blog It should come as no surprise to regular Delimiter readers that our National Broadband Network debate has been poisoned by a constant series of inaccurate and misleading statements. It’s the done thing, after all — politicians are doing it, newspapers are doing it, television stations are doing it — why wouldn’t everyone want to get in on the bandwagon? The Age reports (we recommend you click here for the full article):
“Mark Gregory, senior lecturer at RMIT’s school of electrical and computer engineering, said the public is being misled on how alternative technologies including hybrid fiber-coaxial (HFC) and fibre-to-the-node (FTTN) could be used to replace fibre-to-the-premise (FTTP) and speed up the NBN rollout. “The Australian public is being hoodwinked by false statements that have been substantively disproved,” Gregory said.”
This is one of the things which your writer personally finds hard to deal with with respect to the NBN debate. The amount of false statements out there is so large, that as a journalist I find much of my time is necessarily devoted to correcting incredibly ‘out there’ comments made by politicians and other commentators. We spend so much time trying to educate people about the fundamental underpinnings of the NBN debate, the debate rarely rises above a certain lowest common denominator basis. It’s incredibly frustrating and demeaning to our national conversation, in my opinion.
Sometimes I almost want to start printing positive misstatements, just to balance out the conversation a little. For example, it would be personally amusing to me, if every time someone like Shadow Treasurer Joe Hockey claimed 4G mobile broadband had the capacity to be “far superior” than the NBN’s fibre, I had the capacity to publish an article claiming that Hockey was wrong, and that fibre had the potential to be a “million times” faster than wireless, and that it cost “500 percent” less on every benchmark. It would be hilarious to see how the anti-NBN camp would react if those broadly in favour of the NBN started publishing their own incredibly inaccurate statements, instead of focusing on, you know, the facts.