley.

    32. Gamertech
      Posted 06/03/2013 at 4:08 pm | Permalink |

      I’ll just leave this linky here….


    33. midspace
      Posted 06/03/2013 at 4:21 pm | Permalink |

      Yes, I will be shocked if Malcolm Turnbull does release a full analysis of what Labor’s NBN project would actually take in time and money to complete.
      I will be shocked that he actually went and done’d it, I wilz be. The fact that he’s willing to ignore all private and confidential information the government has sign, breaking agreements and contracts to publish this information.
      The Government has been taken to (High) Court before, and lost. They seriously want to waste the Tax Payers money (no debt funding pays this) on schemes like this?

      Stop making promises you can’t keep Malcolm. We will hold you to it, or you will resign.

      “We are going to tell the Australian people the truth about the NBN”
      Does he work for the Government, or WikiLeaks?
      This sounds like a line out of Julian Assange’s playbook.
      Do I detect the possibility of some co-operation going on between Julian Assange’s new party and the LNP?

    34. Tinman_au
      Posted 06/03/2013 at 4:22 pm | Permalink |

      I guess Malcolm plans on paying for this report from the money he saves from cancelling FTTH…er…hang on…shouldn’t the report come before the “savings”, or will that be after the report from the PC and he’s already saved eleventy billion dollars of tax payers cash!??

      I’m confused and probably going broke from paying for all Malcolms “reports”…perhaps he could do a report of how much “quicker, cheaper, sooner” his own plan would be…before the election would be nice…

    35. Sathias
      Posted 06/03/2013 at 4:28 pm | Permalink |

      Sounds like one of Costello’s dodgy audits is on the cards.

    36. Tinman_au
      Posted 06/03/2013 at 4:33 pm | Permalink |

      In recent months, however, the Member for Wentworth’s approach has drastically changed. At the moment Turnbull appears to be spending a great deal of time speaking to radio shockjocks such as Ray Hadley and generating sound bites, while avoiding the more serious parts of the media which are more focused on the actual nuances of policy.

      The problem the LNP/ALP face is the same as the Rep/Dems in the US, as the Rep/LNP pander to the extreme right, the ALP/Dems have filled the gap, so the conservatives have gone that far over they start loosing a lot of folks in the middle. For the ALP/Dems, they have swung so far right (from their traditional leftish positions), that they start to loose their “rank and file” core (you’ll hear Labor talking about that a lot now days). Extreme politics are bad for the country, and they need to stop listening to their spinners and get back to their roots…

    37. Gordon Drennan
      Posted 06/03/2013 at 6:04 pm | Permalink |

      Malone from iiNet pointed out that the government’s NBN numbers were a remarkable coincidence. That it managed to take a completely different technology and come up with exactly the set of numbers that it needed. A price no higher than ADSL. A return just high enough that it could call it an investment and so not include it in the budget. etc, etc. Malone thought the only way it could have come up with those politically convenient numbers was to invent a set of assumptions that produced them.

      The Liberals numbers will be the same. They will simply have picked the set of assumptions that they politically want, ones that the government doesn’t want.

      An NBN, any NBN using virtually technology, will produce a set of unpredictable results.

      If you are going to build one you have to decide what results you want – what you consider important – then do what is required to make them happen. The current lot running NBNCo are are bunch of ex-enterprise market no-hopers who just don’t have the experience or understanding of selling consumer products to make it happen.

      • Mike
        Posted 06/03/2013 at 6:57 pm | Permalink |

        “The current lot running NBNCo are are bunch of ex-enterprise market no-hopers who just don’t have the experience or understanding of selling consumer products to make it happen.”

        Except the NBN is NOT selling consumer products. It is a wholesaler. Telstra, Optus iinet et al sell consumer products.

        If you are going to write twaddle, at least get your facts straight.

    38. Marc
      Posted 06/03/2013 at 7:14 pm | Permalink |

      What does it matter? Libs are pretty much guaranteed to be elected into power in September. Turnbull knows he can sprout any bullshit and it won’t make a squat of difference to the election result.

      • theslydog
        Posted 06/03/2013 at 8:21 pm | Permalink |

        Yep, its a wonder Turd&bull hasn’t told you hes now thinking of using laser guided carrier pigeons as they are cheaper because it won’t make a squat of difference to the election result.

    39. Argyle
      Posted 07/03/2013 at 1:22 pm | Permalink |

      MT has been watching SC get away with saying and doing anything he wanted for years, so has probably picked up some of SC’s more unsavory habits

      After cleanup day in September he will have the same free reign that SC has now, for as long as he wants it.

      • djos
        Posted 07/03/2013 at 1:36 pm | Permalink |

        So making sure this country gets a much needed infrastructure upgrade that will server us well for the next 50+ years is “doing anything he wanted for years”? Sorry but im not detecting any logic in your statements!

        • Argyle
          Posted 08/03/2013 at 3:44 pm | Permalink |

          Yep… all without much in the way of legitimate transparency or due process, for pretty much everything he does. Expect MT to cling to the same “Commercial in Confidence” justifications for not sharing information that SC is so fond of when he bothers to make them.

          • Abel Adamski
            Posted 10/03/2013 at 2:08 am | Permalink |

            No transparency or due process?, please explain and while you are at it please give us the actual alternative in reasonable detail so that we can evaluate the transparency and due process of their model

            • Argyle
              Posted 14/03/2013 at 2:19 pm | Permalink |

              Wait… you want me to explain Conroy having no transparency or due process…. the same Conroy that is this week trying to insert his media reform laws without any lube? Really?

              • Posted 14/03/2013 at 2:25 pm | Permalink |


                The Senate just voted to put the Reforms to Inquiry. That’s the Senate’s job. Not Conroy’s. Sure, he’s pretty “enthusiastic” about getting this reform through (I happen to agree with most of it, but still…) but so was Ed Husic and the IT Inquiry. And that, while good intended, is gonna produce probably nothing. Not that it’s not worthwhile- raises public awareness. My point is, Conroy’s job is to push reforms he believes Australia needs. It’s Parliament’s and the Senate’s job to debate them. Conroy can SAY all he likes that he wants it through in a week- that’s not up to him and he knows it.

                That’s not an argument for “transparency” on the NBN. The NBN has been ongoing for 5 years now and all but the Telstra Deal )not surprising) and the original RFP details (also not surprising, considering how much CiC info their would’ve been) are publicly available.

                Can you show where you’d like to see more transparency? A single point will do?

                • Argyle
                  Posted 23/03/2013 at 8:27 pm | Permalink |


                  A single point for transparency… I guess “filtering”.
                  For years, Senator Ludlam has been doing a great job getting us info that he otherwise should have published anyway. Historically, for example, I’d like to have seen the un-edited Enex test report. Currently, the system that has been announced, but not implemented as widely as he claimed, there are loads of details that he doesn’t think we need to know.

                  Media reforms process certainly didn’t turn out well for him… I can only think he wanted them to fail ;)

    40. Abel Adamski
      Posted 08/03/2013 at 1:33 am | Permalink |

      The fightback commences


      And guess the author

      • Abel Adamski
        Posted 08/03/2013 at 8:17 am | Permalink |

        Strangely no longer appearing on Google News under NBN filter and now behind a pay wall. However can still be googled. I remember Morgan stating some time ago that the copper problems were in the main trunks and feeders which Telstra was upgrading/replacing (bypassed by both FTTP and FTTC/FTTN) and that the subs loop cables were not a problem. Now stating that Telstra has replaced 50% of subs loop cables and that it is to be expected in a FTTN scenario it is normal that the subs cables will need to be remediated as BT is doing. ?????

        Comments are interesting, note last posted was before 4pm

    41. Elmore
      Posted 11/03/2013 at 3:25 am | Permalink |

      To be honest I don’t really care what the NBN costs, given how much money is wasted on other things I don’t agree with, that overall aren’t offering anywhere near the universal benefits or long term prosperity. We pillage the land we live in for all sorts of things, the NBN is one of the few things almost everybody would benefit from in one direct way or another. That is except a few people who currently benefit from the way things are. I can’t help but lean towards the conspiracy theories that a few people in high places stand to loose a lot from the NBN, not much else is making sense as to why people like Turnbull would seem to be selling their souls so cheaply so publicly. It just doesn’t make sense why he would have had this kind of turn around without some sort of hidden agenda. The NBN Co may not be perfect, but ‘attacking’ it in this way isn’t going to help make it any more efficient..

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