NBN a “horrible hoax”, says Turnbull


blog The claim by Shadow Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull that Labor’s National Broadband Network project will take 20 years and up to $100 billion has been pretty comprehensively debunked at this point, NBN Co’s latest rollout speed downgrades notwithstanding. However, the Earl of Wentworth continues to trot it out during his visits to small community meetings. At a meeting in Bendigo last night (read the full article the Bendigo Advertiser here):

Mr Turnbull said the government was making “very little progress” on installing the NBN in what he described as “a horrible hoax”. “There is no limit to what this will cost,” he said. “There is no cap on it which is a pretty wild thing to do. “These guys have no idea what they’re in for at all.”

Turnbull’s wild claims have gotten a shade more credibility following NBN Co’s ill-timed rollout downgrade last week, but the fact remains that the project is only three months behind schedule at this point; in addition, much of its construction contracts around the nation for the next half-decade are already locked in. Even if it has to take those contracts back in-house as it has done with Syntheo in the Northern Territory, it’s hard to imagine that the company’s network rollout will cost three times as much and take twice as long … especially when you consider that in-house labor is generally cheaper than outsourcing. Plus, there’s the fact that Turnbull hasn’t released any concrete evidence to back up his claims, or, indeed, a policy to stack up against Labor’s.

The Bendigo Advertiser has a lovely large photo of Turnbull in what appears to be an expensive, if fashionably tailored suit; but isn’t it true that the emperor still has no clothes?

Image credit: Office of Malcolm Turnbull


  1. The only hoax here is what Malcolm offers the Australian public as an alternative to the NBN. I will not be voting Liberal until they agree to leave the NBN rollout as-is and deploy it as per the current specification. Simple as that and here are my reasons why.

    Its taken nearly four years of testing, design, infrastructure and manpower to get the NBN to commercial rollout status this year. Thats how big this project is as we connect a country. Not withstanding delays from contractors who collapse in the middle of the rollout and a shortage of manpower, change to a different model would very likely end up being more expensive. As for cost, what of it? It won’t cost you a cent. The business model has been examined in minute detail over the last four years and the market supports it’s conclusions. It is only News Ltd (Australian/AFR) and the Liberal party who fight it. It is a guaranteed income stream as everyone pays for their Internet. This will pay down the loan to build it. My conservative estimate is 280 million a month in revenue. Thereafter its a huge revenue earner which can be used to extend the fibre footprint even further on demand.

    As for the build itself, they cannot just switch to a different model overnight. They have to go through a large amount of testing again = delays. The state of the copper in the ground isn’t so good and for VDSL purposes it is likely remediation will be required. Even then it is not like the copper is laid where they need it. To install powered cabinets for FTTN they would have to re-route a lot of the existing copper anyway. You still need a new device in the house for the new technology just like the current rollout so where are the savings to be had???

    Australian’s need to start telling the Liberal Party to leave it alone. When will we *ever* get the chance like this again to put Australia in a world class position when it comes to telecommunications. It is a once in a lifetime opportunity and public interest should outweigh private interests in this case. The opportunities it will bring to this country are unprecedented. It will change the landscape we know today and bring everyone closer together in a country as large as ours. It’s the right choice to have the network public hands and FTTH is the right model for our future

    • “The only hoax here is what Malcolm offers the Australian public as an alternative to the NBN.”

      Nailed it.

      Of course getting any detailed information on that coalition clown alternative should be easy enough to obtain but I get the feeling Turnbull thinks he doesn’t have to provide any because of the NBN delays… but it’s ok, when their broadband “plan” sets the bar so low with a FttN patchwork thought bubble no one would seriously expect that much from them to begin with.

  2. The only hoax is Turnbull and Coalition Parties plan, that relies more heavily on Telstra.

    They claim that there is no cap, when Turnbull’s own plan (which hasn’t stated it’s costs yet) is a hoax.

    $44 billion is the peak build cost.

    It would be less minus the $11 billion transferring bill to Telstra if they (Coalition Party) didn’t sell Telstra.

    The Broadband Competition Inquiry of 2003 states that ADSL is an inter-rim technology and that fibre is the replacement technology for copper.



    4.89 The Committee believes that Australia’s broadband market is at a critical point in its development. Investment in infrastructure deployment has slowed and in the current regulatory – and Telstra dominated environment, has lost momentum. The Committee acknowledges that the issues are complex and that there is no single solution to the impediments to broadband competition identified in this report. However, the evidence to this inquiry has confirmed the need for the Government to address the regulatory and competitive environment as a matter of priority. In summary, the Committee wishes to concur with the sentiments expressed in a submission to this inquiry:

    The central problem to be resolved is not a technological problem, such as how do we extend ADSL so that it is available to more people on the existing infrastructure. It is an investment problem: how do we find a way to pay for a replacement for the copper network.

    The existing network is obsolete because it has ceased to meet the requirements to deliver the basic level of services required to meet the social and economic needs of the Australian community. This is an ubiquitous need, not one that is relative to the distance from the nearest triple 0 postcode.

    At the very heart of this failure of competition is the unresolved problem of the structural integration of Telstra. While it owns access to customers, and the services that are delivered over that infrastructure, and the alternative cable delivery mode, and a large slice of the content, and a portion of the dominant Pay TV company, and is even sitting on spectrum that could be used for wireless CAN deployment in much of regional Australia, there is insufficient competitive tension to support new CAN investment.

    The length of time it takes for policy makers to realise that the CAN crisis must be confronted, and that the vertical integration of Telstra is the central problem preventing this from happening, will determine whether a reinvigorated approach to driving competition into the communications markets commences next year, the year after or three or more years from now.[296]

    • That is the core of the issue. I don’t care about FTTN FFTH or brick through the window technology as long the underlying problem is address so we aren’t spending and spending and spending to keep fixing the same issue every 5-10years. No where has MT stated how he intends to fix to root issue, how he is going to stop the exact same problem recurring or even what his temporary fix is going to deliver.

      A policy that only addresses the current needs without putting place the processes to ensure that we don’t have those needs again in the future is truly a policy with no upper cost limit and that is the “horrible hoax”.

  3. 2 biased comments from 2 Labor rusted-ons. Going well. The NBN will be out of date by the time it is finished. Kevin Rudd promised it would be finished by 2013.

    • Thats funny Bev, Since I would vote liberal if they would just leave the NBN alone.

      • As I Kevin would also vote Liberal if they weren’t going to change the NBN.
        Heck if Labor’s Fibre plan is out dated then Liberal’s plan must be back to the dinosaur ages.

    • Out of date…..right…..
      Considering in the last week they recently reached speeds of 73.7 terabits per second on fibre in lab conditions. They have terabit commercial links NOW. They haven’t even cracked 3 terabits in lab conditions for wireless yet, where reciever and base station are on the same desk.
      Facts Bev. Get some!

    • @Bev, this is the tired of rhetoric that Alan Jones and his band of idiotic and ignorant sycophants bleat mindlessly.

      The NBN as it stands currently is the best infrastructure project since the Snowy River scheme.

      It’s no surprise that Australian conservatives are spreading FUD about the NBN, they didn’t want the Snowy River scheme either.

      Turnbull’s empty promises of building the NBN cheaper and sooner are just all piss and wind. For months myself and other ICT professionals have been asking for both a sensible debate with Turnbull and costings.

      To date he has offered neither.

      • @Mudguts

        ‘The NBN as it stands currently is the best infrastructure project since the Snowy River scheme.

        It’s no surprise that Australian conservatives are spreading FUD about the NBN, they didn’t want the Snowy River scheme either.’

        Which is interesting as the Snowy Scheme was started in 1949 and ended in 1974, during that time the Liberals and the National Party held power from 1949-1972 the peak construction period, Labor (under Whitlam) had it only for the last 2 years.

        Also the time the Snowy scheme took to completion of 25 years is not a omen for the NBN I hope? :)

        • “Which is interesting as the Snowy Scheme was started in 1949 and ended in 1974, during that time the Liberals and the National Party held power from 1949-1972 the peak construction period, Labor (under Whitlam) had it only for the last 2 years.”

          What’s your point here alain? If you do have one that is.

          Just 10 minutes of googling shows that your comment holds no substance. Here are so facts on the scheme taken from here http://www.australianhistory.org/snowy-mtns

          “However the plans were put on hold, revived once in 1937 and 1944 and it wasn’t until 1946 where the Federal, Victorian and NSW governments joined together to investigate the possibilities of a Snowy Scheme. In 1949 the Government accepted a proposal and the Snowy Mountain Hydro-Electric Power Act was passed in Federal Parliament in July 1949. The Snowy Mountains Authority came into being on August 1 of the same year led by Sir William Hudson, a prominent New Zealand engineer.”

          The history of Australian federal elections shows that the Coalition was in power during the 1937 period, but were defeated in the August 1943 election. Therefore the Coalition failed to get the project off the ground during their two terms in government. However, during the following two terms under Labor (August 1943 to December 1949) they were able to accept the proposal and pass the legislation allowing the build to proceed. With the Snomy Mountains Authority established in August 1949, the plan was well underway when Labor lost the following federal election in December 1949. At this point the new Coalition government stuck with the plan, instead of dismantling it – despite their initial opposition and failure to get it off the ground.

          Therefore, your implication that simply because the Coalition were in government during the peak construction period, that they ‘wanted’ the scheme is complete bollocks. It was the Labor party, in conjunction with state governments, that got the project started in the first place.

          If successive governments scrapped or dismantled any tough piece of legistation or nation building infrastructure when things got hard, nothing would ever get bloody built because governments typically change over every couple of terms… while large infrastructure projects have construction schedules that run for many years, not to mention the numerous years of planning that go into them before this stage.

          So the point is, when a piece of nation building infrastructure is proposed and construction of the project is well underway, it is absolutely moronic for successive governments to cancel them when the vast majority of experts within the field support the project and correctly identify it as a necessary piece of infrastructure for the good of the nation.

          This is the difference between the Coalition governments of old, compared to the current opposition. Even the Coalition back in 1949 didn’t cancel the Snowy River project when they came to power, and neither should the current Coalition cancel the NBN when they (most likely) come to power.

    • Good one Bev, you are really channeling your inner Turnulll there. Please read the history of the project, most of the one liners that the typical Liberal mouth pieces use are easily rebutted with a little reading and knowledge on the subject matter.

    • Nominate a technology that will supersede fttp.
      Nominate where Kevvy EVER stated fttp (and i emphasise fttP not the initial fttn RFP) would be done by 2013

      There is no superseding tech, and even in the unlikely event a new standard was sprung on us it would not be in a usable form for many years, certainly not before large chunks of the nbn is completed anyway. Do tell us what it is, I’m agog. And before you say wireless I suggest you read up on spectrum limits, that will not supersede fttp. Sorry Bev, if there was a better tech don’t you think the geekerati would be all over it and spruiking its benefits, so they could get their hands on it? The fact they are not kind of suggests its either outrageously expensive – compared to fttp – or it simply doesn’t exist… I suggest it is the latter.

    • Disclaimer: I would vote for the Coalition if they kept that NBN as it is.

      It’s funny, because the situation is the complete opposite of what you said, Bev… GPON technology can be upgraded for minimal cost by just upgrading the boxes at either end (the cost of installing the fibre in the first place is huge, but that is mostly the labour and the optical fibre itself). 10GPON (10 times faster – speeds up to 1Gbit at the endpoint) is becoming available now (I think it’s going to start rolling out in new sections of the NBN in 2014), and 40GPON has been announced. I would expect that the network will be upgraded to 10Gbit connections in the next 15-20 years if the Coalition doesn’t destroy it. Unlike copper, the fibre we’re putting in now will still be as good as new (it doesn’t corrode) and will be able to be upgraded even further.

      Now take the Coalition’s plan – HFC will have to be ripped up and replaced to get better speeds. FttN nodes and the copper to the homes will have to be ripped out and replaced to get better speeds. To get the speeds we will require in the future, we will eventually have to install a fibre to the premises network, so while a FttN network may be cheaper and faster to install, it is quite literally a *complete* and total waste of money. The Coalition’s plan is the actual white elephant here.

      (In case someone was going to mention wireless – it is a non-starter for highly populated areas, even though it can be very high speed – because spectrum limits mean we would have to build towers every few hundred metres to get enough capacity)

      FttP is the only future proof technology here. Your comment, Bev, is total BS.

    • I don’t really want to do Bev any favours here, but in 1993 the big technolgy firsts were (as per Wiki our source of great knowlwdge – really?):

      March 22 – The Intel Corporation ships the first Pentium chips
      March 31 – A bug in a program written by Richard Depew sends an article to 200 newsgroups simultaneously. The term spamming is coined by Joel Furr to describe the incident.
      April – Release of the Sibelius music notation program, developed by British twins Ben and Jonathan Finn.
      April 22 – Release of version 1.0 of the Mosaic web browser.

      Apart from the fact I actually remember all that stuff it does show that we have moved on dramatically.

      Now don’t get you knickers in a twist, but most seem to laud the NBN because it offers some sort of ‘future proofing’. BS really. In another 20 years its guaranteed that fibre optics will have two characteristics:

      1, Blindinging fast – probably in the 100’s if not 1000’s of Gbps for everyday household use, and
      2. We will have moved on to another technology.

      That’s just the way it works. JS guys.

      • 1, Blindinging fast – probably in the 100’s if not 1000’s of Gbps for everyday household use, and


        2. We will have moved on to another technology.

        Incorrect, relies on the following presumption: all major technology advances have been revolutionary. Incorrect, all major technology advances are in fact evolutionary.

        We can’t accurately predict (ever heard of a future prediction getting everything 100% right?) where the evolution will take us, but we know that it will be based upon permutations of already developed technology.

        • NightKhaos I really don’t want to argue on this. But in 1976, or there abouts, I spent some time on an IBM PC with what could only be called a childs version of Excel, by todays standards. In 1990 I spent some time on a PC with a revolutionary 40MB of hard disc and 640KB of memory. When I started in IT in 1974 I worked on a corporate mainframe, for Australias largest company at the time, that had 512KB of memory and it was not far past state of the art, well at least for a company known as CDC. My point is simply this, I’ve seen ALL forms of digital capability change over 40 plus years and the change has been dramatic. You can argue evolutionary versus revolutionary, but simply I don’t care. I am more than confident that if the next 20 years continues on the growth path I have personally witnessed then we, neither you or I, can imagine today what will exist in 2033.

          • Don’t you see? You just proved my point.

            The change has been dramatic, there is no denying that, but it has been incremental improvement. Excel was just a series incremental improvement to that ancient program you used.

            They rely on the same basic principles. I don’t plan to predict what the future is going to look like, but I do know that it’s going to be based upon improvements to current technology.

            The idea that the technology behind the NBN is going to be rendered obsolete is like saying that someone is going to invent something to replace the wheel.

            It won’t be. There are examples of one technology taking over another, yes, but did man stop building carts and training horses for fear of the automobile? No.

            We can’t see an “automobile” forming just yet. Although we do have a bicycle competing with the horse, but not the wagon. If that metaphor makes any sense.

          • NightKhaos Evolution v revolution, I simply don’t care. My point was simply that in 2013 neither you or I can reasonably predict what will exist in 2033, based on the technology changes to date. Will FTTP be obsolete, I don’t know. Will mobile demand have so seriously outstripped wired demand to make FTTP an largely unused technology, I don’t know for sure, but likely. Is to claim that optical fibre is a ‘future proof” technology a true statement, No.

            I do know this. That in 2033 both you and I will be using digital communications technologies that we didn’t even believe possible today.

          • Don’t confuse the mediums and the technologies at either end. For every medium, there is decades of development for the technology at each end of the medium. Copper seems to have reached it’s practical limitations. Fibre isn’t there yet and it’s the best medium we have available today. Do we upgrade our technology at each end of the copper and lag behind other countries with our inferior telecommunications infrastructure? Do we continue with this method? Something new will be around in the future, lets just build a new network every 15 years? You speak of technology like it’s big, yet you don’t see value in keeping up with it. You would rather we stay at the back of the race, doing the bare minimum to keep up in our tech sector.

            Mobile wireless is already here. Fixed connections still account for the majority of the traffic transferred within Australia. Even with competing 4G networks the data costs over these connections are huge. Can you think of a good reason why? Wireless is relatively cheap to deploy compared to a FTTP network. If it’s the future, why wouldn’t they offer comparable quotas to compete with fixed connections? Congestion is going to be an issue with wireless for the foreseeable future.

  4. Careful guys…

    The party faithful here at Delimiter, as shown just yesterday, get all huffy and have a hissy fit when you dare go “off topic” (topic of course being NBN bagging exclusively)… especially when you start actually questioning MT’s alternative and wanting to know detail!


  5. So are we to guess that the current Liberal agenda is to savage the NBN in as fact free a manner as possible?
    I’m sure the mainstream media will provide willing support as usual.

    Australian politics is a farce and a tragedy for the population.

  6. “Mr Turnbull said the government was making “very little progress” on installing the NBN in what he described as “a horrible hoax”.”

    I’m surprised they are making some progress at all to be honest given they are not the ones installing it in the first place!
    I’d be conflicted if I saw Senator Conroy in my neighborhood pulling fiber through a duct. Should I punch him in the face for his firewall idea or shake his hand for the NBN? Hell I might find myself putting the hard yakka in giving the government a hand installing the NBN.

    • I think MT’ is looking to replace TA after the election, and the easiest way to do that is to make sure the one good policy from Labour is a big ticket item for the election. TA then loses the election and MT has a chance to take the reins back. MT is smart. He knows full well how to lose an election and still make it look like he is trying to win :)

      I also like how Labour sacrificed one of their most loyal to stop Kev from returning. Kev was never going to take the bait to take over from Julia, he knows the cards are stacked.

      Our politics are polluted with faceless men controlling everything, which is why Kev was pushed out (he wanted to have control) and TA and Julia are with us. TA and Julia are both merely figureheads being told what they are doing next. It is the sham that is Australian politics.

      I think everyone should vote independents and/or Greens (which ever you can stomach more, I realise a lot of people really hate the Greens) and put Labour, then Liberal the last on the ballot. This ensures we get the NBN, as Labour gets the vote before Liberal, and Labour’s stupid policies will never see the light of day, eg filtering the internet.

  7. I’m glad it wasn’t just me who got the feeling that Turnbull was in fact describing his own policy. I find my desire to continue following the NBN waning with each passing day. It’s far beyond farce now. I’m actually convinced that a FTTP NBN will actually end up costing the country at least $100 billion, but only because the Coalition will scrap it and will simply allow the existing network to decay even further, resulting in an even greater catastrophe.

  8. Actually I have several comments that went into moderation (still Waiting), I posted the first comment (when 0 Comments and clicked up to 1) in the wee small hours but never appeared , back to 0 Comments this am, however one comment did appear eventually. Also on another earlier Item that disappeared with status of comment unknown

    Methinks an agenda possibly, I hope not to deceive the readers

  9. The LNP has had 6 YEARS to come up with a plan and still has nothing.

    Talk about very little progress…

  10. Surely not a hoax. My friend in Melbourne just informed that she is now on a 100/40 connection with a 500gb data allowance. I am green with envy.

    “Connected to the sweetness of fibre optic internet at 500gb dl, 100mbps- thank you Labor!”

  11. Tell the employees and their families who work at NBNCo that what they are doing is a hoax. I doubt they feel the same given all the hard work and overtime they are doing to ensure the rollout targets is met. Quite insulting to them I’d think.

    Good work winning votes Malcom.

  12. So is the NBN a big as hoax as “Reds under the beds” that his Party pushed way, way, way back in the 50’s?

  13. Well he might be right, it is nearly close of business on the last day of March and no update to the 3 year rollout plan published yet !!!

  14. I think it is safe to assume we all like the concept of FTTP. Malcolm Turnbull is proposing an alternative in FTTN that he claims will be cheaper and faster to implement. The devil would seem to be in the details, and already there are a large number of questions raised even by comments above relating to some of these details.

    As far as I’m concerned the 2010 NBN Implementation Study did not go far enough in considering all the options seriously. Also, things have changed a little in the last three years. It is worthwhile making a reassessment, even if the result is renewed faith in the FTTP approach.

    Of grave concern to me is the digital divide caused by fixed wireless. We need to get past the headline rates of 25/5Mbps and start looking at the guaranteed service rates of 660kbps/150kbps to understand just how crucial this contention issue is likely to be. We also need to predict usage patterns a little, and this is easier to do now than it was three years ago as we have the benefit of an additional three years of progress.

    The 2010 NBN Implementation Study argued for moving the goalposts from the 90% fibre footprint to a 93% level on the basis that it was unreasonable to expect fixed wireless could provide improved performance compared to ADSL. Considering the RF contention issue as outlined above this would seem abundantly clear. Yet NBN has pushed fixed wireless by neglect of the contention issue and focus on the peak data rates. In many communities an upgrade of the ADSL infrastructure will provide ultimately better utility than fixed wireless. ADSL has a problem with distance from the exchange, but there are ways to overcome that. Fixed wireless has a problem with trees in the line of sight and there isn’t much that can be done about that.

    I’m sorry, but the fixed wireless “solution” is not an honest broadband solution. I readily admit that 25/5 Mbps is a bit on the low side to call broadband, but this is not where the problem lies. The problem lies with inability of all users to subscribe, and the major contention degradation in output to 660kbps/150kbps.

    In the local shire context (expected to be no different for many areas around the nation), there are fibre areas and fixed wireless/satellite areas. The vast difference in NBN service levels between the two will produce massive biasing of long-term growth, further stressing already stressed central town areas.

    Given the level of technical inferiority of fixed wireless, I believe that ALL other options must be fully canvassed. This has not been done to date, and I would like to see further national debate about options of FTTN coupled with VDSL (and vectoring). Importantly this should not be the only option for NBN-excluded communities. HFC, ADSL, and crucially community-backed fibre layouts and construction efforts should all be supported.

    At present NBN fixed wireless is coming into many communities many years ahead of fibre roll-out plans. This creates a Catch-22 where smaller communities are unable to access the NBN fibre extension scheme. I don’t believe such a scheme is a panacea for allowing communities to aid in the NBN development effort on a local basis, but locking communities out of even this option is nothing short of insane.

    We need to be building a nation. We don’t do this by forcing inferior outcomes onto large numbers of communities without giving the communities a real chance to consider other (very real) options.

    I worry that the cost of FTTP could be very high in the Australian context. However, it does provide the “Rolls-Royce” outcome, and despite predictions of some it seems hard to imagine that it will not last the test of time. If we need to draw a digital dividing line somewhere (such seems to be economically sensible), then we need to ensure that it is drawn as far as possible along the continuum as we can. We also need to ensure that the jump from one side of the line to the other is as small as we can possibly make it in terms of outcome.

    I believe that FTTN should be considered (in conjunction with other options) as a way of ensuring the effect of the new digital divide is minimised in every possible way.

    We can support true nation building by aiding digitally disadvantaged communities (NBN fixed wireless and satellite) to provide community-led initiatives. We have many communities looking to install new irrigation systems or gas distribution systems, or even sewerage systems over the coming decade or two. We should be empowering our communities to consider on a local level how best to provide broadband connectivity. As being done in other parts of the world, we should encourage local efforts to lay networks of ducting through which fibre can be pulled by the “experts” using specialist equipment such as air-blown fibre through microducts.

    I was fortunate enough to chat briefly with Malcolm Turnbull the other night. I am going to disappoint a lot of the Malcolm bashers, but I found him to be a breath of fresh air. In recent weeks I have been attempting to raise my NBN concerns at all levels including writing to Minister Conroy and copying NBN CEO Michael Quigley. I have managed to have a very illuminating meeting with a senior NBN engineer a few weeks ago. My concerns are very real, and having bothered to spend time reading things like the 2010 NBN Implementation Study Report and countless online comments and articles, I have to conclude Malcolm’s focus is sensible. I know he has gone through lots of iterations to get to his current perspective, and even this is far from fully fleshed out (see earlier comment about devil in the details). The same can be said to be true about the government. However, the government/NBN has massive resources to be able to throw at the issue to show the communities that their approach is well-considered and sensible. They have failed to rise to this challenge.

    It doesn’t seem difficult for local communities to get “NBN people” along to local meetings. They appear willing to turn up en masse. However it has been my experience that the people turning up to push the party line don’t really appear to have any sensible knowledge of the technology despite having a role of attempting to explain the issues to the community. The level of knowledge and comment that passes for “information” from the NBN side is facile to say the least.

    In a question to Malcolm Turnbull the other night I asked how we as a nation ensure that there is the appropriate level of academic discussion and national debate to ensure that whatever approach is taken going forward is the very best approach in a nation-building sense. To me this is crucial. The history of the NBN over the last decade (more?) has been one of swings and round-a-bouts. I am unconvinced to say the least, that either party has the equation right. How do we ensure that we make the best decisions? For one thing we need transparency and a willingness to justify decisions on more than a facile level of peak data rates such as 25/5 which is seen to be practically meaningless in the fixed wireless sense.

    Every man and his dog seems to claim 20 or 30 years’ experience in telecommunications and wishes to be seen as an expert. Many of the same people give the game away shortly after making such claims by showing their ignorance or misunderstanding of key issues. I don’t profess to be an expert (although my resume does read better than most in many ways), and I don’t claim to know the answers. I am however committed to attempting to uncover the answers and I do promise to do this going forward in a cooperative way with those others sharing the passion. As such I will attempt to reveal learning along the way in appropriate public arenas. We need to add to the communal knowledge pool. No telecommunications infrastructure is trivial, and making the “right” decisions is difficult, but we must ensure that all people have digestable access to the information they need to make their own decisions to ensure that political power brokers have the right messages from their constituents.

    With the coming election, the time seems right to progress these matters firmly now. I will be attempting to do so to the limit of my resources…

    • Just a minor point or two
      1) Wireless contention – very valid in the cellular mobile highly variable context, a fixed LTE cell is designed around a known number of connections. The trees, yes- an installation/layout issue. However the effect is partly frequency band dependant – one of the issues with the OPEL option as was using if I remember right around the 2.5Gb band, however less of an issue around the 700-1400Mb bands.

  15. Community initiatives – disclaimer, most of my extended family live rurally and are affected by this factor.
    Block size and community building layout are not necessarily conducive to a VDSL solution, let alone the condition of the copper and pits/pipes is usually far from optimum. Plus so many smaller communities are served by microwave links, not fibre for backhaul, as such capacity is limited unless fibre is provided and that is at great cost.
    Note iiNet are moving DSL equipment from exchanges where FTTP has replaced the need for the paid for equipment to poorly served areas which would have not been economically viable for a new install, win win , better service and increased customers to cut over to the NBN when it arrives.

    The community issues internationally are NOT undertaken by incumbents or NBN equivalents or federal/National Governments. It comes down to a cost/time factor. Those best equipped to investigate and act on this are the communities, councils/shires and State governments with benign assistance from Feds and NBN. The major issue there is adequate capacity backhaul – Note the Kneejerk Warnambool Fibre the Vic Govt is installing. The needs of the Diamantina Shire etc.The Warnambool Fibre should have been and I hope it is designed to pass thru as many communities as possible with as close access as possible to optimum mobile wireless tower and fixed wireless tower locations with multiple designed access points and a large fibre count, however there must also be designed redundancy so two fibre routes min as a loop. However a good beginning if intelligently designed in co operation with the NBNand the Mobile carriers, but the indication in the article is that they are now trying to flog fibres in the cable to the Mobile Carriers and the NBN which suggests no intelligent planning involved, hope I am wrong.

    So the point is we are not one eyed, we recognise the issues, however what is the role of the NBN?, even PMG/Telecom in it’s 80 year build had operational/install decisions to make. It is practical efficiency and providing that ubiquitous network framework in the most efficient practical over the long term manner, It is not a nanny state solution, greenfield development is open to all and that includes industrial and commercial precincts as well as residential developments of all types.

    It is worth considering factors in the NBN design which some call gold plating

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