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  • Analysis, Blog, Opinion, Telecommunications - Written by on Thursday, December 12, 2013 14:59 - 188 Comments

    Please accept my apologies: I was wrong about Malcolm Turnbull

    sorry

    hey everyone,

    hope you’re well and winding down towards Christmas!

    Long-term readers of Delimiter will be aware that I have long tried to hold all sides of politics to account on an equal basis when it comes to technology policy and implementation. Whether it’s Labor, the Coalition or the Greens, I have tried sincerely to praise the merits of each, as well as criticising each where criticism is due. I have tried to seek truth and to be objective. This is standard journalistic practice and it was how I was trained.

    This has, at times, led me into conflict with many readers. Many in Australia’s technology community have long believed that the Coalition has not sincerely had intentions of pursuing Labor’s National Broadband Project to fruition. When Malcolm Turnbull was first appointed as Shadow Communications Minister three years ago, back in 2010, then-Opposition Leader Tony Abbott reportedly ordered Turnbull to “demolish” the NBN, and many readers have long believed that has been the secret intention of the Coalition when it comes to this most high-profile of Labor projects.

    In that past three years, I have attempted to treat all statements by all sides of politics on their merits. I have treated the Coalition’s statements on the NBN seriously, and I have treated Labor’s statements on the NBN seriously. I have treated the Greens’ statements on the NBN seriously.

    Many readers have argued with me about this approach. They have pointed out that Turnbull, and others within the Coalition, have very often taken an inconsistent approach to the NBN, stating one thing and then doing another. There are examples littered throughout the past three years; I need not bring them all up individually.

    This inconsistent approach — where Turnbull and other senior Coalition figures have protested their support for the NBN in public but often taken actions which have seemed inimical to that support in practice — has led many readers to develop a complete lack of faith in the Coalition when it comes to the NBN project. Many have reverted to Abbott’s 2010 request that Turnbull “demolish” the NBN, and will believe very little of what the Member for Wentworth says when it comes to the project.

    In this context, my approach of trying to listen to all sides has rubbed many the wrong way. Many readers believe I have been trying to achieve “balance for balance’s sake” instead of trying to get to the truth of the matter. I haven’t been doing that: I’ve honestly been trying to get to the truth of the matter. Because of this, I’ve argued long and hard with many of you about this issue.

    Well, I am here today to formally apologise. I was wrong to have faith in Malcolm Turnbull and the Coalition on this issue. You were all right, and I was wrong. Turnbull does indeed appear to be attempting to “demolish” the NBN.

    I sat in a press conference at NBN Co headquarters this morning and listened for two hours while Turnbull and a series of his NBN appointees explained how they would construct less of the NBN even than the Coalition promised in April. Those areas currently “served” (as laughable as that term is to many who live there) by the HFC cable footprint, it now appears, will get no upgrade at all. Many will doubtless still be on ADSL2+ when the Coalition’s “NBN” is completed.

    Turnbull’s cost projection promises, his rollout speed promises, his technology choice promises; even his promises that the NBN Co Strategic Review would not be run by consultants; virtually all of his promises about the NBN were this morning flagrantly broken, and there were no answers to so many of the questions which the non-subservient elements of the media (those of us that are left) have about the NBN.

    We cannot call this a “National Broadband Network” any more. That term is fundamentally redundant, when around 28 percent of Australian premises will not receive the infrastructure, and most of the rest will receive a watered down version highly dependent on Telstra’s copper network, which, as NBN Co’s internal reports show, has a plethora of issues. To do so would be farcical, as this morning’s entire press conference was farcical.

    I note that this morning’s press conference was dominated by questions from News Ltd and Financial Review newspapers; newspapers which have historically been highly in favour of the Coalition’s NBN policy and broadly against Labor’s. Turnbull is actively attempting to block the technology media from querying his actions. This is why the Minister’s press conferences on this issue today were held in Canberra and not in Sydney; because the predominantly Sydney-based technology press tends to ask questions about the NBN which the Coalition would apparently rather not answer.

    With all this in mind, I would like to issue a formal apology to Delimiter’s readers. I was wrong. I was wrong to believe Malcolm Turnbull that he had honourable intentions for the NBN. I was wrong to believe that the project would survive in a reasonable form under a Coalition Government. I was wrong to trust that the dream of faster broadband for all Australians could be still be realised in a different model.

    Please believe me, once and for all, that I have lost any faith I had in Turnbull in his role as the Communications Minister and as a leader in Australia’s technology landscape. From now on Delimiter’s default position will be that the Minister is not acting in the best interests of Australia from a NBN perspective. I will require significant evidence in each and every article I cover to shake me out of that belief. I will still deal with all political players with respect, politeness and professionalism, as I always have, but it is now clear that there is a fundamental gulf between what the Coalition says it is doing and what it is actually doing. I will now attempt to pinpoint that gap in a much more direct fashion.

    At the heart of all of this is a basic underlying question: Is the Coalition sincerely attempting to deliver better broadband services to all Australians. I have long believed that answer to be “yes”. Today I can conclusively say that the answer to that question is “no”. It may seem an irrelevant philosophical point to many. But this makes a very big difference in how I work.

    You can’t just delete 28 percent of Australian premises from a “National Broadband Network” and claim that you are going to complete the project “sooner”. You are not “delivering” the NBN, as Turnbull claimed this morning in a statement. You are delivering a remnant of the NBN. You are delivering a Lesser Broadband Network, or LBN.

    It is possible that I will be proven wrong in this view. It is possible that the Coalition will, within the next decade, successfully deliver super-fast broadband upgrades to all Australians. It is possible that Turnbull is passionately trying to do his best to deliver on that aim. And I will be the first to change my mind and admit that I was wrong when and if I am presented with evidence of that being true.

    But for right now, I must hold the Coalition in contempt for breaking all of its promises. Delimiter is, after all, an evidence-based site. And the evidence today is that the Coalition is not sincere about delivering super-fast broadband to all Australians. Please believe I will hold the Government and Turnbull personally to account on this basis from now on. And forgive me for my mistake.

    Kind regards,

    Renai LeMay
    Editor + Publisher, Delimiter

    submit to reddit

    188 Comments

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    1. Sathias
      Posted 12/12/2013 at 3:07 pm | Permalink |

      Kudos Renai, you are absolutely right in this article. Today’s effort by Malcolm was disgraceful.

      • Gee Dee
        Posted 13/12/2013 at 9:33 am | Permalink |

        Good on you Renai.

        But you haven’t mentioned the elephant in the room.

        Rupert Murdoch must be rubbing his hands with glee!

        LNP’s broadband version over his HFC Foxtel cable.

        Our money going straight into his pocket. Ka-Ching!

        • CM10654
          Posted 13/12/2013 at 11:29 am | Permalink |

          Telstra owns the HCF Cable, not Foxtel

          • Dozen
            Posted 13/12/2013 at 7:16 pm | Permalink |

            .

          • Ian
            Posted 13/12/2013 at 8:36 pm | Permalink |

            Telstra is Foxtel. Oligopoly .

      • Evol Fayers
        Posted 13/12/2013 at 4:09 pm | Permalink |

        Saying “sorry” just does not cut it Sathias. It was glaringly obviously before the election the LNP were never going to honour the NBN. So I am saying thank you for nothing, I had nothing, because I am in a black spot and don’t have access to ADSL. And now I will have nothing thanks to the bull shit the press spewed in the lead up to the election and thanks for nothing to the Aussiesheep who believed. AM I ANGRY???? You bet I am

        • barbs
          Posted 14/12/2013 at 5:47 am | Permalink |

          So true. I don’t want to think about the NBN anymore. Too depressing.

    2. Posted 12/12/2013 at 3:07 pm | Permalink |

      “You are not “delivering” the NBN”

      Sums it up.

      Thanks for staying on it Renai – many have simply walked away as is oft the case with poor decisions by upper management.

    3. Steve
      Posted 12/12/2013 at 3:09 pm | Permalink |

      Thanks Renai,

      As soon as I heard the pre-election suggestion that most would have 25mbps by 2016 under the coalition’s plan, I thought it was unachievable, and wrote to the then Mr Turnbull and saying as much too (got a form response post-election from the govt for my trouble).

      Most people with a modicum of knowledge of the relevant issues knew this commitment was BS. And now Minister Turnbull admits this goal won’t be met. If everyone knew 3 months ago that this was a dud commitment, then the only conclusion is that Minister Turnbull was either lying or else incompetent to have suggested it would happen in the first place.

    4. jwbam
      Posted 12/12/2013 at 3:11 pm | Permalink |

      We told you so.

      What else COULD they do with an FTTN network?

      No speed guarantees AT ALL to end users.

      Just a 40-something % promise of 90 to 100 Mbps to WHOLESALE by 2019.

      • Asmodai
        Posted 12/12/2013 at 3:25 pm | Permalink |

        Didn’t take long for the first asshole comment to show up…

        Renai, I don’t see that you did anything wrong. You were skeptical, had clearly stated your preference, but were willing to keep an open mind. You reported on the issues on both sides and gave MT the opportunity to not disappoint.

        He failed, as most suspected he would. I don’t see how keeping an open mind requires an apology.

        You copped a lot of flak for reporting on the situation with evidence available, and without pre-judgement, from the very same people who continually criticise mobs like the Murdoch media for being biased and one sided (more ‘fighting FUD’ pages than you can poke a proverbial stick at). Purely because you weren’t biased and one sided in the direction they wanted you to be…

        I don’t say any of this to blow smoke up your butt, I expect you to go after all pollies with tenacity regardless of party. Don’t let the wankers who only want their version of events to get air time get you down, regardless of which viewpoint they represent…

        • bern
          Posted 12/12/2013 at 3:36 pm | Permalink |

          +1

          I, personally, didn’t think there was the proverbial snowball’s chance of the Noalition delivering on their promises on this regard, but I do appreciate the great effort taken to be impartial.

        • Alex (NBN)
          Posted 12/12/2013 at 4:04 pm | Permalink |

          Also didn’t tke long for the first FttP detractor to roll over…

          But I agree, Renai doesn’t need to apologise, he was just doing his job and trying to give everyone benefit of the doubt…

          • Asmodai
            Posted 12/12/2013 at 4:32 pm | Permalink |

            How so?

            Always said the LNP doing FTTP was a “possibility” (not a probability/certainty).

            I also said that MT was a politician and you could trust him about as far as you could throw him.

            And lastly, I’ve always said FTTP was the superior tech. You are welcome to go hunting through my comments to try and contradict me if you wish, I wait with baited breath…

            Incidentally, I also decried the harsh comments sent at Renai and Simon Hackett when they didn’t dance to the tune you and others expected of them. = P

            My critique was aimed at the ALP and their method of running and marketing the project, which I stand by 100%. Now that MT has revealed his hand, I think it’s crap and will be critical of that to. =)

            • Alex (NBN)
              Posted 12/12/2013 at 4:46 pm | Permalink |

              ;)

        • Rosoce Taylor
          Posted 13/12/2013 at 12:49 pm | Permalink |

          Well put. Now if can only hold MT and the rest to account for not doing what they said they would.

    5. meck01
      Posted 12/12/2013 at 3:12 pm | Permalink |

      Renai – It takes a big person to admit fault. I wish your previous view was right, unfortunately the Coalition have just made sure we won’t get proper broadband for decades to come.

      Today is a black day in our history.

    6. Brad Allen
      Posted 12/12/2013 at 3:12 pm | Permalink |

      To me, you’re approach to the Coalition over the last few years has actually shown a strength of character Renai. It’s easy to jump on the “FTTP or nothing” bandwagon as a reader that has a reasonable grasp of the underlying technologies behind the policies. I’ve appreciated you forcing my mind to be impartial with the evidence.

      Today is a sad day for Australia even if the majority of the population have no idea why. It seems all hope in a ubiquitous high speed communications network that would have served Australians for the next 50-100 years is gone – or at least severely postponed at an additional cost to taxpayers.

      • Posted 12/12/2013 at 3:27 pm | Permalink |

        +1

        Summed up well.

      • Denis C
        Posted 12/12/2013 at 3:34 pm | Permalink |

        “has actually shown a strength of character Renai”
        +1

      • BruceH
        Posted 12/12/2013 at 3:43 pm | Permalink |

        +1

        My issue Renai is that you have been taking Malcolm’s word as gospel and not testing the statement against his actual actions – not that you were introducing an over-balance. We will be poorer for you introducing significant bias – that is not optimal and not what I want but we need you to actually test the claims being made by politicians.

      • Timothy Walters
        Posted 12/12/2013 at 4:04 pm | Permalink |

        +1

        Renai you did your best to give him (Turnbull) a chance to prove himself, and he let you (and the rest of Australia) down.

        Always appreciated your articles and how you stayed impartial.

      • Haderak
        Posted 13/12/2013 at 9:50 am | Permalink |

        +1

        I love “Lesser Broadband Network”. Let’s all use that from now on.

        Don’t change a thing Renai. Part of holding these pricks to a higher standard is the assumption that they are capable of achieving a higher standard.

        This is Turnbull’s failure, not yours.

    7. Jarrod
      Posted 12/12/2013 at 3:15 pm | Permalink |

      Turnbull’s plan is all the worse for discouraging private investment in the field. Of course, private exclusive infrastructure for broadband is pretty terrible, but it’s better than nothing. This delivers nothing, and will cost taxpayers over $40 billion.

      Liberal should live up to its free enterprise, private sector ideals and attempt to engage local councils, community groups and entrepreneurs in building high speed internet. Small grants and regulatory assistance would go a long way to improving outcomes at a much lower cost to government.

      Giving any money to Telstra to patch up the copper network and inconsistently apply FTTN in some places is worse than doing nothing. It is not only investing in an outcome with a limited lifespan, it is actively discouraging other groups from making a worthwhile investment.

    8. Posted 12/12/2013 at 3:19 pm | Permalink |

      I think more than anything Renai, we are the ones sorry you had to get to this point.

      As much as I would’ve hated it, I could’ve lived with a decent, well built and well planned FTTN policy that could have eventuated from this review. It’s now clear however that it was never planned.

      I now live in Sydney and, like about 15% of other Australians, I live in an MDU passed by HFC….that I can’t get. I’m still waiting after 3 weeks to have Naked DSL connected and am not hopeful in its’ speeds (~10Mbps, though that’s still an improvement on the 7 or 8 I got in regional Australia and fairly decent in comparison to others)

      I would like to take the opportunity to apologise on behalf of myself and I’m sure I’m echoing the thoughts of many, when I say I am sorry for the berating we’ve performed on your articles and opinions over the years. We all secretly hoped, I think, that one way or another it wouldn’t be as disastrous as we were insisting it would be to you. It unfortunately now appears that’s exactly what it is.

      Perhaps something can be salvaged in all of this. If it can be, Morrow and Hackett will be key in doing so.

      As always, thank you for your writing and your opinions. They’re always candid and that’s what, more than anything, the NBN needs.

      • Asmodai
        Posted 12/12/2013 at 4:18 pm | Permalink |

        +1

        We’ve disagreed often enough Seven but that was a classy response, well said.

      • Relim
        Posted 12/12/2013 at 6:05 pm | Permalink |

        “We all secretly hoped, I think, that one way or another it wouldn’t be as disastrous as we were insisting it would be to you. It unfortunately now appears that’s exactly what it is.”

        Precisely.

        I’m not in the mood to say “I told you so”, instead I just feel like sighing. Even if you lower your expectations and you know the disappointment is coming, it’s still immensely disappointing.

        Anyway, I’m looking forward to seeing the new business plan… With the HFC footprint that has a lower deployment cost and higher revenues (both number of users and higher ARPU) than other areas taken off the map… How does the NBN fund itself? The cheapest part of the rollout with the most profitable part of the market has been wiped off the map. Or is it simply going to be a cost to the taxpayer?

        • Anti-NOBAND
          Posted 13/12/2013 at 3:05 pm | Permalink |

          I rather like calling the Coalition’s poltcy NOBAND, short for NO Bandwidth Available, Network Disintegrating.

          This is nothing about providing benefit to the taxpayer and everything about getting profit to Telstra, Optus, and their ilk. No, what we’re going to get is a patchwork network, rather like what has happened in the US: Useless competition, coverage holes everywhere, and strong territorial boundaries.

          It’s all blind capitalism, nothing more. We’re nothing more than fools that are marketed to these giants as cash cows. Because that’s what matters to the LNP Coalition. Paying off their mates in the boardrooms for the nice propaganda. They’re gonna reward them by killing the ABC, too.

    9. Krispy Chops
      Posted 12/12/2013 at 3:19 pm | Permalink |

      Bit late now.. Malcolm and his cash-in-the-bank buddies are already in office. Would have been good if you’d realised this before the election. Still, don’t cry into your pillow too much tonight… unlikely that Delimiter really has that much sway over the great unwashed masses that voted these do-nothings into power.

    10. Aaron
      Posted 12/12/2013 at 3:19 pm | Permalink |

      Renai,

      Your belief in the good intentions of people is, in my opinion, not really something that should be apologised for. Unfortunately Malcolm Turnbull has proven that his side of politics has no shame in saying one thing and doing another, even at great expense to the people of Australia. The utter bullshit we have been sold on this issue speaks loud and clear about how they will stop at nothing to gain power.

      Their fully costed and achievable FTTN plan was a lie.
      70% covered by FTTN was a lie.
      20 odd billion cost was a lie.
      “Fast. Affordable. Sooner” was a bold faced lie.

      I will continue to visit Delimiter, as it is a great source for unbiased Australian Technological news.

      • Posted 12/12/2013 at 5:11 pm | Permalink |

        Never was politicking so blatant and the contradictions so obvious.
        This extract says it all – the sad thing is that they clearly believe their own BS.

        “The Strategic Review prepared by the company has been released in full by the Government,
        except for redactions of legally and commercially sensitive material made at the request of the
        company.
        As a result, for the first time the Australian public has access to the same information as the
        Government about this project.” Min M Turnbull’s release, STRATEGIC REVIEW OF THE NATIONAL BROADBAND NETWORK.

        Or to put it another way “You get to see everything *except* the bits we don’t want you to see.”

        • Aaron
          Posted 12/12/2013 at 5:33 pm | Permalink |

          Steve,

          Should we believe Jason Clare’s claim that the Coalition knew their NBN election promise was a lie? In particular the one about 25mb/s for 100% of Aussies?

    11. Simon
      Posted 12/12/2013 at 3:23 pm | Permalink |

      Don’t beat yourself up Renai ;)

      You attempted to provide reasonable, objective balance to an argument relating to an industry that knows its fair share of biased, unbalanced individuals with die-hard allegiances.

      Unfortunately, the day has come where all of us need to realise that Malcolm Turnbull is not the communications minister we all hoped he might be, regardless of the views that some of his constituents still hold.

      The “National Broadband Network” is no more, and it’s only relevance is the illusion of a long anticipated election promise. This is now nothing more than a tax payer funded band-aid on our already embarrassing digital infrastructure.

      • Stephen
        Posted 13/12/2013 at 2:49 pm | Permalink |

        Actually do beat yourself up Renai – the only way we learn from mistakes is if they have some sort of cost*.

        I, like others, appreciate the mea culpa but the best way to be forgiven will be to do a better job in the future.

        I thoroughly believe you’re capable of it.

        * if you don’t pay for failure it becomes meaningless, the modern practice of divorcing authority and responsibility is what creates the situations like the NBN debacle that we have. If Turnbull was accountable for his promises this farce could be remedied by him being charged with criminal fraud for misrepresenting his policies to the Australian people. That’s how it should be.

        • grump3
          Posted 13/12/2013 at 10:50 pm | Permalink |

          The chosen venue for the LNP’s NBN policy launch rang alarm bells for many, even for those who liked & considered Turnbull to have sufficient integrity to eventually sway Mr No towards a sensible compromise.

          Unfortunately it seems the tide has turned.
          Perhaps we’ll soon hear a replacement for a familiar slogan from the new Opposition…
          No longer a constant chant of Juliar, we’ll be hearing Turnbulls**t instead??

    12. William
      Posted 12/12/2013 at 3:24 pm | Permalink |

      Great piece. Today is indeed a black day for Australia. It confirms that the Coaltion serves the business interests of Rupert Murdoch before it serves the interests of Australia.

      Shame, Mr Turnbull, shame.

      Let’s hope the tech press keeps the spotlight on Turnbull’s failure to do his duty to Australians

      • Catching up
        Posted 12/12/2013 at 8:18 pm | Permalink |

        If he served big business, he would be going ahead with NBNCo in full. That is what does not make sense. Then very little of what this government is rolling the bulldozer through, makes sense.

        • Abel Adamski
          Posted 13/12/2013 at 9:49 am | Permalink |

          ” the business interests of Rupert Murdoch before it serves the interests of Australia.”

          The business interests of Australia and our mid to long term economic interest is of no interest to them , only power and being in power so look after those who can facilitate that.
          Unfortunately there is a Simplistic Colonial Conservative mindset, look at the support for the higher tech manufacturing and high value R@D and Manufacturing – incomprehensible to them. (Auto Industry, not just the manufacturers, but all the suppliers – The Calais is being exported to the US in reasonable numbers as a Police Car as far superior to any US production vehicle of that class. Oz R@D

        • Chad
          Posted 13/12/2013 at 10:24 am | Permalink |

          The problem is that it is not big business. It is entirely tax payer funded. $72 billion ( when the ALP claimed less than 30), to fund the ALP’s plan is ridiculous. I’d prefer my money not to be wasted.

    13. Rhys
      Posted 12/12/2013 at 3:25 pm | Permalink |

      Did you start drafting this in the press conference :)

      I wanted to know if News Ltd was asking loaded questions in Turnbulls favour?

      Thanks for the appology, not that I think it’s needed. Very nobel stance over the past couple of years trying to even out the pro’s and con’s of their hazey statments and policies. Even though in the end it was all liquid truth from LNP.

    14. GENIII
      Posted 12/12/2013 at 3:26 pm | Permalink |

      It takes a big man to say he’s wrong and i admire that.

      Well done keep up the good work.

    15. Rob
      Posted 12/12/2013 at 3:27 pm | Permalink |

      Apology accepted, now do something about it.

      You are in a unique position of influence to start a groundswell movement here. The government lied and is no longer delivering a National Broadband Network.

      Use your contacts, get some financial support from Microsoft and IBM who have called for NBN ubiquity in recent days, and deliver this government’s crappy policy a knock-out blow.

      The people will support you.

      • Denis C
        Posted 12/12/2013 at 3:37 pm | Permalink |

        Renai, is this possible?

      • Aaron
        Posted 12/12/2013 at 3:49 pm | Permalink |

        I second this. Something needs to be done. Australia cannot afford the Coalitions current broadband policy. As with the stand you’ve taken in regards to Turnbulls Blue Book, FoI documents and the likes, we believe that you are in a position to make Australians stand up and be counted. We know we’ve been sold down a river by this government and now it’s time to do the right thing.

      • AJ
        Posted 12/12/2013 at 3:54 pm | Permalink |

        For me we should be pushing for scenario 4 Now then the HFC footprint could be upgraded by NBNCo using profits from the network last.
        This would provide an incentive for Telstra and Optus to upgrade HFC as they would have ~10 years to recoup their investment. NBNCo could provide FttB in apartments where Cable does not reach.

        According to the review it is cash flow positive in the same time as FttN Mix but with 63% FttH.

    16. barezina
      Posted 12/12/2013 at 3:31 pm | Permalink |

      This article has shaken me. Truly a historical moment.

      I think I can speak for a lot of us by saying, we’re still respectful and receptive to the views and articles you express Renai. When you’re watching a movie wondering whether the villain might shift over to the ‘good side’ and deliver some shred of positivity toward the landscape, our human nature assumes there’s always some room for good in spite of cloudy circumstances. What we have seen today is such a shame, and it only goes to prove that there is a limited shelf-life for manufactured personas (Turnbull).

      You’re one of the most non-biased journalists in Australia. That’s something to be proud of mate. :)

    17. Ben
      Posted 12/12/2013 at 3:32 pm | Permalink |

      Renai,

      I must say I’m impressed by your willingness to openly admit fault. I always knew you had your heart in the right place. I really wish that you were right, things look to be getting worse and worse.

      Welcome to the dark side, we have cookies. :)

      Keep up the good work.

      • grump3
        Posted 13/12/2013 at 10:58 pm | Permalink |

        +100
        G.

    18. Lionel
      Posted 12/12/2013 at 3:32 pm | Permalink |

      I won’t have time to read through the whole document until tonight. But what I have read isn’t great. I honestly think the best thing to do is cancel the whole thing until someone who isn’t using it as a political tool can take it up again.
      Anyway, well played Turnbull. Murdoch paid back for his steller campaign to get a turd into the priministers job. He keeps a monopoly in his HFC areas, and gets new markets with high speed broadband to other areas. Those that supported Turnbull pre election, be it vocally or by delaying the rollout have been given jobs with NBNCo. Maybe there even some tasty retirement jobs waiting, who knows.

    19. Mr Creosote
      Posted 12/12/2013 at 3:36 pm | Permalink |

      Thanks for the apology Renai. Its unfortunate that you had to make it. We would have all liked it if the Libs actually did something positive. Sadly, many of us have seen the writing on the wall for a very long time. What was being uttered by Turnbull really made little sense.
      I remember right back to his first Press Club speech as Comms minister, where many of his claims then didn’t stack up (particularly around HFC even back then), and he never ever substantiated any of his subsequent ones.

      As members of the public, we don’t have access to all the info needed to provide full evidence based answers, and sadly most of the media today isn’t interested in finding that evidence and reporting it impartially to us.Whilst the evidence may not always be there, simple common sense is often enough to come to a logical conclusion a lot of the time. Common sense and logic applied to most of Malcolm claims were enough in themselves to say they didn’t stack up.

      Hopefully the new year is gentler to you Renai :) I am sure it will be no less busy though, because there is going to be a hell of a lot of work to do to make sense of Turnbull’s machinations from here on in!

    20. Mr Creosote
      Posted 12/12/2013 at 3:37 pm | Permalink |

      Oh, BTW do those who got the ban hammer for disagreeing get let back in now? ;)

      • quink
        Posted 12/12/2013 at 3:55 pm | Permalink |

        I don’t think they got the banhammer so much for disagreeing per se.

    21. Posted 12/12/2013 at 3:41 pm | Permalink |

      Renai,

      Fair enough.

      Scott

      • Abel Adamski
        Posted 13/12/2013 at 10:58 am | Permalink |

        Good Luck in the future Scott

        Regards

    22. Jason
      Posted 12/12/2013 at 3:49 pm | Permalink |

      Good on you Renai admitting you were wrong about Turnbull

    23. nobody
      Posted 12/12/2013 at 3:52 pm | Permalink |

      I agree with the people who have said not to beat yourself up over this. We all knew that you were trying to take a somewhat impartial stance on this issue. You took the view that an FTTN network was achievable, and sufficient for Australia’s needs. Sadly, MT himself dissed that idea by giving us this sham network (which I call the UCN, or Utter Crap Network).

      I feel sorry for all those stuck in HFC areas that won’t get any form of upgrade any time in the near future, my parents included who are in an Optus HFC area (their only “saving grace” is that they are connected to the network, and can actually use it). For people like myself, however, I’m still in limbo. I’ve read that the FTTP rollout will continue for brownfields until the FTTN rollout commences, but I’m taking that with a large pinch of salt. So as far as I am aware, I could either still get FTTP next year, or more than likely, have to wait until 2015/16 to get FTTN.

      To add to my own personal dismay, MT has also dismissed one of his promises (25Mbps by 2016). I never trusted MT, but now I absolutely despise him, and the Coalition/LNP in general.

      Today is a very sad day for Australia, and personally, I can only see things getting worse, before they get better.

    24. Jim
      Posted 12/12/2013 at 3:52 pm | Permalink |

      Its a good thing they abolished gay marriage. After what Turnbull has done to our collective arses, he should propose (or buy dinner at least)

    25. paddybts
      Posted 12/12/2013 at 3:53 pm | Permalink |

      Well said Renai. Kudos for your open and upfront recognition, that the coalition’s emperor has finally admitted he has no clothes.
      Now’s the time for all who care about the country’s digital future, to hold the Government’s feet to the fire and let them know their NBN plan is just not good enough.

    26. quink
      Posted 12/12/2013 at 3:54 pm | Permalink |

      https://twitter.com/simonhackett has been very quiet since “Today will be quite a busy day :)”.

    27. elementalest
      Posted 12/12/2013 at 3:56 pm | Permalink |

      I think this sums it up nicely for those in HFC areas.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M5QGkOGZubQ

      • Posted 12/12/2013 at 4:45 pm | Permalink |

        That does pretty much sum it up.

      • Posted 12/12/2013 at 4:55 pm | Permalink |

        +100 Internets for you sir. Best. Sum up. Ever.

      • Matt
        Posted 13/12/2013 at 11:39 am | Permalink |

        *gasp* that means I ALREADY HAVE THE NBN!! All this time and with a simple redefinition of what the NBN is, the cable internet I’ve had for the last 5 years IS the NBN! WOO!

        /sarcasm

        • Bpat
          Posted 13/12/2013 at 1:08 pm | Permalink |

          I miss my NBN, I had it in 2007 to 2010 and it was really great.

    28. Fat Pat
      Posted 12/12/2013 at 4:05 pm | Permalink |

      As I have said a few times around here and other parts….

      We WILL regret the appointment of the LNP for DECADES to come.

      It is almost certain that Turnbull WILL “poison the well” so that future Australian Governments are unable to “unstitch” the Broadband mess that he is about to create.

      As for “LBN” why not use the term that Fiona nash used to descibe the original FTTN proposal – Fraudband – because that is what we will receive.

      A very sad day…

      • Fat Pat
        Posted 12/12/2013 at 4:34 pm | Permalink |

        One good thing that I hope comes out of this though …. the ALP needs to step up and claim ubiquitous FTTP as it’s prime policy for the next Federal election – Front and Centre.

        They need to grow some balls and be prepared to hold Turnbull (and Abbott) accountable for their lies and backflips in this and other areas as ruthlessly as the LNP did the Labor over the past 3 years.

        The NBN may have been a peripheral issue at the last election, but after what we have seen today, it can easily become the main issue in two and a half years time….

      • GENIII
        Posted 12/12/2013 at 4:56 pm | Permalink |

        I think by the time we get a chance to throw these fucks out, the damage will already be done :(

        GENIII

        • Abel Adamski
          Posted 14/12/2013 at 8:44 am | Permalink |

          True
          Too much of private sector mini monopolies in high value areas.
          With all the private sector assets and investment impossible to unscramble the egg, from overseas experience those mini monopolies will not spend the money to upgrade as no need to , their captive customers will have to accept what they get for decades to come.
          The LNP has gutted Australia’s high tech and research based future.
          Truly Traitors have gutted Australia’s future with the assistance of a Quisling media.
          Hansen has left NASA and is building an evidentiary database for future legal action by future generations against the Government and those that prevented appropriate action at this time.
          I have been saving Articles for several years along with regular screenshots of Google News with the NBN filter selection – dominated by the unOz

    29. Mitch
      Posted 12/12/2013 at 4:26 pm | Permalink |

      Renai, thank you firstly for producing such a valuable resource as Delimiter. It has become a daily visit for me to get the real IT news and especially an unbiased account of the NBN.

      I will join the chorus and say that I am just sad that we have got to this point.

      I don’t think your apology is necessary.

      If I ever have the chance I will definitely buy you a beer (or tequila sunrise :-) )

    30. Greg
      Posted 12/12/2013 at 4:50 pm | Permalink |

      My view is that you certainly were one of the very very few who reported balanced. That the balance was a manipulation by one side of politics is easy to claim in hindsight, but certainly harder to do at the time. That you recognised it in this way Renai, is the terrible shame of it all. Everyone who is across this, is gutted by the flagrancy of this attempt to politically demolish a project at the expense of rationality and best outcomes for our country. As you said, maybe I will be wrong, and I will put my hand on heart like you have and admit to it. But I fear its not likely to occur.

      In the meantime, I want to give you a thank you for what you do, and a comment like the last one I just read that I too would buy you a beer, and you are the first online news source to get any of my money. That means I like the way you do what you do, even if I dont agree with you on everything. Keep the bastards honest mate.

    31. Simon Shaw
      Posted 12/12/2013 at 4:59 pm | Permalink |

      Might as well can the whole build now.

      FTTN cost blowout makes you really question if its worth it.

      Mind you, the new cost of FTTP is still less than Malcolm was spouting before the election.

      Personally I blame the Libs and News Corp. Both have had the daggers out since the NBN was announced. It didn’t really stand a chance against that opposition. If you were a NBN contractor, unless BOTH sides of politics were pushing the project, would you really try if you new it was to be canned at the election?

      Or would you milk it for all you could?

      Bipartisan support would have muted News Corp and created a celebrated project instead, we now end up with a zombie. (Still kicking, doesn’t know it’s dead yet).

      I really give up on this country.

      • Graham
        Posted 12/12/2013 at 5:20 pm | Permalink |

        “Might as well can the whole build now.”

        I see this as the first step in a long process of the Coalition disentangling itself from the national interest.

        In the end it you can be sure it will be canned, there are just some hoops to jump through first.

        The model will be the original Medibank. Death by a thousand cuts.

    32. Tallweirdo
      Posted 12/12/2013 at 5:00 pm | Permalink |

      Renai, when you say that ‘Those areas currently “served” (as laughable as that term is to many who live there) by the HFC cable footprint, it now appears, will get no upgrade at all.’ how are you interpreting section 3.5 of the Review? Section 3.5 states that:

      The Review assumes that to increase capacity on the HFC network, NBN Co:
       Reallocates the unused portion of downstream spectrum (14×8 MHz);
       Reallocates the DOCSIS 1.1 capacity to support additional upstream and downstream capacity on DOCSIS 3.0;
       Upgrades upstream channels to 64QAM;
       Upgrades downstream channels to 256QAM; and
       Splits nodes.

      There is also a redacted amount of money allocated to these upgrades. My reading of the report suggests this would represent an 8 to 20 fold increase in peak per user capacity on HFC.

      • James
        Posted 12/12/2013 at 7:07 pm | Permalink |

        If we don’t want to have Telstra as our ISP in HFC areas, we get nothing.

      • Posted 12/12/2013 at 9:17 pm | Permalink |

        That’d be great if they did someone about the MDU problem. That is, getting HFC is an MDU is very difficult to impossible.

        • steve
          Posted 12/12/2013 at 11:35 pm | Permalink |

          “That’d be great if they did someone about the MDU problem. That is, getting HFC is an MDU is very difficult to impossible.”

          The review makes reference to HFC fill-in and lead-in work that will be done by NBN Co. Wouldn’t that cover it?

      • BieRHeDD
        Posted 13/12/2013 at 12:09 am | Permalink |

        I don’t get why HFC is a dirty word here… If I had the choice of FTTN VDSL2+ over a possible 800m of Cat3 twisted pair, or DOCSIS 3.0 from RG6 terminating to a fibre converter say 20m from the wall socket in my house… I know which I’d choose…

        • Bern
          Posted 13/12/2013 at 1:29 am | Permalink |

          Because with FTTN VDSL2+, you’ll probably get 15-20Mbps.

          With HFC, once everyone gets onboard and the ADSL DSLAMs are shut down, you’ll be lucky to get 5Mbps. I already get less than 5Mbps during peak periods…

    33. Posted 12/12/2013 at 5:09 pm | Permalink |

      I did try and tell you.

    34. Graham
      Posted 12/12/2013 at 5:16 pm | Permalink |

      Well Renai, forgive and forget.

      Although before we forget, it might be worthwhile remembering that while you were being diddled by Turnbull, you were more than a little ruthless with the posters who were pointing that out.

      I hope that’s something that changes in the future.

    35. senectus
      Posted 12/12/2013 at 5:48 pm | Permalink |

      Man, my empathetic side wants to pat you on the back and buy you a fresh, less salty beer.

      Bulltur(d)n, rAbbott and Barnett are all excellent examples of why i will never trust a word they say. All politicians lie, but Liberal Politicians don’t know how to tell the truth. Their arrogance and neglect for society as a whole literally turn my stomach.

      • Simon Shaw
        Posted 12/12/2013 at 5:54 pm | Permalink |

        +1

    36. Quiet Observer
      Posted 12/12/2013 at 5:54 pm | Permalink |

      “and most of the rest will receive a watered down version highly dependent on Telstra’s copper network”

      Was that an unintentional pun? If the Coalition’s network depends on Telstra copper, water is certainly guaranteed ;-)

    37. Steve F
      Posted 12/12/2013 at 5:59 pm | Permalink |

      Its 1 thing to admit errors Renai but the true tail of your efforts will be judged on what you do know?

      Im sorry but saying sorry just doesn’t cut the mustard, and i say that with out malice, but it is a start and i applaud you thus far.

      Now i and others will hope you join the many (literally millions) that admire FTTP for what it is and can become and burn this Liberal mob to the ground through your resources.

      Please :)

    38. RichyRoo
      Posted 12/12/2013 at 6:02 pm | Permalink |

      You did a great job Renai; yours is amongst the best (if not the best) coverage of the NBN. I applaud your strenuous efforts to keep an open mind without succumbing to the easy tribalism of us versus them.

      You weren’t wrong to do those things, in fact that’s what kept me reading (as a Coalition voter). And now, because you have said Turnbull is a fraud; rather than simply rejecting the opinion as ‘lefty nonsense’ I am actually thinking about it.

      That is the value of doing as you have done, you have the chance to change the minds of those who don’t already agree with you. Your open minded analysis means that your audience is not just composed of people who share your politics or your tribe, which makes you far more valuable than just another press release ctl-v hack.

      Congratulations; for a lefty ratbag you are alright in my book ;)

      And I look forward to reading more on the subject; can you just lay off the recycled Conversation articles? They give me a stomach ache!

      • Relim
        Posted 12/12/2013 at 6:28 pm | Permalink |

        Renai is hardly a lefty.

        And what’s wrong with The Conversation? Surely you’re not going to accuse it of bias.

    39. Djos
      Posted 12/12/2013 at 6:17 pm | Permalink |

      “I would like to issue a formal apology to Delimiter’s readers. I was wrong.”

      Wow, very big if you Renai and I’m a big enuf man to admit tha I really didn’t expect you to be man up like this.

      Kinda shocked you published my “I told you so” comment in the other topic too, not sure I would have in your position.

      I’ll admit I took your rejection of me pushing you to investigate Malcolm’s claims in more detail and publish the results rather personally and as a result said some fairly unkind things about my perception of your “pro-Turnbull bias” on whirlpool.

      Anyway if you can apologise then so can I. I’m Sorry if anything I posted was offensive to you. You have now regained my respect and I hope the feeling is mutual.

      Any chance you could un-block me on twitter and later on delimiter when my existing pre-mod ban expires?

    40. Andrew
      Posted 12/12/2013 at 6:26 pm | Permalink |

      Thanks Renai, you are an icon and an exemplary journalist and I am glad “wrong” is in your dictionary as it should be for all of us.
      I just can’t believe this is happening. The forward thinking NBN is destroyed and a cardboard cut-out is in it’s place. I am totally in favor of stopping here and now. I don’t want this version of the NBN. I want to dismantle NBN Co. and just suck up what we already have.
      You know, I wouldn’t even care if it was all handed back to Telstra for free and I paid an additional $50 per month to see FTTP for those that can get it.
      What have we done???

    41. Brendan
      Posted 12/12/2013 at 6:26 pm | Permalink |

      Renai,

      We don’t always agree on topics, but I massively respect your desire to give reasonable effort to show both sides of any debate.

      In a world dominated by Media that tells us exactly what we should think, and when we should think it; your articles often spurred (sometime vigorous) debate. Because it questioned. It asked. It didn’t just feed a line.

      I’ve skimmed the report and intend to actually sit down and read through much of it. In short, it delivers exactly what Turnbull needs, but entirely what he does not want. The truth.

      Something, again, you’ve attempted to do. It takes a sense of character to realise when one might be in the wrong, or perhaps is better the case – simply trusted more than others might.

      Asking questions is vital. Seeking answers equally so. Don’t let this dim your sense of how important this is.

      We need you to keep asking questions – because precious few, now do.

    42. Rob
      Posted 12/12/2013 at 6:26 pm | Permalink |

      Seems to me that the difference is that Libs are not delivering, and know it, whereas Labor weren’t delivering but had no idea of how badly they were falling short

      • Relim
        Posted 12/12/2013 at 6:30 pm | Permalink |

        Isn’t the difference more that Labor were trying, and the Libs were lying?

      • Lionel
        Posted 12/12/2013 at 7:01 pm | Permalink |

        No, we knew why Labor was falling short. It was available each quarter, there were facts and figures, and they all made sense.

        I think you mean some people didn’t know the extent of Malcolm’s beat up the figures to try and cover up how bad his plan is would be. Most predicted the review would look exactly like this, no surprises really. It’d just be nice if they didn’t hide all the calculations so it was easier to show how the inflated the costs. A rather large inflation, for example, increasing contingency to 20% instantly blew out costs, and blew them out even further once other costs were inflated.

      • Annie
        Posted 12/12/2013 at 10:02 pm | Permalink |

        Labor were delivering, after some early delays. Nothing wrong with that on such a huge project.
        According to Mike Quigley they are not over budget either.

        Thanks Renai, it sure is a sad day for Australia.

    43. Pete
      Posted 12/12/2013 at 6:38 pm | Permalink |

      Mate – I have always accepted your balanced view regarding the NBN and Turnbull.

      A while ago I told you I would give him the benefit of the doubt and await his performance. I also said that if he botched this job he would stand alongside Alston and Coonan as the most diabolical Communications Ministers in history.

      With this review he has cemented his place as worse than the Howard era ministers. They were bone idle luddites. Turnbull at least has some inkling of the industry. But he has shown that like all the others on the current front bench he is willing to sell Australia out for political expediency.

      His concept of the future is worse than Howard’s because he is entangling multiple hybrid networks that will take generations to untangle.

      We can only hope that the WA Senate re-election and a hoped for double dissolution rid us of these lunatics

      • PeterA
        Posted 13/12/2013 at 11:47 am | Permalink |

        The difference between Alston and Coonan, was that they supported an Ideology. You could predict where they would stand on a topic; you could predict what they would say. You might disagree, but you could understand why they would say it.

        I can respect someone that talks what they know or believe. Turnbull was just a liar.

        Turnbull came up with his fantasy of a nationwide network in 3 years supplying a minimum of 25 megabits. No matter how hard I tried without building the entire network using VDSL2, I could not understand how he was going to do that.

        Knowing how much trouble NBNCo was already having building anything; it was obvious to the extreme – given that it is the same people building a similar network albeit slightly smaller (but just as disparate and with all the same complications) – that his plan was completely impossible. I would argue it was obvious even to someone NOT technologically savvy to have determined that if he wanted to build a network across Australia with the footprint he was talking about, that given the progress of NBN Co to date it was impossible.

        So Malcolm is much worse than Coonan and Alston because it was plainly obvious to even an idiot, that what he was saying was impossible. If it is obvious to an idiot, it was obvious to Malcolm. And he maintained his lie despite this. (I didn’t see a hint of equivocation about his 25 megabits by 2016 line)

    44. Tim
      Posted 12/12/2013 at 7:03 pm | Permalink |

      I never trusted MT. He was never really that into communications yes he was a BOARD member/owner of a ISP which was bought out. NEVER was he a engineer.

      I believe that only people with relevant experience e.g. engineers in there respestive positions be given a policital portfolio in which they have experience not Dr’s, not Lawyers.

      so i guess by the time this rubbish will be completed we will be so far down the list it won’t be funny.

      whats the bet that labour gets back in tries to fix this and liberals try to bloc k it?

      The reason costs have escalated so rapidly? BECAUSE they screwed over everyone when they said they were going to do it anymore than had an about face causing problems with ALL STAKEHOLDERS, Contractors, etc.

      Now they will all want more money to get the job done as it is no longer a low – moderate contract now they are all HIGH risk contracts.

      I hope they understand that powering these nodes, replacing the copper and ongoing legal battles that will ensue due to people not wanting the nodes (because they want fibre, looks, etc) is going to make this even more expensive.

    45. Matt
      Posted 12/12/2013 at 7:16 pm | Permalink |

      Personally, Renai, the Liberal Noalition broke everyone’s trust by breaking pretty much every single promise they made as soon as they came into power, especially with the NBN, the liberal’s only think about themselves and the big pay packets they will get from the Australian People. Howard’s Coalition did it when his liberal party came into power, and Malcolm Turnbull and Tony Abbott’s Liberal Party are doing the same thing yet again.

      You don’t need to give people an apology on something that everyone knows was not your fault, you were only being impartial as best as you could be with all the forms of government, but Liberal’s can never truly be trusted. Since when have they ever looked out for the Australian People. Plus, granted the Labor’s plan may have costed a lot more, but it would have been to benefit both people at home, as well as big business in the long run, the liberal’s just don’t see that, all they see is how much they can save to put into their own salaries. I’m sorry for venting but that’s how I feel about our present government, they all just care about themselves and never about the Australian People.

      So again you have every right not to give out an apology on something that wasn’t your fault, and now has made you realise at this time that Liberal’s can not be trusted by anyone if they always go and break their promises straight after they come into power.

    46. John Smith
      Posted 12/12/2013 at 7:39 pm | Permalink |

      http://delimiter.com.au/2013/12/12/please-accept-apologies-wrong-turnbull/ can’t be viewed in any standard desktop browsers. Only when running with mobile user agent.

      • PeterA
        Posted 13/12/2013 at 11:48 am | Permalink |

        Works fine in Chrome

      • Posted 13/12/2013 at 12:03 pm | Permalink |

        Works fine for me.

        Screenshot?

    47. Soth
      Posted 12/12/2013 at 7:44 pm | Permalink |

      “In that past three years, I have attempted to treat all statements by all sides of politics on their merits” There is no need for this article, you have done what no other journo has done, report both sides of the politics, without Delimiter who knows what the heck we would be reading and believing. I say thank you for all your time and effort going into your writing and on both sides of the scales. *tips hat*

    48. Jimmy Storrier
      Posted 12/12/2013 at 7:49 pm | Permalink |

      Renai – you’ve displayed a stack of integrity over the years on the NBN, never bowing to partisanship in the face of heated discussion and have always stood for balance. It’s a shame to see you now tipped, but completely understandable.

    49. BieRHeDD
      Posted 12/12/2013 at 8:00 pm | Permalink |

      Hi Renai,

      Regarding the HFC areas, is the plan to offer open access to the HFC? Or leave it as a Bigpond / OptusNet duopoly? If it’s to be open access via NBNCo it’s a bit rich to claim users in those areas will remain on ADSL. (“Many will doubtless still be on ADSL2+ when the Coalition’s “NBN” is completed.”) If they’ve had access to 100M/2.5M infrastructure for several years and today they’re buying an ADSL2+ service then they’re currently on ADSL2+ by choice IMHO.

      I was always under the impression that HFC areas under a coalition NBN would remain HFC areas. If the plan [which it was] was to drastically lower the FTTP footprint in preference of FTTN VDSL, why would they be spending money to overbuild a HFC network which is quite capable of speeds higher than FTTN VDSL?

      Just saying I find it an odd point to base your argument on. I apologise in advance if I’ve misinterpreted your argument.

      • BieRHeDD
        Posted 12/12/2013 at 8:45 pm | Permalink |

        Ok, just read the linked article where you cover this:

        “Neither Telstra nor Optus are currently willing to connect such facilities to HFC cable unless the whole building is connected”

        and

        “Neither Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull nor Switkowski were able to answer questions this morning on how NBN Co would gain and control access to such networks, or how it would force Telstra and Optus to offer certain prices on the networks.”

        You’ve already answered my question, so I apologise.

        All I’ll add is that they have until 2016 to come up with those answers. It’s early days. I’m not thoroughly impressed by the coalition’s NBN but I’m not writing it off this early as a failure and I wouldn’t use this as evidence that Turnbull is ‘demolishing’ the NBN.

        The proposed FTTP footprint has increased from 22% to 24%.. isn’t the glass half full? :)

        • PeterA
          Posted 13/12/2013 at 11:50 am | Permalink |

          They have already stated that they cannot meet the 2016 deadline.

          That they will struggle to meed the 2019 deadline according to what I read (in teh AFR?) yesterday.

      • Posted 12/12/2013 at 8:50 pm | Permalink |

        One could argue that by the prices charges by Telstra and Optus for their HFC plans, people on ADSL2+ in those areas is not by “choice”.

      • etherspin
        Posted 13/12/2013 at 7:42 am | Permalink |

        sounds to me like a realistic observation, that for a lot of people who opted not to go on HFC , chances are it was because their particular neighbourhood had so many users already that ADSL was the best proposition, thus , in terms of the best tech available to them (for speed and reliability through the day) they will be virtually stuck with ADSL2

    50. Catching up
      Posted 12/12/2013 at 8:10 pm | Permalink |

      I would rather see NBNCo now dumped. It Turnbull goes ahead with his mismatch, it is going to take an generation to unscramble the egg. Do nothing, and lite Labor pick it up down the track.

      As Jason Clare said, yes there are problems with NBNCo, but the prudent thing, would be to keep it, and straighten the problems out. Listening to the Senate hearing, according to the no. 13 draft, many of the problems have already been dealt with.

    51. Con
      Posted 12/12/2013 at 8:19 pm | Permalink |

      Well said, Renai. I think the overwhelming response from comments demonstrates the sense of loss for what might have been. This country had the opportunity to build communications infrastructure that would have been the envy of the world. Instead, the interests of Coalition backers prevailed, and billions of dollars of public money will be wasted on a cobbled together technological nightmare that only technologically ignorant money men could inflict on us.

      This disaster will be Turnbull’s monument. Or more likely, will be long remembered bitterly as his folly.

    52. Paul Thompson
      Posted 12/12/2013 at 8:35 pm | Permalink |

      It does show strength of character to admit to a mistake, especially publicly.

      However, the question has to be asked how you got it so wrong for so long? So many well-informed and politically neutral commentators saw this coming. So many of your readers saw it coming – far too many to attribute to tribalism or bias.

      My assumption is that your personal respect and admiration for Turnbull affected your judgment.

      You insistence that this site be an evidence based site is admirable, in fact at times I wish it was even more strictly enforced on those who comment here. I would like to see other sites take a leaf out of your book.

      But having that policy and direction is only part of the equation. It is the easy part. The hard part is living with those good intentions on an ongoing basis and being faithful to them when the going gets tough. That means accepting evidence that is uncomfortable.

      I’m glad that you have been able to accept the situation as it is, and I respect that you have admitted to your error. But it has been very frustrating watching you fight against the evidence instead of embracing it – until it got too overwhelming to fight anymore.

    53. James
      Posted 12/12/2013 at 9:10 pm | Permalink |

      No need to apologise Renai.

      I always admired your stance, as it is one of the hardest things to do in journalism. However, any respect that remained for Turnbull has been completely wiped out on this day.

      The insult to those who live in the HFC footprint, but are unable to subscribe to services on it is the most cruel of all.

    54. Anthony Wasiukiewicz
      Posted 12/12/2013 at 9:56 pm | Permalink |

      Apology accepted…

    55. neilmc
      Posted 12/12/2013 at 10:02 pm | Permalink |

      It’s all going really well… .really

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1VIzT4GN1sg

      What a condescending pile of puke that is…..

    56. Posted 12/12/2013 at 10:13 pm | Permalink |

      Demolish the NBN – demolish Australia. Malcolm Turnbull is the man who has broken this nation’s heart.

    57. steve
      Posted 12/12/2013 at 10:42 pm | Permalink |

      Appears the main complaint here is about HFC staying HFC. As I don’t have HFC, can someone explain what the problem is with HFC relative to what the review says i.e. does it not in practice meet the specifications in the review?

      • Posted 12/12/2013 at 10:56 pm | Permalink |

        @steve

        HFC covers almost 30% of the country. But only about 15% of that (nearly half) can actually get an HFC connection thanks to being in an MDU. Strata law etc. makes installation very difficult & expensive.

        That also doesnt cover the fact that HFC is a shared medium. Right now, about 200 premises share 440Mbps. So during peak times, maximum throughput is often below 20Mbps, let alone the 100 offered. Add that to the fact that HFC cable modems are expensive & also relatively basic in this country & you have a recipe for a tangled mess for those, like myself, who have HFC out front but no access to it for one reason or another.

        The review states there’s a growing amount of HFC being deployed. Most is in China and its actually for TV and basic (read: 5Mbps) BB. HFC is not the way of the future in telecommunications for more than a few years.

        • steve
          Posted 12/12/2013 at 11:49 pm | Permalink |

          Thanks.Pg. 89 refers to 0.2m premises having no coax lead-in and 0.7m premises not passed by HFC in the HFC footprint.
          Page 96 refers to NBN doing both fill-in and lead-in work for premises. that need it. Would that get an HFC connection in an MDU? or is the lead-in only to a point outside the MDU?

          Relim, I see you already noted this. Would the fill-in or lead-in get an HFC connection in an MDU? or is the lead-in only to a point outside the MDU?

          • Posted 13/12/2013 at 6:48 am | Permalink |

            MDU’s must have 2 lead ins for cable:

            -The lead in to the building
            -The split & connection to each unit

            The first is relatively easy (depending on the MDU- larger ones would need their own optical node in the basement). The second is the hard part because 1) Strata law says the strata body must approve internal connections & 2) ALL tennants would have to pay for the connection or the building go on contract to pay of installation fees. Many people wouldn’t want that.

            The problem with HFC in other words is 2-fold. First, in its’ current form it needs upgrading technically to perform in peak times if more than 30% of current passed premises were to join & 2) Law stands in the way of the connection to & inside many MDUs.

            Both can be overcome. But strata law varies by state & upgrades take time & money. None of this is quick & easy & will leave a long messy trail of exceptions. Even FTTB for these MDUs would be better. At least that would be uniform & connection would be the same as connecting a phone to an apartment now. This path they’re choosing though leaves those with HFC little option for the next 3-5 years & depending on wholesale structure & money spent on upgrades, not much beyond that.

          • Alex (NBN)
            Posted 13/12/2013 at 10:33 am | Permalink |

            …and so it begins…

            The self-proclaimed unbiased (ahem) – apologists have regrouped, scripts supplied and are finally ready with a new plethora of excuses and well, bullshit…

            :/ Amazing

      • Relim
        Posted 12/12/2013 at 11:17 pm | Permalink |

        I don’t quite understand the question, but page 89 is the important part for that.

        Here’s the HFC guarantee: “peak contribution per subscriber of 4-7Mbps downstream by 2019.”

        I believe the plan is:
        - Use both Optus and Telstra HFC infrastructure.
        - Fill in the holes in the HFC footprint (in other words, “complete” the rollout that stopped years ago): 0.7 million premises are not passed by HFC in that footprint. An additional 0.2 million are passed but do not have a coax lead-in.
        - Increase capacity on the HFC network (which involves a number of things).

        • Posted 13/12/2013 at 6:52 am | Permalink |

          Relim- Optus are unlikely to back out of their $800 million HFC switch off deal. Turnbull has already admitted as such. NBNCo. may be able to buy it instead of Optus decommissioning for similar money….but Optus’ HFC has anywhere from twice to 10 times less capacity than Telstra’s cable. There would need to be considerable money & time spent on Optus’ HFC to make it worthwhile to actually carry data as a reliable standard for residential, let alone business. This is mentioned nowhere in the review afaik.

    58. Sonicmerlin
      Posted 12/12/2013 at 11:00 pm | Permalink |

      I thought it was incredibly obvious and your trust in turnbull bizarre, but you definitely win points for apologizing… And doing it quite well, not just a simple “sorry dudez” but an even-handed, well-thought article.

    59. Bruce Wallace
      Posted 12/12/2013 at 11:13 pm | Permalink |

      Thank you Renai for that honest article.
      I have just got home from work and feel devastated but I suppose not entirely surprised.
      I think this Coalition NBN should now be canned, we don’t need to waste any more money.
      We have been pushed back many years by this incompetent government.

    60. Techman83
      Posted 12/12/2013 at 11:14 pm | Permalink |

      As being one of those people to have a passionate views and discussions, I did secretly hoped I was wrong and you were right. Disappointingly a lot of what I thought has come to fruition, I’m both infuriated and dismayed.

      Especially considering an articles I read pointed out that a section relating FttP being able to be done cheaper, however it’s been redacted! Another case of the liberals imitating officer barbrady “Move along, nothing to see here”.

      Kudos on the article.

    61. B rad
      Posted 13/12/2013 at 12:05 am | Permalink |

      hi sorry Renai
      even a twelve year old knows the LNP are bare faced liars … you probably voted for them as well!!

    62. Clinton Neal
      Posted 13/12/2013 at 5:50 am | Permalink |

      The original Fibre-to-the-Premises NBN was going to deliver 97% FTTP, yesterday that was slashed to just 24% FTTP.

      HFC premises are going to be entirely excluded under the new model from FTTP, they are now considered by the LNP to already have the NBN pending negotiations with Telstra & Optus they will be locked into HFC permanently.

      The National Broadband Network “NBN” is now redefined as a Multi Technology Model “NBN” or “MTM NBN” where 41% will receive Fibre-to-the-Node or Basement if they are in a multi-dwelling establishment.

      The remaining percentage will still receive wireless & satellite pending a further review into that in the next few years.

      The major news though is that FTTP has been cut from 97% to just 24% or less.

      There is no information on who decides which area gets what technology. In many ways the strategic review raises more questions than it answers.

      Furthermore the LNP promise to deliver 25 megabits per second to all homes & businesses by 2016 has been eliminated, and it will now be pushed out to 2019 & cost $11.5 billion dollars more.

      This is a major disappointment that a majority FTTP network has been eliminated without due consideration about cutting costs & improving the speed of the rollout. No consideration has been given to flood mitigation in FTTN infrastructure.

      As both sides of politics are pushing so hard against one another the result in the Australian political system has been that nothing substantial has resulted for Australians except for the incumbent telcos like Telstra & Optus are laughing all the way to the bank as the government continues to renegotiate and hand over tens of billions of tax payer dollars for nothing in return.

      Some are questioning if the NBN has now been so politicised that the entire project cannot be completed and may as well be scrapped to save the money because they feel hopeless about any prospect of getting FTTP.

      We can’t refer to the NBN as a majority FTTP network anymore, it’s a MTM NBN now, if we want to refer to FTTP we must directly refer to FTTP to cut the acronym soup or no one will understand what we’re talking about. It’s hard enough trying to explain FTTP to the average person.

      But it’s too late to apologise now delimiter the writing has been on the wall for a long time, it’s too late now- the damage has been done, every critic of the FTTP NBN has just nailed the coffin shut there is no hope now.

    63. etherspin
      Posted 13/12/2013 at 7:55 am | Permalink |

      coalition policy technique :
      1 See policy that is an election winner for Labor
      2 launch seemingly similar policy that frames labor as wasteful and pie in the sky
      3 win over the non tech savvy,the older generation,anyone spooked about debt
      4 announce that every facet of your promise is broken (in this case, speed,costs & timeline)
      5 blame labor for every failing of your own and claim their own project would have blown out more than your own
      6 deliver your spanking new plan that benefits mates from telcos,media companies and disadvantages students,small businesses, the elderly and the disabled.

    64. Mo
      Posted 13/12/2013 at 8:32 am | Permalink |

      Thank you for the apology – it is much appreciated.

    65. Alex (NBN)
      Posted 13/12/2013 at 9:10 am | Permalink |

      Following Renai’s gracious apology…

      Strangely theres still no apologies from the usual suspects who came here to refer to us (ironically just as Malcolm did) as FttP zealots, claim that we were selfish kids wanting fast broadband (err for everyone???) to download our porn, misguided for supporting such a wasteful, Ferrari for everyone white elephant being given from their income tax dollars from a lousy mismanaged Labor government who had a leader known as juLIAR and then rattled off a few figures that happened to fit their cause to try to prove a distant second FttN network was actually best….

      Well, well, well I wonder now, if they even realise they have been mindlessly used by a political party.

      A party who also lies (you were told wake up, they are all politicians, Labor or Coalition) who’s cheaper/faster was all bullshit, who’s 74 Kingswood with new donk for everyone, just can’t happen and this being so, if these minions can now see who the actual misguided ones really were?

      Or is this all typically water off a ducks back, with their complete subservience rendering them oblivious to all of this we FttP zealots (obviously for a good reason) refer to as reality?

    66. Brad Cann
      Posted 13/12/2013 at 9:19 am | Permalink |

      We are still getting an NBN, what are you talking about Renai.

      When I asked Malcolm Turnbull what he meant when he said NBN, He replied:

      “No Broadband Network”

      Now of course he will deny this conversation ever happened if asked.

    67. Fredericko
      Posted 13/12/2013 at 10:04 am | Permalink |

      Don’t worry too much. Everyone that voted liberal at the last election was fooled by their lies. This is not the only lie being revealed and will not be the last. These clowns have no intention of serving the public interest.

    68. Nikki Parker
      Posted 13/12/2013 at 10:33 am | Permalink |

      Well said Renai and unfortunately I agree with every word you have written.

      I believed wholeheartedly that Turnbull was, even though toeing the party line, deep down a man who understood technology, understood business and understood what the country needed. I thought this would prevail in the end and we would still move forward with a National Broadband Newtork. I was wrong.

    69. Posted 13/12/2013 at 10:48 am | Permalink |

      hey everyone,

      while I can’t respond to this huge amount of comments individually, I just wanted to post briefly saying I’ve been awed and humbled by the response to this article. I’ve read every single comment and all those on social media. I truly didn’t expect almost 12,000 people to read this article. I guess public apologies are rare these days ;) Especially in the world of politics and the media.

      Thank you all for your kind words. They mean a lot to me. And I will continue to try and do a better job with my writing.

      More than anything else, I am going to continue to push for better broadband in Australia. Like so many of you, I am tired of the substandard solutions out there and of Australia being a broadband backwater. We have the money, we have the technical skill and we have the need. As a country, this is a problem we should be able to solve.

      Renai

      • Alex (NBN)
        Posted 13/12/2013 at 11:07 am | Permalink |

        “More than anything else, I am going to continue to push for better broadband in Australia. Like so many of you, I am tired of the substandard solutions out there and of Australia being a broadband backwater. We have the money, we have the technical skill and we have the need. As a country, this is a problem we should be able to solve.”

        +1

        This says it all most succinctly :)

      • RichyRoo
        Posted 13/12/2013 at 12:21 pm | Permalink |

        Most people want better broadband, the questions are who should build it, maintain it and profit from it.
        Even a free marketeer like myself can see some validity that there is a ‘natural monoploly’ in the infrastructure.

        But the NBN was a politically driven response to a problem which had already largely been solved, conceived by incompetent hacks.

        We as a nation should first concentrate on service to the digital have-nots; remote and rural especially. Then we need to ask how should gigabit speeds be facilitated in the cities and when do we need it by.

        • dJOS
          Posted 13/12/2013 at 12:45 pm | Permalink |

          “But the NBN was a politically driven response to a problem which had already largely been solved, conceived by incompetent hacks.”

          Largely been solved where exactly? I live 15 mins from the cbd in Australia’s 5th largest city and I have no HFC access and 5mbps DSL that should be 7-8 but the copper is old and not up to the task!

        • Alex (NBN)
          Posted 13/12/2013 at 12:49 pm | Permalink |

          “But the NBN was a politically driven response to a problem which had already largely been solved, conceived by incompetent hacks.”

          Seriously?

          :/ Amazing.

        • Matthew
          Posted 13/12/2013 at 4:27 pm | Permalink |

          The ones you say we should focus on is at the short end of the bell.
          They will not give a return on investment, they cannot pay for the infrastructure required to get better broadband.
          The market which you seem to trust will ignore them.

          The only way to change this is by government initiated policies and initiatives.
          Your rural Have-Nots will now be largely ignored by both the marketplace and the coalition.

          • RichyRoo
            Posted 13/12/2013 at 9:22 pm | Permalink |

            That’s what I’m saying! Connect remote and rural via policy and the market will sort out the cities.

            • Posted 13/12/2013 at 9:37 pm | Permalink |

              Richyroo, the market has had cities for a decade. There are still millions in cities with ADSL under 10Mbps. And hundreds of thousands on wireless only through no choice.

              The market in Australia is failing to provide what Australians want. Even those in cities.

              • RichyRoo
                Posted 13/12/2013 at 11:20 pm | Permalink |

                That’s the damned annoying thing about this site… I keep having my assumptions shredded by people more knowledgeable than I am.

                Ok… so there are actually people on wireless? Really? That’s bloody disgraceful!

                I guess I am lucky in that I have a good 15-18Mbps ADSL2+ connection so perhaps I take it for granted that the service is there if you want it.

                Internet infrastructure is a natural monopoly; assuming that means it should be state owned, then FTTP is obviously the better solution. I never liked the idea of cabinets, seems messy.

                The stink with the ALP policy was their ‘keep it out of consolidated revenue’ sleight of hand. If they had just fessed up, added it to the deficit and kept it in public hands I would have been happier. Still wouldn’t have voted for them, internet filter was enough for them to lose my vote for a while along with the CO2 tax, protecting parasites on the workers (i.e. union officials) from prosecution, Slipper and the self righteous tone to their spin.

                Both sides of politics have figured out that you only need to fool 50% +1 person to win an election, and the dumbest 50% count just as much as the smartest 50%.

                • Posted 13/12/2013 at 11:31 pm | Permalink |

                  “That’s the damned annoying thing about this site… I keep having my assumptions shredded by people more knowledgeable than I am.”

                  I know, right! It’s bloody annoying!!!! Damn readers. Readers ruin websites like this :)

      • Fauske
        Posted 13/12/2013 at 12:30 pm | Permalink |

        Renai, You keep up the good work Sir and we promise to keep reading your articles and continue to engage in the conversation.

        +1

      • dJOS
        Posted 13/12/2013 at 9:26 pm | Permalink |

        @Renai:

        FWIW, the main reason many of us got so worked up over your reporting on Malcolm’s FTTN proposal was not that we thought you were guilty of false balance, but rather we were disappointed that you wouldn’t dig deeper using your investigative journalist skills. Had you done this you would have reached the same conclusion as the honest members of the ICT industry, that conclusion being that Malcolm’s proposal was entirely impossible chronologically (25mbps to all by 2016), unworkable technologically (50mbps by 2019 not possible unless micro nodes installed in pits replacing huge street Nodes) and financially irresponsible (would never pay for itself before needing to be replaced).

        Mark Gregory very colourfully sums up Malcolm’s efforts to date in this video – Malcolm Turnbull is guilty of ‘greatest con job ever put to the Australian public’:

        http://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2013-12-12/turnbull-guilty-of-greatest-con-job-ever-put-to/5153116

        Anyway, we are glad to have the sceptical Renai Lemay back and we hope you apply the blow torch to any politician making claims re the LBN.

        Derek

    70. Matthew
      Posted 13/12/2013 at 11:04 am | Permalink |

      And now we move back to putting our faith in the marketplace.
      David Teoh has put his money in the right place again it seems.
      TPG fibre anyone?

      • PeterA
        Posted 13/12/2013 at 11:59 am | Permalink |

        TPG offered to install their fibre in our buildings at work.

        It was fantastic; they only required us to sign away the right for the building to let anyone else ever compete with them.

        I will never accept that replacing one vertically integrated monopoly with another is a worth while trade.

        • Posted 13/12/2013 at 12:01 pm | Permalink |

          Very interesting. I would be interested to see a copy of those terms.

          http://delimiter.com.au/anonymous-tips/

          *whistles innocently*

        • Dan
          Posted 13/12/2013 at 5:28 pm | Permalink |

          You do know that terms are negotiable, right?

          If you don’t like the terms presented, you counter offer what you are happy with. Give them, say, 8 years exclusive, and then come back and tell us what they say to that. Common commercial negotiation priciples.

    71. skoll
      Posted 13/12/2013 at 12:05 pm | Permalink |

      Good on you Renai, may God continue to point you to the Truth

    72. Mathew
      Posted 13/12/2013 at 1:32 pm | Permalink |

      > Those areas currently “served” (as laughable as that term is to many who live there) by the HFC cable footprint, it now appears, will get no upgrade at all. Many will doubtless still be on ADSL2+ when the Coalition’s “NBN” is completed.

      Is this a dummy spit because you are in a HFC area? It is fair and reasonable when you consider that these areas have on average better broadband than non-HFC areas. I appreciate it is not the best answer, but it is supposed to be about reaching a certain standard nationally.

      • Posted 13/12/2013 at 1:39 pm | Permalink |

        Matthew, I’m in an HFC area. I’m also in an MDU. If I get told I can’t get ADSL…..am I “well-served” just because I have HFC running at my front door?…

        There are millions, literally millions, in the same position. And it’s going to take years to sort out who they are, let alone actually serve them. Instead, we could’ve just given everyone FTTP. Yes, it would doubtless have taken longer and cost more than originally planned (I have my doubts about the reviews numbers however) but then it would have been uniform and easy to deal with. Instead, we get stuck with this hodge podge- likely for decades. For the sake of a couple of years and a few billion which would be insignificant in the scheme of our, Coalition approved, half trillion $ debt.

        • Mathew
          Posted 13/12/2013 at 3:47 pm | Permalink |

          > Matthew, I’m in an HFC area. I’m also in an MDU. If I get told I can’t get ADSL…..am I “well-served” just because I have HFC running at my front door?…

          The point I was making is that in my opinion areas with very long cable runs, RIMs and/or wireless only should be prioritised over HFC areas where a large percentage have access to fast speeds already. Action should be taken over the approach of Telstra and Optus to MDUs. However the fact that this issue exists partly because of the intransigence of strata corporations suggest that demand is not universal.

          • Posted 13/12/2013 at 4:02 pm | Permalink |

            If i cant get DSL & i dont have cable in my MDU….then i AM wireless only….in the middle of the city. So you’re saying im a lower prority simply because i have cable running past my apartment even if i cant connect to it or DSL??

            Also, no demand is universal. I’ve no idea why you think everyone needs to want cable before it is offered to all premises in an area. Why did Telstra bother building it in that case? Or any netwoek for that matter?

            • Mathew
              Posted 14/12/2013 at 11:54 am | Permalink |

              You are focused on yourself as one individual.

              There are entire suburbs with no HFC where ADSL is either unavailable or performance is very poor. There is every reason to prioritise those suburbs first over a suburb where a high percentage have access to 100Mbps.

              • Posted 14/12/2013 at 12:01 pm | Permalink |

                I’m not focussed on myself at all Matthew. I just moved from a regional area where our ADSL dropped out multiple times a day and even completely for 3 weeks. Luckily so did our phone, so it was repaired. I know I’m lucky to be in a suburb that is lucky enough to get ok DSL (from reports, I won’t know till mine is connected) and if you’re in a SDU, HFC.

                My point is, you seem to have this idea that there is giant areas, nicely bounded, that have zero or very little access to DSL or HFC. The facts are entirely different. There are streets that might have excellent access to both and then one street over, have neither. This is the entire problem with analysing actual BB access in Australia- there will be entirely different access even one end of a street from another in the same suburb. You only need to look at heat maps of DSL to see this.

                You are so focussed on this improvement scheme, as are the Coalition, you haven’t stopped to realise ascertaining the areas or even individual premises that need improving is probably the harder job. Why does a whole street in the middle of a suburb, maybe 60 premises, that have never had decent access to any form of fixed line internet and have ok wireless matter more than 60 premises spaced over 300 square kms in regional Australia that have ok wireless?? Who says who is more important?? You?? NBNCo.?? The Government??

                When a lovely map comes out that shows big lumps of areas with no fixed line access at all, I’ll start to think like you. Until then, I’ll live in the real world and ask the questions that real-world people are asking- I have no decent fixed line internet, but my neighbour does. How is that my fault?

    73. Posted 13/12/2013 at 3:11 pm | Permalink |

      Hi Renai, it’s refreshing to see an apology that’s an actual apology rather than the usual ‘not-pologies’ that are the standard attempt at redress these days. Kudos.

      I have no interest in recriminations. I disagreed quite a lot with your characterisation of the LNP FTTN plan as being a viable option in the lead-up to the election, in large part because I believed that it provided ammunition to the LNP to counter the dominant thread in the (non-Murdoch) press that “technical people” were almost universally dismissive of the FTTN plan. But of course at the same time I recognised that it’s not your job to implement strategies to assist with one party or the other to get re-elected even if you did prefer one of their policies. I see it as a judgement call. I thought my judgement was correct, at the time you thought yours was correct. *shrug*

      The best we can hope from journalists is that they approach their craft with integrity, and follow their instincts when reporting. Occasionally, those instincts will be ‘off’. More often, when we think those instincts are ‘off’ we likely mean that their assessment/judgement differs from our own. :-) I don’t think there’s ever been any question about your journalistic integrity, and the willingness to stand up and take your lumps without dissembling is further evidence of your character.

      Looking forward to you holding a blowtorch to the feet of politicians who seek to implement technology policy – regardless of which particular tribe of politicians happens to hold the (slim) balance of power at any given moment.

      Cheers.

    74. Jay
      Posted 13/12/2013 at 3:58 pm | Permalink |

      LBN, phrase coined.

    75. Paul
      Posted 13/12/2013 at 4:10 pm | Permalink |

      Within the next decade? That is assuming the Coalition survive the next election. It’s going to be a long three years!

    76. Daniel
      Posted 13/12/2013 at 4:48 pm | Permalink |

      Apology Accepted, have you unbanned those who have felt those been unjust by your banning spree?

    77. Gai Trewinnard-McNeill
      Posted 13/12/2013 at 4:52 pm | Permalink |

      Too damn late now!

    78. Posted 13/12/2013 at 5:06 pm | Permalink |

      This is what happens when you appoint Ziggy Switkowski as chairman of anything. Ziggy is a qualified nuclear physicist and as such is employed to watch things decay and fall to pieces. His position at the NBN is the same at it was at Telstra; to ruin it completely and to destroy the capital invested by the Australian people.

      Turnbull is doing exactly what the IPA have told him to – the Post Office, the ABC and SBS are next.
      Get used to it. This government has a mandate to repeatedly punch people in the face… and they’re doing it.

    79. Nimrod Evans
      Posted 13/12/2013 at 5:12 pm | Permalink |

      You should probably never have had ‘faith’ in a politician. They need to earn your trust.

      This is probably a good lesson to learn as a reporter. Your readers don’t care what a politician says they will do, we only care what they actually appear to be doing. Let the politicians pay for their own advertising, you don’t have to help them with it. And that goes for both sides of politics.

      Don’t ever treat what a politician says seriously unless:
      - You’ve checked the what they’re doing to move ahead on that issue, and all reports point to them meaning what they said; or
      - They have mostly followed through already; or
      - That particular politician has a long as well as recent track record of meaning exactly what they say.

      And if they have a track record of lying, be even more critical.

      We all know Politicians lie – and most lie regularly. Just assume the validity of any claim they make is an open question.

    80. Helen
      Posted 13/12/2013 at 6:57 pm | Permalink |

      With apologies to Renai.
      I can’t believe anyone in their right mind actually believed the FTTN would be anywhere near the speed of FTTP.
      My understanding is there is fibre many kilometres of fibre then this stops 100 or so meters from your house (WHY when it has to pass my house anyway) and joins to the 100 year old copper network. Now please correct me if I am wrong but I know fibre can move data much faster than copper and when that data hits the node where fibre is joined to copper WONT THAT SLOW THE DATA DOWN TO WHAT WE HAVE NOW?

    81. Helen
      Posted 13/12/2013 at 7:11 pm | Permalink |

      Maybe we should put the money that had been set aside for GMH into FTTP now that GMH have decided to leave our shores.

    82. jason
      Posted 13/12/2013 at 8:34 pm | Permalink |

      I hate to say this Renai, you can say sorry all you like though the cow, horse and sheep shit has really stuck to you..

      did you even bother to READ the POLICY at the election the edict had a min of 2017 for FTTN/C/B/DP deployments..

      if you bothered to do proper research starting around 1973 onwards you would of found out how long FTTH had been on the agenda of then TELECOM AUSTRALIA now TELSTRA and also note how long FTTH has been on the agenda on a federal GOVERNMENT level…

      Go and reread the crap you have spouted in the last 18-24 month’s and read it in a 3rd person context you might learn where you went wrong…

      A bit of research for you to do find out the D/A footprint is for 60,000-90,000 exchanges, base D/A footprint with 300 homes as standard, averaging $7,500 per home, Current D/A estimate sees a min of 2.1-2.7 million to deliver Malcolms fttx proposal..

      Reality is Renai you were banking on the LNP doing something though reality is when looking at the LNP historically are known to do nothing to benefit the Australian public, all they can cite is the ALP failings yet fail to look at their own failings…

      Lets face look at the nut shell of Turnbulls policy it was conceived 20 years ago and it was a failure then as it is now..

      Reality is that the current band-aid fix of tophat deployment had a start install date of 1985..

      sadly 24-48 mb gives you a max of 5-10 devices for 4mb service so no less 320×240-720×576 resolution that is the capacity of copper and factor in a min/max distance of 500 meters to 1st point the reality is xdsl is a dead solution to begin with…

      whilst 4k is relatively new to the TV market reality is it’s been in the HT arena for over 10-15 years so it is hardly new at this point in the game…

      I’ve been following tech related gear for many years to realize regardless of cost fibre has to come in sooner or later as current copper speed and rg-6 doesn’t have the capacity anymore.

      antenna and sat based systems may only have may be 10 years of life left before it will have to be replaced with fibre because the capacity these medium can barely support 1080p never mind 4-8k presentaitons.

      Reality is malcolms option may have a final price tag of $126 trillion.

      and its a $45-90 trillion to deliver ftth…

      40 BILLION would barely cover 1 state with FTTN or FTTH for that matter…

      saying Sorry is pointless at this stage just apologize to the people who disagreed with you…

      admit you will cop flack whether it is warranted or not because you get something right or wrong, once you comment on something you open yourself for the backlash..

    83. Diggo
      Posted 13/12/2013 at 8:57 pm | Permalink |

      Any technology expert who supported Fraudband has a lot more to do than simply apologise.
      Blind Freddy could see that Fraudband was a dud.

      Buyer’s remorse is setting in across the county, as it becomes obvious the Coalition is already a diabolical, deceptive and downright nasty government.

      There is now a steaming turd hidden within a burning paper bag on the porches of everyone who voted for the Coalition.

      Wanna make a difference Renai?
      Recruit everyone sucker-punched by the Coalition and collectively push for FTTP.

    84. jason
      Posted 13/12/2013 at 11:45 pm | Permalink |

      I for 1 will never vote LNP because most policies they bring to bare end up on the scrap heap and end up do little and do nothing attitude like normal…

      Reality is if we want FTTH will we have to build it ourselves relying on the Government to fix a problem that has been ripe in deployment cycles for so many years it isn’t funny it about time both sides of politics sit down and stop the pissing whinge and fix the problem instead of whining about who’s fault it is..

    85. Richard
      Posted 13/12/2013 at 11:47 pm | Permalink |

      The only event in the last few days that has surprised me is your apology, which could not have been very easy to pen.
      I always treat anything that comes out of a coalition politician’s mouth as garbage, all the promises and claims from Turnbull pre-election (not to mention the outright lies that continue to spout from his mouth post election) where so obviously BS I can not understand how intelligent people fell for it.
      Lets hope the Australian people wake up and send them packing first opportunity.

    86. Johnathan Nguyen
      Posted 14/12/2013 at 12:15 am | Permalink |

      MT and his camp treat Aussies as dummy, before the election, now, and will be so as he has clearly proved that today. Well, well, well. Until the average Joe Blog down the street realizes a vote he gave LNP at the last election should instead be based on facts and actions than words, Australia will continue to see more black days. Only the evil Communists like China, Vietnam, Cuba, North Korea who treat their people that way. Is Australia going down that path ?

      Many of us are, and will be with you Renai.

    87. Glenn Stephenson
      Posted 14/12/2013 at 12:37 am | Permalink |

      The NBN concept stirs so many emotions and ideas that it is one of the most hotly debated subjects in Australia over the past few years. The one thing that seems to be missing from the debate is common sense and the realisation that we are dealing with a serious problem. I am an IT Professional with my own business, as well as an ex-Telstra employee. If you treat this topic as a problem as opposed to a concept of new technology, you then add causation, impact and then solutions to the equation.

      Causation:
      When Telstra was privatised it was given the responsibility to maintain and upgrade Australia’s communications network. Telstra has had Fibre Optics for several decades, and rather than gradually replace the copper network with Fibre or Satellite technology like the rest of the world, Telstra instead chose to market Fibre as high priced broadband solutions for Business solutions, and later for their Velocity sites. As a result, the copper network was left as the primary network, which has now aged to the point of redundancy. Australia at last count was around 40th in the world as far as Internet speed goes, and this is the real problem. Causation therefore must lie squarely in the laps of the organisation that was given the responsibility to look after this infrastructure, namely Telstra.

      Impact:
      Beyond the point of having poor infrastructure and pathetic Internet, which is the loudest argument in the debate, there are other areas that are rarely raised in the debate. Every man, woman and child in Australia suffers massive loss of financial resources as a result of Telstra’s inability to do adhere to the conditions of their privatisation agreement. Add the fact that Australia is already in a massive debt situation, throw the Government the NBN ball and tell them that it is their responsibility to fix our pathetic communications problem, and you end up with disappointment and a sense of bewilderment. People have been screaming for years about this problem because it has been growing and festering to the point where the people were starved for a solution. However, the solution requires hundreds of millions of dollars to fix, and the Government doesn’t have that sort of cash flow to redirect to the problem without impacting upon other major infrastructure responsibilities. Couple this with the fact that Telstra is pouring hundreds of millions of dollars paid by Australians into their overseas Asia solution, building new fast new communications networks for neighbouring countries, and we start to see the real problem.

      Imagine our communications network as a network of country roads. So badly neglected and over populated that it is causing massive congestion and service difficulties. If Main Roads turned around and said they will build new suburban roads first, and forget about major arterials and highways, then we would be down their throats quick smart. This problem should be approached in the same manner. We have poured millions of dollars of taxpayer money into suburban solutions that are great for people in those areas, but are largely useless to the majority of the population that are not in NBN areas. The first port of call should have been the main arterials, or Fibre to the Nodes, as this would have provided relief to more Australians, and once those were completed then the march outwards to the suburbs should have commenced.

      However, I don’t believe that it is right for my hard earned taxes to be used for the NBN to correct the failures of Telstra when Telstra is clearly spending the money I pay them each month to develop and improve the communications infrastructure of another country. This great country deserves better than what Telstra dishes out to this country, and we certainly deserve better communications solutions. The only real positive out of the Government paying for the NBN is that eventually the hardware will be back in the hands of the Government, and without hardware, Telstra may very well lose the majority of their customer base.

    88. Mick Cain
      Posted 14/12/2013 at 8:10 am | Permalink |

      I live in a well established suburb in the perth metro area and cant even get ADSL due to Telstra not wanting to upgrade their Hamersley exchange, for 7 years i have tried but keep getting the same reply that I live too far from the exchange (5 km) and they offer wireless which is overpriced and inconsistent. Does anyone know how to overcome this problem.

      • Josh
        Posted 14/12/2013 at 8:39 am | Permalink |

        Mick, see this is where we have a huge problem with not installing the NBN infrastructure, for you to get ADSL2+ there would have to be another exchange installed closer to your location. This is due to the distance that you can run an internet connection over copper. Of course this won’t happen though because Telstra is about making record profits. If NBN was completed by the government then it would be controlled by the government as an asset. It would also fix the issues where people live too far from any exchange and remove outdated copper infrastructure.

    89. John Rankine
      Posted 14/12/2013 at 8:39 am | Permalink |

      Rupert sees the NBN as a threat to Foxtel. Therefore the NBN is doomed to be transformed into something that will perform so poorly as to not be a threat!!!

    90. Abel Adamski
      Posted 14/12/2013 at 8:53 am | Permalink |

      Well said Renai,
      Kudo’s for your integrity and Guts

      The warning signs of our betrayal were there
      http://delimiter2.com.au/lord-ruperts-not-at-war-with-the-nbn-its-democracy-he-has-a-problem-with/
      http://delimiter2.com.au/turnbulls-first-100-days/

    91. dJOS
      Posted 14/12/2013 at 11:33 am | Permalink |

      @ Renai:

      Just out of curiosity, do you now consider the moniker “FraudBand” to be a valid assessment of Malcolm’s LBN?

      • Posted 14/12/2013 at 12:05 pm | Permalink |

        That’s a propaganda term and I don’t like using those. I would refer to what Turnbull is doing as telecommunications policy. It’s not a “National Broadband Network” project any more, but it is policy and policy implementation.

        • dJOS
          Posted 14/12/2013 at 12:45 pm | Permalink |

          Fair enuf, just not good policy for Australia unfortunately.

        • Diggo
          Posted 14/12/2013 at 3:33 pm | Permalink |

          “Lesser Broadband Network”??? That i also a “propaganda term” and it is your own.
          Fraudband is a single word which clearly indicates the difference between what the Coalition says and what it actually does.

      • Alex (NBN)
        Posted 15/12/2013 at 8:44 am | Permalink |

        I think the most ironic part of the term fraudband is… the party who are/were recently trumpeting FttN were the ones who conned the phrase back 6 years ago and as such find it most apt…

        Remember too, just before the election Malcolm said his (lesser/fraudband) FttN plan would make FttP largely superseded… I suppose now his HFC plan makes FttP largely (completely) superseded, does it?

    92. Idryss
      Posted 14/12/2013 at 12:13 pm | Permalink |

      Like most people Renai, I was sceptical about the Libs plans as voiced. I was glad to see you treat them as you did as it imposed more debate, often rational, amongst the community rather than constant propaganda. Sorry to see that we were lied to all along and that your defence of MT to have been for this outcome.

    93. shane
      Posted 14/12/2013 at 6:43 pm | Permalink |

      I have NBN , an it is great tremendous speeds and soon Telstra will be removing the copper line to my house, and going with fibre. I also have a good friend in NBN and he gets very frustrated with the crap that is going on with the reviews and how they are written.
      Major question how can we let a company that has built the largest communications infrastructure in Australia be told to stop. Rome was not built in a day and okay it costs lot but has anybody asked what happens to the money , I know that when Armidale was cabled we had full motels from workers staying in town , buying groceries etc, The economic benefit to the town was immense. I can’t believe Australian were duped into believing any other type of net work would be better. Even Telstra was going to build a fibre network that why the copper was allowed to fall apart.

      • Diggo
        Posted 15/12/2013 at 3:02 am | Permalink |

        Mostly, Australians were not duped.
        Rather, the swinging voters were duped – a small cross section of the population who (by definition) barely engage with the issues and are easily influenced by targeted propaganda. It’s no surprise that swinging voters don’t understand the technologies and don’t have “the vision thing” which is essential to getting public support for major infrastructure projects. Same with asylum seekers, the so-called Carbon Tax and climate change in general.

        The frustrating part of this is not the swinging voters who voted the Coalition into power. The frustrating part was (and still is) supposed tech experts like Renai who really have no excuse for being so gullible and not looking being the empty rhetoric. Since when has Tony Abbott ever built anything, anything at all??? He is a wrecker and so is his government. They are a global laughing stock and an embarrassment to all thinking Australians (aside from the rich).

        Turnbull was once involved with Ozemail back in the dark ages, so he’s a guru who can be trusted?
        I Dont Think So.
        Do the words Godwin Grech mean anything? They should….that incident represents the true character of Turnbull.

        I work at the pointy end of enterprise WANs in regional areas. I know exactly what has now been lost as a result of ideology and politics. It is A Very Bitter Pill to swallow. Mea culpas from people like Renai serve no useful purpose unless those same people also now apply their energies to forcing the Abbott government to change policy. All politicians are vulnerable to the power of public opinion, but industry leaders and IT media must also publicly argue the case for a real NBN. Public opinion wont change without a concerted effort.

    94. michael
      Posted 15/12/2013 at 7:18 am | Permalink |

      This is a very interesting viewpoint on the NBN in my opinion there are two points. FIrstly, the most important thing is that the internet is available for all to use. Secondly how fast the broadband speed is, is also not that important, as it is said in life, the tortoise beats the hare.

      Technology can be good or bad depending on how it’s used. The most important thing about the internet is that it helps improve our qualitiy of life, by this I mean that technology is used in a productive and educative way. It’s more important what people use the internet for rather than the cost to the governmment for layout and the speed in which people get information. If a government encourages and provides for the internet to be used in schools and business that would be the most productive thing.

      Most importantly if technology is used in inteliigent ways in education, business and social life then all Australia will be the winner. Sorry I feel while your arguments are intelligently thought out, I do not believe they are concentrating on what is really important.

      • Diggo
        Posted 16/12/2013 at 4:38 am | Permalink |

        Whose arguments? The FTTP NBN was a major infrastructure project. It was designed to allow delivery of high bandwidth services via the internet, with education and medical services being significantly improved by the bi-directional bandwidth provided by fibre. No congestion, no contention. Those on wifi instead of fibre would receive the highest quality wifi available.
        In particular, regional areas would benefit from high bandwidth bi-directional connectivity, especially large companies with regional offices. It’s astonishing that the Nationals allowed the Liberals to wreck an infrastructure project which would have a made a HUGE difference to businesses operating in regional areas. We can only conclude that the nationals really are as brain dead as they appear.
        Like climate change, the Coalition have chosen to approach the problem on purely ideological grounds, rather than out of any concern for the citizens of Australia and the future of our country. For a government supposedly looking after the interests of business, they really are only looking after the interests of billionaires like Murdoch. In their zeal to pursue hardline ideology found on the back of a pack of IPA Weeties, they’ve completely ignored the benefits of FTTP to the vast majority of Australian businesses.

        Conservatives never build anything. They just sell our assets to their mates. Privatise profits, get the taxpayer to pay for losses, lie about everything.

    95. jason
      Posted 16/12/2013 at 8:34 am | Permalink |

      Once I saw the Start date of 2017 for any broadband POLICY the LIBS had I saw the writing on the wall of a second term which would likely see nothing being done…

      Current solution Malcolm seems to of done is to wait and see how far the FTTH project gets before FTTN and its bastard step children get the install go ahead,,

      Malcolm seems to be trying to put out fires he himself has started and can’t fix, the reality is copper in most areas of the Australian land mass is currently sitting beyond repair to the point that fibre has to be installed as the replacement network sooner rather than later,,,

      I call it as I see it, reality that we needed access to 25/5 15-20 years ago, though reality since 2008 Telstra has been systematically been degrading its basic voice service by replacing cable with a lower Diameter cable and the knock on effect is lower connection speeds..

      The term of FRAUDBAND adequate for most AUSTRALIAN’S for the simple fact that telstra’s management has sought fit not to invest the money they were paid in keeping a adequate voice service and now a internet service on top of that to boot…

      Sadly banking on a wireless and Satellite solution is just going to cause issues in the the longer term for the simple fact we now live in the industry of more than 1 device within the household requiring a internet connection..

      SAT and WIRELESS were short term solutions 20-28 years ago, in today’s market they’re all but OBSOLETE and reality is you relegate more people onto the service that it can support and within 6-12 month’s the hardware you currently use becomes obsolete because it can no longer connect to the network forcing you to upgrade at a loss to you…

    96. Tinman_au
      Posted 16/12/2013 at 1:19 pm | Permalink |

      You don’t need to apologise Renai, it’s not your fault the LNP are a pack of lying bastards…they lied about pretty well every. single. election promise…

    97. RichardU
      Posted 17/12/2013 at 3:28 pm | Permalink |

      While reviewing assessments made previously against facts as they are emerging, perhaps it would be a good idea to re-visit assessments of NBNCo’s performance up to when the board changed.

      Paul Budde seems to think so in “Should NBN Co be prosecuted?” http://bit.ly/1fAdJov

    98. Annoying Old Fart
      Posted 08/01/2014 at 1:47 pm | Permalink |

      I was wrong too. I thought that the Libs wanted the NBN to be a real commercial success, so they could flog it off to private interests and use the proceeds for electoral bribes, a model that was so successful with Telstra. But now I see the “fraudband” coming home to roost. Many people will get nothing, and most of the rest will depend on the rotting corpse of the copper network.

      Those people who voted for the most incompetent and mendacious tent of clowns in recent memory, serves you right. The rest of us can say ARRGGGHHHH! now (and for the next three years).




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