Turnbull secretly “loves” the NBN, claims Internode


National broadband provider Internode this morning claimed Shadow Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull secretly “loves the NBN as a concept”, despite having been given an order by Opposition Leader to “demolish” the project.

Turnbull has had a history of involvement in the technology sector — ranging from his key role in the formation and sale of early Australian internet service provider OzEmail to his family’s investment in internet-focused businesses such as Webcentral and Chaos.com. In addition, he remains one of the only Federal Government politicians to make daily use of such personal technologies as the Apple iPad and Twitter — as well as recently ditching his BlackBerry for an iPhone.

The former Opposition Leader has also declared he enjoys the “often quite feisty” debates he regularly participates in on Twitter with respect to topics such as the National Broadband Network, noting that the medium was a good one for examining the quality of people’s arguments.

Asked on radio 5AA in Adelaide about Turnbull this morning, Internode carrier relations manager John Lindsay said Turnbull secretly loved the NBN project. “Something that I find when I talk to Malcolm Turnbull about this is that he’s got this kind of light in his eyes, he loves the NBN as a concept — because deep down he’s a technocrat,” Lindsay told listeners.

“But his job is to be the opposition spokesman for telecommunications.”

Turnbull’s approach to criticising the National Broadband Network has focused on the economics of the project — in keeping with the Coalition’s general focus on fiscal responsibility — rather than the technology involved in the rollout per se.

In a speech to parliament last week associated with the second reading of key NBN legislation re-introduced by the Federal Government, Turnbull reiterated that the Coalition was “fully committed, as I think all Australians are”, to the existence of “universal availability of fast broadband at an affordable price”.

“The most important issue of difference between the coalition and the government on this is the fact that the government is proceeding to achieve this goal, so it says, without any effort or attempt to determine whether the approach they are taking is the most cost-effective one,” he said.

Turnbull also attacked the government for its agreement with the Greens — which are opposed to privatising the NBN — on the terms under which the network and its associated company could be sold off.

“One of the prices that the Prime Minister has paid for the support of the Greens is the agreement to make the NBN virtually impossible to sell,” said Turnbull. “The way the legislation works is that it cannot be sold until such time as it is complete. It cannot be sold when it is part built; it must be absolutely complete. Looking around the room, there are a few of the younger members that may still be here when it is built, but I suspect those of us here around the table probably will not be here by that time.”

Despite Lindsay’s belief, Turnbull has also recently confirmed the Coalition would halt the NBN project if it took government in the next election — noting construction would be stopped while a cost/benefit analysis was conducted and a variety of other measures taken.

The interview with Lindsay is available online as an MP3.

Image credit: Office of Malcolm Turnbull


    • +1. He’s a smart and astute businessman, and obviously understands the technology behind the NBN. Deep down he would have to know that fibre is the future.

      I’m a Labor voter, but I’ve always had far more respect for Malcolm Turnbull than other Liberal MPs, as he’s a far more moderate conservative, with some rather left wing values (his full support for tackling climate change for example). He’s also brought many important policies and referendums to Australia. His push for Australia to become a republic being another good example of his progressive ideas.

      However we all know he’s just playing the game at the moment. Peddling bullshit to further the coalition’s cause and try to bring down one of the greatest Government funded projects ever. Is this really how he wants to be remembered?

      • Heh I think he will be remembered for more than his NBN opposition ;) Turnbull has had a stellar career; he’s had successes in a number of different fields. And I don’t think his day is done yet.

  1. Also, I like that you found a file photo that has him using a fixed ethernet cable with his laptop. Where’s the iPad Turnbull? I thought you’d be dieing on the issue without all the portiablity? ;)

    • Suspect that photo is in his APH office – would also suspect they wouldn’t allow wi-fi access for security purposes. Having done fed.govt contract work, I know they are generally very nervous about any non-wired access.

      • Parliament has only recently installed Wi-Fi hotspots, as hard as that is to believe. But yes — that is his parliamentary laptop. Ludlam has one very similar.

          • Just like any wireless communication medium is inherently bandwidth limited, and inherently less stable than a physically cabled connection. How can Tony Abbott ignore this?!

          • Motorola AirDefense has – (I believe) – the only available defence-rated wireless security model. It’s certificate based, and those certificates roll regularly and automatically.

            I don’t deal with much of our wireless stuff – if I remember I’ll have a chat to our main wireless guys and get more details.

          • That’s why the Army, Navy and Air forces of the planet NEVER use wireless technology……

            The fallacy that OFT is secure is quite dangerous. One can buy a clip-on coupler and tap an optical fiber network with a noise loss of less than 0.5 dB. On a shared Passive Optical Network, tapping it is quite simple as the equipment has to be designed to ignore signal transients of < 4 dB else the network shuts down every time a user logs on….

            Not very secure….

          • Hey Adsy, I see you have AGAIN posted that same old pic of the Mobile phone you invented…LOL!

            Business slow eh? Another free plug? Good for you…!

          • If you are in defense you would be foolish to trust any medium without crypto or other measures.

            Optical does allow you to reduce the number of attack vectors and mitigate others with physical security.

            If you are purely doing a passive tap you don’t even need to insert yourself into the cable. Just bend to close to it’s max bend radius and measure the signal leaking out.

            I’ve used that behavior while range finding with OTDRs when trying to workout where a field worker was relative to a cable cut.

          • Yes you can bend it, depending on what it is covered in.
            If it is bare, giving it a tweak and reading it is trivial. Tapping it is trivial.

          • I suggest it might be a TAD difficult to wander into a golly hut without being noticed and start bending pipe or sticking vampire clips into the back of things….

          • I was regular Army. Little brothers both started as ROSIs, then one went Gollie on the Perth, the other a gollie in submarines. Then we all had a good stint a DoD contracting.

            It would be VERY difficult to sneak behind a rack bolted to the bulkhead in the hut!

          • Yeah – for the same reason as GPON is….

            Admittedly it is much easy to put a wireless receiver in a wireless network, spoof the MAC address and sniff away than it is to tap a cable and do the same.

            However what makes wireless wireless is what is going on in Layer 1 of the OSI stack….. Meanwhile encryption goes on at a completely different level….. Therefore from a practical point of view wireless is as ‘safe’ as fibre because the same encryption techniques can apply in both networks.

  2. It will be interesting to see Malcolm’s response to this from Internode.

    I’ve long suspected that he has more love for it than he is able to let on publicly. Of course, given his political position, he will completely deny this.

  3. I too, think Malcolm Turnbull is too smart to believe the rhetoric that he’s having to trot out on behalf of Tony Abbott. I guess he puts politics before personal beliefs (as any career politician probably does), which is why he can bear to promote the ill-informed views of Tony “I’m no Bill Gates” Abbott.

    • I think he is very careful in how he words things — he usually does toe the party line, but he often makes it clear there is some ambiguity in what he personally believes. It’s a smart approach.

      • Aaah ,the John Howard approach to public discourse. We didn’t like it then and his slipperyness help bring my former local member to a well deserved defeat.

        Does Malcolm value his integrity? If he ever claws his way back to the top, will his blocking of the NBN be forgotten?

  4. The Opposition could gain a lot of credibility if they at least committed to installing the NBN in areas where it is needed the most and does not double up on existing cable/ADSL2+ access. There are plenty of areas – both country and metropolitan – which do not have adequate internet access and very poor ADSL1 services.

    And no wireless broadband is not a viable solution to access issues.

    • That was their plan all along. They want to address problem areas by forcing Telstra to upgrade the ADSL2+ infrastructure in these areas as well as better wireless options for remote areas.

      The problem with that, and I think that is why you were pointing out, is why should we bring these areas up only to ADSL2+? Why wouldn’t we go the extra mile and pushing them forward with a FTTP solution, or at the very least a (rather dense) FTTN solution?

    • Eh, the copper has got to go. Not only does performance fall rapidly as the line length increases, the copper network is degrading as it’s been in the ground for over 50 years.

      Doesn’t take a scientist to work out that it’s gotta be replaced. The NBN kills two birds with one stone. Replaces the infrastructure and gets rid of the private monopoly on fixed line services.

      As phone lines are a natural monopoly, it’s better that the government runs it (who is accountable to the people) instead of a private entity who only cares what it’s shareholders think.

      • This is the exact, succinct argument for the NBN.

        Unfortunately, mainstream media and the right-wing media (News Limited) – fall for the FUD everytime.

        • Unlike the pro-NBN FUD which I suppose by definition cannot be FUD because err it just isn’t, you can quote wonderful esoteric stocking filler rubbish like the speed of light etc which by default because it is good old geek tech tyre kicker stuff which on its own justifies the NBN’s existence.

  5. You guys are wankers.

    The evidence highlighting Conroy’s stupidity is mounting (and your support for his position along with it)

    So what do you fools do. Stick you heads up your arse and pretend the people on the other side of the argument who are winning are actually on your side too.

    Your delusion is staggering as it is funny.

    • You guys are wankers.

      To whom are you refering?

      The evidence highlighting Conroy’s stupidity is mounting (and your support for his position along with it)

      I would, as would a few here, gladly respond to this evidence, if you would be so kind as to present it?

      So what do you fools do. Stick you heads up your arse and pretend the people on the other side of the argument who are winning are actually on your side too.

      No, actually, first of all it was Internode who made this allogation, Renai is just reporting it. Second of all, the allogation is that Turnbull likes the technology of the project, but doesn’t like how it is being run and weither it is actually the correct way to solve the problem. Turnbull still opposes the project, and will continue to speak out against it. He as much on our side as a cat is on the side of the mouse while it plays with it before killing it.

      Your delusion is staggering as it is funny.

      To what delusion are you refering?

  6. To Renai, Lindsay and friends,

    In your warped minds, if someone is bending you over and making you grab your ankles it seems to soothe you to imagine that its not a guy doing it to you, but a hot chick with a strap on !!!

    You guys are hysterically funny . . . . idiots

    NBN 2.0 is a giant extravagant waste of Australia’s resources.

  7. John Lindsay reads minds!
    Is that a Vulcan thing?

    Strangely, when I talked to Mr Turnbull about 10 weeks ago specifically about the NBN architecture, cost, and level of analysis I got the very distinct impression that he and I shared the opinion that:

    1. The NBN should at least be halted until a cost/benefit analysis is carried out,
    2. The architecture of a FTTH network is not reflected in the current market analysis regarding Australian network purchasing and use trends,
    3. That the ‘last mile’ should use a mixture of technologies based on CONSUMER REQUIREMENTS not some arbitary plan scratched on the back of a drink coaster one beery lunchtime.

    It’s a disgusting amount of money to spend on a project that has no real research behind it.

  8. Speaking terms with Mr. Turnbull, eh?

    Ah, explains why your NBN thoughts conveniently mirror the Libs…!

    • “Speaking terms with Mr. Turnbull, eh?
      Ah, explains why your NBN thoughts conveniently mirror the Libs…!”

      Yes, he was polite enough to give me a telephone call after I sent some alternative (to the NBN) network strategies ho his office and that of the Liberal Party HQ.
      It seems THEY share MY opinion of the stupid project, which is what politicians are supposed to do, from memory.

      • Good for you, speaking to Mal and helping create Lib policy too!

        Ah, explains why your NBN thoughts conveniently mirror the Libs…!”

        • “Good for you, speaking to Mal and helping create Lib policy too!
          Ah, explains why your NBN thoughts conveniently mirror the Libs…!”

          That’s what ‘lobbying’ means. I had my views on an Australian NBN WAY before Mr. Turnbull got his portfolio. I happen to think they have taken the correct stance o this particular issue.

          You stil haven’t managed to come up with a reason to implement FTTH OFT (apart from rooly FAST telly).

          • Fair enough and rightly so then…addinall.

            Marvellous what a difference it makes when you answer without your past sarcasm and name calling. You get a decent reply in return…and your posts aren’t deleted!

  9. Give us a break.
    Where is the proof …….fancy an isp rep saying when i talk to Turnbull about the Nbn I see a twinkle in his eye.
    What a load of rubbish give us proof not just a twinkle.
    Talk about desperation to try to prove that the other side likes the Nbn.
    This article is as just as stupid as the white elephant we will be having to pay for years

      • Ummm. this was not about the actually quality of the article you wrote.
        It is in relationship to the fact that a isp rep saw a Twinkle in Turnsbull eyes when he talks about the NBN.
        To me it makes the internode rep look stupid.
        I do hope this is not the indications of the quality of the workers there.

  10. ‘twinkle in his eye’


    ‘entire website spread with Turnbull signature saying how much hes against it regularly updated and blogged’

    yeah right Internode. They call this journalism or Today Tonight style of ‘putting words in someones mouth’ because ‘someone else thought they caught a slight inflexion iin some passing conversation”

    Delimiter = Troll-imiter

    Only way to get a readership it seems.

    • Wow. I see what you did there. You mashed two words together to make a new one! Kind of like the coalition’s ideas for broadband. Just mash all the current dated technologies together and called it an “alternative broadband plan”. I’m starting to understand how you guys think!

      Delimiter was simply reporting on comments (admittedly flimsy, but funny comments) made by one of Australia’s largest ISPs. Personally I think it counts as valid news.

      As discussed above, there are a actually a lot of signs to suggest that Malcolm is smarter than the anti-NBN propaganda he is spreading now. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to pick up on it. He’s either an idiot or he doesn’t believe all the crap he is saying, but rather is just doing his job as shadow comms minister as instructed by the technically illiterate, Luddite Abbott. Personally, given Turnbull’s clear intelligence, I think it has to be the second one.

  11. Just like Luke Skywalker saw good in Darth Vadar, there is good in Turnbull. He isn’t just a Dark man with intent of destroy all that is good in the universe.

  12. Does Malcolm have a view on whether any of these ports http://michaelwyres.com/2011/02/nbn-end-user-services-taking-shape/ are redundant and how money could be saved by eliminating some of them along with aid to Indonesian schools?

    Do we know is “In addition, he remains one of the only Federal Government politicians to make daily use of such personal technologies as the Apple iPad and Twitter” is an accurate statement? The technophobes should be named and shamed. We know on his own admission Tony is up there and proud of it. How about others in the shadow cabinet apparently being supinely led down a negative path.

  13. Their answers to the annual Whirlpool survey should be published.

    What? They did not complete the Whirlpool survey?

  14. @Michael Wyres
    Posted 16/02/2011 at 8:22 pm | Permalink |
    Sorry, I’m only up for sarcasm tonight…irony detector not working because it can’t pick up a wireless signal.

    Fair enough. Boost the gain, fourier the noise…

  15. RS
    Posted 16/02/2011 at 9:00 pm | Permalink |
    Hey Adsy, I see you have AGAIN posted that same old pic of the Mobile phone you invented…LOL!

    That’s the one….

    Project Parakeet is a mature Australian Defence Force (ADF) communications project managed by the Australian Army. It furnishes the Army and Royal Australian Air Force with a mobile, integrated, secure tactical trunk communications system. Users located at information and logistic headquarters are provided with voice, telegraph, data and facsimile services.Project Parakeet was implemented in six phases:Phases 1 to 3 involved concept studies, system definition and equipment definition studies. All of these are now complete.Phase 4 was the main equipment procurement phase. It was designed to equip an operational-level headquarters, three brigades, two alternate airfields, and logistic elements. Two reserve brigades were originally planned to be partially equipped. This phase includes procurement of circuit and packet switching equipment, radio relay, satellite communications and optical fibre bearers and a system control and management subsystem. Phase 4 of Parakeet was subsequently updated to Phase 4.1/4.2. This phase involved all Phase 4 equipment except the satellite assemblages. A prime contract for this phase was signed with AWA Defence Industries in March 1994. That company has since been purchased by BAE Systems.This was followed by Phase 4.3. This phase involved the purchase of 18 SATCOM Terminal Assemblages (STAs) and one strategic entry point. A contract for Phase 4.3 was signed with BAE Systems Australia on 9 November 1992. (Jane’s has this date wrong. They have been informed). Introduction into service was completed in May 1996.Phase 6 was contracted for in 1999 and involved the procurement of further quantities of switch and bearer assemblages for lower-priority units not equipped during Phase 4, as well

    The second-generation STA provided the ADF with a substantial increase in data transmission capacity: up to eight times more than previously. The ability to operate in the military X-band and commercial C-band frequencies was also added to improve flexibility to operate with other defence forces and international satellite systems. Significant changes were additionally made to enhance the STA’s capability to be deployed to areas of extreme temperature range and to incorporate an automatic satellite tracking capability. The enhanced STA has satellite communications trunk bearers of up to 2 Mbits/s.”

    “Initially, this will be used to communicate with RAN ships and aircraft, RAAF aircraft and the emerging generation of ADF command and control systems which require very high bandwidths to handle large amounts of data.”

    The Project steering committee consisted of members of AWADI, RASig, APO, RAN and RAAF. Interesting bit of kit. Still deployed.

    Still waiting for examples of your work…..

    Business slow eh? Another free plug? Good for you…!

    Business is fine thank you.

  16. Dear oh dear we are all uptight aren’t we? That was a joke, hence the LOL!

    But thank you for that detailed explanation anyway… and also for again controlling the urge to name call.

    Umm as I have said many times (even to you when you have asked previously) I’m not in IT (not even remotely), this is a hobby!

    Which is why I sometimes sit back and laugh at posters arguing with me, as I am one who isn’t directly influenced by any of this (except for being a taxpayer who welcomes the use of his tax dollars, even though my current comms are fine – for the NBN, as essential infrastructure for the future, IMO).

    But I’m sure if you knew or if I were to tell you what I do, you’d actually be somewhat appreciative of my skills and rather impressed, I’d bet…LOL!

  17. To the people who don’t understand this article:

    It is possible to be totally FOR the concept of an NBN, but simultaneously totally AGAINST Labor’s specific priorities/design/cost of NBN 2.0.

    I’d hate to live in a town with fewer than 1000 residents, paying for the NBN for everybody else. That’s really closing the digital divide – well done Labor. And by crippling it to a GPON it’s essentially FTTN, not FTTH. ADSL2+ / VDSL in particular communities / estates running on existing copper could be much more cost effective while still vastly improving connectivity, but alas that would require brains rather than the dullard one size fits all approach.

    @Renai, nice article – thank you for giving this topic and opinion (which I also hold) some coverage.

    • And by crippling it to a GPON it’s essentially FTTN, not FTTH.

      How you figure? The fibre still reaches the boundary of the building, even through it is shared bandwidth.

      But yes, an AON setup would be better, but that would be considered more waste by the oppsoition.

      It’s ironic, I once had a particular anti-NBN supporter tell me that we should be building an AON network, even through that would cost more and one of his primary arguements against the NBN was the cost of rollout. Kinda sad really.

      • >How you figure? The fibre still reaches the boundary of the building, even through it is shared bandwidth.

        I guess the point I was trying to get across is that the existing copper pairs into most houses can handle each end users allocation of the shared bandwidth, so why dig it up now to put in fibre? I’d only consider digging up peoples front yards as cost effective if it was to provide true FTTH \, not a share off a passive splitter.

        The argument will come up about distance being a problem, but remote properties won’t get fibre anyway due to not being economic. So that argument is moot. There is clearly no black and white one size fits all solution without creating a class system of “have’s and have-nots” which is totally against all the political spin of closing the digital divide.

        If a property doesn’t get fibred in the next few years, it’s likely to be locked to its existing connectivity for the next 30 years. I’d much prefer to see Gov subsidisation of the remote locations, and the more commercially viable areas remain a competitive market where we can pay for fibre if we really need it.

        I live in an area that I could feasibly have privately fibred by the commercial market if i needed it, but i don’t need it. As soon as Labor / NBNCo ruled out service to “uneconomic” locations, their entire motive became a complete farce. I’d prefer to see my taxes spent to prop up the uneconomic areas. The commercial market will take care of the rest of us in dense populations.

        Sorry about the rant.

        • Just remember the attentuation of fibre is much better than copper. If you do FTTN you need to be concious of node density, i.e. the maximum line length for the node. For best results you want no more than 500m as that will provide aggregate data rates of 100Mb/s and above using VDSL2. And at that distance you’re digging up so much already.

          Sorry about the rant.

          It’s all good. ^_^

          • All totally valid points. But NBNCo will be offering 12Mbit services. And plenty of punters will probably be happy with 12Mbit for the next 5 years maybe, considering faster plans will be more expensive. So it seems a waste to fibre their front yard when their existing copper can hold out until then, at which time it’s more cost effective to upgrade their final-mile rather than trying to pump it through now when it won’t be used.

            This is my opinion on regional towns that don’t appear economic, not the more dense population areas where immediate fibre rollout may be perfectly viable. I’d prefer to see the regional towns get some sort of middle-ground fixed line solution by improving existing copper rather than deferring to wireless.

            I don’t have all the answers, but I do think NBN2.0 is a clunky, expensive solution that doesn’t add up to the outcomes the ALP used as slogans to help win them the election. I believe their hasty “one size fits who its economic for” solution is just very very poor.

          • 12Mbps for many will be enough for another 5 years…maybe right. If we start building out a fibre network in five years (2016) it will still take 9 years, taking us out to 2025 instead of 2020.

            Will 100Mbps be needed in 2025? Absolutely.

            Will it be needed in 2020? Absolutely. But if we don’t start NOW, it will still be 5 years away in 2020.

          • > But if we don’t start NOW, it will still be 5 years away in 2020.

            I’m not suggesting no-rollout for 5 years, just hold off on last-mile fibre for 5 years, use the next 5 years to build the first legs of fibre (ie FTTN), which will mean more money for smaller towns to be included earlier. Then hit stage 2 where last mile is converted from copper to fibre. I don’t see it taking any longer, it just keeps the gap smaller by using the budget to improve speeds for more people instead of leaving a load of people with wireless as their solution until they apparently become economical to fibre (will they ever? seriously?)

          • Unfortunately, as stated, ALP seem not to want to budge on the FTTH policy, so you’re looking at at least five years before a FTTN network can be completed because we need to wait for the oppsoition to get in power and go through the proposal and tender process.

          • But NBNCo will be offering 12Mbit services

            At least 12Mbit services in a setup, for those in the fibre footprint at least, such that they will be able to get anything from 12Mbit to 1Gbps depending on their ISPs provisioning. Now, the Liberals on the other hand are wanting to offer at least 12Mbit and… that’s it… 12Mbit and you’re good. If they build the node density to this level (about 1.5km) we’re in exactly the same situation we are right now (people close to the node can get better speed for arbitorary reasons), except that instead of the “lower limit” being 1.5Mbps, it’s 12Mbps.

            Now as you said, 12Mbit services will be good for the next five years or so, but when you consider that, assuming the tender process for subsides is accerlated to about 6 months, we’re looking at least that amount of time before we even get the FTTN solution deployed in lieu of the NBN plan.

            The reality of the situation is that if we want to present an alternative, it is going to have to be put to power by the Liberals, because Labour have shown they are not willing to budge on the NBN, and that means we won’t be able to see the fruits of this alterntive for at least 5 years, in acuality it’ll likely be more like 7. (At which point anyone will note the NBN is set to be completed in 8).

            This is my opinion on regional towns that don’t appear economic, not the more dense population areas where immediate fibre rollout may be perfectly viable.

            Actually I’m starting to think, althrough this is against the popular opionon of everyone, that the complete opposite is actually true. It is more viable to roll out fibre to regional areas if you intend to give a minimum level of access than a FTTN solution because you can assure the service is actually delievered, whereas in densely populated areas, recycling the old copper can he done at a reasonable node density (less than a 1km) and the return on the investment can be returned quickly. Maybe we should take these ideas and take the quick return we get on the inner suburbs to subsides the (more expensive) FTTP rollout in rural areas if we want to address the “digital devide” problem.

            Just my 2c there.

          • >Now, the Liberals on the other hand are wanting to offer at least 12Mbit and… that’s it…

            The last time I heard them say that was 2007 when the budget was around $4.7b and Telstra’s suggestion of it costing more like an outrageous (at the time) $20b for a decent fit out had their tender invalidated…

            Granted the Libs haven’t put forward a full detailed plan of their alternative, but their whole point is they’d spend a bit of time finding cost effective solutions to improve everyone, not just those people considered economically viable… Limiting the rollout to areas that are economically viable completely nullifies any reason to pump public money into it.. if it’s economically viable then the private sector will do it… Telstra have been fibreing up estates for Telstra velocity long before now as have plenty of others.. Opticomm etc.

            The Government money should be used to subsidise those areas that are not economic. Not try to steal the profit producing areas from Telstra, just so they can sell it (NBNCo) a few years from now. Through this whole process “Farmer Joe” with a crap internet connection in 2007 will still have a crap internet connection in 2017… unless he can get LTE from Telstra. The NBN is useless to him.


          • Turnbull has been touting the 12Mbps figure since he basicly got the Shadow Minister position off Smith.

            Also you must realise their plan involves the same, if not more, fixed wireless solutions as the NBN? The policy they brought to the election was to spend $2b on fixed wireless solutions for rural, and outer-metro areas. Their plan, as it stood at the election, was still only doing the roll-out to economically viable solution, the only difference was that it would imply older technology (ADSL2+) in order to speed up the timeframe of the rollout and save costs.

            To put it bluntly, that whole plan, after reading it, consisted of an undertone of “throw $6b at the problem and hope it goes away.” Fisal responsiblity is fine, but the same CBA arguement the Liberals have be saying re the NBN applies to their plan, and to be honest I’m pretty sure it would have failed the CBA check from the productivity commision just like the NBN.

            Hopefully Turnbull can bring a slightly saner plan to the next election.

          • > Actually I’m starting to think, althrough this is against the popular opionon of everyone, that the complete opposite is actually true. It is more viable to roll out fibre to regional areas …

            An interesting idea. I wonder if Conroy would have a response to this other than some ambiguous and irrelevant political soundbyte. That’s why I hate what the ALP is doing, they tackle a complicated problem and provide hasty ill thought responses that can be spun into some sort of illusion of a solution for political gain.

          • I’m trying to put together a plan, I have been for the past few months, but their is always some new piece of information coming along and I don’t have enough free time. Hopefull Turnbull’ll give it a read and consider it, assuming it’s any good.

    • I’d hate to live in a town with fewer than 1000 residents, paying for the NBN for everybody else. That’s really closing the digital divide – well done Labor

      But what’s the alternative? Should we go with the least common denominator (wireless? or what?) just so that towns with < 1,000 residents can get the same as everybody else?

      • The alternative would be to not spend so much on the internet for all the people getting it, since it is cross subsidized. People are gonna be less pissed off if the amount of money being spent on internet that they are not going to get is going to be more trivial

        If anything this will increase the digital divide, both in terms of pricing and technology

      • I’d look at using the existing copper in small towns but building it to a FTTN with final-mile copper and VDSL. It saves digging up every front yard, thus reducing cost and increasing the likelihood that small towns would fit into the economic restraints of a valid business case.

        The cry of “Do it once, do it well, do it with fibre” has essentially banished small towns into the uneconomic basket forever. I’d suggest “Do it smart – do it with the most appropriate technology for the existing infrastructure at an economic cost.”

        And if the occupants really need fibre to their house rather than what final-mile copper can provide that they can fund digging up their front yard privately.

        It’s the final-mile fibre cost that I consider has blown out the budget too much, and then by implementing it as GPON has all but made it a redundant measure at this point in time anyway.

        • Not “forever”.

          They are just not within the financial scope of this initial project.

          There’s nothing to stop further rollouts of the network – (either in FttH form, a FttN/VDSL combination) – in the future.

      • There is nothing to stop towns with less than 1000 people getting fibre – either almost straight away if the difference in funding is found, or down the track.

        The economics of the CURRENT project to rollout the NBN draws a “bean-counter” line at around the 1000 population mark.

        There’s no TECHNICAL reason why they couldn’t roll fibre to 100% of the population – the cost of the 93rd to 100th percentiles grows exponentially. 93% is all they can do within the budget they have.

        Depending on specific circumstances, some towns less than 1000 will get fibre, some towns with more than 1000 won’t.

        • @Micheal Wyres

          “The economics of the CURRENT project to rollout the NBN draws a “bean-counter” line at around the 1000 population mark.”

          Of course as you well know the economics of the NBN as explained in their business plan rely on a 70% uptake , that is 70% that sign up for a retail NBN ISP plan, not the spin taxpayer paid for ‘free connection’ figure.

          That sort of figure is a fantasy, I hope the so called ‘bean counter’ line is on a white board as it will require constant adjustment.

          This turkey will be constantly propped up by the taxpayer for decades (assuming Labor last that long!).

  18. Put it this way. Unless you can roll out a better network with fewer tax payers $$$ shutup and let NBNco do it’s job.

    If anyone here was capable of delivering a better deal than they should have done something about it a long time ago.

  19. I’d like to know when we are going to see a cost benefit analysis for Abbotts road programmes, in NSW we have O’Farrell’s 13-20 billion Dollar road plan (or around 50% of the National NBN project cost) going ahead without any Limited News calls for cost benefit analysis, when it’s quite clear there is going to be no benefit whatsoever and just lead to ever increasing traffic jams. The definfition of insanity “doing the same thing over and again and expecting a different result”

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