Turnbull taints Budget with NBN cost lie


news Malcolm Turnbull late yesterday used the Federal Budget announcements process to again erroneously claim that the Coalition’s technically inferior version of Labor’s National Broadband Network project would be $32 billion cheaper, despite the fact that the Communications Minister is aware this claim is not true.

Under Labor’s NBN policy, some 93 percent of Australian premises were to have received fibre directly to the premises. The remainder of the population was to have been served by a combination of satellite and wireless broadband. However, the Coalition has drastically modified that policy, instructing NBN Co to go ahead with a model which will see 30 percent of the 93 percent served by the existing HFC cable networks owned by Telstra and Optus. A further 44 percent will receive a hybrid Fibre to the Node service (integrated with Telstra’s existing copper network), and only 26 percent will receive Fibre to the Premises.

NBN Co’s Strategic Review document, published in December last year and available online in PDF format, provides a range of possible network deployment models, ranging from the previous Labor Government’s FTTP plan, to the so-called “Optimised Multi-Technology Mix” which the Coalition has chosen for its own rollout.

The report makes it clear that under almost every scenario, the NBN project as a whole will make a modern return on the Government’s investment in the project, ranging from 2.5 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, actually cost the Government anything. The money will be recouped through monthly broadband subscriber fees paid by ordinary Australian residents and businesses.


Last night, Turnbull confirmed, as the Coalition Government had previously stated, that the Government would limit its total capital investment in NBN Co to $29.5 billion. This amount is factored into NBN Co’s financial projections for all models. Under all models, the remaining investment the project will require is to be funded by the private sector. This year’s Budget allocated $20.9 billion in equity funding to NBN Co over the period from July this year until mid-2018, to make up the $29.5 billion total.

However, Turnbull also made several statements in his media release associated with the Federal Budget allocation for NBN Co which the Minister is aware are inaccurate.

“The Strategic Review released in December 2013 identified that completing the NBN under Labor’s plan would cost $72.6 billion ($28.5 billion more than we were told), increase prices for consumers by up to 80 per cent and not be complete until 2024. We face a significant task in getting the NBN back on track,” the Minister said.

“The Government has agreed that the NBN should be completed using a multi-technology mix. This will match the right technology to the right location and make use of existing networks where possible to deliver very fast broadband. This new approach to NBN implementation will save $31.6 billion in funding costs, get the NBN finished four years sooner and enable nine out of ten Australians in the fixed-line footprint to get access to download speeds of 50 megabits per second or more by 2019.”

According to the Strategic Review, commissioned by the Coalition following the September Federal Election, which Turnbull has read and is familiar with, the Minister’s statements that the Coalition’s approach to the NBN implementation would save $31.6 billion in funding costs is inaccurate.

The NBN Co Strategic Review shows that the Coalition’s approach will make a higher return on investment than Labor’s original all-FTTP NBN approach (5.3 percent compared with up to 2.5 percent), but neither will, in fact, ultimately “cost” the Government anything, as detailed earlier in this article. The capital required is not defined as a “cost”, but rather as an “investment”, which the Government will recoup, plus a modest additional return.

Furthermore, the Strategic Review also indicates that if NBN Co radically redesigned Labor’s FTTP model (for example, making greater use of overhead cabling) and an all-equity model was used to support the rollout, which the Federal Government can afford due to its extremely favourable financial situation when compared with other countries globally, the total capital investment requirement for Labor’s model would be $54 billion, just $15 billion more than the Coalition’s model.

It is also believed that Labor’s version of the NBN would be worth more as a sustainable business that could subsequently be privatised, as its FTTP model would not require upgrading and hence further capital investment. NBN Co executive chairman Ziggy Switkowski has stated that sections of the Coalition’s MTM model — likely the re-used segments of Telstra’s copper network — would need upgrading within five years, adding additional capital requirements to the Coalition’s model.

Furthermore, Turnbull’s statement that NBN Co could not complete an all-FTTP model until 2024 is also inaccurate, with the Strategic Review stating that a reworked FTTP rollout could be completed by 2023 — just three years after the Coalition’s MTM model.

Given the only modest difference in cost and rollout timeframe, it is not currently clear why the Coalition is pursuing a radical reworking of Labor’s NBN project. The model has also been roundly criticised by industry commentators, with veteran telecommunications analyst Paul Budde, for example, describing it as “a dog’s breakfast”.

Turnbull has made similar inaccurate statements over the past several weeks through the mainstream media, repeating the claims on radio stations Triple J and 2GB. In addition, other aspects of the Minister’s statement last night are also questionable — for example, there is currently no evidence to show that NBN Co’s prices would rise by up to 80 percent as the Minister claimed, with current retail NBN prices on par with current broadband pricing, and NBN Co having locked in its prices for only modest growth over the long-term.

NBN Co executive chairman Ziggy Switkowski has also stated that the 50Mbps minimum speeds promised by Turnbull for most Australians by the end of 2019 cannot be guaranteed, unlike the 100Mbps speeds pledged under Labor’s FTTP model.

A number of surveys and polls have shown consistently over the past several years that the majority of the Australian population supports Labor’s original all-fibre model for the NBN. In mid-February, Shadow Minister for Communications Jason Clare presented to Federal Parliament the signatures of 272,000 Australians who want the new Coalition Government to build Labor’s all-fibre version of the National Broadband Network instead of the technically inferior version which the Coalition favours.

Late yesterday Turnbull published the following infographic, clearly demonstrating some of the inaccurate statements the Minister has been making with respect to the NBN project’s financials:


It’s absolutely outrageous that Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull has subverted the Federal Budget process to broadcast severely misleading statements regarding the National Broadband Network’s financials.

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 in terms of capital investment and only three years later than the Coalition’s Multi-Technology Mix project. This infrastructure would be vastly technically 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. And, of course, it would still make a return on the Government’s investment, meaning that the actual capital requirement figures are largely irrelevant.

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 much of what Turnbull said yesterday as “Turnbullian” logic which doesn’t make sense in the real world. Black is white, one plus one equals three, and Labor’s version of the NBN costs what Turnbull says it does — even if his own Strategic Review contradicts his statements on the issue.

Hell, I don’t know why Turnbull even bothers using any specific figure at all at this point. Why not just claim that Labor’s NBN will cost “eleventy quillion” and the Coalition’s version $200 million, but deliver the same speeds? It’s not as though Turnbull is paying any attention to the actual figures, so why not just go hog wild? I mean it’s not like fiscal accuracy matters at all on Budget night. Right? Right?

Image credit: Office of Malcolm Turnbull


  1. “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?”

    I’d say it is more like buying the second hand corolla which has a faulty engine, paying more money to then replace that engine and pretending you are saving money because the transmission is ‘good enough’. When the transmission 1979 Corolla finally gives in – you end up buying yourself the Tesla anyway.

    I have money on CBN supporters not actually knowing they are being sold a lemon.

    • “I have money on CBN supporters not actually knowing they are being sold a lemon.”


      • I have money on them not giving a damn.

        Tony Abbott smashed the nasty poor brown people in the boats. The people who voted for the coalition don’t give a damn about how many billions are wasted in economic stupidity. They don’t care that they are being lied to over and over again.

        They will forgive any political trespass, allow any wastage, so long as the dirty poor foreign people are made to suffer for daring to try to pollute our shores with their existence.

        You can’t argue facts or logic with people who have that kind of motivation.

        • It’s not even proven that he’s had any head way on them since we’re not getting told diddly squat about anything… except when something good happens.
          FOI requests are getting rejected on just about everything. They rejected the transparency measures that were signed, etc.

          They only stand for whatever Labor doesn’t.

          • “They only stand for whatever Labor doesn’t.”
            We are the Opposition; we’re here to oppose. – Abbott after becoming Liberal leader

            NEWSFLASH YOU *favourite derogatory expletive here* : YOU’RE HERE TO SERVE THE AUSTRALIAN PUBLIC
            And the idiot public votes him in anyway.

        • ” The people who voted for the coalition don’t give a damn about how many billions are wasted in economic stupidity.”

          I don’t think that’s it…I think that they are so used to being lied to (unknowingly) by politicians and (more importantly) the press that they have just given up on trying to understand the world around them…it no longer makes sense to them.

          I have done an anecdotal survey by asking everyone I know if they believe there is a consequence for the press lying on purpose to the electorate.

          Despite the “Cash for Comment” scandals, most everyone believes that there IS a serious consequence, hence there is little chance that the press is directly lying about anything, all evidence to the contrary.

          We are an electorate mired in ignorance…

    • “I have money on CBN supporters not actually knowing they are being sold a lemon.”

      Despite what Renai says Labor’s NBN would have cost $32 billion more. There was no evidence that Labor was even contemplating a radical overhaul of the NBN. Did they promise a public review of the NBN before the election?

      Everyone here remembers when Conroy labelled the more cost effective deployment of FTTB in MDUs as “disgraceful”. If it was so difficult to force Labor to consider such a simple and sensible policy change then what hope would there have been to implement other more difficult changes?

      No. A revised FTTP option would not have occured under Labor (based on their history).

      Whereas the Coalition has every reason to consider the MTM model since it has a higher IRR than a revised FTTP model, it becomes cashflow positive earlier, has a credible upgrade path to fibre (which could deliver savings of 2 billion in NPV if FTTP is deferred – Strategic Review pg 100) and it is geared to deliver the NBN to underserved broadband areas as quickly as possible.

      • It’s a moot point, Labor isn’t in government anymore. Of the six options they compared three of them were close enough to Labor’s vision that you could have still called it the same thing. It’s only when you start to push HFC and do FTTN in the ‘burbs that it stops being “the NBN”.

        The fact is that the Liberals could have implemented the NBN and it wouldn’t have been as bad as they like to say. Saying it would have cost that much to do FTTH is misleading. Equally as misleading as deliberately picking 2019 and 50Mbps as the yardstick to measure performance. Rather than 2020 and 100Mbps for example.

      • No, it wouldn’t.

        The coalition have a history of bald-faced lies about the cost of the NBN. Why would any non-partisan swallow the ’32 Billion dollars more’ lie?

        They wouldn’t.

        We already saw changes to the Labor’s FTTP rollout, realising 4 billion is savings. To claim that they wouldn’t make other necessary changes is not based on evidence.

        Your post comes across as Coalition-apologism at best. Generally the readers of Delimiter know a bit too much to fall for that sort of thing though, despite the general population falling for it.

      • “Despite what Renai says Labor’s NBN would have cost $32 billion more”

        And would have made far more than that in revenue and in assets.
        You are missing the entire point…cost means nothing, ROI is everything.

        • “You are missing the entire point…cost means nothing, ROI is everything.”

          If that’s true then MTM is the best since it has the highest IRR (at 5.3%).

          • Correction,
            They’re renting the Copper from Telstra, so the FTTN network won’t even be worth the copper value!
            In which case, it’s at best a precipitously depreciating asset, at worst it isn’t an asset at all, in which case, the $29.4 Billion can’t be off the books!

          • Perhaps you missed it, but Malcolm is currently in the process of buying it (and the HFC network) off Telstra (and the HFC off Optus….not sure what he’ll do with that, they mostly ran it alongside Telstras anyway….maybe redundancy??).

          • Actually the latest is that Telstra is insisting on retaining it’s copper and just leasing it, also looking to flog it’s half share in Foxtel, possibly to the other partner News Ltd

          • “If that’s true then MTM is the best since it has the highest IRR (at 5.3%).”

            Does that include the cost of buying the CAN/HFC off Telstra and Optus?

    • Joe Hockey chaired a lunch today, which was basically a sell and tell on last nights budget. Open questions, answers spruiking the 3 word soundbites we’ve come to know and… we’ve come to know. One of the things Hockeynomic mentioned was our need to be competitive regionally, when the region was developing at an alarming rate.

      I wonder how they justify the 79 Corolla we’re getting, when Indonesia is getting the Tesla. How does the Corolla make us competitive, with our nearest neighbours running rings around us?

      • Indonesia? I’m intrigued that Australia is unable to compete with Rwanda!
        Google “Rwanda fibre-optic cable rollout complete”

    • The number of times the coalition and Turnbull have talked down the prospect of even their “NBN” ever making any money, there’s by now no way they can get equity to anyone who doesn’t have an additional financial interest in doing so for a share.

      Cue Telstra + Newscorp.

  2. Let me put all our thoughts in one sentence. The cost of the CBN may be a little cheaper than the NBN, but the value provided is a lot less.

      • ““Cost” has no meaning here – only ROI.”

        Very well put…and this is the most difficult concept for the average person to grasp.

        • Only if prior assumumptions are reasonable and risks properly managed.

          In 2009 an FTTP NBN was supposed to deliver a 7.1% return. Now it is estimated to deliver only 4.0% (scenario 2, revenue trajectory A).

          • And Turnbull Assumption’s is that he can get 50Mbps to 90% when no company in the world with FTTN guarantee any speeds.

          • “scenario 2, revenue trajectory A”

            That is only according to the highly flawed SR…not exactly a quality source.

            In addition, there are a whole heap of other metrics that the SR never even intended considering (e.g. the economic gains from changing over to FTTP)

          • “Only if prior assumumptions are reasonable and risks properly managed. ”

            Risks like dictating an SoE to go to FTTN before either a CBA is done nor even the Telstra/Optus negotiations?

            Talk about cowboys, at least Labor actually did the numbers and ran them through independent auditors before deciding…

    • IMHO, we should encourage them to crash faster. Promise bigger. Slash deeper. Punch harder!

      The only hope I see is the hope that they will punch themselves out after a single term, earning a long stay in the wild. Then we can try to pick up the pieces.

      • Well lets hope so.. The internet remembers, hopefully people don’t have a 14 day voting memory when election time comes around.

      • They will have planned for that, there’s going to be a whole bunch of concessions and one off payments right before next election no doubt. Lots of stick then just a glimpse of the carrot.

  3. Unfortunately, some of the most important “structural” changes to our society are being overshadowed by the “visible” pain in the budget.

    Mr Abbott – you want to be the “Infrastructure” Prime Minister. If manufacturing is a “20th Century Industry” that we’re moving out of, where are we going? Surely having world’s best IT&T Infrastructure would be our best possible investment in the industries of the future?

    It’s a good thing we’re investing so much in Strike Fighters (I really hope they actually work soon) – We’ll need them now we’re abandoning our financial diplomacy (foreign aid agreements gone) and soft diplomacy is going out the window too (bye bye Australia Network).

    • > “I want to be known as an infrastructure Prime Minister and I want building the roads of the 21st century to be a hallmark of my Government,” Mr Abbott said. The roads of the 21st century are literally roads.

      Even after twenty years of ‘information superhighway’, this obscurantist and his accompaniment think that the roads of the 21st century. Are. Literally. Fucking. Roads. At a time where the most infrastructure Liberal leader, Campbell Newman, has had a cross-city tunnel go into receivership and the other cross-city tunnel. Into. Receivership. Apparently they were even suing the forecasters.

      Meanwhile, even Labor has underestimated massively traffic demand on broadband. Meanwhile the parts of my family overseas, on three different countries, all have access to FTTH, parallel to existing HFC deployments and real estate costs a half or a third without much less standard in living. I have European citizenship, but I don’t want to go. We’re the Lucky Country, after all :/

  4. According to a recent statement from Switkowski here( http://www.computerworld.com.au/article/544727/nbn_co_will_need_bring_100_000_premises_per_month_meet_2020_deadline_switkowski/ )

    From the numbers he provides , assuming the NBN can accelerate the rollout to the 100,000 a month by July from the current 24000 per month.The NBN is not planning on finishing before 2024.Correct me if I am wrong.
    11,500,000 (premises to be connected) / 100,000 = 115 months .
    115 month / 12 (months to a year) = 9.5 years.
    mid 2014(now) + 9.5 years = 2024 at least.

    So Switkowski is saying that the coalitions network is going to take as long as labors fttp to build.Assuming they can ramp up the build four fold in a month.

  5. Turnbull is a liar, he knows it, but doesn’t seem to care at the moment. History will judge him and this government in regards to communications infrastructure as deliberately deceitful failures. I hope this is a subject put forth in the school curriculum about how to ruin prosperity and hail poverty in building for the future of Australia ( The Unlucky Country ).

    • There won’t be any schools left in the future to teach this. Just banks trading text books for land.

  6. It is a shame that there are so many hidden figures in the SR. I wonder what the MTM would look like if you assumed it didn’t make any money, at all, for the final 3 years of it’s build.

    • The SR figures are wrong.
      They got the NBN cost wrong, as well as the Mtm cost.
      The SR is worthless.

  7. Just sent this into ABC’s Fact Check. I would suggest other people do the same. I’m honestly shocked by the abysmal coverage this issue is getting. The more coverage this gets the better off we’ll all be.

    Some days I wish the Coalition should just scrap the NBN if they’re so worried about the deficit. It’s better than the half-measure approach they’re currently taking.

    • I wouldn’t hold my breath about Fact Check covering this. The ABC just had its budget cut by 1% and I am pretty sure they have been told to keep their mouths shut, or see even more money get ripped from them.

      No other plausible explanation for the sudden hush on criticism of the government.

      • Analysis and Opinion is chock full of shovelled shit on our government. I think the worm may have turned with this budget.

  8. So, if the ‘deluxe’ nbn returns 2.5% on investment, and we have to borrow that money to fund it at >2.5% because, say, we lose our triple A credit rating on borrowings due to oh, say, a budget deficit, does it still make a return on investment?

    If the ‘deluxe’ nbn means that greenfields cannot get anything but mobile coverage until 2020, and it’s being beaten to the chase in already-passed profitable high density areas by TPG because it’s unable to subcontract to electricians to turn on the revenue-generating parts of the business, does the consumer benefit?

    When we actually *had* 300 megabit capable hfc that the coalition is proposing we use, before the NBN Co was even created (have a look when Melbourne got their upgrade), and there were literally years where Telstra was being threatened not to make their HFC any faster, can we call a blowout to 2020 for ftth affecting every Telstra-passed HFC residence “progress”?

    There’s a distinct stench of politics in this article, as there is absolutely no way that either estimate of ROI is even remotely accurate. (Ballpark: hugely below that figure in the short term, moving to above that figure over the very long term, for both plans.)

    • It’s my understanding that ROI factors in all financial expenses incurred (including interest on debt) in getting the NBN built. Either way – the NBN is listed as an off budget expense by both sides of government as they both recognise that it it is scheduled to make a return – although it took the current govt coming into power for their position on that to change. So I’m unsure how mentioning budget deficit is even relevant – even if that could affect our credit rating.

      I’m not sure if you understand that greenfields areas are those areas which are brand new developments and thus need new communications infrastructure rolled out? FTTP is mandated both by Labor and the Coalition variants of the NBN. If you’re going to lay new cables in the ground either way – they may as well be fibre rather than copper after all :)

      I don’t understand the point regarding HFC. 300mbit capable perhaps for a single user, but congestion on HFC networks is a pretty well documented problem as the whole street ends up sharing the capacity. I’m not sure who you are referring to when you say Telstra were being threatened for years not to make HFC any faster – I’m not even sure how it’s relevant. The idea behind FTTP was to lay down a ubiquitous technology so everyone is on the same future proofed page except for areas where it’s not financially possible (ie rural). Not to mention that it also forces the structural separation of Telstra to give all retail service providers an equal opportunity at competing in the market.

      I’m not sure if your entire comment is trolling or not?

  9. Would would you rather,
    4% of 64 Billion (Scenario 2 FTTH) = $2.56 Billion Profit
    5.3% of 41 Billion (Scenario 6 MTM) = $2.173 Billion Profit

    Their own review shows that building Optimised MTM (Scenario 6) will earn $387 million a year less then FTTH.

    So lets build what people don’t want, will need to be replaced when completed and will earn less.

  10. “increase prices for consumers by up to 80 per cent”

    Has anyone found any evidence for this claim yet? He claims his network will be cheaper for customers, yet all the modelling is done with wholesale pricing the same? Where does this 80% come from?

  11. I’m pretty sure most members of the Coalition don’t even care about ‘truth’, ‘honesty’, ‘transparency’ or ‘accountability’ any more, they moved on to some parallel universe just after the last election where those terms have a totally different meaning to what we see them as having here…

  12. Renai, I don’t know how you don’t ragepunch your screen every time Turnbull opens his mouth. How do you stay so calm?

  13. You know what i find funny though? That this government is willing to give us the worse option in the ICT department, but when it comes to keeping people out of the country. Lets spend billions on unmanned drones.


    ( a beautiful photoshop image imo)

    This is what i hate though. Both governments in my opinion are evil. They have both screwed up in the past and in this case people decided the greater of 2 evils would be the better choice. Instead of giving Australia the opportunity to expand in the I.T business and give businesses that operate internationally a chance to expand into Australia were getting this crappy mixed tech that we shouldnt even have had in the first place and businesses are looking elsewhere. Also those who wanted to have a home business are also threatened by this decision.

    Streaming sites like hulu/netflix and so on, wont give Australia access with one reason being, because it only operates in the U.S and a couple of other countries, but another is the fact that our infastructure cannot keep up and FTTN won’t change this for us.

    The fact that Turnbull has blatanly lied, and instead of going through the normal political process has just gone and said do FTTN instead, doesnt that deserve some type of punishment? It’s a democracy not an Authoritarianism government and I’d be willing to bet that if we voted just for the issue on the NBN, Labors policy would win. But of course the coalitions lies always seem to win, all because of a bank account that is slowly growing. If the Coalition government had cared for Australia, they would do the right thing and give a better lasting future proof technology (this can change though) instead of this crappy MTM FTTN which we should have had 8 years ago. But no instead they don’t want to admit that Labor had the right idea and instead decide to ruin Australia’s infastructure even more. I bet they’re not even counting the costs it would take to power the bloody nodes in their equation for their on NBN

    And in a country where the weather can change at anytime, from droughts to heavy rain, id rather go with Fibre instead of having copper with plastic bags attached

    (sorry for this rant but i had to get this out of my system)

  14. This seem to be requirements to be an LNP minister:

    The ability to tell bold face lies with a straight face.
    The audacity to deny what you actually said, when presented with recorded evidence.
    A deep set belief that people are so stupid, they will eventually forget what a liar you are.
    And should the opposition try the same tactics, pretend to be totally outraged by their behaviour.

    • “A deep set belief that people are so stupid, they will eventually forget what a liar you are.”
      It works. The majority of Australian idiots voted them back in, after all.

      • With refer to this in the above link article by Sortius:

        “..with Bill Morrow attempting to blame a lack of speed guarantees on Retail Service Providers (RSP), rather than the technology. Going so far as to claim he doesn’t even understand the concept of “sync speeds” (the speed of a connection at the hardware level).”

        I listen to the exchange between Sen Conroy & Bill Morrow at the Senate committee
        held on Monday, 5 May 2014, and it did appear that Morrow didn’t understand that xDSLx Sync rate is affected by the Length, Quality and amount of Interference on local copper loop on FTTN. Morrow just kept going on about contention and wouldn’t (or couldn’t) understand / accept what Conroy was saying with regard to xDSLx Sync rates on FTTN.

        Anyway it took McClaren to finally clarify that xDSLx sync rate is affected by the Length, Quality and amount of Interference on local copper loop on FTTN and contention is a separate issue completely. Perhaps Morrow did understand and was just trying to push the contention issue to deflect attention away from the move away from FTTP.

        You can read the exchange yourself here:


        Direct PDF Link:


        It’s my understanding that connention isn’t an issue on NBN Co current FTTP with 100/40. dJOS posted this here on Whirlpool:


        “NBN Co use 32 way optical splitters turning 2.5/1.25Gbps into 78/39mbps. That is fairly simplistic because then if you factor in NBN Co’s design reserving ~10 ports for “non-addressable” services (eg traffic lights, cctv etc) you get 113/56mbps of continuously available bandwidth.”


      • Hi Renai,

        O.K. I thought you would be. But just wanted to check.

        Did you happen to listen too or read the transcript of the exchange between Sen Conroy & Bill Morrow at the Senate committee held on Monday, 5 May 2014 that I talked about above regarding Sortius artilcle? Like I said, it did appear that Morrow didn’t understand that xDSLx Sync rate is affected by the Length, Quality and amount of Interference on local copper loop on FTTN. Morrow just kept going on about contention and wouldn’t (or couldn’t) understand / accept what Conroy was saying with regard to xDSLx Sync rates on FTTN. Anyway McClaren had to finally clarify for Morrow that xDSLx sync rate is affected by the Length, Quality and amount of Interference on local copper loop on FTTN and agree with Sen Conroy. He also said that contention was a completely separate issue. Again agreeing with Sen Conroy.

        Bring back Mike Quigley who was an Engineer and understood the Tech involved which Morrow clearly doesn’t understand basic xDSLx Tech!


  15. “the NBN project as a whole will make a modern return”

    I assume this was meant to be ‘modest’?

  16. We aren’t competing.

    I re-read a post I alluded to in comments earlier, re. searching: “rwanda fibre-optic cable rollout complete” and noticed that they referred to an event in January 2011.

    Three years ago. So it appears that Rwanda is ahead of us already, in a move they took to position their country as a “good place for offshore technology investment”.

    Well, the laws of physics, mathematics, and science work for anyone, irrespective of religion, colour or country of origin. At least the far-sighted people of Rwanda are working to make a difference, to move their economy into at least the middle lanes of business traffic.

    With the trend to globalisation, it isn’t quite so much a matter of wanting Australia to be a world leader, that horse has bolted. What we have to do now is work furiously to keep from being left in the dust.

    What will we do for a national income when the coal business fades? “Put on a show” like Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland in the 1930’s? We’ve just lost the main engine of our manufacturing business, and the product of our universities – science and information – will be the only thing we have to peddle if we have nothing else of any added value to export. If they can get an upload, that is…

    We need FTTP not just to compete, but simply to look alive. Without it, all that international money will go elsewhere, and all our brains as well.

    I’m not putting down Rwanda, they’ve done a great thing. But can’t we at least try to pull our socks up and our running shoes on, act like we’re running even if we’re at the back of the pack?

    Seriously — FTTN, Malcolm? Really?

  17. “…would not need to be upgraded.”
    You really think this optic cable will NEVER need upgrading?

    91% with 50Mbit by 2019 for less money, makes sense?
    Unless your one of the greedy and in the 57% to get 100Mbit.

    FTTN is the better option. It’ll bring up those with terrible speeds faster to something usable and easier to upgrade down the track.
    If you disagree you are just reading crap like this article.

    2 seperate items:
    – Did anyone here stop to think the international bandwidth just can not handle the load of the NBN, so you’d be unlikely to see massive improvements on most international services?
    – Did anyone mention the NBN plan was planned to be sold off?

    FTTN can deliver FTTP, just in 2 stages – same or better speeds, sooner, quicker to maintain and upgrade over time.
    The only downside is the mini-exchanges, which will be ugly.

    Put up with the nodes, copper and people bitching about one vs the one and not understanding the tech until then.

    In short: The FTTN was the worst sales pitch ever.

    • Well, we will likely all be dead a hundred years from now when they’d need to replace the fibre optic cables we laid today with whatever post-Singularity science-magic was needed to transfer our consciousnesses.

      In the meantime, we can keep upgrading, cheaply, the ends of those fibre optic cables to achieve speeds of 1 petabit (1 million gigabits) a second and growing…

    • “In short: The FTTN was the worst sales pitch ever.”

      Glad you see it my way ;o)

    • Something everyone seems to be glossing over with the FTTN is the fact that

      a) the nodes need to be powered, a single suburb will have quite a few nodes.
      – it wasn’t listed on the budget who pays for the electricity, is it communal like light poles pushing up the cost of power for everyone? Cost of living increase.

      b)FTTP is fibre from the exchange to the house, a climate controlled exchange with backup UPS’s, large ones with generators.
      – FTTN will be connected directly to local grid mains, so a phase may go out in the grid, random nodes will loose power, but the residents will have power, but no phone or internet.
      – FTTN nodes will be in ugly metal pillers with no air con, copping the australian summer, what sort of failure, replacement, maintenance rates are we looking at in our climate, especially in townsville and darwin. The costs involved weren’t anywhere I could find in the ongoing costs. Maintenance and replacement of node equipment due to our environment would be 3-4 times that of an FTTP.

      We can’t stop an idiot with a backhoe digging out the fibre accidently and getting it repaired, but a moron driver hitting a NBN piller, how many power poles get hit a year by drivers?

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