Turnbull lies on NBN to Triple J listeners


news Malcolm Turnbull yesterday made several statements on the ABC’s Triple J radio station regarding financial projections for Labor’s National Broadband Network project which the Communications Minister is aware are false, with the former investment banker inaccurately conflating investment capital and government expenses for the project as well as exaggerating financial figures.

In an interview on Triple J yesterday (listen to the entire session here), Turnbull was asked by a listener why he had given NBN Co the OK to go ahead with the Coalition’s preferred “Multi-Technology Mix” rollout model for the project, when the cost/benefit analysis long promised by the Coalition for the project had not yet been completed. When in Opposition, Turnbull constantly criticised the then-Labor Federal Government for not having completed a cost/benefit analysis into its NBN policy before going ahead with the project.

In response, Turnbull stated that NBN Co’s Strategic Review published last year “concluded that if we had continued with Labor’s all-fibre rollout, it would have taken us four more years to complete it, and $73 billion”. The Communications Minister added: “In order to get the project done within an affordable cost envelope, we needed to be able to give the company the flexibility to use different technology, and that is the MTM model — $41 billion — $32 billion cheaper.”

“There is a very big choice between us and Labor,” Turnbull said. “Labor made a single technology platform — fibre to the premises — a religious or political objective. They said everybody has got to have fibre to the premises to 93 percent of Australia, regardless of what it costs, regardless of how long it takes. No matter what.”

“What we’ve said is look, in the real world, time and money do matter, and affordability do matter, whether it’s for the government, as the investor, or for consumers like us as purchasers of internet access. What we’ve done is given NBN Co the flexibility to use the technology which best suits the environment of a particular location. And obviously, you would use as much fibre to the premises as you can, but the question is one of affordability.”

However, NBN Co’s Strategic Review document, which Turnbull has read and is familiar with, directly contradicts some of Turnbull’s statements.

Page 17 of the document (available here in PDF format) contains a table displaying the various scenarios which NBN Co has examined in its effort to meet the new Federal Government’s objective of being able to deliver high-speed broadband to all Australians. There are six options, ranging from the ‘Optimised Multi-Technology’ mix preferred by the Coalition (using a mix of Labor’s preferred Fibre to the Premises technology, as well as the technically inferior Fibre to the Node and HFC cable options) to Labor’s existing policy, which is standardised on Fibre to the Premises.


The first problem with Turnbull’s statement is that the Minister has conflated government investment with expenses, alleging that the Coalition’s MTM policy is “$32 billion cheaper” than Labor’s.

However, the table makes clear that in almost every scenario, NBN Co would actually make a modest return on the Government’s investment in the project, ranging from 1.7 percent to 5.3 percent. This means that the Coalition’s MTM policy would make slightly more money than Labor’s FTTP option — but neither will, in the long-run, cost the Government anything. The money will be recouped through monthly broadband subscriber fees.

Basic accounting standards, which Turnbull is aware of from his history as an investment banker (he was managing director of Goldman Sachs Australia from 1997 to 2001) hold that there is a key difference between invested capital, which may make a return or a loss, and an expense, which is defined as a cost against incoming revenue. As different types of money they are treated very differently for accounting purposes.

Several years ago the Parliamentary Library of Australia produced a definitive statement on this exact matter, noting that the Federal Government’s capital invested in NBN Co could not be listed as an expense on the Federal Budget. Turnbull is aware of this document and explicitly acknowledged this treatment of the Federal Government’s capital investment in NBN Co in a small note published at the end of an article in August 2012.

“As far as the balance sheet point is concerned, let us just cut through the fog of spin and nonsense here,” wrote Turnbull at the time. “A dollar saved on the NBN Co build is a dollar less for the Commonwealth to borrow and service with interest,” he said. “Under the accounting rules the expenditure on the NBN does not count towards the budget outcome – so much deficit or surplus – but it is cash – real money – nonetheless and it does add to the debt burden of Australians.”

The only case where NBN Co would not make a return on the Government’s investment, according to the company’s Strategic Review, is in one revenue projection case for Labor’s original FTTP policy; but even then it would be expected to make only a modest loss — meaning the project would still not be listed as an expense for the Federal Government, and the Government would take only a small hit to its finances.

Other elements of Turnbull’s statements are also inaccurate.

Turnbull stated that the Coalition’s version of the NBN would be $32 billion cheaper than Labor’s. However, the table makes it clear that if Labor’s all-fibre FTTP policy was radically reworked, and the Government funded the capital entirely itself, Labor’s FTTP policy would cost $54 billion, rather than $73 billion — just $15 billion more than the Coalition’s version.

It is also believed that the value of NBN Co’s infrastructure at that point, being an all-fibre build rather than a mix of technologies — would make the company worth significantly more as an going concern in the long-term, because it would not need to invest further capital to upgrade its fundamental optic fibre network for a period estimated between 50 and 100 years. NBN Co executive chairman Ziggy Switkowski has stated that portions of the MTM Mix option would need upgrading within as short a period as five years.

Timing is also an issue. Turnbull told Triple J listeners that Labor’s NBN policy would take four more years to deliver than the Coalition’s MTM policy, but the Strategic Review document shows that if the network was re-worked, it would take only three years.

Lastly, Turnbull stated: “Labor made a single technology platform — fibre to the premises — a religious or political objective. They said everybody has got to have fibre to the premises to 93 percent of Australia, regardless of what it costs, regardless of how long it takes. No matter what.”

This statement is, as Turnbull is aware, also factually inaccurate. When the NBN project was announced in April 2009, it featured a capital investment scheme of $43 billion and a timeframe of 2020 for the rollout to be completed. Furthermore, the FTTP model was chosen for several reasons: Both because in the long-term (50-100 years), it is currently the only viable technology to service Australia’s growing technology needs, but also because of the need to restructure the telecommunications industry by overbuilding Telstra’s existing copper network, and hence removing Telstra from its monopoly position in Australia’s telecommunications market.

Turnbull’s comments on Triple J this week represent only the latest time the Member for Wentworth has consciously misled the public with relation to an aspect of Labor’s NBN policy. For example, in August 2013, during an election debate on the ABC’s Lateline project, Turnbull appeared to have made a deliberate attempt to mislead the public about the cost of connecting to the NBN’s 1Gbps fibre service, stating that such connections would cost “at least $20,000″ a month, despite the fact that the Liberal MP was aware the cost is likely to be much less.

The other side of politics has also been guilty of misleading Australians about the project.

Also during the election period, for example, then-Communications Minister Anthony Albanese appeared to have issued a media release deliberately misleading Newcastle residents about how the Coalition’s rival NBN policy would affect the area, with the Labor MP falsely stating that the NSW city would “miss out” on upgraded broadband entirely under the Coalition’s plan.

Labor MPs in general also engaged in misrepresentation when it comes to the Coalition’s NBN policy. A number of ALP election advertisements have inaccurately claimed, for example, that Liberal policy would see Australians forced to pay up to $5,000, or else they would be left “on the old, slow copper network”, while connection to Labor’s fibre-based NBN would be free. In fact, under all circumstances the Coalition still plans to provide upgraded broadband connections to all Australians not currently on the existing HFC cable networks. Copper is a feature of the Coalition’s preferred technology — but significantly faster speeds are still faster on FTTN than on existing copper networks.

Like many Australians, I was outraged yesterday when I listened to Turnbull’s comments on Triple J. The Communications Minister simply cannot continue to conflate capital investment with expenses, if he wishes to maintain any veneer of credibility. NBN Co’s own Strategic Review — produced under the Coalition’s watch — indicates that under almost all scenarios, NBN Co’s rollout will make a return on investment. This project will not cost money. The company’s own document shows it will MAKE money.

Claiming Labor’s all-fibre NBN policy will cost $73 billion is like claiming that a house in Turnbull’s electorate of Wentworth would cost $2 million. Sure, it would — on paper. But in real life you also get the asset you bought, which will most definitely appreciate in value in time. It’s meaningless to talk about investing capital unless you also talk about projected returns, as Turnbull is very aware.

In addition, as he has previously done in other cases (for example, the Coalition’s background briefing paper which erroneously claimed Labor’s NBN policy would cost $94 billion to deliver), Turnbull has deliberately taken the worst case scenario here with respect to Labor’s NBN policy, despite the fact that the Strategic Review document itself contains a scenario which would deliver Labor’s vision for significantly less.

NBN Co’s Strategic Review makes it very clear that the company could deliver an all-fibre FTTP network to Australians for just $15 billion more and only three years later than the Coalition’s Multi-Technology Mix project. This infrastructure would be vastly superior to the Coalition’s version and would not need to be upgraded. In the long-term, I strongly suspect it would be worth more financially than the Coalition’s MTM Mix.

With this in mind, Australians are very entitled to ask: Why is the Coalition not focusing on the option that would deliver us significantly better value for money? Why buy a second-hand 1979 Toyota Corolla when we could get a Tesla Model S for only a little bit more, and only a little later? Seems like basic common sense to me.

One can only describe what Turnbull said on Triple J yesterday as “Turnbullian” logic which doesn’t make sense in the real world. Black is white, one plus one equals three, and capital investment equals expense. A new era of spin has truly begun.

Image credit: Office of Malcolm Turnbull, NBN Co


    • Thats because he just performed his usual “ignore the question and attack the previous government” approach.

      He is only happy to answer questions to which he has a good answer to, he won’t ever answer “difficult” questions.

    • Key rule of politics – if you don’t like the question you were asked simply answer the question you wish you were asked.

    • MT is going to be on Q and A this next Monday.
      Will some-one please nail him with a video question?
      He has to be brought to book on all the surfies he’s sproking!

  1. Well said. Turnbull has been getting away with his spin and bent numbers for far too long.

    • Does not matter any more as he does not care. Who will bring him to book?. He has already trashed the concept of the NBN and brought his mates back into the frame to feed out of the NBN trough.

  2. You have to hand it to Turnbull, it’s a clever ploy.

    Common terminology for ‘cost’ is absolutely as he’s used it. “I bought a car and it cost me $x”. But you’re right Renai, the return should also be spoken about, as does the fact you have an asset in exchange for that cost.

    Is Turnbull the capitalist afraid of being seen to turn a profit on the CBN?

    Ironic as he’ll be the first one willing to sell it when it’s completed (or hell, incomplete the way things are going) and then use the same return and profit figures he’s ignoring now.

    Send him a bottle of Grange?

  3. Actually there is further deception there. One that people rarely mention or forget about. Scenario 2 was the active scenario at the time Turnbull took control of the NBN. Scenario 1 was ignoring cost saving revisions, plus odd stuff like adding an extra satellite to the plan. So really that’s another $12B cheaper than claimed.

    • I thought the table above ignores the entire 7% of satellite/LTE (together I’ll call wireless) as they are pretty much the same in both policies. So, AFAICT, the “$73B” is the total NBN including wireless, but the “$41B” is the 93% (without the ~$9B wireless)? Another way to make the numbers look in the CBN’s favour.

      Posting from 1202/666 kbps ADSL2+. (Yes 1.2 Megabits sync at the moment. Line fault is lodged)

  4. Since the MSM won’t cover his lies what can we do?

    I honestly don’t know what options are available.

  5. The listener should be applauded for asking the question. We all ought to take every single opportunity to ask Turnbull tough questions on the MTM. Yes, he will continue to deceive and obfuscate, and we’ll never get him to admit the truth, but bystanders may get an inkling that something is very wrong and investigate for themselves. Hopefully enough lay people get the gist of what the more technically-focused of us have been mad about for a long time, and it hurts the LNP come election time.

    • Good luck.
      Most people are lazy sheep barely able to work out which way is up without someone holding their hand and leading the pack.

  6. Main Stream Media are gutless wonders. Afraid to upset Mr Murdoch..
    They would be happy to see $50 billion squandered, rather than hold Mr Turnbull to aaccount. What a sick sad world we live in.

  7. We need another Q&A on the CBN, but only if they got somebody like Renai on there to take Turnbull to task when he throws out blatant lies like this.

    “Labor made a single technology platform — fibre to the premises — a religious or political objective.”

    Yeah… just like you’re doing with the MTM, Malcolm. Ignore and distort the facts of YOUR OWN REVIEW so that you can deliver a product you know to be inferior and ultimately worthless. At least Labor were going to give us something that was worth the investment. The MTM is going to go down as one of the worst decisions in Australian telecommunications history, probably either second or equal to the sale of Telstra without structurally separating it first (which was ALSO a Coalition decision. How about that?). Turnbull accuses us of being stuck in the “Labor mindset”. Well, looks like he’s stuck in the Opposition mindset: “No, no, NO! Labor did it wrong! Labor are a bunch of morons! My way is right! My way is pure! My way is the only way!”

    • Yes, at the very least questionable. We’ll need a royal commission to dig to the bottom of it.

  8. Just looking over that table and scenario 3 stuck out at me. It will provide 87% FTTP, cost $59b and will be completed only 2 years after scenario 6 (MTM).

    I just don’t understand why scenario 3 wasn’t chosen. From nearly every angle its the best choice. I’m sure if you were able to quantify aspects such that most people could understand it, then did a survey of what people would choose, scenario 3 would be the most popular option and by a large margin.

  9. I think a lot of his numbers are based on the delays the NBN had getting into the swing of things. numbers are clearly showing that construction is running smoothly finally. Telstra has worked out how to speed up pit remediation, removing a significant bottleneck.

    I have always believed in the NBN, and any large project like this will have teething problems. now that pit remediation and syntheo are sorted, things are progressing well in the brownfields and i am disgusted that turnbull would switch to an inferior technology which will not last without truly comparing the cost of such a change. Labor was right to insist on the best. Future proofing is important, and something governments too often don’t consider, planning only 5-10 years ahead of current needs. Adelaide and Syndey airports are an excellent example of nearsightedness.

    when will pollies learn that it’s better to invest a bit more money now and have infrastructure that will last instead of constantly needing upgrading.

    • “when will pollies learn that it’s better to invest a bit more money now and have infrastructure that will last instead of constantly needing upgrading.”

      Because if they do it ends up on their balance sheet and they get swiftly voted out because of the “budget emergency” they caused

  10. FTTH came with FREE install for the user, people keep forgetting that FTTN has a install charge on it for when you want to ‘hook up’. So a lot of that ‘saving’ is just shifting costs between columns! Move the install costs from the NBN project to the ‘user’ and it makes it look like a saving! When really the saving is even less and lets face it, at the end of the day the tax payer is paying for it, one way its funded through taxes, the other way its part funded through taxes and then a installation ‘charge’.

    • It’s not just the extra installation costs. The monthly charges also will need to be higher due to much higher running & maintenance costs & labour force required for all that copper, fault finding, power supply & consumption, nodes & their batteries.

  11. Everybody hates Turnbull, but he’s only doing what he’s told, and when whoever is behind him (very obviously not the majority of Ausrralians) have achieved their purpose, they’ll flick him off like an insect. Just my opinion.

    What is their purpose? To keep fibre away from private citizens, thereby constraining private uploads and remaining in control of information. Again, just my read of the situation. :-) Great articles! I really enjoy reading them.

    • “Everybody hates Turnbull, but he’s only doing what he’s told …”

      The Nuremberg defence is no defence.

      • I totally agree. I should have omitted “only” from my previous post. I’m as mad about what’s happening to the NBN as the next guy.

        I’ll further observe that practically no one knows what Turnbull will do next, and the past few months have been all over the place NBN-wise, and yet he is still there and still keeping us guessing, which suggests to me that he is not incompetent or ignorant about the relative merits of various technologies, but is following an un-publicly-declared (and not his own) purpose. Maybe it is to drown our hopes in a sea of incomprehensibility? :-)

  12. Does anyone…anyone…have an expensive bottle of wine they can send him. Doesn’t even have to be that, anything worth a few dollars really that is a gift. Hopefully he won’t declare it.

    • I like this plan…. Everyone should start sending him ‘gifts’ and if they don’t get returned, then they he should be declaring them! Hopefully we can overload him and catch him out.

      That said, this plan relies on him doing the ‘right’ thing when caught out. So I guess this is the major flaw in the plan!

      • “That said, this plan relies on him doing the ‘right’ thing when caught out.”

        Exactly. I don’t think Malcolm has the same level of integrity that Barry does…he’d be much more likely to go the same route Craig (Thompson) did…

  13. I wonder which “company” that Turnbull is effectively giving a free handout too, will offer him a job after his political career is over?

    • Judging by the list of his cronies appointed to NBN board seats and to conduct dogy NBN reviews, is there any doubt that it’s Telstra?

    • Malcolm has a net worth of $190M or so. After politics he will not need to get a job – only so far as the world is his plaything.

  14. Actually, again where the f@*# is Labor in all of this?

    Why aren’t they using their access to the media to call for Turnbulls resignation? How can they keep letting him get away with lying on a national broadcaster?

    • I get regular emails from the ALP on the NBN and frequently see their social media responses to the latest goings on, you just dont see anything in the MSM because we live in a Murdochracsy!

    • Because the only guy who has been keen to “fight tories” was pushed aside for a yes-man.

      Labor has no spine, it was surgically removed due to Rudd’s little bullsh*t stunt that was designed to effectively make it impossible to dethroned again.

      You need an angry yet measured response from an opposition leader, not someone who is almost more right leaning that the Coalition is.

      • “Because the only guy who has been keen to “fight tories” was pushed aside for a yes-man.”


        I ain’t voting Labor till they clean out the union shills a bit…If only the Greens could get more Scott’s, and less Lee’s and Sarah’s…

        • @ tinman.au (I ain’t voting Labor)
          if that’s your decision then the MTM will continue, there are many aspects of Labor that I question but there FTTP is not one of them. The only party that has the out right numbers to govern is Labor, the greens due to there numbers are a senate side show, no disrespect intended.

          • None taken, it’s not like I’m a die-hard “Insert Footy team/political party/racing team here” fanboi.

            I’m just not going to give my vote to a party with no “heart”. So that rules out the Libs (they sold their souls to the big end of town ages ago) or Labor (who the fu*k knows who/what agenda they are following these days, it’s like that are still infighting their factional union crap…and turning more into the Libs MkII every day).

      • Part of the problem is Bronwyn Bishop sitting as House Rep speaker. She keeps shutting down any disention from the opposition side. Listening to the parlimentarty session highlights, she’s a two faced hypocrite who doesn’t give a rats backside to due process.

  15. One thing I haven’t seen covered anywhere is that if their own strategic review states a full FTTP rollout could be achieved for $15bn more than the coalitions MTM mix then how would the costs stack up if the MTM mix didn’t exclude 30% of the population that currently have HFC? It seems the strategic review was comparing apples and oranges. If they compared the MTM mix rollout with an FTTP rollout to all except the 30% with HFC would the FTTP rollout be cheaper?

  16. Can’t we get the crime and misconduct commission onto him because he is flat out lying, misleading the country and spending billions of tax payers money on a lemon?

      • Get Eddie Obeid to send a bottle of wine to Malcolm and invite him for dinner, and you’ll find ICAC don’t give a dam which parliment he sits in.

  17. Renai,

    What you failed to take into account is that the NBN… both the Coalition and Labors… is paid for with debt.

    Debt itself has a cost which you have failed to take into account. Sure it’s only a few percent per year, but this is on many many billions of dollars. Who pays for that?

    WE, The Taxpayers do.

    Worse than that, the more debt you have the bigger chance you have of being financially downgraded from our current AAA Rating meaning debt becomes even more expensive. Who pays for that?

    We, The Taxpayers do.

    While a rolled gold FTTH to every house in Australia would be nice, the truth of the matter is FTTN is suffecient for most premises. Those who NEED faster have the means to get it at their own cost. This is not unfair, this is the market economy at work.

    • Yes the truth does hurt, the FTTH NBN actually was set up to pay back the debt it generated (including any interest) which was why it was able to stay off the budget books. This is something the FTTN model is unliekly to be able to actually do.

      The added cost of the power, stolen car battery’s (which are required for the nodes), the future upgrade cost to fibre (which is conceded to be inevitiable) is not reflected in the MTM CBN model.
      What is greater risk to our AAA credit rating is our treasurer and the stupid policies of the coalition spending money ona massive white elphant.

      • The power requirements and batteries stuff regarding FTTN is a Myth/FUD.

        All evidence(not hunch based rhetoric) I have seen is that FTTN uses marginally more power than ADSL2+… the same ADSL2+ that will be switched off when VDSL is turned on. This means you are reducing the total power usage from the ADSL2+ equipment in the exchange and replacing it with slightly higher power usage from the FTTN. Net result = bugger all difference.

        Secondly this line about lead acid batteries. Do you know how many were needed for Labors FTTH plan? 10+ Million. Yes that’s right… over 10 MILLION. You conveniently forget that because it’s doesn’t support your own reality which is a shame because it’s right there in the NBN Corporate Plan.

        Of course they are small batteries, but 10+ Million of them none the less. FTTN does require less batteries obviously than this 10 Million(8 per node I believe) and before you make the point that they are larger, yes they are but you’d actually need far less Ah capacity and far less lead and acid because they are only backing up the FTTN rather than everyones home routers.

        • Incorrect….. The ADSL2 gear is housed at the exchange that always has a UPS (batteries) and a backup generator to cover power lose. These are large single point deployments that are cheaper to buy and maintain. The FTTN deploys will require batteries/UPS power in each node to keep the equipment powered up during a power outage so things like the phones continue to work! The cost to maintain these are going to be huge.

          • Yes and despite all that, FTTN… as tested… in real life… with real measurements uses only slightly more power than ADSL2+ which will be turned off once the VDSL2 nodes are turned on.

            Please look at the graph on page 9:

            Also I noticed you missed the point about 10+ Million lead acid batteries are required for FTTH which apparantly is the more eco friendly alternative.

          • And you are clearly ignoring the evidence from teh UK where these nodes were targeted and batteries stolen.
            Which not only required replacement batteries but repair work done to the cabinet to repair damage.
            The batteries for FTTH are not easily stolen being within premises, meaning you rarely need to replace.

            I find it interesting that you suddenly talk environmental impacts of batteries, how is that relevent to cost of the roll out?
            You are ignoring the higher running costs of FTTN over FTTH, you dont have to power the min 70k nodes on top of the exchanges in the FTTH model.

            The running cost of ADSL2 is not relevent as FTTN should be compared to FTTH, not the system its replacing.

            The connection cost for FTTN is ommitted yet in the FTTH model was included in roll out (unless you chose not to be connected initially).

            Finally you are ignoring the fact that the FTTH rollout actually came AT NO COST to the taxpayer.
            Not one penny of taxpayer money was going to be spent, it was invested into the project.
            I suggest you do some more reading as you dont seem to realise this key aspect.
            Not 1 tax payer penny will end up being paid by the taxpayer, all costs of the build were factored in this is why it never had to appear in any of our national budgets as it was not money being spent, instead it was lent to NBN co who pay it back with interest.

            I suggest you take you blinkers off and look at the big picture, beyond the next election and the real cost to the australian pubic who in 10-15 years will have to bypass all these nodes when we end up going FTTH.
            What are going to be the costs of replacing the copper deemed to be below par? Now and over the life of the stop gap measure aka FTTN/MTM/CBM.
            This is a step that has been acknowledged as will be happening by malcom and his yes men.
            What happens to all those batteries in the nodes that now go to land fill (as the FTTH batteries are not the same ones as will be used for FTTN nodes).
            We are simply creating more E waste due to shortsighted political pointscoring at the expense of the australian public.

            This project will haunt the LNP for decades to come as the true cost is realised.
            That NZ abandoned their FTTN plan and have moved to FTTH illustrates that FTTN is a technology that would have been good to roll out 20 years ago but will be redundant by the time it is completed.
            The min speed of 25MB by 2016 has been thrown away, replaced with “when we can”.
            Which is politician speak for “Whoops we never meant to actually have people listen to us when we said that….”.

          • “Finally you are ignoring the fact that the FTTH rollout actually came AT NO COST to the taxpayer.
            Not one penny of taxpayer money was going to be spent, it was invested into the project.
            I suggest you do some more reading as you dont seem to realise this key aspect.
            Not 1 tax payer penny will end up being paid by the taxpayer, all costs of the build were factored in this is why it never had to appear in any of our national budgets as it was not money being spent, instead it was lent to NBN co who pay it back with interest.”

            Lets be fair, the additional cost of FTTP will be paid by us whether it be taxes or a higher priced service. The higher cost does not simply disappear.

            The problem of-course is that FTTN will need to be replaced and there does not seem to be any evidence that delaying this role out will make it any cheaper, quite the opposite. Do it once and do it right seems to be the cheapest long run solution.

            Just as I thought, given we are not going to use the old coper from the exchange to the node, why could this not be used to power the node. It would not be any more vulnerable to power outages than the old system nor FTTP. Either way the power source is the exchange and you would be stuffed if the cable was cut, be it glass or copper. The aggregate cross section of a few dozen copper pairs should hopefully be significant enough to keep power loss acceptable.

            For what it is worth I am on cable and when the power of the CMTS goes so to does my internet, so it seems Telstra does not care giving these nodes power back ups.

          • “Just as I thought, given we are not going to use the old coper from the exchange to the node, why could this not be used to power the node. It would not be any more vulnerable to power outages than the old system nor FTTP. Either way the power source is the exchange and you would be stuffed if the cable was cut, be it glass or copper. The aggregate cross section of a few dozen copper pairs should hopefully be significant enough to keep power loss acceptable.”

            Good idea… BUT, why not just run power directly from the exchange to each node when you are going to need to run Fibre to them anyway?

            Though I think much like traffic lights it will be much easier to just run them straight down the side of a power pole to feed power from the mains.

          • “Good idea… BUT, why not just run power directly from the exchange to each node when you are going to need to run Fibre to them anyway?”


          • I guess the point was that if connecting nodes to power is a significant cost they could simply use the existing cables going to the node for almost no cost. Unless selling the copper of these cables is a significant source of income, or at least larger than the cost of getting power from elsewhere in which case it would not make sense to use these cables.

          • I suspect they would need to run a thicker copper cable to handle the required voltage and ampage to supply the needs of an estimated 200 premesis on the copper tails per node, as well as the node itself to do the vectoring and fibre termination.

          • Because power poles don’t have batteries on them in the event of a power outage, and Exchanges do?

          • Great point with battery theft. Privatised power companies are preparing for massive hikes in electricity costs, and there are a large number of grid storage solar installations in place due to incentives over recent years. Now that grid storage typically pays around 8c kwh and charges 25 cents when it bought back, there is an increasing motivation to add battery storage to those solar systems. I expect this will lead to a great black market for batteries. It would be even more satisfying to know the batteries had come out of one of Malcolm’s FTTN cabinets, I’d even consider paying extra for batteries to know it was damaging His/Telstra’s systems in the process. }:)

        • Every CBN node will require an power supply, and therefore backup batteries, because, for every line, it has to convert the fibre-optic signal (which is light) to the electrical signal carried on the copper.

          This need does not exist in the FTTP method, because it simply uses light, with no conversion, all the way from the exchange to the customer premises.

          • That’s nice, but under NBN FTTH business plan everyone of the 10+ Million premises with a FTTH is to have a lead acid battery UPS system installed so that people can make emergency phone calls out.

            FTTN negates this problem by centralising and reducing the amount of batteries required to only being in the Nodes.

            Out of all the anti-FTTN myths, the battery one has to take the cake in hypocrisy and blind ignorance of what is happening on the ground.

          • What you are completely overlooking is that the node will have to power to whole loop, including the router . In FTTH, the battery only has to power the local house loop (if they person uses UNI-V) and the local router. This means that for x number of houses, FTTH has an X power requirement. For FTTN, that is X times Y(Y=1.5 or more at a rough estimate), due to the resistance in the much longer copper loop. So admittedly there will be less batteries in a FTTN rollout, but they will have to be of significantly greater capacity and hence contain much greater quantities of lead and acid than would be the case in a FTTP rollout.

            But admittedly in the Noalition Bogan Network, there will be significantly fewer houses covered by FTTP/FTTN mix than with the original FTTP rollout, but then how is the HFC going to be sorted to the customers satisfaction? Shall we wait until hell freezes over before Telstra allow wholesale access to it?

          • Network edge routers that can support 100 end points can chew through a half-kilowatt each (guessing here that a Cisco ASR1000 series would do it (and that’s kind of at the low end)). You’re talking about an awful lot of batteries for a single node on the street.

            The thing is, copper uses electricity, which is expensive. Fibre uses light, which isn’t.

          • “Network edge routers that can support 100 end points can chew through a half-kilowatt each (guessing here that a Cisco ASR1000 series would do it (and that’s kind of at the low end)). You’re talking about an awful lot of batteries for a single node on the street.”

            There isn’t any plan which would supply power beyond the NTD, so I can’t see how this is relevant.

            “The thing is, copper uses electricity, which is expensive. Fibre uses light, which isn’t.”

            Well they both require electricity, but yes copper dissipates more energy and fibre has less noise. The broader point about fibre being cheaper to run seems mostly true.

          • “In FTTH, the battery only has to power the local house loop (if they person uses UNI-V) and the local router.”

            I am 99% sure this is incorrect, it only powers the NTD and not your router. It may even be limited to the voice port only, but I am not sure about this.

          • voice and data (UNI-V and UNI-D) since a firmware patch mid last year, i believe.

            you can direct connect to the NTU with a laptop – but yes you will need your own UPS/battery if you want to use a router.

          • 1. The batteries are an optional extra, or at least it’s likely that they were going to be. I mean, if you have a mobile phone, there’s not much need for fixed line telephony at least in most sorts of emergencies.

            2. And if people want to make calls on the FTTN network – if it moves away from POTS as it likely will – they’ll also need batteries to run the phone in the premises.

            So either way…

          • If your life depended on the reliability of the copper network around my area, you’d already be dead.

            It cost me thousands in lost business before I woke up, cancelled the landline and relied on mobile only (no voicemail) for business contacts, If I don’t answer due to reception issues, mostly, they call again later or email. No more “sorry we tried calling you for three days there was no answer…” on the silent ram8 pair gain copper line that gave them a ringtone without ringing the actual phone, month after month, fault after fault. At least I have returned the favour, advising and assisting many people to migrate to VOIP and telstra alternatives. I confidently estimate >20k lost revenue to Telstra as a result

          • i was under the impression the battery only comes if you ask for it, now. there certainly has been talk of shrinking the NTU setup from the first-run setups (which i had, and was admittedly somewhat clunky). The NTU design hasnt been entirely static to date and i certainly expect it will change again given time.

          • Actually the house battery was to be ‘optional’ as home owners coul rely on their mobiles instead in the event of a power outage.

          • The nodes could however be powered either from the exchange or even from the home, as has been talked about in senate estimates. So if you want backup you could do so in either location.

          • Powered from the home how? The power requirements (voltage) for the node subsystems will be totally different to the transmission voltage from the node to the home. Can you please reference you comments so I can see how this will be achieved?

          • You could in principle transform the power to what ever form you like at either end. However it makes most sense to send a relatively high (~110 V) DC power signal from the home to the node so that the size of the node can be minimised. It is also worth noting that it only really makes sense when you have small nodes.

            If you want a random product on the market that can be powered over the subscriber’s copper pair then you could check out Alcatel-Lucent 7357 ISAM FTTB SEM. The buzz word they use for this is remote powering.

            If you want evidence that the communications department is looking into this, below is a video from a senate select committee.

          • Good luck in getting that (~110 V) DC over 500M through corroded connections protected by lunch bags in flooded pits.
            Could dwarf the number of ‘pink batt’ electrocution deaths perhaps?

          • I have a few points to add.

            1) Your copper line already has a DC voltage of ~60 V so we are not talking about a massive change. And that can already supply enough power to turn on an incandescent globe.

            2) DC at the same voltage and current is generally considered safer than 50Hz AC.

            3) Police use Tasers that deliver around 1000 V, so high voltage does not equal danger. What you want to ensure is that the power dissipated in the body is low. This is best measured by current, and is also why transmission lines run at high voltages. So given we don’t know how they respond to a load, I am not sure how you could determine the risk. However since they have already been certified in the EU I am willing to guess they don’t pose a relatively high danger.

          • Not quite, anything over 35V can be lethal. particularly where water is involved.
            Try hooking yourself up to 100V DC sometime & you’ll soon change your “guess’

          • I think you have missed my point, that under a relatively low resistance load you can’t reasonably expect the power source to maintain a fixed voltage. And without knowing this, claims that it is lethal seem unjustified.

            For example you can put a small 9V battery on your tongue with little more than a tingle, but you certainly would not want to do this with a similar voltage car battery as it has the power to deliver a huge current at it’s voltage.

            As for 35 V, sure if it acts like a near perfect voltage source and the current runs through certain parts of the body then it could be deadly, however if it was simply across dry skin it wouldn’t be, maybe it would in salty water. But again without any more information this just tells us that 60 V POTS and 110 V FTTN may be deadly. Indeed in long rural loops POTS has been used at voltages as high as 130V.

            While it is legitimate to ask questions about its safety, given you seem to be making pronouncements about its unsuitability due to a danger purely based upon its voltage which is within the range of existing POTS it appears to me as borderline fearmongering .

          • We’re not discussing conditions in a dry tidy, clean exchange. What’s involved here is the poorly maintained last mile that in many cases shorts out at the first decent shower of rain.
            Find one of your nearest crumbling asbestos contaminated, water filled pits, add 110V at sufficient current to power your node cabinet then start trouble-shooting the half submerged rat’s nest of jumbled wires therein.
            Let us know how it goes. (if you survive)

          • Strange voltages. To the best of my knowledge in Australia, 50V exchange power is the norm , years ago ring voltage was 90V 17Hz using a ring generator, that was replaced with a 50V 17Hz. Never read higher than approx 40V at any customer telephone, maybe 48V at an exchange telephone
            Standard power feed for Coax was a serial constant current DC, that is why the signage beware high voltage – could be as high as 1,500V, but then the repeater equipment was always inside powered Repeater huts, the repeater power was separate to ensure no break if local power was lost, some repeaters ( bigger huts had Batteries and UPS and aircon) and powered the next section
            However are you proposing all the copper be left in situ to power feed, or run a power feed either within the fibre cable on copper pairs or as a separate feed.? Getting complex operationally and maintenance wise. Heard the term KISS, Keep it Simple Stupid

          • @grump3

            “We’re not discussing conditions in a dry tidy, clean exchange. What’s involved here is the poorly maintained last mile that in many cases shorts out at the first decent shower of rain.
            Find one of your nearest crumbling asbestos contaminated, water filled pits, add 110V at sufficient current to power your node cabinet then start trouble-shooting the half submerged rat’s nest of jumbled wires therein.
            Let us know how it goes. (if you survive)”

            Unless Alcatel-Lucent and others are only selling their products in countries that don’t have rain induced faults in their copper network (if such a place exists) then you are welcome to contact them with your concerns. I don’t have the full specifications (even the data sheet is locked) so I can’t be sure as to their safety. If you are not satisfied by their response then perhaps you could then contact the relevant regulator for further assessment. All I can say for sure is that voltage alone is a very poor measure of danger.

            @Abel Adamski

            “Strange voltages. To the best of my knowledge in Australia, 50V exchange power is the norm , years ago ring voltage was 90V 17Hz using a ring generator, that was replaced with a 50V 17Hz. Never read higher than approx 40V at any customer telephone, maybe 48V at an exchange telephone.”

            Yes you are probably right thank you for the correction, I couldn’t remember what I last measured the voltage to be, I thought it was either ~ 40 V or ~ 60 V, so 50V at the exchange and 40 V at my house would make sense. It was my understanding that Telstra set higher voltages for very long rural loops but I can only find references to the US doing this atm.

            “However are you proposing all the copper be left in situ to power feed, or run a power feed either within the fibre cable on copper pairs or as a separate feed.? Getting complex operationally and maintenance wise. Heard the term KISS, Keep it Simple Stupid”

            Both could be possible. I am not saying this is better than FTTP, clearly for most cases it isn’t. I was only responding to the concerns people had about having batteries in the node, (for various reasons), by then saying well you could power it at either end to alleviate these concerns. Not that you would necessarily want to do this… only that you could.

            In all honesty whilst there are many reasons not to like FTTN, concerns about batteries is fairly fair down my list.

          • How much heat is dissipated per node.?, how will those nodes handle 40+ temperatures in outdoor environments, typically air conditioning or active cooling is required which requires power also in very cold environments heating is required, that is why the powered cabinets. GPON is Passive and does not generate heat and handles extremes of temperature or flooding with equanimity
            Yes It could be possible to build a small unit within a pit, but then waterproofing and heat dissipation become issues with plastic sheathing and insulation and seals.

            El Nino is a coming and temperature extremes have been gradually rising to be followed in due course by the flooding of La Nina even if this Government is removing science from its functions nature doesn’t care about their beliefs

    • ” … the NBN… both the Coalition and Labors… is paid for with debt”

      Sigh … Please try to keep up.

      The NBN was ALWAYS going to pay for itself by selling the services it was designed to provide.

      The whole reason that the NBN cost didn’t have to go in the budget as an expenditure was that, as an investment, it was going to be paid for, not by taxes collected by the Government, but money collected from customers.

      • Sure it is a loan that is expected to be paid back for with interest, but the money that the NBN is using now was paid for by the government with debt. So my only addendum to your comment is that tax payers are assuming all the risk, which maybe non-zero if companies are allowed to compete where profitable.

        • … or if instead of an attractive ubiquitous high speed internet infrastructure, an unreliable hodge podge of technologies is used that utilises a proven unreliable, antiquated copper network. Which would you reconnect to for a land based service?
          I’d pay thousands for a fibre connection, have already spent a thousand on a wireless alternative to avoid local road’s decaying copper and reach a working line, and would not pay a cent for any new system attempting to use the dilapidated copper out front.
          Not included in the estimates is how many will avoid the proven unreliability of the copper network and not touch the CBN at all.

          • Don’t get be wrong I am all for FTTP in most cases, I still think criticisms need to be fair minded.

          • Yes, the public assumes risk with both FTTP and MTM models. There are two forms of risk that I am aware of.
            One is the risk of not making the expected returns, so losing some of that money.
            The other risk is framed by what else could those funds could be directed at which may have been a better choice. For example, should we have doubled the CSIRO budget, called it an investment, and hoped for massive, profitable technological innovation windfalls?

            In both cases the risk is real. With the FTTP model the risk is much, much lower for both scenarios.
            With the first risk, there is more initial cost although the total cost is much less in the medium and long terms. The business model is much less risky. The asset value, profitability, benefit to the economy etc make it a no-brainer. The MTM is a bad risk.
            As an ‘opportunity’ risk, the FTTP again comes out smelling like roses. MTM seems to be of dubious value at best.

            While we must truly appreciate that there is an element of risk, we also need to be mindful that any action, at any time, has an element of risk to it.
            The FTTP plan seems to have been a responsible way to manage the risks. The MTM plan is not, as it was never designed rationally – it was created solely to have a superficial appearance as a viable alternative to FTTP. Because this was the only reason for its creation, it was not made with due regard to reality – the reality is it is unacceptably risky. I would absolutely prefer that the money being wasted on it was, for example, channeled towards the CSIRO, and would expect this to be a better risk.

          • Whilst I am not sure I would define opportunity cost as a risk, this is possibly a disagreement only in words. Investment risk to me, is the likelihood and degree to which an investment may not be paid back under the agreed terms.

            There are two main ways I can you could characterise the coalition’s NBN as being higher risk, firstly because they have a less valuable asset to monetise and secondly because there is an open question as to whether competition will be allowed. The argument for the coalitions plan being less of an investment risk is that it will roll out more quickly allowing for earlier monetisation and of course it has less money to pay back.

            It would be interesting to have an outside firm assess these risks. Personally I think the coalition’s plan may in fact be the more risky one, my point was only that taxpayers are liable for that risk, so we shouldn’t ignore the investment finances merely on the grounds that they claim they will be paid back.

            In terms of opportunity cost this should absolutely be minimised otherwise you have put your money behind the wrong project.

          • “Personally I think the coalition’s plan may in fact be the more risky one, my point was only that taxpayers are liable for that risk, so we shouldn’t ignore the investment finances merely on the grounds that they claim they will be paid back.”

            I think any properly conducted risk analysis would come to the conclusion that the MTM model is a poor choice.
            The only way in which the FTTP has anything like more risk is in the amount of exposure, i.e the higher initial investment. This aspect of the risk is grossly misrepresented by anti-NBN and pro-MTM apologists.

            Given the level of certainty between FTTP and the MTM alternative, FTTP has every advantage when it comes to making a ROI, as well as all of the halo effects of boosting the economy.
            Risk management is heavily reliant on probability assessments. The risk of not making a ROI with the FTTP is low, the risk with the MTM is extremely high.

            To throw yet another crude analogy into the discussion. I would rather invest $3000 with a 95% chance of making a small profit, 4% chance of making a small loss and 1% chance of losing everything than invest $2000 with a 20% chance of making a profit, 50% chance of making a small loss, and 30% chance of losing everything.
            The total exposure is higher in the first scenario, but only someone who was innumerate would suggest that the second option was more sensible.

            WIth the known factors of the FTTP versus the MTM, we can do a risk analysis and the outcome is not even close. FTTP is good, MTM is bad. Then we add in the unknowns which keep being raised and which Malcolm refuses to acknowledge (such as the billions it will cost of twisting the HFC to being suitable, the billions it will cost to maintain the MTM, the imminent redundancy and cost of upgrading, the much lower value of the end asset) then the MTM isn’t just an unacceptable risk – it is criminally insane.

    • That isn’t how economics works.

      The end result of the FTTP rollout is an asset that is extremely valuable.
      The end result of the MTM rollout is an asset that is not.

      Renai has highlighted this difference in his article, and it is one that Coalition apologists are too dishonest to talk about.

      The MTM will cost tens of billions of dollars more than the FTTP. We all know that the upfront costs of the FTTP are higher, however in the medium term it is cheaper and in the long term it is much, much cheaper.
      Plus you get an asset that is worth more. Plus you get regulatory certainty and avoid excessive administrative and legal costs. Plus the economy is more stimulated. Plus you tap in to the innovation of the majority, again stimulating the economy.
      Plus it is infinitely scalable. Plus it is cheaper by about a billion dollars per year in maintenance and electricity costs.

      That is before we even consider how many extra billions Malcolm has forgotten to add on to his sums when it comes to things like how to twist the HFC into his plans.

      No one with any decent level of knowledge of economics and IT would try to say that the MTM is cheaper. The only people who repeat this type of falsehood are ideologically driven and are quite removed from reality.

    • I suggest you have a bit of a think about your comment.

      If you don’t believe that paying the interest on the debt has been accounted for you are wrong.

      The $25m implementation study by KPMG-McKinsey covered this. If you don’t believe me read the 500 page report here:

      But in case you can’t be bothered, this excerpt may illuminate things for you:

      We estimate that the interest costs for NBN Co could vary from $4.6-5.9 billion cumulatively between years 1 and 15 of the NBN project.

      You fail to take into account that this interest cost has already been accounted for. Please try again.

    • “Debt itself has a cost which you have failed to take into account. Sure it’s only a few percent per year, but this is on many many billions of dollars. Who pays for that? WE, The Taxpayers do.”

      Yup, and I have no problem if Turnbull says that the NBN will “cost” the amount of ROI returned by NBN Co minus the interest paid to service NBN Co’s debt. It could be a few percentage points, which could add up to a few billion dollars. If Turnbull said that was the cost of building the NBN, I would have no problem, because it would be true.

      But saying that the whole thing costs $73 billion? That is just not true …

    • “What you failed to take into account is that the NBN… both the Coalition and Labors… is paid for with debt.”

      I doubt he has forgotten, he knows the NBN is built with debt, but it’s paid for by it’s users.

      Seeing as you’ve been around here for a while, I believe you know that too, so your post is probably a troll, right?

    • Let’s look a the MTM rollout they have tanked the rollout and set the target so low you could roll over in your sleep and not miss, it’s like a soccer player trying to score a goal when the goal is the field it self.

  18. Because mainstream media won’t publish anything todo with the NBN unless its favours Coalition.

  19. I started yelling at the radio so my wife turned it off. I couldn’t possibly listen to this arseclown without going in to a rage about his complete and utter bullshit

  20. Hi.

    Look I know this might be confusing. But there’s been an election; we know there has been an election because Turnbull is quite adamant there has been one.

    So unless we are all sharing a hallucination, then there’s almost quite certainly been an action election, with real electors, genuine voting papers and actual swearing in of ladies and occasionally gentlemen (and likely some quite nice scones) at the Governor General’s residence.

    FTTH is dead. The costs are increasing. Winter is coming.

    That’s the Coalition’s choice and responsibility.

    • Sadly the ill informed masses are allowed to vote at the election, and these ill informed people had to go on what a one side media showed them! So we ended up with what we have. If you listen to the people, most are not happy with the gov even though they voted for them!

      Noticed how Labour isn’t too been seen on the news or theage websites? But when the power was the other way, it was a different storey.

      • The problem here is simple…

        The current political system doesn’t “vote parties in”. It “votes parties out”. A majority of people voting don’t give a rats crap about which party is doing what for you. All they ever listen to is how the government of the day is sticking it to them until critical mass hits and then people get fed up w/ the supposed “screw ups” (of course it helps if a majority of the media is on your side to help speed up this critical mass) and vote for the other guy or somebody else. Unfortunately the preference system means that voting for “somebody else” more often than not still ends up to the “other guy” because the critical mass of “screw ups” means none of the “other guys” would be putting the current government high on the preferences…

        Until you can get the populace to have a major shift in they way they think and vote you’re going to have this same politicised problem over and over again…

        • Both the above comments about ill-informed and voted out are unfortunately true.

          Add to this… in at least the previous two elections (its always been typical, but has become more drastic recently), NEITHER party has stood behind their policy platforms. How can we Choose who to support, when they turn 180 degrees on what they state prior to an election? What information can a voter rely on with two faced politicians? It’s regressed to the point where the voter deciding on basis of liking/disliking the leaders face is about all that can be relied upon. (yes people do vote on that basis)

          If a company contracted to deliver a service, then turned around, refused to deliver it and substituted whatever they felt like… they’d end up in court or prison. Australia’s political system is broken, it takes lack of accountability to new extremes, and they then wander off into the sunset with a slew of pensions and lifetime benefits.

  21. Just another point.

    In the 2010 NBN Corporate Plan, Quigley and his mate Conroy pledged that 1.26 Million people would have a FTTH connection by July 2013.

    When the actual numbers were released (210,000, with a portion of those unable to even get a connection due to being Class 0) it was clear that FTTH NBN had gone off the rails. They know it, I know it and I think anyone with any sense of reality knows it.

    So then I think it is a very cruel, cruel trick to play on people to say you will get FTTH in any reasonable time. There are indeed people with slow 1Mbit connections as we speak, should we make them wait 15 Years for a speed increase just because it has to be the “best and fastest”. Or rather should these people get a much speedier solution in FTTN?

    Quite frankly Labor had it’s turn to deliver…. they failed miserably and it’s time to give the other mob a go.

    • You actually think the difference between 15 years and 17 years is appreciable?

      Get a clue. In 20 years time we’ll have to redo all the FTTN crap again and extend it to FTTH, how much is that gonna cost?

      I cannot believe they’re allowed to get away with this. Where’s the accountability???

      How can you possibly determine that Labor had their chance to deliver? It was never meant to be finished yet. Are you going to say in 2016 that Libs had their chance to deliver, when there will still be sweet FA people hooked up?

      • I would love to see all the bean counters and economists start slagging the “slow progress” of MTM come mid next year….

        But honestly… either we’ll get silence or deflection that the “delay” was because of Labor’s terrible planning!. Planning that has long since been changed and superceded but thats just minor details!

        • This is an interesting point actually.

          Why was Mike Quigley… a constant and complete failure of a CEO of NBN Co, kept in his job almost to the day his backer Conroy was rolled as Communications Minister?

          “Summary: It was bound to happen: with Conroy no longer able to protect NBN Co’s Mike Quigley, the embattled CEO has called it quits – or so he says. ”

          I mean if this was a real company… with real accountability, Quigley would have been long gone for missing every single one of their targets. Failures are generally not rewarded, but the $2 Million Dollar a Year man Quigley certainly was. Turnbull is right in saying NBN Co was run much like some sort of religious cult or ideologically driven organisation rather than running as a company. To support Quigley through his failings as CEO was to support failure itself which is exactly what happened… surprise.. bloody surprise.

          And if the new NBN CEO fails to perform, I’ll also call for his head as well. As a Taxpayer I pay top dollar for these CEO’s and Board members and I expect results… not a Conroy Protection racket.

          • Are you calling the mess of different networks that makes up the Malcolm Turnbull’s Network results that are worth top dollar?

            Even if what you say about Quigley is half true, the end result would have been worth it and more. Turnbull and those pulling his strings are delivering marginal benefits to fewer people for two thirds the cost of a real benefit to 93% of the Australian population.

            Top dollar for results? NBN as it was.

          • If this was a *real company* as you like to point out you wouldn’t even class this as a “failure” this early of a construction build. Nor would it be subjected to all the the obstructionist plays done by senate during early days (opt in vs opt out anyone?) Your saying a 15-20 year plan is a “failure” because of delays w/in the first 2-3 years?

            By your standards MTM has already failed as it has technically built nothing in this first year besides do report after report after report. Since all the “current” building is still legacy builds from the FTTP plan. Once those are completed there is still no concrete roll out plans.

            Also I would appreciate you not hijacking and deflecting the point of my post. That is why has there been no scrutiny of the new MTM’s performance so far? We were promised a much faster roll-out and much cheaper as the very least on their “mandate”

          • Oh, look everybody!

            In lieu of being able to have an actual argument this desperate fellow has resorted to an ad hominem attack.

            Ain’t that just adorable?

          • “I mean if this was a real company… with real accountability, Quigley would have been long gone for missing every single one of their targets.”

            Over 2 years of those hold ups are directly attributable to Telstra, but hey, that’s Mikes fault too, right?

            The only real issue I have with MQ is I don’t believe he fought hard enough to get Conroy to back down on FTTB in MDU’s, that aside, the man worked harder and with more honesty than any politician.

    • Truther,

      No offence but after six months on, of blaming Labor, refusing to take responsibility for his own policies and leaving NBNco to fend off competition on their own, why do you think anything will happen any faster?

      If it takes six months to:
      – decide to ignore a CBA result, before it’s even published
      – have not achieved an outcome from Telstra that was going to be a “short conversation”
      – have had several reviews done and then ignore almost all of them
      – blame the opposition
      – blame people, publicly for being too stupid to make sure they have decent internet
      – blame labor for the coalitions costings
      – blame the opposition some more
      – be forced into making a decision so that NBNco aren’t left to down tools
      – call everyone who disagrees a troll, or a zealot

      How long do you think it’s going to take before he actually does something constructive?

      Here’s the thing. Turnbull would be happy to continue to blame Canada for another 3 years. And you’ll still be blaming Labor.

      There’s been an election. You need to hold the elected government responsible, not, like Turnbull, cling tenaciously to the past.

      NBNco’s deployments will now be defined by massive overbuild in the cities to combat TPG and others. That will slow the builds everywhere else.

      If you thought you were waiting forever before, boy are you in for a shock now.

      • “How long do you think it’s going to take before he actually does something constructive?”

        Effectively, he can’t do shit until the Telstra deal is done.

        But then, there are so many ex-Telstra folks working at NBN now, maybe that can smooth things along? And considering a lot of them still hold Telstra shares, we (the taxpayer) should get a good deal out of it, amiright?

      • All questions to be asked in a Royal Commission. Malcolm has spent significant effort continuing to blame Labour, instigating investigations, reports etc. Is he blind enough to expect that he will not be subject to the same scrutiny when he is kicked out for hypocrisy and failing to deliver all he has been spouting while in oppositon? Is there anything left of the Liberals excuse for a broadband policy from before the election? Open information, speed guarantees, delivery dates, cost benefit analyses?

    • >>> Just another point.

      your other points on costs and interest on loans have already been debunked so hopefully you can make a point that is decent.

      >>> it was clear that FTTH NBN had gone off the rails.

      it was never on the rails. it takes time to get a train on to the tracks. there were delays getting started and establishing contracts and dealing with telstra. linearly extrapolating current progress for 20 years is disingenuous.

      >>> Quite frankly Labor had it’s turn to deliver…. they failed miserably and it’s time to give the other mob a go.

      I agree. should LNP have optimised management and used some efficient changes to rollout and implemented new techniquest to fttp rollout, they would have done it faster and cheaper. but they have destructed the primary value of the NBN to save a few bucks, costing australians more in the long run.

    • > Quite frankly Labor had it’s turn to deliver…. they failed miserably and it’s time to give the other mob a go.

      My house was about 10% late in being built. So instead we’ve switched builders and now we can build a shed on the slab that’s been poured and all for less money and sooner than the original project.

      After all, “It’s time to give the other mob a go.™”

  22. Just business as usual for Mal, lying prick couldn’t lay straight in bed, move along nothing to see here.

  23. What I found funny, In a sad shack of the head way. Was when he blamed labor for the libs not being able to do the 2016 deadline.

  24. Government Plan:
    – Put the lefty techno-geeks offside enough to move out of Australia
    – Win the next five elections
    – Retire to somewhere with decent Internet
    – Hire someone to teach me how to use it

    In regards to the first point, isn’t Australia always looking for ways to stem the “brain drain”? Wouldn’t a top-tier Australia-wide fibre network be working very strongly towards that goal?

  25. What I really like about this article is the headline; Renai has directly, and explicitly, accused Turnbull of lying, and supplied the evidence to support the claim.

    I’d like to see more people, in print and live, use this verb: lie.

    I’d like it to be “loud, proud and out there”.

    In an ideal world, Scott Ludlam or someone of his ilk will get up in Parliament and accuse Turnbull of being a liar, and put the proof in Hansard.

    Of course, getting people to do this is the tricky bit… :(

    • Why don’t they do this more often? Seriously?

      The proof is all there. The statements are all there. All you have to do is play two YouTube videos side by side, or show two contradicting news/Noalition “reports” and its all there plain as day. I truly don’t understand why everyone just skirts around the inaccuracies and calls them every euphemism under the sun except for “He Lied”.

      Why don’t Ludlam, Conroy and the rest during senate hearings and estimates committees outright say that they’re liars, and with binders full of evidence, stating exactly why they are liars immortalized into the Hansard for all eternity? Especially during actual parliament sittings and committees where any MP cannot be sued or otherwise have comments held against him. We need to fill up as many government records as possible with highlights everywhere they lied about something.

      Its simply a matter of changing terminology and putting them on the defensive. Ideally, instead of their backflips constantly being attributed to the Labor government, their back flips will instead be attributed to themselves and highlight the political spin, even for things that happened a while ago like the $100b NBN lie.

      “Mr Turnbull, before the election you said that the Labor NBN would cost $100b but your own strategic review puts it at ~$50b. Was the pre-election figure a lie?”
      “Mr Turnbull, you said that your CBN policy was fully costed before the election. With the amount of uncertainty in the telecoms landscape now and the lack of a concrete plan behind your policy, was it infact a lie when you said the policy was costed?”
      “You promised that your department would be transparent. However many people have submitted FoI requests to your office only to have them denied for frivolous reasons. Did you lie about promising an open and transparent government?”
      but best of all i hope someone says:
      “It is on record that you have personally invested in FTTH rollouts in France and other European countries. Given that Australia has far less debt than those countries and came out of the GFC mostly unscathed, why do you lie to the Australian people about the suitability of copper as a long term solution as you invest in projects to replace it overseas?”

      The aim is to make Turnbull grow more unstable. the combination of having to promote a lemon policy and the constant (completely justified) accusation of lying will hopefully cause him to lash out more and have is terribly policy lose support from all sides.

  26. The continued hypocrisy from Turnbull is appalling. He has bemoaned the quality of the discussion around the NBN for a few years now – even as recently as a month or so ago when he had a Twitter fail. He has lectured people how the discussion should be carried out, with an “open mind”, using plain, unvarnished facts, etc
    Yet, at every opportunity to practice what he preaches, he engages in lying, hyperbole, blame games, etc, that only make the standard of the discussion far worse. Turnbull is to blame for the politicisation and the poor state of the discussion now. If he wants it improved, it should start with him.

    To quote his leader yesterday “we need to have decent standards in this country. We need to have decent standards from the media, if I may say so as well as decent standards from politicians.” Turnbull has said very similar things in the past as well. Shame either of them cant walk the walk.

  27. @The Truth Hurts.

    So, what is your argument exactly? The Coalition plan of MTM is better because it cost less money than Labors FTTH plan. Is that your argument, yes?

    And this is according to a latest report requested by the Coalition government, which estimated it to be $73B instead of $43B correct, which contradicts what was reported in a previous report under Labor’s, correct? I’ll assume yes.

    So my question is, who can you trust here? It seems whoever is in power basically gets whatever they want written in their favor, and if they do not agree with it, they simply ignore it. Do you agree on that? I’ll assume yes.

    Ok, now MT is stating his MTM network is going to cost $43B correct? I’ll assume yes.

    So, has MT stated….
    1. How much money will be required to “BUY” Telstra’s copper network to install FTTN. If you think common sense here, Telstra are in the box seat, and as a shareholder, I expect to get the highest return, and if something is sought after, Telstra WILL charge for it. Where has this been taken into account of the $43B?

    2. How much money will be required to “BUY” Telstra’s HFC network? Again, this hasn’t been stated in the $43B plan.

    3. How much money will be required to “BUY” Optus HFC network? Again, this hasn’t been stated in the $43B plan.

    4. How much money will be required in the future to UPGRADE this MTM network? Again, this hasn’t been stated in the $43B plan. Ziggy himself has stated fttn WILL be obsolete 5 years after completion.

    Those four questions alone, cast huge doubt on the $43B figure.
    Common sense tells me that the CBN will be far more than $43B dollars, upfront and in the future.

    FTTH would be an asset, and was set up to generate a ROI in repay all debts and then make money. You cannot talk about AAA credit rating and how it “costs” money, like trying to portray it as money that has been spent and not going to be returned. The network is designed as an “investment”, not an “expenditure”. It would be designed as a 50-100 year network, not a 5-10 year network that needed more money spent on upgrading it.

    As a taxpayer, I expect my money to be spent wisely. I don’t judge by what is more expensive or less expensive. I judge by what makes the most common sense, by putting facts together and coming to my own conclusion as to what is the right direction to go with.

    The NBN was about Australia having an EQUAL network, where speeds are the same, pricing is the same, majority of homes covered with fiber, and Telstra’s monopoly is gone. Its not suppose to be a patch network, where you have no idea what speed you will get, what price you will pay, what service you can actually get.

    My 2 cents.

    P.S – BTW, for your own info, the batteries were not compulsory, it was optional for those who needed to have a phone service even with a power outage. This would mainly be targeted at the elderly. But hey, if the Coalition government were wise, they could of slightly modified Labors FTTH and for example, charged for this battery. People were happy to have large MDU’s connected with FTTB instead of FTTH, I agreed with that. What the people wanted was for MT to “tweak” the network, roll it out faster, and get the job done. We do not want $43B spent for “I cannot guarantee you 25Mbps” – That’s an utter disgrace.

    P.P.S – I also question the graph from NBN Co posted in this article. If you look at the $73B dollar figure, the graph states “100% FTTH”. This was NOT Labors Plan, which is what Malcolm continually uses as fact, which is a down right lie. In fact, NONE of those scenarios show what Labors NBN plan would of costed. Labors NBN plan was for 93% FTTH, 4% Fixed Wireless and 3% Satellite. Please show me WHERE in that graph or the report, the cost for that network is shown.

    I look forward to your reply.

    • 1-3) Labour’s NBN was going to pay Telstra and Optus to shut their networks down, why would buying them be much more expensive? This is an honest question, maybe there is a good reason I just don’t know it yet.

      4) Great question, this seems to be the biggest gaping hole in the MTM plan.

      P.S) Yep slight modification with FTTB for MDU’s would have been a more sensible plan IMHO.

      P.S.S) I believe the graph is about fixed line connections only, thus the 100% FTTN is a fair representation of labours NBN. Note the MTM adds up to 100% from HFC. FTTN and FTTB, yet they are also using satellite and wireless.

      • The Original NBN plan was to simply transfer Customers from HFC to NBN fiber.
        That deal did not include the buying of the HFC Assets which Optus and Telstra were allowed to continue to offer pay TV services, Foxtel etc .
        So for NBN to actually buy the assets, it would prove much more expensive..
        Simple really.. NBN just wanted to buy the Sheep, not the Farm..or the FoxCows

        • True enough, I guess how much extra it will cost will depend on how likely they were to keep using the HFC network. They may have already decided that it would be more efficient to run over fiber than to maintain their HFC network, in which case losing the assert would not effect them much.

          Of course that is a big if, they may have planed to keep selling it to Foxtel for decades in which case I would imagine that NBNco would have to pay them for this. But NBNco could then sell this service to Foxtel to recuperate the cost, so I guess the net loss will come down to how much better Telstra is at negotiating than NBNco.

          • Malcolm has categorically stated they will be upgrading and EXTENDING the HFC

            Raises some further interesting issues, as we know the HFC will be the NBN, there will be no FTTN or FTTP, so what happens to the copper services, are we to be forced onto the glorified Pay TV network, HFC is not an adequate replacement for the copper network or is the copper network to remain active, if so who owns and operates the telephone exchange that will not have enough telephone customers.to be viable to operate ?

            As I stated below, HFC is more the province of Pay TV companies that have expanded into Communications/Broadband which is why there is infrastructure competition where there was existing Comms cabling and Pay TV HFC cabling was run in in addition happily coexisting as non competitors

          • “Malcolm has categorically stated they will be upgrading and EXTENDING the HFC”

            Sure absolutely, that was never in question. Just to be clear if that was a response to my statement, I was asking what would Foxtel’s/Telstra’s HFC plans have been in an all FTTP world. The relevance being what are they giving up by losing HFC altogether under the new plan.

            “so who owns and operates the telephone exchange”

            This is a massive unanswered question, my guess is that they will allow still allow ADSL to compete and that this part of Telstra Wholesale will just be rebranded as NBNco.

          • Under the Labor FTTP, Fox/Telstra and Optus got to keep/operate their HFC for cable TV use, and only internet services were transferred over to the NBN.

            Malcolm’s “deal” is a totally different kettle of fish, he wants the whole thing.

          • I realise this but I am wondering what their plans would have been, running the HFC network costs money. So at some point I would presume they would have moved to internet delivery. I am interested in what their forecasts were and thus what value the HFC TV only network is worth to them.

          • ” I am interested in what their forecasts were and thus what value the HFC TV only network is worth to them.”

            Who’s to know, they are effectively private networks, and their value to the owner is yet to be determined in Malcolm’s deal with them.

            it should be less than the cost of a JSF program though :)

      • Simple the associated ongoing costs and liabilities which will possibly triple or more the operational costs and lumber GIMPCo with the substantial Super, Long Service leave and redundancy obligations of those thousands of Telstra employees they will be forced to take on as part of the purchase deal, not to mention the equipment and stores for the copper and HFC. Plus the quite substantial costs of upgrading and extending the HFC Pay TV network.
        Let us not forget the taxpayer through GIMPCo wil take on ALL liability for the asbestos. The markets will love that bit, risk reduction for Telstra shares.
        Care to identify many places where HFC is being built or extended to provide Broadband ONLY, not as part of extending a Pay TV companies product potential customer base, which will of course in this day and age include broadband as part of it’s offered services

        • You have a good point in that the ongoing costs would be higher. As for the liabilities, they would be costed into any sensible negotiation, so the risk here is that NBNco may be poor negotiators relative to Telstra.

          • “be costed into any sensible negotiation”
            And therein lies the rub.
            Considering the overall picture and the subject of this article and the Telstra team running the NBN do you consider you may be just a little naive.
            Telstra has GIMPCo and dear Malcolm and the taxpayer nicely bent over, supply and demand, their legal obligation is to extract the greatest benefit for their shareholders or the board and management can be sued by their shareholders

            As I have always said The Abbot Government and especially dear Malcolm are Telstra’s Alan Bond

          • They created the Frankenstein that is enslaved to the Market and it’s shareholders, deal with it they must

  28. I think your being overly gracious in saying he lied.
    It’s more likely he just doesn’t understand.
    It’s even more likely he was just delivering the message he master gave him , meaning it’s really just a another instance of Abbott lying by proxy through his lap-dog Turnbull.

  29. One way to hold Turnbull to account and to have your displeasure on record is to hit up his Twitter account at @TurnbullMalcolm and tell him exactly how much you are annoyed with his lies and misdirection.

    I know from some of his responses to Twitter that he is not particularly fond of criticism, especially in such an open and public forum.

    It is truly a disgrace that he can continue to tell lie after lie when speaking about the NBN, it’s cost, projected timeframe and more importantly speeds available. This part in particular really grinds my gears, the fact that he made all sorts of claims about speed promises prior to the election and now the NBNCo. have effectively destroyed any sort of speed guarantee with the change to the MTM.

    The whole move from the NBN FTTP to the MTM has, in my opinion, been in order to protect and look after the interests of a select few to the detriment of the majority. You can’t honestly think that Turnbull and Abbott haven’t got ties to people in business set to lose big $ if Labor’s NBN model was rolled out, Murdoch being one of them.

    The whole PayTV market was set to get a huge shake up with Labor’s NBN and the fact that RSP’s were going to be able to offer many different services through a single fibre optic cable, thus maximising their profitability and attractiveness to consumers.

    Unfortunately the damage is now done. Even if we were to vote out these compulsive liars at the next election, the damage that has been done to NBNCo and the projected rollout of the NBN could no longer be achieved.

    Once again the benefits of the few have been put ahead of the needs of the majority, something the LNP are very good at.

  30. Actually I slept on this.
    This item is just a symptom, our rulers are not too subtly rubbing our noses into the fact of their and their masters now absolute power.

    As It has been noted that the ABC has been very “soft” with the government in interviews, allowing them to get away with far less than honesty and failing to answer fair and valid questions.
    The Murdochracy and the LNP have been bleating about the Socialist biased ABC and the Abbot Government is out to clip their wings, possibly even considering Privatising it.


    We are rapidly approaching a situation where Murdochs puppets can not be exposed or held to account for fear of retribution.

    Even sites such as Delimeter with all respect and honour to Renai will find it increasingly difficult to source information unless they toe the approved line.

    I suspect we may see refugees emigrating, they have seen this before and they experienced what always follows, power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely

  31. well all that financial talk is impressive but how can any of it be right. firstly nbn will cost whatever it costs hugely over budget and years behind .money is ALL borrowed future interest unknown .take up rate is tiny so far. we have signed up for the biggest blind date in our history with this one .lets hope no new technology comes on line next 50 years could be the biggest white elephant ever to be in the [parliament ]room

    • Better email Tony Abbott and tell him to stop investing in roads. Flying cars will make them redundant any second now. Oh, let’s also stop education. New tech will solve that. No more funding for hospitals, new tech will solve that.

      New airport in Sydney? Ridiculous! New tech will remove the need. Any second now.

      Perhaps though, just perhaps, all of the scientists, engineers and experts who are sure that a FTTP will not be made redundant by any miracle new tech breakthrough, perhaps, just perhaps, might have an idea what they are talking about.

      I know that Alan Jones has said that new tech will make it redundant, and he has a huge amount of technical expertise attained magically through twisted, angry ideological cognitive processes. I am also sure that his viewpoint is equally valid to every single qualified expert who dismisses the idea of some miracle tech as being absolute tripe.

      I am not concerned at all that it is only ideologues with no technical knowledge who throw up the spectre of some kind of miracle breakthrough tech making the NBN redundant.

      I also agree with the creationists who want biblical creationism given equal airtime on the show ‘Cosmos’. Ideological, irrational asserted ignorance is always, always as good as knowledge.

    • Actually, the take up rate is much better than Labor expected, both in the numbers taking it up, and in the speeds people have been choosing.

      The “blind date” will actually be Malcolm’s take up rate, until he builds his network, no one knows.

  32. Things I can understand:
    – I can understand the need for FTTB (getting fibre to each apartment is not always going to financially or even physically possible)
    – I can even understand FTTdp in select instances (where getting the fibre from the edge of the property to the dwelling may on event prove financially or logistically impractical)
    – I can even understand selective de-prioritisation of areas with majority HFC roll-outs to target areas with the worst infrastructure first (help those who need it most first makes sense in a lot of situations)

    Things I can’t understand:
    – FTTN: The cost savings are negligible, the downsides are near endless (and that’s just the ones we know about), rely on too many inconsistent or unknown factors, require more space (and more power), and they’re expensive to upgrade (higher TCO than doing it right in the first place).
    – Expanding HFC Footprint: Getting people away from it might not be as time-sensitive, but just because a ship is sinking slowly doesn’t mean you should be loading it up with more people.

    In any situation, I can’t possibly imagine a legitimate business case where the TCO of Scenario 6 stacks up along side any of the other proposed plans.

    Sure Scenario 1/2 may be the ideal, but hell – even 3 & 4 look good when compared to Scenario 6.

    • Just out of curiosity, why is it impossible to get fibre to an apartment? They were able to get a phone line in, there has to be a way to get to that phone line to repair it, which means there has to be a way to get to that phone line to replace it.

      And if you can replace it with copper, you can replace it with fibre. Most MDU’s are perfectly capable of getting fibre into the individual properties, thats not the issue. The issue is with strata, and who’s responsible for maintenence and upkeep.

      I can think of two pretty simple solutions off the top of my head, to deal with older or younger properties – use the ducts holding the phone lines to pull through fibre, or put a fixed wireless terminal at the MDF termination point, and have short range repeaters through the building. The repeaters only need to be in range of the modem.

      Properties where even those options wont do the job would be very rare, and perhaps you could use an external solution, a liftwell, or electrical wiring ducts.

      There is always a solution, but people are too quick to not consider them.

      Dont get me wrong, I’m very much in the FttH camp, but FttB shouldnt just be ignored.

      • “…but FttB shouldnt just be ignored.”

        Exactly, in fact it’s about the only part of Malcolm’s plan that actually makes any sense…

  33. It was a shame that Hack ran out of time to respond to Turnbull’s lies. Happens too often on that show – just when it gets interesting they need to cut to the 6pm news.

    I find it quite amusing that he uses the terms ‘religious’ about the tech choice when he has demonstrated very similar fervent desire to go ahead with a solution without a CBA, just as Labor did. I find ubiquitous fibre broadband a far more appealing religion than a marginally cheaper, technically-compromised hodgepodge.

  34. One big point not mentioned here was the complete and utter lack of any costings for the upgrade 5 years after completion of the CBN, AND any mention of costings for lease/buy of the Telstra CAN and Telstra/Optus HFC. In particular the latter is conveniently missing from any costings because this will surely make the CBN more expensive than the real NBN.

    • That is why they are on this cost cutting, corner cutting exercise. They have to minimize the upfront and overall cost by any means to disguise the substantial costs involved with taking on the Copper and HFC

  35. Is it OK for Australian politicians to lie and to deceive? This is not an accidental misstep of words and it is not the first time he has resorted to telling bald-faced lies.
    He is abusive of those that question him, he lies to his constituents, he is recklessly spending our money on the first of two NBN’s and is putting his sub-standard model ahead of the better alternative because it was Labor’s idea.
    We are now committed to a sub-standard path that puts us years behind the world at large. He is a shameful example of a politician that should be forced to resign and should be on charges for telling lies to the public. This is not a forgotten bottle of wine, this is a deliberate $40 billion dollar waste and a generational communications set back for the nation.

  36. For those repeatedly arguing against FTTH, should probably be aware they are shouting at walls.

    I say this, not because it’s not okay to have an opinion, but because that is, fundamentally, what you are doing. FTTN isn’t end-game. It’s not where we stop.

    It’s a stepping stone. It’s the supposed cheaper alternative used as a reason to extend the life of an antiquated network that, right now, needs a considerable amount of re-mediation to deliver the stated outcomes.

    There is a reason the recent Telstra trial ‘success’ result is for 100 meters. You better believe if the same 105/40 speeds were reported for a 400+ meter line, it would have been selected.

    Regardless of what we spend on FTTN, you cannot simply ignore the costs of FTTH extension, unless you choose to freeze further investment, indefinitely.

  37. “For those repeatedly arguing ‘against FTTH’, should probably be aware they are shouting at walls.”
    I would suggest the above should read ‘for FTTN’ in our present situation.

    The big end of town wants to preserve it’s existing monopolies & cash cows for as long as possible & are adept at using the media to manipulate both the general public & politicians to get what they want. Remember the “Kick This Mob Out” campaign?
    They’re now lining up for Turnbull to hand them their cut.

  38. Isn’t it ironic that the lead in sound clip to TripleJ’s Hack program features none other than Mr Turnbull himself saying You’re telling the most outrageous lies! and as I recall that was recorded from another episode about the NBN

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