Qld Coalition MP issues loaded NBN survey



news A North Queensland LNP Member of Federal Parliament has issued his constituents with a wide-ranging survey canvassing their views on a number of areas, including several questions which appear to take a misleading approach regarding the Government’s National Broadband Network project.

In the letter to residents in the electorate of Dawson, seen by Delimiter, the MP for the area, LNP member George Christensen, described the survey as “North Queensland’s biggest survey” and said it would enable every household to express views on a wide range of issues. “The results of this survey will be used by me to fight for things that need to be done,” he added.

However, in the ‘Transport & Infrastructure’ section of the survey (pictured above), Christensen’s questions to Dawson residents appeared to contain several misleading implications regarding the NBN. For example, the survey contains a question asking residents which of the following answers were more important to them, but gave them only three options: Fixing the Bruce Highway, improving local roads, or faster internet speeds.

Another question asked “Do you think that some of the $37 billion from the Gillard Labor government’s National Broadband Network should be spent improving roads and infrastructure,” while a third question asked residents whether they were “prepared to pay more for your internet connection through the National Broadband Network”.

Christensen’s questions reflect what increasingly appears to be a common misconception by Coalition MPs that the NBN’s capital funding could be re-allocated to infrastructure.

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott, for example, used his 2011 budget reply speech to describe Labor’s plan to invest billions of dollars of equity funding in its flagship National Broadband Network project as “reckless”, and claiming that the capital could be re-allocated to fund a number of major transport infrastructure and hospital projects. And in July 2012, Abbott proclaimed that Australia didn’t “need” the National Broadband Network project and the billions being invested in the initiative would be better spent on “our roads, our rail and our ports” under a Coalition Government.

However, analysis has consistently shown that the NBN is not an expense in terms of the Federal Government’s annual budget, and cutting the project would not free up money to be spent in other areas. This is because the project is an investment expected to make a return for the government — a long-term profit of 7.1 percent.

According to a research note published by the Parliamentary Library of Australia, Labor is technically correct to account for the NBN on this matter, and the Coalition is wrong.
“Australia has adopted internationally accepted accounting standards, and these are applied in the budget treatment of the NBN,” the library’s Brian Dalzell, who works in its economics division, wrote in the report (available online here in PDF format). “While the applied accounting treatment depends on the specific transaction conducted between the Government and NBN Co, this treatment is governed by accepted accounting standards and is applied equally to all government business entities (GBEs). This treatment is not determined by the return generated by NBN Co (or any other GBE).”

In this sense, cutting funds from the NBN would have the potential to limit any return the project makes in the long-term, potentially even costing the Government money instead of saving it. Even if the NBN project ended up making a long-term loss on the investment, the Government’s loss in that area would not constitute the entire cost of the project — merely how much money it had lost once NBN Co’s revenues had been removed from the equation. In this sense, it is not possible to take the funding which has been allocated to the NBN and use it instead on transport infrastructure. The net cost to the Government from such an initiative would be expected in the long-term to be worse than if such funding had been independently sourced for the transport infrastructure.

Similarly, Christensen’s implication that end user retail costs will be higher under the NBN has also been demonstrated to be false.

The Coalition has publicly stated its opinion that broadband prices will be higher under the NBN than the current ADSL-dominated broadband market repeatedly over the past six months. In September, Liberal MP Paul Fletcher stated that new NBN pricing released by iiNet at the time was higher than existing ADSL prices. And several months earlier, Turnbull stated that early pricing released by Internode for services on the NBN demonstrated the project would drive consumer broadband prices higher.

However, unfortunately the Coalition’s statements on this matter have been factually incorrect. Almost all of Australia’s major ISPs have released their first tranche of NBN pricing plans, and in almost all cases, the prices are directly comparable to current pricing available over Telstra’s copper network (ADSL) or the HFC cable networks operated by Telstra and Optus.

It’s not the first time Christensen has sharply criticised the NBN project. In September 2011, for example, the MP issued an extensive statement slamming the NBN project as a “white elephant in the making”.

One of the chief criticisms which Christensen raised with respect to the NBN was the issue broadband blackspots, linking what he said was the Government’s failure to improve mobile coverage in his electorate to the recent death of a young teenager at a swimming hole near the area of Alligator Creek.

“Che-Nezce Perrie Shepherd was just 17 when her foot became wedged between rocks in the creek,” wrote Christensen. “A freak surge of water resulting from an exceptionally heavy downpour rapidly rose and her friends, unable to free here, tried to call for help on mobile phones. This popular swimming hole is in a black spot and her friends were unable to raise the alarm. Che-Nezce drowned in her friends arms.”

“I have raised this specific issue in this place before and I am pleased to say that since then the community support has prompted Telstra to address this particular black spot – with no thanks to the government. The government can roll out billions of dollars of NBN but that NBN will do nothing to prevent tragedies like this occurring. Every day, in less tragic ways, black spots in our communication network hinder businesses and the lifestyles of everyday people in regional and remote areas. Businesses in Townsville don’t need the NBN. They need mobile phones that work.
These are the issues that should have been covered by a report before any alleged solution is rolled out.”

However, the Coalition has not proposed any broadband or mobile telephony policy which would address the issues which Christensen raised regarding mobile phone coverage in his electorate.

Christensen’s comments also come as other LNP Queensland MPs have recently been attempting to canvass support in their electorate for the Coalition’s rival NBN policy, which uses fibre to the node technology. However, as with Christensen’s survey, the statements issued by two LNP MPs in this area were somewhat misleading; criticising the Government for not rolling out the NBN’s fibre infrastructure in some parts of their electorate fast enough, while not acknowledging that the infrastructure was currently being rolled out in other areas.

Honestly, I am very surprised to see Coalition MPs still peddling these common NBN misconceptions to their electorate. Delimiter and other sites have debunked this nonsense so many times … it is quite disappointing to see that some Coalition MPs repeatedly refused to separate fact from fiction in their communication with their constituents. I am particularly disappointed to see this kind of loaded survey questions being used; surely anyone who has ever been involved in survey work before could see that these are leading questions which would not give an accurate picture of people’s views of the NBN.

Our thanks to the anonymous tipster who sent Christensen’s survey to us.

Image credit: Survey issued by George Christensen


  1. A loaded survey issued by a politician? Well I’m sure Sir Humphrey may take issue with that.

    • The correct term for it is “push polling”.


      It’s a marketing technique favoured heavily by dodgy politicians and isn’t actually a “poll” like Newspoll, Gallup, Essential Media, etc are. He isn’t interested in finding out what his constituents want, he wants to effect/change their views on what they want…

  2. I think that all this discussion of accounting standards needs to be boiled down to simple terms. Who pays for the NBN? Internet users. Who pays for Roads, Ports etc? taxpayers. Why should only internet users be taxed to pay for roads and ports?

  3. usual deal…uniformed masses led by those with their own agenda who will crow the results out as loud as they can as the truth by creating a ‘bent’ survey that almost only allows answers that they want :/

    unfortunately far too many people out there in the older age brackets read only newspapers such as the west australian or watch Today (terror) Tonight etc and will go “you young whiper-snappers dont know what your on about build more roads that will solve everything” and pick the build more roads option everytime….i know because thats my dad in a nutshell….so many discussions and thats the end result from all of them.

  4. Technically you can redirect the NBN funding to Bruce Highway. You just have to add toll points and charge enough to cover costs.

      • Nah, that’s wasteful. Just one either side of the Honorable Member’s office and home. With a high enough toll to cover the cost of upgrading the entire highway…

  5. My god thats hilarious. What a great way to invalidate your survey results. I think the term idiots is appropriate here. Because someone would have reviewed this before it went out so it was a definitely a group effort.

  6. its a survey that should have been sent out by all elected members on all sides before this waste occured.

    I would rather my tax dollars “INVEST” (since thats what the zealeots round here cry so often this allegedly is) in better health and well being of all citizens, and fixing up roads. The bridge to Bribie Island is atrocious, everytime there an accident on it, nobody can get to or from for hours and hours, that includes critically injured patients, IC-paramedics, extra fire trucks, and extra police, but no, sorry, no funds available, kiddies getting their warez is much more important, and I’m sure there are thousands of examples just like it.

    Yes faster warez for the kiddies might be nice, but only when the other priorities are dealt with.

    and if your one of those who is about to click reply and cry “oh my god you dont get it its an investment” – again, its an investment with MY tax dollars, I voted for a govt to manage the books and spend my money in a sensible and efficient and NON F#$KING reckless manor. If you are struggle to meet your weekly budget, with criminally priced rents, profiteering fuel companies and supermarkets, you dont go out and buy a range rover do you. but labors answer to all this is, hell, just find another way to TAX people.

      • I dunno, Renai, my 2-year-old has got quite a collection of “warez”, and it would be nicer to be able to get them faster.

        Assuming by “warez” you mean “watching Peppa Pig incessantly on ABC iView”. ;-)

        • So, if I said that Ericsson published a study that found that doubling broadband speed increases GDP by 0.3% would that blow your mind or does that not fit into your universe?

          • wow a .3% GDP increase that would bring in an extra $2Billion (give or take a couple 100mill) a year in tax revenue I wonder what the interest repayments are like on the NBN; “free” internet for all. BTW this type of GDP increase is the sort of thing CBA look at to justify the cost of spending a lot of money with no expected direct monetary return. The NBN has an expected direct monetary return return so increased GDP and tax revenue as a result is just cream.

          • @SMEMatt

            Actually, that number was incorrect. It was for every 10Mbps AVERAGE increase in speed, brings 0.3% GDP. For every 10% PENETRATION increase for BB, you get 1.2% GDP increase.

            By the way, your math sucks too :P- 0.3% GDP on a $1.37 Trillion GDP (Google) is actually $4.1 billion. Add to that at LEAST another 5-8% penetration for broadband (currently at around 64%) as a result of the NBN and you’re looking at approx. $15 Billion increase in GDP. And, the total interest bill for the NBN is just over $10 billion for the ENTIRE borrowing period…..oh dear, that doesn’t turn out so well for those who believe even INDIRECT benefits won’t result, does it?

            This misses the point entirely however- the NBN monies cannot be spent on roads or any other infrastructure unless they are to make a return. And I think you’ll find if we “loaded” a survey of our own and asked “do you want the Bruce Highway fixed but ONLY if you pay a $10 toll each way?”….there might be somewhat of a different answer.

            You want better education and roads? Vote for the party that promises and budgets for such by saving money elsewhere. Oh and by the way, the Coalition hasn’t. Yet. No directed at you SMEMatt, just a general statement at the end there.

        • Absolutely Nobby6! You are correct in your post to impart on what you believe is true and correct by your rant. Thank you…..I think.

          Unfortunately you also show you are incapable of asking questions of all that is served up to your conditionally inquiring mind and will choose and accept, as fact, only that which falls into only your politically acceptable range of ideology or what is served for your digestion from sources conditional.

          This dooms you to a intellectual evolutionary dead end. I am sorry for you. But there is a solution and possible avoidance of extinction that is not easy, but not that hard either. Rejoice!

          I suggest a revision to a more open minded and questioning philosophy will cure your ailment. The Prognosis is good. You’re here commenting, are you not.

          We will gladly assist you with your cure to a happier, less angst ridden, stressful, hate filled, hypertension experiencing existence.

          Smile, we are all wanting everyone to be on the path of enlightenment. It’s the Aussie way! Isn’t it?

        • Are you aware that if the government ‘invests’ in the NBN, money is not redirected from other infrastructure? Building the NBN does not reduce the funding available for infrastructure projects such as roads. The NBN is funded by debt – it is not funded by taxes.

          The only part of the NBN that costs the taxpayer is interest on the borrowings during the period 2010-2019 which is less than $5b. After that time, NBN Co earns more money than the interest cost and that $5b gets paid back within a few years. That’s right: this $50-$200b white elephant, requires the taxpayer to fork out less than $5b, when it then gets back pretty quickly.

          Are you aware that if the government ‘invests’ in the NBN, there will be more money available to invest in infrastructure in the future? Once completed, the NBN is projected to earn the government approximately $10b per year in additional revenue (plus indirect revenue which at 0.3% GDP per doubling of internet speeds, is a considerable sum!)

          Building the NBN gives the government additional long-term revenue which it could choose spend on roads. No NBN means less income for the government which means less money for roads.

    • Thanks to the NBN, there’ll be less traffic, better health care and better communications for things like fire alarm and public safety. Furthermore, the profit from the NBN will pay for better roads and public services in general.

      It’s not using tax dollars. It’s using bonds, shifting over to infrastructure bonds, and they’ll be paid off with revenue.

      I know that this is too complex for your two brain cells, which one may adoringly name ‘Bolt’ and ‘Jones’, to comprehend, so go somewhere else.

        • Well, then tell us why they won’t be able to pay it back, referencing specific sections in the corporate plan which you believe to be unattainable, keeping in mind that NBN Co is already exceeding revenue expectations through things like 44% of customers being on 100 Mbps.

        • Won’t be alive by the time that happens?

          Well, to be fair Nobby6, it seems to have been a triumph over probability that you haven’t starred in the Darwin Awards yet.

        • If you keep listening to your current sources of news in this world from your currently palatable diet of myopic propagandized candy , you are most probably going to be correct Nobby6. You won’t see much in the future due to an aneurism caused by hypotension.

          Relax! Breath in, breath out. Inhale the fresh cleansing air of thought, new and fresh ideas…..exhale that hate filled anger of the wrongs of ignorance you have been told to nurture, hold, caress and extol to all in earshot by those that inform you. Question the motives of everyone is the wisest thing to do. It will inform you of the motives behind their words. Always ever so enlightening. When buying your information, Caveat Emptor. (Not sure if that is absolutely correct Latin as I suck at it).

          If you do, you might actually survive long enough to see that your descendants will profit from the possible outcomes, or are you actually being selfish and you want it all delivered to you now and bugger everyone else?

    • Well, personally, I don’t want my tax dollars wasted on providing health care for you, nor do I wasted on saving your house if it is burning down. But we live in a society so a bit goes to everything and everyone.

      • > I don’t want my tax dollars wasted on providing health care for you, nor do I wasted on saving your house if it is burning down.

        That’s where I differ. Nobby6 may be quite the moron as on display here, wrong as soon as he types the first five words, but I’m not willing to go as far as to say that.

        • But you did!
          Shame! Shame! Shame! *wiggle index finger at Quink*
          Naughty corner for you! *pointing finger at the naughty corner*

          tsk tsk.

          • Hey, I had to use examples of where the money could be better spent from his post and apply his criterior of if it is for someone else besides myself it shouldn’t be done.
            It’s unfortunate that it comes out like I’d like to see his house burnt down, I don’t, but calling things a waste of money because you see no value for yourself in it is like that. If the NBN had been replaced with life saving cancer drugs in his argument he would be saying people with cancer don’t matter. He just happened to give health and fire fighting as his examples.

          • Apology accepted. Come out of the Naughty Corner.
            Remember, it is a waste to cast the pearls of wisdom before the ignorant swine. But you always dazzle them to a halt with brilliance!
            Go forth disciple of truth! Cast back the darkness of technology ignorance! Do your Delimiter family proud! Be Delimiter Proud!
            No, you don’t have to do penance by door knocking. Relax and be happy.

    • “its a survey that should have been sent out by all elected members on all sides before this waste occured.”

      It did. It was called the 2010 Federal Election.

      “I would rather my tax dollars “INVEST” (since thats what the zealeots round here cry so often this allegedly is) in better health and well being of all citizens, and fixing up roads. The bridge to Bribie Island is atrocious, everytime there an accident on it, nobody can get to or from for hours and hours, that includes critically injured patients, IC-paramedics, extra fire trucks, and extra police, but no, sorry, no funds available, kiddies getting their warez is much more important, and I’m sure there are thousands of examples just like it.”

      An investment is supposed to generate a return on the money originally spent. Roads are not an investment, unless they’re toll roads, as they do NOT return a profit. The same goes for hospitals.

      “Yes faster warez for the kiddies might be nice, but only when the other priorities are dealt with.”
      You’ve just invalidated your statements with this. Let me explain why.

      The NBN is designed for the projected needs of the next few decades or longer. This includes bringing university grade courses out to people in the very remote regions of Australia through the use of next-gen satellite and fixed wireless technology. Then there’s the other benefits, such as enabling those who are socially isolated, such as the Elderly, to have instant communication with loved ones, anywhere in Australia.

      Not to mention that, by providing a ubiquitous service, at a guaranteed speed, businesses can grow in a different fashion. Not to mention that if people work from home, that’s less cars on the road, which means less pollution put in the atmosphere.

      “and if your one of those who is about to click reply and cry “oh my god you dont get it its an investment” – again, its an investment with MY tax dollars, I voted for a govt to manage the books and spend my money in a sensible and efficient and NON F#$KING reckless manor. If you are struggle to meet your weekly budget, with criminally priced rents, profiteering fuel companies and supermarkets, you dont go out and buy a range rover do you. but labors answer to all this is, hell, just find another way to TAX people.”

      I’m also a taxpayer, so it’s an investment with my money too. So is pretty much every working Australian, and that workforce is constantly changing. There’s young people who are coming into the workforce, and those people see the internet not as a fad or a form of idle leisure, but as a tool for working with. At their fingertips, there is a wealth of information regarding the historical trends of any given stock market, up to the second pricing on component manufacture, pretty much anything that one would need for a business. This would be magnified by the fact that, under the NBN, people (And females seem to be doing this moreso than males) would be able to start a home business, and then be able to move house to anywhere in a fibre area and be able to get an identical service, or anywhere in Aus and know that they WILL be getting a 25/5 service, even if they’re in the middle of nowhere. This then has a bleed-on effect by reducing unemployment, meaning that more people are able to work, either full time or part time, which means an increased tax base for those projects you mentioned earlier, being roadworks, hospitals, high speed rail etc.

      The NBN isn’t about fast pr0n, or warez, or gaming. It’s about setting in place new infrastructure to support the needs of not just this generation, or just the next generation, but the generation 3 or 4 times removed from you. A generation where the internet is a part of everyday life. But it’s also about providing, finally, value for money. This is my favourite analogy… Imagine if you went to the fuel station one day and decided to fill your tank. You know it costs $80 (Give or take) for a full tank of juice, so you pre-pay your $80 to the attendant, and they start the pump for you. All of a sudden, after 20 litres, the pump stops. So you go to the attendant and ask why. You’re then told that the pumps cut out after a random number. There would be a massive outcry, I’d imagine. So why do we need to just suck it up with Internet services. My own case is that I pay $90 for a 200GB ADSL2 plan, yet I only get 600kB/s on a good day. On a bad day, I have no internet. When I move, I’ll be paying $90 for a 200GB ADSL2 plan, and (theoretically) get something very close to the maximum ADSL2+ can deliver, estimated at 23,666kbit/s. The NBN is about correcting that problem, where the private sector has failed to do so.

      • “It did. It was called the 2010 Federal Election.”

        I must have been watching a different election, as the one I watched was a hung parliament that required 3 independents to form a minority government. I guess in the one you watched Julia won with flying colors right?

        • I quote from the Reith Report, effectively the post-mortem for the coalition after the 2010 election:

          > The post election polling confirmed that the NBN was a major reinforcement for people for vote Labor in Bass. If we had negated NBN and offered, in a timely way, a decent Tasmanian package, Bass might have been a win instead of a loss.


          > Labor’s only real policy advantage was on the NBN.

        • “I must have been watching a different election, as the one I watched was a hung parliament that required 3 independents to form a minority government. I guess in the one you watched Julia won with flying colors right?”

          Nope, that was the one I was referring to as well.

          As someone else replied though, the NBN was a key factor in how the independent MP’s voted.

          To distil it to it’s simplest form. The choice regarding the NBN was this. Does this country deserve a state of the art infrastructure that extends to 100% coverage when linked in with next generation satellite and wireless technologies and will see digital communications become totally mainstream, alongside utilities such as power, sewage, and water, or does this country deserve to have whole communities sidelined from the vast pool of knowledge and communications, simply because a privately owned company has decreed that it’s “not profitable” to give them equitable coverage.

          If I recall correctly, those on the Interim NBN Satellite service saw an immediate increase in both download quota and speeds, and this is projected to go even further when NBNCo launch their own satellites into orbit, and thereby gain control over the allocations on the satellite hardware. This, along with the Fixed Wireless build, is due to be completed in 2015, again, if I recall correctly.

          • It not really a case of if Australia “deserves” a better network, it’ll actually be a requirement if we want to keep up and stay competitive with the rest of the world.

        • “I guess in the one you watched Julia won with flying colors right?”

          It wasn’t a case of julia winning, it was more a case of the coalition loosing. The government currently in power (minority or otherwise) “won”. This is your Australian democracy lesson for the day. Hope that helps.

        • So I take it you’ll be fine with us rejecting any Tony Abbott led Liberal government, because they don’t have enough seats without the help of the LNP in Queensland and the National Party right?

          Or is a special case where only the Labor Party aren’t allowed to form a coalition to gain government?

    • Nobby6,

      .. noting that the funding for all the things you talk about is typically where the LNP actually cuts.

      Also the funding for the NBN was never earmarked (by either party) for health, education or anything else.

      Also health and infrastructure can’t really be expected to return profits back to the government to cover loans. But don’t let facts get in the way of a good old rant.

      Health and Infrastructure spending is not an LNP priority. Have a look at the QLD governments recent slash-and-burn spree for a timely example.

    • How much of your tax do you think has been invested in the NBN, Nobby?

      The real answer is “zero”, but I’m interested to hear what you think it is…

    • “and fixing up roads.”

      If you want better roads pay for it. I dont want MY tax dollars used just so “the kiddies” can get their drugs and alcohol faster.

      “its an investment with MY tax dollars”


      “I voted for a govt to manage the books and spend my money in a sensible and efficient and NON F#$KING reckless manor.”

      Right and others voted for a government that would upgrade infrastructure.

      “If you are struggle to meet your weekly budget, with criminally priced rents, profiteering fuel companies and supermarkets, you dont go out and buy a range rover do you”

      That’s right you don’t, what the kiddies actually do in those situations is buy alcohol, cigarettes and drugs and then vote for the coalition.

    • > but no, sorry, no funds available, kiddies getting their warez is much more important
      > and if your one of those who is about to click reply and cry “oh my god you dont get it its an investment” – again, its an investment with MY tax dollars

      Accounting doesn’t work the way you think it does. Investment in a GBE simply doesn’t take money from the road budget. If the government can’t afford to build more roads for you now, then cancelling the NBN is not going to change this.

      > Yes faster warez for the kiddies

      More roads = faster drug smuggling. No matter what the government does, someone will be abusing it, but that doesn’t invalidate all the good outcomes from the project.

    • “and if your one of those who is about to click reply and cry “oh my god you dont get it its an investment” – again, its an investment with MY tax dollars.”

      No it’s not and it has been spelled out many times (saying the above doesn’t change that)…

      So if you actually educated yourself, you would understand this and then realise just how obviously stupid, biased and bigotted your comments come across as…

      Gee I wonder why that is?

    • you are perfectly right to ask for increased investment in health and education. but as its been pointed out to you before,again it is NOT coming out of your tax packet. it is coming out of already extant infrastructure funds and out of the consumers paying for a line, and down the track infrastructure bonds released to public (id buy em BTW). If you dont want an NBN line thats fine thats your choice. if you dont want to pay for it, *thats* the way to say no – refuse installation. in the meantime your TAX packet will be spent on roads education and health – just as you desire.

      it is not a investment with your tax dollars. repeat: it is NOT an investment with your tax dollars.

      lets take your thinking for a run anyway: even if it WERE paid for out of tax, 27 bn for the gvt stake is 3bn a year. lets say it gets broken in three ways: 1 bn a year each to health education and roads.

      the 2012 -13 budget has an investment of 61 bn for health care
      a 36 bn headline investment in roads over 6 years – call that 6 bn a year, plus others
      and the education budget i could not quickly grab a top line figure for but the schoolkids bonus alone is a 2.1 bn item, education is certainly not a cheap item in the budget.

      an extra bn a year to each of those is not going to make a major difference to those sectors. even IF you could repurpose the infrastructure funds being used for the NBN that way (BAF, Comms future fund).

      and funnily enough the nbn IS an investment in everybody – over the three access types, there is 100% coverage. there is a knockon effect of hundreds of millions in network maintenance. there are also knock on benefits to health and education and to a lower degree on roads. so while not being a direct investment it is actually impacting the areas you desire investment in… in positive fashion as well as saving money elsewhere. what exactly is your problem?

      those arent the only areas it benefits either. it PAYS for itself (which the alternative so far has no articulation of how it will achieve) so your carping about ‘reckless’ spending is invalid here. your comment about efficiency is invalid also, if you prefer an FTTN project – it is the more inefficient of the two policies, over the life of the project (and beyond, as it is only a short term solution). and Labor are not taxing you for this – that comment is also invalid. youve built up a rant out of fairydust, mate.

    • Seem to be getting a lot of replies today Nobby6, Troll achievement earned, Silver Level!

      Standard question. We’re getting an NBN one way or the other. Which is better for our economy, $30b trhown at private enterprise to build a FttN build for 30-60% of the population, with no plan to recoup that $30b, or $40b (less whats been spent to date) spent building FttP to 93% of the population, with a demonstratably valid plan to recoup that entire $40b?

      One costs our budget $30b, one costs $0.

      • Yes… these purveyors of FUD and nonsense must be like wrestlers… tag in and out?

        Because the regular 24/7 soldier who normally makes the childish, argumentative and contradictory comments has disappeared?


    • “In 2009, Australia had the sixth lowest tax-to-GDP ratio out of 34 OECD countries”

      That and the Government’s spending (as a percent to GDP) has been the lowest it has ever been for 30 years.

      Why don’t you read them and see where the money is actually going.

      • I doubt he would, if he was the sort of person to do research to come up with his own opinions, he wouldn’t be using the “tailor made” ones crafted for him by the LNP…

    • The equivalent road to the NBN would be a toll road. With the tolls set high enough to pay off the total build and maintanence cost across the road infrastructures lifetime.

      It is important to remember the NBN is a Tolled Motorway not a Freeway, and if we moved the governments NBN funding to items such infrastructure Tolled Motorways are what we would get.

      I personally tend to think that more of exactly these sorts of toll roads should be built and managed by government entities. Given our governments relatively good credit rating there is no reason these projects shouldn’t be undertaken in addition to the NBN.

  7. If the Bruce Highway needs work then the Hon Member should be directing his ire to the people who can do something about it. The Qld State Government.

    That survey has to be the biggest load of old garbage that is imaginable. The member should be given 10 lashes with the Cat when he gets back to the age he is living in..

    I feel sorry for some of our fellow Australians in isolated communities. They sure don’t get the Parliamentary representation they deserve.

      • I quote from Wikipedia:

        > State and Territory Governments are responsible for the actual construction and maintenance of the roads that form part of the National Highway.

        > The Federal Government encourages funding from state, territory and local governments and public-private partnerships to upgrade the network and requires state government funding contributions on parts of the network, especially for new links. For example, the Pacific Highway and the Calder Highway are now part of the National Network, but new projects are being funded 50/50 by Federal and State Governments. State contributions (generally 20%) are required on some sections of the old network near major cities.

        So, the federal government funds at least about 50%. The state governments own the highways. Even in the bloody US, the states own all the interstates, except for a single bridge in Washington DC, which had been replaced since. How about from this point onwards, you just assume that everything you will comment is plain wrong and do your research first.

        • I’m waiting for someone to try and say that you cant rely on Wikipedia as a reference source. Totally ignoring, of course, that the site lists the reference sources any statement is based on…

          Nobody ever says those original references are invalid, just wiki itself…

      • Hey Nobby6.. and like FttN we should build half dirt/half asphalt roads? They’d be cheaper and faster to roll out. And schools and hospitals made of bricks and straw…They are good enough for our needs.

        And… we could just pay a subsidy to private enterprise to build and own our roads and hospitals, because, due to idiotic ideology, we don’t mind our taxpayer dollars being given to private companies, rather than debt being repaid with no taxpayer impost.

        • > like FttN we should build half dirt/half asphalt roads?

          Actually, that analogy is not quite enough if we look at a date like 2040 – and the fibre is guaranteed to last longer than that – if exponential increases in bandwidth turn out to at least be about half-true. Half-dirt roads are perfectly good to drive on, but I think on the comparison spectrum, using an analogy like “having shoes vs. riding a commuter train” better displays the difference, especially after an upgrade to the equipment on the ends of that fibre. Right now, on a short time scale, the dirt road analogy is however more appropriate.

  8. What a horrifically loaded survey.

    Perhaps even more loaded than this “news” story.

    • LOL.
      I guess everyone is now a nice sooty black no matter what anyone says in this Spinmeister ruled world.
      This Merry-Go-Round is spinning way too fast for most peoples liking and most really want to get off it.

    • “Perhaps even more loaded than this “news” story.”

      Which parts of the story do you think are loaded Michael?

    • One is loaded with nonsense and based on a desire to decieve. One is loaded with facts, with a desire to deride those who decieve.

      Not quite apples and apples there Michael.

      • Yes it’s loaded with facts. But facts have a leftist bias remember, so this article is just more left-wing propaganda!

        • Of course, if you’re in the room of life and you’re hard up against the wall on the right, anyone not incestuously close to you are going to appear to your left. Dare to mingle with others around the room of life. It’s enlightening. The world is an amazing place if you just get with the rest of humanity. Isn’t that so Karl!

        • @Karl

          I honestly don’t understand that attitude. For the record, I read Delimiter for the news, opinions and blogs because I believe it is a good source of news and a good discussion forum. I regularly disagree with Renai and other readers, but that’s ok. Some of us don’t complain about political bias when we do disagree and we’re all entitled to our opinions.

          If you truly believe this is a left-wing site and you disagree with that….why discuss here? You’re never going to convince “die-hard” lefties “like us”, so why do you keep coming back? I don’t waste my time on Bolt blogs or calling Alan Jones’ station. It’d be a waste of my time and theirs- they would never listen.

          So either you DON’T believe this is a left-wing site and disagree so vehemently with the NBN you believe all those for it MUST be left-wingers OR you do and simply….enjoy trolling?

          Do you also believe Whirlpool is left-wing too because the majority of people there agree with the NBN? If you do, maybe join, get up your status by posting regularly and have a check out of the political section when you’re allowed….I think you’ll find many of those who agree with the NBN VEHEMENTLY oppose much of what Labor do and their government in general. They simply believe the NBN is important enough to be a deciding factor over that.

          So how about we leave the “all Righties are tighties and all Lefties are shifties” attitude and debate the facts. This survey is loaded. Why? Because the questions state incorrect assumptions and mislead the pollee. It doesn’t MATTER who wrote it, it is loaded and therefore invalid. I’d say the same if it were drawn by Neo-Nazis or Buddhists. A loaded survey is a loaded survey and of no practical value. To anyone.

          • I think Karl’s comment was tongue-in-cheek, having read his past pro-NBN and very informative comments, M8 :)

  9. That’s less a survey and more a misinformation campaign… Why is there nothing in law preventing such grossly misleading and self-evidently dishonest statements from politicians? While the educated and informed amongst us have active BS filters running, there are a lot of people who take the words of politicians as though they are experts on essentially any topic they care to discuss (as a lawyer is an expert on law and a doctor is an expert on health… Well supposedly anyway ;-) ).

    If a lawyer provides misleading legal advice causing damage or loss, they can lose their license to practice law and be held liable for damages. It is a similar situation in most professions – deliberately misleading and deceptive conduct has legal and professional ramifications. Why not so for politicians? Are we to believe that they are notexperts on policy, politics and representing their constituents? If they are not experts and are demonstrably incapable of comprehending fairly simple facts, concepts, policy and laws, why are they allowed to hold public office? If they are capable of comprehending these things, but demonstrate deliberate misinformation campaigns and knowingly mislead the public, why are they allowed to hold public office, and why aren’t they held accountable for damages they can or could cause the country (let alone individuals)? If an entire political party knowingly distorts facts and pursues a deliberate misinformation campaign to mislead the public, why is it allowed to continue as a legal political entity?

    • Why is there nothing in law preventing such grossly misleading and self-evidently dishonest statements from politicians? – Because all the politicians would be in jail. ALL of them.

    • “Why is there nothing in law preventing such grossly misleading and self-evidently dishonest statements from politicians?”

      Because the people that make the laws are the heaviest users of “push polling”? :o)

  10. Just emailed him to complain about the survey. You think someone with a degree in communications could put out a better survey.

    • The honorable member for Dawson actually just emailed me back.
      It even appears to be him rather than some communications officer. Very refreshing.

      (Asked if I was in Dawson and asked if I could complete the survey).

      • Well, are you in Dawson? Hmm, are you goint o fill in his Propaganda Leaflet that will utilise your name against what you really want to succeed? Oh just say yes anyway.
        You do know that this Leaflet is really is a debauched manner of duplicity to his Electorate? Let us know how you respond and better still, let us know his answer.
        Gee, this might actually turn out to be utterly fascinating.

    • I dont live in Dawson but I’ve read enough and know enough about Mr Christensen to feel sorry for those in his electorate. This bloke is a pure right winger in the mould of Corey Bernardi and you can expect nothing but the usual right wing uninformed rhetoric from him.

  11. My understanding of this is clearly wrong. As I understand it:

    * the government is borrowing money via bonds
    * the government is choosing to invest the money in the NBNCo and it is therefore ‘off budget’
    * the government could choose to instead spend the money on roads, hospitals, etc. but that would be ‘on budget’

    I can’t see how it is impossible to spend the money on other things. Just that some of those other things would not be investments and would have to be ‘on budget’. It’s the government’s decision how to spend the money, or to not borrow it in the first place.

    I am repeatedly told the above is wrong. Please tell me where.

    • NBNco is expected to return on the investment.

      Health and Education can’t really do that; they’re already funded.. if they need more (and they do) then the pressure should be put on all parties to spend up on this rather than spend up on stupid policies for boat people.

      Folks need to grasp NBNco is an investment, not a one-way set of tax-based payments.

      Survey’s like this are thinly veiled propaganda pieces. I’d have the same sort of contempt for it if Labor was stupid enough to think this is a viable option.

      I like the irony of this going out, whilst the local LNP government is going on a massive expenditure cutting exercise. Including health. You can’t make this sort of crap up.

    • > can’t see how it is impossible to spend the money on other things. Just that some of those other things would not be investments and would have to be ‘on budget’.

      Investment for the government is similar to investment for an individual. If you decide you want to buy a $500k investment property (with a mortgage from from the bank), then change your mind before you purchase it, you don’t suddenly have an extra $500k you could spend on food.

      The money to build the NBN comes from the government borrowing money from investors. The only effect the NBN has on the budget is the interest bill on the money borrowed for the NBN (which is less than $1b/y in the most expensive year). Even then the government could just borrow more to cover that interest bill so have no effect on the budget at all (because the NBN will pay it all back).

      Yes, the government can spend more road/rail/health etc this choice is independent of whether they invest in the NBN. If the budget is balanced, then more road/health means a deficit. Having the NBN or not having the NBN does not change that at all. The presence of the NBN does not change the amount of money available to the government to spend on other things.

      >I can’t see how it is impossible to spend the money on other things

      The money for the NBN doesn’t come from the taxpayers – it comes from investors. Sure, the government could borrow money and spend on health or education, but how would it get that money back? Investment borrowing is a different sort of borrowing to consumption borrowing (similar to how a home loan and a credit card are different sorts of borrowing hence why the banks charge different interest rates) and gets special accounting treatment because it will get paid back.

    • You don’t borrow money to pay for things that can’t give a return (like a power bill, or your rates) unless your in serious financial trouble, and for all the whining of the Liberal parties (state/federal), Australia is actually well off in that regard.

      It’s just common sense…

      • “You don’t borrow money to pay for things that can’t give a return …”

        The government has around $250bn of debt. Has all that been spent on investments?

        aiui the government is not borrowing money against the NBNCo as an investment. There are no special bonds for the NBNCo funding. It is just borrowing money. Why could it not spend that money on something else?

        • Where the money comes from is not the important part, the important part is how it’s accounted for in the budget. If the government wasn’t in debt at all, and was in the black (most governments aren’t, but for the example) they wouldn’t borrow at all, they would just invest the money they have. But as I understand it because they aren’t in debt, everything is paid for in borrowing like this, and it gets paid off over the year as taxes come in.

          So things that get paid for with taxes are but on the expenditure side of the budget. But the NBN isn’t paid for by taxes it’s paid for by the end user, meaning the government will get that money back, making it an investment.

          I’m surprised you don’t seem to have read this, given how many times it’s been linked in the articles here:

          • “I’m surprised you don’t seem to have read this, given how many times it’s been linked in the articles here::

            I’m surprised you haven’t understood the simple point I made in my post. I haven’t questioned the budget treatment of the investment in the NBNCo. I’ve simply challenged the claim in the article, often repeated by others, that it is not possible to spend that money on roads, hospitals, etc. instead.

            aiui the government has borrowed money that is not tied in any way to the way in which they intend to use it. The government has chosen to invest it in the NBNCo. The government could choose to spend it on roads, hospitals, etc. If you read carefully you will find that I’m not saying they should and I’m not saying the budget treatment of the investment in the NBNCo is wrong. I’m just saying it is possible to spend the money in other ways.

            That’s a fairly simple point imo. All I asked is that if I’m wrong that someone please tell me where. What I’ve got is a bunch of answers to questions I didn’t ask.

          • “I’m surprised you haven’t understood the simple point I made in my post. I haven’t questioned the budget treatment of the investment in the NBNCo.”
            My point was the parl library piece touches on all these points, but granted you’d have to read it in depth to pick up on all of it.

            “I’m not saying they should and I’m not saying the budget treatment of the investment in the NBNCo is wrong. I’m just saying it is possible to spend the money in other ways.”
            That is my point as well. They can and DO spend the money in other ways. Everything comes from borrowing, the only difference is if and where the money is going to come from to pay for it. If it’s coming from taxes or isn’t planned to be paid for, it goes in the expenses column.

          • If the NBN didn’t exist, they wouldn’t have raised that money for it via bonds, but that does not mean they would have then raised money from bonds to pay for something else (like roads, hospitals, etc).

            If they wanted to spend more on roads, hospitals, etc, they _could_ raise the money from bonds, but then how would they pay that back? The NBN will pay the money for the bonds back it’s self…roads, hospitals, etc can’t, so those would be paid back from our taxes.

            If they are paid from our taxes, it’s “on budget”, the government needs to find that money from somewhere.

            What other services besides the “pay for it’s self” NBN would you like to suggest they cut back first to cover the extra outlay your suggesting?

          • Yup.

            Just because it is theoretically possible that the government could fund things like roads, health or education in the same way, it would be a stupid thing to do.

            As you say, borrowing for an investment can be a good thing to do. If there was an independent body who gave credit ratings that could affect your personal economy, it could decide to leave you with a AAA rating.

            If you borrowed money to spend on things which have no return, it might have some benefits, but would be considered a financially stupid thing to do. That same independent body might then give you a credit rating of DUNCE.

            So in theory, it is possible to spend money on roads, health or education from the same source as the NBN. In the real world though, it is not possible to do due to it being prohibitively stupid.

            So I suppose people could say “You can’t just stop the NBN and use the money for roads – except for the fact it is prohibitively stupid” or they can just say “You can’t just stop the NBN and use the money for roads” which in the real world is equally true and somewhat simpler.

          • The important point being that stopping the NBN doesn’t free up any money with which to be stupid with. Money is not suddenly there to spend on something else, they just don’t borrow it; stopping the NBN or not makes no difference to their potential to borrow money to spend on stupid things.

          • @CMOT

            Actually, they haven’t borrowed any money yet for the NBN. That’s the clincher. The NBN is currently funded from the AIF and will, come 2014, have its’ OWN bonds issued- actually not quite true, they will be Australian infrastructure bonds, but will be specifically designed for infrastructure INCLUDING the NBN. I believe approx. $6-8 billion a year will be issued for 3-4 years is the plan. The majority of that would go to the NBN.

            So, in fact, what we’re debating currently is moot- no money has been borrowed.

            WHEN money is borrowed, IF it is not used on the NBN, it is considered reckless and irresponsible to continue to fund non-investment projects (ie roads, rail etc.) by borrowing MORE money. ie, if you were to borrow $10 Billion, when you only needed $6 billion to fund your actual budget and use the rest for roads on a consistent basis. That is considered FAR from normal practice and would likely produce some serious questions about spending. It is not illegal or incorrect to borrow money for roads etc. on a regular basis. It is simply not considered good practice and is “on-budget”. On-budget is only a practical term, not a technical one. “Off-budget” just means it shows up in another government ledger BEYOND the main budget- ie, the NBN or Aust. Post.

        • “The government has around $250bn of debt. Has all that been spent on investments?”
          On this point, mostly no. It’s been spent on budget deficits during the course of the GFC. Anyone with a year’s economics education will tell you that governments running a deficit will tend to stimulate the economy.

    • “* the government is borrowing money via bonds”
      You borrow $1/2 mill

      “* the government is choosing to invest the money in the NBNCo and it is therefore ‘off budget’”
      You use that $1/2mill to buy a rental property you have a plan that the rental property will pay back the loan and eventually eventually earn you money. This has no effect on your weekly house hold budget until the debt is repaid and you reap the rewards but you do have $1/2 mill debt and a $1/2 mill asset on your books.

      * the government could choose to instead spend the money on roads, hospitals, etc. but that would be ‘on budget’
      You instead choose to spend that 1/2mill on a kickass car and diamond studded suit; it is awesome, you look a million dollars (well half a million) . Your weekly house hold budget now has a loan repayment to cover and $1/2 mill of debt on the books. Now sometime in the future that kickass car and diamond studded suit might help land you a new slightly better paying job. You don’t know this you just think that a kickass care and diamond studded suits are good things to spend money on.

      There is a ways to determine this and in lieu of a business plan (which would show this is a waste of money) you could conduct a CBA which might show spending 1/2 mill on suits and cars would see a 5% increase in earning 5years from now and would make you fell really good about your self (which has no direct monetary value but you value feeling good about yourself at $100,000) and after the CBA it might still be worth doing. Now why didn’t we do a CBA when buying the house, well because we already have a business plan that said it was worth doing why spend more time and money.

  12. It would be interesting to see the results of the survey. Whilst the questions do appear loaded.. they might actually end up backfiring!

  13. Seems pretty accurate to me when it comes to paying more on the NBN.. I’ve been connected to the net for ~7 years on broadband and 5 years on dial up.. Never has an ISP informed me they will increase their prices indexed to to the CPI.. Thats pretty much warning bells.. You are in danger. Only thing that has happened is they offer me more data,, better speeds at lower cost.

    • > Never has an ISP informed me they will increase their prices indexed to to the CPI

      Here’s what NBN Co has promised the ACCC in an agreement lasting until 2040:

      * Prices of key products remain the same until June 2017

      * Price rises on all products or services limited to 1.5% less than the Consumer Price Index (CPI) in any one year and cannot be accumulated if not used

      * Coverage of all services and products offered by NBN Co, on all its networks (fibre, fixed wireless and satellite), including ancillary services and facilities access services

      * Commitment that all prices will fall in real terms

      The NBN has not only informed people that they’ll increase their prices much less than CPI, they’ve put it in writing with the ACCC until 2040. Whether that’ll translate to steadily lower end-user prices depends on the ISPs delivering on top of the NBN, not NBN Co.

  14. A loaded set of questions designed to force a result, which then become a “mandate”.

    No, this isn’t at all transparent.

  15. Hardly loaded questions but directed towards key issues which most voters find relevant, at least those who are not geeks.

    I can see from your biased viewpoint why you would make such an allegation. In contrast, you do not consider the endless propaganda from the NBN and Labor as biased.

    • >I can see from your biased viewpoint.. you do not consider the endless propaganda from the NBN and Labor as biased.

      Are you aware that the author of the article is actually a Liberal voter that disagrees with the Liberal’s NBN stance? Have you considered examining the policies from both parties based on their merit?

      • Don’t bother mate, he’s just a troll, only posts once on a story and never bothers to address anything anyone ever puts to him. He also loves using well proven lies as his “facts”.

        There’s none so blind as this that will not see…

    • > Hardly loaded questions but directed towards key issues

      Domestic violence can be a “key issue” for some people. Does this mean that “have you stopped beating your wife/husband” isn’t a loaded question?

    • “In contrast, you do not consider the endless propaganda from the NBN and Labor as biased.”

      Speaking of biased propaganda Michael I noticed you post frequently on Andrew Bolt’s blog.

      • Michael! You haven’t been truthful to us! Unfaithful even! How could you betray our mutual love, affection, communion in knowledge of your words and ululations of thoughts from your mind?
        Can we have a divorce on the grounds of infidelity with ignorant and uninformed Gutter Trash?
        Class-Action anyone? We can all chip in and afford a Barrister.

  16. My mother received Christensen’s propoganda and was more than a little annoyed. All of the questions are loaded. Christensen says that Townsville businesses don’t want the NBN, they want better mobile coverage. Businesses in Townsville want the NBN. Mobile coverage is good. Christensen aint the member for Townsville.

  17. Renai, you’re still surprised by the arse-clownary and underhanded nature of the Coalition?

    The Coalition MPs are highly skilled at 1/2 truths and deception.

    When you can’t bullshit your way out of direct questions, then discredit the existing government and claim you can do it better without substantiating how.

  18. is Mr Christensen suggesting that the government take over Telstra and then tell it where to put towers or something?

    I thought the LNP stood for freedom, liberty and the “Great Australian Life”(tm), and wasn’t in the business of telling businesses how to run themselves?? They need to purge themselves of the dirty commie bastard elements in the party.

    • Lately, they stand for whatever makes Labor look bad, even if it contains contradictions.

      ie. The NBN fails because telecoms should be left to the private sector, but it also fails because it leaves mobile towers to the private sector.

      Politics is great, isn’t it?

  19. The high priests have decreed what is the truth regarding the internet, and no man may dare say anything that contradicts it, or he will be charged with heresy.

    This whole article just confirms the view critics have that the NBN fanboys see it as a religion, not just a piece of electrical plumbing. Someone who thinks a bit of push polling by some obscure politician necessitates an outraged article really needs to get a life.

    • I was a high priest once, in The Church of BOB. I decree that you’re just a troll, trying to get a reaction from rational minded individuals, willing to quote fact instead of fiction like you.

      I guess that makes you a heretic.

      Please, take your trolling to a site that might agree with you. Like Alan Jones or Andrew Bolts. You’re getting repetitive and tedious here.

      • I just love it when Faith over-rides the reality of the Universe in everything including the Economy, Politics,Life, People’s loves, Pr0n habits and Technology.
        My religion says that every Lotto from next week will be given to me to give to whomever it is my wisdom to give it to.
        NOW WHO DARES TO INSULT MY TRUTH,FOR IT IS MY FAITH IT IS SO! Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!!!!!!!!!!

        Oh well, it was worth to give it a try. Shame that faith and bullshit doesn’t work in reality.
        All hail the Pastafarians! All hail the Flying Spaghetti Monster! Lets have a Party it decrees. Mojito anyone? Can we use Bitcoin to buy them?

    • I’ve, today only, and in emails to said MP, cited the Nationals, ABS, Ericsson, the Parliamentary Library, Ookla, BIS Shrapnel, NBN Co, the Department of Broadband Communications and the Digital Economy, Wikipedia and the ACCC, and never mind who else in days past. If that’s “religion” and the absence of any quantity of sources on the coalition side isn’t, never mind considering statements like these, inaccurate as they may be from The Nationals themselves: “It’s widely understood in the telecommunications industry that FTTN will not deliver improved broadband speeds to rural and regional areas.”, then consider me someone who believes in that “religion”, which is superior and much more constructive than being presented with a false dichotomy that’ll leave us poorer on numerous counts.

      This isn’t just a piece of electrical plumbing, that’s the whole bloody point. If more people understood that this isn’t copper – aka the electrical plumbing – and is instead something that can be upgraded for the next hundred years and still be enough in capacity, then maybe we wouldn’t have this conversation. I find your faith in the current electrical plumbing disturbing. Again, I repeat it, the current system is the electrical plumbing that the coalition is willing to place a bit worth dozens of billions of dollars on when so much data is telling us that it’s a bad idea. That’s the religion here.

      Also, I would hardly call a federal MP, even if he is a backbencher, of a swing seat an obscure politician.

    • “and no man may dare say anything that contradicts it”

      Yes gordon, we get it. You want to be able to say whatever you want without anyone disagreeing with you because you cant handle the debate in a mature manner. Proof enough is you wont respond to anyone that “dare say anything” in response to your comment including this one.

      “Someone who thinks a bit of push polling by some obscure politician necessitates an outraged article really needs to get a life.”

      And yet you were outraged enough with the “outrage” to post a comment on this article. Interesting. Very interesting.

    • The real outrage should be that some Australians are so complacent/accepting of it…

      • Well we are a very tollerant and accepting Nation of people, generally. Shame our Rich and Powerful, and also most of our Politicians are not. Maybe we need to try some other fools to try governing us instead of these ones that are becoming disturbingly annoying and shrill to most of us. They really are not that good are they.
        Any seconds to that?

        • Funnily enough, it’s widely recognised that after the Tweed Shire Council was sacked and the shire put under administrators, it was never run so well…so you may be on to something :o)

    • And I agree that it “not just a piece of electrical plumbing”…it uses light Gordon, electricity doesn’t travel well over glass…

  20. Hey Renai, I just found another example of a politician telling fibs about the NBN. Its in the computer industry news today. But I don’t suppose you’re going to write an outraged article about it. Because its Kate Lundy saying the same thing Tim Berners Lee did last week, that the biggest benefit to Australia of the NBN, what’s going to make it great, is that its going to be “universal”. Unless my dictionary is broken she’s saying everyone in the country’s going to be on it.

    Now if that was true I’d totally agree with her. But its a fib. Its a politician saying something that isn’t true about the NBN to sell their party’s side of the argument.

    Making it universal is nowhere on the NBNCo’s list of priorities. The organisation is run by people from enterprise-market suppliers and they are building a gold-plated BMW-class high speed broadband network. And if that means – as their own utterances confirm – that it will start about about the price of ADSL from a mid to high end ISP, and go up from there, and not make a profit (and therefore not quaslify as a government investment rather than an expenditure) unless they can persuade or force Australians to pay even more, then so be it. And price is what will determine how many people are on it. If it stays focussed on the well off, as it is now, its the poor, the sick and the old, who won’t be able to afford it any more than they can afford ADSL now. Precisely the people Kate says the NBN will be great because it will have them on it, won’t be on it.

    • NBN Co’s mission statement:

      > To facilitate the Government’s objectives, NBN Co will roll out the NBN to all Australian premises using a combination of technologies. NBN Co will be operating a wholesale-only, open-access network, and making wholesale services available to retail service providers on non-discriminatory terms and conditions.

      Telstra proposed wholesale ADSL pricing, ACCC Interim ADSL pricing and NBN Co’s pricing in the third column:

      Zone 1 $30.00 $25.40 $27.00
      Zone 2/3 $37.00 $30.80 $27.00
      AGVC / CVC (per Mbps) $55.00 $40.50 */ $33.65** $20.00

      So, the NBN Co wholesale prices are quite a bit cheaper than what you’d have with Telstra Wholesale, ACCC or no ACCC.

      > gold-plated BMW-class high speed broadband network

      The current network is precious-metal plated and a century old, so this is a Corolla vs. Model T comparison, not a BMW vs. Corolla one. The NBN is just molten sand guaranteed for 60+ years. Also, no one in their right mind would roll out a copper-network from scratch at this point, not even the coalition, so the claim of gold-plated doesn’t stack up in that regard either. It’s more the default this century.

    • *facepalm* Finally I’m reminded why I stopped commenting on Delimiter. I thank you Gordon for teaching me that which I temporarily forgot.

    • Exetel starts at $35 per month, which includes a VOIP phone service. Hardly an expensive plan for both internet and phone services.

    • Errrrr Gordon ….

      You do know what the term, 100% is don’t you? The NBN is fibre for 93% of Australian premises, 4% Australian premises are wireless, and the last 3% of premises are satellite.

      I’m not sure what your definition of universal is, because 100% means everyone.

    • WOW! Your brilliance is absolutely fascinating! Now tell me which chemical cocktails assisted you in coming up with such an awesome “Road to Damascus” moment and why you feel compelled to share it with all of us.
      Take my advice, just say no, to your substance abuse, whatever it is, because you are really not imparting anything of intelligence by pointing out to everyone that Politician’s aren’t all they say they are cracked up to be. We all know that. It a case of realizing how bad is bad and much worse they can be if you vote for them with altered intelligence.
      There, there. Don’t worry. Keep reading Delimiter with an open and questioning mind and the darkness of technological ignorance will enlighten your vision, as like scales (cataracts) falling from your eyes. No substance abuse required. Absolutely. Guaranteed.

      • WOW! it dropped two words and changed the meaning completely! Renai, this thing is glitching!

        It should have “with an open and questioning mind and the darkness of technological ignorance will fail, by enlighten your vision…..”

    • “Making it universal is nowhere on the NBNCo’s list of priorities”

      Actually it is. Coverage of the NBN will be 100% with 12/1mbps and now 25/5mbps speeds… and since you believe “8 or 6 or even the 2-3 Mb/s” is enough for anyone you can’t complain…

      “unless they can persuade or force Australians to pay even more”

      No need to. NBN plans already offer better value for money at comparable speeds that is why we are already seeing people jump onto the faster plans like 50/20 and 100/40mbps

      “the poor, the sick and the old”

      Who are all these poor and sick people? We live in Australia not a third world county.

      “Precisely the people Kate says the NBN will be great because it will have them on it, won’t be on it.”

      Except they will. 100% coverage means those people you claim won’t be on it will actually be on it in and in many (most) cases they’ll be paying less for more speed/quota. Everyone wins.

      • > Who are all these poor and sick people? We live in Australia not a third world county.

        It’s funny because ostensibly “developing” (or at least once second-world) countries like China, Romania or Russia have massive FTTB deployments. Never mind countries like Korea, which could, after WW2 and the Korean War, be considered a third world country and seem to know what they’re doing as they’ve ended up with massive industrialisation, a massive rise in living standards and, more recently and presumably with a similar philosophy, pervasive FTTH. It’d be funny if it weren’t so embarrassing for Australia.

    • ROFL….

      The only pro-NBN “lie (ahem)” Gordon could find was Kate Lundy suggesting that the NBN (not fibre only) which, as Murdoch clearly points out is 100%… isn’t universal.

      Universal adj – Of, affecting, or done by all people or things in the world or in a particular group.

      Now where would you like to start with the anti-NBN lies?

      I await a typically intelligent response suggesting, well the NBN isn’t being rolled out to the entire universe, *sigh*

    • “Hey Renai, I just found another example of a politician telling fibs about the NBN.”

      if she was telling fibs Gordon, perhaps you should say what wasn’t actually true instead of waffling about a bunch of unrelated lefty “bleeding heart” stuff?

      • Unfortunately these minions consider that if words such as, white elephant, waste and socialist aren’t used then those who aren’t using them are ones lying *rolls eyes*

    • gordon, I’d ask who your dealer is, but that might be inappropriate.

      I’m not even sure I know where to begin, apart from noting absolutely everything you’ve just said is not actually based on reality. Other than channeling Andrew Bolt, I can’t even fathom where the logic is.

      NBNco is bound to the same TPA as is anyone one else selling a good or service. The ACCC has and is involved in pricing decisions, and, to date, prices for internet access have (in general) always gone down.

      Where they haven’t dropped, value has increased. Compare an ADSL1 plan from 6 years ago, to plans now. There is a general increase in value over time.

      NBNco can’t just hike prices, it would violate ACCC agreed pricing structures, never mind the percent it can increase is defined. All of which is a bit redundant because economies of scale will kick in as consumers migrate from copper to fibre, meaning prices are likely to slowly fall, and or value will generally increase.

      We know this, from decades of value changes within the comms industry and associated services.

      The sky isn’t falling.

  21. How are prices comparable to ADSL???

    TPG offers unlimited ADSL2+ with line rental for $69.99 if you live close to an exchange that’s 24Mbps (Seen 23.78mbps connection at a friends house) Now with that unlimited you can download 7.814TB and I do not see any plans in the $70-90 range that will allow you to download even 3TB of data. Obviously this is for high end data users like myself, but still, look at budget ADSL2+ plans then compare them even to 12/1 plans on NBN, even the unlimited TPG 12/1 plan is more expensive.

    I live far from my exchange but I can manage 2TB in a month downloading full speed 24/7, and I only pay 69.99. The closest plan to that is on Skymesh for $105 per month.

    Access to NBN might be fairly priced but if you actually want to use it, well then you’re screwed. It’s quite uesless to have such high speeds but very limited data, it’s like driving a supercar with a tiny fuel tank, it just doesn’t work!

    • > I do not see any plans in the $70-90 range that will allow you to download even 3TB of data.

      12 Mbps = 3.76 terabytes / month, 12/1 Mbps NBN on TPG is $70.

      In the long run, contention is just as much of a problem with ADSL as it is with the NBN. The reason you’re able to get 8 TB through your TPG connection is because there are people on your exchange who might only get speeds of 2 or 3 Mbps no matter how much they’ll want to download. That’s why you’re paying so little – it’s because other people are effectively getting less value than you are simply because of that fabulous game of NodeLotto! If you were 500 metres further from the exchange, you’d have a different opinion of this whole thing.

      The NBN isn’t designed for heavy downloaders and unlimited plans as much as it is designed to be equitable. With me using 200 GB, the data point known as me has no issue with that. Also, if you are telling me that you’re able to download 24/7 on TPG without any slowdowns on evenings, weekends or school holidays, then colour me incredulous. Also, the NBN has a lower wholesale cost than ADSL on the whole, so even if ISPs don’t pass that on any time soon, they’re more likely to once competition ramps up on the NBN.

      Also, considering the average Australian broadband connection – taking two somewhat disparate dates though for the two parts of that statistic from the ABS – to arrive at a rough guess of 60 GB a month that you’re complaining about needing to pay maybe twice as twice as much as the average connection to download more than a hundred times that leads me to think that your suffering and complaining does not have much merit. Seriously, wtf are you even doing downloading 8TB of data or is that a hypothetical made for the insane edge case to justify whatever you’re on about? 8 TB per month amounts to 25 Mbps – with H.264 compression you could watch all of Australian FTA TV in real time in reasonable quality 24/7 indefinitely. Maybe you’ll have a good argument when 4k comes along, but by that time the NBN plans will likely offer better value and as for right now, I just have to say… WTF.

      • I think he’s just theorycrafting, hence the “[I’ve] Seen 23.78mbps connection at a friends house”

    • Sorry to break it to you, but you are not the only person in Australia. The average ADSL user gets ~6mbps, not 20+. Using the TPG v TPG unlimited example this is clearly twice as good for $10 less.

      But because you are better off on ADSL you want the vast majority of Australians to be denied? How about if you want to download 2TB per month you pay for it and stop leeching off the rest of us? (God knows how anybody could manage to download that anyway)

    • @lawrence

      Actually, the NBN is designed to cope with exactly this problem.

      TPG have already hinted they are going to release a 12/1 NBN plan for $70 a month. (or was it $60…anyone?) The idea though, is TPG is waiting until we hit critical mass on the NBN in terms of users, because as more people go on, the cost to PROVIDE that data (the CVC) goes DOWN as a proportion of a individual user’s charge.

      The NBN is designed as a case whereby as ALL users (so average total) use more data, the total cost of data (CVC) comes down. The only problem with this approach is, those who use ALOT of data now (that is the top 3-5%) maintain their prices, rather than dropping them now as they are early adopters and high end users. This is the only way in which you can maintain the contention of a high-speed network. If you charge nothing for data (as TPG do on their OWN network- they only charge for the speed, essentially) then the top 5% use 80% of the capacity- exactly what TPG report on their Unlimited plans and why there is much anecdotal reporting of high contention for users dotted across TPG’s network. That leaves the other 95% of users paying for those top 5%.

      It is unfortunate, if you truly do use 3TB a month (I find that difficult to believe that you do it EVERY month, but I know it is far from impossible depending on your work) that you will NOT be one of the ones who receives cheaper internet on the NBN. Fact is, as I have said, you are in the top 5% of users in terms of data. The other 95% WILL be seeing cheaper internet- that’s fact. It is, as we all know, an unfortunate result of being high end users- we pay the most for the best/latest things. We have not gotten to the stage in Australia where big data is considered normal yet (thanks to Telstra’s dominance of the sector). But the NBN is the bridge to that. And once it’s up, your data will jump up VERY quickly for the same amount of money.

  22. > it’s like driving a supercar with a tiny fuel tank, it just doesn’t work!

    Also, just comparing your downloading with the average household (which might have a range in that analogy of 500 km), you’re trying to drive that super car for about 60,000 km and more without refuelling and it’ll only let you go about 25,000 km. Yes, “tiny” fuel tank indeed.

  23. Why isnt the NBN coming out “mythbusting” and using their own advertisements to fight back

    This is the current advertisement and quite frankly shit. Nobody cares about fast wifi, However being able to deliver medical care to remote communities before the nbn and after nbn

    These are their current advertisements
    Back in 2010 the advertisements were even worse

    • “Why isnt the NBN coming out “mythbusting” and using their own advertisements to fight back”

      Wouldn’t matter. It would be labelled as propaganda and splashed all over The Australian as a clear case of waste and another damning indictment of an illegitimate government, or some such drivel.

      I’d have preferred to so the NBNco and Government going apesh*t selling the advantages of the NBN, if they went to even half the effort of the opposition and MSM, it’d be a good start; but, they haven’t.

  24. I have a question – if someone in regional Australia is on Satellite NBN, do they get to stay on copper for phone services? If not, will their VoIP connection be robuat enough to traverse the ~0.25s of latency (0.5s synchronous delay)? Is that latency considered acceptable for that 3% of Australians?

  25. Yep those questions are right up there along side this old loaded crap.

    Please answer Yes or no,
    Have you stopped beating your Wife yet?
    [A] Yes.
    [B] No.

    • That is easy to answer. No. She still hasn’t learned her lesson. >:)

      (Thankfully she doesn’t read Delimiter, or I might be in for a world of hurt)

  26. So is the Coalition’s policy that it will use the money that could be spent on building a national fibre network and spend it on roads instead? News to me. And unless they make those roads tollways they’ll never make a profit, while the NBN will be returning money to the Commonwealth for decades.

  27. Funny thing, those questions are pretty much exactly the same, word for word, as the ones that appeared in a questionnaire posted around my electorate some months back. Being a rural electorate, Calare (NSW) pretty heavily favours the Nationals, so it’s no surprise that such push polling is being recycled, but it makes me wonder just how many of these Coalition electorates are being mailed this stuff.

    Also funny: out of 93,000+ voters, there were roughly 3,000 responses.

    • Political parties these days are pretty well “managed”. This explains why a lot of them say the same things (they get a list of “talking points” they need to work in to any conversations/interviews they do) and why a lot of material that comes from an MP look/sound the same as the others (the spindocs send it to them, they don’t work it up themselves).

      There’s always “outliers” like Barnaby though (god bless `im)…

    • @Lone Gunman

      As Renai has said, he’s looking into it but apart from that:

      1- NBNCo’s target for June 2013 in the Corporate Plan? 286K
      2- NBNCo’s predicted passing in June 2013 in October? 300K
      3- NBNCo’s REVISED prediction, because of Syntheo delays? 286K

      Moral? NBNCo. are going to achieve their targets and they were AHEAD of targets, before this delay.

      What does this show….that’s right, GOOD MANAGEMENT.

      • I don’t think the poor bloke can read seven, he won’t reply, he just seems to cut and paste various random Bolt quotes every so often…

  28. Worth noting some recent happenings on ABC

    Richard has done an excellent job presenting relative costs to the NBN with telco expenditures that relate somewhat to the NBN’s over the last 10 years for a valid comparison


    Then Tony displays his absolute ignorance and lack of comprehension in matters economic (The supposed Rhodes Scholar – must have copped too many head punches)


  29. Nice. So the HFC network (to 25-33%) of the population cost in excess of $78B! Talk about white elephants…

Comments are closed.