Turnbull just opposes everything, claims Conroy


Communications Minister Stephen Conroy this afternoon returned fire back on his new shadow, Malcolm Turnbull, accusing the Liberal heavyweight of mindless opposition on the National Broadband Network issue.

Just hours after winning the post yesterday, Turnbull blasted the NBN straight out of the gates, saying it would waste tens of billions of dollars of taxpayers’ money.

The MP said everything he had seen with respect to Labor’s NBN project demonstrated that the financial investment in the effort could not be justified. He highlighted the NBN Implementation Study produced by consulting firms KPMG and McKinsey and the low levels of take-up of NBN services so far in Tasmania — just hundreds of households so far — as examples.

But appearing on the ABC’s 24 hour news channel this afternoon, Conroy took a swipe back at Turnbull. “He came out and opposed, opposed, opposed. He opposed legislation almost unilaterally — it doesn’t matter what it was, he opposed it all when he became leader — and the same is happening again,” Conroy said.

“We have this piece of legislation, that Tony Abbott and Malcolm Turnbull won’t pass in the parliament and have stalled for 8 months,” the Communications Minister added, apparently referring to Labor’s key piece of telecommunications industry reform legislation that includes provisions for the potential separation of Telstra.

“There will be a slower rollout, there will be a more expensive total cost of the build caused by Tony Abbott — we will have more overhead cabling because of Tony Abbott,” he said.

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott this morning told ABC Radio National that no country around the globe had proposed spending amounts on broadband anything like what Labor had pledged to spend with the NBN project, which has had a price tag of $43 billion — although NBN Co expects its deal with Telstra to cut down that cost significantly.

Conroy went on to say that just because England and the United States hadn’t gone for ‘world class’, that didn’t mean the Gillard Government would accept less.

The Coalition has also criticised Labor’s deal with several independent MPs that will see the NBN rolled out in regional areas first — as opposed to city areas. Conroy acknowledged NBN Co would receive a faster revenue stream — due to a higher population density — if the infrastructure hit city areas first.

But the politician said people were making assumptions that the rollouts had all been planned to start in metropolitan areas where that is not the case — only a handful of the first stage rollouts actually were.

Image credit: Kim Davies, Creative Commons


  1. “Opposition Leader Tony Abbott this morning told ABC Radio National that no country around the globe had proposed spending amounts on broadband anything like what Labor had pledged to spend with the NBN project”

    That’s an interesting statement from Tony. He’s correct, they have either spent a lot more or far less.

  2. Conroy also tried to play down Turnbull’s credentials by saying OzEmail was only a dialup company, the obvious inference being that this meant Turnbull couldn’t possibly know anything about broadband.

    Which only brings us back to the question: What the hell does a former superannuation officer of a trade union know about the Internet?

  3. “What the hell does a former superannuation officer of a trade union know about the Internet?”

    Conroy doesnt know anything. To find a better alternative the government can just walk into the nearest shopping centre and choosing the first guy with a beard. Odds are that they’d be better qualified than Conroy.

    Jackie which country has spent more then Australia’s proposed NBN costs?

  4. @ Rant, Rot and Ruin,

    OzEmail was selling ADSL plans before it was acquired by iiNet a few years ago. This really shows us how little Conroy actually knows of the industry.

    Conroy’s said: “just because England and the United States hadn’t gone for ‘world class’, that didn’t mean the Gillard Government would accept less.”

    Yep, & we’ll get the world class bill for it also.

    What’s the financial point of rolling fibre down my street when I already have access to 100mbps cable & 20mbps ADSL?

    • I can agree that Conroy isnt the sharpest tool in the shed when it comes to communications, but you need to understand barely anyone has access to 100Mbps cable, and over 50% of DSL subscribers get less than ADSL1 (8Mbit) speeds, your not the one this network is being built for.

      World class bill? Really, check NBN prices…

      Pay TV: $19
      Phone with unlimited calls :$9
      Broadband: $29

      • The bill of $43bn+ of people’s taxes is not justified for the NBN when we already have HFC running past 9 million citizens in the cities.

        The iiNet NBN plans you cite only have 10/10GB quota & free TV with very old movies. You get a lot more value with a TPG ADSL2+ higher quota or unlimited plan.

      • Gav, did you know that currently retailers are paying NOTHING for their NBN connection? That’s nothing, not a cent, zero, zilch, $0, nada, nix. So the retail prices you see there, which yes are fairly good, do NOT INCLUDE the cost of the NBN at all. So let’s do some maths….

        For a commercial return on $43b, you would need to have a profit of $2.5-$3b per year, that’s at a lousy 6% which in reality won’t even pay the interest. Now for the sake of simplicity let’s assume 100% of revenue is profit. In reality of course it would be more like 40%, but we’ll err on the side of caution here. So revenue must be $3b / year. Now how many homes will be paying for this? let’s assume half of the homes in Australia sign up (this is a LOT more than the 5-10% that signed up under the ‘free’ trials, so I’m being rather generous here), so around 5 million. Which means each home has to provide a wholesale revenue of $600/yr. That’s $50/month, assuming a 50% takeup rate, 100% profit, and a lousy 6% ROI which means it still effectively loses money. So that 25mbit, 10gig plan which was $29/month is now a fantastic $79/month! Of course you’ll note that there are plans out there already which have about the same speed, with 10 times the quota for that price.

        In a more realistic world, takeup rates won’t be as high (add another 50% or so onto the wholesale price), and operating costs will eat up a considerable amount of revenue, so a more realistic estimate of required wholesale price for a minimal ROI is around $100/month. So yes, I’d say you WILL get a world class bill for your NBN ($130/month, wow what a bargain!) IF it is going to, as the government suggests, make a ‘commercial return’. The economics of this project are ridiculous, and the taxpayers will be paying not only for the rollout now, but to subsidise it for all eternity. If it is not subsidised, nobody will use it since it will cost 5x what near-equivalent city services cost today.

        More practical scenario – upgrade the critical areas of the network now (backhaul to regional areas, international capacity), then SLOWLY roll out fibre to areas where it is commercially viable to do so, such as new developments, high density areas, etc. These WILL make a commercial return, and when they do this money can then be used to fund the non-profitable areas. Sure, it will take longer, and people in rural areas (like me!) will be waiting for a while, but at least we won’t be all paying thousands of dollars per year in extra taxes to subsidise it. Let’s not forget that most areas of rural Australia don’t have a municipal water supply or sewerage system – because it is simply too expensive to justify. Why would broadband be any different, especially when wireless provides an adequate service (which will only get better in time) at a very very tiny fraction of the cost.

        • Slow down a little please. It’s hard for the average labor supporters to keep up with that much common sense in 4 paragraphs. Be more considerate in the future please.

          I can see ADSL2+ getting even more competitive in the areas it’s available in the next few years. Imagine this choice. Current top of the range ADSL2+ plans from Exetel/TPG/iiNet etc at say 20% saving to current plans vs NBN fibre connection at 200times the speed but with 50% of the download allowance (lol) at 250% of the price due to the low uptake in connections.

          What it come down to is all politicians are well intentioned. The trouble is good intentions does not necessarily mean it cant be a total disaster.

          Even labor’s mandatory internet filter is a good example here. Conroy genuinely believes he’s rid Australia of paedophiles by doing this and it’s definitely a good thing and it will work. He’s intelligence/ technical experience show he’s laughing stock of Australian politics and that he should quit this plan well in advance of the next federal elections to avoid disappoint.

          Similarly labor genuinely stared this wanting to help improve broadband speeds for those who have connections and provide the opportunity to connect to those havent been able to do it. Fantastic. Full marks up to this part. Then the plan was put together by someone who probably did a quick google search on “Fiber-optic communication” and realised it a fast newer type of technology popular in more densely populated areas. Then some other genius decided to roll it out to most Australians. Do most Australians want fast broadband? Yes of course – it sounds great? Do they need 1 gigabit connections? NO. Are most Australians prepared to pay $2000 per man woman and child to have the option to connect to it? Probably not? Are they later prepared to buy all the necessary equipment to enable the use of the technology like new modems/routers ? Are they also prepared to cope with the increased cost per month when the take up rate will be a more realistic under 5% ? What a few hounded dollars per month for the connection too much compared to the running costs ?? The longer it’s subsidised the longer it will cost taxpayers money because I dont see it making great profits in its current form.

    • @Comrade:
      Well arent you the luck one, 20mb ADSL and access to 100mb cable. pitty your prob one of the lucky 10% of people who have access to that.

      I have no access to cable and i get a 3.8mb sync with my ADSL2+ connection.

      bring on the NBN!!

      34% of people make up statistics, 12% of people know that……………

      • @ Troden
        ok if it is advantageous for your particular situation then I’ll forget about the fact it’s an inefficient use of money and I’m all for it !

  5. Oh c’mon, Conroy is the acknowledged authority on “spams and scams coming through the portal”. And he’s certainly very very adept at talking out of his, err, portal.

  6. The typical city slickers answers above. Don’t you people get it, NOT EVERYONE lives on the eastern seaboard. I live less than 300 km from Adelaide towards Pt Augusta, yet my only internet options are DIAL UP (country exchange 15km away) or satellite internet access, which I have thanks to the AGBS.

    For what I am paying for my plan (4GB/month) I could get 150 GB ADSL 2 if I live in a city with much higher speed too. You people are SO lucky, you get EVERYTHING shoved up your @**e, yet for far less service we in the country are getting, yet we are supposed to be equal here in Oz.

    Take digital TV for example, we only get Southern Cross 7 and 10 (ABC and SBS as well) but NO channel 9 nor ANY of the HD channels like 1HD, 7two, GO!, etc. Not even AFTER the digital changeover in December 2010 here in my area as Southern Cross TV and Channel 9 indicated we will NEVER get..

    You city slickers NEVER HAD IT SO GOOD.


    • Then perhaps you should move to the city where we have an extreme high cost of housing. If you’re on satellite now, then the NBN will most likely still keep you on that, or if you’re lucky, you may get fixed wireless.

  7. @Comrade: Ozemail with big Mal on the board never sold ADSL. That happened after he sold out. Also, not even everyone within 50km’s of a city center can get the options you can. I have a choice of telstra ADSL or Telstra ADSL. Don’t use your stick to measure others.

    @Andrew: Conroy may know jack about his portfolio, but he isn’t the one being spruiked for having had something to do with the net on a commercial level. So many assumption are inferred by his being pushed forwards with his association with Ozemail.

    Once again, I believe we can look forwards to negative politics and stall tactics from the opposition. If the govt is for it, they are against it. Doesn’t matter if it is the best thing in the world. It isn’t about getting the best for you and me, but their egos.

    • If you can get Telstra ADSL, then you can get 200GB plans for $69 p/m. Why do you need a $43bn NBN?

      The fact is that Turnbull founded an ISP that sold ADSL plans. Conroy states that the ISP never sold broadband.

      • Costs on NBN arent clear yet anyway. The end costs will depends on the number of customers, what sort of plans they go for (download limit and speed) and what people are prepared to pay. By no means imagine that current trail costs in Tasmania will be the costs for the rest of the Australia when and if this wasteful joke goes to plan.

  8. Typical rural response directly above… Dont peasants understand how the world works? Next thing you’ll want to be able to pay the exact same price for petrol even though it costs companies a lot more to transport in more remote areas. Next you’ll want the convenience of a large Westfield shopping centre but since the company would never profit in your area you want the government to subsidise it…

    I think it’s silly for Australia to have fibre everywhere to most homes. It’s too expensive to do it. Some fibre would be good for those who want to pay for the really fast connections but I dont think it’s wise to give top of the range blistering fast connections to all the country bumpkins. I agree that dial up is not acceptable. Improving satellite or providing ADSL access is there’s already a phone line there is the way to go. Improving ADLS technology is another area. I’ve been on ADSL for years but only 18months ago did I move up to ADSL2+ and the speed increase has been fantastic.

    It’s a bit like buying a computer. You need to do the basics, bit of internet, word processing, photos, music, watch videos, play games and because you want it it to last a bit you dont go for the cheapest option. You add more memory, get a bit more hard disk space than you need and maybe even get a blue ray drive even through they’re not really the standard and you pay $2000 instead of a “cheap” $1000 computer. That’s alright, not the absolute best value for money but you understand the logic behind the purchase. What the government is doing is getting the equivalent of a $24799.95 PC with the absolute cutting edge technology, the best money can buy attempting to future proof the purchase. It’s total overkill and you’d have to be some computer scientist to take advantage of the processing power and hard disk space that would hold all the data 100000 people would need for 5 times their lifetime. The boot up time would be 1 milisecond instead of 20 seconds but is it value for money ??? is it future proofed? If the government pays it doesnt mean normal people dont bear the costs by the way…

    • Now look who is being silly or stupid, you can take your pick. You might not be living in a rural area and if not, this does NOT give you the right to your statement. above. Unless you just want confrontation with your smart @rse statement.

      Where does petrol, shopping centres, computers come into the picture as you so state? I never mentioned these. It is my taxes paying for the NBN and as far as I am concerned, I am happy for its rollout. You on the other hand never seem to have it so good in your neck of the wood as you can enjoy all the benefits of a city slicker. Be happy with that but don’t you lecture us country people about what we should or should not need or want. If I want “Fiber to the Fencepost”, that is for me wanting it and for me only.

      You had your chance voting against the NBN, stiff excrement your loverboy Abbott and cohorts lost out and are still in opposition. I bet, before you go to bed at night, you pray in front of Tony’s picture and probably kiss it too. Good for you if that turns you on but leave us country folks alone.

      Anyway, who cares for your opinion, I certainly do not and if you do not like this, you know where you can shove it, right there “where the sun don’t shine”.

      Smart @rse!

      • While you may be happy for your taxes to roll-out NBN to your remote location, some of us in the cities that do not need the NBN are not happy with the $43bn cost. I have no problem with the govt implementing some type of NBN that is far cheaper & has a mixture of back-haul fibre to the node & wireless to ensure that everyone gets a basic broadband speed.

  9. Herb petrol example was used to illustrate that things can be more expensive or harder to her outside the middle of the city. Shopping Centre example was used to show that’s it’s not smart to invest lots of money on something that would be convenient and computer example was used to show how ridiculous the expense is by the federal government. I’m not saying the Coalition has a better broadband policy. They probably come up with it over a couple of weekends during the election campaigns. The labor NBN policy is not a lot better. It was probably put together in a couple of months by people who arent very good at spending money efficiently.

    By the way. I’m really unhappy with the air quality in Sydney. I think tax payer money should pay for personal air purifiers for my home and office and maybe a mobile one in the car. I think it’s a great way to move Australia forward so everyone can enjoy the cleanest air possible… you country people have it so good in your neck of the wood…

  10. Sorry Herb you’re being irrational. It is a choice to live where you live you cannot expect to get equal treatment with the city for unequal prices. You pay an EQUAL amount of tax so you should expect an EQUAL amount of tax (in dollar terms) back. To deliver the NBN to the country requires an UNEQUAL share. Do the maths mate. It is not YOUR taxes that pay for it but MINE.

    • Everyone needs to look at the 70% of the world that lives in poverty. You are all being extremely petty. ‘But its my taxes!’. This line is thrown around too much. Put yourselves in the shoes of Herb. If roles were reversed you’d be wanting faster internet as well. Perhaps it is the nature of humans to want something they don’t have when they see someone else enjoying it so much.

      Look at the big picture.

      Scrap TV. It rots brains.

      • You’re right. Wouldn’t it be nice if the world was built of chocolate and rainbows? It isn’t. Tough luck.

        By your reasoning 43 billion (random figure, uncosted) to make life easier is a complete waste of money – we should be just giving it away to the 70% in poverty no? If you care so much how about you give your quality of life away.

        Country people by in large have a choice. When people make decisions they should accept the consequences and advantages of such. You can’t have everything you want in life. Sure, dialup is unacceptable in this day and age. But rolling fibre out to the country is just economically stupid.

        • You show a complete lack of empathy. Are you jaded by living life with everything you need within your grasp?

          Economically stupid…43 Billion is a lot of money. And there is no cost benefit analysis. But that is a big statement with little evidence provided by yourself sir.

          This NBN is going ahead. Now you have a choice. Keep whining or sit down.

    • for or against the NBN I think its pretty hard for you to say its a choice to live in the country like that.
      Some people own farms, and to a certain degree hold a responsibility to live in Woop Woop to do the amazing work, which I might add is one of the most important industries in Australia, that they do. Country living can be bloody hard work, and not very financially rewarding (until someone dies and you have to sell the farm).

      Im still undecided on the NBN, but I would say very possibly fast internet could be a boon to country life, and therefore a great thing for an important part Australia.

  11. @ vlad

    You couldn’t be more off the mark. Here you are comparing a home PC build to a national network that is going to change the way we live.

    The PC you describe sounds a lot like Liberal’s proposed 6 billion dollar solution. With the essentials already in place, you seem content with ‘upgrading when you see the need’.

    Let me introduce you to economics 101. You see this here network that is going to be rolled out? Guess what – it isn’t a computer. Not one bit. Computers have a life expectancy of around 3 years and once they can’t be upgraded [motherboard front side bus simply becomes too slow to take advantage of the newer RAM or CPU] a whole new machine may as have been bought.

    The analogy I’m going to use here is this:

    You have a house. You want to extend the porch and put another level on, with thoughts of more modifications in the future. But there are numerous structural modifications required and materials that need to be sourced to match the existing foundations. Or you could scrap it, and build a new house for roughly the same amount up front as you would pay over the long run. The new house has everything you require, and will require, for generations.

    Your argument about speed harks of the days when the iphone 4 had reception issues. “But mine works fine” people said, oblivious that just because something is working for them, it may not be working for others. This is the boat I’m putting you in. Speed increase fantastic? What do you use the internet for? Facebook?

    I’d love to see a cost-benefit analysis however.

    • Barret did I praise the liberals for their fantastic broadband plans anywhere?

      I’m just saying the government ie labor are a bunch of idiots on this issue. I think the liberal policy is a band aid solution that needs to be improved majorly. At least their mistake would cost less money though.

      You couldn’t be more off the mark with your comparison of the 6billion dollar labor solution with my example of the $24799.95 Super Computer. Remember labor want to spend many times more on something that’s a waste of money in its current form. A better comparison to my PC buying example above is that in response to the labor $24799.95 Super Computer, the liberals would go out and spend $2000 on upgrades to the existing PC. It’s not entirely correct because they would improve broadband to rural areas and metro areas where the faster ADSL2+ standard is not available but I hope you get the point anyway.

      Your example about building a house is interesting. What about the waste factor??? You have lets say 10 ppl living in a house to make things easy. 7 residents in your house happy with their internet solution (assuming everyone gets Internet separately for the sake of the government) and 2 quite unhappy about the speed and also one guy who cant get broadband at all (he’s on dialup) Of the 7 who are happy you have about 2 who want faster speeds and are prepared to pay a little more.

      Complicated scenario? I hope you’re keeping up with me :) Solution to the problem is to demolish the whole house and provide everyone with the fastest internet solution and divide the cost equally by 10 people. HAHAHAHA That’s pretty much the labor plan at the moment ! Nice one Australia government.

      You justify the costs and waste (what about all the ADSL2+ technology and need to buy more modems etc) by saying it will lasts multiple generations. But will it? It’s not a house after all. It’s technology that moves quickly. By the time the NBN is built in current form they’ll probably be close to inventing teleporting machines :)

      • I like the way you constructed your point. However, ‘paying a little bit more’ for something being implemented by the government means you will pay the same amount of taxes.

        You are talking about ‘wasting money’ and ‘will it last’.

        You want to see money wasted? Talk to your local council. Guess what they have to do to keep their budget.

        They have to spend money.

        They dig up roads and re-pave them. I.T. departments spend a shedload on software licenses, spend what is needed, then when the financial year is over they send back the licenses and get a full refund.

        So for starters, NO ONE here is complaining about this. And it has been going on for a very long time. It disgusts me.

        And ‘Will it last?’ – yes it will. Research fibre. It transmits data at the speed of light. ADSL signals degenerate over distance. Fibre has a much farther reach.

        @ Comrade

        ‘Same basic job’

        What is basic about a national network that aims to cover most of Australia with high speed internet?

    • Not all of us need a Rolls Royce computer or need a Rolls Royce fibre internet NBN connection. We could easily counter your computer analogy by using an old PC with Linux & parts sourced from ebay/swap meets. Still does the same basic job, just a lot cheaper.

      • What’s that? You just got a second had 2008 Commodore and a brand new Ford Fiesta for the missus? It’s time to scrap them both it I’m afraid. Everyone gets a Rolls Royce now from the government. It will never need to be upgraded and will last many generations. It’s is a bit expensive but completely necessary to move Australia forward. What’s that? You’re happy with what you have and don’t want to pay unnecessary taxes ? Tough luck amigo. You should have though about this before voting…

        And let’s not forget the all important mandatory Internet filter Conroy still has not given up on. How can anyone take him seriously on any NBN related matter ???

  12. If you guys have a problem with using public money for a very important infrastructure project, maybe we should stop the baby bonus, maybe also stop funding ELITE schools too!!

    While I live in a metropolitan part of Canberra, cheapo post-privatisation Tel$tra put in the most confusing, bureaucratic telephone system (two exchanges with the same number structure, as well as RIMs as far as the eye can see), and the citizens of the exchange area (over 9000!!!!! households) can’t get anything above ADSL1 speeds (we’re getting 1.6Mbps on an 8Mbps connection – at midnight). To add insult to injury, the suburb next door gets a fibre connection. It’s also a black hole for mobile coverage, so no wireless option.

    Luckily, we’re in the next NBN trial (if we get in).

    • I agree, stop funding it all, then lower taxes.

      Stop middle-class welfare and just ensure that everyone has access to the minimum level of services required for the necessities of life. i.e. make sure everyone has rapid access to health care, reasonable access to education, basic access to the Internet (dial-up or satellite is good enough for email), rapid access to law enforcement, safe roads, clean water, reliable sources of food, a house to live in, reasonable access to rapid transport, etc…

      Lets stop subsidising lifestyle improvements and only have the government fund the necessities of life.

      • Your wish list would already cost more than the NBN. And keep costing in perpetuity. John Menadue, of Medibank fame, says we have more hospital beds than most other countries already.

  13. @barret “The new house has everything you require, and will require, for generations.”

    Fibre optic cables have a depreciation life of 20-25 years, less if exposed to weather.

    Dunno about you, but I’d be pretty annoyed if my new house needed to be replaced in 20 years time, which will be the case with the fibre optic network.

    At a cost of $43b, that would workout to $1.72 – $2.15 billion per year over 20-25 years for high speed internet, plus of course the cost to the end user to access the service. Awesome!

    • Hey Daniel, I found where you got your figures:

      “The depreciation is calculated by taking into consideration factors such as physical mortality [weather]”

      You didn’t add: “…technological substitution, and access line losses due to competition. Previously the depreciation life was estimated to be 15-20 years”

      So it seems as more research is done, the life expectancy increases. And it isn’t JUST weather that affects the fibre.

      Next time quote the whole thing.

  14. Barret – Nice try mate, but that was my own quote, I work in IT.

    Yes the previous figures were 15-20 years on an older fibre design, though as you can see I said 20-25 years – based on the current design.
    Research/redesign doesn’t do alot’ve good once the cables are installed, the lifespan will still be 20-25years.

    Non metallic cables always have a much shorter lifespan, hence why the copper network is still chugging along.

    • I doubt it’s ever going to happen. With Greens in the House, as well as in the senate (after next July), the filter is as good as dead

  15. “accusing the Liberal heavyweight of mindless opposition on the National Broadband Network issue”

    Well that seems fair to me, given Conroy’s mindless support for an Internet filter.

  16. I get a laugh out of some of the cost / uptake / returns arguments.

    Consider the Telstra / NBN Co passive infrastructure deal. A deal that is being recommended for acceptance by Telstra shareholders. A deal that cannot go ahead for that vote until the legislation stuck in the senate is passed.

    The Coalition should recognise – (since they are highly intelligent individuals) – that it will eventually pass, regardless of what they believe as a party. Sure, they might hold it up until the new senate sits in July next year, but then it will pass. They may as well let it pass now – (because it will anyway) – and let the build begin in earnest.

    Now – next point – some of the costs of the NBN build will start to be recovered as returns long before the network is completed. Remember, once the Telstra / NBN passive infrastructure deal goes ahead, as the NBN rolls out, area by area, Telstra will come along behind that build – (maybe 12 or 24 months later) and decommission the copper network in those areas.

    Anyone in those areas with any kind of xDSL service – (ADSL1, ADSL2+, SHDSL, SHDSL.bis, whatever) – who wants that service to continue, will NECESSARILY have to have that service migrated to an NBN-based service. The copper will be switched off. Gone. Kaput.

    Yes it’ll still be in the ground, but it won’t be connected to anything at the exchange anymore.

    So even if those services are not connected through Telstra currently, the service provider will be forced onto the NBN if you wish to continue the service with them. The only copper that will still be in use is that which is in the 7% of Australia’s population spread that won’t be covered with fibre.

    Portions of that 7% quite conceivably will also have fibre rolled out subsequent to the original NBN project.

    Grandma with her copped-based POTS handset, with a dialtone, will still have a POTS handset with a dialtone, it will just be carried over fibre instead of copper.

    NBN uptake will actually be close to 100% – (in fact, as strange as it sounds, it could actually be MORE than 100% – that’s a story for later) – and NBN Co will be generating returns from DAY ONE.

    (Ignore the Tasmanian pilot, and the Stage 2 and 3 mainland rollouts in that respect – they’re not going to turn any copper off until the final design is completed, and the main build commences).

    The returns they will be getting straight away will offset a significant portion of the costs, and as the rollout expands, that portion will increase…

    • Remember, Granmas in a decade are parents now and probably power users of the internet already. A large percentage of the population is broadband connected now and most of those on dial up are not there by choice.

  17. @ Michael Wyres – What are your thoughts regarding telephone communication reliability over fibre, particularly in the event of power outages etc.
    I know fibre optic can run small amounts of power through the lines, not sure if it’s enough to actually power a phone?

    • The ONT (Optical Network Termination) units being installed by NBN Co have the facility for battery backup…under the USO, if you fall into the categorically of requiring guaranteed telephony (ie: medical reasons, etc) – the ONT fitted will be the battery-backed up version.

      I don’t know what they are specifying as battery lifetime in that respect – (I asked the question at the last industry briefing I attended, and the equipment call was still out to tender, so they couldn’t/wouldn’t/shouldn’t answer at that time).

      I also believe you can request the battery backed-up version if you so desire – but I’m not 100% certain of that.

  18. I overheard someone saying if the internet filter is passed, that our internet connection will be slowed down? Is this true?

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