NBN 2.6 million times too slow, says Alan Jones


Oh dear. Radio shock jock Alan Jones appears to have gotten his wires crossed, in an analysis this week of how a new data speed record set by scientists in Germany might affect the National Broadband Network.

As Jones helpfully tells us (the full audio is available online, sponsored by consumer electronics retailer Bing Lee), the scientists at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, using a “laser”, have developed new technology that can send data at speeds of 26 terabits per second — for example up to 400 million telephone calls per second, or the data on 700 DVDs. This, Jones said, has some profound consequences for the NBN:

“The NBN that they’re going to roll out will be up to 100Mbps, down to 12Mbps in some areas … The Germans have done 26 terabits. that’s 26 million megabits per second. We’re going to get a hundred. Not a hundred million — a hundred megabits per second. Their 26 terabits is 2.6 million times faster than what we’re getting. And Canberra want us to believe that the technology we’re spending up to 60 billion on, won’t be updated by the time it’s rolled out. Of course, they’re kidding!”

Leaving aside the fact that the NBN will actually deliver speeds of up to 1Gbps, itself at least ten times faster than anything consumers can currently access in Australia … there is also the fact that the Germans are, of course, using the exact same technology as the NBN — optic fibre — and there is a solid prospect of such innovation eventually boosting speeds on the national network.

As NBN Co chief technology officer Gary McLaren says in a media release this week:

“Tests such as this just go to show why a fibre-enabled National Broadband Network is the best infrastructure for Australia’s future … As fibre optic technology improves, so too will speeds, and the amount of data that can be carried over the network we are building today. This gives us confidence that we’re delivering the right communications infrastructure to sustain our nation for decades to come.”

We can’t help but suspect the good chaps at NBN Co found this one a little bit amusing … judging by their seemingly innocuous re-tweet of a story run by News.com.au regarding Jones’ comments:

Personally I’m with Jones. 100Mbps? 1Gbps? Screw that — it should be every Australian’s right to have at least 10 terabits per second broadband to their house — maybe even 15. Gigabit, shmigabit. What is NBN Co thinking???

Oh dear.

Image credit: Pete Markham, Creative Commons


      • i had to check i hadnt done a Rip Van Winkle and it wasnt April 1 all over again – absolute drivel from AJ. its the old saying again, better to be silent and thought a fool, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt. definitely an instance in which he should have picked something else to blather about.

    • I don’t think the opinion of a man who gets arrested for lewd acts in public toilets should be taken too seriously.

    • Argument 1: Nobody needs Internet at the fast speeds offered by the NBN.
      Argument 2: The NBN is outdated and already too

  1. A shock jock’s comments that caters to a select audience in one Australian state is not mainstream debate.

  2. I guess the Side Show is getting cheaper by the day.
    Thanks Renai, for I got a nice few moments of laughter at Alan Jones making a fool of himself………again. Keep up the good work of informing us of these…….more delightful moments.


    Australians are very good at sardonic wit. This propaganda circus that has sprung up aroung the NBN could turn into a real laugh a moment that could entertain us all for the joke it is. They just keep the laughs rolling out every day! It also could be used by a smart Comedian to educate the masses and demystify the technology whilst gaining the interests of the people due to the laughs to be had.

    Hmmmm. Anything is possible. Interesting times watching the length to which people will stoop.
    BTW, can we deny that Alan Jones is Australian to the world in general?

  3. “(the full audio is available online, sponsored by consumer electronics retailer Bing Lee)”

    There are two ways this could be interpreted for Bing Lee’s sponsorship. They either have fallen for AJ’s spin or that they understand that Australian’s love a good laugh.

  4. I’ll be emailing Bing Lee saying that I could not possibly purchase goods from their store if they are going to sponsor this kind of misinformation. One thing Alan Jones probably does know about is advertising revenue.

  5. Nowadays, media is such a joke. In the old days, if you comments on thing that you are not very confident in the fact itself, that is called ‘digging your own grave’.

    • In the “old days”, listeners/viewers had very little – (read: almost zero) – opportunity to retort against “facts” presented in the media.

      You could write a letter to the editor, or call a talkback station – but you rarely get a guernsey, because if they don’t want to embarress themselves by succeeding their error to a “commoner” they didn’t have to. You don’t necessarily get your letter published, or your call taken or taken seriously if you get on air.

      In the modern media landscape, people have their own soapbox that the traditional producers of media can’t control.

      The sooner they realise that, the sooner they’ll realise they have to be a bit more careful/honest with their comments.

      • But does not this raise the spectre of Net Neutrality problems when the Media will pay a Carrier to block the offending site to stop embarrasment or to control the information on a subject? Then our words are shut off just like in the days past. It has happened already, it will happen again. Good point though. The Internet has empowered the masses. Just certain people don’t like that one little bit.

      • Yeah I don’t know. There were always a number of people who kept blindly insisting that the NBN will be out of date by the time it is built. Jones just has a bigger megaphone. It’s really only one rung up from the wireless is going to replace fixed broadband argument.

        Probably your average Joe would never have heard of the German trial if Jones hadn’t voiced it, so here’s cheers to Alan publicising why the NBN will never be superseded for bandwidth.

  6. 26 terabits per second? I was hoping for 1 Petabit per second.
    Finally, I shall be-able wget -r the entire Internet.

  7. Great article. Just one issue. Where the quote above says ‘updated’ I beleive it should say outdated.

    I think it makes more sense this way and actually assists your argument.

  8. Alan Jones is sadly not the best guy to put together a rational and mathematical argument. However, he does manage to get his message through to his listeners, and he earns a narrow fraction more than I do, so he must be doing something right. As comfort to the Labor Party faithful who hang round here, most likely none of the Alan Jones listeners would vote Labor anyhow, and they are only listening to confirm their existing prejudice.

    Frankly I’d much rather have people who think for themselves but get stuff wrong, than people who can’t be bothered thinking for themselves… but I’m the weirdo in that regard.

  9. as far as the tech itself is concerned, well done to KIT. i wonder if the optical-optical switching kit is something the NBN is using or can upgrade to in its switching units – /dreams/ if nbncan use that sort of kit(even if not at that speed) that would open up ridiculously fat haulage pipes… 24 Tbps! i wonder how long it will take for Australias aggregate usage to make something like that necessary…?

    anyways, as a side effect it apparrently is a lot more efficient power wise than optical-electrical-electrical-optical conversions. i wonder what sort of network-wide power savings would be available if optical optical replaced all the unnecessary electrical conversions, particularly with a national network as NBN is. i dont know they are using optical-optical kit already tho but if they are not its something id be interested in finding out….

Comments are closed.