“Fictitious”: Turnbull rejects every Senate NBN allegation

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turnbull

news Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull has published an extensive, 33 page Coalition rebuttal of specific allegations raised by the Opposition in late March claiming that evidence shows NBN Co’s Strategic Review published last year is based on “flawed and unreliable” premises and was in fact designed by Turnbull to constitute a “pre-ordained political outcome”.

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

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

In late March the NBN Senate Select Committee, which is controlled by Labor and the Greens, published an extensive 194 page interim report into its initial findings regarding the revamp of the project. You can download that report here in PDF format. Former Communications Minister Stephen Conroy said at the time that that report showed there were seven major problems with NBN Co’s Strategic Review, including:

  • The review assumes a delay in the time taken to complete Labor’s fibre build that is at odds with NBN Co’s current run rate, but is used to strip out $11.6 billion in revenues and add $13 billion to peak funding
  • The review excludes approximately $4 billion in ‘business as usual’ architecture savings from Labor’s fibre build, which were signed off by previous NBN Co management
  • It assumes higher costs for the fibre build would add $14.4 billion in capital expenditure, a claim which is at odds with evidence from NBN Co and the Department of Finance and does not allow for normal and reasonable build efficiencies
  • The review includes overly pessimistic revenue assumptions for the fibre build that do not reflect existing strong demand for NBN services, or the high data usage patterns of Australians using the NBN and ignore demand for important elements of broadband quality, particularly reliability and upload speeds
  • The review adds a third satellite to NBN Co’s deployment, without direct explanation and with a launch assumed at such a time (FY2021) to include costs but exclude revenues from scenario comparisons
  • It includes scenario comparisons which include costs and revenues for the Multi Technology Mix build at assumed completion, but exclude revenues worth $15 billion from a fibre build after 2021
  • It acknowledges that the MTM model will need to be upgraded, but then refuses to outline the costs for these upgrades, dramatically reducing the real cost of the MTM

Yesterday Communications Minister Minister Turnbull published a 33 page rebuttal of those specific allegations, as well as a broad swathe of other statements contained in the March Senate report. You can download the full Coalition rebuttal online here in PDF format.

With respect to the first point about NBN Co’s Strategic Review assuming a delay, the Coalition responded: “In truth, today’s 950 brownfield premises per working day would need to increase five-fold for the Revised Outlook to finish in 2024.” It appears Turnbull is alleging that NBN Co’s current deployment rate for Labor’s FTTP version of the NBN is too slow to meet the project’s projected 2024 deadline and would not sufficiently increase in speed.

With respect to the second point regarding the $4 billion in “business as usual” architecture savings signed off by previous NBN Co management under Labor, the Coalition responded that consulting firm KordaMentha had determined that only $1 billion of savings were valid.

With respect to the third point, Labor’s contention with regard to the Strategic Review’s allegation that higher costs would add $14.4 billion in capital expenditure to Labor’s FTTP version of the NBN, the Coalition’s response stated that projected costs under Labor’s plan had been understated, with projected costs “well under actual costs to date”.

In point four, Labor had alleged that the review included overly pessimistic revenue assumptions for Labor’s FTTP build that did not reflect existing strong demand for NBN services or high data usage patterns, and ignored demand for other elements of broadband services than download speeds, such as reliability and upload speeds.

“NBN Co’s outside advisors stated previous forecasts conflicted with international benchmarks, double-counted sales to government, and were “very optimistic”,” the Coalition fired back in response. “Since 2000 broadband prices have barely changed – casting doubt on NBN Co’s projection of strong ARPU growth over the next decade (Page 18).”

In point five, Labor had alleged that the Coalition’s Strategic Review had added a third satellite to NBN Co’s satellite deployment, without considering revenue or cost implications. “Under Labor the rollout outside the fixed line footprint was so botched that service and coverage commitments can’t be delivered,” the Coalition’s document stated. “Capex of about $1.5 billion is needed to rectify coverage and capacity gaps (Page 19).”

Labor’s sixth point alleged that NBN Co’s Strategic Review excluded revenues worth $15 billion from a fibre build after 2021. “In reality this has no impact whatsoever on calculation (or comparison across scenarios) of total capex, total funding required, or return on investment over 2010-2040 (Page 22),” wrote the Coalition.

And Labor’s last point alleged that the Coalition’s preferred ‘Multi-Technology Mix’ model would need to be upgraded, but stated that the Strategic Review did not include such costs. “In fact upgrade paths are identified and their costs analysed – again proving a multi- technology NBN now and FTTP later costs less in today’s dollars than deploying FTTP now. But upgrade costs are not scheduled, as it is unclear when (or whether) they will be needed (Page 23),” responded the Coalition.

In general, the Coalition’s response to the NBN Senate Select Committee’s interim report was highly critical.

“This specious assault on the legitimacy of the Strategic Review was led by Senator Stephen Conroy, the former Minister for Communications, who has used the Select Committee to contrive an alternative (and entirely fictitious) history of the NBN,” the Coalition’s response stated. “In Senator Conroy’s parallel universe Labor’s rollout was a well-oiled machine, on time and on budget. Witnesses who pointed out the project was a mismanaged and dysfunctional shambles under Labor were dismissed with bellicose contempt.”

“In their dissenting report, Coalition Senators highlight Senator Conroy’s abuse of the Committee and its hearings, and correctly note the majority interim report is “grossly misleading and untruthful in its portrayal of the evidence provided to the Senate Select Committee”.”

“The basic facts about the NBN are incontestable. By September 2013, after six years of Labor in office, $6.5 billion had been invested in a network that reached less than 3 per cent of households and businesses and was delivering services to less than 1 per cent. Yet the authors of the Select Committee’s majority interim report – Senator Conroy, Senator Lundy, Senator Thorp and Senator Ludlum – appear just as unwilling to acknowledge NBN Co’s inadequate past performance as they are to concede any need for change in the future.”

opinion/analysis
I’ll publish my detailed thoughts on these seven specific allegations from Labor and the Coalition’s response to them later. Today I just wanted to highlight to readers the existence of the Coalition’s response.

However, I do want to note that as a general category of literature, I would characterise the material emanating from both sides as highly contentious politically motivated bullshit of the highest order. You could sell either side’s allegations as high-grade manure at the Easter Show for a huge amount and walk away from very satisfied customers.

There was a fair amount of truth embedded in March in the Labor-dominated NBN Senate Select Committee’s interim report. And there is also a fair amount of truth embedded in the Coalition’s response. But the way that truth is presented and published in both cases largely negates it. Both sides are cherry-picking facts, presenting information devoid of context and without insight, and taking any chance they can to score points on their opponents.

Because of this, I find it very hard to read the material generated by either side; it’s like dunking my brain into a pig trough. If both sides were actually interested in the truth of how this massive infrastructure project should go forward (and I think Labor is more legitimately interested than the Coalition, but not uniformly so), then they would stop nitpicking and jointly commission an independent party such as the Productivity Commission to examine the whole situation, or perhaps the Australian National Audit Office. Then each side should agree to abide by the joint recommendations of such informed and capable organisations.

I have always found the ANAO in particular to be very rigorous in its examination of Government projects. I have read many dozens of ANAO reports. And none had quite the … stretched quality of NBN Co’s Strategic Review or the various Senate reports and rebuttals produced about the project by the politicians. ANAO reports tend to be a great deal more cut and dried. I like that. I like facts. I’m funny like that. Evidence really floats my boat when it comes to major infrastructure projects. Call me weird.

But of course, neither side will do this. They prefer to use the NBN project as a political plaything that they can use to score points on their rivals. This is a tragedy and, as I have previously written, beyond a farce. Labor and the Coalition should both be ashamed of their current actions. Even to the extent that Labor has the moral high ground on the Coalition on this issue, we still don’t see the kind of behaviour, especially in these Senate Committees, that one would expect of such senior politicians.

I don’t think I’ve mentioned it enough recently, but what is happening with the NBN right now physically disgusts me. I feel ill when I think about how this fantastic project has been mismanaged and how it has become a political plaything. These back and forth reports merely reinforce that feeling. And I know I am not alone in feeling this way.

Image credit: Twitter account of Malcolm Turnbull

35 COMMENTS

  1. Malcolm Turnbull is not a Minister of communications he does not deserve such a title.
    It should be revoked for the fraud he is.

  2. I’d say the public i.e., the people who vote and will use the NBN, switched off long ago. Being in government and actually able to so something, Turnbull should be doing just that: getting on with the project instead of devoting resources to writing rebuttals to Senate enquiries and which will change no one’s mind.

    The punters knew what they were on the verge of getting. It was something they wanted and could make good use of and now they aren’t. Punters understand such things.

    • My current position is a state of resigned despair.

      I have no hope for Australia with the liberal gov in power.
      We’re doomed.

  3. Is there a “fact” left in this whole debate beneath the propaganda, lies, spin, mischievous point scoring and nonsense?

    To paraphrase the King, facts have left the building. The NBN has been returned to sender.

    I’ve been reluctant to ever use the word “tragedy” in this. But in a sense I think that it is justified. What a tragic waste of opportunity. We will never see a NBN until the issue is de-politicised. That won’t be within my lifetime.

    sigh.

  4. I enjoy reading your analysis and agree Turnbull should resign,mainly for lying all the time,he knew what these bastards where going to to,but lacked the spine to oppose them.
    Hopefully this Govt will be removed and Labour will pick up the NBN again I hope

  5. This all falls out from the Liberals failing to actually be a good opposition. Instead of saying, “good idea, it has some merit, we support it in principle, but here’s how we think you could improve/refine it”, they went the whole “Kill, crush and destroy”. That unfortunately has set the tone for the vast majority of the debate (if you can stretch to call the argie bargie a debate).

    Looking forward to what you really think on the “response”, Renai.

    • With a proper low latency, little compression NBN there’s zero reason why I’d need an Intel processor in my home, rather than effectively rent a share of one (and a graphics card) elsewhere. Besides, it seems thoroughly possible that they will also lose server market share to ARM and, at Google, maybe POWER.

      All Intel has is a too expensive presence on every desk and the biggest case of platform lock-in you ever saw. Of course they are going to want the NBN dead, it won’t help them sell more processors with more power, at this point, only fewer and fewer.

      That’s Intel marketing at least, and in theory. I have no doubt the engineering side would weep quietly.

  6. Renai said “I don’t think I’ve mentioned it enough recently, but what is happening with the NBN right now physically disgusts me. I feel ill when I think about how this fantastic project has been mismanaged and how it has become a political plaything. These back and forth reports merely reinforce that feeling. And I know I am not alone in feeling this way.”

    You feel ill because (along with many business owners) you were one of the boosters who believed Turnbull before the election. Your subsequent “after the horse has bolted” mea culpas are too little too late, so you have that terrible sinking feeling that comes from knowing you’ve been suckered and you’re STILL being suckered.

    I dont feel ill, I feel white hot rage that the NBN has been comprehensively wrecked for ideological reasons by philistines who don’t understand the technologies and aren’t interested anyway. Blind Freddie could see this is what the Coalition had in mind, yet business owners blithely assumed the Coalition would “never do anything to hurt business”. Wrong! The Coalition will always hurt business if it suits the goals of Very Big Business.

    So what is to be done? Speaking truth to power doesn’t work. The only possible path would involve all the major players in IT banding together and conducting a very public campaign, backed by businesses/services with specific needs in regional areas. Put pressure on the Nats. Enlist the Greens and Independents.

    But that would require….what, exactly?

    S.O.L.I.D.A.R.I.T.Y

    Democracy thieves have spent the last few decades destroying mechanisms which foster solidarity. The wrecking of the NBN is a textbook example of the consequences. There really is nothing anyone can do to stop them.

    • i feel exactly as Renai in the last para, but knew full well these guys were a snake in the grass and voted accordingly – and let folk know what they would be in for. but its no less gutting and infuriating to see; they have truly exceeded the depths i thought they would reach just about across the board in governance. im struggling to think of a department that hasnt been interfered with in some way shape or form, and im coming up short.

      i thought HC or whoever it was, who tabulated the days left in a full run coalition govt within days/hours of the poll locations closing doors, was being a bit hyperbolist in reaction. seemed a bit excessive at the time, even though i did expect things to be unpleasant for a while. now? the chance to throw these bums out cant come fast enough. there are times i havent liked labor winning and there are times i havent liked libs winning but my tendency is to let them prove themselves; if you won the right to run a state/nation, that courtesy i will at least extend. but im still astonished at how few months it has taken for me to have seen enough (3 or 4 months, from memory) of this mob, and to wish to see the back of them post-haste.

      it wont be NBN that rolls them, unfortunately. but theres an awful lot on the table beyond that already… in truth IT is only one part of many people must be reminded of when it comes time to evaluate performance. on the record of the time in power so far, there wont be any shortage of reminders…. and i fully expect more to come

  7. Mr Turnbull MP says ….. Blah Blah Blah.

    Unfortunately for Mr Turnbull, today’s Senate Select Committee hearing into the NBN has dramatically revealed the extent to which his panels of experts, reviewers, and associated sycophants, hangers on and political acolytes have corrupted and ultimately discredited everything that the Liberal Govt has instigated regarding the NBN since they came to office.

    What has been revealed is a litany of farcical ‘panels of experts’ producing reports which are relied upon by yet more ‘panels of experts’ to produce more reports which do nothing more than try to further a political agenda regardless of economics or social benefits.

    It’s a farce. Pure and simple.

    For example, look to today’s hearings of the Senate Select Committee on the NBN. It was revealed that one Emma Flannagan was employed by the CBA inquiry as an independent expert. What was also revealed was that this person was an employee of none other than Henry Ergas. (And readers can do their own research regarding Mr Ergas, his links to Telstra, his role as advocate/lobbyist, his political affiliations, and his associations with the Murdoch News Corp.

    Now this panel relies on data that relies on data obtained by …..

    I won’t spell it out but I would expect readers interested in the truth to do their own research. I can guarantee you will be surprised at what you find.

  8. Using the figures from Strategic Review to rebut the allegation that the figures in the Strategic Review are flawed is almost hilarious, if it weren’t for the fact that it’s us getting bent over the barrel here.

  9. Have they said what the aim of the network is yet? Or how Australia’s copper network will be dealt with? Nope? Thought not. Perhaps someone should ask?

  10. Here’s a quick reply, after having read the post and the attached PDF:

    > The interim report alleges the Revised Outlook for Labor’s FTTP NBN assumes delays “at odds with NBN Co’s current run rate”.

    The premises in build have decreased from 385,091 in September 2013 to 307,560 in March 2014. The HFC network had a 1.7 million premise per year rollout speed for a 10 month peak. It appears to be entirely at Mr. Turnbull’s disposal to increase the speed at the rollout, as no obstacles have been cited, the asbestos crisis and all being over, but it has slowed down and slowed down, under his watch.

    > The interim report alleges the Revised Outlook ignores $4 billion in design savings ‘signed off’ and ‘implemented’ by NBN Co. KordaMentha determined $1 billion of savings were valid; the remainder had no finished business case and/or were inconsistent with the Corporate Plan

    Just because savings have no finished business case or are inconsistent with the Corporate Plan, a document that is changing under the coalition anyway, doesn’t mean they are invalid.

    > In fact most Revised Outlook costs, including FTTP, are well under actual costs to date.

    So why is Verizon able to do it for $500 to $700 a connection but NBN Co is at $2000 and above? Why is it that Turnbull seems to invest in a business that can, according to him, do it for $237 but can’t run a business that can do it for less than $2000? Furthermore, why aren’t the per premises costs discussed under scenario 2 but in the context of scenario 1 only?

    > Since 2000 broadband prices have barely changed – casting doubt on NBN Co’s projection of strong ARPU growth over the next decade

    And around that time, Telstra’s ADSL Freedom at 512/128 came with 3 GB, cost $89 a month and was $189/GB over the limit. And again with the tossing together of low end prices and top end prices by using an ARPU.

    > Under Labor the rollout outside the fixed line footprint was so botched that service and coverage commitments can’t be delivered.

    So is there a fundamental problem with the fixed wireless rollout now? I’m sure many would appreciate hearing about it, but barely a word from the communications minister on that matter. And how much would it cost to instead have some more rural ADSL2+ services on the remnants of the copper network? Turnbull has previously complained about TUSMA in the context of a FTTP rollout, where’s TUSMA coming in now it would save money in a review? Oh, right, it would save a pretty big part of that money under the Labor plan.

    > In reality this has no impact whatsoever on calculation (or comparison across scenarios) of total capex, total funding required, or return on investment over 2010-2040 (Page 22)

    The total capex for the MTM to ’24 is $33 billion. To ’21 it’s $30 billion. However, Switkowski and even the next question iterate the need for an upgrade pretty much as soon as the MTM is completed. Furthermore, the revenue projections are funky to say the least. A network on which 80-85% (scenario 4) are on 100 Mbps by 2019 would have $16 billion in revenue by 2021. But a network on which 65-75% (scenario 6) are on 100 Mbps by 2019 would have $18 billion in revenue by 2021. Is anyone seriously going to believe these numbers?

    > In fact upgrade paths are identified and their costs analyzed – again proving a multi-technology NBN now and FTTP later costs less in today’s dollars than deploying FTTP now.

    And with $3 billion between 2021 and 2024 you aren’t going to upgrade much, neither to FTTdp, a premise at a time, or FTTP, kicking over nodes that are probably not even paid off yet. And furthermore, even that page 100 of the strategic review, biassed as it is, shows building FTTP now as being only $4 billion more expensive than starting in 2030. I’m pretty sure the value of having FTTP by 2017/2018 on average is worth $4 billion across 25-ish million people rather than having it by 2035 or something on average.

    So to summarise: By now we can blame Turnbull instead, weasel words, follow Turnbull’s money, invalid numbers, wilful ignorance, funky numbers, proven irrelevant by Turnbull’s own numbers.

    But none of this is to say that Labor shouldn’t reflect on the circumstances either. Screw them too.

  11. In all of this I most wish that Simon Hackett would pipe up a little more often. If only to introduce some technical accuracy to either sides statements. It would be good to see him chastise both sides in turn, something the MSM may actually latch onto as well.

  12. I had a quick scan through of the 33 yawnfest of a document.

    Mr Turnbull/The Coalition once again have lied, as all I could see mentioned was $73 Billion & Labor/FTTP vs savings of $32 Billion & Coalition/MTM (implying a cost of $41 Billion for MTM).

    Nice that the document included some table for premises passed, but neglected to include the tables showing the “real” costs in the SR.

    I totally agree with you Renai: “I would characterise the material emanating from both sides as highly contentious politically motivated bullshit of the highest order.”

    Disgusting behaviour by both sides. Wrecking the future of Australia’s comms infrastructure over some petty political to-ing and fro-ing. Blerg…

  13. I feel a little sorry for you Renai.

    The NBN articles are clearly the popular ones that bring a a people in, yet like you, there is a point where I get so dissolutioned with the whole process that I just don’t want to read anymore (generally Turnbull) bullsh*t.

  14. Turnbull will be the first against the wall, when the revolution comes!

    We will regret what they have done to the NBN for decades to come! Remember kiddies, we only get one chance to get this right, and it’s blown!

  15. Could well be that the reintroduction of FTTP will be the vote fixer of last resort if they wish to win the next election. The LNP is playing a political game with a ball that a large majority of the voters are very fond of.

    History will repeat itself in a few years if they keep hanging on their MTM during election time.

    Before the LNP will ditch its MTM, first MT needs to be removed.
    This is hardly unlikely due to the support he has from his friends.

    Renai, I agree with you and I have always had the opinion that Mike Quigley only made one mistake.
    He did not protect NBNCo from being a play ball of politics. He was to close to SC.
    With the appointment of MT’s friends within NBNCo, the political influence within NBNCo only became bigger rather than smaller.

    The focus is all on politics and satisfying politicians. It is not about descent project management, productivity or a cost-effective implementation. It is also not about delivering the best broadband network to the people of Australia. Sadly that is what the only and sole focus should be.

    My opinion is that the price per premise under FTTP will drop well under the price of FTTN within the next three till five years. It will only by that time that the MTM implementation will get momentum.

  16. “Both sides are cherry-picking facts, presenting information devoid of context and without insight, and taking any chance they can to score points on their opponents.”

    Isn’t that always the case?

  17. > I do want to note that as a general category of literature, I would characterise the material emanating from
    > both sides as highly contentious politically motivated bullshit of the highest order.

    +1

    But … the substance – if not the lanugauge – of the 6 main points Turnbull has responded to holds water, and the evidence for it is all in the Strategic Review. And that’s more than can be said for any of Turnbull’s reponses.

    The bottom line is if you strip away all of the selective presentation of the “facts”, even with all the “conservative” (and you can interpret that as you will) assumptions, the SR *still* shows FTTP is the better option financially.

    Scenario 1 pretty much assumes the entiore NBN is rolled out with the average efficiency achieved at the end of 2012 while the rollout was still ramping up, but with ongoing declining productivity after that. Scenario 2 assumes that all of the productivity improvements reasonably proposed, pipelined and actually achieved in 2013 are realised, but there are no further productivity improvements beyond that, and productivity declines from there. AFAIK, most – if not all – of the productivity improvements Conroy/Turnbull are arguing should or should not have been included in Scenario 1 have subsequently been implemented.

    The SR also has 2 revenue “trajectories”, both based on varying amounts of declining real ARPU. While the SR doesn’t say so, I find it curious (to say the least) that the difference between the two correlates very closely to the probable revenue forgone from MTM not servicing high end users (ie, ~15%).

    To me, the correct apples with apples interpretation of the SR is to compare the ROI of Scenario 2, revenue trajectory A (4%) with Scenario 6 trajectory B (3%). It’s no wonder Turnbull tried to prevent publishing the thing.

  18. “I feel ill when I think about how this fantastic project has been mismanaged and how it has become a political plaything… And I know I am not alone in feeling this way.”

    I assure you, you’re not alone.. :-(

  19. “I think Labor is more legitimately interested than the Coalition…”

    Why? Genuinely interested.

    • Well sans political bigotry and or apologist status… Labor may not have been perfect but in relation to the topic of comms, IMO they are so far ahead of the current government it is sad for us as Aussies…

      So, which party in 2007 vehemently opposed and labelled as fraudband the very same FttN technology (which BTW was still a reasonable plan in 2007) they now have as policy?

      Which party then flip-flopped in their rhetoric, from wireless is the way of the future Alan, to FttN, back to wireless and when the music stopped, grabbed the first seat they could and landed on (drum roll) FttN – fraudband.

      Which party has said their (fraudband) FttN will make FttP largely superseded…WTF? Or that such FttP speeds aren’t necessary?… But have nonetheless said they will roll out unnecessary/largely superseded FttP in greenfields (unless they have flip-flopped again)…

      Seriously, even though the list goes on, must I continue?

  20. Malcolm always looses me when he busts out the lawyer-speak. When he starts ranting about “specious assault” and using terms like “botched” and “bellicose contempt” I trust him about as far as I could throw him…

  21. “If both sides were actually interested in the truth..”

    .. then none of this would be happening. We would simply stop yapping and get on with the job at hand.

    The truth is that Labor undersold the project, and was ill-equipped to see it done. It almost certainly would have gone over budget, given the endless hurdles presented by the general state of ducts and remediation, not to mention low-balling construction firms; however it was also always going to return a profit.

    The truth is that the CAN has delivered a monster profit to Telstra over it’s lifespan, and there’s absolutely no factual argument that can debunk the same extended profit potential, simple because the medium might be fibre.

    The truth is that we will have to pay to extend to fibre from FTTN. It’s not a case of if, but when. The only reason advances in DSL sell well, is it allows entrenched players to extend the life of copper. The longer it’s in the ground and active, the longer the profit line continues.

    Mixed-technology is neither ‘better’ or ‘cheaper’. It simply shifts where the money goes, and extends the life of the CAN.

    Turnbull is spinning facts, once again, to justify an outcome. He’s shouting down the walls to try and prove a “cost” point when his own model will ensure endless expenditure ongoing. Meanwhile the industry is hamstrung by his indecision and will begin to circle the drain.

    The only people deploying FTTN are infrastructure owners; everyone else has bit the bullet and moved on to the next long-term technology choice. Those that have deployed FTTN, are already extending Fibre.

    Bipartisan support for a next-generation network would have secured Australia’s digital future; instead petty politics from both sides of the house will ensure we are stuck where we are for many years to come.

    NZ worked this out. The opposition (Labor) does not agree with the entire project, but does not resist it’s progress. There are times when action and delivery are simply more important that rhetoric and ego.

    The Coalition has done nothing but scream and vent and blame. Turnbull is still acting like he’s opposition. The opposition has no idea how to oppose. It’s a cluster-fuck.

    I’m tired of this bullshit. I’m tired of the petty politics. And yet it will persist in continuum for as long as the NBN exists.

  22. With the rest of the Cabinet ministers supporting point scoring at the expense of doing positive work for the country whatever the circumstances, expect no change in the communications portfolio anytime soon.

  23. “Yet the authors of the Select Committee’s majority interim report – Senator Conroy, Senator Lundy, Senator Thorp and Senator Ludlum – appear just as unwilling to acknowledge NBN Co’s inadequate past performance as they are to concede any need for change in the future.””

    Right now we are concerned about the NBN Co inadequate current and future performance. They are advocating for a change for the better are fine making changes for the worst based on a misleading report is not.

  24. I gave up on hoping for anything to progress under this government as soon as the heads at NBNCo started to roll. Right now I think the stuff happening with the NBN is irritating, so I feel better when I’m ignorant of it. Instead I gaze over at the latest Newspoll and dream of some major shakeup. Numbers for the ALP not seen since before Abbott was the leader of the LNP. A double dissolution, a cabinet coup or just the passage of time steering the NBN back towards the path the public does want post 2016.

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