# I don’t know how to cover the NBN anymore

opinion Australia’s National Broadband Network project is now in uncharted territory. Beyond a joke, beyond a politicised mess, and even beyond farce, the incredibly inconsistent handling of the project by Liberal Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull has led it far outside the bounds of rational discourse or intelligent consideration.

However, as time goes on, a funny thing starts to happen. As you gain knowledge in your field and experience as a journalist, those black and white lines, as well as that stereotypical image of a journalist, start to break down.

Instead of formally interviewing people, you tend to just talk to them. Instead of all your conversations being on the record, they tend to be almost totally “on background” or “off the record”. Instead of reacting when press releases or news tips are sent to your inbox, you tend to start proactively investigating areas which you know readers will be interested in. You gain an understanding of the deeper nature of things and stop seeing things as being black and white. There are suddenly two, three or even five sides to every story, and those nuances start creeping into your writing. You’re still writing about the same topics, but in a completely different kind of way.

I’ve been this kind of journalist for quite a while now.

I mention this because I want to give readers some understanding of the nature of the quandary which is currently plaguing Australian journalists such as myself when writing about the project formerly known as the National Broadband Network, and some insight into the nature of the wider mediasphere surrounding it.

Usually once a week or so, I get the chance to catch up with a senior Australian IT industry figure of some kind or another for a detailed chat. It could be a managing director of a major technology vendor or telco, it could be a senior industry analyst, it could be a chief information officer or it could be a politician such as an MP or Senator, or one of their staff members. Usually I do this sort of thing over the phone, but sometimes it’s over coffee. It’s all off the record — usually we’re just shooting the breeze and sharing background information to mutual benefit, rather than trying to pursue a certain objective.

I tend to find, and I believe I am not alone in finding this, that at the end of the conversation, no matter who you’re talking to or what you were initially talking about, the conversation turns towards the National Broadband Project (or, if you prefer, the Coalition’s Broadband Network under the new Government).

Everyone has their view on this most universal of project, because as fundamental telecommunications infrastructure it affects everyone. Almost everyone is of the view that the long-term future should focus on Fibre to the Premises, but there are a thousand views on how to get to that point, and a thousand views on every move which the Government of the day or NBN Co makes in delivering the policy.

This isn’t new; I’ve been having these conversations ever since the formation of the NBN back in April 2009, when the project captured the public imagination. However, something new has crept into the discussion over the past six months, ever since the Coalition took power in the September Federal Election: A sense of deep confusion and disquiet about what’s going on.

Previous to the Federal Election, there was a sense that the Coalition’s rival NBN policy, although markedly inferior to Labor’s, was at least a known quantity. Senior Australian technologists knew that Shadow Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull planned to dramatically change the project, but that change was largely expected to focus on a single modification of the rollout model. And, even if few technologists liked the Fibre to the Node concept, the technology is being used in the UK and all throughout Europe. Again, this was a known quantity.

However, since the Federal Election, the conversations I’ve been having have changed in tone.

Now, when you speak to senior Australian IT industry figures about the NBN, the conversation starts the same way it used to, with various opinions being expressed about the latest news and what it means. But the enthusiasm and speculation it quickly peters off. After a few minutes, bigger and much more serious questions start to be raised and people start talking about their fears.

The first and most obvious one is the long-term future of Australia’s broadband needs. Senior Australian technologists could broadly accept Fibre to the Node as a concept from the Coalition, because it was obvious that in the long-term — say, 10 to 20 years — the fibre could be extended all the way to the premises. There’s precedent for this — in the UK, BT has already started extending its FTTN rollout to FTTP in certain areas, and there are similar movements in other countries which are a ways down the FTTN path.

However, the Coalition’s unexpected move in December to cancel the planned FTTN rollout in areas already covered by the HFC cable networks of Telstra and Optus has caused a deep-seated feeling of uncertainty in the industry.

It is certainly technically possible to open up the HFC cable networks to wholesale competition, extend their reach to more premises in their footprint, and even to extend fibre from the HFC junction points all the way to the premises. However, the problem is that this technique just hasn’t been pursued internationally to any extent. This approach will place Australia far our on its own in terms of its national telecommunications infrastructure. If it fails, as it may do, we’ll be back at square one, needing to upgrade Australia’s copper network to fibre, but potentially a decade or more behind other countries on that curve.

When you get to a senior level in the technology sector, more so than any other sector, you become aware that ‘going it alone’ in a technical sense and trying new things is a highly risky endeavour. Technology investment cycles are all about investing with the crowd at the right point on the development cycle. Invest too early (for example: The first Dot Com boom), and you may find the technology you’re investing in is overhyped and will be dropped quickly. Invest in the wrong technology (for example, WiMax) you will quickly find the industry passes you by as it focuses its efforts on something else.

Australia’s mobile networks have become the best in the world because companies such as Hutchison and Telstra massively invested at the right time in the right technology (3G) and in the right spectrum bands. But with its HFC cable move, many senior Australian figures suspect, the Coalition is investing too late in a technology which is increasingly viewed as obsolescent.

Then too, the disquiet also extends to other issues.

Malcolm Turnbull came to power as Communications Minister promising a clear set of broadband objectives for NBN Co, delivered through a clear set of technologies, with an additional mandate to increase the transparency and accountability of the project. But since that time, almost every element of the Member for Wentworth’s platform has been thrown out the window. Despite the Minister’s protestations, it has become very clear throughout the past six months that Turnbull has no intention of even pretending to play by the rules he laid down for the governance of NBN Co and the project as a whole.

Turnbull spent much of his time in Opposition heavily criticising the previous Labor administration’s approach to the NBN, including NBN Co’s executive team and the project’s lack of a cost/benefit analysis.

But in his first six months in the role, our new Communications Minister has subverted NBN Co’s organic hiring process by putting in place an executive team at the company with which he, or the Liberal Party, have existing close links, jettisoning along the way a number of executives and board directors who didn’t fit the mould.

That team, and a cluster of consulting firms which Turnbull originally said wouldn’t be hired, put together a supposedly independent Strategic Review of the company’s operations and future which conveniently perfectly fit the Minister’s vision for a future landscape based on HFC cable and Fibre to the Node.

And of course, yesterday Turnbull abandoned any pretence at consistency by ordering NBN Co to go ahead with the ‘Multi-Technology Mix’ approach recommended by the Strategic Review, without even waiting for his own cost/benefit analysis to be delivered — an analysis, we might also note, that had already been stacked with open Liberal supporter and staunch critic of Labor’s NBN vision, Henry Ergas. Questioned about the move, Turnbull said it was aimed at allowing NBN Co to get on with its job — a luxury he certainly never afforded Labor.

In my conversations with senior IT industry figures, there has always been a degree of understanding of the politicisation of the NBN project. People understand that the best technical or commercial outcome may, at times, be sacrificed to political aims for the sake of expediency. That’s nothing new: The sector as a whole is experienced with this dynamic because of the decade-long process of opening the industry to competition and privatising Telstra. A certain amount of this is viewed as the cost of doing business with the Government.

However, the level of disquiet in the conversations I am having at the moment speaks to something deeper. The IT industry is highly aware that Turnbull has, only a few months after the election, completely abandoned the policy the Coalition took to the election, installed his own cronies at NBN Co and is pumping out a series of heavily compromised audits and reviews, some of which appear solely aimed at ensuring Labor will never win power again. Along the way, the Minister is regularly saying one thing and doing something completely different, including blithely taking steps which he strongly criticised the previous Government for.

And there is also the ongoing investment stasis which Turnbull has placed the telecommunications industry in, courtesy of his ongoing refusal to make a regulatory decision about whether TPG, Telstra, Optus and iiNet should be allowed to deploy their own networks in competition with NBN Co’s infrastructure.

The incredible ongoing performances of NBN Co executive chairman Ziggy Switkowski, in which he appears unable to speak the name of his own company (repeatedly referring to it as “NBN” instead of “NBN Co”) and constantly downplaying the need for fast broadband to the Senate as well as stating that NBN Co’s technology choices don’t actually matter, are not helping matters.

Amid all this, precious little attention appears to be being paid to the risk of catastrophic long-term outcomes for Australia’s broadband environment as a whole.

Against my own wishes, I am viewed as something of an expert on the NBN, having reported on the telco sector for most of the past decade. And so it is natural that I am asked, constantly, virtually every day, for my private opinion on what is going to happen next. What does it all mean? Is the Coalition seriously trying to destroy the whole project? What will the future of Australia’s telecommunications environment look like? Is Turnbull mad? Or just incompetent?

I try to explain to people the truth: That we have a Minister who is constantly, on a daily basis, acting chaotically, inconsistently and without integrity; sometimes even unethically. That it’s impossible to forecast the path of NBN Co or the rest of the industry because of this fact. That, when it really comes down to it, I just don’t know what to expect on a day to day basis when it comes to what is supposed to be an extremely long-term and stable infrastructure project.

In my conversations with people, this doesn’t really help them. They come to me looking for certainty and insight. The revelation that I am just as confused as they are leaves them profoundly disturbed, as it reinforces their own impression that the Government is in complete chaos in this area, and that this may significantly harm Australia’s technology sector and broader economy in the long-term.

It also doesn’t help me. In just six short months, we have seen such extraordinary and often highly inconsistent behaviour from Turnbull when it comes to the NBN that I fundamentally don’t know how to write about the project any more.

Going back to the start of this article: When you become a senior journalist you tend to develop a broader sense for the underlying nuanced truth of any situation. But at the moment, Turnbull’s behaviour is so inconsistent that I don’t know what to make of the Minister’s statements on any given day.

Over the past several weeks the Coalition has given increasing indications that it wants to offload NBN Co’s satellite business. But yesterday Turnbull reassured us that it wasn’t up for sale any time soon. Before the election the Liberal MP repeatedly criticised Labor for its lack of a NBN cost/benefit analysis. Now we are told there is no need to wait for one. Before the election we were told that FTTN was the order of the day for the NBN. Now it’s HFC cable. NBN Co’s Strategic Review was to be put together by the company itself. But when it was actually delivered, it was presented by a bevy of consulting firms. Turnbull was wholly against a fully FTTP rollout for Tasmania only a few months ago. But then he stated he was open to overhead fibre trials. And so on. It never stops.

Today NBN Co announced it had made a series of core executives — head of corporate and commercial Kevin Brown and chief technology officer Gary McLaren — redundant, with chief financial officer Robin Payne also to leave the business after “acting” in his role for a while. I’ve never heard of a company which has offloaded its CFO, CTO and head of commercial in one go. And I don’t know how to report it. Is this a grossly political move because the trio supported retired founding NBN Co CEO Mike Quigley? Or just new NBN Co CEO Bill Morrow putting his own team in place? Either way, it’s virtually unprecedented in Australia’s corporate sphere for a company to get rid of three such competent senior executives in one go.

As a journalist, you can only deal with this constantly shifting landscape so long before your head starts to spin with confusion. At the moment, I distrust virtually everything that Turnbull or his NBN Co executive team has to say on the NBN, because it very much feels like the project as a whole could literally turn on a dime depending on what the Minister had for breakfast this morning.

And so it becomes impossible to report NBN-related news. How, as a journalist, can I honestly be expected to publish Turnbull’s statements on any issue, when the Minister could change his mind tomorrow? How, for instance, can we take the Member for Wentworth seriously when he says the NBN needs a cost/benefit analysis, when he abjectly casts aside his three years’ worth of complaints on the issue on a whim? When NBN Co executive chairman Ziggy Switkowski appeared to completely change his views on the project after Turnbull appointed him?

The only answer that I have found to these issues is to stop considering Australia’s political landscape as being the first-world democracy which we’re used to.

In countries with different political systems, such as quasi- or ex-communist giants Russia and China (which I studied during my political science degree) or the less developed world, few people take politicians as seriously as we are used to taking them in Australia, because the population is aware that there is a vast and very blatantly obvious difference between what politicians say and what they actually mean or will do.

The motivations which drive them are entirely different than those we are used to in Australia, and so the journalists report them differently, being aware that many statements are inherently not made in good faith. Politicians in such countries are not held accountable to the same degree as they have historically been in countries such as Australia. And now I fear we are headed down the same degraded path.

To think about Australia’s political system in this light has been a very difficult decision for me to come to, because it would suggest that something fundamental has quietly changed recently about the way Australia governs itself. But then, I don’t think I’m the only journalist struggling with these issues.

Politics should be, and often has been in Australia, about the chance to glimpse a brighter future. But at the moment it feels like we are grappling with a different beast entirely, and must change our reaction to that as a consequence. Something less than hope is passing for currency in Australia’s political system just now; something with a more vague outline than despair.

Image credit: Office of Malcolm Turnbull

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Who would’ve forseen the Chair of Ozemail, going on to run the NBN … like this?

• Daniel

Renai

Ninties Bottleneck Network, c/o Australia’s newest Luddite Malcolm (fraudband) Turnbull.

It’s maddening! OzEmail was such a huge success and one of the highlights in Australian internet history. Is it the same man who is in the process of creating the worst mess in Australian internet history? This mess is so big it’s not just obvious to tech people (like the failure to structurally separate Telstra, and the cable wars), even mainstream non-tech people are starting to ask the obvious questions now.

• thefinn

OzEmail was a gigantic mess at the end, keep that in mind. They had little option but to sell it or somehow pay for huge upgrades to their backend.

I know I worked there.

• Shayne O

I wouldn’t put too much stock in Turnbulls involvement with OzEmail. ’94 was a time when the internet was exploding and everyone with money was putting in, and his $500K investment represented a tiny fraction of OzEmails 50mil valuation, and this too at a time when an ISP was essentially a mess of ISDN macrolinks hooked to terminal servers. He was just an investor, little more. Nothing which would give him the sort of insight required to build an NBN. • Nexus789 Posted 10/04/2014 at 8:13 pm | Permalink | Reply You mean ruin I think. • Asmodai Posted 11/04/2014 at 11:01 am | Permalink | Reply People need to get over “fibre to the premises vs fibre to the node” and look at the deeper game of the two parties and the quasi “Game of Thrones” going on here… Both parties get/got/will get away with lying, fudging, hyprocrisy, double standards etc that most of us could never hope to dream of in our own careers. Doesn’t matter which side you support (or if you don’t support either), the problem is that we are all so apathetic about either party. MT not doing a CBA is terrible. But Conroy led the way on this issue, and the electorate wasn’t particularly fazed… MT acting like a chaotic moron is terrible, but we just got over 6 years of ALP squabbling over leadership, so it’s hardly noticeable for the general voter. Enthusiasts and industry members pay attention because it’s what we are actually interested in. Most others don’t care, just like they don’t care that we have Pack of Shonks 2 in government rather than Pack of Shonks 1… I can’t offer any sage advice Renai, my own sense of apathy and disillusionment prevents me from seeing the end of the sewer Australian politics currently occupies. The only thing I can say is the handling of the NBN/CBN/whateverBN is a symptom of a greater malaise. And while MT’s actions might be vexing, I’m far more worried about where we are going as a country when the choice of leaders in this nation has devolved to two packs of squabbling morons… 2. Senectus Posted 10/04/2014 at 3:20 pm | Permalink | Reply This complete dismantling of the nbn concept by the lib party is partly why I placed them at number 70 (out of 77) in the west australian senate election rerun recently. I despise them only slightly less than racist, homophobe, fundamentalist groups like family first etc 3. StephenH Posted 10/04/2014 at 3:33 pm | Permalink | Reply What a waste of money the Goverment’s reviews and “audits” are. I bet they aren’t cheap and are not going to produce any benefit whatsoever. If all decisions are going to be made with no reference to the reports, why produce them? • Seano Posted 11/04/2014 at 6:13 pm | Permalink | Reply Oh, that’s a very simple question to answer. He’s hoping to create such a stink over what Conroy et al did, that it overpowers the stench he himself is creating…fat chance. He took this debate straight down into the gutter, and he honestly thinks that Labor, when in power again, won’t put his decisions/appointments under the same degree of scrutiny? Reap what you sow. 4. JC Posted 10/04/2014 at 3:33 pm | Permalink | Reply Turnbull is a traitor to this countries future. My children and possibly even their children will curse his name for eternity. The people of Australia are being screwed… The only winners from this are Rupert Murdoch and Telstra who get all the years of neglect on the copper and HFC networks fixed. • thefinn Posted 10/04/2014 at 11:10 pm | Permalink | Reply I have basically thought this myself, what he and most of the other politicians have done over the past 5 years or so may not be seen as the legal definition of traitorous, however I tend to think it does agree with the dictionary term. • Darth Abbott Posted 11/04/2014 at 5:41 pm | Permalink | Reply A good point. I would suggest there have been convicted traitors who have inflicted less damage on a nations welfare than the obstructive, contrary, negative behaviour our politicians have engaged in in the last five years. The undoing of pretty well everything instigated by the previous government by the current government is just blatantly spiteful, childish and self indulgent. • David Posted 11/04/2014 at 1:12 am | Permalink | Reply One of the horrible and saddening aspects of this is that a FTTH NBN would not have cost the Federal Government one single cent. It would have been paid for by the people who used it. The more you use, the more you pay. We could have had a FTTH installation and service for less than most of us are currently paying for broadband. This is what’s truly tragic about this horrible mess that the liar Turnbull has gotten us into. Shameful. Utterly shameful. Anyone who works in IT, update your resumes and start looking overseas. Our industry will be left behind in Australia soon and if we aren’t ready to move overseas then we will be left behind too. • Mathew Posted 11/04/2014 at 1:38 pm | Permalink | Reply > One of the horrible and saddening aspects of this is that a FTTH NBN would not have cost the Federal Government one single cent. This assumes that you can believe Labor’s promises about their NBN. The reality they were years behind in the roll out, operating costs were higher than forecast, > It would have been paid for by the people who used it. The more you use, the more you pay. But are Australians willing to pay? > We could have had a FTTH installation and service for less than most of us are currently paying for broadband. Except that for the majority the speed would have been capped at 12Mbps, slower than FTTN. > This is what’s truly tragic about this horrible mess that the liar Turnbull has gotten us into. Labor placed us in this mess. Don’t forget the only reason they advocated FTTP is because Telstra wouldn’t agree on terms for FTTN. • nonny-moose Posted 11/04/2014 at 2:04 pm | Permalink | Reply I recently came across one of my first DSL bills – paying 69.95 for 3gb on a 256kb connection. Today I pay 64.95 for 50/20 and 30 gb. Its not the largest quota but it satisfies me, and I’ve certainly been willing to pay. I don’t know where you are getting that people would be ‘capped to 12mbit’ though. To me, whether Labor got us into this mess is at this point immaterial. I want to know wtf Malcolm is doing to fix it, and on basis of changes made from election to date i want to know why he’s bollocking the fix as well. There are certainly less drastic options than he picked that would have been recognisably Liberal party, and would set peoples minds far more at ease with the direction he wants to take his ministry – at the moment we don’t know because he is either being opaque or changed his mind from the last position. I don’t have any confidence that getting out of the mess is likely with that sort of behaviour. • Anthony Posted 11/04/2014 at 3:22 pm | Permalink | Reply It’s clearly obvious now that Malcolm and Tony never intended to fix the NBN, no matter how important it is to Australia. The original direction from Tony to destroy the NBN is now coming to fruition (if it wasn’t obvious before). • Posted 11/04/2014 at 4:18 pm | Permalink | Reply Wait… It’s it’s Labor’s fault because Telstra wouldn’t agree to FTTN terms? What makes you think they will now? Turnbull’s magic tongue? • Anthony Posted 11/04/2014 at 6:58 pm | Permalink | Reply There were some issues with the rollout, as there are for any large scale infrastructure project, but these certainly weren’t a reason for canceling the entire project. And the project was just beginning to gain significant momentum after resolving many of the teething issues before the Liberals got in and stopped it in its tracks. If the Liberals were being reasonable and rational, they would have determined what was required to improve on Labor’s implementation (ie ‘fixes’) and then claim credit for a job well done. Except, instead, they’ve just gone and destroyed it. • Chairman of The Bored Posted 30/04/2014 at 3:29 pm | Permalink | Reply The LNP never seriously entertained a working NBN model. They don’t want to empower the people via the education, health, technological and business opportunities offered by that model. The LNP are a gang of mercenaries whose sole role is to divert power and wealth upward from the people to the top 1% their reward being that they also get the chance to join the club. They don’t care about new money, they all want to be oligarchs in their own right and want as little competition as possible I hope these “people” get what they deserve down the track because they are most definitely traitors selling us out to corporations and the USA. • jenstar Posted 30/04/2014 at 7:44 pm | Permalink | Reply here here! spot on! couldnt have said it better myself. glad so see the are other people that are ‘awake’ in this country. • Posted 14/04/2014 at 3:43 pm | Permalink | Reply “…Telstra wouldn’t agree on terms for FTTN.” they still haven’t 5. Daniel Posted 10/04/2014 at 3:36 pm | Permalink | Reply Renai, Take solace in the fact that there are plenty of others that feel the same way. Your reporting is making a difference and keeping the NBN chaos in the forefront of your readers minds which acts as a reminder that we should all be taking notice of these subtle, and no so subtle, societal changes. In combination with the NSA leaks, the treatment of asylum seekers, climate change, and issues of free speech, there seems to be a palpable increase in the paranoia of Western governments in general, not just Australian. Keep fighting the fight, keep reporting the facts, keep the paper trail of contradictory and hypocritical behaviour so that, hopefully, others will learn that there is such a thing as accountability. Hopefully. Don’t let the bastards win. • Soth Posted 10/04/2014 at 4:16 pm | Permalink | Reply Damn right! Best NBN reporting on the interwebs for sure. • Adam Posted 10/04/2014 at 10:06 pm | Permalink | Reply +1 • Mathew Posted 11/04/2014 at 1:47 pm | Permalink | Reply > Take solace in the fact that there are plenty of others that feel the same way. Your reporting is making a difference and keeping the NBN chaos in the forefront of your readers minds which acts as a reminder that we should all be taking notice of these subtle, and no so subtle, societal changes. While this is valid, the readership is small and outside of a few online forums few people actually care that deeply about the NBN. It is just not a topic of everyday conversation. > Keep fighting the fight, keep reporting the facts, keep the paper trail of contradictory and hypocritical behaviour so that, hopefully, others will learn that there is such a thing as accountability. Hopefully. It would be great to see Labor held to account for the NBNCo mess. Even better it would be great to see Labor held for account for making promises about 1Gbps that were never realistically going to be fulfilled, except for a tiny elite. > Don’t let the bastards win. Thankfully they didn’t and if the WA Senate Election provides any evidence the Australian public have even less confidence in Labor. Hopefully people will remember Labor’s empty promises about budget surpluses and many other failed policies. • Posted 11/04/2014 at 4:20 pm | Permalink | Reply The horse is dead Jim. • Lionel Posted 11/04/2014 at 5:06 pm | Permalink | Reply Troll is troll 6. GongGav Posted 10/04/2014 at 3:42 pm | Permalink | Reply A very petty part of me wants to be screaming “we told you so” over and over, but that would be incredibly petty, and no help whatsoever. All I can say is that for those that wanted Turnbull in, I hope he’s truly delivering what you see as the best outcome for Australia. Because the rest of us are increasingly frustrated with the backflips and hypocrisy being shown by the entire LNP group. As for reporting, all I can suggest is to start looking offshore for answers. Look at how New Zealand have jumped from FttN, how the UK is jumping from FttN, and so forth, and keep the pressure on for an explanation why its suddenly a good idea to be starting this when the poster child countries are all moving away. Push, push, push. Get interviews within the industry, and build public perception. Push your articles into MSM, use social media to spread the story and awareness. The story needs to be told, people need to be made aware whats at risk, and if the head at the top isnt helping, then spreading the story even further needs to happen. Theres a facebook group, Australia Wants an NBN that links your stories all the time, I’m sure you’ve seen them. Talk to them and see if theres anything you can jointly do. Or twitter, ABC News, overseas articles. Maybe get onto a site like Ars Technica and see if they’ll cover some articles highlighting the insanity. But keep pushing, there are ways to get the story out, and build the right sort of pressure. • Denis C Posted 10/04/2014 at 7:18 pm | Permalink | Reply +1 keep it up Renai • Ryan Posted 10/04/2014 at 7:24 pm | Permalink | Reply The sad thing is that people will have forgotten everything come the next election. • Joel Courtney Posted 11/04/2014 at 11:44 am | Permalink | Reply +1 There’s no point gloating when the world is a smouldering wreck. • Kenny Posted 27/04/2014 at 7:46 pm | Permalink | Reply I too would have voted quite confidently for a MT lead CLP, in 2007, I was a very reluctant voter for KRudd. I’m now just so glad I did not have that choice. So who do we vote for 2 party preferred now? There is no other party with in a bulls roar of them, in the House of Representatives. Do we continually not give either of them total power in the Senate and not worry about the lower house? 7. Luke Posted 10/04/2014 at 3:45 pm | Permalink | Reply I don’t always agree with your opinions Renai but I still keep coming back to this site for information. Don’t give up we actually need you to call out all that is going on consistently. Giving up will let them win. • GENIII Posted 10/04/2014 at 4:08 pm | Permalink | Reply “Giving up will let them win.” Hate to be the bearer of bad news here buddy, but, we have already lost. As soon as those scum , racist pricks got into government we lost, all this extra shit is just salt in the wounds. GENIII • Luke Posted 10/04/2014 at 5:57 pm | Permalink | Reply Can still try and hold them accountable • Arcane Azmadi Posted 10/04/2014 at 6:49 pm | Permalink | Reply It’s just a pity they don’t care. As long as they can keep 51% of the thick-headed, short-sighted, ignorant, backwards, racist morons in Australia on their side, they honestly couldn’t give a damn about the rest of us. This is why Democracy fails- because a moron’s vote is worth the same as a smart person’s. • JT Posted 10/04/2014 at 8:09 pm | Permalink | Reply I am confused Arcane Azmadi, are you the moron or the smart person in your comment? Your comment at least is another perfect example of my point. Loony comments such as these only cause your campaign harm Renai. • Alex Posted 11/04/2014 at 9:55 am | Permalink | Reply Holding them accountable is one thing. How do we punish them for misbehaving? What are the consequences for their mismanagement of the country? They just give themselves pay rises then retire on a Government pension. 8. bern Posted 10/04/2014 at 3:57 pm | Permalink | Reply Follow the money. It’s either that, power, or just plain insanity. Who stands to benefit most from retaining the HFC? Telstra? The ex-Telstra personnel currently running NBNCo? Foxtel (whose studios were used to launch the pre-election Coalition policy on this area)? • Peter Moore Posted 10/04/2014 at 9:47 pm | Permalink | Reply totally agree. Follow the money trail. Murdoch has the most to gain if NBN fails because if we have a proper FFTP then anyone with a fibre connection and decent plan (business or otherwise) can become a “TV” broadcaster. This challenges the traditional TV broadcasting of the past and the current monopoly that is Murdochs FoxTel. • MikeK Posted 10/04/2014 at 11:51 pm | Permalink | Reply Do as I do Peter, don’t buy any of Murdoch’s products and tell everyone that will listen not to buy his products. 9. TJW Posted 10/04/2014 at 3:59 pm | Permalink | Reply I agree completely Renai. The NBN/CBN under the Coalition has become nothing but a source of angst and outright fury for me ever since they got in. The constant lies, the fraudulent reports, the complete disregard for the future. It’s absolutely sickening. As of yesterday, the dreams of Australia leading the digital world are long gone. They won’t even commit to a timeline anymore – rather their goal is to get 25mbit and 50mbits down (with “proportional upload speeds”, whatever the hell that means) to 90% of the population “ASAP”. So in all likelihood, by 2019 most of Australia will still be struggling to reach 50mbits down, to say nothing of upload speeds. Meanwhile, the rest of the world will be moving into 100/40mbit+ speeds as a minimum. Malcolm Turnbull should be hung out to dry over this travesty, but I fear he will not be. The wider public don’t care about the technology used for the NBN/CBN. But in 5-10 years’ time when their internet is consistently unable to deliver the speeds and reliability they need, they’ll realise just what happened to the NBN under the Coalition. But by then of course, it’ll be far too late. Turnbull and Abbott will have almost certainly retired by 2024, so they won’t care in the slightest what state the country’s broadband infrastructure is in (not that they evidently care much now either). • GrackFields Posted 10/04/2014 at 4:01 pm | Permalink | Reply The worst part of this is that they’ll be living off a cushy government pension come retirement. Fuck this, I’m going to relocate – don’t want any more of my tax dollars going to their wallets. NZ looks like a good option with FTTH. At least their centre-right government has some sanity. • Denis C Posted 10/04/2014 at 7:22 pm | Permalink | Reply I agree, looking at a number of countries, currently NZ is top of the list. Oh, and I’ll be taking 6 IT jobs with me. • Ryan Posted 10/04/2014 at 7:24 pm | Permalink | Reply Take me with you. • Peter Moore Posted 10/04/2014 at 9:52 pm | Permalink | Reply i moved to NZ for work and UFB goes past my place next month. I’m with Orcon as my ISP and am on ADSL 2+ at the moment and i get 13mb down and 1.2mb up compared to Wantirna Sth (Victoria) 6.9 and 1 respectively. Add in the fibre availability in a month? The great place that Auckland is? I’m loving it over here!! 10. Brendan Posted 10/04/2014 at 4:07 pm | Permalink | Reply This is a clearing of the decks at NBNco. The Member for Wentworth’s lack of credibility is writing cheques that the NBNco can’t, or don’t know how, to cash – even the ‘sanctioned’ reports point out the risks! – HFC, currently closed networks, no indication if this will be wholesaled – FTTN, early trials, no real-world numbers published (afaik) – FTTB, still in trials, Telstra won’t state median speeds – CBA, still to be completed Never mind that enterprises have no clear statement from the Minister on infrastructure competition, despite the ACCC having already stated this is the preferred option. TPG is racing to close the gap before Telstra does (you can bet the FTTB trial isn’t out of the goodness of their collectively missing heart). Or anyone else. I am unsurprised that this is impossible to cover. I look at this stupidity and realise that my NZ based parents (who live in a small rural community) will see FTTN, and possibly even FTTH/ FTTPx before Turnbull’s ego has left the building. Also. Renai, don’t give up – “Keep the bastards honest”. 11. Posted 10/04/2014 at 4:11 pm | Permalink | Reply I know exactly how you feel, unfortunately there were warning signs of this prior to the election. Many dismissed it as “electioneering”, however I never for a moment believed the “by 2016″ claim, or the rest of the policy. In many ways if we ignored the politics, stuck with the tech, and prosecuted the case for faster broadband purely based on technology it would be much harder for politicians to play these silly games. I, for one, detest the concept of “all politicians are corrupt” or “all politicians lie” as it breeds this kind of situation where we expect nothing from them. The expectation is that politicians should have higher ethical, education, and trust levels than non-politicians. If we do not demand this, we will end up in the same state as countries like Cambodia, Nigeria, and Columbia: rife corruption and oppression. Yes, that may be a little extreme in some senses, but you get what I mean. TL;DR: This is our own fault for not demanding more and using our technical knowledge to figure out what’s bullshit and what isn’t. • Brendan Posted 10/04/2014 at 4:27 pm | Permalink | Reply “TL;DR: This is our own fault for not demanding more and using our technical knowledge to figure out what’s bullshit and what isn’t.” Neither LNP or Labor are interested in partisan politics – at any level. When you are dealing with highly polarised views, a frank and logical discussion is seldom possible; the notion of a ubiquitous service over a technology that has the best life-span, is lost in the noise and pomp of righteous indignation. • Brendan Posted 10/04/2014 at 4:40 pm | Permalink | Reply .. “interested in bipartisan politics”. I’ll blame spell check. Frankly most knew of the technological options long before the election was announced. FTTN and FTTB have been presented as solutions multiple times to a number of governments. But you have a point. The general public has become hung up on slogans and ideology; it has forgotten how to think. • Ryan Posted 10/04/2014 at 7:31 pm | Permalink | Reply Bingo. Why would they want to cooperate when that would mean having the other team in power? This is the biggest failing of 2 party democracy. Who cares about the nation when it’s a politicians job at stake? We’ll just sack 15000 people and blame it on Labor. • Michael D. Breen Posted 12/04/2014 at 7:46 pm | Permalink | Reply Good point about how we subvert ourselves and lower our standards and those of politicians by expecting them to be corrupt, Kieran. And of course it let’s us off the hook of responsibility as citizens. Democracy is not a spectator sport. However, what I and others are experiencing is impotence to use the normal democratic strings and levers to effect change or call politicins to accountability or engage in serious conversation with one eyed party followers or professedly ignorant bogans. Many of us feel the way many commentators do on this great post, but what solidarity do we have? How, please tell me how do we have any effect? 12. Renny Posted 10/04/2014 at 4:15 pm | Permalink | Reply Reminds me of an old Neil Young song “Coming apart at every nail”. My only glimmer of hope is that I climb off my 2 down 1 up speed during this term of Government. Alas I fear Turnbull will gift Telstra the whole mess and we end up with a 4G solution that costs$50/Mb

13. waterytowers

Politics in Australia is no longer a democracy that is working towards the benefit of Australia and its citizens. There is no more to be said.

14. JD

If a politician can destroy our national communications system without been put into jail then maybe we should help him.
If you see work happening for a FTTN build, help them by opening up all the surrounding telstra man holes and using wire cutters cut the copper up into little bits. You could also pull the copper through the ducts and out so they have more room.
They will then have to put new copper in or go with fibre.
Good luck

• X 2

Classic. When can I start.

15. skywake

It’s surprising how much the Abbott government wants to hold onto their years in opposition. They’re intent on doing nothing but reversing everything the previous Labor governments did. Usually when a new gov gets into power they moderate just a little, ignore what the previous government did and spend most of their time pushing the new agenda.

They would have been so much better off if they held back on the taxpayer funded witch-hunts. If instead they had claimed their hands were tied, motored ahead and claimed credit for any inevitable success. Like how Barnett got into power and just pushed ahead with Perth Arena. He didn’t start it, the thing cost way too much but nobody cares about how it costs now because it’s fantastic. Barnett got all the credit.

• Peter Moore

agreed. They could have kept FTTP and announced that they had “figured out a faster, better way of delivering it” instead of the slash and burn and blame games they are doing in the name of their LNP ideology.
We don’t vote for and mandate ideology – that should be outlawed. But that’s the LNP way.

16. ex-gov

Renai,

Thank you for this thoughtful article. For me your key conclusion and most important paragraph is this:

The only answer that I have found to these issues is to stop considering Australia’s political landscape as being the first-world democracy which we’re used to.

You are not alone in believing and starting to feel very anxious that we are on that slippy slope of our political system being corrupted in a way that we may not have thought about 10-20 years ago.

keep up the good work. and thank you for the honesty of this article.

• Malcolm

Its not the Australian way but it is the American way, and as we are about to be sold out to them (TPP) why not do a complete number on our country and corrupt our political and communications systems at the same time,

• Bob

Maybe the simplest, most cynical approach is for Labor and LNP to simply take turns, 8 years each, then change over.

No electioneering, no promises and commitments, no lies and deceit, no pork barrelling.

Cheaper, more predictable, and with no election campaigning, no need for playing the game of “Which pre-election promise will they keep?”

This is depressing.

17. elementalest

The coalition don’t really care what happens with the NBN, they just don’t want fiber for some reason. If the issue with FTTP was really just political, they could have changed their plan to the alternative FTTP method outlined in the strategic review. The coalition could easily blame their change on the fact that pertinent information was previously denied to them by labor (which turnbull was constantly going on about before the election). They could have further argued they managed to reduce the cost significantly over labors version. Nobody would have really cared, we are all getting fiber, it was just politics. The NBN would cease to be a political mess and things would move on.

But what the coalition is doing now is really something else. One can’t help but wonder if there is some kind of agenda behind their actions. For whatever reason, they don’t want the NBN in any form and everything they do is reflecting that (destroy the NBN). I can only see things getting worse. I wouldn’t be surprised if the coalition broke NBN co up in the next few years and gave it to the telcos so they can ‘fix’ the mess. In the meantime they will somehow blame labor for the mess (it was labors fault for trying to take on a project this size without the professionals etc).

Its becoming increasing more clear to me that the abbot government have no interest in actually running this country. Their objective simply seems to be to destroy labor, removing any prospect of them being a viable party at the next election by heaping the dirt on them. Kick labor while they are down, and keep kicking so they can’t get back up for a while. With no competition the coalition don’t need policies for elections.

• Soth

“they just don’t want fiber for some reason”
Foxtel.

• Michael (WA)

To say that it never crossed their mind would be a lie I’d reckon.

Multicast over FTTP, allowing new broadcasters to enter the marking without the initial barrier of the enormous cost. It would have brought a lot of competition to foxtel, which is good for everyone…except foxtel of course.

• waterytowers

I think it is not Foxtel. It is destroying the Labour base, in particular their funding. They have done everything in their power to reduce Labour’s capacity to fund a new election. They know their policies will be bad for the country but it means they will get another term, they dont care. Australia can go get fucked for all they care. Their ONLY interest in being re-elected. They destroy with bad policy, then somewhere along the line they may decide to placate the general population by giving a tax benefit, most likely late in the election cycle so people will have forgotten the bad shit.

• grump3

Is Murdoch is the puppet master behind this mess? His domination of our media apparently allows him sufficient influence over the sheep element as in the recent pre-election “kick this Mob Out” to keep the politicians dancing to his tune.
I won’t buy any Murdoch product, but picking up a discarded copy of the Daily Telegraph in a waiting room recently I was shaking my head at the amount of pro LNP. anti ALP bias I encountered in virtually every relevant article.
Perhaps The Pen is indeed Mightier than the Sword’ here in Oz if one person’s agenda can sway public opinion to this extent.
Is it a coincidence or has the demolition of our NBN spurred the flood of Foxtel advertising recently. Any connection?

18. maelorin

This. This is a very cogent statement of the kind of distress being fostered by our Current AuGov, and in particular the deliberate chaos created in the telecoms/ICT sphere.

The rapidity, scope, and scale of changes being shoved through public policy are breathtaking. With so many experienced commentators becoming bewildered, how can the demos be expected to understand *what* their democracy is doing, let alone why?

The cultural shift being engineered has to have unanticipated consequences beyond those that we can see, and already fear. The means used are so chaotic that it’s hard to believe that anyone can be sure how this will look in the future. This government of ours is making little or no effort to explain anything, and what we can see – that isn’t being deliberately hidden from us – has become so difficult to follow that it may be beyond us to find a logical explanation that makes sense of it all.

I have a growing concern that in their haste to bury any legacy of the previous government, we may all be left with a table full of battered chalices, remnants of a frenzied feast, that will take decades to recover any semblance of stability or order. Which would be sadly ironic for a conservative government.

• Brandon P

There’s nothing conservative about them, they are arch-radicals who pay the barest lip-service to conservatism.

They are simultaneously wrenching us back to an imagined past, whilst also quixotically charging ahead with Ayn Rand idealism-as-policy.

When Turnbull’s position spins on a dime, you need to keep skewering him with his own words. Keep reporting on his wildly shifting positions, with annotated references to his previously stated ‘truths’. Don’t let him forget the lies he’s told before.

In short, keep on keeping on.

That’s what I try and do and will keep on doing, but it is increasingly feeling like trying to collect sand in a bucket with a hole.

• Soth
• Brandon P

Keep it up, Renai.

Reportage like yours and others will be vital to the Royal Commission, and I sincerely hope that it will also restore some sanity to this project before it gets to that, too.

• Duke

…and now we all know where the ‘a hole’ is too, a little down the road from Dover Heights!

• dJOS

“constantly shifting landscape so long before your head starts to spin with confusion. “

There’s a very simple reason for this constantly shifting landscape …. It’s called a complete lack of vision by the Liberal party. For all their faults labor at least had a clear vision for Australia, the libs on the other hand only wanted power for powers sake. Their “individual freedom” catch cry is nothing more than a smoke screen for the exploitation of the masses and handouts to the 1%.

The ALP and Greens for all their faults at least mostly aim for the greater good (as evidenced by the nbn, mining tax, ndis, Medicare etc).

• Ryan

*a bucket with no bottom.

• Kevin Davies

LOL +1 Renai

MT is turning out to be worse than a just a unethical politician, he is rapidly becoming a disaster for the LNP and a train wreck for Australian ICT

20. JT

Bloody hell, such melodrama. The NBN is just one policy very far down the list of policies that ordinary people care about. Those same ordinary people voted your apparently beloved Labor out in a landslide last year. If the NBN or whatever we end up with is an important enough issue for the same ordinary people, they might vote the Coalition out and Labor back in. Either way, democracy is not dead, your woe is me column is meaningless and you still have your vote, same as everyone else.

Lastly as if real journalism was ever your goal here. Just look at the comments you get to most of your columns. Some of them are simply insane.

We have commentators – JD – calling for the jailing of a minister over them not giving them fibre, GrackFields “leaving” the country, TJW saying Turnbull should be hung out to dry, GENIII calling them ”scum , racist pricks”, JC says “Turnbull is a traitor” and ”My children and possibly even their children will curse his name for eternity.”

• Brendan

I guess if someone was in front of you, bleeding out, you’d just wait until someone else came along to fix that, right? Gee, they should have thought about that before bleeding everywhere. Silly duffer.

All that cost and waste for an ambulance and medical support. A bit of duct tape and a swig out of the ol’ gin bottle and good as new!

• JT

Bloody hell, you have to take the cake for the most insane inane posting of all time. A government policy where you will no longer get fibre (and I don’t care) is in your mind the same as me ignoring the plight of a person bleeding out in front of me. Jesus christ, you are insane.

• Brendan

Not at all.

Simply illustrating that the same logic of “it’s not really that important” doesn’t work as an argument because it’s circumstantial & ignores the value of the thing in question.

We don’t all take 15 hour car trips to visit places within the country; we use aircraft. The former is almost certainly cheaper, just as serviceable & will get you there just fine.

And yet we use the most practical solution available, with barely a thought.

Internet services aren’t really any different from conceptual point of view.

It is important. The choices made now, affect how we are able to function in a world that is increasingly dependant; you may not agree but that’s the case.

We can all sit around and just put up with it; perhaps wait for the next election and hope that maybe it’ll be better next time.

Or we can consider the impacts of decisions made and be a part of the process.

• JT

It is not important because it is not important. Those are the facts. You can post otherwise all day long but it was not important enough to the electorate to change the outcome of the election. You have every right in the world to try to convince the electorate otherwise. As for your first post to me it stands as the most insane inane rambling I’ve ever read and in my opinion cements in my mind that you a loon.

• Duke

Hmm, nice attempt at playing the man, not the issue, very Young Libby in its self righteousness!

• JT

haha I wish I was still young. The ball IS the man, in this case I am highlighting the lunacy of some of the comments directed at Turnbull.

• AJ

No you are not!

You are attacking anyone who does not agree with you typical of people with no real facts just an over inflated ego and an agenda.

• JT

I am calling commentators who make comments such as traitor and calling for jail loony. I have not even discussed the actual NBN so what facts have I made up? Come on AJ, you want to discuss it, let’s discuss it. Question is, can you do it without the loony comments others have posted? I’m guessing from your first post the answer is no.

• AJ
Posted 10/04/2014 at 8:03 pm | Permalink |

Oh now you are calling me loony why are you so scared to actually discuss this topic

Come on buddy My guess you can’t back up you name calling

• JT
Posted 10/04/2014 at 8:12 pm | Permalink |

I just said let’s discuss it? I am waiting. Speak son

• AJ
Posted 10/04/2014 at 8:17 pm | Permalink |

You have not posted a single comment of substance just whining about the articles author and then whining about comments and then whining about being called on your whining.

Lets talk the NBN

lets talk about Turnbulls mis management

Lets talk about the best way forward

Just choose a topic since your only topic so far is Whining

• JT
Posted 10/04/2014 at 8:24 pm | Permalink |

Rather ironic AJ since the entire article is whine. Ok let’s start. Let’s actually discuss it. What is your opinion, why do you think he has mismanaged it? best way forward I think is a compromise. The NBN as envisioned is dead.

• AJ
Posted 10/04/2014 at 8:34 pm | Permalink |

1) Malcolm has set absurdly low targets for the current fibre rollout which means there is no reason for companies to work hard to hit targets.

2) Ziggy has decided that the contracts for the fibre rollout that have been signed and set in stone are to cheap so he is going to increase the amount paid for no logical.

3)The policy that was taken to the election was NOT costed in the Strategic Review (FttN 70% FttP 20% 10% other) Why was this omitted?

4)The best option in the Strategic Review was not chosen One that had ~60% FttP 30% HFC 10% other was slightly more expensive but would have had a far better RoI as Fibre makes more money than copper

5) Any compromise increases the price to basically the same as the scenario above.

• JT
Posted 10/04/2014 at 8:49 pm | Permalink |

1) Is that not better than absurdly high targets that were simply unachievable? Conservative figures always work better in the end.

2) Was there not a lot of disquiet among contractors at how low they were being paid?

Watching some tv, let me get back you on the rest.

• AJ
Posted 10/04/2014 at 9:00 pm | Permalink |

1) They have already met the target for June Is that good management? Targets should always be a challenge

2) So what when the next contracts come up try and get more or don’t continue to rollout the NBN. Giving them more money shows that NBNCo are now a soft target everyone will want much much more now.
This is Very poor business management.

• JT
Posted 10/04/2014 at 11:25 pm | Permalink |

1) Sorry but that is ridiculous. Targets are meant to be achieved.

2) They played hardball previously and it didn’t work. Targets were not met, contractors were underpaid, work was delayed. I do not think they have made themselves a soft target, but regardless it is a business, not a game. Everything costs more than you think.

3) I can’t find those figures you mentioned in their policy documents? Also their policy document does not specifically say they will cost that specific plan? It only says ”The economic viability of nBn Co under alternative strategies.”

4) In the same document it states under Strategic Review ”•Recommendations for organisational restructuring and a revised nBn Co strategy to achieve the Coalition’s policy objectives.”. By their own policy, the review would look at how their policy could be achieved (regardless of whether the review or you thought it the best policy)

5) I believe long term plans went out the window the moment we went from zero debt to huge debt and long term deficits.The argument is not about what plan is better(NBN) or what technology is best(Fibre). Those are pointless arguments that have no relevance to policy makers.
Time/money matters in what is the cheapest we can get the quickest and whether you hate them or not, the Coalition never really changed their spots on what they thought about the time(wasted) and money(wasted) by Labor with the NBN. The current government did not kill the NBN, Labors multitude of mistakes did.

• AJ
• JT
Posted 11/04/2014 at 12:22 pm | Permalink |

OK thanks. The difference lies in I am going straight to the horses mouth for what they said vs the interpretation of what they said by this site.

• AJ
Posted 11/04/2014 at 1:27 pm | Permalink |

This was the policy platform they took to the election I will provide the link

I refer you to page 7 and the figure at the bottom

This is the policy they took to the election this is from the horses mouth

• JT
Posted 11/04/2014 at 2:59 pm | Permalink |

OK thanks. From what I’m reading the only difference is they added HFC as part of the Coalition policy reviewed in the strategic review. Other figures remain close to their pre-election estimates. FFTP: 26%, Combined FTTN/HFC/ Upgrade/Misc: 74%

• AJ
Posted 11/04/2014 at 10:31 pm | Permalink |

Correct they remove 30% of the cost by using HFC

• JT
Posted 11/04/2014 at 10:54 pm | Permalink |

And is that not exactly what they promised AJ?

I quote the very first line (sorry second) form their policy document:

“We will complete the National Broadband Network as quickly and cost-effectively as possible, using a mix of technologies that will provide high speeds at a reasonable cost.”

Yes I know the devil is in the details but details always change from opposition to government. It did for Labor, it does for the Coalition. We may not like it but to argue Turnbull is a traitor (etc) for this as others have? I shake my head at that.

• AJ
Posted 14/04/2014 at 12:42 pm | Permalink |

They provided EXACT percentages in the policy in immense detail that was supposedly fully costed

Why do you take a sentence in the Abstract over the actual content of the document?

Why do you think it is ok to provide an exact plan and then NEVER even cost it????

• Soth

“electorate to change the outcome of the election”
Tell that to Rob Oakeshott & Tony Windsor in 2007.

• AB

“It is not important because it is not important.”

Can’t argue with that factual tour de force.

• JT

Was it important enough to change the election outcome in 2013 AB? Yes/No? I’ll give you a hint, the answer is no. Therefore, its importance to the electorate was low. It’s not rocket science mate.

• Lionel

Did it decide the 2010 election, yes. I’d say it is rare that one policy decides an election, but it did. Did it decide it this time, no. The election was decided by the media backing Abbott and people buying into a lot of lies. Won’t touch medicare, lie. Unity ticket on Gonsky, lie. NDIS unity, lie. Won’t touch GST, lie. FTTN to 93% by 2016, lie. Return to surplus in first term, lie. Where is the media plastering all this across the front pages like the Carbon tax?

• Tom

Well no it wasn’t important to change the election in 2013, because we’d already voted on that issue in 2010. The Liberal Party and Turnball turned up an election too late.

And what we’re seeing now, is not anywhere close to what the Liberals took to the Election.

• JT

What was voted on in 2010 is irrelevant to what was voted on in 2013 mate.

• Lionel
Posted 11/04/2014 at 5:12 pm | Permalink |

JT your argument was that the NBN was not important enough to voters. That is probably right, it was one of many issues. But to argue it is insignificant when it decided the 2010 election is just wrong. It obviously has had some impact on the election. Do you think Abbott and Turnbull would go to such great lengths to sell their plans and rubbish the current one if they didn’t believe it was important?

And you JT are rude, abusive, and wrong. The NBN has taken a back burner to so many of this government’s other inept and belligerent policies. However, the NBN is still important, and this government’s failure to keep it going shows how regressive and destructive this government is on so many issues.

• Michael D. Breen

The above exchange says a lot about the guts of the matter. Once it gets tough go for the man and call him/her an idiot-whjich changes nothing except the tone of decency. No wonder Murdock is so desired by the conservatives. He does not appeal to reason, he uses his forces selfishly and with unfettered greed, and he is in a symbiotic relationship with his “open for business” cronies. They know that invective beats reason, bombast beats dialogue and playing the man is good indoor sport all of which he can sell. He does the electioneering for the Libs and the big end of town and thinkers are made to look fuddy duddy revivalists.

• GENIII

Turnbull is lying scum.
Abbott is a racist prick.
They are both a fucking disgrace.

Prove me wrong.

• GENIII

JT, still waiting for you to prove me wrong?

I’ll just take it that im not. FWIW i know im not wrong.

Like has been said by another commenter, put up or shutup.

• Chris

Surely we must start from the proposition that people are not lairs and racists. Thus the burden of proof is on you to demonstrate that they are.

• GENIII

“start from the proposition that people are not lairs and racists”

People usually aren’t but these two aren’t people, they are a lower form of life, first word that springs to my mind is “scum” to describe them.

Google Tony Abbott is racist & Malcolm Turnbull is a liar.

Hundreds of pages of evidence for you.

• JC

Ok JT, I’ll clarify my statements for you.

My children live in an era where they have rarely been without internet connectivity – we moved to a new house last year which was very fortunately close to the exchange, after years of living with a 3.2k line length. We have, by most estimates, an above average ADSL2+ connection, albeit with a horrible upload speed of around 800kbps.

My eldest daughter wants to pursue a career as an animator – she’s quite talented, generates a new video every few weeks, and goes to upload it to Youtube… which inevitably fails overnight more often than not. Sustained uploads for 8 hrs just never quite finish. They’re only around 1.5gb each, but they rarely get to upload smoothly. Uploading to Vimeo doesn’t work at all. A 30 second 200mb video I took recently took me 2hrs to upload to Youtube – it actually completed, the 2nd time I’ve had one complete.

Most nights one of our household will experience problems with the internet connection. Although our sync speed is ~20mbps, speedtests run most nights show it dropping down to 5mbps between 8 and 11pm. The ISP we’re with claims there’s nothing wrong with their network – and there’s nothing wrong with mine either, since I’ve tried a bunch of different modems/routers etc.

The ADSL drops out when the rain starts to fall, and since Melbourne is renowned for large amounts of rainfall, that’s quite often. Yesterday at my work the ADSL line dropped 30 times – at home it dropped twice. This is the fault of the horrible copper network that NBN Co are now going to buy for an unspecified amount… It’s also the key part of the FTTN network we’re going to be lumped with. VDSL2 won’t make the rain related sync issues go away, if anything they will get worse as it’s more susceptible to interruptions from attenuation and SNR fluctuations. This is also ignoring the congestion issues I’ve seen on HFC networks. telstra cable at 8am going 117mbps drops to around 5mbps at 4pm.

The FTTH network was going to get rid of all these issues – remove the reliance on copper, and give us 1000mbps download speeds with 400mbps upload speeds straight off the bat. And it was going to pay for itself completely as these higher speed tiers which aren’t possible on FTTN or HFC.

From the perspective of the economics – if you’re presented with two options, one of which will go 1000mbps and last 50 years for $73b (and that figure has been proven to be false) and another which will go 50mbps and drops out in the wet and will last 10 years for$41b, which then needs you to purchase the $73b option on top of it to progress any faster – which would you choose?$73b seems like a bargain in comparison to $114b. I stand by my statement. Turnbull has sold us out. My children WILL curse his name. And when we have to spend another$73b (plus inflation for 10 years) to progress beyond the 50mbps FTTN will provide, you’ll have forgotten this even happened.

• JT

Ok JC. could you tell me what relevance any of that has to your comments that “Turnbull is a traitor” and ”My children and possibly even their children will curse his name for eternity.”

I mean a traitor really because you have bad internet? Your children will curse the mans name? That post I quoted of yours is just plain stupid. Whether the NBN is worthy or not, whether Turnbulls policy is good or bad is really irrelevant because comments such as yours are so far out of the realm of pragmatic reasonable discussion, I think you are (rightly?) dismissed as a loon.

• Lionel

He is a traitor because he is putting himself above what is good for this country. If he was concerned about what is best for the country he would have a fair appraisal of what is the best way to provide a communications infrastructure for now and the future. He is not doing this, he is putting mates in positions and getting them to put together bogus reports to support what he wants to do, regardless of what is the best way forward. If he honestly thinks what he is doing IS the best way forward, why stack the reviews? Why promise one thing before the election and do something completely different. You mention that people voted them in. Yes they did, but they voted for what they said they would do, not putting them in to do something completely different. As for those calling for jail time, well, we can see. There are obviously reasons for what he is doing other than Australia’s best interests. Is it just stubborn ego, or is there some personal gains to be made by doing what he is. We may never know. It wouldn’t be the first dodgy thing Turnbull would have been involved in. HIH, chairman of a logging company that was constantly in breach of logging practices to the point where the PM threatened to close it down.

• JT

Oh bullshit Lionel. Implementing a communications policy that you disagree with is not traitorous. It is this kind of language that is in my opinion loony.

• AJ

Once again calling people loony rather than proving why they are incorrect.

As the saying goes

Put up or Shut up

• JT

AJ are you actually reading what I am posting or are you responding to what you think I am posting? I am discussing comments made by people about the NBN and Turnbull, not the NBN itself. Come on son, put up or shut up.

• AJ

As expected you say nothing again and again and again

• AJ

Secondly I never said I did not agree with the comment BUT you don’t give any reason you state an opinion and just doing that is void of actual though PROVE your point expand and don’t attack people if you want to be taken seriously

• JT

My point is comments such as traitor and jail him etc are loony. Could you tell me what you don’t understand about that? Prove they are loony? is that what you are asking?

• AJ
Posted 10/04/2014 at 8:25 pm | Permalink |

It is an exaggeration to say he it a traitor but I understand your points and want to discuss the NBN more

• Lionel

It’s not whether I agree with it or not. It is whether he is deliberately wasting billions of public money for his own benefit or not. Just because he is on your “team” that is no reason to turn a blind eye, I’m not and I have only voted Labor once in my life, the other 31 times I voted Liberal.

Coming on here and attacking people and calling them loonies does nothing to change what is happening, it just oozes desperation. Desperation because, lets face it, Turnbull is being so blatantly obvious with what he is doing, it’s pretty hard to argue he is actually trying to put together a decent solution.

• Lionel

Traitor:
a person who betrays another, a cause, or any trust.

That pretty much defines what he is doing. He was elected based on certain promises. He is breaking every one of those promises, not accidentally,. but deliberately.

• Asmodai

I kinda agree with JT on this..

A “traitor” is a person who commits treason…

Ergo, MT is not a traitor. I don’t recall him being charged with treason, and as far as I can see, an alternate disappointing comms policy doesn’t actually fulfill the statutes for treason, no matter how butthurt it makes some people…

If people in this thread want to live in the realm of hyperbole, that is their business, but the distancing from reality is what set you up for a rude shock at the last election…

People on WP and here were still convinced the NBN was going to carry the day prior to the election. It did not. People were convinced the petition, the newspaper stunt, the march in March etc were all going to sway public opinion. They didn’t.

While you are living in a world of fantasy, you are not dealing with reality. What point is there having the ability to reason if the first reaction you all run to is “grab the torches and pitchforks!”?

I’ve made this point frequently in the past and it’s never sunk in. You MAY never be able to change Turnbull’s mind (or the people that voted for the Libs) with reason and logic, but you WILL never change their minds with insults and abuse.

The one saving grace I guess is that apart from cheering each other on, most of the electorate are ignoring you completely, so you aren’t actually damaging yourselves that badly with the ongoing frothing at the mouth and gnashing of teeth.

You may not like the system, I know I sure as hell don’t, but until we all move to change it, it ain’t going anywhere. You either learn to work within it or you can continue to act like spoilt kids who’ve had their favourite toy taken away. The choice is yours.

• Alex (NBN)

Pedantic…

• JC

He’s traitorous because he’s putting Telstra’s and Rupert Murdochs profits and monopoly ahead of the national interest. He’s a hypocrite for all the reasons Renai posted yesterday.

I may be a loon, but at least I’m a well informed loon. I feel passionately that broadband infrastructure in this country has been held back by Telstra for too long, and that this project, which promised so much, is now in ruins and a shadow of what it could be. Ubiquitous broadband access for all will provide opportunities in ways we haven’t yet imagined. I want my kids to grow up in a world full of incredible opportunities – and that’s one we’re simply not going to get with this mess of a fraudband network.

We had the opportunity to finally be free of the curse of Telstra – who for years have neglected the copper network, and are now going to get billions and billions of dollars for a network that every single linesman who works on it describes as decrepit. Telstra themselves said that it was at “5 minutes to midnight” ten years ago and needed replacing – the CEPU and ETU are on record as stating to the Senate inquiry into the NBN that the copper network is “beyond repair” (read the hansard of 28 Nov 2013 if you don’t believe me) and that it would be “this would be a fraud on the Australian taxpayer” to buy or even lease this network.

Better broadband connectivity at home would be incredible for my home life – I could work from home several days a week and as a result save 2hrs of commute time (more on days like today where the trains are stuffed!) each day that I did so. My daughter would be able to upload her animation videos as soon as they are done. Downloading a new game wouldn’t take overnight. Someone streaming a HD TV show from the internet wouldn’t interrupt a skype video chat, or lag out a video game – as they do currently.

Don’t get me wrong – I’ll be happy to see any improvement to upload and download speeds – but every time the internet drops out because the copper us completely stuffed, I will be really, really pissed off that this opportunity is gone. I’m bitterly disappointed that despite all evidence (and I do mean all evidence) this fraudband is being foist upon us instead of a world class network… and when, in 3 and 6 years time, we still can’t upload videos to youtube in a decent time, i and my children will still be cursing the traitor Malcolm Turnbull.

• Andrew Thornton

JT:

Please appreciate the depth of feeling behind this issue.

I hope that you never have to run a home business. You won’t enjoy running one with Turnbull and Abbott’s Fraudband.

• JT

That does not excuse the lunacy of some of the comments here.

I do run a business that relies on having functioning internet.

• GongGav

Little FYI JT. If you hadnt picked up on it by now, your own comments are coming across as a little bit crazy…

Most people here have a pretty simple view of this. Its a once in a generation opportunity to refresh the entire industry, for minimal extra cost.

One party wants to do that, one wants to keep what hasnt been working for at least 20 years. If that happens, the opportunity is gone for decades, and hence is as big a negative for the country as you’re likely to see. For someone who’s very job is make Australia better, to delibrately mislead the public as he has is the lowest form of management he can offer. And that pisses people off to the point they consider it traitorous.

But dont quibble over a single word, debate on why Turnbulls decisions over the last 6 months have been GOOD for the country. You have enough experience here that any argument you put forward can be rebutted. But I doubt you’d agree.

If you’re going to sit there and nit pick every single line, and not give respect to others and their opinions, how do you expect people to give you that courtesy?

Seriously, you’ve coming across as a mad hatter here. Give a little thought into what the other persons intentions are rather than get caught up in the strict definition of a word. You’re not helping yourself, or your argument.

• JT

For pointing out that calling for him to be jailed, a traitor, democracy is dead is loony?

And that simple view is completely at odds with reality. Reality is, Labor lost. Reality is Labor botched it, reality is the NBN was likely never going to be built regardless of who was in power.

How were you misled? How is it traitorous? I mean such language is the stuff of children.

Rebutted by what? I mean even Renai the so called journalist acts more like a spoiled activist standing outside Turnbulls office with a placard screaming democracy is dead. You want respect? you want to discuss what is possible today as opposed to what has come and gone? Lets do so.

• JC

Turnbull is a traitor because he has sold out our countries future so Telstra and Rupert Murdoch can profit. Turnbull has broken the promise that every house would have access to a minimum 25mbps by 2016. Or do you not think that broken promises and handing Telstra all their wet dreams (pun intended) on a platter is not treason?

As posted above by someone else, a traitor is defined as “a person who betrays another, a cause, or any trust.” and in this case, Turnbull is acting against all technical advise from well informed commentators and in the opposite of the national interest, breaking promises in the process – which is the very definition of a traitor!

Would appreciate a reply to my question above, rather than the continued personal attacks.

Here it is again: if you’re presented with two options, one of which will go 1000mbps and last 50 years for $73b (and that figure has been proven to be false) and another which will go 50mbps which drops out in the wet and will only last 10 years for$41b, which then needs you to purchase the $73b option on top of it to progress any faster – which would you choose? Hint:$41b + $73b is still more than$73b (or $54b as shown in recent revelations to be the real cost of FTTP). Do it once. Do it right. Cut Telstra out of the loop. • dJOS Posted 11/04/2014 at 12:18 pm | Permalink | Reply “For pointing out that calling for him to be jailed, a traitor, democracy is dead is loony?” JT, TurnBull’s conduct and management of the NBN to date has been highly concerning, the perceptions are that his dealings are corrupt. This comes from hiring mates like JBR (who he co owns an expensive Yacht with) to produce the Strategic Review which quite frankly would likely result in Jail time for fraud had it been produced for a Publicly listed company. There are many other examples of his behaviour which could be characterised as fraudulent if they took place in normal corporate Australia and involving a publicly listed company. As for calling him a traitor, it’s obvious that he has betrayed Australia’s long term economic prosperity for the short term gain of Telstra and News Corpse. I highly recommend you read the below study from IBM / IBIS on what they believe a ubiquitous FTTP network is worth to the Australian economy and the impact it will have on Australian industries … (TL;DR 1 Trillion per year by 2050). http://www-07.ibm.com/ibm/au/digitalfuture/ • JT Posted 11/04/2014 at 1:28 pm | Permalink | Reply Mate, not a single accusation you’ve made would be enough to warrant an investigation if this was the corporate world. Hiring ”mates” is not fraud. If you have evidence of actual fraud being committed, please talk to the police. Otherwise your post is just emotive opinion, not fact. • dJOS Posted 11/04/2014 at 1:41 pm | Permalink | Reply It’s not the hiring of mates that’s smacks of fraud, it’s the results of their work which doesnt stand up to scrutiny that is fraudulent – if you tried that with a publicly listed company, at the very least you would have a shareholders class action coming your way followed closely by an ASIC investigation! • JT Posted 11/04/2014 at 1:53 pm | Permalink | Reply Hyperbole mate. No such thing would happen. • dJOS Posted 11/04/2014 at 2:02 pm | Permalink | Shareholders have sued companies for far far less! http://goo.gl/Yh38ei • Australian Posted 11/04/2014 at 1:27 pm | Permalink | Who are you JT, what government agency do you work/are contracted for? Your posts absolutely reek of paid shill, damage control and smoke and mirrors.. just like the current government • Lionel Posted 11/04/2014 at 2:21 pm | Permalink | You’d have to be blind not to see what has happened with Turnbull and the NBN. I started typing all the obvious things Turnbull has done in stacking the reviews, then wiped it out. Waste of time. If you don’t follow why people are saying what they do there are two things that could explain that. You haven’t been following the NBN discussion for the last few years or you are a Liberal shill. Sorry if it’s just you are ignorant, but I can’t be bothered explaining anything to someone whose first act is to be rude to both the articles author and those posting comments on the article. • JT Posted 11/04/2014 at 2:29 pm | Permalink | I work for myself. Maybe in the uni student world you live in people don’t have differing opinions, in the real world however… Labors landslide election loss is testament to that. • Lionel Posted 11/04/2014 at 3:13 pm | Permalink | Uni student? I’ve been working in IT since the late 70s. How about you stop assuming you know anything about the people or what they are posting here. People have an opinion based on thier knowledge and discussion of facts and events over time. Coming here, without it seems, even half a clue on technology, nor much clue on what has been going on with the development of the NBN. Something most people of here have follow very closely for many years. I don’t give a crap about Labor, Liberal, political point scoring or other BS. I care that there is a good solution put into place for Australia’s future communications network. Maybe some of the MTM would be good, but blatantly rigging every review and report for, at least, political gain is disgusting. Turnbull should not be playing politics with a project that is this expensive and important. • JT Posted 11/04/2014 at 6:51 pm | Permalink | If that is true, why the constant straw men from you? Every post you have made to me has been full of misinformed assumptions based on your own prejudices and ideology (just like a typical uni student). What knowledge do you have of how much I do or don’t know? none. Are you truly naïve enough to think this process is not political? regardless of who is in power. FTTP only exists because Telstra took their ball and went home re: FTTN. FTTN then became Labors policy in 2007. Everything about this has been a political ploy from the get go. • Lionel Posted 11/04/2014 at 9:52 pm | Permalink | “why the constant straw men from you? ” Please point them out. All I have seen from you is your continual attacking and insulting of people and your standard, obviously highly factual rebuffs of “that’s bull”. ‘Are you truly naïve enough to think this process is not political?” I know it’s political, and it shouldn’t be. Wasting billions due to political point scoring is disgusting. I believe Turnbull is playing politics with the most expensive project that Australia has ever started, and the path he is choosing could cost us tens of billions of dollars over the next 10 or so years. Fair enough if he can make a case for what he wants to do, but to force it through by getting mates to write what he wants them to write is just terrible. “FTTP only exists because Telstra took their ball and went home re: FTTN. FTTN then became Labors policy in 2007″ Yes, if we could have had FTTN start rolling out in 2007 it’s be great. But it’s not 2007, it is 2014. In 2007 their wasn’t even an iphone, in IT terms 2007 is ancient history. To be rolling out FTTN and stretching the life of HFC, that will be finished in 2019, is just made if the industry reports on bandwidth growth are even orders of magnitude off. Instead cherry picking a report by some who has rolled out FTTN and wants to justify their rollout, predicting 18Mb will be all people need by 2020, a report lambasted by virtually everyone. “Everything about this has been a political ploy from the get go.” See, that’s where you show you true colors, you are obviously and Liberal worshiper who laps up Andrew Bolt, Jones, every utterance of Malcolm Turnbull. I am not a worshiper of any party, I vote based on policy, I have mainly voted Liberal most of my life, but that doesn’t stop me from saying that what Turnbull is saying and doing is complete BS. Sorry, I won’t do it. I have lived and breath computers, electronics and communications since I was a child, and what Turnbull is doing it idiocy. You don’t just cherry pick information that supports what you want to do, especially if that information in the minority, and there are just so many places he has bent the truth. • GongGav Posted 11/04/2014 at 2:39 pm | Permalink | Reply JT, its public sector, or near enough. NBN Co isnt a true corporate enterprise, and its held to different standards. You cant just give your mate that cushy job, there are processes that are meant to be followed, and when they arent its a federal crime. You dont remember the rubbish that LNP tried to pull with Rudd and Utegate, with Rudd’s brother or cousin or whatever relative it was? There is an order of expecation so much higher than the private sector its incredible, and so far Turnbull has completely ignored that. Here’s a simple example of how the public sector works. Someone works in the tax office, looks up a family members tax file number because they’ve lost it. Thats pretty much instant dismissal, and possible federal charges. There are specific acts policing this sort of thing, and Turnbull needs to be careful he isnt breaking them. Traitorous may be a strong word, but what about corrupt? Do some research on ICAC cases, and you’ll find that most of the cases are politicians just giving jobs to their mates. And there is a commission there to investigate… Take that a step further, and if its corrupt, and he understands the repercussions, then no, its not necessarily a big step to labelling it traitorous. Maybe it is to you, but plenty of others seem to agree. • Anthony Posted 11/04/2014 at 11:14 am | Permalink | Reply JT, I note you still haven’t responded to any of the NBN related questions above, some of which go into significant detail to explain their position. You just keep on reverting to your initial accusation of lunacy without actually responding to the fact-based argument which you accused others of not providing. Now, they have done so. But you don’t respond in kind countering with your own ‘facts’ if you can? If you have a rational explanation for Turnbull’s behavior and actions to destroy Australia’s critical infrastructure required for its future economic prosperity, then I’m sure we would like to hear. Just saying that it’s unimportant just speaks of the ignorance and apathy of an Australian public not truly concerned about the long term viability of this country. This issue is important. Please treat it as such. If you just don’t care about any of this, then why are you posting here? All it’s doing is displaying your ignorance of the issue. One which you can correct by reading the many sources available online as to why the NBN is so important to Australia. But that’s up to you, as it’s up to every Australian to inform themselves of what their government is doing and why. • JT Posted 11/04/2014 at 12:40 pm | Permalink | Reply What questions? The only real discussion about the NBN I am having here with anyone is with AJ who conceded my point about the language being used here. What facts do you speak of? your personal opinion is not fact. Example ”destroy Australia’s critical infrastructure required for its future economic prosperity” is opinion not fact. Secondly how can he destroy something that barely exists? Second ”This issue is important” is not fact, it is your opinion. Fact is it was not important enough to the electorate in 2013 to make a difference. Maybe it will be come next election, I am opining that it won’t. Third ”One which you can correct by reading the many sources available online as to why the NBN is so important to Australia” Irrelevant. None of my posts have been about the worthiness of the NBN. They have only been about the loony language used by comments posted here and some limited discussion of why the NBN is where it is today(dead) with AJ. Lets summarise. Almost every comment I have made here has been about the loony language used by some of the commentators here. Examples I have provided before. In none of my comments have I stated my opinion on the NBN as it was under the previous government. • JJ Posted 11/04/2014 at 1:43 pm | Permalink | Reply “Almost every comment I have made here has been about the loony language used by some of the commentators here.” I believe I am not the only one who believes that this itself speaks for the uselessness of your posts. Why is it necessary to comment on the language of others when they themselves are speaking about a topic of interest to them. Unless it is within your personal interest to detract from important topics and stifle discussion. • JT Posted 11/04/2014 at 2:00 pm | Permalink | Reply Have you even read the column we are commenting on? The tone and language of it and of those posting comments is very much the topic here. As another poster Fred wrote about this column; ”it’s emotional, incoherent drivel ” • JJ Posted 11/04/2014 at 1:13 pm | Permalink | Reply Yes I have, it even starts with the work “opinion”. People are replying to an opinion, whereas others feel it is necessary to comment on the language used by those who replied. I fail to comprehend how that is a valid point of discussion here. • Soth Posted 11/04/2014 at 1:14 pm | Permalink | Reply “As another poster Fred wrote about this column; ”it’s emotional, incoherent drivel ” Don’t like the column or the comments.. Yet sits here commenting about comments. • Lionel Posted 11/04/2014 at 2:12 pm | Permalink | Reply “Have you even read the column we are commenting on?” So what? Have you been involved in the discussion of the NBN for the last 5 years and know all the history of what has been going on and the all the previous posts that most here are very much aware of? No, you haven’t. All you’ve done is come on here and start picking on what some people are saying in their posts. Look mate, people aren’t going to post 4 years worth of information to explain to you why they believe the way they do. Most here know what is behind their postings so don’t have to go over every point because some troll starts commenting on their posts. • JT Posted 11/04/2014 at 6:53 pm | Permalink | Reply More wrong assumptions from you Lionel. Tell me, will you one day reply to what I’ve actually said instead of what you think I’ve said or what you’ve invented in your mixed up mind. • Lionel Posted 11/04/2014 at 9:27 pm | Permalink | “More wrong assumptions from you Lionel” Really? You have been following and discussing the articles on here for 4 odd years? Were you trolling people under another name then? ‘Tell me, will you one day reply to what I’ve actually said instead of what you think I’ve said or what you’ve invented in your mixed up mind’ I was replying to your post, you didn’t ask me anything, you asked JJ. If you think it’s drivel, so be it. I have been following the NBN and Renai’s articles since he started writing about it. I understand exactly what he is talking about. If you find it hard to follow that’s your problem. • JT Posted 11/04/2014 at 10:17 pm | Permalink | Following; yes. Posting comments, very rarely. The groupthink is strong here. You think differing opinions is trolling? Lionel, what exactly are you replying too? Where in any of my posts have I been discussing the NBN itself other than with AJ. You keep posting replies to me about things that only exist in your head. • Lionel Posted 11/04/2014 at 10:23 pm | Permalink | “You think differing opinions is trolling?” No, I think attacking and insulting posters, with very little attempt discuss anything short of claiming what someone is saying is bullshit and that they are a loney, is trolling. ‘Lionel, what exactly are you replying too? Where in any of my posts have I been discussing the NBN itself other than with AJ” That is right, you haven’t been discussing the NBN very much, you have just been insulting people. This is the point I am making. “You keep posting replies to me about things that only exist in your head.” Once again, the claims, could you give some examples or point them out. I have asked you several times now. • Anthony Posted 11/04/2014 at 11:17 am | Permalink | Reply JT, I note you still haven’t responded to any of the NBN related questions above, some of which go into significant detail to explain their position. You just keep on reverting to your initial accusation of lunacy without actually responding to the fact-based argument which you accused others of not providing. Now, they have done so. But you don’t respond in kind countering with your own ‘facts’ if you can? If you have a rational explanation for Turnbull’s behavior and actions to destroy Australia’s critical infrastructure required for its future economic prosperity, then I’m sure we would like to hear. Just saying that it’s unimportant just speaks of the ignorance and apathy of an Australian public not truly concerned about the long term viability of this country. This issue is important. Please treat it as such. If you just don’t care about any of this, then why are you posting here? All it’s doing is displaying your ignorance of the issue. One which you can correct by reading the many sources available online as to why the NBN is so important to Australia. • Ian Lake Posted 10/04/2014 at 8:39 pm | Permalink | Reply Renai has found himself boxed into a corner. He doesn’t know what to do, as he doesn’t see a way out. He trumpeted Malcolm’s position on the NBN for ages, and only now has realised that he was wrong. This is his way out, and a way to report his conflicting emotions. He is indead in the depression stage of loss. In my own opionion however, the proposed Labor NBN was the correct decision. A telecommunications infrastructure that would have effectively yielded a massive boost to business, as well as being revolutionary in the way we communicate (aus wide video calling via standalone devices hooked up to a tv). What has resulted from the coalition plan is plain view corruption. Making sure foxtel goes unchallenged as the premium content provider in aus, while also having the taxpayer pay to complete the foxtel network, and increase its market two fold. Having ex telstra staff running Nbn co, is a point blank move to line telstra’s pockets with taxpayers money. It reeks of corruption. But, the fight is over now. And only a minor miracle will save us from the coalition’s plans. The main stream media is not reporting on this. The general public aren’t worried, because as you indicated, ‘it’s not a big deal’. They are in blissful ignorance through no fault of their own, as they just don’t understand what having fibre to the premises would have done for our country. It would be friggen amazing! But they haven’t thought about it… It doesn’t cross their minds what can be achieved… And they will be happy with FTTN for the most part… And happy that they will get cable, and possibly foxtel… They will be happy to get faster speeds in the bush via satellite and fixed wireless… In plain speak, they will be quite ok with the coalitions plans. What they won’t understand is that, for the same money (over the next 10 years), we would have instead have had FTTP, and it would have dramatically changed _everyones_ life for the better. Cheers, metal • Ryan Posted 10/04/2014 at 8:42 pm | Permalink | Reply I think you’ll find they voted Labor out not the Noaltion in. As for the comments, you mustn’t have been paying much attention to the things Noalition supporters have been saying about everyone. Incidentally, I’m not an ALP voter so please don’t accuse me of it. • Alex Posted 11/04/2014 at 10:00 am | Permalink | Reply You can’t put your blinkers on and assume that just because a Liberal representative got elected in a certain electorate, that the whole electorate is Liberal-voting. That’s insanity. You’re not a very good troll though, witness that you had to stoke the thread about once every other comment. Better luck next time. • Mitch Posted 11/04/2014 at 3:52 pm | Permalink | Reply Obvious troll is obvious 21. Brendan Posted 10/04/2014 at 5:03 pm | Permalink | Reply I wonder how the National’s feel about their membership of the Coalition? http://www.fionanash.com.au/Media/MediaReleases/tabid/84/articleType/ArticleView/articleId/213/LABORS-RURAL-FRAUDBAND.aspx “In spruiking their flawed Fibre-to-the-Node (FTTN) plan, Labor are doing one of two things; they are either deluding themselves, and at the same time the Australian public, if they think a FTTN will deliver high-speed broadband to rural and regional areas, or they are being deliberately deceitful and are trying to trick the public into supporting a plan they know is flawed.” Remember this? It was one of many comments from the opposition, on the original FTTN-based network NBNco was about to build. Thank the gods they chose Fibre, right? Oh. 22. Mitch Posted 10/04/2014 at 5:05 pm | Permalink | Reply Renai, Thank you again for some of the finest reporting in the nation. I like others here have been feeling a growing sense of disquiet. What is happening to the future of our national communications is saddening and sickening in equal measures. The worst is the sense that no matter what we do, it will only be ignored by those who are supposed to have the nations best interest in mind. As I see it there are only two options: join the blissfully ignorant or civil disobedience. The former is appealing but the latter at least has the slightest chance of doing something. Can anyone suggest what it would take for our elected representatives to take their Oath and Affirmation seriously? Oath of Office (2013) I, [Minister’s full name], do swear that I will well and truly serve the people of Australia in the office of [position] and that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second, Queen of Australia. So help me God! Affirmation of Office (2013) I, [Minister’s full name], do solemnly and sincerely affirm and declare that I will well and truly serve the people of Australia in the office of [position] and that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second, Queen of Australia • GENIII Posted 10/04/2014 at 5:38 pm | Permalink | Reply Oath of Office (2013) I, [Minister’s full name], do swear that I will well and truly not serve the people of Australia or listen to anything they say in the office of [position] and that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Rupert Murdoch. So help me God! Affirmation of Office (2013) I, [Minister’s full name], do solemnly and sincerely affirm and declare that I will well and truly not give a shit about the people of Australia in the office of [position] and that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Rupert Murdoch. Fixed that for you. 23. John Posted 10/04/2014 at 5:06 pm | Permalink | Reply What NBN? It has effectively been killed. 24. Karl Posted 10/04/2014 at 5:07 pm | Permalink | Reply I used to be confused and unsure about the future of the NBN under Turnbull, then one day I realised something; you can ignore Turnbull. Just completely ignore everything Turnbull says and look what he and NBN Co 2.0 actually do, and the pattern quickly emerges. They want to hand off as much of the NBN as possible to the private sector. They want to take as few risks (as in, risks of missed goals etc) as possible. And they want to do all this while trying to convince the layman voter that they give a shit and that the NBN is a steady ship. 25. Paul Grenfell Posted 10/04/2014 at 5:08 pm | Permalink | Reply Well Renai.. It’s simple.. There is no Nbn anymore. It’s destroyed. All you can from here on is look at the carnage from time to time and report on its demise. Till next time Moriarty.. 26. Andrew Thornton Posted 10/04/2014 at 5:14 pm | Permalink | Reply This is a fantastic piece. Thoughtful, balanced and doing justice to the intelligence level of its readership. In fact, this is the best piece of any that I have read so far on Australian tech issues. I wish that I could nominate this piece for some article of the year award. And sad as it is to say I reach the same pessimistic conclusion about the decline of our relatively honest political system. 27. Posted 10/04/2014 at 5:22 pm | Permalink | Reply Incredibly cogent, heart-felt and well written. Kudos. 28. Scarytas Posted 10/04/2014 at 5:52 pm | Permalink | Reply Renai, Like you I am left bewildered, confused, angry and helpless in trying to make any sense of where the vision has gone. The only suggestion I can make is to try and convince those in the industry that you sit down and chat with to become a bit more pro-active. It amazes me that so few of those with knowledge and power have to date been almost mute on this issue. I realise than Turnbull can and will be vindictive towards anyone who expresses a different view to his, but for the sake of future benefit to our nation people need to voice their opinions loud and clear. 29. Anthony Posted 10/04/2014 at 5:53 pm | Permalink | Reply I wholly agree, When the project started I was fully sold to the idea, enthusiastic and excited to what it will bring. Today, Im seriously deflated and dont care for it. The project is now a failure, it needs to wrap up and close. The backout plan needs to be to fully deregulate telecoms and duct access rules to anyone with appropriate planning can roll their own telcom infrastructure, and let private enterprise deal with it. Yes, people will lose, but we already have. 30. Kieran Vella Posted 10/04/2014 at 6:07 pm | Permalink | Reply Its a sad state of affairs when you have to turn from a serious journalist into a demi political activist to hold your government to their word. Its so disheartening to think these guys will never be truly held accountable for their misdeeds. 31. Graham Posted 10/04/2014 at 6:34 pm | Permalink | Reply Renai, the good news is that you don’t have to report on the NBN any more, because it’s dead. Whatever you are reporting on now is something different. Turnbull is like a street magician. You don’t listen to what he says, it’s just a distraction. Instead you watch his hands very carefully. Turnbull will be dismantling NBNCo over the next few years, how he goes about it will be very instructive. What a shame those “senior Australian IT industry figures” couldn’t be bothered to speak up for the NBN when it might have made a difference. Now they get to live in a world of Turnbull’s making, so I hope they learn to like it, because the rest of us will be lumping it. Anyway, I intend to get myself a good supply of popcorn and settle back and watch. What is about to unfold with NBNCo over the next six years or so will make Game of Thrones look like Playschool. 32. ex-gov Posted 10/04/2014 at 6:41 pm | Permalink | Reply Renai, You should get this piece on other sites/beyond your immediate readership. 33. Skeet Posted 10/04/2014 at 7:33 pm | Permalink | Reply Welcome to Murdochracy. Fun, ain’t it. 34. Kerry Posted 10/04/2014 at 7:59 pm | Permalink | Reply I wish I could feel sorry for you, Renai. But I don’t. You continually talked Malcolm Turnbull up throughout almost the whole of 2013, despite a lot of your loyal supporters begging you to take Turnbull to task. But no, you kept on. reporting, or commenting, that although Turnbull’s Broadband wasn’t as good as the NBN, near enough was good enough. It was just near the death-knock that you started to have concerns. But the damage was done. You didn’t do your job as a journalist You were too busy considering yourself, as you say so yourself, an insider, with the ear of so many business and political people, all with the same idea – that Turnbull wouldn’t trash what was in the national interest. You forgot his remit from Abbott – to destroy the NBN. And you thought Turnbull would be loyal to Australia. And tried to convince us of the same. We tried to warn you. You wouldn’t listen. You were too intent on your insider status, to let us know the real analysis, until now you express your lament. A bit the same as that LNP youngster who got up a petition after the election to convince Turnbull to save the NBN. And I really do despise that whenever there is a criticism of this new government, all you reporters cover your arsks with the refrain that all pollies are the same, really. They’re not. And the NBN isn’t the only ALP legacy to be gutted by this government. There’s Gonski, the NDIS, manufacturing, carbon pricing leading to an ETS, the MRRT, SuperClinics (health), TAFEs, etc. All the visionary stuff executed at the Round Table. Do you remember what you said back in 2009: “As a journalist, I have been publishing professional articles on the internet for the past 10 years and am currently the news editor of ZDNet.com.au. In short … I am Sir Lancelot. And I and many others like me represent the future of journalism. The media industry is entering the age where Generation Y becomes management.” I suggest you stop being management, and get back to your grass roots, Sir Lancelot. • RBH Posted 10/04/2014 at 9:18 pm | Permalink | Reply What you are describing is the role of an advocate – not a journalist. While some of us are quite comfortable making the assumption that a particular individual cannot be trusted and as a personal opinion we are perfectly entitled to do so, when you start putting things into the public domain you need evidence unless you want to be exchanging letters with lawyers. • Kerry Posted 10/04/2014 at 9:36 pm | Permalink | Reply RBH “. . . when you start putting things into the public domain you need evidence unless you want to be exchanging letters with lawyers.” I agree to a point, and that point is, according to Renai, when he becomes part of the political instead of doing his job. It’s not good enough to keep having friendly conversations with insiders ‘off the record’. What’s shooting the breeze? I could do that any day of the week. But, as a journo, I should be getting stuff ON the record. Aren’t you sick to death of hearing “a Liberal source says” or a “Labor source says” or a “SENIOR” Lib or Lab source says. Get it on the record. It’s just namby pamby stuff. For all we know it’s just made up. Protecting sources? That’s one thing. But at least whatever they said could be reported, instead of “hoping” that things wouldn’t go awry. And Renai had his sources, so he says, so he could report, rather than speculate, and there would have been no need for lawyers. Journos are protected, you know, despite Brandis’ attack on the RDA. • Paul Thompson Posted 10/04/2014 at 9:20 pm | Permalink | Reply I feel you. Renai probably frustrated an awful lot of readers. His faith In Malcolm Turnbull was baffling and blind. I recall that comments were locked and commentators were railed against when they asserted that MT would turn everything to crap. As you say Kerry, Renai’s realisation comes way too late. The damage is done, the horse is bolted. When clear vision was required, when it actually mattered the most (maybe more than at any time in Australia’s telecommunications history) Renai was found lacking. However, don’t forget that it would be easy enough for Renai to gloss his error over. There are many, many people out there who proudly voted for the current government and don’t have a moment’s regret about doing so. People who think that our current immigration policy is a huge success. People who think that dames and knights is a grand idea. People who get smacked in the face on pretty much a daily basis with news of the current government’s incredible lack of ability, ethics or sense – yet only have their faith reinforced by this news. So yes, Renai messed up. He isn’t perfect, and it can be frustrating. Yes, he missed something that was blindingly obvious. Yes, he failed in his role as a reporter, and instead became a cheerleader and an apologist – having faith but insisting it was evidence. I’m not convinced that this article is really getting it either. Apparently it wasn’t Renai lacking judgement, it was the whole of Australian politics shifting without giving him any notice. How strange for someone with his qualifications not to notice such a thing happening while so many of us did. Although he has now correctly identified that we are in an ugly, ugly political environment, the question is what to do next? Well the thing is – don’t panic. Election campaigns, particularly the recent coalition one, has been designed to scare Australians to the point of making bad decisions. Which we are now dutifully doing. Scared people aren’t smart and they aren’t ethical. As a nation we are no longer smart or ethical – because of the relentless fear campaigns being run by politicians (ably supported by murdoch media of course). So Renai, now that you have found yourself blindsided by this situation, now that you have found that your past judgements weren’t made with clear insight, and now that you are wondering what to do – perhaps this advice will help: reduce fear, build confidence. We need public voices to stop allowing bogeymen to be built. The politicians create bogeymen. They repeat lies about how scary they are. (Think boat people and carbon tax) then they promise to be the ones who can save us all from the bogeymen. Using three word slogans, because we are already too anxious to listen to anything longer. This is all based on well known psychological principles (fear causes conservative behaviour, and conservatives tend to have brain structures which makes them more sensitive to fear stimulus). So Renai, what you and other journalists can do, is to deflate bogeymen. Use facts, use humour, use ridicule – even use repetition (just like the liars use). Apply it in every day life. When we stop being cowards then we will stop making such stupid decisions. In the case of the NBN, the national cowardice and resulting stupidity will be costing us tens of billions of dollars and incalculable social benefits. So help out, with your public voice, to stop fear and build confidence. 35. Tempest Posted 10/04/2014 at 8:07 pm | Permalink | Reply Well, I’m pretty happy about it. Excellent job. May all the rose coloured glass be taken off the geeks faces and hit reality with a thump. The original NBN was utopia dream and equally , unachievable. • NightKhaos Posted 11/04/2014 at 7:45 am | Permalink | Reply As I look outside this morning to a circus of public works and then drive to work past another circus, I look at your comment and think “then I must live in a utopia.” And only 2400 km away… • Brandon P Posted 11/04/2014 at 12:51 pm | Permalink | Reply Long live Malcolm’s dystopian dream! May our great-great-grandchildren also be hobbled with it’s ridiculous expenses. 36. Mr Creosote Posted 10/04/2014 at 8:08 pm | Permalink | Reply I used to think that Turnbull was by far and away the best candidate in the Liberal Party to lead the party. Having seen the absolute mess he has made of the NBN, I am so so glad he isnt in charge of the whole show now. The Libs have clearly learned nothing from their previous rein and their multitude of failed comms policies that got us nowhere. History is repeating. The NBN was over its major hurdles and was just about to take off under Labor. Turnbull has trashed all that progress. He got the order from Abbott to destroy the NBN, and thats exactly what he has done. Political objective acheived – screw the social and economic cost. We will be paying the price for this – especially in regional areas – for decades to come. • Kerry Posted 10/04/2014 at 8:18 pm | Permalink | Reply “The NBN was over its major hurdles and was just about to take off under Labor.” And the major hurdle was Telstra. The deal to buy Telstra’s copper wasn’t finalised until June 2011! It’s not good enough to say that today, or yesterday, was the fifth anniversary of NBN Co. Telstra deliberately delayed any commitment until well over 2 years later. Which makes NBN’s actual start date to be under three years ago. That’s the bleeding shame. All the bullshit reporting. All systems were a go-go. And once the rollout started and teething problems ironed out, the NBN was on track. Oh, except for the asbestos in pits – well publicised by the msm in the lead-up to the 2013 election. Indeed, they even claimed a motor vehicle accident with a Telstra truck was also one of the many problems to beset the NBN. What a beat-up! btw, here’s the link to the testra deal http://www.abc.net.au/news/2011-06-23/telstra-signs-11b-deal-with-nbn/2768546 • Richard L Posted 10/04/2014 at 10:40 pm | Permalink | Reply There is no existent deal to buy Telstra’s copper, which should be a problem for Turnbull. The deal was access to pits and conduits, and the transfer of customers. • Michael D. Breen Posted 12/04/2014 at 8:13 pm | Permalink | Reply Is it possible that Abbott is letting Turnbull stuff things up and egging him on so that ultimately he will be a demosntrated fool and no threat to Abbott’s leadership? 37. neilmc Posted 10/04/2014 at 9:08 pm | Permalink | Reply As someone who has a 20+ year career based on tech and comms systems, I’ve pretty much zoned out on the whole NBN saga now. I see it as a farce and tragic waste of time and money at this point because of the Turnbull political derailment. 38. South Australian NBN Tower Action Group Posted 10/04/2014 at 9:15 pm | Permalink | Reply It sounds like Malcolm Turnbull has ingrained himself very deeply within NBN Co for someone who continues to advise that NBN Co is operating at arms length from the Government. • Malcolm Posted 11/04/2014 at 4:29 pm | Permalink | Reply I would say his arm is so ingrained in NBN Co he would need on of those long rubber gloves 39. Ray Carnovale Posted 10/04/2014 at 9:52 pm | Permalink | Reply Please keep up your good work,I take comfort knowing that there are smart people like yourself that can cut through the amount of crap that politicians dish out to you, in order to keep the public informed. Thank you very much. 40. Fat Pat Posted 10/04/2014 at 9:58 pm | Permalink | Reply RENAI, my apologies if it has already been said, but…. DON’T STOP please. Keep covering the NBN, every failure one after another. We will need a concise and clear record so when the day of reckoning does happen, and believe me it will happen, we have a Journalistic record of the whole sorry saga, from the moment when MT was charged by Tony Abbott with “Destroying The NBN” up until we hear the report of the Royal commission into the state of the Australian broadband landscape that is left after “x” terms of LNP government. Royal Commission? Why yes, after all, the LNP have given the green Light to successive governments having full and open enquiries into their predecessors – even giving over cabinet papers – so we WILL have our day. Don’t stop mate, because with an LNP-friendly Murdoch press, we are going to need these bastards to be held to account from the likes of you. We will regret the LNP mob for decades to come! 41. Fred Posted 10/04/2014 at 10:03 pm | Permalink | Reply Renai, please you call this journalism. Where is the balanced research and facts in this article, it’s emotional, incoherent drivel splattered with emotion.. I guess you have achieved one thing that journalism is synonymous with these days, SENSATIONALISM. For the record I don’t agree with the Liberal plans, I will give you the benefit of the doubt and assume you were sick when you wrote this article. • Tempest Posted 11/04/2014 at 1:57 am | Permalink | Reply I think we are all NBN -fatigued. All of us. Emotions, hopes and dreams – but NBN was NOT possible the way we hoped as quickly as we hoped. We all appreciate Renai covering NBN like most media have not and for that – qudos. But I think the forces behind NBN are far greater and more insidious than Renai or most people realise. It was exercise in politik, greed and nepotism. Let hope now at least we ALL get something better than what we had, before. • JT Posted 11/04/2014 at 12:43 pm | Permalink | Reply Exactly Fred. • Soth Posted 11/04/2014 at 1:20 pm | Permalink | Reply What’s the first word on the column… opinion Renai usually writes his opinions after his columns, which we all know are his.. well opinions. This whole article is his opinion. 42. Mikek Posted 10/04/2014 at 10:50 pm | Permalink | Reply Hi Renai, I have become disillusioned too, that word at the end of your article summed it up perfectly(despair) but there is light at the end of the tunnel, we have an election in 2.5 years form now that’s what keeps me going and reading your articles, thank you. • John Posted 10/04/2014 at 11:08 pm | Permalink | Reply Well that should be interesting. Let me predict. Majority keep reading Murdoch media and the only change is others vote for Palmer United. • MikeK Posted 12/04/2014 at 1:30 pm | Permalink | Reply You may well be right there John. I can only hope Australians flirtation with odd ball parties including Palmer will be over by then. As far as restoring FTTH is concerned Labor appears to be the only party out there. Don’t get me wrong I’m not all gun-ho for Labors last plan, I also considered FTTB to be part of the mix and cannot understand why Labor didn’t adopt it, maybe they didn’t for political reasons. • Posted 12/04/2014 at 1:31 pm | Permalink | Reply “As far as restoring FTTH is concerned Labor appears to be the only party out there.” Uh … what about the Greens and the Pirate Party? Both also support a full FTTP rollout. • MikeK Posted 13/04/2014 at 12:37 am | Permalink | Reply Meaning they are the only party out there with the numbers to govern. I cant see the Greens and the Pirate Party winning enough seats to govern in there own right although their support is welcome. 43. Gongite Posted 10/04/2014 at 11:10 pm | Permalink | Reply Dear Renai Thank you for this article, in which you from your well informed and connected perspective have come to a chilling conclusion, one that I and many of my friends have also been forced to, based on LNP policy decisions and revisions in other areas. I started reading your article thinking it would be another of the many pieces about the complex and confusing debate on the technicalities of the NBN; I don’t follow them in huge detail, though I know they are important, because I am not an IT person at all, just someone who wants to be able to access decent Internet when it’s raining…. But what you cover in this article is so much more important: the degradation of politics in this country to a level where the statements, and indeed the firmly documented policy positions, of a major party are worth nothing, and it feels as if nothing at all is secure any more. I really fear for the future of this country, and wish people would wake up to what is happening. Thank you again for your article, and all the others you have written on the NBN and Australian IT. Please keep writing, at the very least it will be a testament to what is unfolding now. • dJOS Posted 11/04/2014 at 8:41 am | Permalink | Reply I hear what you are saying but I don’t think it’s fair to tar Labor and the Greens with the same “Policy” brush as the LNP. For starters the previous ALP-Green minority gov was delivering it’s policies with varying levels of success. Examples are the Carbon Price (it’s not a tax despite being labelled one, it’s a fixed price trading scheme), nbn, ndis, GP super clinics, super improvements for the 99% and so on. The difference between the them is quite major, the progressive side of politics tries to improve life for the majority vs the radical ultra-right wing (let’s face facts, they aren’t conservatives in anything but name!) side if politics is all about “individual freedoms” (to exploit the masses) and the greater good be damned! If you want to see the liberals real policy agenda I recommend you visit the IPA website and read their horrific policy wish list. 44. Observer Posted 10/04/2014 at 11:16 pm | Permalink | Reply Renai To answer your question, keep describing the situation as you see it evolve. Keeping us informed on how the industry and your contacts are reacting to the various Turnbull announcements would not be such a bad start. 45. Eddie Posted 11/04/2014 at 12:10 am | Permalink | Reply the Coalition’s Broadband Network under the new Government = Fraudband. 46. BruceH Posted 11/04/2014 at 12:19 am | Permalink | Reply I’m as confused as anyone but I note that the cat is out of town and Malcolm the mouse tends to play up when that happens – guess Petar’s not in charge. What I truly, truly hope is Mal has really been caught in the middle of a party and leader determined to pay back supporters while in opposition and a cost/solution model that really is impossible to justify, so these latest plays are an effort to bring the disastrous situation to a public head in such a way that even Murdoch MSM can’t ignore. 47. Mr.B Posted 11/04/2014 at 12:43 am | Permalink | Reply All we can hope for is a double-dissolution triggered election and for the majority to vote LNP out before more damage can be done. • skywake Posted 11/04/2014 at 1:55 am | Permalink | Reply The problem with that idea is that for a DD trigger to be pulled the government has to first have some confidence that they can win back the senate. Not just that but win back the senate with a quota barrier that’s halved. If their problem is being blocked by Palmer, The Greens and other minor parties then I don’t see how lowering the barrier of entry helps. In a DD with the previous senate results you’d get maybe one less Green senator but twice as many Palmers. Then three maybe four times as many Xenaphons and a high chance of the “Christian Block” getting people in multiple states. Even if they pushed Senate voting reforms a lot of this would happen on minor party primary votes alone. They’d have to have a fairly large swing towards them if they wanted to be sure that they’d do better. As it is I think you’d have to be pretty deluded to think that the Coalition primary vote in 2013, the best election 2PP since ’96, was going to rise. Palmer holding the balance of power with the Coalition governing is about the best result they could hope for. They have that. If they pulled the DD trigger they could lose the lower house AND put the Greens back in the balance of power. 48. Tailgator Posted 11/04/2014 at 1:46 am | Permalink | Reply Watching Malcolm Turnbull and his machinations regarding the NBN is like watching a train wreck in slow motion. His legacy and reputation will be viewed in retrospect for what it is. Absolute garbage. Congratulations Mr Turnbull, you have exceeded Alston and Noonan in terms of abject incompetency. Your name will be remembered for all the wrong reasons – ridicule and denigration. • Anthony Posted 11/04/2014 at 2:55 pm | Permalink | Reply I’m not sure if this Liberal government of ours is incompetent or whether it’s a case of corruption of the Executive by outside influences. When governments make policy decisions that don’t make sense and are not in the public interest, then people have to wonder what the actual driving forces are behind them. The Liberal government may appear stupid on the outside, but as said elsewhere here, you don’t get to become the government by being as stupid as they appear to be. To JT, if you’re still reading, the references to ‘stupid’ above are solely in the context of the Coalition’s NBN policy, as well as their behavior (all on public record) in ‘selling’ this policy to the Australian people. And yes, the destruction of the real fibre NBN will cause significant and long lasting damage to Australia’s future economic prosperity. Its a shame you don’t think this is “important enough” to care about. • JT Posted 11/04/2014 at 3:21 pm | Permalink | Reply Mate, I don’t care if you want to label decisions made by him stupid. You may be right. Others labelling him a traitor, a prick, calling for his jailing, cries of democracy is dead. That is just loony. Because in my life its importance is far down the list of my priorities and I seem to be in the majority on that score. • Anthony Posted 11/04/2014 at 3:42 pm | Permalink | Reply Or maybe you just don’t realise the far reaching and longer term consequences of what is unfolding today. This is the problem with peoples’ thinking on this. If Australia goes down the tubes economically decades in the future, the lack of modern telecommunications infrastructure would be part of the problem, if only the people in the first 2 decades of this century had the foresight to think past the end of their collective noses and bring their government to account for their actions. • Lionel Posted 11/04/2014 at 5:14 pm | Permalink | Reply “Because in my life its importance is far down the list of my priorities and I seem to be in the majority on that score.” Then go away and don’t discuss it then. Well, not that you have, you’ve just been insulting people who are interested in it and have been discussing it for years. • JT Posted 11/04/2014 at 7:24 pm | Permalink | Reply ”Then go away and don’t discuss it then. Well, not that you have, you’ve just been insulting people who are interested in it and have been discussing it for years.” So now I am not even allowed to express my opinion according to you. What’s next? You’ll send me to room 101?. For a man in his 50’s Lionel, you seem awfully petulant. • Posted 11/04/2014 at 7:28 pm | Permalink | Reply You are aware of the comments policy here? I recommend you read it instead of continuing to antagonize fellow commenters. • JT Posted 11/04/2014 at 8:23 pm | Permalink | Reply Are you? I’m guessing not if you think having a different opinion is antagonism. • Posted 11/04/2014 at 8:32 pm | Permalink | Reply So you think that making a pointed statement about a gentleman’s age is being respectful? I made no judgement on your opinion. • JT Posted 11/04/2014 at 8:48 pm | Permalink | Reply Eh? I raised his age because he raised it and considering the number of false assumptions and straw man arguments he has made in comments directed to me, questioning why he acts that way at his age is entirely appropriate. One has to wonder if you have actually read anything written. • Posted 11/04/2014 at 8:56 pm | Permalink | Let me ELI5: stop insulting people by questioning their reading comprehension, age, etc. You can express an opinion without resorting to these tactics. Okay? • Lionel Posted 11/04/2014 at 9:19 pm | Permalink | What false comments and straw man arguments? Please point them out. All you have done so far is call me, and others, looneys and called me a uni student. • JT Posted 11/04/2014 at 10:19 pm | Permalink | Let me ELI5 for you NightKhaos; try reading what I and those I reply too have actually written before you comment. I see plenty of insulting language here (which I have spent the vast majority of my posts commenting on) most of which is directed at Turnbull, language of which I have labelled as loony. • Lionel Posted 11/04/2014 at 10:33 pm | Permalink | So, you think no one should ever consider the possibility that Turnbull could be doing something for personal or political gain? All posters must blindly believe that he is as pure as the driven snow, despite many things that could lead them to believe otherwise. They should just accept his constant saying one thing then doing something completely different. Nothing suspicious with replacing all the board members with mates and Telstra execs. He’s done nothing that would make anyone suspicious of what he is up to at all hey? • Anthony Posted 12/04/2014 at 12:03 pm | Permalink | Malcolm Turnbull does actually deserve to be ridiculed and insulted for what he has done to the NBN and Australia’s future. Him and Tony Abbott both. Tony for taking his orders from radical right wing ideologies and influences with the aim of turning Australia into something that it should never be (a playground for big corporations to have free reign of every aspect of Australia’s governance and operations – i.e. a totally free market), as well as being deliberately blind to the technological and economic challenges that will be impacting Australia’s future and its people. And he directed Malcolm to demolish the NBN as a further step in implementing this ideology. He probably also intended to destroy Malcolm’s political career with this act. And Malcolm, for taking orders blindly and destroying the NBN for his own personal and political gain, and using all of his journalistic and lawyer-derived cunning in doing so without a conscience, integrity or a thought to the impact of his actions on the Australian people. But I wouldn’t insult him directly, since that sort of thing tends to detract from whatever argument was intended to be conveyed. The point is, they have opened themselves up to insults and ridicule by their actions which go against the public and national interest. • Lionel Posted 11/04/2014 at 9:17 pm | Permalink | Reply “So now I am not even allowed to express my opinion according to you” You can express an opinion. You said however you have no interest in the NBN. I can believe it. You have not involved yourself in the discussion of the NBN. You have just come on and started attacking posters. “For a man in his 50′s Lionel, you seem awfully petulant.” I am just sick of people who don’t care about the NBN (as you admit you don’t) coming on here and attacking people because of their political beliefs. If you don’t have a clue about the technology, and it seems all you are interested in is promoting your belief in the Libs, labeling others as Labor supporters, looneys and uni students, what the hell are you doing here other than being a dick? • JT Posted 11/04/2014 at 10:40 pm | Permalink | Reply Can you post just once without making an assumption? It would be nice. Again you make a comment to something that only exists in your head. Almost every post I have made has been about the emotive loony language used by many here in attacking Turnbull/Abbott or the government. I find it crazy that for a site that wishes to be taken seriously, for commentators that wish to be listened too so many post as they do. Such debate is indeed that of uni students. I’ll be happy to debate the NBN any day you want but I’m pretty confident the groupthink is so strong here that the flying spaghetti monster could come down, correct you about something and you’d still wouldn’t listen. I mean most of you can’t even concede that the NBN as you knew it was voted out last year. You hurl abuse at Turnbull, at people who disagree with you, make loony calls of democracy is dead, he’s a traitor, I mean really!? you really think this is a wining formula to debating this? If you think it is, and quite obviously you do since you have spent every reply telling me to basically shut up than go for it. I’ll drop by again next election and see how successful its been. I doubt anything will have changed. • Lionel Posted 11/04/2014 at 11:00 pm | Permalink | Reply “Can you post just once without making an assumption? It would be nice.” For the forth time please point out these assumptions. “You hurl abuse at Turnbull, at people who disagree with you, make loony calls of democracy is dead, he’s a traitor, I mean really!?” I have never once claimed democracy is dead, hurled abuse at Turnbull or people who disagree with me. My complaining about your abuse is abusing you is it? ” I mean most of you can’t even concede that the NBN as you knew it was voted out last year.” You change you mind depending on the point you wish you make? One post you claim the NBN wasn’t important enough to influence votes now you claim the NBN was voted out? Which is it? I do not care which party is in, I would like however to see the national communications policy proceed with some integrity. Not rigged to provide whatever Malcolm wants, for whatever reason. ” If you think it is, and quite obviously you do since you have spent every reply telling me to basically shut up than go for it.” Yes, because the majority of your posts have been rude, including this one. “I’ll drop by again next election and see how successful its been. I doubt anything will have changed.” How successful the debate has been? It has no chance of any success as Turnbull hasn’t and isn’t engaging in it. Since he is the only one who can implement anything, and he isn’t listening to external anyone, it is pretty pointless, other than to express disgust at the situation, which most are duly doing. 49. Harry Weaver Posted 11/04/2014 at 2:00 am | Permalink | Reply The NBN scenario is easy to cover. It’s the Coalition’s intent to get out of the financial commitment as cheaply as it can, in order to make their short term budget aspect look good. Establishing a stable, viable communications system into the future, to convey the social and intellectual capital of the nation, has absolutely nothing to do with things. What the hell has social responsibility got to do with anything? This is party politics! The first priority is the colour of the wallpaper. There are always going to be plenty of patsies to pick up the bill later. That’s what tax payers are for. 50. Iceyone Posted 11/04/2014 at 9:06 am | Permalink | Reply Everything that is now coming to pass was foreseen before the election. They can’t give everyone 25mbps. They can’t do it by 2016. They sure as hell can’t do it for 29.5 billion either. Finally – they won’t do that all important CBA. I give you Sir Phoney of the Liebrals – of course their supporters are quiet on this issue, they don’t care as long as their side is in power. 51. Barry Boudallo Posted 11/04/2014 at 9:38 am | Permalink | Reply As with others, i think it will be easier and less frustrating if we just moved to another country. where is Simon Hackett these days? seems very quiet…. or is he “one of them” now? http://postimg.org/image/5dffyqwh9/ 52. Tony Posted 11/04/2014 at 10:16 am | Permalink | Reply I’ve got a suggestion for Malcolm Turnbull, remove that lovely fiber internet that runs to his office, put in FTTN and after one week let us all know how he’s getting on… or better still, just run copper like most of us have, then after a week, let us all know if this is acceptable. I’d bet with the poor speeds (copper) and drop outs he’ll revert back to the FTTH rollout • Stan Jez Posted 11/04/2014 at 1:39 pm | Permalink | Reply Great suggestion. He wouldn’t accept the outcome. However, I’m getting my binoculars to watch the pigs fly by. 53. Alex (NBN) Posted 11/04/2014 at 10:35 am | Permalink | Reply +1 Renai… “Australia’s National Broadband Network project is now in uncharted territory. Beyond a joke, beyond a politicised mess, and even beyond farce, the incredibly inconsistent handling of the project by Liberal Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull has led it far outside the bounds of rational discourse or intelligent consideration.” Say no more… 54. Tim Chmielewski Posted 11/04/2014 at 10:53 am | Permalink | Reply While I don’t agree with people calling the current government ‘stupid’ (you don’t get into government by being dumb), they do show lack of foresight on many issues including the NBN. It is being built as a national infrastructure project and has to be understood that it is being built for applications that will be around in 10 or 15 years and not now. The job that I do now was not around even when I started university where we actually learnt COBOL for Y2k work. The main problem is that NBN Co was allowed to become a law onto itself and its own bureaucracy. There will be people doing things just to cover their own arse and not caring about how it turns out. • Antic Ped Posted 11/04/2014 at 1:41 pm | Permalink | Reply “While I don’t agree with people calling the current government ‘stupid’ (you don’t get into government by being dumb)” Righhhht… they are not dumb. They are as cunning as a latrine rodent. 55. Posted 11/04/2014 at 11:02 am | Permalink | Reply hey everyone, thanks for all your amazing kind words on this piece. I am very humbled by the response. I can’t respond to everyone individually, but I wanted to let you know that I read every comment. Renai 56. Jeff Posted 11/04/2014 at 11:16 am | Permalink | Reply Enough of this pity party. Its time to suck it up, regroup and charge forward. Its always darkest before the dawn apparently. Keep up the good work and keep fighting the good fight. • Richard Posted 11/04/2014 at 1:13 pm | Permalink | Reply You forgot stiff upper lip. 57. Lindsay Posted 11/04/2014 at 11:33 am | Permalink | Reply Reading this I realised that Turnball has managed to accomplish what I thought impossible – he has made FTTN seem a good option. Even those bloody roadside cabinets would be be better than the dogs breakfast that has emerged. 58. Posted 11/04/2014 at 11:47 am | Permalink | Reply Malcolm is just a party hack, Abbott gave him the NBN to destroy and any chance of a challenge to his PM office. the liberal party never changes 59. Sam Posted 11/04/2014 at 12:04 pm | Permalink | Reply If you are such the “experienced journalist” now Renai, perhaps it’s time to move up to proof reading your articles to remove the errors (incorrect words used, so your automated spell checker won’t pick them up). • Posted 11/04/2014 at 12:09 pm | Permalink | Reply Mate I usually write about 5,000 words a day or more. There are going to be errors. Deal with it ;) 60. Stan Jez Posted 11/04/2014 at 1:33 pm | Permalink | Reply My international students in class are underwhelmed by our internet speed. How can we be so restricted? Imagine what we could have achieved. 61. ex-gov Posted 11/04/2014 at 1:34 pm | Permalink | Reply Sam, Many of the comments here are about the substance of the article. I was moved to comment because of the significance of the subject. I think what is significant about this piece was not just the subject but its treatment by the author . And specifically how the author was reflecting on the emerging nature of government and how self interest and power/money is increasingly the only explainable driving force for these public policy decisions and decision making. Important stuff. Your comment on the other hand, reminds me of the manager who when approving a project deliverable has nothing to say about the substance or content of the deliverable (and fitness for purpose) but who’s only value add is to correct every small spelling mistake. Add some real value next time! Or are you that manager (especially in the public sector realm) that many of us have to deal with who is not capable or courageous enough to critique the content of others labour. (one reason many public sector IT projects fail). 62. Brendan Posted 11/04/2014 at 1:38 pm | Permalink | Reply “Fear is the mind killer..” Ultimately it’s easier to be afraid of something, and attack people for not agreeing, than realise that mistakes can be made, and there’s no easy answer. There’s a lot of aggressive commentary. It’s an emotive outcome drive by an individual whom is clearly receiving guidance to progress the ‘no-fibre’ man date. We are all affected as a consequence; good or bad. You may be on a good HFC connection. Or you may have a poor copper connection. Despite comments, this is important; so important even those who claim it isn’t, are happily explaining how important it isn’t, and resorting to ad hominem personal slurs to try and ‘prove’ people are incompetent, or indeed “loony” in order to negate their point of view. Facts are facts. The Coalition went to the polls with a basic plan for NBN, and have systematically worked against it ever since; it was clear change (like winter) was coming. But what people voted for, is not what’s being delivered. That’s a failure; regardless of who’s in power. And important facts, such as small wins, such as more regional areas getting fixed line access rather than wireless (which IS a good outcome) are lost in the noise. Renai. I don’t have to agree with you. You don’t have to agree with me. But as long as you continue to ask questions, hold politicians and industry folk to their word and, most importantly, report what is happening – then I will always continue to respect what you do. A good journalist reports, and allows (even helps) the reader to understand. I don’t care that you may have believed Turnbull. Many have. A lot of voters certainly did. You have continued to question, and report what you see is happening – really that’s all we can ask. • Posted 11/04/2014 at 1:43 pm | Permalink | Reply Dune quote: Boom :) 63. damien Posted 11/04/2014 at 1:46 pm | Permalink | Reply “How, as a journalist, can I honestly be expected to publish Turnbull’s statements on any issue, when the Minister could change his mind tomorrow”? Simple. For all his comments add a (*) footnote which states: subject to change based on choice of breakfast cereal. 64. Tallulah Posted 11/04/2014 at 1:36 pm | Permalink | Reply A beautifully written and insightful read…that left me profoundly disturbed. But thank you all the same. This was certainly an issue, if not THE issue that swayed my vote when it came to choosing between the two. Alas not many people seemed to have done the same research I did. 65. Justice Posted 11/04/2014 at 1:36 pm | Permalink | Reply My question is will the Liberal party and its members be held fully accountable for wrecking Australia’s broadband future or will they retire on their million dollar pensions and laugh at their victory against the Labor party getting the NBN destroyed, i think the later this is the country and times we live in. • Soth Posted 11/04/2014 at 1:38 pm | Permalink | Reply Doubtful, you ask them this question the typical answer is “You voted us in” • RBH Posted 11/04/2014 at 2:51 pm | Permalink | Reply Legally they can’t be held accountable. But there is nothing stopping anyone forming a political party that gains power and cuts off former politicians from their perks and pensions. We can only live in hope. 66. Jack Green Posted 11/04/2014 at 2:02 pm | Permalink | Reply There are no surprises here really. Malcolm is just literally doing what he was told to do – to “demolish the NBN” http://www.abc.net.au/news/2010-09-14/abbott-orders-turnbull-to-demolish-nbn/2260320 67. Hmm Posted 11/04/2014 at 2:25 pm | Permalink | Reply in future just include nice Meme’s on any NBN articles. At least it keeps it fun to watch. 68. tinman.au Posted 11/04/2014 at 2:27 pm | Permalink | Reply Great article, thanks Renai! 69. Chris Posted 11/04/2014 at 2:34 pm | Permalink | Reply “The incredible ongoing performances of NBN Co executive chairman Ziggy Switkowski, in which he appears unable to speak the name of his own company (repeatedly referring to it as “NBN” instead of “NBN Co”) ” This is a pathetic attack, and is systematic of the fact that you don’t see things from all sides despite your claims of doing so. I support the NBN as Labour envisioned it over the coalitions, but seriously your articles often derail into petty arguments designed to push your agenda and not always in the opinion section. • Soth Posted 11/04/2014 at 2:40 pm | Permalink | Reply “not always in the opinion section” See first bold letter of article. • Chris Posted 11/04/2014 at 3:00 pm | Permalink | Reply Why are you telling me this article is opinion? I already know this, hence why I needed to say it’s “not always in the opinion section” to make the claim it’s not always in the opinion section. If this wasn’t opinion, then my statement would have be redundant since my example would have not been from an opinion section. • Soth Posted 11/04/2014 at 3:51 pm | Permalink | Reply My humble appoligies good sir, a search for “opinion” brought me to your comment and not the one I intended it for. I’m on fiber internet and the speeds of this browsing is just to much for me! :) • Anthony Posted 11/04/2014 at 3:11 pm | Permalink | Reply This article is a reflection of the frustration being felt by many who feel that the government is working against the nation’s best interests. Because of the Liberals’ irrational behavior, particularly on the issue of the NBN, they have opened themselves up to speculation as to their true motives. • Chris Posted 11/04/2014 at 3:49 pm | Permalink | Reply Whilst I would prefer to wait for a better network and pay more for it that does not mean it is irrational for people to want a cheaper, quicker solution. Differences of opinion don’t require the snarky attacks of the article, in fact I think they have the opposite effect as your counterpart more readily writes you off as an irrational ideolog. • Anthony Posted 11/04/2014 at 7:08 pm | Permalink | Reply The problem is, the Coalition’s own figures don’t stack up. Their policy is not quicker and cheaper when the longer term is taken into account. Their proposed network is more expensive over the longer term and will take many more decades to be fully modernized and where it should be to meet the needs of the country. • Chris Posted 11/04/2014 at 7:21 pm | Permalink | Reply Yes, upgrading to the node first then doing FTTP after seems to be more expensive then just doing FTTP in the first place. However there is a real economic cost to having very slow internet and so this cost must be factored into the delay as well. 70. Posted 11/04/2014 at 2:35 pm | Permalink | Reply Malcolm Turnbull correctly states that the Internet is based on the IP protocol and the IP protocol was designed to connect many diverse networks and technologies together. However, he is not correct in extending this reasoning to the NBN to argue for a multi-technology mix. IP (Internet Protocol) connects many different networks with different physical technologies and protocols. Not only that but networks operated by different companies (ISPs, vendors) and governments. These are called Autonomous Systems. Each Autonomous System can decide on its own internal protocols and technologies, but must speak IP with the Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) between them. IP was a solution to these problems back in the 1960s, which was a heyday in developing new technologies. OSI (Open Systems Interconnect) was a later, supposedly improved design, that dictated all networks should implement the same protocols. However, this was not bought by most companies who did not want the costly process of replacing already-operating networks. Thus TCP/IP won. It also does not make sense to maintain both circuit-switched (telephone) and packet-switched (digital data) networks. Everything is moving to packet-switched only. Thus instead of a modem (modulator demodulator) to convert your digital data to analogue signals, your telephone will be a codec (coder-decoder) to code sound into digital data (like a CD). Maintaining two networks is costly. Thus mixed-mode networks are more expensive. Another important function of IP was to future proof applications. Thus as underlying network technologies improved, business and customer applications would continue to work without modification. IP does this by providing an abstraction layer, where higher-level entities such as users and applications are completely independent of underlying technologies. All that underlying technologies need do is get faster to improve the user experience. If the underlying technologies are slow, then that impacts the user experience and the level of application independence from the underlying networks is compromised. That is the situation in Australia at the moment – a problem that the NBN will solve, so that this final piece of application independence from underlying protocols is achieved. However, in the 2010s, there is a clear winner in physical technologies – and that winner is fibre. It is not a matter of maybe backing the wrong horse. This horse race has been won. We are now in the position of having cost savings by universally deploying fibre technology. To not do so is wasting money. So while IP was designed to connect multiple network technologies together, the need to do so is now past. Now the role of IP is at a more logical level of connecting networks owned by different vendors – networks that now deploy the same underlying technologies, yet are separate. That is how technologies evolve – the best technology should win in the end. That technology is fibre and it should be deployed universally now, not in another ten years time, which will mean many opportunities for Australia have been lost – the cost of which is incalculable and unmeasurable. Thus Malcolm Turnbull is at least out of date with his argument that IP allowed for a mix of underlying technologies, and at worst, Turnbull’s argument is based on a misunderstanding of IP’s function. (I’m sure he has been briefed on this by IT people, but IT people are so often wrong and can make very muddled technical-sounding arguments to convince management.) Ian Joyner April 2014 • Morrissey Posted 11/04/2014 at 2:52 pm | Permalink | Reply “IP was designed to connect multiple network technologies together” Then you assert that fibre is the only physical link that should be used in all cases. And conclude that: “Turnbull is at least out of date with his argument that IP allowed for a mix of underlying technologies, and at worst, Turnbull’s argument is based on a misunderstanding of IP’s function” This is not sound logic imho. • Brendan Posted 11/04/2014 at 3:45 pm | Permalink | Reply Actually the entire comment boils down to a simple statement. There are many ways to build a network, but not all provide equal outcomes. That simply because IP can run over anything, doesn’t mean it should. In turn – turnbull is attempting to state that IP can run over anything, ergo his model is the best; but just because IP can run over almost anything, doesn’t mean it should. His argument ignores the fact that IP runs just as well over fibre, as it does copper or wireless. Which entirely undermines his point. • Morrissey Posted 11/04/2014 at 4:15 pm | Permalink | Reply That seems to be a fairly wilful misinterpretation of Turnbull’s statements, his point was that the physical layer should be determined by what is most efficient on a case by case basis since IP does not care about the physical layer’s technology. Not that we must arbitrary use all technologies because we can. Turnbull’s objection is to making commitments such as 90% of all homes will get fibre regardless of weather or not it makes sense to use that technology. In particular FTTB is possibly more sensible then FTTP for apartment complexs. • RocK_M Posted 11/04/2014 at 4:58 pm | Permalink | Reply @Morrissey: It’s a 93% estimate. And actually while that may seem like a very bad all encompassing number your forgetting that Australia’s population mass is actually very very concentrated. The problem here is the assumption that the 93% was just a pie in the sky assumption w/o taking into account the concentration of population. In a less technical term.. Most of people who would have received the FTTP where living in metro, city, suburbia or had enough homes and were already close to the exchanges/lines. The 7% on the more sparsely located areas (ie. the bush) were to be given Satellite. Even the pre election plan did not change this. They agreed the 7% will still stay the same for wireless. Heck even this new MTM that number has not changed. What has changed however is that for all residents who would have been feasibly connected are now in a lottery of what sort of connection “would best suit them”.. unless your in an HFC area. Whatever was in that “90%” band would have had a wired connection either way. The question was just whether what you put in would be one built to last or one that’s “good enough”. Even then the new MTM has gone even below “good enough” to literally a band-aid solution by recycling legacy technology (HFC) that by all accounts most of the sector has moved from already. • Morrissey Posted 11/04/2014 at 6:25 pm | Permalink | Reply I am not sure why you are making it about wired vs wireless, I don’t think there is any disagreement about that ratio of ~9:1. Indeed if anything is goes to the point that different circumstances have different optimally efficient solutions. The question is whether Labour should have committed to fibre in all wired cases. There is a decent argument to be made that we should only do fibre to the basement for apartments. So the argument should be made against the efficiency of specific technology. IMHO it is glib to simply say some people will get 50Mbps HFC and some will get it via FTTN o what a dogs breakfast. Being technology agnostic seems fundamentally sensible, spending money installing new HFC connections on the other hand does not. Lets have a reasonable discussion about the right technology for specific cases rather than making claims that Turnbull misunderstands of the function of IP. TL;DR: Those of us that want to see more fibre should make considered arguments for its efficiency in specific cases, rather than saying it is the best therefore we need it for all wired connections end of story. • Posted 11/04/2014 at 5:29 pm | Permalink | Reply Morrissey – you have not understood my point. Yes, IP was designed to be deployed over many different physical technologies, over the data link layer. What really is left is the choice between wired (guided) media and wireless (unguided media). Wired will always be superior and faster, whereas wireless has its place. There have been many physical technologies, but most are now obsolete, so should we keep them around, just because we can due to IP’s physical layer independence? Certainly not. We choose the fastest and cheapest solution. IP allows us to do that, so that we are not rusted on to obsolete technologies. Copper and circuit-switched telephone technology is now obsolete – we should move on, and IP allows is to do that. • Morrissey Posted 11/04/2014 at 6:00 pm | Permalink | Reply “We choose the fastest and cheapest solution. IP allows us to do that,” I am sorry if I misrepresented your views that was not my intent, but from the follow up you sound in agreement with Turnbull, only disagreeing about the relative prioritisation of cost vs speed. • Posted 11/04/2014 at 6:38 pm | Permalink | Reply Thanks Morrissey – I’m saying he states a truth, but misuses it. In fact he has IP backwards. IP is independent of physical-layer technologies for the express reason that these technologies can and do change quickly. IP allows that to happen. That was my point about ‘future proofing’. Now Turnbull has also argued that because technologies change quickly means we should not adopt fibre in haste. That is also wrong, because fibre is the ultimate in guided technologies and there is nothing else on the horizon. Wireless will certainly also not replace wired because it is a limited shared technology. Thus for Turnbull to use IP’s network independence to justify mixed technologies is actually contrary to IP’s thinking because it does not lock us into obsolete technologies and allows us to adopt the best technologies. Thus Turnbull’s use of IP as an argument to justify mixed technologies is fallacious. • Morrissey Posted 11/04/2014 at 7:03 pm | Permalink | Reply “Now Turnbull has also argued that because technologies change quickly means we should not adopt fibre in haste.” Well that is interesting, it would be hard to image not having fibre everywhere in 20 years and you are not reasonably going to go any higher than viable light. It may have been a comment on better fibre equipment in the future. Or in this case he was perhaps being fallacious. “That is also wrong, because fibre is the ultimate in guided technologies and there is nothing else on the horizon. ” Sure, no question fibre is the future but do we need it now in all cases. I don’t agree with Turnbull’s plan but I would happily see fibre to the basement to save resources for other area’s where it can have more effect, internal cat5 and above is fine for now and frankly upgrading to fibre could be left to the body corporate when they want to. “Thus for Turnbull to use IP’s network independence to justify mixed technologies is actually contrary to IP’s thinking because it does not lock us into obsolete technologies and allows us to adopt the best technologies. Thus Turnbull’s use of IP as an argument to justify mixed technologies is fallacious.” But again he is not saying that we must use old technologies just because we can, he says it because it is cheaper. I think you have missed the intent of his statement, but I guess only Malcolm can know for sure. • Posted 11/04/2014 at 7:20 pm | Permalink | Reply I disagree. What isn’t being question is the intent of Turnbull’s statement, it is how well it stands up to scrutiny. In particular, is it actually cheaper over the long term? • Morrissey Posted 11/04/2014 at 7:36 pm | Permalink | Reply “What isn’t being question is the intent of Turnbull’s statement, it is how well it stands up to scrutiny.” Well the statement that IP is technologically agonistic thus allowing a mixture of situation dependent solutions stands up perfectly well to scrutiny. There was an assertion that he intended that this necessarily meant we need multiple technologies, which is to say he was prejudging the fact that one technology is necessarily not the best answer. • Posted 11/04/2014 at 7:44 pm | Permalink | Reply So the fact that Turnbull has been pushing a variant of a mixture of different technologies since taking the post of shadow minister does not count as prejudice? • Morrissey Posted 11/04/2014 at 8:07 pm | Permalink | So the fact that Turnbull has been pushing a variant of a mixture of different technologies since taking the post of shadow minister does not count as prejudice? No that is not evidence of prejudice in and off itself. • Posted 11/04/2014 at 8:17 pm | Permalink | Semantically you’re correct, that statement doesn’t. However that statement does not exist in a vaccum. • Posted 12/04/2014 at 2:42 pm | Permalink | Reply Where fibre will improve is in the equipment at the end of the fibre – just as copper has improved with faster modems, then ADSL modems. However, once the fibre is laid, there is no need to upgrade it for a very long time. There are three kinds of fibre multimode step index (cheapest, shortest distance), multimode graded index (more expensive longer distance) and single mode (expensive, long distance – undersea links, etc). I agree that fibre to the basement might be a reasonable option. However, if we need to install cat 5e or cat 6 copper to the apartments, may as well make it fibre all the way, because the cost will be in the installation, not in the fibre itself. Sure there are claims that mixed FTTN and copper will be cheaper, but has this actually been costed. Even if it has, that probably only includes installation, not the hidden figures of copper network maintenance, or the cost of lost opportunities. Turnbull has been very fast and sloppy with his figures ever since before the election. • Morrissey Posted 12/04/2014 at 3:38 pm | Permalink | Reply Very true. Basically full agreement with this. • Morrissey Posted 11/04/2014 at 6:47 pm | Permalink | Reply “Copper and circuit-switched telephone technology is now obsolete – we should move on” Sure with LTE eventually we will move to packet-switching for the majority of voice calls but I don’t fully understand why that is relevant to Turnbull’s comments. Calling Copper obsolete is relevant, but very much over simplistic, everyone agrees that we should no longer use copper for more than the last ~500m, there is a big open question between 500m to ~ 10m node to home, and almost no one is replacing the last ~10m of copper in the form of Ethernet. So unless you consider ethernet obsolete, the discussion should be what is the most economical amount of copper to remove, then answer is almost certainly not 100%. • Posted 11/04/2014 at 7:13 pm | Permalink | Reply So unless you consider ethernet obsolete, the discussion should be what is the most economical amount of copper to remove, then answer is almost certainly not 100%. Classic example of a sunk cost fallacy. • Morrissey Posted 11/04/2014 at 7:41 pm | Permalink | Reply “Classic example of a sunk cost fallacy.” Not at all, if building the copper network had cost$0 my statement would apply equally as much. It is a question of how much we want to spend and how much return we will get for it.

Then you don’t understand what a sunk cost fallacy is

Just because we have an asset to leverage doesn’t mean we should.

You may well be right that it is cheaper to leverage the asset but it does not follow that is true Just because the asset exists, as you asserted.

• Chris

“Just because we have an asset to leverage doesn’t mean we should.”

I never said this, I said it was cheaper to remove less copper. Which is why your assertion is wrong, I never said the existence of copper and the possibility of its use implies we must.

“You may well be right that it is cheaper to leverage the asset but it does not follow that is true Just because the asset exists, as you asserted.”

I am sorry but that is plainly false, I never made that assertion.

• Morrissey

My bad chrome just auto completed my housemates delimiter name and email .

With respect, please don’t change posting monikers between posts.

And actually you did. In fact you did it again. Removing less copper, by that we can assume you mean rendering redundant, implies you’re leveraging the asset. Because the question that you haven’t answered is simple:

Is it actually cheaper? You’re making an assumption that it is use copper for part of the last mile run without actually confirming this. You have suggested that because CopperEthernet is still a cost effective technology that copper is still viable in general. This does not follow.

• Morrissey
Posted 11/04/2014 at 8:25 pm | Permalink |

“With respect, please don’t change posting monikers between posts.”

Fair call, it was a mistake, I moved to another computer and did not check the auto complete.

“And actually you did. In fact you did it again. Removing less copper, by that we can assume you mean rendering redundant, implies you’re leveraging the asset. Because the question that you haven’t answered is simple:
Is it actually cheaper? You’re making an assumption that it is use copper for part of the last mile run without actually confirming this.”

Where did I say this, I said this is up for question.

“You have suggested that because Copper Ethernet is still a cost effective technology that copper is still viable in general. This does not follow.”

I never said it was viable in general and even specifically said this, I said it is viable in some cases as the original comment was that copper is obsolete. You seem to me ,to be making incorrect deductions about what I am saying.

• Posted 11/04/2014 at 8:49 pm | Permalink |

You said the answer is certainly not 100%.

Since you had already established an exclusion in the form of copper Ethernet (otherwise your statement is trivally true) you are therefore saying that you believe that the open question can’t be at the extreme of removing the copper entirely.

This is a sunk cost fallacy. Brought about by another fallacy of a middle ground fallacy.

The answer to that open question might be to remove all the copper.

• Morrissey
Posted 11/04/2014 at 8:52 pm | Permalink |

“Is it actually cheaper? You’re making an assumption that it is use copper for part of the last mile run without actually confirming this.”

Arr ok here you are correct, whilst initially I hadn’t in my follow up post I did actually assert that FTTN would be cheaper to build then FTTP. However your false implication is that I made this claim based solely on the fact it is cheaper to keep more of the existing infrastructure rather than on the fact that that is what the costing in the review found.

• Posted 11/04/2014 at 9:01 pm | Permalink |

Okay good. I think questioning the assumptions of said review is an exercise for another time.

• Morrissey
Posted 11/04/2014 at 9:26 pm | Permalink |

“You said the answer is certainly not 100%.”

Yes I did, and it was based on the fact that it is expensive for people to replace Ethernet links with fibre, and given there is no consumer internet connections faster than 1Gbps it would be unnecessary . If you think this is a sunk cost fallacy (I am not saying you are) then I don’t understand your economics, a cost with no benefit is poor economics in my book.

“Since you had already established an exclusion in the form of copper Ethernet (otherwise your statement is trivally true) you are therefore saying that you believe that the open question can’t be at the extreme of removing the copper entirely.”

Wait maybe I have found a misunderstanding, I was saying that the extreme to discount is to remove Ethernet, so the range of solutions lie within FTTN and FTTP inclusive. Saying that the optimal solution must lie between (or on) two extremes is simply the extreme value theorem.

“This is a sunk cost fallacy. Brought about by another fallacy of a middle ground fallacy.”

Unless you are saying that I based my assertion purely on the fact that we don’t want to replace all of what we have, this is not correct. And as I have stated I have other reasons for thinking we should not. And again I used the extreme value theorem to assert it must be within (or on) the two extremes of FTTN and FTTP, fibre to the computer was considered outside the domain of reasonable solutions.

“The answer to that open question might be to remove all the copper.”

In principle of course, but I have reasons why I think this is not the most economical solution.

” Okay good. I think questioning the assumptions of said review is an exercise for another time. ”

Indeed.

• Morrissey

Me: “So unless you consider ethernet obsolete, the discussion should be what is the most economical amount of copper to remove, then answer is almost certainly not 100%.”
You: “Classic example of a sunk cost fallacy.”
Me: “Not at all”
You: “You may well be right that it is cheaper to leverage the asset but it does not follow that is true Just because the asset exists, as you asserted.”

In case it wasn’t clear when I said “the discussion should be what is the most economical amount of copper to remove” I did not mean copper exists therefore we must use it as you have bizarrely asserted, what I meant is looking at the costs and benefits what is the most economical path to take.

Okay. I think I get it now: you were trying to bring Ethernet into the scope of the conversation and stating this is a type of copper. You then established an exception for it (covering your bases) then forgot to account for it in your further reasoning. Now you’re going in circles because I did take account for it.

your reasoning: A includes B, B outside scope, C is scope. A can’t be completely replaced.

Mine: A includes B, B outside scope, C is scope, C can’t be completely replaced (this does not follow)

Except what I didn’t understand is the that the OP was referring to C in the first place. Now I understand, as with your other thread: context. Ethernet has never been in the scope of this conversation. Why then introduce it?

• Morrissey
Posted 12/04/2014 at 1:41 pm | Permalink |

OK yer I think we agree. Ethernet was only brought up because a claim was made that copper is obsolete therefore we must replace it all. Ethernet was a counterexample to prove this wrong. Then I said the answer may lie between a range that does not include Ethernet. Which I think you have correctly summarised.

• Posted 12/04/2014 at 2:47 pm | Permalink |

Not sure where Ethernet came in, but it is irrelevant, since it will run over copper or fibre. It used to run on a bus topology with coax cables, now star topologies with CAT5e cable. So Ethernet too is independent of the physical medium.

• Morrissey
Posted 12/04/2014 at 2:55 pm | Permalink |

@ NightKhaos

On more considering it seems you object to idea of calling Ethernet a type of copper. Well ok you can define copper links not to include Ethernet but the post where you claimed a sunk cost fallacy was directly below where I stated “copper in the form of Ethernet”. So I was open about my definition.

Given Ethernet is very similar to your twisted copper phone pair I don’t think you are disagreeing on technical grounds, more reasonable would be the objection of including discussion of copper beyond the NTD. Ok you can ban discussion beyond the NTD, but that just renders my comment irrelevant, it does not open my comments up to the extrapolations you drew.

Why talk about things beyond the NTD, well if we are happy to use copper for the last 10 meters inside the house we can’t assume that including 10m of copper to the curb is a bad idea simply because it is copper. Sure there may be a million other reasons why it is a bad idea (and I think it is in most cases) but just because it is copper does not in and of itself make it a bad idea.

“your reasoning: A includes B, B outside scope, C is scope. A can’t be completely replaced.
Mine: A includes B, B outside scope, C is scope, C can’t be completely replaced (this does not follow)”

Whilst close, my logic was actually. Original claim is A should not be used, currently A is used for B, C, D. There is agreement that A still should be used for D, and agreement it should not be used for B. Therefore the should have been A should not be used for C.

I still don’t fully understand from what evidence you were able to draw a conclusion of a sunk cost fallacy. If you no longer think this after rereading my post then fine lets move on. If you still think this I would be interesting in reading a clear break down of the logical steps you make to get there, basic enough so a simple minded mathematician can understand.

• Morrissey
Posted 12/04/2014 at 3:07 pm | Permalink |

@ Ian

“Not sure where Ethernet came in, but it is irrelevant, since it will run over copper or fibre. It used to run on a bus topology with coax cables, now star topologies with CAT5e cable. So Ethernet too is independent of the physical medium.”

True enough, when I talked about Ethernet I did imply copper based Ethernet without explicitly stating this, sorry for not being clear. I guess I did so because the majority of consumer Ethernet is copper based and all NBN NTDs use copper based Ethernet.

• Posted 12/04/2014 at 8:44 pm | Permalink |

Ethernet is a contention-based protocol for multi-drop shared lines. What the actual medium is is irrelevant.

The comparison between twisted-pair copper telephone lines and twisted-pair CAT cables is also irrelevant – telephone lines is for analog signals and CAT cables for digital.

On twisted pair, this is to minimise electromagnetic interference – something that optical fibre does not suffer from.

On copper, it is also insecure – easy to tap into without detection. Fibre is much more difficult to tap into, without cutting it and installing extra equipment.

Fibre NBN – just do it. All Turnbull is doing is making this a political issue at the behest of Abbott, just to win the last election with any dishonest means he could. That is what I find so sad about this whole dismaying NBN saga. It is high time Australia stop politicising infrastructure development in this way.

71. Chris

I live in an area with HFC and can generally get ok speeds since the majority of my neighbours use ADSL, since they don’t even have a HFC connection into their house. I would like NBN Co to tell us in such neighbourhoods are we going to spend hundreds of millions of dollars installing new HFC connections when they could just do a fibre installation for the same price?

72. Quiet Observer

I’m still skeptical that even Malcolm Turnbull’s Mongrel will get built. I’m expecting a “budget surprise”, which will consist of:

1) Telstra suddenly demanding an enormous price for their copper and HFC assets (which NBN Co now need),
2) Joe Hockey, while playing his Chicken Little “budget emergency” routine, stepping in and cancelling the entire project and selling off NBN Co in the name of “fiscal responsibility.”

I really hope this is just me letting cynicism getting the better of me.

• Mike

I agree entirely. In fact, I’ve been saying this for a couple of years. There is no intention whatsoever to continue with any form of Government owned network rollout to a point where it could be deemed ‘finished’. Oh sure, a certain amount of work will continue because it would be political suicide to be caught doing nothing, but it is clear that it will be the absolute bare minimum. Meanwhile, in the background, you can bet London to a brick that Turnbull and his minions will be beavering away ensuring that they can offload the whole thing as quickly and as quietly as possible. In fact, to look at Turnbull on the TV, when he talks about the “NBN”, it’s the same look you see when someone has just trodden in a dog turd.

Utter disgust!

• nonny-moose

you were watching his lateline interview too huh?

“its our job to be lobbied” and (that the mix of tech might be regarded a dogs breakfast) “well the internet is itself a network of networks…” and so the fact that one segment is FTTP and another HFC is to his mind no different in the end…? those were the standout quotes i got in those few minutes, at any rate….

i was channel flipping seeing what was on and stayed with it for a few minutes… quite frankly that was all i could stand. if you missed it and have a strong stomach, go read the transcript and see for yourself….

dont know about disgust but it does seem like there is 0 care factor anymore and hes just going to do what he will do and you will have to like it or lump it.

• Morrissey

The context of “its our job to be lobbied” was in defending Gillard for listening to the views of the Jewish community. He followed it by saying that all Australian’s have the right to put their view to politicians whom then need to make a decision in the national interest.

As for “well the internet is itself a network of networks…” well this is absolutely true, and if you get 50Mbps it does not really matter the technology. The problems is of-course how much will we need to pay to upgrade it latter and I would like Turnbull to cost this fully.

• Harry Weaver

With his performance curve: I want Turnbull to \emph{pay} for it.

But as I have pointed out elsewhere here, Turnbull’s ‘network of networks’ argument is indeed the reverse of the intention of IP – the intention of IP is to move to future technologies without being bound to past ones.

The whole design of the TCP/IP network stack means that moving to new media such as optical fibre from old media such as copper is only constrained by the cost.

But Turnbull has not been able to put up a good case on cost – he greatly inflated the cost of Labor’s NBN, and has deliberately ignored the cost of maintaining the ailing Telstra copper network (I used to get 4 Mbps on ADSL+, now it’s down to around 2 Mbps), and has ignored the unmeasurable cost of lost opportunities.

All fibre NBN to the endpoint – just do it and stop politicising it.

• Morrissey

“But as I have pointed out elsewhere here, Turnbull’s ‘network of networks’ argument is indeed the reverse of the intention of IP – the intention of IP is to move to future technologies without being bound to past ones.”

Even if this is the original intention I don’t understand why it is a valid reason not to use a mixture of technologies. Of course there are a large number of reasons why you would want to move to fibre but I just can’t get my head around why the intention of IP matters.

As an example of where technology has evolved beyond the original intention are mobile phones, whilst originally for calling we wouldn’t want to restrict it to just that now.

• nonny-moose

on “our job to be lobbied” i was thinking of it in particular reference to the 270 thou signature petition “you had your chance for a say, it was at the election”.

theres not a serious issue that the Jewish community might want to agitate for its views to be heard – thats legitimate. but it insulted me that it was the complete opposite response to those agitating for their FTTP views not long after the election.

if he was truly honest about ‘its our job to be lobbied’ he would have been open and engaged there – he wasn’t.

• ex-gov

Indeed, nonny-moose,

An interesting segway and joining up of the stories of the last week. What ever you think of Bob Carr he has named the very thing you speak off regarding the pro-Israel lobby and the power gained by providing funding, jobs and travel entitlements to our politicians.

Not only is it illustrative that politicians are unapologetic about their right to be lobbied it is also illustrative of the language and actions of those who are named for such behaviour.

Just look at the response to Carr from this section of society in the face of the facts that the former first bloke received a job, that the most regularly visited country by far by our federal politicians is Israel (and this is paid for by a visitor/study program funded by pro-Israel interests).

Does this matter, well, like Renai, Bob Carr has concluded that in a key policy area money does buy influence and directly results in changes in key government policy. In our case this relates to a key part of 21st Century Infrastructure (noting the Prime Minister seeks to be called the Infrastructure Prime Minister). In Carr’s case it is the pro-Israel position that was taken by Gillard and subsequently the Abbott Government (which is out in front of and out of step with all our contemporaries and natural allies) that can only be explained through the direct connection between specific sectional lobbying and money.

this is corruption.

73. Aligned with Quiet Observers

I’m with the Quiet Observer. The coalition has made an absolute disaster of this project with clearly no idea on what they are doing. Does anyone remember just how crap Ozemail really was? Mal is completely clueless and that should come as no surprise to anyone. His puppeteer believes he invented the Internet however so no clue there as to who is really pulling the strings.

74. grump3

Reminds me of Alan Jones & his Advance Fibreless German laser beam communications rant.

Jones and his idiotic comment that CO2 is only 0.04% of the atmosphere so is not relevant. 0.04% is correct, but that small proportion means that man generated CO2 is extremely relevant even in small quantities because we can significantly change the proportion.

75. Matt

Truth is, Turnbull was NEVER put into that portfolio to make the NBN a success – quite the opposite in fact, and he’s doing his iob spectacularly. Tony Rabbot has never hidden his disdain for the technologically capable of this country or for the vision on a national network, and at one point he felt brave enough to openly admit that he wanted to rip the whole thing up though he’s since publicly back-pedalled from that position. He simply doesn’t see the need for it and although he thinks it’s a colossal waste of time and resources he’s aware that Australians voters want it, but he thinks that we understand it as badly as he does and so will accept any old patched up technology that he calls an NBN. As such, he put his pet tech-head into the job of providing Australia with something that he could wave around and pretend to have created a network, while spending as little as possible on building it, preferably nothing. This is the only explanation for Turnbull’s behaviour, assuming he’s not lost his mind completely and Tony hasn’t noticed.

Always remember, Turnbull is ONLY doing what his boss tells him to do, and Tony Rabbot is a huge luddite who thinks we all spend far too much time looking at online porn and playing games, and not nearly enough time praying to his god and thanking him for making such a prat the PM.

• Morrissey

Hyper-partisan rhetoric does not advance the NBN discussion in my view.

• Paul Thompson

No, it doesn’t.

However, as the post you replied to doesn’t contain anything that could be objectively described as extreme partisanship, then your post seems to be either poorly addressed, or factually void.

Matt’s post is broadly accurate, and we are seeing the evidence of the truths he is speaking about in the disastrous way that the NBN has been destroyed.

I am going to have to work on the assumption that you are a devoutly loyal fan of the conservative party, as there is no way that an objective observer would see Matt’s post as any kind of extreme position.

In which case, the question is can you advance the NBN discussion at all? I think we are all a bit sick of the apologists – they are the ones who have helped bring us to this disgusting situation, and I believe that any patience displayed with rank apologism is rightly depleted.

Their ideology has caused damage that will take decades to undo, and will waste tens of billions of dollars. No, that isn’t an exaggeration either.

Yeah, I wouldn’t want to show my face in public as an apologist for Turnbull.

• Morrissey

“The post you replied to doesn’t contain anything that could be objectively described as extreme partisanship, then your post seems to be either poorly addressed, or factually void.”

So statements like:

“Tony Rabbot has never hidden his disdain for the technologically capable of this country”

And

“Tony Rabbot is a huge luddite who thinks we all spend far too much time looking at online porn and playing games, and not nearly enough time praying to his god and thanking him for making such a prat the PM.”

Could not be described as partisan?

“I am going to have to work on the assumption that you are a devoutly loyal fan of the conservative party, as there is no way that an objective observer would see Matt’s post as any kind of extreme position.”

I wouldn’t say his position is extreme per se, but his rhetoric sure is. I generally characterise most people who rename the PM in a derogatory way as being so, this includes those that renamed Gillard, Ju-lier. The funny thing is I have never voted liberal, and if you read my earlier posts I don’t support the new NBN, and I am pro carbon and mining tax while we are at it.

“In which case, the question is can you advance the NBN discussion at all? I think we are all a bit sick of the apologists – they are the ones who have helped bring us to this disgusting situation, and I believe that any patience displayed with rank apologism is rightly depleted.”

Again I don’t support the new NBN, I would support scaling it back to fibre to the basement for apartments but that is the only real change I would make to Labour’s NBN. What I am a bit sick of is either side using over blown rhetoric to call the other side stupid, evil ect, as I don’t see it as advancing the debate,

“Their ideology has caused damage that will take decades to undo, and will waste tens of billions of dollars. No, that isn’t an exaggeration either. Yeah, I wouldn’t want to show my face in public as an apologist for Turnbull.”

Going via FTTN will cost more in the long run, but at least most people will get faster internet sooner and we can upgrade it the future. Not the best approach in my opinion but then again I have good internet now so I can perhaps afford to wait more than most.

• Paul Thompson

Your comment: “Could not be described as partisan?” is a perfect example of the logical fallacy known as ‘shifting the goalposts’.

Did you describe it as partisan or hyper-partisan? Feel free to go back and read what you wrote.

Then ask yourself why you came back to me with “Could not be described as partisan?” when this is not how you actually described it.

If you need assistance, I can help out. People apply logical fallacies when they are expressing motivated cognition, particularly when the desired worldview is not supported by faultless logic. So you need to ask yourself why your emotional stake in this is more important that being logical.

While this is important if you ever intend to have credibility to others, it is also a great exercise for anyone who personally cares about reality and who has an ethical commitment to truth.

• Morrissey

“Your comment: “Could not be described as partisan?” is a perfect example of the logical fallacy known as ‘shifting the goalposts’. Did you describe it as partisan or hyper-partisan? Feel free to go back and read what you wrote.”

I am fully aware that is different to what I wrote, my follow up post does not mean that I have changed my view that it is hyper-partisan. You shouldn’t talk about logic when you make incorrect assumptions and draw false assertions from peoples comments.

It is a perfectly reasonable for me to use less strong language to see if we disagree merely on the use of hyper, or if you don’t consider it to be partisan at all. Whilst I ask questions to try understand people’s position, you seem to make false assertions.

• Morrissey

“If you need assistance, I can help out. People apply logical fallacies when they are expressing motivated cognition, particularly when the desired worldview is not supported by faultless logic. So you need to ask yourself why your emotional stake in this is more important that being logical.

While this is important if you ever intend to have credibility to others, it is also a great exercise for anyone who personally cares about reality and who has an ethical commitment to truth.”

On the topic of credibility I would also advise against criticising someone for using false logic based upon assertions that were themselves arrived at through incorrect logic. Your false assumption is that I claimed your reply also applied to the partisan case, rather simply asking as signified by the use of a question mark.

The above is similar to below.

Person A: It’s extremely hot outside?
Person B: No it is not.
Person A: So you do not think it is hot?
Person B: OMG you are so emotionally invested in it being hot, hence why you fell for the logical fallacies known as ‘shifting the goalposts’. Why is your emotional stake in it being hot more important that being logical.
Person A: Um…. I just want to understand to what degree you think it is hot or not.

A logically sound person would not have conflated a question with a statement.

Person A: It’s extremely hot outside?
Person B: No it is not.
Person A: So you do not think it is hot?
Person B: I do, just not extremely.
Person A: Understood.

Lets consider what moving the goal posts looks like.

Person A: It’s extremely hot outside?
Person B: No it is not.
Person A: So you do not think it is hot.
Person B: I didn’t say that.
Person A: Yes you did.

But it seems you have avoided the real question, better yet lets call this the logical fatality of changing the subject because we all know giving something a name will make me seem smart. So the real question remains to what degree do you think these comments are partisan, presumably somewhere between not at all to hyper-partisan, I would be interested in your thoughts.

• Paul Thompson

Yes, this is an extremely common justification people use when they are caught shifting the goalposts. It is a textbook example of backwards rationalising (which is why logical fallacies are used in the first place).

You also paint a false dichotomy between the use of a question mark and the making of a statement. Another logical fallacy and bordering on equivocation.

Thank you for proving my point so publicly. Now we know where your motivation lies and how strong your commitment to the truth is.

You need to go look at why you are backing up bad logic with bad logic – what is so important to you that you are willing to keep up this charade? At the very least you should do so before accusing posters of unproductive ‘hyper-partisan’ comments, as filling your own posts with logical fallacies just as unproductive and ergo your accusations hypocritical.

I’m not really interested in your next response as it is guaranteed to be more poor rationalising (Yes I did psych as well as formal logic at uni and I know that you will only be able to respond in this way) this is something you need to deal with personally. I won’t be checking for a response, I encourage you to just think about your motivations.

• Morrissey

It was a honest question but of-course you would know my motivations better than me. Breathtaking arrogance. And of again you did not answer the question.

• JT

You remind me of that scene in Good Will Hunting, repeating lines from the latest psych textbook you have read without really understanding a word you say.

• Morrissey

At the end of it all you have publicly stated that no objective person can call the below extreme partisanship.

“Tony Rabbot has never hidden his disdain for the technologically capable of this country”, “Tony Rabbot is a huge luddite who thinks we all spend far too much time looking at online porn and playing games, and not nearly enough time praying to his god and thanking him for making such a prat the PM.”

If I was a presumptuous as you I would attribute this to you being a devoutly loyal fan of the Labour party. Thankfully I am not so I have no idea why you have this view, indeed whilst I have also studied logic within a mathematics department, I haven’t studied psychology, however given your claims about my motivations are false you not exactly a testament to its value.

While working on my theoretical physic’s thesis there is one thing I say with a high degree of certainty, holding on to presumptions is not a good way to get to truth.

76. jason

As expected this is a repeat of the Howard government OPEL broad band farcical
OPEL at the end of the day did not exist , the same will be with this incompetent coalition broadband plan

IT WILL NOT EXIST SAME AS OPEL

77. Simon Shaw

I switched off months ago. Surprised it took you this long to realise.

78. Jewdas

It sounds to me like journalists are priests to the politicians. “Tell me your confession and I will not tell a soul”.

79. David

How to best cover the NBN?

Grab a bottle of Stoli.

Drink.

Write.

Cry.

Repeat.

Do you have a spy camera in my office??

80. Al

Renai

One question/comment on the wider issue you raise about the change in the nature of our government. In your polsci background has there been any research about the impact of the predominance of “professional politicians” on public policy? Does the need to get reelected over-ride the development of good public policy that supports long term development?

I contrast this with NZ where some of the more effective polies (IMHO!) have had careers outside politics and are choosing to engage for the future of their country. A lot of the policy around the telco infrastructure has been led by these people.

As you might gather I have a personal bias against these “professionals”. The only person they are representing is themselves. No election, no career.

81. david

Renai takes the red pill ?

NBNco’s existence only makes sense in the context of Labors vision. The Coalition cannot adopt Labors vision because that would look too much like giving credit to Labor. But they also cannot get rid of NBNco because it is tied to the middle of the Australian telecommunications industry by billions of  worth of contracts. So instead they are stuck trying to make NBNco do something that makes no sense, and to justify it they have to spout hypocritical nonsense at every turn.

82. Victoria Collins

I will never forget the role you played in legitimising Turnbull’s criticism of Labor’s NBN, Renai. Your daily emails joyously magnifying the problems that Turnbull and his cronies in the IT sector had identified, your lack of an as critical eye to his claims wrt the NBN, especially as it related to the Telstra Asbestos pits problem which was greatly exaggerated by News Corp and the Coalition and likely used by Telstra itself to put a brake on the NBN rollout before the election very conveniently indeed. Among a slew of other subjects which you could have focussed on.

Yet in all the words in the very long article above I detected not one mea culpa from you for that. Not to mention the day when you swallowed the Coalition Kool Aid and dumped on the Labor Party for not producing a ‘Cost Benefit Analysis’ for the NBN, as Turnbull kept bleating about endlessly, misleadingly and duplicitously, because any of us with more than two brain cells to rub together to produce a spark of recognition knew that a ‘Cost Benefit Analysis’ of the NBN would be meaningless anyway because you can’t put a price on true Nation Building Infrastructure. Which does not simply mean toll roads as Abbott witters on about endlessly now.

So, instead of the regret you have expressed in this article, Renai, you should be saying how ashamed you are of having played a major role in the IT space by giving cover and legitimacy to Turnbull’s BS. I await that piece with interest and expectation.

I understand that a lot of people feel this way about my coverage, but the truth is that a lot of Turnbull’s criticisms were legitimate. Labor’s FTTP model for the NBN has always been the best one technically, but its implementation has been pretty terrible. Telstra should have been involved with the project from the start as a construction partner at least, FTTB should have been considered right from the start to speed up the rollout to MDUs, and so on. These were and always have been legitimate criticisms from the start, and ones which even Labor has now acknowledged.

As for Turnbull’s own policy pronouncements, I wrote countless articles analysing and criticising his every move. If you don’t think that’s true, then you haven’t been reading Delimiter very often. I’ve been one of the Coalition’s main critics when it comes to its broadband policy. I can give you dozens of examples if you wish.

I would encourage people to understand that, as I mention in the article above, the Coalition has virtually changed everything about its broadband policy since the election. If it had remained steady on the course it had set before the election, then I don’t think as many people would be complaining half as hard. As a journalist and commentator, I look daily at the evidence before me. Before the election, the evidence was that the Coalition was taking one path. Now, the evidence is that they’re taking a very different one. I wish I could do more; but I can’t predict the future. I write based on the evidence of the day. That’s all anyone can do.

• John

> Labor’s FTTP model for the NBN has always been the best one technically, but its implementation has been pretty terrible.

You’ve said this over and over, and I still strongly disagree.

The NBN would have succeeded in time if it was given bipartisan support.

With the benefit of hindsight, so many of its difficulties now look like carefully orchestrated sabotage.

– The failure of private companies to honour their contracts.
– The many delays that Telstra created in allowing access to the ducts.
– The completely fake drama of Asbestos in the pits.
– The constant harassment by Turnbull and the personal attacks on NBN staff.
– The constant steam of appalling lies told by the Media.

Yes, you have mentioned them, but your personal ideology seems to have made you blind to this fundamental issue.

+100

Let us not forget the ongoing patchy and tardy Telstra remediation works, however they were extremely efficient at rolling out the transit fibres that will also be needed by GIMPCo, which I suspect they will own in the future at the taxpayers expense

• Lionel

I agree, a lot of his criticisms are correct.
However the entire rational for rolling out the MTM is not one based on what he claims it is. It is not an option put forward and costed by NBNCo and accepted by them. It is a series of fudged figures put together by Malcolm’s hand picked analysts at his request to show he was right. It was accepted by the NBNCo board consisting of he yes man Ziggy, and some other “mates”.
The guy who failed so badly at Telstra, failing to have the pits and ducks read and holding up the roll out. Strange chose, given the way Turnbull went on about the failure with the asbestos, firmly this guys domain. Reward for job well done? The holdup, I mean :)
Look, if he had done studies, reviews, whatever and found his solution was a good one, well fine. Seeing all the holes in it, the way the whole thing falls apart and costs us billions if one of many assumptions is wrong. And these assumptions use cherry picked and fudged numbers to support them. It’s like trying to design a car, finding that you can’t get it to go faster than 60 and then changing all the speed signs to fix the problem.

83. John

Good article Renai and your logic and analysis on this topic is well appreciated.
The only point I feel as far as the politics is concerned, there is just way to many opinions and forums on this subject by the IT crowd. In the meantime a large part of the population happily checking their facebook and email on their IPAD or smartphone or in the case of some older voters don’t even use computers (mind you through no fault of their own and in most cases that’s how they want it). I think to much argument about the technology and not enough done to convince the non tech people why this upgrade is really important for Australia.

• ex-gov

+ 1. Renai a key point of action from this article and the messages you have received is to distill the sentiments and arguements here and to make them understandable and relevant to people beyond your immediate readership.

Why do such things matter? How is it relevant to the average person. I think many of these issues dont rate a mention because there is not this translation.

Whether you like it or not you will be drawn into the domain of politics – because politics is about the allocation of resources

84. John

There is one huge Plus in all of this:

Never have I seen the Technical community so galvanized over a political issue. Historically most technical people have been completely disinterested in politics.

One of the main reasons for their lack of involvement has been that the Technical Media (like the Mainstream Media) has always been under the thumb of the media barons.

It is only since the Web arrived that we have independent journals like Renai and a few others who are prepared to tackle these issues.

But equally important, we now have a large audience of influential readers who will digest this information and spread it though the community.

The detailed day-by-day account of the shonky dealings in Canberra will have been a huge eye-opener for many people.

Thanks to the Web, the bastards can’t keep the lid on things any more.

• ex-gov

I think one of the emerging things such sites as Delimiter can do is crowd source or curate the industry knowledge of its audience so its not simply a journalistic site. there has been is an element of the wisdom of the crowd around the issue in this article.

• John

One other thing:

We tend to think that this is a once-off issue. But anyone who has a been around for 50 years or so (and who has been on the “inside”) will tell you they have seen all this over and over.

Every time a paradigm-changing technology arrives, there’s an furious backlash from the entrenched players who stand to lose power and profits.

And every time we’ve seen scum-bag politicians (from both sides) scrambling to ingratiate themselves with the big players.

And rarely have the good guys won.

Perhaps this time the web will help change the outcome.

85. Dallas

The AU govt need to hand the NBN off to google, they know alot more about fibre than any of the “special people” involved in the NBN now.

Lionel: “I don’t give a crap about Labor, Liberal, political point scoring or other BS. I care that there is a good solution put into place for Australia’s future communications network.”

JT “It is not important because it is not important. Those are the facts. You can post otherwise all day long but it was not important enough to the electorate to change the outcome of the election.”

This is the problem. Labor were unable to make the NBN a major election issue. Even now when Abbott talks about leaving a legacy of infrastructure projects why doesn’t someone mention the NBN?

Those knowledgeable about NBN technology are the least able to convince the public of the benefits. Many otherwise intelligent people were conned by LNP very cleverly saying they would also build an “NBN”. MT is skilled at defending an issue that he need not believe, and has now achieved the task Abbott gave him – “destroy the NBN”. Unfortunately Conroy was no match for MT and with and antagonistic MSM wasn’t able to sell the NBN/FTTP to the voting public. The best advocate for the NBN/FTTP in Canberra was/is Ludlam, too bad he’s not part of Clive’s party and able to have some influence.

Too bad that Lionel & the IT crowd didn’t care more about politics & put up a Senate candidate particularly in the WA election. If the Motoring Enthusiasts can do it, surely a bunch of rocket scientists should be capable. The reality is that this is the ONLY way to impact how the NBN is rolled out.

Unfortunately JT is right that NBN was “not important enough to the electorate to change the outcome of the election”. I think you can blame Labor for this.

In Canberra any hope for the NBN/FTTP in the next few years lies with Clive Palmer. He is not a fan of Rupert but obviously knows how to do a deal, and at least purports to want to act in the best interests of the country.

In the meantime, some local councils (Gosford, Geraldton) are being proactive and trying to get a better NBN result for their areas.

Not sure what happened to all the money that was raised by the Change.Org NBN/FTTP campaign but some of that money would be well spent in bringing FTTP advocates like Susan Crawford (http://www.balloon-juice.com/2013/12/27/broadband-as-todays-electricity/) to this country to speak at public forums, don’t know why Labor didn’t do this prior to the election.

87. Alex (NBN)

I agree with the sentiment Jon…

The only thing I would say is, let’s not understate the MSM in all of this.

For example, you asking why Susan Crawford wasn’t brought here?

I can see it now, MSM take…

“Incompetent government wastes more tax dollars on snake oil sales people, to try to buy white elephant NBN, votes”.

It was always, a no win situation…

88. Matthew

In honesty I believe that the coalition should just sell NBN Co and give up.
They are making horrible decisions with a huge project that they do not want and dont know how to politically exit from it.
The only thing they have left is to use NBN Co as much as possible as political ammunition against Labour.

Australians politicians concerns (in order) are making their political opponents look bad, making themselves look good and only after that do they try and help this country. This has been the political landscape in Australia and has been for as long as I have been here (6 years).

Matthew, you provide 3 priorities which I agree with, however I think there are 2 others which fit between 2 & 3
2a) Repay Favours
2b) Look after their backers/supporters and themselves

89. andrea

I currently live in London. I have constant access to internet quite cheaply. On my visits home, I hear family and friends talking about plans and how much downloading they can do and it sounds really difficult. And it looks to be getting worse. Should I bring my child who is fascinated with computers home to such a place. I would’ve voted Liberal with Turnbull in charge (would NEVER vote for Abbott) but now, he has lost my vote as well. They are all so stupid and pointless and ruining Australia for the future. It’s all quite depressing for such a fabulous country.

90. MartyvH

It appears that we are governed by the “born to rule” camp looking after their corporate mates. It’s every person for themselves when it comes to getting something in life and don’t expect the government to just give you something for nothing. It all underscores the need to go after what you need and want, by yourself. Pay for fibre by yourself. Never mind that roads are, for the most part, funded from the public purse. It’s the blinkered ideology of the era, you see.

The original FTTN was costed at around $11b-$12b. The original FTTP was costed at $42b. Some kind of moron thought “let’s do FTTP instead” (Crud!), but here’s the real deal…once you start a project down one set of standards, if you suddenly decide half way though the project to change standards, you’re just throwing money into the air – the current costing of FTTN with FTTP mixed in whatever areas deemed “worthy” is$32b, a mite higher than the original $12b, and not worth the maintenance costs. The$10b-12b savings the LNP will make will be nullified before the project has even been completed.

Listen to your professionals for once, Politician, finish the original project, forget the idea of a National Firewall, leaglise Cannabis, to pay for all the Police you need to regulate society in a way that is actually Nationall Benificial!

Sorry for mixing topics, but when it comes to finances, social wellbeing, and clever decision, this government is lacking in all departments.

Open for discussion for anyone that wants to contribute.

Just a small disclaimer – I was an outsourced employee of Telstra at the time Kevin Rudd originally announced what would become known as the NBN – at the time I thought it was a stupid idea to do FTTP, but as I have already stated, to turn a project of this dimension around part way through is like tossing money into the air, better to finish the original job than to change half way through. What is going to happen to housing prices in FTTP enabled areas? What is going to happen to areas that have poor data back-haul throughput in areas that use <1km copper cables for ADSL2++? Just bite the bullet, and give us the originally planned FTTP – but be smart, forget installing hardware with the dark fibre, just install dark fibre and let the ISP's take care of the hardware.

Sheesh.

/Oscarian

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