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  • Featured, News, Telecommunications - Written by on Wednesday, April 9, 2014 15:25 - 101 Comments

    Hypocrisy: Turnbull approves MTM NBN without cost/benefit analysis

    abbottturnbull

    news Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull has ordered the National Broadband Network Company to go ahead with the controversial ‘Multi-Technology Mix’ option for its broadband rollout, despite the fact that the cost/benefit analysis being conducted into the project will not be completed until the middle of 2014.

    In Opposition, one of the central criticisms which Turnbull levelled at the then-Labor Federal Government was that it had initiated its popular NBN project without conducting a cost/benefit analysis into the project’s fundamental underpinnings. Such cost/benefit analyses are commonly conducted by government agency Infrastructure Australia.

    The Coalition’s broadband policy document released in April 2013 (PDF) states regarding Labor’s NBN project: “NBN Co was created as a taxpayer-owned monopoly with a mandate to replace Telstra’s copper with fibre (and achieve a competition policy objective: the separation of Telstra’s network from its retail business). This decision was made in haste with scarcely any analysis of alternative options and with no attempt to measure its costs or benefits. ”

    It further adds: “Labor’s re-establishment of a public monopoly in a crucial sector of the economy, and its archaic refusal to weigh options, costs and benefits, or seek genuinely expert advice, demonstrate disdain for the proven policy principles of the past 30 years.”

    To address this problem, in mid-December Turnbull appointed a panel of experts, to be led by Michael Vertigan, a senior top-level Tasmanian businessman and executive who has also served as the secretary of the Department of Premier and Cabinet, as well as having an involvement with a number of other Tasmanian initiatives.

    The panel is to conduct what Turnbull described as an “independent” costs/benefit analysis and review of regulation associated with the NBN. The analysis will analyse the economic and social costs and benefits (including both direct and indirect effects) arising from the availability of broadband of differing properties via various technologies, and to make recommendations on the role of Government support and a number of other longer-term industry matters. It is expected to be handed down in mid-2014.

    However, in a speech delivered to the CommsDay Summit in Sydney this morning (and available online), Turnbull revealed he and fellow NBN shareholder minister, Finance Minister Mathias Cormann, had already given NBN Co the go ahead to significantly modify its broadband rollout plan, without awaiting the findings of the review.

    Under Labor’s previous NBN policy, some 93 percent of Australian premises were to have received fibre directly to the premise and the remainder satellite or wireless, with a new government wholesale monopoly set up in the form of NBN Co to both deploy and operate the network. The model was directly aimed at delivering Australians the best possible national fixed telecommunications network, while also resolving long-term structural problems in the sector such as the vertical integration of former national telco monopolist Telstra.

    However, NBN Co’s Strategic Review published in December last year changed the paradigm, with the company recommending (and the Coalition supporting) a vision in which up to a third of Australian premises will be served by the existing HFC cable networks of Telstra and Optus, with Fibre to the Node and Fibre to the Basement used in other areas not already covered by Labor’s FTTP approach. Satellite and wireless is to be used to cover some rural and regional areas as under Labor’s previous plan. This new model is known as the “Multi-Technology Mix” (MTM), or “the Coalition’s Broadband Network” (CBN).

    “The Government has considered the NBN Co Strategic Review’s report of 12 December 2013 and agrees that the NBN rollout should transition from a primarily fibre to the premises (FTTP) model to the ‘optimised multi-technology mix’ model the Review recommends,” the two ministers wrote to NBN Co in a revised Statement of Expectations (PDF) to the company today.

    The two ministers attached a number of conditions which NBN Co should have regard to when planning its network, including the fact that NBN Co would need to minimise peak funding requirements, optimise economic returns and enhance its financial viability.

    “The design of a multi-technology mix NBN will be guided by the Government’s policy objectives of providing download data rates (and proportionate upload rates) of at least 25Mbps to all premises and at least 50Mbps to 90 percent of fixed-line premises as soon as possible,” the two ministers wrote. “NBN Co will ensure upgrade paths are available as required.”

    Other issues the Government wishes NBN Co to take regard of are the need to prioritise areas as being poorly served with broadband; the need to ensure the “business rules” it establishes to determine which area will receive what broadband technology were “transparent” to the community, and “periodically updated; the need to integrate existing HFC cable networks owned by Telstra and Optus into the rollout where this is “feasible and economically beneficial”; and that NBN Co will trial various fibre network architectures to inform the company’s planning and decisions. Other issues were also to be considered.

    Turnbull and Cormann also noted that the next significant document which will outline NBN Co’s next moved will be the company’s forthcoming Corporate Plan for the years from 2014 to 2017. And the two ministers noted the importance of transparency measures on the part of NBN Co, including various annual and quarterly reports and briefing sessions.

    “The Statement is consistent with the Government’s view that rather than imposing technological constraints on NBN Co, politicians are better placed telling the company what objectives it should pursue, and how much Government money they have to achieve them,” said Turnbull at the CommsDay Summit this morning.

    “I can genuinely say to you this morning that I am increasingly, if given the history a little cautiously, confident about the NBN. I am confident that we are assembling the right team to successfully run the company. I am confident that a more pragmatic and cost effective high speed network can be deployed. And I am cautiously confident that we have begun to reset unrealistic expectations in the community and in doing so begun to correct a considerable amount of misinformation.”

    “I am becoming confident (this may sound idealistic) that some-time in the near future we may be able to talk less about plumbing, and focus more on how the communications sector and broader economy need to adapt and change to make the most of ubiquitous high speed broadband.”

    “I don’t want to overstate our progress since September. There’s an immense amount of work yet to be done. NBN Co’s board and management need to transform the company’s culture and capabilities, settle new deals with Telstra and Optus, and resolve the many unhelpful surprises we’ve found inside NBN Co.”

    “The Government has to settle important industry questions while picking our way through a minefield of interlocking policies, laws and commercial obligations, where everything is connected and nothing is quite as it appears. It’s a rum legacy. I sometimes wonder what Senator Conroy could have been thinking when he put this mess together – and then remind myself some questions are better left unanswered.”

    opinion/analysis
    I have only one question for Minister Turnbull today, and I suspect it is one of those that will forever go unanswered: How can the Minister possibly justify the Government’s decision to go ahead with the ‘Multi-Technology Mix’ for its broadband project, when it has not completed a cost/benefit analysis into the project? And, if the Minister will allow me a relevant follow-up question: Does the Minister consider it incredibly hypocritical to go ahead without a cost/benefit analysis, having ranted on for three straight years in Opposition about how appalling it was for Labor to have done the same?

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    1. Soth
      Posted 09/04/2014 at 3:36 pm | Permalink |

      So.. That’s it? Just like that hey.. Bugger.
      Enjoyed reading your work every day Renai *tips hat*

    2. Brad Cann
      Posted 09/04/2014 at 3:36 pm | Permalink |

      They won government, on their policies, so because of that everything they do is right, because they won office.

      • Shannon
        Posted 09/04/2014 at 3:50 pm | Permalink |

        Funny thing Brad, their election policies guaranteed a minimum of 25 mbit by 2016 to all of Australia… that’s a year and a half away Brad… I’d wager that’s impossible Brad…

        • Brad Cann
          Posted 09/04/2014 at 3:52 pm | Permalink |

          Sarcasm is obviously missed. I already know there going to subsidize private companies billions for slim to no benefit to us, yes fibre will be closer to our house, but the worst part of the copper is still closer.

      • nonny-moose
        Posted 09/04/2014 at 3:59 pm | Permalink |

        http://i.imgur.com/JdskrNi.jpg

      • deach F
        Posted 15/04/2014 at 8:03 pm | Permalink |

        Such a typical point made by people questioning their beliefs. It’s too difficult to say you vote wrong, easier to live under the facade of winning.

    3. Renny
      Posted 09/04/2014 at 3:36 pm | Permalink |

      Hypocracy? Well yes it is. Is he finally doing something after reviews upon reviews; I hope so. Anyone will tell you this is much needed infrastructure. A CBA will only serve to highlight the that need. We all know that the CBA (when delivered) will merely serve to bolster the CBN and denigrate the NBN, so he may as well get his finger out and build something instead of just throwing rocks at the former government.

    4. JC
      Posted 09/04/2014 at 3:37 pm | Permalink |

      Not even waiting for the results of the FTTN trial either… and the FTTB trial has only had peak speeds revealed (which are probably for the people on the ground floor).

      This “open and transparent” government is anything but open or transparent.

      On a vaguely related note – attempting to run the department of communications version of SpeedTest at my work resulted in this today:
      http://imgur.com/oAMkpuY

      • Soth
        Posted 09/04/2014 at 3:46 pm | Permalink |

        Seen this one earlier – http://i.imgur.com/aciQE56.jpg?1

        • JC
          Posted 09/04/2014 at 3:51 pm | Permalink |

          Yeah, so did I… now I’m reminded of that nine inch nails song, “something I can never have”

          • Soth
            Posted 09/04/2014 at 3:54 pm | Permalink |

            What MT is doing to Australian internet reminds me of another NiN song.. Yeah that one :)

    5. thenk
      Posted 09/04/2014 at 3:38 pm | Permalink |

      Oh god, it’s almost worth giving up on. Why even bother anymore, they aren’t listening.

      Somewhat OT, I watched some of QT yesterday and was suitably horrified when the Liberal party filled the chamber with laughter at questions, and then to not even address the question, spending every question’s time on rubbishing the previous government and saying they’ll do better.

      I’m yet to hear a single actual action statement – just things like ‘cutting the red and green tape’, immediately followed by ‘left in place by the previous Labor/Greens government’. WTF are they ACTUALLY doing? Obfuscating their actions is about all.

      That, and most of the Liberal politicians aren’t even paying attention to what’s going on. They’re in the background having a different conversation while whoever got the question stands up and repeatedly says ‘The governments plan is x’. The other side have almost just given up. If the general population were forced to endure even just an hour of Question Time, I’m sure they would more than likely change their vote.

      It’s sickening. Wake me up when we have a parliament who actually wants to discuss something rather than have an insult shouting match.

      • Scott Hewitt
        Posted 10/04/2014 at 1:55 pm | Permalink |

        And you can wake Me up when we get a Government that want to get off their asses and actually DO something. We’re sick to death of the LNP’s blame game and their blatant waste of Our money on ridiculously overpriced reports, studies and analyses…

        • Asmodai
          Posted 10/04/2014 at 2:27 pm | Permalink |

          While I disagree with nothing in the article (I called continuously for CBA’s during the ALP years of NBN Mk I and II, and think MT should have done the proper due diligence prior to selecting a “solution”), I find it hilarious that people are suddenly outraged because a politician lied…

          Face it, it’s not the fact he lied, it’s the fact that the bribe being offered (MTM) isn’t enough to satisfy you and the rest of the people complaining…

          “Open and transparent”… Rofl, what party in the last 20 years hasn’t promised more of that rocking horse poop?? Which party hasn’t politicised everything they could just to score points at the others expense??

          If MT had announced FTTP with no CBA after years of calling for one, I doubt many people would have cared. People are pissed because they’re not getting the top shelf product, not because a politician lied. It speaks volumes about the priorities of the electorate when we don’t care what calibre of pollie we end up with as long as we get what we want in the end.

          • Observer
            Posted 10/04/2014 at 2:43 pm | Permalink |

            “Open and transparent”… Rofl, what party in the last 20 years hasn’t promised more of that rocking horse poop?? Which party hasn’t politicised everything they could just to score points at the others expense??

            Maybe I am missing something here. So, please enlighten me. What does your answer have to do with the point? The reason for “Rofl” is that this is by far the most secretive, closed and opaque government I have witnessed in the last 40 Years. So, this makes Turnbull’s statement ridiculous and highly laughable.

    6. Daniel
      Posted 09/04/2014 at 3:38 pm | Permalink |

      It’s not the only hypocritical issue regarding the situation with NBN/MTM cost-benefit-analyst.

      Barnaby Joyce ministerial office is moving to a FTTP enabled area in Armidale in July.

      The street he listed, is actually enabled, working, and up and running.

      Why are my comments are in moderation? FFS.

    7. Tony Gratis
      Posted 09/04/2014 at 3:38 pm | Permalink |

      Again worst government ever.

    8. TJW
      Posted 09/04/2014 at 3:40 pm | Permalink |

      This is beyond a joke now. Turnbull is the biggest liar and hypocrite in the history of the communications portfolio. He’s told NBN Co to go ahead with his idiotic MTM design, despite not having completed either the Cost/Benefit Analysis that he’s been harping on about for years, nor the negotiations to actually get access to the infrastructure he needs from Telstra and Optus!! How can he tell NBN Co to build a network with infrastructure he doesn’t own??

      “Some-time in the near future we may be able to talk less about plumbing, and focus more on how the communications sector and broader economy need to adapt and change to make the most of ubiquitous high speed broadband.”

      How can he say “Ubiquitous High Speed Broadband” when he’s not evening building a ubiquitous network?? FTTN and HFC do NOT equal FTTP in terms of speeds or capacity, so by default there’s already going to be a huge divide between those with next-gen infrastructure and those without. The man has just set us back technologically for over a decade. I hope the people who voted for these clowns are happy, because they’re about to get exactly what they deserve.

      • nobody
        Posted 09/04/2014 at 5:40 pm | Permalink |

        Not to be picky, but “Talkbull” hasn’t given NBNCo approval to start construction. He has only given them approval to start the planning, which would still be redundant if, and that’s a big if, the CBA stated that FTTN wasn’t viable. No doubt the CBA will instead state that FTTN is viable, and that they should go ahead with it.

        The only hope we have left is for Telstra to hold out for more money, but given the rumours I’ve seen posted online, that may be a false hope.

        • Posted 09/04/2014 at 5:44 pm | Permalink |

          I’ll be picky too. The Statement of Expectations explicitly states:

          “The Government has considered the NBN Co Strategic Review’s report of 12 December 2013 and agrees that the NBN rollout should transition from a primarily fibre to the premises (FTTP) model to the ‘optimised multi-technology mix’ model the Review recommends.”

          Seems pretty clear to me that the MTM approach has been greenlighted. I don’t know, in fact, how it could get any clearer.

          • Soth
            Posted 09/04/2014 at 5:49 pm | Permalink |

            Is there anything the minor parties can do? Or can they just bypass them?

          • Brendan
            Posted 10/04/2014 at 1:19 pm | Permalink |

            Renai,

            Agreed.

            This tells me Turnbull already knows the Telstra outcome; either he’s going to bleed money, or Telstra are trading the network in return for legislation or network access concessions.

            They have the CAN. It’s not worth $0, without some other trade. Telstra aren’t that stupid.

            What do you think is the outcome here?

      • Scott Hewitt
        Posted 10/04/2014 at 2:08 pm | Permalink |

        Stephen Conroy was no better. I met him during the campaign that got Kevvie into the pilot’s seat, at a public meeting to highlight my suburb’s lack of quality telco infrastructure and to gather support to force Telstra to improve services. I had to go home and wash my face after it was showered with his mindless bullshit. Clueless just doesn’t cover it, and I never saw a speck of common sense anywhere in the man.
        As much as I’d like to, I’ve never met Malcolm Turnbull, but I can safely say that if he’s anything like Conroy things haven’t changed in the management of Australia’s communications landscape. Conroy couldn’t even use a computer when he was given his job, and sadly its obvious we have yet another technologically illiterate moron running a government department without an ounce of knowledge on the subject…

        • Ian M
          Posted 10/04/2014 at 3:08 pm | Permalink |

          Some wordy, sweeping generalisations there. Can you go into specifics about Conroy? Preferably without the politics.

          • Scott Hewitt
            Posted 15/04/2014 at 8:21 pm | Permalink |

            No political side was taken. The man was a moron, without any idea of technology. He turned up with a multitude of promises without doing any research about broadband, telecommunications or networking in general. He didn’t even know how far the nearest telephone exchange was away from the suburb he was in! Beside me at the time was the Northern NSW Regional Manager for Telstra Wholesale, and from what I remember – this is seven years ago so I couldn’t possibly be expected to quote word-for-word – when Mr Conroy was reading from his assistant-prepared speech the Telstra bloke spent the majority of the time shaking his head. I was stunned by the incredulity of Mr. Conroy, and it was blatantly obvious he was making a range of promises he knew nothing about, nor intended to deliver.
            The point I was trying to make in my post was simply that it doesn’t matter whether they’re Labor or LNP – they’re only interested in the power, the title, the handouts and making themselves and their mates rich. Surely there’s an end to the buck-passing by both parties over the past 20 years? Instead of talking about it, and wasting money on study after report after inquiry, get off your asses and produce a result we can see!!!

    9. David Heseltine
      Posted 09/04/2014 at 3:44 pm | Permalink |

      Sad sad day for Australia. We all saw this coming. Predicted it for months before the election. Really is depressing. Going to spend billions upon billions of tax payer money to buy 100 year old copper and outdated HFC to upgrade it to the point where most of us will end up with adsl2+ speeds. Disgraceful. Would rather they didn’t even bother and just fixed the areas with no broadband and at least saved $30B until Labor are back in government and maybe we could start again. Hope those who voted for the LNP are happy with this sham.

      • David
        Posted 09/04/2014 at 5:01 pm | Permalink |

        What’s worse is that it is doubtful that we will ever see a mass FTTH rollout in Australia for at least 15 years or more.

        Do you think any Government will attempt a FTTH rollout while the Malcolm Turnbull Mess is still being paid for? The revenue model of the Turnbull mess is far inferior to that of the Labor NBN and even if it comes in costing a few billion dollars less, it will take as long if not longer to pay off all the money borrowed to build it.

        What Malcolm “The Liar” Turnbull is doing is bordering on treasonous!

      • Asmodai
        Posted 10/04/2014 at 3:27 pm | Permalink |

        No, it’s not a “sad sad day for Australia”, it’s a disappointment for a small section of the electorate (based on the petitions/turn out to rallies etc, it would be less than 1%). For the rest of the 70% who supported the NBN in polls (because how many people would answer “Do you want faster internet?” with a no..?), it’s barely worth noticing.

        The way we treat asylum seekers is sad. The way both parties play silly buggers with the environment rather than funding research in to clean energy is sad. Having two different parties and yet feeling screwed by both is sad. Not getting the top shelf broadband product is inconvenient/annoying/displeasing, but after every thing else that has happened in the last 10 years, I can’t really bring myself to care.

        • Observer
          Posted 10/04/2014 at 10:51 pm | Permalink |

          “Not getting the top shelf broadband product is inconvenient/annoying/displeasing”

          So, that’s all it is? Getting behind the rest of the world in what is a very important competitive tool is merely inconvenient/annoying/displeasing. This says a lot about your understanding of the issues involved.

          “it’s a disappointment for a small section of the electorate”

          Who happen to understand what these issues are.

    10. Shannon
      Posted 09/04/2014 at 3:48 pm | Permalink |

      Told you so… Before the election even… Predicting the future isn’t that hard… I predict the need for 100+ mbit’s just like I predicted this government would stuff it up.

    11. Paul Grenfell
      Posted 09/04/2014 at 3:48 pm | Permalink |

      World War 3 here already? I guess we will have to Plan some Post War strategy for the destructive Aftermath.. And what an Aftermath this will be.. Darkest day in Australias history.. Like Carbon Dioxide poisoning , a silent killer.. your dead before you know it.. Too late to do anything about it.
      Where is all the Scrutiny? CBA. , Business Case, etc.. All swept under the Foxtel Carpet?
      Certainly the biggest Fraud case ever placed on the Australian Public to date..
      Royal Commission, where are you??

    12. Mark
      Posted 09/04/2014 at 3:48 pm | Permalink |

      This is absolutely unbelievable!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      Now they aren’t even trying to hide their agenda with their many review BS etc.

      What a display of hubris!!!!

    13. Brendgus
      Posted 09/04/2014 at 3:59 pm | Permalink |

      Hey at least Telstra/Foxtel/Optus will finally get a return on their HFC investment.

    14. Scarytas
      Posted 09/04/2014 at 4:02 pm | Permalink |

      Renae, I suspect that “hypocrisy” is too lenient a word to use about this turn of events.

      This whole affair borders on criminal.

      If this happened in the corporate world ASIC & probably the ACCC would have Turnbull before the courts post haste. Turnbull and Cormann are only shareholders of NBNCo by proxy to the Australian public and they have failed in their duties, not by any misunderstanding, but by deliberate deceit and deception.

      This is a sad, sad day as any last vestige of honesty in our elected representative is thrown out the window.

      • patt
        Posted 10/04/2014 at 12:06 pm | Permalink |

        Sounds like a shareholder job for Arthur S with his experience in reticulation (of water (or is it $ to the libs) – at least he wouldn’t remember when it comes to an inquiry – if pink bats is the subject of one how much more is this!

    15. Paul Grenfell
      Posted 09/04/2014 at 4:07 pm | Permalink |

      Yes. I would go so far as to say possibly Criminal.. I’m no lawyer though.

    16. Scott
      Posted 09/04/2014 at 4:20 pm | Permalink |

      So surely the Opposition are about to pounce, a decision this stupid is wide open for criticism. Major political points up for grabs!

      …Opposition? Where are you?

      • Graham
        Posted 09/04/2014 at 4:48 pm | Permalink |

        “Opposition? Where are you?”

        And if the Opposition did scream as loud as they possibly could, do you really think you would see it honestly reported anywhere outside of Delimiter and a few IT blogs?

        The mainstream media has its own way of reporting on the NBN which has nothing to do with the truth.

        • Posted 09/04/2014 at 4:53 pm | Permalink |

          “The mainstream media has its own way of reporting which has nothing to do with the truth.”

          Fixed that for you :)

          • Abel Adamski
            Posted 10/04/2014 at 3:40 am | Permalink |

            + Gazillions.
            P.S noted on a Climate article in the comments reference to the fact that News Ltd. has bought a major player in the fracking industry.

          • Brendan
            Posted 10/04/2014 at 1:21 pm | Permalink |

            <3

            Renai, this comment made my day.

      • Joe
        Posted 10/04/2014 at 2:28 pm | Permalink |

        *crickets*

    17. Daniel
      Posted 09/04/2014 at 4:24 pm | Permalink |

      “I don’t want to overstate our progress since September”

      That is all.

    18. Mark
      Posted 09/04/2014 at 4:41 pm | Permalink |

      In all seriousness, is there any chance that NBN Co will consider FTTdp and not just FTTB and FTTN given that this shareholder Ministers document states on page 2:

      “NBN Co will trial Fibre to the x (FTTx) network architectures to inform the Company’s planning and decisions”

      http://www.communications.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0014/221162/SOE_Shareholder_Minister_letter.pdf

      I’m trying to find something positive in this.

      Cheers!

    19. Ian Lake
      Posted 09/04/2014 at 5:09 pm | Permalink |

      Given that they will get 29bill (‘and not a penny more’ – Hockey), I fully expect that the HFC areas will be combined and expanded, but _not_ upgraded. Essentially, the wires will run to all of the capital cities reaches, and their’s your NBN. No upload speed upgrade to boot. Plus foxtel will be able to transmit to all in the expanded areas.

      FTTN, will be deployed at 1 node per DA. And the speed you get is what you get. And although ‘most’ ppl will get between 25-50 in each DA, once again If you are below 25mps, tough luck. No upgrade will be available to you.

      Australia will now royally be screwed for the next 20 years. No attraction from overseas firms to come here due to the crapped out upload speeds, and the indifferent download speeds. No massive boost to aus GDP, by increased technological uptake of devices built for fttp speeds. No small business revolution. No extra educational opportunities for all our kids growing up. No stay at home telehealth uptake…. The list goes on.

      Bleh!

      Malcolm Turnbull, you will be remembered. Friggen sK!

      • JasonK
        Posted 09/04/2014 at 9:13 pm | Permalink |

        Your highly generous with most ppl. I would be surprise if 50% of people get 25mbps

    20. quink
      Posted 09/04/2014 at 5:18 pm | Permalink |

      http://www.malcolmturnbull.com.au/media/coalition-committed-to-a-cost-benefit-analysis-of-nbn-conroy-wrong-again

      > Coalition committed to a cost benefit analysis of NBN (Conroy wrong again)

      And this was released yesterday. And yes, if you do the calculations, it’s exponential with an R-squared value of 0.996. That’s pretty damn near exponential.

      http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/Lookup/8153.0Chapter7December%202013

    21. Posted 09/04/2014 at 5:25 pm | Permalink |

      Lets face it though, the CBA being performed now is only being performed to meet Malcolms pre-ordained requirements anyway, this is why it is happening this way. He has guaranteed that the CBA is going to support him anyway, so when the “results come in” supporting his plan, he can say “See? Good thing we started earlier, we are already 3 months ahead!”

    22. Michael (WA)
      Posted 09/04/2014 at 5:36 pm | Permalink |

      So sad, and likely never held to account. Years later it will be analysed and shown to be purely ideological, but will turnbull and Abbott ever be held to account? Unlikely. They’ll be in their various new highly paid corporate jobs living it up, laughing about how they got away with it.

    23. Kevin Cobley
      Posted 09/04/2014 at 5:39 pm | Permalink |

      What’s a cost benefit analysis other than a bunch of opinions from an opinion maker, it’s not calculus with a defined set of mathematical rules.
      A cost benefit analysis is a valueless pile of paper that’s destined for the dust bin even before it’s written.
      The NBN CBA was always Mr Flawedband’s smoke and mirrors, if you couldn’t see that you need a doctor.

    24. Alex (NBN)
      Posted 09/04/2014 at 5:39 pm | Permalink |

      Once again, without trying to open old wounds…

      Where are all the old “actual NBN”, haters, who told us… how superior the then oppositions plan would be, how much better managed and transparent (lol…sorry)… cheaper, faster and on time (lol… sorry again)…

      Yes, we all remember them, those who derided NBNCo and Quigley personally 24/7, would twist and turn all positives into a negatives and vice versa… and of course demanded a CBA, because all good businessmen and politicians (unlike the then government) would do so…?

      Oh of course (from the told you so files) still basking in their electoral victory, while we are still here discussing the affects of both policies…

      :/ amazing

      • Michael (WA)
        Posted 09/04/2014 at 6:38 pm | Permalink |

        It would be nice to hear from them. Also the ones who sold the idea of the user pays fibre on demand model. Looks to be up in smoke now.

        No option for any of us who are getting screwed by these decisions. If you’ve got fibre your house value just went up even more.

        We all saw it coming, it was pretty obvious that turnbull was never going to deliver and that his model was lip service with no real plan behind it. Fully costed and funded my arse…minimum 25 mbps by 2016? Yeah right…

        If I tell lies in my job I’m held to account, what about these despicable bastards???

      • Richard Flude
        Posted 09/04/2014 at 11:52 pm | Permalink |

        RS we’re around, our position vindicated as the facade of the Quigley “on target and budget” mantra was destroyed and NBNCos disastrous performance you and others denied for so long was exposed.

        Billions wasted to deliver a fraction of the projected services; costs exceeded in every area, target timelines missed repeatedly, new Orwellian metrics invented, revenue below projections, etc.

        Already we are seeing greater transparency in the company, fanboys complaining the coalition in implementing exactly what they said they’d said before the election.

        With the money already committed and the project ongoing change direction is essential. A CBA should have been required before the project started, and the one due mid-year will make for fascinating reading (as was the strategic review; unsurprising how accurate some of us were).

        People should be critical of not waiting on the CBA, however it won’t show FTTH has any chance. Mix tech always the obvious solution (RS we can go to the posts), I suspect it to show a poor return for taxpayer spent.

        NBNCo needs to change direction, whilst less govt involvement (another govt monopoly? we can only wait for the final reviews) would be better at least things are moving away from the Rudd/Conroy ($4.7b not a cent more, opps we have a few minutes on a plane to redesign Oz telecoms, wait how about Pink batts, BER, …) train wreck.

        I suggest you return to the historical record. You look ridiculous.

        • Observer
          Posted 10/04/2014 at 12:33 am | Permalink |

          “Already we are seeing greater transparency in the company”

          ROFL

        • AJT
          Posted 10/04/2014 at 2:52 am | Permalink |

          NBN co where running within their stated budget, as always pp with no concept of how these sorts of projects are funded and initial push in funding that is required to get them rolling, say the same old things over and over.

          Of course the cost are going to be higher at the beginning for an extremely large undertaking like the NBN, Its the cost of the network design, physical facilities/office, backhaul and contractual costs like tenders/lawyers that is required before the street level roll outs can be started.

          No project of this kind can possibly have a simple cost calculation. You cannot simply state for example that if there are 100 home connections and the total funding has been e.g. $50M to date then 1M connections are going to cost $500 billion it simply does not work like that.

          • Richard Flude
            Posted 10/04/2014 at 11:31 am | Permalink |

            NBNCo under spent because of their rollout failure however they spent far more to deliver fewer premises than projected.

            Everyone acknowledges how these projects run, NBNCo produced business plans that failed. Their failure not ours, particularly given we were
            pointing out the absurb assumptions.

            Hundreds of abusive RS posts prove the disconnect with reality.

            • AJ
              Posted 10/04/2014 at 12:31 pm | Permalink |

              Not true the cost per connection was the same as the corporate plan even at the senate estimates Ziggy admitted this but then committed to blow the budget!

            • Alex (NBN)
              Posted 10/04/2014 at 3:47 pm | Permalink |

              Wow Richard has finally appeared at Deimiter… some 12 months on, election win under the belt and full of bravado.

              Hi Richard…

              Please now enlighten all of the Delimiter crowd, who obviously know SFA (as you did HC and myself over at ZD) with more of that far right, cyclopic wonderment… so they too can all shake their heads in disbelief.

              BER, pink batts and now more transparency, you say…nice start *rolls eyes*

              But instead of now trying to justify one’s embarrassing chosen preference of Malcolm’s complete fuck up plan, which as I recall, Richard claimed, was if he himself had written (for other readers to gain some insight into ones psyche) … Richard basically just refers to RS over and over… ?

              Gee, obviously my “former” take no bullshit and say it as it is moniker, must have really hit a nerve when previously, totally discrediting one’s crap, Richard.

              But a grudge after all this time and even with a brethren far right government now in power… Just let it go, you won and ergo, Australia’s comms and Australian’s have lost…

              Also, I see nothings changed/deja vu, in one’s complete hypocrisy of again crying foul re: perceived personal attacks, by personally attacking. If this line of commenting is still lost on you Richard, it’s no wonder understanding the NBN is still such an insurmountable challenge :)

              Welcome nonetheless, we (well I) have missed the narcissistic, flip-flopping/contradictory, pedantically childish, blind faith logic of the MIA political pawns…

        • Mikek
          Posted 10/04/2014 at 10:12 pm | Permalink |

          What a load of crap

          • Richard Flude
            Posted 10/04/2014 at 11:10 pm | Permalink |

            Spot on Mikek.

            • Alex (NBN)
              Posted 13/04/2014 at 6:09 pm | Permalink |

              Unless I’m mistaken, Mikek was replying to your comment Richard…

              So, spot on indeed…

    25. Observer
      Posted 09/04/2014 at 5:54 pm | Permalink |

      “I don’t want to overstate our progress since September”

      You certainly wouldn’t want to Malcolm. Unless, of course, the goal was to destroy a useful NBN.

    26. Goddy
      Posted 09/04/2014 at 6:31 pm | Permalink |

      The Coalition are pigheaded, moronic fools and this is not surprising in the least.

      • Chris
        Posted 10/04/2014 at 1:56 pm | Permalink |

        I’ve read a few of these comments and I think I know who the pigheaded, moronic fools are. This is not surprising in the least.

    27. Posted 09/04/2014 at 6:41 pm | Permalink |

      I think it’s safe to say, we’re screwed as a country. I wonder if there is any positions for embedded developers in New Zealand. Stuck in an area with HFC which is naturally heavily congested (and more expensive), and with an exchange less than 1km away with no ADSL2+ ports available to anyone else but Telstra, I’m at least lucky that we have ADSL1 I suppose instead of having to rely on Mobile Broadband.

    28. SimonB15
      Posted 09/04/2014 at 7:54 pm | Permalink |

      “I am becoming confident (this may sound idealistic) that some-time in the near future we may be able to talk less about plumbing, and focus more on how the communications sector and broader economy need to adapt and change to make the most of ubiquitous high speed broadband.”

      That bit really grinds my gears; how can/why should we discuss the benefits and usage of a ubiquitous network when we’re not receiving one?!

    29. Raj
      Posted 09/04/2014 at 8:34 pm | Permalink |

      MTM = Malcom Turnball Mix

    30. RBH
      Posted 09/04/2014 at 8:45 pm | Permalink |

      Deloraine in Tasmania is a delightful place. Small town inbetween Devenport and Launceston, a beautiful little river runs through the centre of town where you will see some very active platypus. Locals are friendly, perhaps talk too much when you run into them and you can have all of the 100/40 mbit goodness that your heart desires.

      Sadly, the rest of Australia just isn’t like that.

    31. Lionel
      Posted 09/04/2014 at 10:24 pm | Permalink |

      What’s the bet that if you get a reply it will be along the lines of: “We said we would do a cost benefit analysis and we are, so I do not see how we are being hypocritical”. Please see him for what he is, don’t give him the benefit of the doubt again, he’s an asshole that has no interest in anyone other than himself.

    32. Kevin Cobley
      Posted 10/04/2014 at 1:53 am | Permalink |

      Back on your skateboard Flude it’s so good to see you gone for so long, nothings changed except the Government “Liberal Fanboy”.

      • Chris
        Posted 10/04/2014 at 2:10 pm | Permalink |

        mmmm – that really added to the conversation. Good thing no one else here is a “fanboy” LOL

    33. n8
      Posted 10/04/2014 at 6:35 am | Permalink |

      For those feeling as aggrieved as I am about this, suggest writing to the “honourable” member himself as I have below. He probably won’t be listening but I do feel better after my venting…

      Dear Malcolm,

      You and your colleague Mr Abbott have consigned Australia to the broadband dustbin for the next 20+ years. Instead of leading the world with a FTTP NBN you will instead implement a sub-standard multi-infrastructure and unnecessarily complex network for approximately the same money. You will be remembered in future not as the communications visionary you would no doubt like to be remembered as, but as a man who for his own party political and personal objectives/ambitions decided to knobble the Australian telecommunications industry for the next several decades. This is the second time the LNP have made such a decision; the first being the sale of Telstra as a vertically-integrated monopoly. Australia continues to pay for that poor decision to this day.

      For you to proceed with your MTM plans without the CBA you were adamant pre-election was needed for the FTTP NBN, is the ultimate in hypocrisy. The Australian people may in the short term forget that you were the one to make this decision but they will remember in the longer term your failure to invest in their future when as a nation we are unable to compete globally due to our inadequate broadband infrastructure. The world is changing rapidly and it is being built upon IT and the internet. Those with the right IT infrastructure will win, those who don’t will lose. You have placed Australia in a losing position with this decision.

    34. Wokeye
      Posted 10/04/2014 at 9:12 am | Permalink |

      As someone who’s written a few cost-benefit analyses in my professional life, I have no illusion that the CBA will justify the govt’s position.

      Even if the costs and short-term revenue of the current build is known a bit better now after starting it, there are simply too many unknowns (ie large assumptions needed) about the future benefit of the NBN/CBN/MTM to allow an accurate assessment. How can we know how damned useful the internet will become in 20 years’ time? You couldn’t possibly predict where we are today in 1994.

      I’m deeply dissappointed with Malcolm’s form on this whole issue. So much potential for Australia, overlty undermined due to politics.

    35. patt
      Posted 10/04/2014 at 9:15 am | Permalink |

      Sartorius (fine suit full of bull) is one of the masters of the universe and as such cannot be held to what we mere mortals understand their words say – those words were meant to bind the other mob who were illegally in government denying the Tony (all hail – heil!) his rightful place.

      the mantra – competition, even when there is none or where it adds complexity and high external costs with much lower benefit levels to the masses, must be all true in the double speak. but i suppose private profit above all else is part of the litany in the worship of mammon.

      what frightens me most is that they fail (or will not) see that investment is required in any major undertaking and that, in this case, it will pay for itself and so is not a cost against the budget counts for naught – perhaps the masters should beg their business saints to explain that they do it – they might also ask about cost overruns in private project!

      oops, i should know my place!!

    36. PM Runbull
      Posted 10/04/2014 at 9:39 am | Permalink |

      The plain and hard fact is, that the NBN project would slowly come to a stop before July 1st without a clear green light for FTTP or the mixed technology. This situation started to create more and more problems planning wise for NBNCo and consequently the RSPs. Malcolm was forced to decide and that is what he did.

      Hypocrite, yes sure.

      But fact is that if no decision was taken, the NBN would have ended belly up before any analysis or audit would have been completed and that would definitely not have benefited Australians. You cannot run a project of this size without strategic direction.

      I consider that the responses of the RSPs towards the ACCC in relation to the delay of 1-year and 3 year rollout plans was perhaps the trigger for this decision. The NBN made it clear, they could not plan anymore. And as result the RSPs couldn’t plan.

      As such moment it is time to move forward.

      • mpm
        Posted 10/04/2014 at 12:02 pm | Permalink |

        Very possibly. It’s a bit rich of Turnbull and co to complain about the previous government’s lack of rigour when they’re guilty of the same thing for the same reasons (ie they need to get stuff delivered to avoid appearing incompetent).

      • Brendan
        Posted 10/04/2014 at 1:31 pm | Permalink |

        Sure, however the same reason NBNco was at risk of stopping, is the same reason it’s being started again. LNP decided to make a change.

        Conversely, if there was bipartisan support, there would be no real need for change, and thus no reason to stop.

        Yes, Malcolm had to make a decision. The mixed-technology model however was not specifically the only decision that could have been made.

        So yes, you have a point, but you are also partly excusing a rushed decision, that is of the party’s own doing.

        • Ian M
          Posted 10/04/2014 at 5:39 pm | Permalink |

          “So yes, you have a point, but you are also partly excusing a rushed decision, that is of the party’s own doing.”

          MO for the LNP. Carefully (or not so carefully) manufacture problems/crises with any gov’t project or spending, then produce solutions involving the private sector, possibly with subsidies for the short term to head off the “not profitable” responses. These subsidies can always be removed at their earliest convenience.

          The more outlandish the “problems”, the more likely their “solutions” will be generally accepted.

          Doesn’t hurt to have selected media onside either.

    37. Mr Creosote
      Posted 10/04/2014 at 10:02 am | Permalink |

      Its such a shame that people are only seeing fit to report Turnbulls hypocrisy now. Many of us have been pointing out his hypocrisy around not doing a CBA to develop policy since August 2011 when he announced he would pursue FTTN as his preferred model. The question asked then was – based on what analysis? None was ever forthcoming. Turnbull took this same model to the election in September 2013, and no one questioned how he came to the conclusions he did and where is the CBA – when it could have actually made a difference. Now, six months after the election it becomes an issue. Way too late!

    38. Johnno Bas
      Posted 10/04/2014 at 10:39 am | Permalink |

      Wait… I thought this guy was part of one of the biggest broadband providers in the country years ago. How is this an intelligent decision for Australia’s future? Turnbull does realise dialup modems aren’t used anymore right?

      • Lionel
        Posted 10/04/2014 at 12:14 pm | Permalink |

        Turnbull owned shares in one of the biggest broadband providers, enough that he became chairman. He was also chairman or MD of several other companies at the time too, including Goldman Sachs. From what I’ve read of his time there he wasn’t involved in much to do with the ISP, more trying to find a sucker to buy it before it went belly up, which it did shortly after sale to WorldCom in 1999 when the stock bubble burst in 2000. He’s not so much a doer as one of the board member circle that exists in Australia. Mates put him on their boards, he put them on boards of companies he was a board member one, a whole lot of money for little productivity. You only have to see how the Libs barely bat an eyelid when during the corruption hearings at a salary of $200K for two weeks work. It’s just what they get given. Apparently they deserve it for all the hard work. Ziggy is getting his $50+K a month and barely knows what NBN Co are doing. He seems to have been doing some work, he has Turnbull’s rhetoric down almost line for line in interviews now.

        • Soth
          Posted 10/04/2014 at 12:49 pm | Permalink |

          From what I’ve been told, he invented the internet…

      • Scott Hewitt
        Posted 10/04/2014 at 1:44 pm | Permalink |

        But dial-up modems Are still being used throughout some regions of our fair country, simply because that’s the only internet access available to them. Such a shame that NBNCo was supposed to ensure those with such sub-standard access to the world wide web receive a higher quality of service, instead directing their efforts to those already enjoying ADSL2+ (and above) speeds…

        • Ian M
          Posted 10/04/2014 at 3:14 pm | Permalink |

          Assuming you’re talking about the current/previous FTTP NBN:

          Where is dial up still being used where it would make sense to rollout the NBN right now? Which good service ADSL2 areas are having the NBN rolled out?

          Given the above, where should NBN be deployed to make some money from in order to cover a wider area?

          Some (not saying you) like to whinge about: 1. NBN not being needed, but 2. It’s happening too slowly and they should have it now anyway. 3. The NBN costs too much, isn’t making any money, but 4. It should be rolled out in all the (unprofitable) internet-poor areas first.

          These issues need to be balanced.

    39. GrackFields
      Posted 10/04/2014 at 11:50 am | Permalink |

      So either the “cost benefit analysis” is predetermined (likely) or the “honourable” minister for communications made a decision ahead of the “review”.
      Excellent work.

      • Soth
        Posted 10/04/2014 at 12:50 pm | Permalink |

        From the horses mouth “We are committed to a CBA for NBN and the Vertigan Panel has that in hand. If the CBA warrants changes to the SoE, it can be revised”
        Sooo.. if the CBA writes “this sh!t won’t make any money, go back to FTTP” Do you think he will `warrant changes`? Ha yeah right.

    40. Myke
      Posted 10/04/2014 at 12:11 pm | Permalink |

      Despite all this I have a small respect for Turnbull not pretending anymore.

      Takes guts to be a hypocrite in public, to get done what you believe is right by breaking your own rules. Turnbull’s having a fire sale on his future credibility. Hope it’s worth it.

      What’s that? Turnbull’s about to speak? Just let me swallow Salar de Uyuni.

    41. John Fraser
      Posted 10/04/2014 at 12:12 pm | Permalink |

      <

      MTM = MT Mind.

      Have a look at the moron standing beside Sir Turnbull of Copper Node.

    42. Scott Hewitt
      Posted 10/04/2014 at 1:37 pm | Permalink |

      What I still don’t understand is why does NBNCo – “created as a taxpayer-owned monopoly with a mandate to replace Telstra’s copper with fibre” – need to buy Telstra’s old copper network? Common sense tells us that the existing copper should be left to rot where it lies, and all new fiber be installed alongside it by NBNCo. The NBNCo organisation should be using every cent at their disposal to install FTTP as a priority. IT experts from across the country have all agreed that FTTN is a poor substitute, so why are the Government continuing to defy those experts, and the Australian public, who are demanding FTTP be the only solution installed? The whole thing reeks of hypocrisy, and clearly proves LNP’s ‘Jobs For The Boys’ mentality remains solidly intertwined throughout their policies.
      Telstra are a privately owned company, and our responsibility to them as taxpayers ended once the Government sold off its remaining shares. We owe them nothing! Their place in the scheme of the NBN – as a privately owned telco – should only ever be as a provider of communications services on that fiber grid, and nothing more. If they want their copper back, let them pay for its removal! Forking out $11bn for an antiquated network that is not a requirement of any FTTP solution I’ve ever heard of is ridiculous. Once the fiber is in, thereby making Telstra’s copper ‘old-hat’, NBNCo should in no way be fiscally responsible for that obsolescence. It’s exactly like owning a tiger moth and expecting Airbus to pay you when they start building an A380…

      • Brendan
        Posted 10/04/2014 at 2:20 pm | Permalink |

        I am afraid that FTTH, FTTP or even Fibre to the <insert location here that’s almost but not quite at your house> is not an option.

        Lots of cabinets and lots of arguing over how infrastructure competition happens in exclusive node construction.

        FTTN, FTTB (multi-dwelling units) HFC and Satellite are your choices. Only they aren’t actually choices, when it’s a binary of ‘one’ or ‘none’.

        But we’ll pretend they are choices. FTTH isn’t a choice. Even the offer of ‘pay to install’ has been removed. It is dead. An ex-Network. What we purchased not half hour ago.

        It went into ICU when Labor spent a year fighting itself instead of focusing on building a network. And died when the Liberal Federal Government was formed.

        Most of us could see it coming. Much like the train wreck you know is coming and yet you just can’t look away.

    43. Nefarious Wheel
      Posted 10/04/2014 at 2:16 pm | Permalink |

      How in the heck can the CBN be considered an upgrade over what we have, when it still uses the same copper lines?

      And now it’s just some network that I used to know…

    44. Posted 10/04/2014 at 7:55 pm | Permalink |

      It’s really a cool and useful piece of info. I’m satisfied that you shared this useful information with us.

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    45. Sven
      Posted 10/04/2014 at 9:23 pm | Permalink |

      Abbott’s plan to nobble Turnbull’s popularity by saddling him with the destruction of the NBN is working.

    46. tinman.au
      Posted 11/04/2014 at 1:14 pm | Permalink |

      You couldn’t write Malcolm’s stuff for TV, no one would find it believable….

      • Scott Hewitt
        Posted 11/04/2014 at 3:26 pm | Permalink |

        Nah, it fits in perfect with today’s style of reality TV, and that’s what Mr. Fraudband needs, a reality check!

    47. Arran
      Posted 12/04/2014 at 8:40 am | Permalink |

      MTM = Malcolm trash mix

    48. Posted 12/04/2014 at 1:08 pm | Permalink |

      Howdy! I simply wish to give you a big thumbs up for your excellent information you
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    49. Posted 16/04/2014 at 10:56 am | Permalink |

      OMG, guys did you check this out.?

      http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-04-16/turnbull-our-critics-are-stuck-in-the-labor-mindset/5393114

      Our critics are stuck in the Labor mindset
      The Drum
      By Malcolm Turnbull
      Posted 3 hours 5 minutes ago

      There’s no reason to be outraged that the Coalition is moving ahead with the NBN before the cost-benefit analysis is completed in the middle of the year, writes Malcolm Turnbull.




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