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Analysis, Telecommunications - Thursday, March 6, 2014 14:56 - 45 Comments
analysis Is the National Broadband Network sustainable? I do not mean this in a technical sense. While I am wary of the government using taxpayers’ money to ‘pick winners’ in technology, there are many people better placed than I am to crystal ball gaze into the best technology for the internet. Rather is the NBN economically sustainable?
The NBN is based on a tried-and-true scheme of hidden cross subsidies. The scheme is quite simple. The government provides a service that is much cheaper to provide in urban areas than in rural Australia. The government bans any private firms from providing this service. Then the government sets a single, uniform price for the service to customers across Australia. The price is high enough to cover all costs, which means that it is much higher than the underlying cost in the cities while it is usually below cost in the bush.
The uniform pricing means that the city-based consumers are effectively being taxed in order to cross subsidise the bush. If competition were allowed, businesses would enter the city market, undercut the government price and make profits. Prices to city customers would fall. Of course no private businesses would go into the bush. You can’t make money competing against a government price that is below cost.
Australia Post has used this type tax-and-subsidise scheme for decades. Australia Post sets a uniform price for delivering a standard letter any where in Australia and it is (effectively) illegal to compete against Australia Post to deliver a standard letter. Indeed, this model is so common for postal systems around the world that uniform pricing is sometimes called ‘postage stamp pricing’.
- Tasmania’s NBN tangle is a shocking mess
- Turnbull’s MTM CBN should not be a monopoly
- Connecting to Australia’s first digital technology curriculum
- The only way to fix copyright is to make it fair
- Big “Legacy” ERP being ripped apart and is almost dead, says Gartner
- Has Gov 2.0 in Australia gotten too boring too fast?
- “Incredible” NBN debate stuck in “yesterday’s logic”, says Budde
- Does the MTM CBN model place “wholesale-only” at risk?
- Basic Govt IT needs a fundamental rethink
- MTM broadband plan a “dog’s breakfast”, says Budde
- Senate circus shows politics has no place in NBN
- Australia desperately needs a good technology policy think tank
- Trade pact would make internet services more expensive
- Freelancer’s IPO: A billion reasons to care
- Australian retailers online: Late to the party and much to do
- Who’s open sourcing in Australian government?
- Google Books wins ‘fair use’ but Australian copyright lags
- Obamacare web fiasco won’t be the last big IT fail
- How does fibre over powerlines stack up against other potential NBN technologies?
- $1.4m of Bitcoin stolen. Another tale from the cyber frontier of … Hornsby, NSW?
- Badly designed contracts doom public IT projects to failure
- Unfixable: Time to ditch e-health record scheme
- Time to kill paper ballots? First, let’s look at the alternatives
- Calm down, Australian intelligence forces are just doing their job
- Australia’s biggest ‘China threat’ is not Huawei, but itself
- FttX chaos: NBN Co won’t be able to price everything the same
- Freelancer’s IPO and the new tech millionaires
- The road to public sector IT hell may not be paved with intentions at all
- No, Minister: The Tasmanian NBN rollout has not stopped
- The Australian public cares about privacy: Do politicians?
- Good news, flyers: ‘Flight mode’ is safe during take-off and landing
- Are police drones just toys for the boys?
- Turnbull’s ‘agnostic’ approach could restore faith in the NBN
- Why major IT projects fail: A basic primer
- Reality check: Turnbull’s not “trashing” the NBN
- In the game of iPhone pricing, consumers are the losers
- How will the new Coalition Govt impact Govt 2.0 and open data efforts?
- NBN petition and the backlash: When does democracy speak?
- Filter gaffe says more about Fletcher than the Coalition
- FactCheck: Will the NBN take another 20 years to complete?
- Will the green shoots of Australian innovation policy be cut off prematurely?
- Australians still overwhelmingly support the NBN
- Can Australia afford the Coalition’s NBN?
- Elephant in the ballroom: Ignoring privacy in the Federal Election
- Better public Wi-Fi in Australia? Let’s send a signal
- Is the party over for Julian Assange and WikiLeaks?
- FactCheck: will regional internet users pay more under the Coalition’s NBN plan?
- Beyond Silicon Valley: Start-up hubs in Australia’s backyard
- Electoral silence on digital rights from both politicians and journalists
- FTTN or FTTP? Both. The NBN should be hybrid.
- News Corp Australia vs the NBN:
Is it really all about Foxtel?
- XKeyscore + NSA surveillance leaks:
Australian expert reaction
- Software is officially a rip-off in Australia,
So what can you do?
- With Bradley Manning convicted,
what now for Julian Assange?
- Introducing ‘The Cuba Replacement’:
The Federal Govt’s newest major ICT project
- Labor and Coalition broadband policies:
What’s the difference?
- US ‘choke-points’ for Australian
telecoms data are no surprise
- Is the Govt’s missed e-health target meaningful?
- ‘Shelved’? No. Data retention will be back
- Coalition hasn’t addressed basic NBN policy issues
- The company you keep:
Section 313 notices and IPv4 collateral damage
- Cloud services first: A next-generation
shared services policy for government
- Once more into the data breach:
the LivingSocial hack and you
- New NBN policy galvanised Coalition voters
- Does IT matter … in Australian supermarkets?
- As Labor and the Coalition duel over the NBN,
the real winner is Telstra
- Coalition NBN will suffer in the long term: Experts
- Senate run must be more than a get-out-of-jail card for Assange
- Smacking down online piracy;
does New Zealand know best?
- Despite bumps in the rollout,
households show strong support for the NBN
- It’s on: Foxtel to meet IPTV challenge head-on
- NBN: Disastrous for the music industry … really?
- The RBA state-sponsored hack attack
(or phishing for a story)
- Aaron’s Army fights the Trans-Pacific Partnership
- Reality check: NBN Syntheo delays not significant
- Secret data retention docs display
gross technical ineptitude
- Battle royalty: Is this the end of online radio streaming?
- Vic Govt ICT strategy analysis: CenITex split,
cloud adoption on the cards
- Google – and everyone else – wins by High Court decision
- Monitor, Police, Control:
Australian Attorney-Generals’ war on the Internet
- Fact check: The NBN wasn’t a “media stunt”
- Will smart meters benefit consumers?
- Turnbull responds to FTTN concerns
- Digital disruption is eroding Australia’s tax base
- ‘Cloud’ is now mainstream in Australia’s banking sector
- Google’s Ingress creates Aussie online turf war
- When the price is not right:
Technology price gouging in Australia
- How to understand NAB’s core banking strategy
- Customers dumping fibre for 4G in Japan
- Rip-off: NBN business plans miss the point
- The iPhone 15 is (almost) unimaginable
- Our NBN debate: Where everyone is partly wrong
- Why data breach reporting should be mandatory
- Will Telstra will be forced to wholesale 4G?
- Australia Post digital delivery
may yield few returns to spender
- Focus after the fact:
The Lytro light field camera is in Australia
- ‘Cloud first’ a circuit-breaker, says Ovum
- Online GST push places an unfair burden on pop culture lovers
- Freeplay reminds us videogames matter:
The ‘culture’ debate is over
- Why #NatSecInquiry is filling me with worry
- You talkin’ to me? Gerry Harvey’s one-man, online retail debate
- R18+ rating added for videogames … but are children protected?
- The lost cause of American political fact-checkers
- Explainer: what is 4G?
- Optus and TV Now:
Will copyright law catch up to the cloud?
- History repeating:
Five ways data retention is like Conroy’s filter
- Surviving the zombie apocalypse: the DayZ experiment
- Why a 4G iPhone will spell doom for Vodafone
- Five things to like about the Coalition’s NBN policy
- New copyright laws not the answer to illegal downloads
- For whom the Whirlpool trolls?
Stephen Conroy and the NBN
- How far should Australia go for Julian Assange?
- Analysis: Liberal MP Fletcher cherrypicks NBN facts
- Premises passed the only useful NBN measurement
- Blowouts? No. The NBN is very much on track
- Help us fact-check Fletcher’s NBN comments
- Help us fact-check Conroy’s NBN comments
- Why Pirate Party members are not ‘whiny brats’
- Delimiter’s curious response to UK Superfast report
- Cheaper hardware, software and digital downloads? Here’s how.
- Why is Anonymous hacking Australia?
- Turnbull needs evidence for FTTN claims
- Weighing the environmental costs:
Buy an eReader, or a shelf of books?
- If Nicola Roxon doesn’t believe in
her own policy, why should we?
- How long before Vodafone hangs up?
- Help us fact-check Turnbull’s NBN comments
- Verizon Wireless vs Telstra:
The great mobile rip-off continues
- Watching the detectives: the case for
restricting access to your social media data
- How the NBN will change education:
Australia’s “Last Spike” moment
- Coalition NBN notes: Some truth, mostly fiction
- How important will NBN contention ratios be?
- Salesforce needs a more anti-social approach
- Praise the Sun
- NBN: Sorry Mr Hockey, you’re still wrong
- Tiny niche ISPs join the NBN market
- Higher 100Mbps uptake will spur NBN price cuts
- Would FYX’s global mode have breached copyright?
- The NBN, service providers and you … what could go wrong?
- Australia’s IT startup scene: Blooming, not dying
- Reality check: ISPs do not understand content
- Reality check: AFACT is not planning mass lawsuits
- iiNet’s Hollywood ending: what does
its court victory mean for copyright law?
- Correction: NBN wireless isn’t ‘replacing’ ADSL
- Have iiNet’s acquisitions helped or harmed competition?
- Coldplay: No paradise in Australia for Huawei
- History is the key to understanding Huawei
- Wardriving & surviving: Who’s using your Wi-Fi?
- Spotify: Saviour of the music industry?
- Opening Pandora’s box: secret treaty threatens human rights
- Huawei & the NBN: Beware the CCP’s long arm
- Govt’s treatment of Huawei is inconsistent
- Huawei contract ban stokes fear of cyber cold war
- Huawei’s NBN blockout raises fundamental questions
- The Department for ACTA
- ISP: Secret anti-BitTorrent piracy talks failing
- Telstra’s 3G network is dying in CBDs
- Conroy’s filter: To be or not to be?
- Turnbull again misleads public on NBN
- R18+ game classification: The quest continues
- Fact-checking NBN politics: Where reality defeats spin
- The truth about NBN Co’s satellite needs
- Do Australia’s video game developers have a future?
- Macquarie opens kimono on IT operations
- Why NBN prices will be higher (by Malcolm Turnbull)
- AFL rights: Optus, Telstra in a techno-legal time warp
- Correction: NBN prices will not be higher
- Who owns footy rights? Optus web copyright victory explained
- Correction: Cutting the NBN won’t save money
- What Apple’s incredible quarter means for Australia
- A couple of important NBN corrections