Media Watch weighs in on Ross NBN coverage



blog Those of you who’ve been following the ABC’s media accountability program Media Watch for a while will know that appearing on it is usually a journalist’s worse nightmare. You have to contend with the program’s crack team running a fine tooth comb over your coverage, you have only a limited chance to put your point of view, and perhaps worst of all, you know that you’re most likely going to have to face host Jonathan Holmes’ smug expression beaming from your TV as he points out to the nation exactly what you did wrong.

That’s why we were pleasantly surprised with the conclusions which Holmes drew on last night’s program (you can watch the whole thing here and also read the transcript) regarding the National Broadband Network coverage which ABC Technology + Games Editor Nick Ross has been generating over the past year. Ross’s articles have been controversial due to the extent which he has pushed back against the Coalition’s claims regarding its rival NBN policy; but there is no doubt that the vast majority of readers have been on his side on this one.

Holmes found that Ross had stepped a little over the line with his coverage, entering into the realms of advocacy for the NBN. But that conclusion was mainly a technicality in terms of the ABC’s stringent internal guidelines, and in general the Media Watch host had a great deal of positive things to say about Ross. Take these paragraphs:

“There’s no doubt that it would have been safer if Ross did what ABC journalists often do…set out what the government claims about the costs and benefits of the NBN, and the opposition’s claims for its own policy, and “leave it to the reader to judge”.

But to many media critics, that’s just a cop-out. It’s what New York University’s Jay Rosen has called “he said, she said journalism” – and he’s been railing against it for years …”

Holmes found that Ross had, using his expertise and specialist knowledge of the NBN topic, delivered analysis grounded in reporting work, using hundreds of reports and other sources; and what’s more, he has no political affiliations to weigh him down. In addition, he noted that mainstream media outlets such as The Australian Financial Review and The Australian newspapers had taken a broadly negative approach to the NBN and he noted the reader support for Ross’s work.

Now, of course these are issues which we’ve been harping on about at Delimiter for some time. It’s not enough to merely report what the Government and the Coalition say as though it’s fact; political statements need to be checked for accuracy and put into context. Only then can a complete picture of the reality of complex situations like the NBN emerge.

Of course, Media Watch’s report wasn’t without its caveats and yours truly didn’t agree with all of its findings. However, we like to think that the NBN debate is better off because of last night’s broadcast, and we hope that every writer contributing articles about the NBN from now on will take note that courageous work such as Nick Ross has been putting together can indeed stand the test of scrutiny as intense as that which the notoriously picky Media Watch can bring to bear.

Image credit: Screenshot of Jonathaon Holmes on Media Watch last night, believed to be usable under fair use


  1. At the end of the day there is generally a correct side and an incorrect side to arguments and I do not believe someones opinion should be held up in an equal light to actual facts and figures.
    From what I have seen people on the pro-NBN side tend to have a lot of facts and figures and base their opinion on those the anti-NBN side tend to just say generalist things like country X is not doing FttP and country Y is but they are doing it slightly differently to here so it does not count.
    I have a heavy science background and in and paper or thesis there are 3 main area the abstract which is where you define what you want to find out, the main body of results and what you find out and the conclusion where you summarize your results. The biggest problem is that many people don’t do A or B and skip straight to the conclusion with no evidence to back their claims.

    The reason I believe that Nicks article has struck such a chord is simple he did A,B and C and when you have the evidence to back up your claims it goes from being an opinion to being a fact and evidinced based facts are dangerous to those trying to push an opinion.
    The reason for this is that now your opinion has to be held to the same standard and why should anyone believe your opinion when you don’t back it up.

    • +1. I also find the anti NBN views are heavily based on unverified ‘facts’ like ‘1/3 cheaper’ and ‘3 years to deploy’.

  2. Irrespective of anyone’s opinion of the outcome it was good publicity for Delimiter, the more (new) readers that may now visit this site the better.

    • I agree, hopefully anyone with questions or needing some real news about Australian’s IT and the NBN, they will pop onto Delimiter and have a whole new world open up to them!
      The truth is out there! :)

    • I thought their was at least one occasion were Jonathan was mocking Renai:

      “According to his admirer, Renai LeMay…”

      which I was not at all impressed with!

      • So your saying that the description is wrong? I believe that Renai does admire Nick Ross’ recent work.

        Renai can correct it for the record if that description is overstepping the mark.

        • Agreed, if Media Watch has the same general level as a whirlpool forum, they would have called Renai a Nick Ross Fanboi

          • TechinBris, you must admit that it is quite telling of the level of debate when someone whips out this gem. Those that have used it in the NBN fanboy context tend to tar themselves more so than those they are trying to use the term against. You can automatically gather quite a bit of info about their beliefs and motivations.

          • I wouldn’t bother wasting the time. That is part of the reason I walked away from KiddyPool..sorry, WhingePool..err..Whirlpool.
            Too many pubescence teenage know-it-all’s, who have yet still to learn the art of polite discussion and assistance to those who ask for help without insulting them first. Try getting a job with that skill! Hopefully, one day, they will discover how real life works. Till then, we groan, pity them, avoid if possible and totally disregard them, no matter how much they scream, rant and rave.

          • Pretty much. A lot of the information that is posted on Whirlpool, Delimiter, and even Technology Spectator and ABC technology & games is erroneous and zealotry.

            It was about time that Nick Ross got disciplined. If not for this biased articles, he has reported many things about broadband that are incorrect & not properly checked his facts, continue to do so with reptitive articles. This is because he’s never worked in the role of building network or broadband infrastructure at a large scale.

            I’ve posted many responses in his blogs in response to articles, but typically the fanatics are 10 to 1 in sheer numbers and threads quickly turn into just volumous repetition of the same misconceptions.

            Facts are that articles I’ve seen in internet and paper media, even the Aust Financial Review are half truths, biased or completely wrong. I would be better replacing all these ‘hacks’ eg. Nick Ross & Renai and actually report things worth knowing.

          • “I would be better replacing all these ‘hacks’ eg. Nick Ross & Renai and actually report things worth knowing.”

            Well fire away with some of those things. Lots of oppinion there with very little to back it up.

          • “I’ve posted many responses in his blogs in response to articles”

            Not exactly any factually supported ones.

            Claims that you need to replace all the fibre in less than 25 years.
            That isn’t bending the truth? Planned redundance and actual need to replace the fibre are two different things. On a as needed replacement basis, similar to what is used for copper it would more like have a life of around 50 years.

            Claims there are not enough fibre techs in Australia to pull cable through ducts.
            You’d used fibre specialists for that would you? I’d use the large number of skilled cable pullers Telstra let go.

            Suggestions copper doesn’t need to be bought but a ULL fee paid.
            Really? What will it be? $16 bucks a month? Will Telstra happily maintain the copper? If this is a plan of the Coalitions it would be nice if they worked something out first and put it in their “fully costed plan”

            Other arguments. Yes, doing FTTN is quicker and cheaper. But it still leaves us with a FTTH rollout to be done sometime later. And if that sometime later is not late enough FTTN is a waste of money. The life of FTTN depends on if you believe Turnbull and his couple of Comms mouth pieces and it’s 30 years before we need fibre or you believe all the major networking companies, including those pushing FTTN, who say 50Mb will be needed by 2017, going beyond 2020, 1Gb. So do we roll out 640K to everyone, that gives and 4 times growth margin, or do we make the architecture open ended?

          • If everything is so brutally ugly in the field of Tech reporting, then show us how brutally handsome you can produce “Tech” articles.
            Let us know your Start-up, much like Renai did, then let us see how it survives in the big bad ugly world by attracting us with those handsome articles that work in it. I look forward to it.
            BTW, as tongue in cheek as I am being here, for amusement sake, I am serious. Renai was brave enough to brave New Media and is making it work for him. You do it now.
            BTW, the world is not perfect, so don’t expect to find perfection in it. Really good, is not bad at all.

          • @brutally handsome…

            Since you claim to have all the answers, let me please ask you (as I’m not holding my breath that my original correspondent will be forthcoming with even a reply, let alone answers, having seen his woeful track record) to fill the following holes in the Coalition’s broadband plan for us all, since it is obvious, with your derision of Nick’s article, that you oppose the NBN and therefore fully support the Coalition’s alternative plan… thank you :)

            Please refer to –

          • The jist of what I am saying … is that the people who write these articles, who are not experts in the subject area by which they are commenting and providing analysis, are basically wasting their time and everyone else’s. The article and blog ends up similar to a dog chasing its tail. Since when do “journalists” reporting on a subject matter also claim to be “experts” in it? Oh yeah, since the internet came along!

            there is a big difference to what is considered an article posted online VS well research field work and having quality sources, as opposed to just googling.

          • Oh, so, you think that an investigative journalist like Nick Ross resorts to just “Googling” for information do you?

            Where is YOUR evidence for that?

          • Brutally whatever

            And without doubt, you are an expert yourself or else how would you be able to assess anyone else’s expertise.

            So far all you have done is tell us that everyone else is telling half truths. So please do tell us what the truth, according to you, is? Enlighten us.

          • Hmmm… nonetheless brutally, I note like, umm let me see… umm, 100% of the NBN naysayers, you side-stepped my questions about FttN too.


  3. I was very dissapointed Media Watch used Graeme Lynch in their story last night – he is not representative of the ICT Industry and is generally disregarded (many would say despised) by all but a very small number of folk who believe in Neo-classical economics to exclusion of everything else (ie. the market will provide everything, gov hands off unless you are giving us subsidies to do something we deem unworthy of our own investment dollars).

    Grahame Lynch has been opposed to every aspect of the NBN from day one and frankly to use someone as clearly biased as he is for “balance” is very disturbing – the size of his paid readership is a great indicator of the quality of his “journalism”. He has admitted in public that only 1500 ppl pay for access to his site, this is such a tiny unrepresentative fraction of the ICT industry that it beggars belief that any self respecting media organisation would use him to provide them with any information!

    Unfortunately it seems lately that journalism in Australia has gone to hell and Media Watch seems to be ignoring the worst aspects of it – using someone like Graeme Lynch (or Kevin Morgan) to provide “balance” in an ICT story is like inviting a Homeopath to discuss Neurosurgery or an anti-immunization crank to discuss why 99.99% of the Aussie population have never seen a Polio sufferer!

    • I pretty much agree with everything you said djos and the one line from Media Watch that I found interesting was “but let me stress we’re not analysing the media’s coverage of the NBN” perhaps that is exactly what is needed…

      • I agree however, they seem to pick on single reports. Clearing the facts from the bs for such a large debate would be a huge undertaking; only certain people could do such a thing. Some these people they eat hundrend page transcripts of Malcom Turnbull for breakfast. Enter Renai LeMay.

      • I completely agree, “analysing the media’s coverage of the NBN” is exactly what’s needed!

      • The reason he did not is because to do so requires a comprehensive understanding of the issues.

        This is the challenge facing those trying to disseminate accurate information about the NBN or about any other complex issues.

        It require interest, time and effort to educate oneself. This, unfortunately, tends to go against the grain in a world of catchy headlines and slogans.

    • Later that night, Jonathan Holmes retweeted criticism put to him, apparently conceding that his own story was an example of the “he said, she said” journalism he referenced in the story.

      But I found than in itself interesting given that the segment was focussing on what an ABC journalist should and shouldn’t do in covering an issue.

      • You were unfortunately unfairly represented!

        Your comments were a little more balanced, noting that Nick’s 11,000 word article did contain *some* faults.

        The media watch representation of your praise completely glossed over even that minor caveat you always included. (I don’t recall a mention of the article that you praised without that minor caveat).

    • +1. It was very cool to see. Hopefully it will mean more people visiting Delimiter to get some actual facts about the NBN, as they sure as hell aren’t going to get any from watching mainstream media.

  4. Here’s the message that I got from MW:

    In the programme itself, Jonathan Holmes says:
    “Those are tests that Nick Ross, in my view, fails. A year ago, he wrote this…

    If the public knew the truth about the NBN, and believed that the Coalition wanted to destroy it, then Labor would have an unassailable lead in the polls right now … I’m deadly serious.
    — ABC Technology and Games, The Great NBN Fail, 21st February, 2012

    Ross is an advocate – and it shows.”

    In the comments section, Jonathan Holmes says:
    “I said that Ross was entitled to his expert analysis (“let the chips fall where they may”) but that his strident advocacy of the NBN – at fora like Kickstart, for one example – was over the top for an ABC reporter.”

    • @KingForce

      See, I didn’t get that about Kickstarter. They showed ONE part of it out of context, where Ross disagreed with Turnbull entirely and everyone laughed at him for it. Turnbull is THAT high and mighty that everyone just should believe what he says???? What a crock of shit. Turnbull made a speech, he did a Q&A and when challenged he simply started attacking Ross about his “biased coverage” rather than answer the challenge. So he was lambasted for wasting everyone’s time.

      Ross is the ONLY one in the MSM I’ve seen stand up properly to Turnbull. He is NOT some bastion of truth and reason on broadband and I frankly don’t give a toss if people thought Ross was “being unfair” with how monopolised the Q&A at Kickstarter. Did you SEE the questions asked of Turnbull?? They were ALL designed to show how good Turnbull apparently knows his stuff, to the point where one the reporters didn’t have a clue himself. Ross was the ONLY one there that challenged Turnbull’s assumptions and he was raked over the coals for it. That is not “advocacy” that’s investigative journalism. Seriously, do people not remember Lateline in the Howard years??? Where has that stuff gone????

      I could agree with Jonathan’s assumption about advocacy on his article a year ago. ABut I do NOT agree he was “advocating” during Kickstarter. He was challenging Turnbull. And while many basked in the glow that is Turnbull’s apparent vast knowledge and were upset when Ross shadowed them from it…..too frigging bad. Turnbull REFUSES to be drawn into serious debate. He parrots one liners and deflects or attacks the person arguing. Ross called him on it at a PUBLIC forum, KNOWING he wouldn’t be able to back don. Turnbull disintegrated into mindlessly attacking Nick about bias and attempting to humiliate him. It worked. It doesn’t mean Turnbull was right. Far from it. And neither was Jonathan’s assessment of it.

      The fact is, Jonathan DOESN’T understand the NBN debate. That’s why he sees advocacy in what Ross did at Kickstarter, because he sees a “spoilt brat” who’s not getting his time in the limelight and Turnbull who was “humouring” him. If Jonathan investigated the NBN debate, he’d find Ross’ questioning there perfectly acceptable and even gutsy. Ross may have overstepped his bounds in his article. He did NOT at Kickstarter.

      • “I could agree with Jonathan’s assumption about advocacy on his article a year ago. ABut I do NOT agree he was “advocating” during Kickstarter. He was challenging Turnbull.”

        I judge that Nick was debating Turnbull about telehealth for most of the time. It is not Nick’s job to make statements like: “the biggest benefits of the NBN is telehealth is going to save billions every single year.” and use that as a debating point with Turnbull. His job to question assertions made by Turnbull not to try to convince him of the merits of the NBN. Nothing out of that kickstart exhcange could have formed a basis for a news story or an analysis piece. No other journalist on the transcript (AFR, iTWire, The Register, Crikey, etc.) was as argumentative as Nick.


      • Completely agree. That was the first time I had seen that snippet of footage with Nick daring to press Turnbull, and I was shocked by just how shocked everyone else was in the room. When a politician is wrong, and a journalist knows it (with evidence to back it up) shouldn’t it be their job to keep pursuing the question? I guess some would argue it wasn’t the time or place, but then when is? Turnbull had just accused Nick of being flat out wrong, and all Nick did was say the same in return (and then attempt to say why). Turnbull gets so precious whenever he’s disagreed with on anything, and it seems near impossible for journalists to break through his slick facade.

    • Overwelming technical reasoning in the face off political FUD seems to generate an advocate. It’s hard to be heard by talking facts and figures few understand vs three word slogans. Given the complexity it is very hard to present the facts and have the general population draw conclusions. Your only option is to say “It’s way better” “Turnbull is lying”, etc. It’s what Joe Citizen can comprehend.

  5. In all, the program was a tight wire act and I think it spoke far more volumes on this subject in what it did not say, in comparison to what it actually did say.
    There is still a foul stench in the air.

  6. what utter twaddle renai.

    perhaps unsurprisingly you play down to a tiny distant triangle under the weight of an orchestra of self-serving praise the fact that Holmes pointed out that Ross breached the guideline preventing advocacy by actually dictating from private opinion what policy to pursue.

    nick is biases and why the story didn’t touch that and stayed all black letter around the guideline issue I can only guess was a case of going gentle on a fellow ABC employee

    • Even if Ross is biased, who cares? His arguments in regards to the NBN are sound and his evidence is provided in his articles. In regards to the NBN, if he is biased towards the FTTH roll-out,

      • Damn thing posted before I was finished.

        Even if he is biased towards FTTH, his articles are still filled with evidence supporting his “bias”, which is more than can be said about most article written regarding FTTN.

        • I’d say that Nick is a lot like me…

          Yes he is probably biased towards the NBN (I am definitely)…

          But I am definitely, simply because I have done the homework, checked the pros, cons and alternatives and have easily come up with the NBN being far superior.

          It’s not hard to do so… when your vote is earned (not a traditional hand-me-down from father to son) and you don’t have political bigotry and pigheadedness holding you back, as the vast majority of the naysayers obviously do…

          • But then, your not like most Aussie voters who are Sheeple or Lemmings. Your thinking.

          • +100 NBNAlex. That is exactly the way I feel. The only part of the discussion that I beleive is politics is MT, TA etal, oh and MSM, not providing any facts to back up their claims. The proof is in the pudding I am afraid and the general public are forced to eat cake.

            It is time for a real disection of the debate. come on 4 corners, do a true investigation to tell the public the facts. Lets see what you come up with about FTTN.

            Cannot wait for QANDA to have Conroy and Turnbull on. Garret and Pyne was quite flat. Bring on the great NBN debate I say!

    • Or as the show stated, he is an expert in the field and met most of the guidelines set out by the ABC.

      From what I have read, those ABC guidelines that he failed seem to stem from his passion for the Australian people to know the truth about the NBNco, assumedly since the Government itself is not given the airtime from the MSM to sell the benifits. From MW itself, it stated that his style of journalism is not ‘he said she said’, and if that is what you think the role of our national broadcaster should be relegated to…. well I guess you can rely on all your facts from ‘The Australian’.

      Presenting all sides of a debate in an even light can produce it’s own bias. I no longer expect the media to report even handedly on issues such as effects of smoking, flouridation, immunisation or whether climate change is actually occuring. Infact, the MSM continues to lend airtime to many of these increasingly fringe beliefs in our society, often because it either sells papers to have the controversy or serves their own interests.

    • Supporting a side is not the same as being biased. You just need to be able to look at both sides fairly and justify your support for one side.

      He-said-she-said journalism is arguably very damaging; it pushes the myth that every opinion is equally valid.

  7. BTW! Renai, welcome to the realm of the publicly acclaimed famous and INFLUENTIAL of the tech news scene of Australia. Your project “Delimiter” is growing in influence and stature! Making waves even. Woo hoo!
    Congratulations are in store. Well done!
    Have a digital Mojito to celebrate! Cheers!
    PS: How much are your autographs worth?

  8. What Jonathon Holmes made clear that what Nick Ross and Renai Lemay are practicing in regard to the NBN is not journalism but advocacy. Lemay is entitled to do whatever whoever his employers are allow him to do, providing he doesn’t pretend he’s a real journalist. Ross is required to behave like a professional journalist by his employers, the ABC, on behalf of Australian taxpayers who are paying his wages. But he clearly isn’t.

    • Renai is his own Boss, he owns Delimiter – not only that but he’s been more than fair to Malcolm Turnbull in the past giving him far more leeway than many think he deserves!!

    • What is wrong with advocacy as long as it’s the truth! So do you mean that a journalist can not tell the truth?

    • Your comment is invalid.

      As for my “employers”, they can get nicked! I’ll do whatever the hell I damn well want!

      (As long as the editor doesn’t find out)

    • Gordon, Gordon

      So, you are an expert in journalism as well. Who would have though?

      Do tell us what is journalism? What type of journalism would satisfy you? The News Ltd type perhaps?
      I am eagerly waiting for your wisdom on the matter?

    • “What Jonathon Holmes made clear that what Nick Ross and Renai Lemay are practicing in regard to the NBN is not journalism but advocacy.”


      It found that some of Ross’s work contained advocacy. Those elements need to be worked on, but the vast bulk of his work is fine.

    • Gordon,

      I don’t believe you understand actual journalism. Journalistic endeavour isn’t to blindly present both sides equally.

      That is called “debate”; where you present two sides to an argument or statement fairly, and allow others to draw a conclusion. This whole thing is based on an archaic set of policies in ABC’s history that require a certain degree of debate-like ethic being a requirement, simply to ensure a government funded entity doesn’t become a government mouthpiece.

      Journalisim, is to investigate, report and provide sufficient data to support a conclusion. The reporter or journalist should be free to draw a conclusion should the data support that.

      Australian’s have become blind to critical thinking. So much so, that the current crop of reporters on the political circuit seem dazed and confused when someone actually presses for an answer, or heaven forfend, questions a politician on policy or comment.

      People are distorting the original purpose of the ABC charter, which is to prevent it becoming (amongst other things) a propaganda mouthpiece for elected government, with it having a requirement to humour egos on either side of the political fence.

      If you present a bullshit argument, that doesn’t mean you get to have a free ride on the ABC, even if you might get equal airtime or reporting.

      That doesn’t preclude critical thinking or analysis. As far as I see, Ross presented both sides, and perhaps made the mistake of drawing a conclusion from those facts, given the current political climate is a very right leaning press.

      People are still free to think critically on any topic. And I suggest folks spend a bit more time actually analysis what both sides of the political fence are doing, rather than focus on the ridiculous he said/ she said debate that has now befallen our media.

      We need people like Ross, and Renai to cut through the twaddle, and present the core story. Wether or not you agree with their views (renai has even blocked me on twitter over a difference of opinion) doesn’t mean I don’t value their determination to get to the heart of the matter.

      • @ Brendan

        “Gordon… I don’t believe you understand actual journalism.”

        Brendan… perhaps that’s sadly because people like Gordon (and it’s not their fault) simply, may have only ever experienced mainstream media, such as the Australian and Telegraph!

        Therefore they don’t recognise anything else but the Murdoch skewed and self promoting view of the world … or should I say “their” world which they believe they own and run :(

  9. So much for their catch cry ” Everybody loves Media Watch until their on it”

  10. I admire Ross for telling Turnbull he was WRONG, and the same for you Renai for sticking up for the truth.

    I remember 30 years ago, we had a group of friends around my house and we were discussing what was the greatest threat to humanity and my wife piped up and said pollution and they all laughted at her, well their not laughting now because Climate Change is due to pollution.

  11. Let’s give the flat-earther equal time for the sake of “fairness”.
    I agree Malcolm Turnbull is no bastion of looking at the facts and calling it as it is. Even he toes the party line to push something that, in his heart of hearts knows, is a crock of copper. Look at how he now pushes for the LNP climate policy that is at COMPLETE odds to that which he advocated. Party politics ( on both sides) sometimes can work to the worst interests of the public.
    I have my theories why the LNP are so against fibre to the home and that is it will result in the likes of Netflix totally decimating the free to air and pay television interests of their cheer squad in the MSM.
    Prove me wrong.

    • @Andre
      Some experts are saying that the DVD disc as we know it has less than 5 years life left. and tv as we know it is doomed anyway.
      We are in for a really big home entertainment on demand and communication revolution in the coming years, Now we can be in the right place at the right time, Or ?????????

  12. I think there seem to be some confusion with the term “bias”. Merely supporting a given point of view is not a bias. It is only so when that support is based on the point of view that is ignoring possible equally valid alternatives.

    In relation to the NBN debate, those who support the present model based on a careful analysis that includes other alternative are not biased.

    I clearly remember Renai going out of his way to find something good to say about the coalition model, until being eventually let down by MT’s poor excuse for a broadband policy. If this is bias, then it is a very strange way of showing it.

    As for advocacy, there is nothing evil taking place when those who have taken the time to analyze a particular problem attempt to share their conclusions with those less inclined to undertake such analysis.

  13. An advocate for truth will always end up on a side that is loathed by those who are not being truthful.

    As for the media watch conclusion – it needs to be said and understood that advocating for the truth in the subject of an article is not advocating for those who put forward the subject.

    And as a tax payer, I want ABC journos to report the facts and be advocates for the truth at all times – regardless of what side of politics they land in with their results.

    • Facts are nice, but unfortunately in short supply in a world that has seen Weapons of Mass Distraction in Iraq, the “Evil Empire”, debates on when a surplus is a surplus, and even elections in “the land of the free” that would warrant official UN monitors.

      And don’t get me started about the rent-seeking that is copyright and patent laws.

    • Much pro NBN argument is based on the locked in assertion that the Labor NBN rollout is the undeniable truth, so therefore anyone that disagrees with that is by definition always wrong.

      Like most things in life it is not that simple,the massive Government debt for this project should be accountable for every single dollar, the best outcome I see if the Coalition gain power is not that they necessarily have a better NBN Plan but a full review including a proper CBA is done on the existing Labor plan.

      • “Much pro NBN argument is based on the locked in assertion that the Labor NBN rollout is the undeniable truth, so therefore anyone that disagrees with that is by definition always wrong.”

        Complete and utter rubbish. Look through the posts for any of these discussions. Most are answered with examples and facts. Those that aren’t are more likely just some one who is sick of how many times a bit of anti NBN has been repeated. People like Turnbull are the ones who use the tactic you discribe, dismissing anyone who even asks a hard question as a Zealot or afvocate to avoid having to answer.

        “the massive Government debt”

        It isn’t massive government debt, the $27B the government is contribution as an investment is peanuts campared to nearly every other thing they pay for without expect ANY return.

        “the best outcome I see if the Coalition gain power is not that they necessarily have a better NBN Plan but a full review including a proper CBA is done on the existing Labor plan.”

        Well, it would be good if they do. I hope they do the same for their own plan before they waste a lot of money and lock the Australian population back in to a vertical private monopoly.

      • @alain,

        Once again, below is the starting list (there’s more) of unanswered questions in relation to the NBN’s alternative from the Coalition… questions which have already been addressed by the current NBN…

        READ… “this is why I have locked in the NBN as the best alternative”.

        If you can address (not once again rudely ignore) each of my FttN concerns, I will consider your views and re-consider mine.

        Otherwise your words are hypocrisy to the extreme, as your views are not only locked in, but locked in without any basis or rationality whatsoever…

        Regarding the Coalition’s broadband plan…

        * What are the technologies to be use %ages and where are these technologies to be used
        * Total cost
        * Funding – who pays and from where
        * ROI – who gets it taxpayers or private enterprise
        * Ownership – who owns the finished product, taxpayers, private company/companies or a mix
        * Telstra – the need of their CAN, how will that work
        * Since the copper is required for national infrastructure, should the government simply seize the CAN from Telstra for the good of the nation
        * If not, why not – considering it would reduce the most important (to some) cost, significantly
        * HFC isn’t open access, will Telstra and Optus be forced to provide wholesaling to competitors
        * ACCC – regarding access for other Telcos/ISP’s, to the Gov/Telstra’s network, how will that work
        * Maintenance of the old copper – who pays (OPEX)
        * What benefits will we see, considering we will still have a copper bottleneck
        * FttP – will it ever be needed
        * If not why not
        * If so – please repeat the first 5 dot points
        * Wireless – where does this come into it (remember all those towers)
        * What happens if FttN is held up legally because of Telstra’s CAN (either by Telstra or competitors).
        * Ditto regarding HFC but with Telstra and Optus

        I look forward to the usual flatline _____________________________

        • Interest list. I’ll answer from my perspective and see how alain’s or other views compare.

          Note: A lot of these questions have been asked and avoid by the Coalition so where I feel that is I will put VOID and put my best guess at what they seem to imply.

          * What are the technologies to be use %ages and where are these technologies to be used
          VOID. Guess, 30% HFC with the ones who can’t get HFC in the area still on ADSL2+, 10% wireless, 7% satelite using same satelites but just less bandwidth available. FTTP rolled out as before the NBN by private companies for Greenfields. FTTN as a limited rollout, copper still going to the exchange, you can have it cut and connected to the Node, node capacity increased with demand to keep rollout low as possible.

          * Total cost
          VOID. I’d guess $30B

          * Funding – who pays and from where
          VOID. Taxpayer funded as subsidies for private investment but must subsidise almost all the cost as Telstra know the future is fibre, but if someone is paying… why not.

          * ROI – who gets it taxpayers or private enterprise
          VOID. I’d guess Telstra.

          * Ownership – who owns the finished product, taxpayers, private company/companies or a mix
          VOID. Telstra

          * Telstra – the need of their CAN, how will that work
          VOID. ULL line rental

          * Since the copper is required for national infrastructure, should the government simply seize the CAN from Telstra for the good of the nation
          VOID. Will be accessed by ULL fee

          * If not, why not – considering it would reduce the most important (to some) cost, significantly
          VOID. They’d have their arse sued off and I don’t think they have a problem with the user paying a ULL rental to Telstra.

          * HFC isn’t open access, will Telstra and Optus be forced to provide wholesaling to competitors
          VOID. I don’t think it will go wholesale. HFC is just an excuse to limit rollout.

          * ACCC – regarding access for other Telcos/ISP’s, to the Gov/Telstra’s network, how will that work
          VOID. Keep status quo if can

          * Maintenance of the old copper – who pays (OPEX)
          VOID Government subsidy to Telstra.

          * What benefits will we see, considering we will still have a copper bottleneck
          VOID Speed boost in short term. (You said benefits so will stop there)

          * FttP – will it ever be needed
          Yes, it will, MT admited, says 30 years. I think 30 years is rubbish, FTTN obsolete way sooner.

          * If not why not
          It is needed.

          * If so – please repeat the first 5 dot points
          VOID. LNP totally ignoring any upgrades. FOD is a concession that is impractical for general FTTP rollout.

          * Wireless – where does this come into it (remember all those towers)
          VOID 10% wireless.

          * What happens if FttN is held up legally because of Telstra’s CAN (either by Telstra or competitors).
          VOID Won’t be a problem given a big enough ULL and subsidy.

          * Ditto regarding HFC but with Telstra and Optus
          VOID Those areas will just be ignored, no attempt will be made to upgrade or provide open access.

          • Agree NBNAccuracy… but then, of course I would… because I have already been accused of being you, so… LOL

            It would be interesting if the naysayers could grow some and actually answer, but of course, unlike us guys who are here for comms improvement, it has become even more apparent they are here to ensure a political outcome and nothing else :(

          • I doubt you will see an clear answer to any of those from MT. Oh, he may say a word or two about each.

            For example. On the question of upgrades.

            What will it cost to upgrade to FTTH?
            “We will look at that when it is needed”
            When will that be?
            “Not for some time yet”
            How long?
            “20-30 years”
            What is your rational for such a long period of time? Industry leaders like Google, Cisco, Alcatel Lucent say that 1Gb plus speeds will by needed by 2020.
            “In country X they say it will take them about 30 years to reach a fully FTTH rollout”
            You aren’t answering my question Mr Turnbull.
            “It’s all to do with opertunity cost”
            That still isn’t answering the question. If FTTN cannot do 1Gb and 1Gb is needed by 2020, won’t there need to be further rollouts?
            “There is no reason why users cannot get on demand FTTH”
            Won’t that get expensive as more an more people need it?
            “Well, the thing you have to understand, the real point of this is, the current rollout will take 20 years and cost hundreds of billions of dollars”
            We are talking about your plan Mr Turnbull…

            That gave me the creeps. I’ve read and heard to much of his dedging I feel slimey being able to deflect like he does :(

  14. New Delimiter tag: “Editor Renai Le May, chief admirer of Nick Ross”.

    Actually, it was nice to hear Delimiter mentioned but not so nice to hear that it has so little prestige in the world of Media Watch. I would probably have preferred “Renai Le May of Delimiter, a website that shines the light on dubious claims and technological doublespeak”.

    Do I get free access to Delimiter now? Oh, wait…

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