• Great articles on other sites
  • RSS Great articles on other sites

  • Featured, News, Telecommunications - Written by on Thursday, February 20, 2014 17:27 - 72 Comments

    Turnbull insists Coalition’s NBN still “national”

    turnbull

    news Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull has hit out at critics of the Coalition’s broadband policy, describing them as “ignorant” and insisting that the project still constitutes a “National” Broadband Network, despite the fact that the new Government is taking a multi-technology approach to the broadband rollout described by one senior analyst as a “dog’s breakfast”.

    The previous Labor Federal Government’s National Broadband Network project would have seen a uniform technology — Fibre to the Premises — deployed around Australia to 93 percent of premises. However, in December NBN Co’s Strategic Review recommended that it modify the approach to use a so-called “Multi-Technology Mix” approach, with technically inferior rival technologies such as Fibre to the Node and HFC cable to be used extensively in many areas.

    The move has earned the Coalition strident criticism from some sectors of the technology sector and the public. Respected telecommunications analyst Paul Budde, for example, has heavily criticised the new model, describing the approach as “a dog’s breakfast” of different technologies, which could turn out to be a “logistical nightmare” to deliver in practice. Delimiter has ceased using the term “NBN” to refer to the Coalition’s approach, preferring the alternative label of “the Coalition’s Broadband Network” or CBN. And top-tier ISP iiNet has publicly lambasted the Government for what it said was a “policy vacuum” in the broadband space.

    The policy shift has also had dramatic implications for the Tasmanian state election due to be held next month, with Tasmanian Liberal Leader acknowledging the policy could cost the party the election, and calling for Turnbull to reverse the Government’s position in the state.

    Speaking at the release of the Department of Communications’ Broadband Availability and Quality report in Sydney today, Turnbull heavily criticised those attacking the Coalition’s policy. “Some people have said that our approach means the NBN is not a national broadband network. Let me be quite clear: People who say that just show how absolutely ignorant they are about how the Internet works,” the Minister said.

    Turnbull pointed out that the Internet was so dubbed because it was a ‘network of networks.

    “If you think about it, your signals from your device to someone else’s device travel over a variety of channels,” he said. “Wireless, HFC, copper, fibre, all of them. The fact is that an NBN completed with a mix of technologies will be the same national layer 2, wholesale bitstream network, a common carrier; it’ll have all the same characteristics as an all-fibre NBN, it’ll be a wholesale network, and be available to all retail service providers to use.”

    Turnbull stated that a lot of the criticism of the Coalition’s plan underlined that the people criticising it, “mostly from the Labor Party, I’m afraid, either don’t understand the technologies at all or how the Internet works, or, more probably, they do understand how it works and they’re just trying to fool people.”

    “That’s actually pretty sad,” he added.

    With respect to the situation in Tasmania, Turnbull said Hodgman was “a passionate advocate for fibre to the premises in Tasmania” and had “definitely drunk the Fibre to the Premises kool-aid”. Turnbull said Hodgman had flown north to speak to him personally about the issue to get the best result for Tasmania.

    “With great respect to the Premier,” Turnbull said, referring to Tasmanian Labor Premier Lara Giddings, who has accused Turnbull of misleading Tasmanians on the broadband issue, “she is totally ideological about this, and she wants to lecture you, and harangue you, and harangue me, and is not very persuasive”. In comparison, he said, Hodgman went into a lot of detail regarding the broadband policy with Turnbull, and recognised that “cost matters”. “I mean it’s no good saying do FTTP regardless of cost, because consumers have to pay for it, and it’s critical that the NBN be affordable,” he said.

    The news comes as a new comprehensive study of public attitudes towards Labor’s National Broadband Network project published this month found the initiative still enjoys very high levels of widespread public support from ordinary Australians, despite what the study described as an “overwhelmingly negative” approach to the project by print media such as newspapers.

    When asked ‘Do you have a positive or negative opinion of the National Broadband Network in general?’ respondents expressed an overwhelmingly positive opinion. 26.1 percent responded with “very positive”, 38.2 percent responded with “positive”, 14.8 percent responded with “neutral”, and only 12.6 percent and 8.3 percent responded with “negative” or “very negative”, respectively.

    The analysis also considered whether political affiliation would produce any difference in attitudes to the NBN, by asking ‘Which party did you vote for in the 2010 election?’ Respondents who voted for the Liberal and/or National Parties at the 2010 election had a more negative opinion of the NBN than Australian Labor Party (ALP) voters, with ALP voters twice as likely as Liberal voters to hold very positive opinions on the NBN. However, NBN support amongst Liberal voters was still very strong, with 48 percent of that voting base supporting the project.

    A number of other surveys conducted over the past 2-3 years have consistently shown strong support for the NBN project amongst Australians, and even Coalition voters.

    Asked whether he accepted that the disapproval of the majority of Australians on the broadband issue would have an impact on the Liberal Party’s political fortunes, Turnbull pointed out that the Coalition had picked up seats in Tasmania during the 2013 Federal Election, and won the election overall.

    “There’s no doubt that the Labor Party was successful in persuading a lot of people that if you didn’t have FTTP then you may as well be living in the middle ages. But that is just such nonsense,” he said. Turnbull added that he thought that with respect to the Coalition’s policy, “seeing will be believing”.

    He added: “It’s interesting. If you talk to people that are not absolutely … that are not geeks or internet afficionados, technologists, and you say to them do you have an Internet connection at home, they’ll probably say yes. What technology is it? Most people won’t know. What is your peak speed? A lot of people won’t know that. The critical thing is getting a service that works.”

    Tasmanian history repeating
    The Tasmanian population is highly aware of broadband as an issue and has consistently raised its voice on the broadband topic as a unified group far louder than other states have. Broadband was also a critical issue in the state during the 2010 Federal Election. Tasmania has historically suffered from very poor levels of high-speed broadband compared with mainland areas, partially due to an unwillingness by rival telcos to invest because of high backhaul prices charged by Telstra across Bass Strait.

    After the 2010 Federal Election, former Howard-era Minister Peter Reith produced a report on the Coalition’s election loss. The majority of the report does not mention broadband, but one section quotes extensively from a similar report produced by Sydney academic Julian Leeser into the Tasmanian leg of the election, which has been reported in brief.

    “The failure to properly explain the Liberal Party’s broadband policy and the Labor Party’s effective scare campaign was a major cause of the party’s failure to win seats in Tasmania,” the report states. “This was the nearly universal review of people making submissions to the review and is borne out by research undertaken by the Liberal Party. In the view of many, the party’s policy amounted to a threat to come into people’s homes and rip the Internet out of the wall.”

    The report added that broadband policy had a particularly strong effect on Tasmania for a number of reasons. For starters, the fibre network was already being rolled out in some towns, and Tasmania is also often behind the mainland in receiving new technology — so the early stage NBN rollout under Labor was seen as a boost to the state, as well as having flow-on effects in terms of jobs, for example.

    In comparison, the Liberals’ policy was not as clear-cut as Labor’s. “One of the problems of the broadband policy was that nowhere in the policy document was there any carve-out for Tasmania or any explanation of what the Liberal Party would do with existing infrastructure,” wrote Leeser in the report. “Numerous senior Liberals in Tasmania had raised the issue of broadband in Tasmania with senior Federal Liberals in Canberra, but a carve-out for Tasmania was forgotten.”

    Opinion/analysis to follow.

    Image credit: NEXTDC

    submit to reddit

    72 Comments

    You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

    1. Relim
      Posted 20/02/2014 at 5:34 pm | Permalink |

      Classic Turnbull. I wish I had more to say than that.

    2. Paul Purcell
      Posted 20/02/2014 at 5:43 pm | Permalink |

      Equality in Broadband Services for all? NO! Choice of provider for all. Apparently not! This LNP Federal Government believes that only some Australians should have high speed Internet services (downloads and uploads) The rest can have what the Federal Government things they need.

      It is obvious that MP’s have never experienced congested 3G/4G services or simply the lack of any Internet services.

      Have you called a ISP Help Desk recently or managed to get the Internet connection you actually paid for? Far to many “ordinary” Australians are battling poor performing ISP’s with no provider choice. Seven to fourteen working days for a “tech” to turn up!

      Welcome to a third world digital nation. A poor to non existent digital economy and High Speed Broadband for the “privileged” few.

      The continued pursuit of “rubbish” technology in the form of CBN is astounding. Further conformation that Australia Broadband Policy is being driven by others, perhaps with motives not in the best interest of “ordinary Australians”.

      We are spending billions whatever we do when re doing our National Broadband Network. A patch up job, still costing billions, is not an alternative.

    3. Daniel
      Posted 20/02/2014 at 5:53 pm | Permalink |

      Many Whirlpoolians have called this, this isn’t a National Broadband Network.

    4. gordon451
      Posted 20/02/2014 at 5:54 pm | Permalink |

      It’s funny. I remember when we all got Colour TV. Everybody expected we would get the (lower cost) NTSC Color TV.

      Except we didn’t. We got the (higher cost) PAL Colour TV. I just can’t remeber who was PM and who was Comms Minister then…

      • vealmince
        Posted 21/02/2014 at 11:06 am | Permalink |

        The government chose PAL over NTSC in 1968, although full-time colour broadcasting didn’t start until 1975. John Gorton was Prime Minister and Alan Hulme was Postmaster-General. What’s your point?

    5. Posted 20/02/2014 at 5:57 pm | Permalink |

      Malcolm has certainly been drinking the FTTN Koolaid… :)

    6. TJW
      Posted 20/02/2014 at 6:01 pm | Permalink |

      Turnbull’s vitriol seems to have become much more severe in this speech compared to others he’s made on the subject. Seems like the constant attacks on his freshly-minted bowel movement of a network are starting to sting a little.

      I do like the fact that he labels people who understand the issue as “geeks or internet aficionados, technologists”. In effect what he’s saying is that the people who know what they’re talking about are biased and therefore aren’t worth listening to and that it’s better that the rest of the country stay ignorant of the billions of dollars about to be wasted.

      • RBH
        Posted 20/02/2014 at 6:08 pm | Permalink |

        “In effect what he’s saying is that the people who know what they’re talking about are biased and therefore aren’t worth listening to”

        Yep, you can’t trust anyone except me. The same trick used by dodgy ministers of religion and totalitarian despots the whole world over.

      • GENIII
        Posted 21/02/2014 at 3:52 pm | Permalink |

        ..the fact that he labels people who understand the issue as “geeks or internet aficionados, technologists”. In effect what he’s saying is that the people who know what they’re talking about are biased and therefore aren’t worth listening to..

        +1

        Poor ol’ Mal is not a communcation ministers asshole :(

    7. Posted 20/02/2014 at 6:07 pm | Permalink |

      According to Mr Turnbull, not only do 80% of all DA’s within ESA’s have an “A” quality rating for access to fixed BB (which includes anyone in an MDU who has no access to HFC, but has it outside their apartment….such as myself) but it’s also “Strata’s fault” that you don’t have HFC in your MDU.

      Yes, because the fact that Telstra won’t install a single HFC drop to my apartment, regardless of Strata request, is Strata’s fault….

      We all know who’s drinking Kool-aid….

      • zeebie
        Posted 21/02/2014 at 8:01 am | Permalink |

        I want some of this koolaid hes been drinking, i think it would make my life a lot happier, and even then my congested ADSL1 service might then seem high speed.

        Does anyone else get the feeling that Turnbulls office still uses paper and pens and does not use email or any other form of electronic devices?

        Imagine if pacemakers used internet connections, Anyone over 50 in Australia would be dead.

        • Ninja
          Posted 22/02/2014 at 7:56 am | Permalink |

          Don’t worry, Mal’s office has high speed internet, paid for by the taxpayers. When travelling he accesses the internet using his 4g iPad. He’s at the top of the internet tree. What annoys me is the Coalition MPs who quietly fall into line despite their constituents telling them how poor broadband is in their electorate.

    8. MarkD
      Posted 20/02/2014 at 7:20 pm | Permalink |

      “The critical thing is getting a service that works”

      So we’ve lowered the bar again, huh? Now the goal is to deliver a working service. That’s gotta be worth $40B at least.

      The strawman about people not knowing the technical details is a nice touch. Of course they don’t know a cable modem from a floppy disk. They don’t know a Lada pushrod from a Honda v-tec valve either but that doesn’t stop them recognizing quality cars.

      What they also know about is investing in the future – as the surveys continue to show. Maybe when he next talks to all these people, MTM might want to ask the more honest question of whether they want a once in a life-time investment at higher cost or a 5 year patch-up with no appreciable benefit.

    9. Denis C
      Posted 20/02/2014 at 7:35 pm | Permalink |

      Soooo,
      Renai, Paul Budde & iiNet are all “absolutely ignorant they are about how the Internet works”.

      I was using Fidonet, Goldnet etc etc before the “internet” as we have it today was even dreamed about.
      Guess that makes me “ignorant about how the Internet works” as well.

      I’d better stop listening to anyone with any real experience(including myself) and listen instead to a lying piece of @#$!/investment banker/politican .

      Yeah, like that’ll happen!

      Hope they get flogged in WA.

    10. Brett Haydon
      Posted 20/02/2014 at 7:38 pm | Permalink |

      If only Google would stop and listen to Malcolm and save themselves from wasting all those billions on rolling out FTTP.

      • etherspin
        Posted 20/02/2014 at 10:48 pm | Permalink |

        34 cities worth of Koolaid coming right up!

    11. elementalest
      Posted 20/02/2014 at 7:39 pm | Permalink |

      Yup, was just waiting for this to happen. I figured Turnbull would just change the definition and convince others it was the same thing. Much the same way as described in a post i made a while back:

      http://delimiter.com.au/2014/01/06/abandoning-national-broadband-network-label/#comment-633832

      MT will use words and spin to convince the people everything is more or less the same while preparing to pass them a stinking pile of trash – wrapping it up and placing a nice big label that says NBN and profusely spraying air freshener until the last second so people can’t smell it and wise up.

      “Turnbull stated that a lot of the criticism of the Coalition’s plan underlined that the people criticising it, “mostly from the Labor Party, I’m afraid, either don’t understand the technologies at all or how the Internet works, or, more probably, they do understand how it works and they’re just trying to fool people.”

      “That’s actually pretty sad,” he added.”
      Whats really sad is that MT fools people every day in more or less the same way he accuse these apparent majority labor opposers, all the while getting away with it. MT is still trying to make a technological issue into a political one.

    12. Dan
      Posted 20/02/2014 at 7:56 pm | Permalink |

      Delimiter has ceased using the term “NBN” to refer to the Coalition’s approach, preferring the alternative label of “the Coalition’s Broadband Network”…

      … while regular reader have taken it one step further and now refer to it as “Malcolm Turnbull’s Mess”, as it is neither a coherent single “network”, nor entirely “broadband” as far as modern definitions go.

      • GongGav
        Posted 21/02/2014 at 10:51 am | Permalink |

        I’m calling it the LNPMTMNBN myself. Far more convenient than the confusing NBN that Labor was using.

    13. MarkD
      Posted 20/02/2014 at 8:24 pm | Permalink |

      “Coalition’s Broadband Network” or CBN is far more viable than something toxic. It’s benign, it’s accurate and it minimizes the risk of the NBN-term being usurped, all of which makes it a useful handle.

      CBN works for me.

    14. Karl
      Posted 20/02/2014 at 8:43 pm | Permalink |

      “Turnbull pointed out that the Internet was so dubbed because it was a ‘network of networks.”

      Turnbull is so out of touch with reality that he doesn’t know what the project is actually called. Somebody send him a memo that says NBN stands for National Broadband Network, as in a single network, not National Broadband interNet.

      • Bpat
        Posted 21/02/2014 at 9:57 am | Permalink |

        My thinking exactly, it is a national network of networks, providing some level of broadband.

        (unless you have FTTN and it rains.) :P

      • SMEMatt
        Posted 21/02/2014 at 1:34 pm | Permalink |

        The mere fact that MT talks about it being for the internet shows he doesn’t understand the issue and explains why he is not building infrastructure that will resolve the issue.

    15. Brandon P
      Posted 20/02/2014 at 9:32 pm | Permalink |

      Upload speeds?

      Just keep asking Malcolm about upload speeds again and again and again. It is such an obvious, and major flaw in the MTM “design”, I’m not sure why he isn’t constantly hit-for-six by it.

    16. Dave
      Posted 20/02/2014 at 9:35 pm | Permalink |

      “The critical thing is getting a service that works”

      Is this clown for real! So FTTN, that will still use the crappy copper from the Node that has deteriorating joints will be the service that works. This fool has NFI, he really doesn’t.

      • grump3
        Posted 21/02/2014 at 6:50 pm | Permalink |

        I seriously doubt that Turnbull has “NFI”
        Much more likely that an investment banker with a past history of investing in communications here & FTTH overseas possibly has undisclosed pressures prompting this apparent desire to limit fibre & implement an inferior patchwork of technologies.
        4k TV & UHD movies on demand are in the works overseas as well as a general switch to Services in the Cloud while all traditional media is in decline.

        http://www.pocket-lint.com/news/125965-4k-uhd-streaming-to-begin-on-netflix-in-2014-with-house-of-cards

        Perhaps a fragmented, limited capacity CBN will be far less attractive to overseas competitors to our overpriced incumbent monopolies?
        Now where did Tony & Mal first launch their much loved FTTN?

    17. John
      Posted 21/02/2014 at 12:05 am | Permalink |

      I think MT is confusing national with notional?

    18. Bean Dip
      Posted 21/02/2014 at 2:45 am | Permalink |

      The international network links that connect all Continents and Islands forming the Global Internet for business and personal activities, use fibre optic connections, the data is bidirectional and as fast in each direction. The same technology applies to interstate, intercity and interurban network links, each exchange uses optical fibre backhaul linking to each other exchange, and a download to any user starts life as an upload from another, or from a shared server. Only optical fibre connectivity gives the reliability and massive capacity that the entire planet needs, and it has been fit for purpose for decades past and will be fit for purpose for many decades hence. So why would Australia not upgrade the antiquated parts of our telecommunications network to the same proven technology end to end. Every other industry has updated their end to end connectivity systems and logistics infrastructure, for efficiency and productivity. And they all got taxpayer support to do it, over time. Which industries did not beg for handouts and subsidies?

      The network functionality of the Internet does not discriminate between downloads and uploads. However our technically handicapped and technology illiterate politicians certainly do, they seem afraid of ubiquitous access to high speed uploads, why?

      Alas the data flow demand realities seem lost on those currently making technical decisions about Australia’s public Internet infrastructure upgrades, if the decision was instead to be made with the understanding that every person can benefit best from unhindered data transfers, be they downloads, uploads or both simultaneously at far better speeds and without unexpected dropouts or transfer impediments, then we will be gifted with the joy of having wise leadership that empowers our collective futures, regardless of the majority opinion about how important Internet capacity is for each of us individually or collectively, now or in the years ahead.

      If our electricity supply network infrastucture had been defined by the current Coalition government in a way equivalent to their proposed CBN, and our electricity supply was delivered in the way Malcolm Turnbull is forcing the rejigged NBNCo to now deliver all our data needs, the Coalition parties would be long gone, to wherever the Democrats went.

      I am told that Lebanon has appalling and unreliable electricity supply that only functions for a few hours a day, sounds like a recipe for social upheaval and hindered productivity.

      Time proves all things, and every future Australian will know at least one political truth with absolute certainty, that truth is, that any government choosing to waste substantial amounts of tax payers money polishing turds in ignorance, by putting lipstick on dead horses, will discover that they quickly become as irrelevant as the corpses of their ideology, and their rusted on Luddite supporters.

      Technology advances at seven times the rate of all other industries, a three year political term is twenty one years of industrial change in the technology sector, a communications minister has a very challenging portfolio if they are to be effective in the role, how many political minds are sharp enough to shine in such a role?

      Given the rhetoric from the current minister, I suspect it is still private money that drives his agenda and not technology. If this is correct, then the Australian public are being heavily bullied, by the rich minority with much support from the mainstream Media while portraying an illusion of democracy.

      • PeterR
        Posted 21/02/2014 at 12:10 pm | Permalink |

        Ben Dip,
        Very well said!

    19. Daniel
      Posted 21/02/2014 at 3:43 am | Permalink |

      The reason why Malcolm Turnbull uses the “Median” https://www.mybroadband.communications.gov.au

      Is because the UK uses it too.

      http://www.thinkbroadband.com/news/6310-heated-exchanges-on-broadband-at-worcestershire-county-council.html

      Note the “Median” is actually used for both download and upload on a FTTC service in the table.

      Malcolm cannot claim this is a national network for a number of reasons, one of them is the large varied of speeds people get (again check the table for a example).

      Large varied speeds in the Worcestershire County Council from 7.8% under 2Mbps to 27.6% difference.

      That’s quiet a bit, considering UK has better copper (condition wise) than we do.

      Daniel.

    20. Steve Marskett
      Posted 21/02/2014 at 7:17 am | Permalink |

      Malcolm is full of arrogance isn’t he.

    21. quink
      Posted 21/02/2014 at 7:17 am | Permalink |

      By Malcolm Turnbull’s argument, if the government bought a roost of carrier pigeons to provide IP over avian carriers, it’d also be a National Broadband Network.

      > People who say that just show how absolutely ignorant they are about how the Internet works,” the Minister said. Turnbull pointed out that the Internet was so dubbed because it was a ‘network of networks. “If you think about it, your signals from your device to someone else’s device travel over a variety of channels,”

      This, ladies and gentlemen, is Australia’s Communications Minister, responsible for the national infrastructure in this country. Yes, if you think about it copper is used within a computer as well. Hard as it may be for our Communications Minister to internalise as a concept, but people here don’t have an ideological hatred of copper being within their computer or of Ethernet cables either.

      > had “definitely drunk the Fibre to the Premises kool-aid”

      Yes, we’re part of a suicide cult. A suicide cult that believes, for some irrational reasons, that people should be able to share high quality video in the 21st century with a fidelity appropriate for a display that might cost a few hundred dollars – 4k included – with other people in the same way that you could share your voice in the early 20th over a telephone.

      A cult that, for some insane reason, doesn’t think that driving a hard disk drive to a client is a normal thing to do. A cult that actually creates things with computers rather than being just a passive content consumer. A cult that actually believes in things like “off-site backups” and is somehow deluded into thinking that pay TV providers other than FOXTEL could be a viable concern. A cult that thinks downloading high resolution topographical data and doing something with it is a normal, and not psychotic, thing to do in someone’s household. A cult that thinks that when the more dilapidated Soviet-era apartment blocks in a corrupt ex-communist country get upload speeds measured in the double digit Mbps that that’s somehow better than the 4-6 not even promised here by 2020-ish. A suicide cult that thinks that when netindex.com says the average upload speed in APAC is 8.7 Mbps that spending billions upon dozens of billions for an average of maybe 4 by 2020-ish is insane when we could be doing 40 Mbps for a similar monthly price (with an easy upgrade to 1.2 Gbps and then beyond with no more digging) at a capex that’s about equivalent over the next 15-ish years.

      But that’s OK, that cult is in the minority. Oh, what’s that? http://www.broadbandtvnews.com/2014/02/19/fast-growth-for-ultra-fast-broadband-world-market/

      12% VDSL vs. 66% FTTH/B?

      But, yes, let’s telex Mike Galvin from BT OpenReach, http://www.malcolmturnbull.com.au/communications-broadband/turnbull-transcript-bt-openreach-fttn-deployment, ask the guy holding a billion DSL patents on whether we should roll out DSL and call the FTTH zealots stupid and quasi-religious zealots who can get fucked.

      But sure, “Many areas of public policy are complex, and the media’s task of explaining them simply and clearly is not easy. But that is no excuse for a lack of basic research and balance. And most puzzling of all, why does our national broadcaster, with its global network of reporters and bureaus, have so little curiosity in what other comparable countries are doing with their broadband upgrade programs.”

      I don’t know, let’s look at this map again here of the top ten deployments, keeping in mind we’re in the Asia-Pacific region as well:

      http://www.broadbandtvnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/Top-10-FTTx-worldwide-players.png

      Just resign already or at least have the guts to cancel the whole FTTN aspect. Nobody in their right mind actually wants VDSL2 over a nice extensive ADSL2+ deployment with Annex M (BT Infinity being a nice example of that), especially at a cost of tens of billions of dollars or putting FTTP out of reach for a long while when everyone else in the region is jumping on that suicide cult bandwagon.

      If Labor’s NBN is apparently a “waste of taxpayer’s money”, then the Liberal’s thing is by far and away a much greater waste because all it delivers is a bump in speeds for most users – and that’s nice, sure – but that will take ages and ages to pay off and deliver a genuine improvement for everyone.

      Tony Abbott said something about building the roads of the 21st century.

      As someone who was born decidedly in the latter half of the 20th century, that does not refer to literal fucking roads. Roads of the 21st century does not mean bulldozers in the sky or WestConnex, no urban rail funding or highways with highways. It refers to the information superhighway.

      And the weird thing about highways is that they go two ways, not just the content delivery way.

      Except for this one, also thought out by the coalition: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Southern_Expressway

      And you know what the Howard Government’s solution to that was? All of widening it – it was an election promise. They lost.

    22. Richard
      Posted 21/02/2014 at 8:52 am | Permalink |

      Hey I don’t need a NBN the government just gave me a massive “A” for my broadband availability. Wait a minute I if u scroll down past the impressive “A” it gives my an “E” for the quality of that “A”. Based on the rating system in our schools a “C” is still a pass and anything below that is a fail right? let alone an E.

      https://www.mybroadband.communications.gov.au/

    23. Mr Creosote
      Posted 21/02/2014 at 8:56 am | Permalink |

      Its such a shame, that even at this point, 6 months after having won the election, Turnbull is still playing politics. His claim that people don’t like his plan because they are Labor voters is rubbish, and not rooted in reality. The various public surveys that have been done over the last couple of years show overwhelming support for an FTTP NBN from both sides of voters. The main reason people don’t like his plan is because its a “dogs breakfast”. It’s crap.

      We had the opportunity to do the NBN right. the future vision is gone. Politics is the name of the game now. 3 year thinking at its worst.

      As someone once said. “That’s actually pretty sad,”

    24. Dave
      Posted 21/02/2014 at 9:26 am | Permalink |

      So, where is Simon Hackett lol…..

      Don’t hear a word from him anymore in Whirlpool. What is he doing to push for FTTH or does he just sit in the board room, nod his head vertically and collect his pay packet every week. Is he advocating at all for FTTH or???

    25. patt
      Posted 21/02/2014 at 9:36 am | Permalink |

      Sartorius (fine suit full of bull), as does his cohorts, well knows (believes??) that his definitions (spins, lies?) are correct – they are experts at it.; of course it’s national – the only trouble is the hidden limitations and costs that their ideological purity demands!

      i look forward to my choice of highways and airports serving each town when i travel – will be great to see the effects of competition on their construction and operating costs – to any detractor i say that they are high speed – even if they are goat tracks and tiger moth fields.

    26. AJ
      Posted 21/02/2014 at 9:43 am | Permalink |

      “It’s interesting. If you talk to people that are not absolutely … that are not geeks or internet afficionados, technologists, and you say to them do you have an Internet connection at home, they’ll probably say yes. What technology is it? Most people won’t know. What is your peak speed? A lot of people won’t know that. The critical thing is getting a service that works.”

      This is beginning to sound a lot like the climate change deniers debate

      Don’t listen to those impartial people with knowledge about a subject lets listen to this guy who has a vested interest instead.

    27. MikeK
      Posted 21/02/2014 at 10:38 am | Permalink |

      (The Broadband Availability and Quality report has been provided to NBN Co. The company has been asked to consider the findings and prioritise construction work in underserved areas of the country, where is it logistically and commercially feasible to do so.)

      The reason these areas weren’t properly serviced in the first place was because they were logistically and or commercially unfeasible so they will probably still miss out.

    28. GongGav
      Posted 21/02/2014 at 10:49 am | Permalink |

      Its “National” in the same way our rail system has always been “national”, despite different gauges being used in different states…

      • Daniel
        Posted 21/02/2014 at 2:08 pm | Permalink |

        Actually it’s not, Rail has never been “national”.

        I don’t see “Melbourne Rail” classed as “national”, according to their website, it’s “Metro Trains Melbourne”.

        • GongGav
          Posted 21/02/2014 at 2:56 pm | Permalink |

          Which is my point. We look at our rail system as national, particularly for freight transport, yet because different gauges have been used in different states, its been a problem for 150 years.

          The LNPMTMNBN is lining up to be the same – a “national” network, made up of segments that have no relationship to the others.

          Read today (SMH from memory) that the reason we wont get 25 Mbps for everyone by 2016 is because the fixed wireless and satellite parts arent up to speed. Labor’s fault, apparently. So that means the guarantee is thrown away, and they move on to the 2019 target instead, where its 90% of the fixed line footprint having access to 50 Mbps.

          But I look back at that excuse and wonder. If its because of the fixed wireless and satellite, they have absolutely zero to do with the FttN portion of the LNPMTMNBN, which was presented as the driving force behind getting connected faster. So why isnt that part of the build, to ~70% of the population, not guaranteed to be done by 2016? The excuse, even if correct, has no bearing on the key part of the promise made.

          The second part worries me as well – 90% of the footprint having access. It doesnt mean you’ll get it, only that you’ll have access. Like MDU’s having access to HFC now.

    29. Jason
      Posted 21/02/2014 at 10:49 am | Permalink |

      It’s definitely not national, I don’t think NBN co or TurnBULL for that matter know where WA even is ;) perhaps someone should point out to him where Perth is on the map so he understands where the bulk of his spending money is coming from.

    30. MikeK
      Posted 21/02/2014 at 11:19 am | Permalink |

      No Malcolm it wont be national because you will be voted out at the next election and NBN 1 will be reinstated, please.

      Has anyone tried the MY Broadband site, it says I have ADSL at 3.79 Mbps (average) unfortunately there is NO Adsl in West Tweed Heads only mobile internet, good one Malcolm do try again, it appears that this site is a bit of a joke.

      • GongGav
        Posted 21/02/2014 at 11:20 am | Permalink |

        It says I have 18 Mbps. Which the people across the road have, and the people behind me have, but I dont. I’ve about 1/3rd that…

        • Tinman_au
          Posted 21/02/2014 at 2:01 pm | Permalink |

          It tells me I could expect 4.4Mbps ADSL, but every ISP I’ve ever contacted has told me they doubt I’d get any service at the distance I am from the exchange, but they’d be happy to come and test it (if I pay for the tech etc).

          At least I can get HFC (at 100+Mbps thankfully), with the biggest downside to that being I’m saddled with the one (expensive) ISP (Bigpond).

        • grump3
          Posted 21/02/2014 at 8:36 pm | Permalink |

          I’m informed my area has 7.13Mbps ADSL service expectations..
          An Oz Broadband test just now on mine indicated 0.68Mbps download.

          It would seem the myBroadband website’s predictions are about as plausible as Turnbull’s.

      • RocK_M
        Posted 21/02/2014 at 11:29 am | Permalink |

        Heh…

        My average is meant to be 22.2mbps.

        W/ high availability of ADSL and HFC.

        There is no HFC in my area. The cables run THROUGH our suburb because they were laid out before development started but none of the houses here can get it.

        There are also no free ADSL ports and and I’m stuck on ADSL1. Heaven help new people moving in or in the newer housing estate as they are stuck on wireless until someone moves out.

        And our area is supposed to be “A” for availability and “B” for quality. I want some of that Kool Aid!

    31. MikeK
      Posted 21/02/2014 at 11:23 am | Permalink |

      https://www.mybroadband.communications.gov.au/

      Here is the url for the governments new My Broadband site, courtesy of Fork Tongue Turnball

    32. Lionel
      Posted 21/02/2014 at 11:24 am | Permalink |

      Reading what Turnbull has to say, all I can think of is Wheaton’s Law, “Don’t be a dick”

    33. PeterR
      Posted 21/02/2014 at 11:42 am | Permalink |

      He said:
      “Some people have said that our approach means the NBN is not a national broadband network. Let me be quite clear: People who say that just show how absolutely ignorant they are about how the Internet works,” the Minister said.
      That’s very insulting, very offensive and completely irrelevant.

    34. Andrew
      Posted 21/02/2014 at 11:45 am | Permalink |

      Another example of the dishonourable Mr Turnbull name calling when people beg to differ.
      “If you know more than me then 1) you must be ignorant and 2) must be on some sort of drug”

    35. Greg Fields
      Posted 21/02/2014 at 12:09 pm | Permalink |

      The arrogance is astounding. Turdball has his head up so high up his own ass I don’t know whether to be offended or embarrassed by his remarks.

    36. Simon Shaw
      Posted 21/02/2014 at 12:14 pm | Permalink |

      The availability site is a joke. I get an A but an E for quality.

      Now get this, in the green border area, my house is Closest to the exchange.
      It states the average speed is 11mbit. I get 4.5

      Unsure, but I would think that means most people get worse speed further away.
      (Telstra says my line length is 5.5km).

      I’ll take the results of this site with some of that Kool Aid I think.

      • GongGav
        Posted 21/02/2014 at 12:54 pm | Permalink |

        I’m 800m from the exchange, as per the distance of the roads, but Telstra tell me my line length is 2.2kms…

        Site tells me I have 18.69 Mbps or something like that, when I know that the best I’ve ever seen was 8 Mbps, and that its currently far below that. And thats when I’m not sharing the line with the flatmate, iPad, etc.

    37. RocK_M
      Posted 21/02/2014 at 12:28 pm | Permalink |

      “Getting a service that works”

      It’s taking all of my self control right now to keep this post relatively expletive free. Especially w/ all the past issues I’ve had w/ my internet conection.

      Dial-up is a “service that works”. Technically my ADSL1 is a “service that works”. An HFC (or even ADSL) connection on peak hour w/ full congestion that’s reduced to dial up speeds is a “service that works”. Ask any person who’s not “tech savvy” how fun it is to talk to someone or look up a video online on these services and they’ll say “it works” but I doubt they’ll say anything else flattering after that.

      The NBN is not just about “a service that works”. It’s to provide a service that not only *works* but is also *efficient*. Honestly build it freaking properly stop making stop gap crap excuses either scrap the damn thing and “save” 41 billion or do it so it goes just beyond “it works” because we’ve had a system “that works” for more than 20 years now. “Because it works” doesn’t cut it! Especially if your throwing away billions of tax payer money!

      • Andrew
        Posted 21/02/2014 at 12:52 pm | Permalink |

        To: RocK_M I love your post. It expresses exactly how I feel too.

        The fact is Turnbull does not care because it is not his money he is spending. It is ours.
        He has no doubt personally invested in all of the necessary node architecture businesses and will make huge profits.

    38. Tinman_au
      Posted 21/02/2014 at 1:03 pm | Permalink |

      He damns himself with his own words, a “network of networks” is by definition not a single network. The only way his argument makes any sense is if it’s now called the “National Broadband Networks

      And is he trying to say he is now inventing “Internet 2.0″??? The man has no shame…

    39. PeterA
      Posted 21/02/2014 at 1:07 pm | Permalink |

      No one noticed the most important thing he said in this whole diatribe.

      “Wireless, HFC, copper, fibre, all of them. The fact is that an NBN completed with a mix of technologies will be the same national layer 2, wholesale bitstream network, a common carrier; it’ll have all the same characteristics as an all-fibre NBN, it’ll be a wholesale network, and be available to all retail service providers to use.

      I suppose he has floated by Optus and Telstra how much that will cost right?

    40. Adam
      Posted 21/02/2014 at 1:14 pm | Permalink |

      So I wonder if the last mile is not going to cost any extra, I wonder how they’ll compensate Telstra? By giving them shares in the NBNCo?

    41. Daniel
      Posted 21/02/2014 at 2:03 pm | Permalink |

      National shame is national

      Does that mean I agree with MT?

    42. Mike
      Posted 21/02/2014 at 3:11 pm | Permalink |

      Well given in my area I get an A for availability and a D for quality, I’m nonplussed as to how they plan on moving forwards. There is HFC running past and it is mostly good but I suspect a large part of that is most people would prefer to suck eggs than be signed up with Telstra.

      Even my signing up with Telstra was a last resort action simply because the CAN cannot deliver any better than 2mbps to my house. Anything beyond that is a massive stretch because the line is being pushed too hard and the yoyo effect comes into play (up, down, up, down) until it’s scaled back to almost unusable at which point stability is achieved.

      Still, it raises questions as to what happens if they force Telstra to make their HFC network open access, putting the “national” into the coalition’s broadband network.

      1. How much will it cost to purchase the HFC network from Telstra?
      2. Will Foxtel be discontinued via HFC and satellite be the method of provision for that service (and how much will Foxtel be compensated for this)?
      3. What performance guarantees/service obligations will be imposed on RSP’s and will network capacity be upgraded/expanded to support this?
      4. What upgrades will be planned for the HFC network (beyond DOCSIS 3.0) and if network hardware, capacity etc cannot fully support it, what happens then?
      5. Will those on other network types (mainly FTTP but also FTTN) be denied upgrades in the aim of promoting equality should it prove to not be cost effective to upgrade HFC networks?

      I get the feeling this has not been considered let alone thought through and when the network is made open access it will be proclaimed a great success where in reality it’ll just be another disaster in what is already a string of disasters.

    43. Nick
      Posted 21/02/2014 at 3:19 pm | Permalink |

      The average person might not know how fast (or more likely slow) their internet is.

      The average person who has tried to upload photos or videos knows how long it takes though.

      Pretty stupid asking a “average person” a “tech question”, but also deceptive and clever by turnball.

    44. grump3
      Posted 21/02/2014 at 3:32 pm | Permalink |

      “it’ll be a wholesale network, and be available to all retail service providers to use.”

      Wishful thinking once again? Or is he only talking about Labor’s now limited FTTH component as last I heard some of the present owners might have other ideas?

      Turnbull telling us FTTH would cost $94B+ may have been a generous underestimate should a change of Government even consider remediation once this dog’s breakfast really gets going.

    45. Lionel
      Posted 21/02/2014 at 3:55 pm | Permalink |

      Oh, just saw news. Now Turnbull is going to seriously conduct trials in Tasmania for using power polls to roll out FTTH cheaper.
      Has the man no shame? The only reason he is say or doing that is to help the Tasmanian election prospects. He may even do the trials and waste money.
      If you believe he Renau, so help me, I think there should be an intervention.

    46. socrates
      Posted 21/02/2014 at 6:38 pm | Permalink |

      Hey folks, go easy on the right honourable MT!

      He’s a lawyer and politician, so it might be unreasonable to expect him to interrupt his constant cascade of self-justifying words to take account of inconvenient things like real-world ‘facts’ and ‘industry experience’, when those things are mere irritants to the flow of political presentation. :)

    47. Posted 21/02/2014 at 9:24 pm | Permalink |

      FTTH Council Europe comments from Stockholm conference:
      “The FTTH Council Europe believes that public funds should only be invested in future-proof infrastructure. It is a waste of taxpayers money to spend it on short- and mid-term upgrades of existing networks, which results in an expensive multi-cycle upgrade path.” The FTTH Council Europe conference takes place in Stockholm, Sweden from 18-20 February.

      http://www.itproportal.com/2014/02/14/ftth-council-europe-welcomes-new-uk-broadband-initiative-ahead-of-stockholm-conference/

    48. TuffGuy
      Posted 21/02/2014 at 11:25 pm | Permalink |

      So the LNP have admitted their lies about the cost of the ALP NBN which will now cost only 54 billion apparently. The Malcolm Turnbull Mess (MTM) will cost around 40 billion and supposedly be updated to full FTTP within 5 years.
      Yet the LNP costings for their MTM are yet to show any figures for access to the Telstra CAN, upgrading FTTN and HFC areas to FTTP and the subsequent value of the node equipment which will have to be thrown out. It does not take a rocket scientist to figure out if straight up FTTP is only 54 billion then it will be a whole lot more expensive to do the MTM to be upgraded within 5 years to FTTP. I guess Turnbull failed his basic maths in kindergarten.

    49. TrevorX
      Posted 22/02/2014 at 1:31 pm | Permalink |

      If you ask my clients what the technical specifics of their environments are most of them won’t be able to tell you, despite receiving full plans and detailed documentation including every last part of the configuration. They don’t need to know – that’s my job. They just need a solution that meets their business objectives in the most cost efficient way available.

      Lay people never need to know technical specifics – that’s what professionals and experts are for. You can’t then dismiss the knowledge, skills and expertise of those professionals as irrelevant because people don’t know (or care to know) the details – that’s a patently ridiculous argument.

      But there’s the rub, eh? The LNP position is patently ridiculous, and yet they continue to push it because it flies with (apparently the majority of) voters.

      The problem here is experts are, as in all areas, a minority. Because we are unable to convince the majority of the public of the critical importance of this issue (OK, there are a lot of important reasons why the LNP shouldn’t be in power, but this one is a ‘killer app’) we can be marginalised by language like this – the only reason Turnbull can dismiss us is because the voting public are dismissing us. It’s not because we’re not vocal – it is because they don’t trust us – they trust Turnbull more.

      This is intellectual discrimination coming home to roost. So-called ‘tall poppy syndrome’ has always plagued this country – it is considered by many to be part of the ‘Australian identity’, not letting anyone get ‘too big for their britches’. I’ve suffered from anti-intellectual discrimination my whole life, as I’m sure many of you have. Turnbull is simply preying on this sentiment to great effect. This is not the fault of one man, or even one party – it is a problem with the culture of this country. Fix that and problems like this (and all the other idiotic policies and laws that fly in the face of available evidence) will be solved overnight.

      Good luck with that ;-)

    50. ungulate
      Posted 06/03/2014 at 10:15 pm | Permalink |

      You know the real horror of this hasn’t truly sunk in for most people. And that includes a lot of journalists. Its that the entire premise of the MTM is to build a cheaper network that is presumed to stand in place of a fibre network. Its an entirely broken premise for one simple reason.

      Its temporary.

      We all saw the tweets before the election “Why build two networks?” and so on. But did that catch on? Were the tech journalists homing on the point that fibre is inevitable, that it will cost more overall to build FTTN and then have to replace it in a few years time?

      What about now? Why don’t we all focus on educating the public on that one simple fact. What MTM amounts to is building a temporary network, costing tens of billions of dollars, that we will have to replace at additional cost. Spending more money and merely delaying the inevitable is about as close to dangerously idiotic as one could imagine. But Turnbull has locked the public debate into the assumed, but entirely wrong premise that we will never need a fully fibre network. That the copper will last for decades to come.

      Its all very well to focus on Turnbull’s belligerence, arrogance, even pettiness. But he’s been able to get away with this because he’s so successfully exploited the concept of a permanent band aid. If everyone on the street knew that FTTN is temporary, the entire edifice would crumble to dust and we wouldn’t be talking about Turnbull’s Saruman-like ability to hold sway over other minds. Instead he’d have been laughed out of town long ago.




    Get our 'Best of the Week' newsletter on Fridays

    Just the most important stories, one email a week.

    Email address:


  • Enterprise IT stories

    • Super funds close to dumping $250m IT revamp facepalm2

      If you have even a skin deep awareness of the structure of Australia’s superannuation industry, you’ll be aware that much of the underlying infrastructure used by many of the nation’s major funds is provided by a centralised group, Superpartners. One of the group’s main projects in recent years has been to dramatically update and modernise its IT platform — its version of a core banking platform overhaul. Unfortunately, the $250 million project has not precisely been going well.

    • Qld’s Grant joins analyst firm IBRS peter-grant

      This week it emerged that Peter Grant, the two-time former Queensland Whole of Government CIO (pictured), has joined well-regarded analyst firm Intelligent Business Research Services (IBRS). We’ve long had a high regard for IBRS, and so it’s fantastic to see such an experienced executive join its ranks.

    • Westpac dumps desk phones for Samsung Android mobiles samsung-galaxy-ace-3

      The era of troublesome desk phones tied to physical locations is gradually coming to an end in many workplaces, with mobile phones becoming increasingly popular as organisations’ main method of voice telecommunications. But some groups are more advanced than others when it comes to adoption of the trend. One of those is Westpac.

    • Ministers’ cloud approval lasted just a year reverse

      Remember how twelve months ago, the Federal Government released a new cloud computing security and privacy directive which required departments and agencies to explicitly acquire the approval of the Attorney-General and the relevant portfolio minister before government data containing private information could be stored in offshore facilities? Remember how the policy was strongly criticised by Microsoft, Government CIOs and Delimiter? Well, it looks like the policy is about to be reversed.

    • WA Govt can’t fund school IT upgrades oops key

      In news from The Department of Disturbing Facts, iTNews revealed late last week that Western Australia’s Department of Education has run out of money halfway through the deployment of new fundamental IT infrastructure to the state’s schools.

    • Turnbull outlines Govt ICT vision turnbull-5

      Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull has published an extensive article arguing that the Federal Government needed to do a better job of connecting with Australians via digital channels and that public sector IT projects needn’t cost the huge amounts that some have in the past.

    • NZ Govt pushes hard into cloud zealand

      New Zealand’s national Government announced a whole of government contract this morning for what it terms ‘Office Productivity as a Service’ services. This includes email and calendaring services, as well as file-sharing, mobility, instant messaging and collaboration services. The contract complements two existing contracts — Desktop as a Service and Enterprise Content Management as a Service.

    • CommBank reveals Harte’s replacement whiteing

      The Commonwealth Bank of Australia has promoted an internal executive who joined the bank in September after a lengthy career at petroleum giant VP and IT services group Accenture to replace its outgoing chief information officer Michael Harte, who announced in early May that he would leave the bank.

    • Jeff Smith quits Suncorp for IBM jeffsmith4

      Second-tier Australian bank and financial services group Suncorp today announced that its long-serving top technology executive Jeff Smith would leave to take up a senior role with IBM in the United States, in an announcement which marks the end of an era for the nation’s banking IT sector.

    • Small business missing the mobile, social, cloud revolution iphone-stock

      Most companies that live and breathe the online revolution are not tech startups, but smart smaller firms that use online tools to run their core business better: to cut costs, reach customers and suppliers, innovate and get more control. Many others, however, are falling behind, according to a new Grattan Institute discussion paper.

  • Blog, Enterprise IT - Jul 5, 2014 13:53 - 0 Comments

    Super funds close to dumping $250m IT revamp

    More In Enterprise IT


    Blog, Telecommunications - Jul 5, 2014 12:12 - 0 Comments

    What should the ACCC’s role be in guiding infrastructure spending?

    More In Telecommunications


    Analysis, Industry, Internet - Jun 23, 2014 10:33 - 0 Comments

    ‘Google Schmoogle’ – how Yellow Pages got it so wrong

    More In Industry


    Blog, Digital Rights - Jun 30, 2014 22:24 - 0 Comments

    Will Netflix launch in Australia, or not?

    More In Digital Rights