Turnbull slams “dishonest” Labor NBN propaganda



news Shadow Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull has come out swinging against what he today described as “misleading and dishonest” material criticising the Coalition’s NBN policy and promoting Labor’s own, which prominent Labor MPs have started distributing to their constituents ahead of the upcoming Federal Election.

In a statement published on his website this morning, Turnbull gave three examples of misleading material which various Labor MPs had distributed over the past several weeks since the Coalition unveiled its rival NBN policy in April. The Coalition policy shares a large number of features with Labor’s existing vision, with the major difference being that a majority of the population will see only partial upgrades to their existing copper fixed-line broadband connections (fibre to the node); Labor’s policy is seeing the copper entirely replaced (fibre to the premises).

In the first example, Turnbull highlighted a letter sent by Labor MP for Adelaide Kate Ellis to constituents (PDF). In the letter, Ellis initially speaks in relatively generic terms about the rollout of Labor’s NBN, without mentioning the Coalition’s rival policy. However, in the second part of the letter, Ellis appears to make a number of statements which are either contestable or delivered without context.

For example, Ellis’ flyer states that a “standard fibre connection” under the Coalition policy would cost up to $5,000, that the Coalition’s policy uses “100 year old copper wire with slow speeds”, that not every household will pay the same price under the Coalition’s plan, that the policy won’t support “high-definition video conferencing for e-health and education”, and that the policy hasn’t been independently verified or costed, with “experts calling it a “lemon””.

Labor’s “superior model” would “give our kids access to the libraries of the world and boosts our e-health industry”, according to Ellis.

However, as Turnbull pointed out, Ellis’s statements lack context in terms of the NBN debate. It is true that the Coalition is envisaging that users will be able to pay a fee to have fibre extended all the way to their premises, but it is also likely that only a small percentage of end users comparatively will initially request this service, given the fact that the Coalition’s FTTN plan will deliver speeds of between 25Mbps and 100Mbps by the end of 2016 to most Australians by the end of 2016.

“Labor’s reference to paying for a connection is classic spin,” said Turnbull. “While we anticipate that for the vast majority of consumers in the areas serviced by FTTN the speeds offered will be more than adequate – most at 50 mbps or more, none less than 25 mbps – there is the technical possibility to run fibre to one or more customers in an area served by a node. In the UK this product, known as “fibre on demand” is made available for a fee. For a customer living 500 metres from a node, for example, the charge is GBP1500 or about $2,250.”

“Note that under our policy schools, hospitals, universities and anywhere that fibre is commercially justifiable will be connected to fibre, including Greenfield estates and business districts. FTTN is primarily a solution for cost effective service in residential areas. There will be no fee payable to the NBN Co to have a connection made possible there either.”

Ellis’s claim that high-definition videoconferencing and e-health applications will only be possible over Labor’s NBN infrastructure is demonstrably false. HD videoconferencing is actually already possible over much of Australia’s existing broadband infrastructure, and many e-health applications are already utilised in Australia. In terms of this kind of application, it is likely that there will be initially little difference between the Coalition’s policy and Labor’s policy, given that both will feature fixed-line broadband networks with high download speeds and good latency, even for time-sensitive video applications.

“Countries such as Britain and AT&T in the United States have delivered fibre-to-the-node and high definition video conferencing is being used as we speak,” said Turnbull. “In fact, Analysys Mason advises that bandwidth requirements for high definition video conferencing is a symmetrical 1.5mbps. BT in the U.K. is offering speeds of up to 76mbps downlink and 19mbps uplink over FTTN – well in excess of these requirements.”

“One of Labor’s repeated lies is to suggest that all of the benefits of connection to the Internet are only available via a fibre to the premises network. For example, the kids in Australia who are most disadvantaged by distance are of course those in remote Australia. Yet they will receive either a satellite or wireless service delivering 25 mbps under either approach to the NBN.”

Another letter (PDF), sent by Minister for Climate Change, Energy Efficiency, Industry and Innovation, Greg Combet, made similar claims. “Only Labor will connect the NBN to every single home and business for free. The Abbott Liberal plan will mean you pay thousands of dollars to connect,” Combet wrote, in what appeared to be a misleading statement. “It is critical that Labor’s plan for Maryland is not jeopardised.”

And in another letter, to the editor of the North Eastern Advertiser, Communications Minister Stephen Conroy claimed: “Tony Abbott would make families and businesses in north eastern Tasmania pay up to $5000 to get connected to the NBN – a connection that would be free under Labor.”

“Again, standard internet connections under the Coalition, offering speeds of up to 100mbps will be made available on the same terms as a fibre connection under Labor would be – no charge other than the usual fee to a retail service provider,” said Turnbull. “This is especially disappointing coming from Mr Combet, given he wrote a press release in March claiming the Coalition was engaging in a ‘hysterical scare campaign’.”

The letters issued by Labor MPs over the past several weeks don’t represent the first time such misrepresentations have been made with respect to the Coalition’s NBN policy. In the days after the release of the policy in mid-April, for example, former Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd made a factually inaccurate statement on Twitter regarding the Coalition’s rival National Broadband Network policy, falsely claiming that much of his electorate will see “zero upgrade” from the policy, when in fact the Coalition’s plan covers 100 percent of Australia, as does Labor’s own.

Shadow Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull immediately responded to Rudd’s false claim, stating on Twitter: “Not correct; Our plan will improve your area’s bband speeds by taking it from ADSL to VDSL – most would have 50 megs – 25 is the minimum.” He added in a follow-up tweet that 25Mbps was the minimum speed which the Coalition was guaranteeing under its predominantly fibre to the node plan — but that VDSL had the potential to deliver much higher speeds for “most customers”.

However, the Coalition has also made a number of misleading statements about Labor’s NBN project over the past several years. In one of the more blatant examples of misleading commentary, Federal Shadow Education Minister Christopher Pyne inaccurately claimed on national radio in October that the National Broadband Network has not connected any customers at speeds of 100Mbps, despite the fact that in fact, 44 percent of NBN customers connected to the project’s fibre infrastructure at that point had taken up such speeds. There have been several dozen other similar examples over that period.

Similar to the misleading infographics distributed by Labor MPs over the past several weeks, an infographic currently published on the Facebook page of the Liberal Party of Australia misrepresents Labor’s policy. It conflates Labor’s initial, $4.7 billion policy outlined in 2007 with its reformed 2009 policy, falsely alleging a blowout from $4.7 billion to $90 billion in the project, and a decade-long project timetable extension.

Turnbull’s right — Labor MPs are currently out there making a number of misleading statements about the Coalition’s NBN policy. The $5,000 claim for getting fibre connected to your premises is being made constantly now, and I can’t even be bothered counting or reporting the number of times it’s being made. Put into context, this claim can be justified, but when you consider the fact that most of the population will doubtless be content to remain on fibre to the node instead of paying to upgrade, and that many Labor MPs are not putting the claim into the necessary context, it constitutes a misleading allegation.

Of course, what all of this means is merely that the shoe is a little bit on the other foot for the Coalition, which has been doing its best to slander Labor’s NBN with a series of inaccurate and misleading allegations over the past several years. It’s a little hypocritical for Turnbull to claim the high ground of truth and justice when it comes to depicting NBN policies accurately, when the Coalition has spent the past several years filling the airwaves with a series of misleading statements about Labor’s own policy — and it continues to do so.

I’d like to see both sides of politics cut out the spin and get back to what’s really important here — accurate policy debate, and giving the electorate fair accounts of the various policies out there so that people can make up their own mind. If politicians did a little more of this and spent a little less time trying to score slag-points on the opposition, the general public might stop seeing the entire political class as a den of infamy and scoundrels.


    • +1
      You beat me to it Stephen!

      Turnbull you are the king of spinning, I commend you as a politician.
      It’s just a shame that the interests of the nation are outweighed by the LNP’s need to oppose.

    • +1
      There was really nothing overtly wrong with the comments being made by Labor as you stated above for FttH which is the same service it will cost between about $1000 to $5000 to get connected under the Liberal plan and who knows the ongoing service costs. While not everyone needs this service it is the cost needed to get an equivalent connection.

      His second point is even stranger he confirms that what was said is true in the first sentence if what was said was true why are you trying to say it is not?

      for the third The flyer claims that our policy “doesn’t support high definition video conferencing for e-health and education” whereas Labor policy “Gives our kids access to the libraries of the world and boosts our e-health industry”.

      He provides a table showing the upload and download speeds needed the upload speed needed for a single connection is recommended 6Mbps with what he has said he will provide 25Mbps down and ~1/4 of that upload so 6.25 Mbps so maybe possible if the other person is nearby but once you take into account network losses were talking about much less so much so that HD video conferencing may not be possible and using the connection for anything else in that time will kill it instantly.

      • This is something that no one seems to call Turnbull on, that if the same “assumptions” are made against the Coalition’s plan, it still ends up being the same price. Apart from the $94b figure being completely false, the data used to support this claim is both stale & irrelevant. The articles referenced in the Coalition’s background documents are over 5 years old & most are from conservative think tanks that are being paid to show that FTTP is not feasible.

        All in all, Turnbull has lied to voters for 3 years & is now crying about some home truths being told about his plan. While the claims are being made without context, so are all the claims the Coalition have made to date.

        Turnbull knows this is an election losing issue & will continue to change what he’s saying about the costs & how people will be serviced. The truth is, in the UK people are paying anything from £2000 to £5000 for an FTTP connection, not exactly the £1500 that Turnbull is claiming.

        In the end, the lies catch up to you. While I hate invoking Hitler, he did get this right:

        “Make the lie big, make it simple, keep saying it, and eventually they will believe it.”

        Something Turnbull should learn, lots of complex, small, changing lies do not convince people.

      • @stoffs

        Actually, they’re not. They have copper bottoms for better heating capacity and homogeneity.

        The pots themselves are usually stainless steel. They’re “future-proof” under all conditions :P

  1. I’m not sure if we would be content accepting fibre to the node but the prospect of paying 2 thousand to run fibre will be unjustifiable to most of the average income earners. So I feel Malcolm is telling a half truth there

    • I’d be quite willing to pay up to 5G for a fibre connection despite being on the aged pension just to have a reliable phone+internet service. Mobiles here are barely functional.
      But please Mr Turnbull what will my monthly service charges be under your FTTN or most likely fixed wireless as I’m 6 K distant from a semi-rural exchange?
      I presently pay $40 plus $30 line rental (using VOIP as the regular phone calls are barely audible) that’s $70/mth just for an ADSL1service that peaks at 1.2Mbps.
      Looking at some of the plans currently on offer from the cheaper ISPs on the NBN I could get 25Mbps for around $55/mth & dispense with line rental of $30. That brings my costs down to $25/mth!

      Looking at the costs incurred in maintaining a copper delivered FTTN service with subsidies for satellite & wireless as well as competition in the profitable metro areas from rival networks is it first to be subjected to a CBA? Are you going to run at a loss? Hit the users with steep increases such as has happened with electricity? Or sell it off lock stock & barrel to the highest bidder ASAP? (Telstra will have a spare 11 billion no doubt)
      From what I read on the subject VDSL will eliminate our choice of service providers.
      Why the Coalition’s NBN alternative will likely cause a broadband monopoly:
      So are we to continue paying top dollar for minimal quota & be at the mercy of just one provider such as has been the case for many on Telstra?

      • @Grump3

        The Coalition’s plan for FTTN will be no different from the NBN in terms of RSPs. You will be able to order from any provider and NBNCo. will be the wholesaler.

        I agree FTTN is unlikely to be a good choice, but that doesn’t change the fact that under the Coalition plan, NBNCo. will still be the monopoly wholesaler, just like now.

        • @ seven tech:
          “The Coalition’s plan for FTTN will be no different from the NBN in terms of RSPs.”

          I would hope so but my understanding from the info in the link I provided led me to believe that each node would only accommodate a single provider due to VDSL noise/line competition thus creating a monopoly?

          • @Grump3

            Yes, that’s correct. Same as the FTTH GPON NBNCo. are using. Only one wholesale operator. They use a bundling method called Bitstream which uses Tags on the network traffic to differentiate each users traffic across the shared network. The same will occur in FTTN.

            Many incumbents, though, do what you said, only providing wholesale VDSL port access from the cabinet meaning anyone who wants to compete has to build their own nodes or wholesale from the incumbent at uncompetitive prices compared to the incumbent. That is not happening in the Coalition’s plan.

  2. I can’t say I am really surprised at Turnbull’s reaction. He obviously firmly believes everyone should do what he says not what he does.

    I am entirely with you Renai, I am sick to death of the continuous spin from all the political parties and would love to see some substantial and factual policy information without reference to any of their opponents proposal. Unfortunately I have doubts I will see it in my life time.

    • As I, I’m sick and tired of the spin from both parties. :(
      What ever happend to what’s best for the people.

  3. I’m not sure if we would be content accepting fibre to the node, but the prospect of paying 2 thousand to run fibre will be unjustifiable to most of the average income earners. So I feel Malcolm is telling a half truth there. There is a big difference between reluctant acceptance and contentedness

  4. “I’d like to see both sides of politics cut out the spin and get back to what’s really important here”

    Don’t hold you breath.

    Politicians have long realised that a large proportion of the population is not interested in the political debate, unless something affect them directly. This is why we get slogans, lies, half-truths (statements out of context) and promises that can’t be kept. Those, uninterested or uninformed, unfortunately, are often the ones that decides the results of elections.

    • What guarantee is there that I will receive my 25Mbps?

      Is there anything which can put my mind at ease and prove conclusively that these will be the actual speeds received and not just the theoretical. What level of service will be deemed unacceptable and flagfall for rectification works to take place?

      If the answer to these questions is that 25 Mbps is guaranteed for each and every household, I can see this being enough to win over a significant number of voters come the election.

      If the truth is along the lines of 25Mbps theoretical but say 5 Mbps being the flagfall for rectification actions, then I can’t see many being swayed by the LNP NBN.

        • What is the guarantee, though? What legislation will back this? What is the technical definition of this 25mbs – is it sync rate? What if it falls below 25mbs and you can provide evidence, such as in wet weather – if techs test it during dry weather and the sync rate is higher, will you be forced to live with it? If your sync rate is lower than 25mbs will you automatically be eligible for a fibre upgrade?

          • This is my concern as well. I actually live in KRudd’s area, and i will get around 19Mbps on a good day (ADSL) per testing on SpeedTest.net

            However, as soon as it rains, my connection starts to slow down and get extremely flaky.

            I have already had techs out 3 times in 18months when the line has gone completely. Living near the river means every single comms pit in our street is 3/4 full of water.

            Which is why I think FttN is a piss-poor solution.

            The copper infrastructure is rooted in this country, and building the Coalitions solution does not seem to address this at all – it is just building a house of cards on a patch of sand.

          • The guarantee is that if Australians don’t get 25Mbps minimum then they can vote out the Coalition at the next election.

          • @KingForce

            That is not any sort of Guarantee. At all. And if that’s all they can offer us, then they cannot call 25Mbps the minimum, when it cannot be guaranteed. If it is not either:

            1- Enshrined in legislation OR
            2- Enshrined in the technology

            It cannot be considered a guaranteed minimum.

            That’s like buying a car that’s “guaranteed” to use less than 6L/100km…..until you drive it off the freeway at normal speeds and it jumps to 12L/100km. That’s why they brought in the city/highway cycle to average them.

          • this is absolutely true – there are no guarantees, especially if there is some kind of Campbell Newman style landslide win to the libs – they dont tend to be pulled back in only one electoral cycle; and you will be stuck with them for longer than youd like. be very very careful what you wish for in this election. to be quite frank it seems people are dinging Labor for the leader, when really to lose that leader all that has to happen is she loses her seat. internal ballot takes place and a new frontispiece goes on.

            admittedly some other folk like Wayne Swan will be torched as well. but to get the thing that most people seem to want – the redhead OUT – they dont need to do a landslide to the libs; thats completely superfluous. so for me vote the Libs in by all means but for the love of god, dont give them a landslide, especially if you want to reserve the right to put them out after one turn if theyve mucked it.

            as to the tech, i dont feel there are guarantees at either the min speeds or max speeds end of the Coalition plan. certainly not at the moment. but id be all ears if there was some kind of legislative enshrinement; that will pique my interest to see fielded and rather interesting to see how it works in practise, should they put one up.

          • Don’t take Campbell’s victory as a watermark. That was 2 major factors

            1 – LNP finally had a leader that was popular
            2 – Labor SOLD off assets, specifically QR and stuck a Knife in the backs of their most ardent supporters.

            The Coalition probably would have won with just the first one. They got the landslide because of the second.
            QLD was well overdue for a government change.

          • And Queensland is just full of nutcases. They don’t have regular elections there, they have one party winning massive landslides, then over a couple of election periods, they gradually slide back to level, before going on a massive landslide the other way. Repeat ad nauseum.

        • Also, if they have a 25 Mbps minimum for everybody, I can see four outcomes, from a technical perspective, to achieve that. 1. One is to replace copper with fibre. 2. One is to replace copper with copper. 3. People for whom the copper cannot be remediated (a fair fraction of the population) cost-effectively, they’ll be put onto fixed wireless. 4. Decrease upload speeds and increase download speeds in exchange.

          I’m quite sure option 4 will be quite popular.

          • I’m sure I heard Malcolm Turnbull say his 25 Mbps on corroded copper to 100% of urban premises was guaranteed, or you get a free voucher for a Big Mac.

        • They haven’t been very clear about how solid that “guarantee” is. I don’t think they even use the word because by its very nature it would be a best effort service.

          What I think is interesting is how in the Coalition’s “propaganda” surrounding this they’ve described the speeds on both as “25-100Mbps”. Then magically by 2020 theirs is 50-100Mbps while Labor’s is still 25-100Mbps. Stretching the truth a bit there, probably even moreso than the Labor “propaganda” as described in the article.

          • Yep…the 25Mbps is a goal, not a guarantee :/

            And to be honest, I think Ellis is actually more accurate with her claims than Malcolms “$94 billion and 2-5 years over” claim. Heck, she didn’t even need to leave out the context to make the FTTN plan look second best, there are still a ton of holes in it.

  5. turnbull’s own words “there is the technical possibility to run fibre to one or more customers in an area served by a node.”

    technical possibility.
    one or more.

    so fibre on demand is not a given. how many fibre connections will the node allow in total? once these are all taken, tough luck for those that want it???

  6. What I’d prefer to see our political “leaders” doing is being more proactive in being bipartisan on Australia’s broadband future.

    On both sides they need to stop acting like children and start taking our economic future much more seriously. Pulling minerals out of the ground isn’t going to sustain us forever so the NBN and Gonski reforms are more important than ever.

    If Labor really wanted to corner the Liberals they should offer to have Treasury cost their NBN policy including a predicted cost of upgrading each home (in the FTTN footprint) to FTTH on the assumption that no home would be more than 500m from a node. That could then be used as a comparison against the Labor NBN policy and hopefully they could reach an agreement on how best to implement next generation broadband infrastructure across the country.

    As a voter I’d like to see our political representatives stop playing at being an artful dodger and instead get on with the jobs they were elected to do. I’m not afraid to direct my vote towards an independent and if others were prepared to actually think about who and what they vote for instead of mindlessly voting Labor or Liberal then perhaps these wasteful games might stop.

    • @Mike

      Labor don’t need to offer Treasury. There’s the Parliamentary Budget Office which was setup for that express purpose. However, TREASURY doesn’t model 30 years infrastructure plans (that’s why Labor had the KPMG Implementation Report), so it wouldn’t be any good for the Coalition.

      If they were serious about it, they would sit at the table with Labor AND Telstra and actually talk about the state of the copper and where FTTN WAS actually feasible. Instead of random, all-encompassing talk of “Most” people will get over 50Mbps. Which is a complete guess.

      • Telstra and actually talk about the state of the copper and where FTTN WAS actually feasible

        Telstra are not going to have an honest discussion on this as it would diminish their bargaining power if there is a change of government.

        All comments from Telstra will mimic the CEO line from the other week “the network is able to do that speed”

        • In fact I doubt whether executive levels within Telstra actually know the state of their copper network, they quote their fault levels which are on the USO, voice service product. A little fudge the figures at and near the coal face to ensure KPI’s and performance figures are maintained, important factors for employees contractors and line managers, just a quick swap some pairs and mark off as no fault found.
          However the extent to which that network could support VDSL is moot and the great unknown to us and I suspect Telstra management as well. Look at the amount of pit and duct remediation they are having to do, severely dinting the value of the lease, if they knew the state of that infrastructure I suspect they would have dealt their cards a little differently.
          I know Telstra is hoping for FTTN to save the most expensive remediation costs of the local loop infrastructure. Then some Turkey orders a fibre service – what will they do – string it off the power poles?

          • Theres a big difference between a fault on a voice service product and a fualt on a data one too. The only figure I’ve seen was “14+%”, but that would only be for those services that can actually get a data connection, and though it’s only anecdotal, I know an awful lot of people that can’t even get an xDSL line who wouldn’t even be factored in to that “14+%”….

  7. Labor aren’t the only ones being “dishonest” about the LNP NBN proposal, the LNP launch info-graphic contained lies about the LNP proposal including what I would call at least one outright blatant lie about their proposal.

  8. Personally I’m deeply disappointed that the federal ALP are stooping to the same levels of disinformation and ignorance they have been accusing the LNP of for years. It is fairly easy to make compelling arguments for FTTH NBN over the short sighted FTTN proposal while remaining factually accurate. The LNP’s history of flagrant dishonesty on this topic was a moment all arrow in the ALP quiver, but this kind of behaviour completely undermines their credibility and levels the playing field so they’re both arguing from the quagmire of dishonesty, misinformation and flagrant voter manipulation. IMO the ALP need to decide honesty is the most important tool they have, come up with comprehensive policies and authorised press releases and statements and come down hard on any members deviating from this.

    FFS Labor you can’t beat the LNP at their own game, they have a lot more experience, money and media support to beat you to death with it. Your only hope is to actually do something different, like, you know, sticking to the truth.

  9. MT “offering speeds of up to 100mbps”

    KE “under the Coalition policy would cost up to $5,000”

    Seems both right to me

    • It’s not just the 5k figure, it’s the claim that 5k will be required for connection to the NBN, which is untrue because the LNP definition of the NBN is not purely FTTH (to be honest, due to the inclusion of wireless & satellite, the ALP definition of the NBN isn’t FTTH either). They needed to include the qualifier ‘fibre’ or ‘FTTH’ before NBN to make that statement accurate. They also needed further detail to claim FTTN couldn’t support ehealth or video conferencing – both could have been true statements if adequately qualified without losing any of the impact of the original statements or excessively over complicating the message.

      • Read the article and the source materials and not just the replies.

        “A standard fiber connection will cost up to $5000”

        On E Health and video conferencing we don’t know what the LNP will deliver because they have only told us 1/2 the story. On the 6mb/s for the a full HD stream mentioned earlier and the ASSUMPTION (because we haven’t been told) 1/4 of download for the upload speed it might just cut in at the 25mb/s connection. But again we have no guarantee of anything There is more to delivering these services than the video and audio stream and there is a lot to be said for knowing the option of a very high bandwidth connection is there at a negligible increase monthly cost for the period it is required or on separate dedicated connection from the NTU. The debate seems to have been about “the internet” and “internet speeds”, which is fine for the LNP because they is all they are delivering but in the long term the Labor NBN puts in place the infrastructure to enable so much more.

        • “Read the article and the source materials and not just the replies”

          From the article: “Greg Combet made similar claims. “Only Labor will connect the NBN to every single home and business for free. The Abbott Liberal plan will mean you pay thousands of dollars to connect,””

          Fact: The ALP claimed it would cost $5k to connect to the NBN when they should have said it may cost as much as $5k for FTTP extensions on top of the FTTN as envisioned by the LNP’s proposed NBN plans. I’m no fan of the LNP’s FTTN proposition, I think it’s ludicrous and will do tremendous damage to the country’s future communication infrastructure prospects, but this is about ALP honesty and trustworthiness when making statements on the topic, and that kind of thing is exactly the kind of misleading omission the LNP have been doing, and the ALP have been complaining about, for years.

          • If you read it again, but think if a fibre only NBN it makes more sense:

            “Only Labor will connect the (fibre) NBN to every single home and business for free. The Abbott Liberal plan will mean you pay thousands of dollars to connect,”

            And then it’s factually true. I’d like to think it’s an honest mistake on his part (like many others he probably thinks of NBN=fibre, where it doesn’t necessarily), but only he could say for sure.

  10. Exactly, what “guarantee” is in place…

    If you only reach 20mpbs is that going to trigger fibre to your house for free? or is that just going to be good enough take it or leave it your on the NBN now….?

    What happens if rain drops your speed below 25mbps, is that going to trigger upgrades?.

    If your apartment building has bad wiring, and cant support 25mpbs, how are they going to fix that when nbn’s responsibility will ends at the basement?

    But most importantly, whats keeping the coalitions NBN from actually following up speed complaints that dont meet this minimum. what timeframe will faults be resolved? in fact what timeframe would fibre on demand be? months? years?…

    How can Turnbull state a “minimum” with nothing to declare how it would safeguard those who wont achieve this speed which will be a common place problem with people to far away from the node or poor last mile copper.

    • While reading your post I’m thinking that a Liberal government would give people an incentive to sabotage Australia’s communications network. Destroy/remove enough copper in strategic places at 2am in the middle of the night, get free fibre for your neighbourhood.

      Very illegal.

      But if the government creates a situation where you’re distant from the node and can get 400 Mbps or 40 Mbps at a reasonable cost instead of 2 Mbps upload and save thousands of dollars and there’s basically no risk of getting caught, then this may be an outcome.

      Not advocating it at all, not least of all because of seniors who need to rely on a fixed line service for medical reasons – this could have the indirect theoretical consequence of having a person’s well-being if not life on your conscience.

      But if you set up an incentive whose benefit may be in the thousands or maybe in the tens of thousands for these things for free, people will do things under a much lesser moral compass than might otherwise be the case.

      • I thought this was an obvious outcome weeks ago, but have held off discussion until the LNP actually come out with some details whereby they clarify exactly what is guaranteed, what that guarantee means and what the criteria are to qualify for a free fibre upgrade. Without that detail all discussion remains speculation.

      • I had wondered if a 2am walk with a pressure pack connected to a spear and injecting a rather low pH substance might assist in the aging process of the copper.

        • You bad, utterly horrible, despicably bad person of no moral conscience.

          AKA hero. Depends. It’s a thin line.

        • Doesn’t everyone fertilize their nature strips to keep the verge’s nice and green?, of course that nice little shrub does need spikes and a protective little fence

    • “If you only reach 20mpbs is that going to trigger fibre to your house for free? or is that just going to be good enough take it or leave it your on the NBN now….?”


    • M.T has promised every pair will be tested, better be after a wet spell or fun and games

  11. I think its a bit ingenious Renai to be saying that the propaganda is wrong – considering A: 25mbps minimum will be a technical limitation (best effort) rather than guaranteed minimum with upgrade possible, and B: That the coalition has NOT categorically dictated price on how much fiber will be to connect if you need it. Considering current metro Fiber install prices around around the 3k-6k mark, I’m not going to call Labor out on this until the coalition actually releases a detailed and guaranteed policy.

    • “That the coalition has NOT categorically dictated price on how much fiber will be to connect if you need it.”

      Deliberately so.

      If they don’t give a price, when it turns out to be “$6000” or “$5000”, they can say – (without lying) – “we never said it wouldn’t be that price”.

      You’ll notice that during their Fox Sports-staged NBN announcement, Malcolm only committed to “a few thousand dollars”.

      Nothing specific. Just a politically-oriented sound bite.

      And the average MSM pleb ate it all up.

      Like the quote from Good Morning Vietnam: “We’re back. Here’s the news. All the news that’s new and approved by the US Army.”

  12. C’mon Renai, you are bending over backwards to give the Coalition a favourable hearing aren’t you? Over 40% of NBN fibre customers have selected 100Mbps NOW. For the Liberals to supply 100Mbps NOW means FTTP which means an out of pocket expense for the customer. So it is reasonable to imply that if you are one of the >40% of customers that want 100Mbps now, then you will incur a multi thousand dollar fee for a fibre drop, and I haven’t even considered the number on 50Mbps now have I?? 6 years before they get a 50Mbps service under the coalition plan…and in 6 years will they want to be on 50Mbps? Or does this all just illustrate the customer’s value for money under the current FTTP rollout?

    • @Sean

      Actually, only 33% are connected to 100Mbps. Read the Senate Hearings for the Joint Committee. But the point stands.

      However, I think you’re being unfair to Renai- Labor MP’s clearly ARE using missing context and exaggeration to demonise the Coalition Policy. The fact that the they had it done against them by the LNP is irrelevant- that’s stooping to their level (though it doesn’t give me a certain satisfaction Turnbull is getting a taste of his own medicine….)

      The fact is, this debate is getting tiring….because it ISN’T a debate about what’s best for the country. It’s about what’s best for getting into government. On BOTH sides. You don’t build a policy to get into government. You build a policy that’s good for the country and SHOW you’ll implement it FOR the country as a good government. Even Labor could modify the NBN to allow at least the possibility of FTTB in some small % of difficult MDU’s. And consider FTTN for part of the last 7%. That would go a LONG way to silencing major technical issues on the project (other than rollout speed). But they are just as bad as the Coalition at politicking their policy.

      I’ll be glad when the election is done. At least then we’ll likely know the direction finally. Even if it is stupid, wasteful and short-sighted…..until the next Election of course…..dear god this could go on for years….

  13. Stop Lying Malcolm !!

    You state that the “Coalition’s FTTN plan will deliver speeds of between 25Mbps to 100Mbps.”

    It will NOT. Your 25Mbps is a theoretical speed and may only achieve this if you are 5meters from the Node over copper. The true speed most users are likely to achieve will be much less.

    For instance, I currently have what is sold as “22Mbps ADSL2+ Service”. The maximum speed I have ever been able to achieve is 3Mbps during non-peak periods, and 1.5Mbps during peak periods. This is because of the use of copper wire and distance from my house to the Node (4.5km).

    Distance is not an issue with Fibre. Of course you know this !!!, so stop the propaganda and lies by quoting speeds that 95% of people wont be able to achieve.

    If I could get 25Mbps, I would support your policy.

    • Thats not true Steven. Copper can handle much more than 25 Mbps, its a matter of what technology is in place at what point.

      Simple summary is that the shorter the distance, the more copper can handle. Any analogy is flawed, but think of copper as a highway that loses lanes as you go along. 100 km stretch of hwy, copper starts losing lanes at the 10 km mark, while FttN starts losing lanes after 60 kms. FttH doesnt lose any lanes the whole way, and leaves room for more to be added later.

      For FttN type copper distances, around 80 Mbps should be the upper limit – have seen 100 Mbps, but thats been perfect lab conditions. That doesnt mean you’ll see 80 Mbps at the full 500m distance from the node, but it does mean you should see better than 25 Mbps, and I expect that if the copper is good enough you could guarantee 50 Mbps the whole length as well.

      Right next to the node you should be able to see 80 Mbps, possibly a little more if the line quality is good enough (as it probably needs to be to provide 50 Mbps), but the “guarantees” need to cover the expected full 500m length of the copper portion.

      If you havent seen me comment on this before, a sibling is a world expert in this field. This comes directly from them.

      For me, there’s nothing WRONG with The Turnbulls plan. The numbers they claim are fine, and for the most part pretty accurate. The issue is what happens in 5 or 10 years when FttN doesnt do enough.

      The Turnbull expects us as individuals (actually, as home owners for the most part) to pay for public infrastructure. If you rent, are you going to pay the $2500-$5000 to put a fibre line in? There’s 80% of the population right there that potentially misses out.

      • I agree with your explanation however

        25Mbps Coalitions FTTN is possible in theory only subject to very optimistic assumptions .
        100Mbs NBN FTTH is possible in practice with no assumptions.

        • What I’m saying is that those 25 Mbps speeds arent as optimistic as you think. We arent talking about 2 kms of copper, which is what drives the speeds down from 24 Mbps for ADSL2, we’re talking 1/4 that t worst, with better technology squirting the data down the fibre tubes and onto the copper.

          If you rolled out the FttN DSLAMs now, we’d be seeing 80 Mbps speeds for those closest to the exchange. But very quickly the interference would drive the speeds downwards, and after 500m (note: 500m is a guess) the benefits arent there.

          Point being, the combo of shorter copper lines and newer tech in the exchanges means that 25 Mbps or 50 Mbps isnt an optimistic number. For the copper loop lengths we’re talking about its the very real minimum.

        • The 25 Mbps is a randomish number picked by Malcolm to give his plan a baseline, VDSL2 can actually get up to 100 Mbps, but thats within about 100 Meters of the node, by 1 Klm it’s down to 24 Mbps (http://www.thinkbroadband.com/guide/fibre-broadband.html).

          On the other hand, FTTP GPON cables operate at full rate (1 Gbps for the current NBN) for distances of up to 20 km.

          Makes me wonder what magic he’s going to use to get FTTN to use 10,000 less nodes than the current FTTP systems using…

      • Gong Gav,
        isnt the 500m line maximum only touted in the second roll out phase? there has been some calcs done on whirlpool and often quoted here that the expected rollout method would be install half the nodes in the first term of government and then infill to increase speeds (shortening the maximum copper length) during the second to meet the two speed points in the plan.

        Depending on the actual line lengths in the real world your highway analogy should include ADSL1/2/2+ as the lanes dissapearing are at similar intervals on longer line length.

        A ssomebody on a estimated 3.9km phone line i am worried about the the node lotto that will still be in place for at least the first 3 years.

        • Quite possibly. I’m not the expert in this, my sibling is. It could well be that the 500m length is enough to guarantee 50 Mbps, given the DSLAMs at the exchange.

          I just know that copper IS capable of more than ADSL speeds, and that it comes down to the length of the copper lines. 1 meter lengths have shown to transmit at incredible speeds for example, but thats hardly beneficial to us.

          FttN takes advantage of the fact that the shorter distances allow for more speed from the ageing infrastructure, so as a last gasp option, it was a good one. I’m very much in the FttH bandwagon, but that doesnt mean I’m not going to recognise that FttN doesnt have the flaws people seem to think it does.

          For the short term vision they’ve taken, it WILL deal with our needs. Its in the mid to long term that it falls down, and falls down very quickly. By my own simple estimates, that falling down will happen some time around 2025.

          So to me the question is whether its worth the cost for 6 years of benefits (and I dont think it gets close), with the followup question being why should we pay for public infrastructure out of our pockets. Thats why we pay our taxes in the first place.

        • @Pandyman

          We’re not quite sure, butthe Coalition’s plan is based on doing approx. 65% of the FTTN footprint (about 45% of premises) between getting in to office and 2016 (I’m assuming end of). This 45% will be the “least served” so excludes HFC areas (although we’ve no idea what will happen in them in the meantime in terms of wholesale/upgrades etc.). This footprint SHOULD be the full placing of cabinets- ie whatever distance is chosen as the goal- 500, 700, 900, whatever- will be done in this area. After 2016, the HFC areas will be covered, bringing in the final 35% of the FTTN and the last 30% of the total FTTN footprint covering premises with the same length loops. 22% FTTH is supposed to continue in there too, about 12% of which will be Greenfields by 2020. So about 10% will be covered by FTTH in “bad copper areas”….though I’m not sure how they can relate this to NBN areas already done by then (about 3-4% of premises minimum, dotted across the country)

          Fact is, Turnbull has indicated he expects to gain ’50-100Mbps and beyond’ speeds by 2019 using technological upgrades- ie vectoring, bonding, phantomming and possibly G.Fast ( the last of which would require shorter loops). That’s, in my eyes, ridiculous. While the UK has produced an average speed of 41Mbps on FTTN so far, it seems unlikely they’d be able to get MINIMUM 50Mbps (which is what Turnbull is saying by 2019) by simply adding more vectoring type technology onto the system. There is a law of diminishing returns and I think the Coalition will find WELL before 2019, the extra expense of continual upgrades to force higher speeds across the same lengths of copper is not worth it and FTTH should simply be rolled out enmasse.

          At which point, we have the NBN….a few billion dollars more expensive and 2-3 years longer than it should’ve taken…..

          • Usually as the technological efficiency improves the line length shortens. Look at VDSL vs VDSL2, at 500m it is the older standard that is faster. In reality you’re looking at closer to 450m to get 25mbs over VDSL2. The only way they’ll get that 50mbs is using bonded pairs, and again that relies in the copper not having degraded.

  14. The 25mbps is disengenious and does not cover minimum upload speeds as well. I sync at 3.5mbps on my ADSL line on a good day – this drops in half during the wet weather (metro area, but over 2kms from the exchange). We also have HFC cable on in our street, so my understanding is that our area won’t get VDSL and I’ll be forced onto cable, and by extension potentially locked onto Telstra’s pricing model. Since the rest of the street will likely migrate onto the service, by extension this means during peak perioods I will not receive 25mbps as it isn’t possible to guarantee this on cable.

    So by extension, the only way the Coalition can guarantee I will get an NBN experience is to deliver FttH, but my understanding is that this won’t happen due to the overhead cable in my street and I’ll have to fork out a few grand to connect, a cost that is likely to be over the $5k mark ($2250 for 500m from the exchange; multiply by four and it’s in excess of $5k).

    So for me the ads from Labor hold true to degree – the only way I’ll be able to get an NBN connection under the Coalition is to fork out thousands of dollars potentially in excess of $5000 (the Coalition has provided no costing and has not defined the scope of the rollout for a situation like mine, so that’s what I can draw from), and I’m in a well-populated suburb.

  15. So… basically situation normal….

    I for one am sick of both sides of politics being filled with bullshit weasel words that are only slightly above outright lies.

    It would be nice to see some actual integrity amongst our elected leaders. Instead of this automatic bash the oppositions stance even if we have to make shit up to do it.


  16. “I’d like to see both sides of politics cut out the spin”

    Just a few days ago the Coalition released plenty of spin, the following line I had particular issue ( and was re-published on delimiter without any analysis/opinion given to correct the spin:

    “One of the advantages of abandoning Labor’s “one size fits all” strategy and instead following a flexible, technology agnostic approach is that we can take advantage of improved technologies as they become available”

    Really? If you abandon Labors policy – you can take advantages of improved technologies?
    So if you keep Labors policy – You are unable to take advantage of new technologies that allow Terabit fibre connections that has already successfully been tested?

    Classic spin, a clarified statement would read:

    “One of the advantages of abandoning Labor’s “superior technology fits (almost) all” strategy and instead following a flexible, inferior technology agnostic approach is that we can take advantage of improvements to the inferior technologies as they become available”

    Spin is here to stay though and with the help of friendly media (outside of delimiter and ABC) the Coalition is easily winning the spin war.

    This is how I see it the situations minus the spin:

    1) Price of NBN is irrelevant if we can verify that they both return a positive ROI. Who cares what one is cheaper – or how much it costs if it truly returns a positive ROI?

    2) Fibre is easily the best choice – so far NBNCo rollout is having so many issues that we really need to independently figure out if this is a temporary hiccup – or one that is going to destroy the fibre ROI.

    3) FTTN is better than doing nothing.

    4) Saying ?Mbps is more than enough is such a useless opinion. We can live without the internet if we so choose and some communities do. Let us all concentrate on the best outcome and find some realistic independently verified analysis of both policies.

    5) At this point in time I cannot see FTTN being rolled out significantly faster than FTTN due to the time factors involved in changing skill sets and legal contracts. (It would certainly be faster if both projects started at the exact same time).

    6) Both NBN plans need to consider NBN availability/pricing for transport, I have read several articles promoting this and it makes a lot of sense – and neither NBN currently deal with this.

    7) Price should not be a factor… (see point 1) But if it was a factor… I certainly cannot see FTTN being cheaper based on the basic claims of both parties… And I think this article sums it up best:

    Anyway – I agree with you Renai. Kill the spin!!!

  17. “Ellis’s claim that high-definition videoconferencing and e-health applications will only be possible over Labor’s NBN infrastructure is demonstrably false. HD videoconferencing is actually already possible over much of Australia’s existing broadband infrastructure”
    This is patently untrue. I’m on a pretty decent connection relative to the national average, and I can’t even manage a 1080p downstream let alone upstream. It’s not HD videoconferencing if you can’t upload fast enough.

  18. How can the coalition policy guarantee 50 – 100 mbit over VDSL in 5 years time?

    I’d say there is a small majority who are capable of achieving those speeds now due to the decaying copper, so is the coalition going to be replacing copper to houses to guarantee their 50 – 100mbit promise for the future?

    From everything i have read there has been no mention of upload speeds, This is quite important for HD (or even SD) video connections. If you max your upload speed out with a 540p (about 3mbit/s) video conference, nothing else can be utilized on that connection while the video conference is active, How can this be considered to suit the FUTURE needs of Australians? What about in 10 years time? will we still our upload rates still be dwarfed by our down sync speeds?

    Downlink speeds mean nothing without suitable uplink speeds.

    If this crap policy gets through, i’ll definately be paying the extra for my house to be hooked upto fibre! but thats just what Turnball wants.

    • It’s in the fine print:
      – 50Mbps to 90% of services.

      Who thinks more nodes to upgrade from 25Mbps to 50Mbps when all they’ve every talked about is Vectoring?

      No: 2nd tranche will ONLY be software update: Vectoring.
      And a sh*tload of money to Alcatel/Lucent…

  19. Of the significant percentage of people signing up for the 100Mb/s service on the NBN how many would have shelled out $2-5K if that’s what it would have cost to get the same service?

    Presumably they have a use for the bandwidth made available. Perhaps it was for the 40Mb/s upstream which FTTN can’t replicate.

    Would the takeup have been so high had the LNP initial costs been in place?

  20. i for one are glad they are stretching the truth, give the libs a taste of the own medicine!

    In an ideal world neither side should lie and they should be held to account but we don’t like in an ideal world :(

  21. I’m a bit tired of spin from both sides. There has been just as much spin coming from the the FTTP camp as there has from FTTN camp. Mostly because people in the FTTP camp will say anything to make sure that the current best technical solution continues to be rolled out without acknowledging or spreading FUD about the actual technical facts of the FTTN.

  22. I’ll repost what I said On Malcom’s blog of propaganda.

    Would you stop misleading Australians on fraudband. Your doing mass Propaganda yourself.

    Heck, your not even doing the same network UK with BT.

    Your doing Fibre to the Node, vs BT with Fibre to the Curb (more fibre).

    Spending $30 billion dollars on copper network which should have been done 5+ years ago when Telstra was being sold by Howard Gov.

    But even the great John Howard could not do a deal with the American CEO.

    You also lack details on FTToD product pricing, upload speeds, future proofing, and so forth.

    Who controls what, how much will we end up paying for the copper, how will users in rural be better or worse off under your plan, is there any detailed work being done before the rollout of FTTN including maintenance, remediation of Telstra ducts and pits, maintenance reporting, current address allocations, location of all local loop copper, location for powering the cabinets, testing of of the existing local loop for maximizing of the speeds, removing technology blockers such as Top Hats, Rims, Sub Exchanges, CMUX, and other technology blockers.

    Will your Fibre on Demand product be regulated? Will ISPs be able to add their profit to Fibre on Demand as well? or will both be regulated?

    There is only $1500 dollars difference between the estimates given by Quigley for full FTTP and your original $900 so called estimate that you provided already.

    You also forget to mention that Cabinets require electricity, in the UK they regulate the electricity rates for cabinets.


    Elsewhere Openreach are also advising ISPs of an increase in the price of energy usage per kWh from £0.0905 to £0.1151 for all comingling products utilised for LLU, Access Locate and Access Locate Plus.

    Also with BT rollout they charge “distance-based construction charge” that means for every meter they will charge the end user or business.

    The upload speeds on FTTC in UK is 20Mbps, while AT&T in the USA will have 10Mbps on their new expansive plans (which is $41 USA for 3/1 connection all the way upto $121 for 75/10).

    Both are “upto” services and “best effort”.

    How do you plan to guarantee upload speeds?

    Also BT Fault reporting was 5Mbps (down) and they reduced that down to 2Mbps (down) now – shows how confident they are of their network.

    You like all politicians lie and dispute on facts.

    Technical details cannot be lied to.

  23. While you may be able to argue they are being misleading they most definitely have nothing on the coalition on this matter.

    The point about not supporting HD video conferencing is very valid. Upload speeds on FTTN are a big question mark but if you look around the world they are generally far lower than on fibre and malcom turnbull keeps on responding with that the NBNCO will decide. There is a very real chance that people further away from the node will not be able to do HD1080 video conferencing.

  24. Maybe some enterprising soul here can put together a brief and try selling it to MP’s. Many people here have a much better grasp of the issues than your average person.

  25. “Put into context, this claim can be justified, but when you consider the fact that most of the population will doubtless be content to remain on fibre to the node”

    How do you know this Renai? It’s not as if you’re unaware of the state of the copper network…

  26. “turnbull’s own words “there is the technical possibility to run fibre to one or more customers in an area served by a node.”
    technical possibility.
    one or more.
    so fibre on demand is not a given. how many fibre connections will the node allow in total? once these are all taken, tough luck for those that want it???”

    OK. I am sure that all of you network gurus are quite aware that the standard that is GPON (The ITU-T G.984 Gigabit-capable Passive Optical Networks) standard describes a SHARED network resource that supplies a SEGMENT at the capacity of 2.488/1.244 Gbps. So given Labor’s sales pitch last week, how are the going to roll out not just 100Mbps for all, but now 1000Mbps for all? Does that mean that to offer QoS 1000Mbps a GPON SEGMENT will not serve 32-64-128 terminal end points as is standard, but will serve 2.5? THAT is a lot of passive splitter cabinets to buils! What happens to people that live in a hi-rise that contains 100 apartments? They will need 40 GPON segments to service that one building.

    A lot has been spoken here about “How am I guarenteed 25Mbps”. Well, you are not. The same as GPON FTTH. GPON is a SHARED network resource that is subject to congestion and contention like all other SHARED network media. The network planners use statistical methods based on “near enough is good enough” and not everyone is going to be logged on at the same time. Typical historical shape of internet traffic wich is “bursty” rather than constant. NBNCo are not handing out guarentees that if you purchase 100Mbps you are ACTUALLY going to GET IT! They can’t offer that QoS SLE. It’s impossible. Unless you chuck away the current network design and the tiny bit ow work done and start running out point to point OFT ethernet. You will not get a lot of change from $400 BILLION on that project.

    Wanna see what a BRAND SPANKING NEW FTTH GPON looks like? I purchased 30/1.5 Mbps.

    All of you network gurus should really learn a little about the subject before the snide and “ever so expert” comments come forth.

    Mark Addinall.

    • Actually, you need to learn networking.

      Yes we know all technologies are actually shared, but the point we are making is best value for money.

      That right there is FTTH.

      The Contention ratio for FTTH is much lower than FTTN, and Cable networks.

      Your splitting your compacity with 32 other users on the splitter.

      Also, your bandwidth is always upto your provider.

      That won’t be solved under any network design.

    • Also might add the NBNCo Core Network isn’t complete, and is not scheduled to be completed by end of 2015.

    • Actually pretty much everyone here already know that furthermore if all 32 users are on 100Mbps and try to use it at the same time to full capacity you will only get 78 Mbps but this is unlikely to occur so 100Mbps is basically a guarantee you also have a number of people on lower speed tiers which means in normal circumstances this will never be a problem.

      Gigabit is different but that assumes than you can never upgrade the backhaul or GPON which you can quite easily and if you are maxing out all the connections then new GPON and better backhaul are commercially viable and will be installed.

      Also your attitude is pathetic.

    • why you quoted me and didn’t actually have any input on my quote, I don’t know.

      Then you paste results of a fibre network that isn’t of NBN design and we don’t know how many users are sharing from a distribution hub.

      my questions were valid as MT has not stated how many people can have a fibre on demand connection. He also says it’s a ‘technical possibility’, which to me, means that, you could or could not get it, no guarantees.

  27. Coming from the man who pulled alternative costings out of his arse for Labor’s NBN plan then spruiked that figure to the media like it was proven fact.

    Fight fire with fire I say.

  28. When it comes down to it, IT’S WHO DO YOU TRUST, you dont have to trust Labors NBN because its being delivered and used at this very moment. On the other hand the Coalitions NBN is all hot air.
    A bird in the hand is better than 2 in the bush, Ill take the bird in the hand and what a bird it is compared to the Coalitions dead parrot.

  29. “Turnbull slams “dishonest” Labor NBN propaganda.”
    Ha, ha, I laughed my head off at that one Renai.
    Coalition have been doing this since the NBN has started. Honesty is the best but the Coalition deserve a little bit back of their bullshit.

  30. If Malcolm will guarantee me 25Mbps, I’ll be happy. But he won’t, and I don’t expect he’ll deliver anything to me by the end of 2016.

    On the other hand, the NBN will deliver up to a gigabit connection. It may be a little later than 2016, but I know it’s happening – whereas I have every expectation that the Coalition’s NBN lite will turn out to be a “non-core” promise.

    It’s incredibly rich for the Earl to be calling “liar, liar”.

    • @Stephen H

      I agree with most of that. If I could really be guaranteed a 25Mbps by 2016 and 50Mbps by 2019 and FURTHER upgrades beyond that, then I’d say “well, at least we get something, if not the best”. But none of it is guaranteed. And until it is in legislation and I’m seeing everyone who’s connected first getting 25Mbps every time (not, total, just DOWNstream) it’s nothing but a political promise.

      That was the thing that made Labor’s attempt so feasible- guarantee 93% of the population 100Mbps because the fibre you’re using does it inherently. I’m a value consumer- I’d be happy with 50Mbps on the NBN for LESS than I pay for 8Mbps of ADSL2, I don’t need 100Mbps yet. But I EXPECT to get 50Mbps when I pay for it. Not 35Mbps, because I’ve paid for 50 but my line isn’t capable of it.

      This isn’t the late 90’s anymore. “Up to” is not something to strive for.

  31. Why hasn’t anyone asked Malcolm who will be paying for the new VDSL modem that every household will need to get >25Mb? It certainly didn’t seem to be factored into his $900 per house.

    Also – Renai, one of Malcolm’s quotes in your article states that HD vid conferencing requires ~1.5Mbit each way. How “much of Australia’s existing broadband infrastructure” is able to provide upload anywhere near 1.5Mb?

    • @Andy

      one of Malcolm’s quotes in your article states that HD vid conferencing requires ~1.5Mbit each way. How “much of Australia’s existing broadband infrastructure” is able to provide upload anywhere near 1.5Mb?

      For a start 1.5Mbps is not enough for actual HD teleconferencing. That’s Skype. Skype isn’t HD teleconferencing. But Mr Turnbull would never admit that.

      Second, technically HFC is capable of 2-3Mbps upload. Many get much lower. But if you counted those able to get HFC, you’d be talking about 5-10% of premises. And those with Fibre or VDSL, another ~1%.

      • 1.5 Mb is Skype/Messenger with your grandma in Dapto that drops out and buffers every 10 seconds and is in such low quality you can’t tell if its her or a cabbage patch doll.

  32. We don’t know if will even cost 5000. More or less

    A guy in Adelaide requested “fibre on demand” during the NBN trail and was quoted more than $5000 figure

  33. What shits me, Renai, is that you are always going on about requiring ‘evidence based reporting’ and yet you quote “given the fact that the Coalition’s FTTN plan will deliver speeds of between 25Mbps and 100Mbps by the end of 2016 to most Australians by the end of 2016.”

    It is NOT a fact. It is a hoped-for, could-be, probably won’-be hypothetical statement. A dream, if you like.

    But certainly NOT a fact. Plese, tell it like it is.

    “given the possibility that he Coalition’s FTTN plan will deliver speeds up to 25Mbps” might be far closer to the truth.

    • I agree Mike, Turdballs exact words were ’25Mb at the start and ‘maybe’ 50mb by 2016 and ‘maybe’ 100m at some unspecified future date’

      Crucify them for what they have said – there is more than enough material there. Not that 99% of the MSM cares……

    • The only FACT that can be relied on is the speed and reliability of Fibre To The HOME. Copper just has too many variables and it even changes over time.

  34. I had to stop reading a few paragraphs in – the unmitigated gall of Turdball to whinge about someone ‘misrepresenting the truth’ when he and his pelican mate rAbbott have been deliberately lying to the Australian public for the past 3 years.

    I’m deadset speechless he can even try and have a sook now.

    Un- effing- believable.

  35. Renai writes….”given the fact that the Coalition’s FTTN plan will deliver speeds of between 25Mbps and 100Mbps by the end of 2016 to most Australians by the end of 2016.”

    Sure…from your own recent article…:

    ‘Corrosion drastically impacts BT FTTN speed’
    ( http://delimiter.com.au/2013/03/11/corrosion-drastically-impacts-bt-fttn-speed/ )

    ““The CTO and Co-Founder of business ISP Timico UK, Trefor Davies, has called for a “total network rollout” of true fibre optic broadband (FTTP) services after highlighting how corrosion on his copper BT telecoms line had caused a recently installed FTTC service to drop from an average speed of 53Mbps to just 6Mbps (Megabits).”

  36. The claim that users will have to pay $5000 to get a fibre connection under the Coalition’s FTTN plan is NOT made out of context. Anyone following this debate will know exactly what context is being referred to. Turnbull has made this admission publicly on several occasions. To Jon Faine on radio the extra cost to get his FTTN s connection up to FTTP equivalence is “several thousand” dollars. He’s been blurring this figure ever since, but never substantially denying it.

    Furthermore, Turnbull continiues to p[eddle his own falsehoods, such as that his FTTN network will deliver a minimum of 25mbps in all cases – with no exception. That’s a total nonsense for those who may be situated very distant from a node, where common sense will tell you that the speed would be only determined by empirical testing.

    Finally, your own statement: “The letters issued by Labor MPs over the past several weeks don’t represent the first time such misrepresentations have been made with respect to the Coalition’s NBN policy.” sounds to me like a biased opinion, not a reportage of any fact. So raise your editorial standards please.

    • @dedalus

      “The claim that users will have to pay $5000 to get a fibre connection under the Coalition’s FTTN plan is NOT made out of context.”

      The claim isn’t that users will have to pay $5,000 to get a fibre connection under LNP FTTN NBN, it was that users would have to pay $5,000 to connect to the NBN. Period. From the article: “Greg Combet made similar claims. “Only Labor will connect the NBN to every single home and business for free. The Abbott Liberal plan will mean you pay thousands of dollars to connect,”

      As I said in my previous comment, the ALP claimed it would cost $5,000 to connect to the NBN when they should have said it may cost as much as $5,000 for FTTP extensions on top of the FTTN as envisioned by the LNP’s proposed NBN plans. I’m no fan of the LNP’s FTTN proposition, I think it’s ludicrous and will do tremendous damage to the country’s future communication infrastructure prospects, but this topic is about ALP honesty and trustworthiness when making statements to the public that are meant to inform the NBN debate, and this kind of behaviour is exactly the kind of misleading omission the LNP have been doing (and the ALP have been complaining about) for years.

      Look, seriously, a lot of you need to take your friggen blinkers off and see the world for what it is – the ALP aren’t above criticism, they’re not some kind of revered demigods just because they have the better broadband policy. Yes, they have the better policy here. Yes, they generally have the better policy in most portfolios. Yes, they’ve been victim to a long running misdirection, misinformation campaign from the LNP and their corporate and media sponsors. But they are also capable of getting it wrong, and they have done so here and it does hurt their credibility.

      But at least it has happened relatively early in the day and it has come from some minor backbenchers. The ALP need to recognise just how damaging this sort of thing will be to their credibility going into the election and strive to run a clean campaign from here on in. There will be a lot of people voting for them simply on the basis of their disgust for LNP tactics and dishonesty, but they will lose that vote if people are equally as disgusted with ALP behaviour.

      It also doesn’t help when you’re trying to convince people that the NBN Co slips are minor and they can be trusted to deliver – if you start questioning the honesty of the ALP, you will start questioning everything they say including the NBN targets, forecasts and plans.

      • I don’t consider it all that dishonest.

        The NBN refers to 93% FTTP. That’s the NBN. Before any revision following an election in favour of the coalition, NBN means 93% FTTP. Nothing else.

  37. Siff….Turnbull.

    Your just jealous that Labor have the better plan and you cant accept it. GIVE ME MY FTTH you penny pinching no good truth twisting sleazy politician.

    There is nothing dishonest about a Broadband Network which is better in every way than what you have planned for our country I dub thee FRAUD BAND.

    FIN – Rant

  38. Ain’t no way teleconferencing in HD is going to run with a 1.5Mbs symmetrical, at 1.5Mbs ABC IView won’t run properly and it’s along way from HD. It’s going to need around 10MBS symmetrical the various DSL’s networks are always going to have up and down linespeeds depending on noise, to do HD video stably without buffering lines would have to run at 10Mbs slower than 6 buffering would occur. The codekkers promise better result but codec’s aren’t reality they are an approximation of reality which may be fine for teleconferencing, video but if reality (medical or education) is required images can’t be codekked if a doctor want’s to see reality.
    Codec’s are a video compression technology, compression means bits are left out and in the reassembly are approximated.

    • + 100
      There will be increasing applications where ACCURATE reality is essential.
      We now have 3D printing of body parts and organs using the subjects own cells and DNA in a very primitive state, the goal of replicating actuall working organs, there is massive research involved with this. We don’t know the applications and how and when it can be used. One thing, can’t be dependant on approximations

  39. The various line lengths and quality of copper and connections and interconnecting analog equipment make any guarantee difficult to argue by Turnbull. So who is fibbing or telling half truths?

    My ADSL2+ connection varies wildly, depending on weather, crosstalk, noise, all sorts of variables.

    The only way to guarantee a good connection is to roll out proper and complete infrastructure right across this great nation: the NBN with fibre to the home.

    Fully interactive medical applications with 3D cameras and sensors IN THE HOME require predictable UPLOAD speeds and low latency and Turnbull is just using conventional HD video examples to fool the casual observer.

    The majority of us want this job done properly and we installed Labor into government for this purpose. Labor also did other things, but that should not detract from the brilliance of the NBN rollout.

  40. BTW there will be a live debate between Turnbull and Conroy on the subject of the NBN at 9:45 EST Monday morning here.

    • It was very interesting.

      I don’t think I’ve ever seen Malcolm so….flustered? Angry? Conroy really got to him…

      • Yes, it is notable he doesn’t like to be challenged. When it happens, the smooth talking operator morphs into a bit of a vindictive bully.

  41. First off lemme just say im biased, i want to work in the IT industry and i want that industry to have a future…
    It amazes me how they yammer on about all this crap and they dont even have the facts right:

    1. The NBN originally proposed was $15 billion with $4.7 billion being the govnts contribution

    2. 25Mbps over copper lines as a minimum is laughable, if copper lines are able of sustaining signal why am i paying for 24Mbps right now and only getting 6Mbps? 3 reasons:
    -Signal Interference, prone to outside EMI sources
    -Line quality, my lines are at least 30 years old
    -Signal propagation, depending on the distance you are from your exchange (node) will determine speed

    Liberals plan fails miserably to address these issues, so what happens if you live 3-4kms from the node? cant stay copper you gotta pay for fibre if you want decent net, $2250 x 6-8 = between $13500-$18000

    Theres a great discussion forum on whirlpool.net.au that discusses all of this, a guy ‘goresh’ went through and crunched some numbers:


    To sum up this link though:

    Labor (per month figures)
    $40 billion bond repayment = $389,760,000
    Worst case scenario* NBNco revenue earnt = $355,440,000
    NBNco data charges collected = $34,320,000 (or $2.86/customer)

    *doesnt include gigabit, wireless, or phone only plans and an assumption around 60% will takeup plans on the lower end of the scale.

    Libs (per month figures)
    $30 billion bond repayment = $292,320,009
    Revenue earnt = $309,960,000
    Copper maintenance costs = $83 million
    Electricity = $3 million

    Revenue – Costs = $223,960,000

    Data charges collected = $68,360,000 (or $5.69/customer)

    Thought they said it was going to be cheaper?… they cant even afford to pay back the bond on a monthly basis without charging more, we’re getting a substandard network, and at the end of the day for saving $7 billion now we end up paying another $40 billion + over the course of the next 7-8 years when copper needs replacing.

  42. “The $5,000 claim for getting fibre connected to your premises is being made constantly now, and I can’t even be bothered counting or reporting the number of times it’s being made. Put into context, this claim can be justified, but when you consider the fact that most of the population will doubtless be content to remain on fibre to the node instead of paying to upgrade, and that many Labor MPs are not putting the claim into the necessary context, it constitutes a misleading allegation.”

    For those not interested in fibre whether it cost $5000 or is free is irrelevant surely so I fail to see it is misleading. For those who DO want copper, since it can be justified, I fail to see the problem.
    If your copper is good enough and the length is short enough many WILL make do on copper.
    For those with bad copper connections however, it is likely that the runs required would be longer than the simple lead-in that Turnbull offered as an example and would certainly be in the ballbark figure of $5,000.
    Remember that the source used to calculate that $5,000 figure, BT’s fibre extention prices, was the exact same source used by Turnbull and so the contect is effectivelly the same.

    • In fact Turnbull set the context when he suggested we go look at the prices BT charged, well we did and that’s where the $5000 figure came from.
      Personally I agree, this is the worng context based on the Liberal Party NBN policy document.
      In that, the individual user pays the cost (presumably the whole cost at commercial rates since it makes no qualifications) while the government will pay HALF the cost for investors.
      In THAT context, $5000 is WAY too cheap. Around $20,000/km seems to be the rough average for laying cable as near as I can tell.

  43. I would love to see how Turnbull expects to get 100Mbps out of copper (or even 25Mbps) when it can barely support the speeds asked of it now with ADSL2+.

    It is subject to corrosion and degrades over time.

    Even so, with an absolute theoretical limit of 100Mbps, copper is not looking out for our future. Labor have announced that the fibre will support 1Gbps (no, not up to, a full 1Gbps for every household) and countries are already rolling out 2Gbps.

    We can’t even envisage the technology that will exist in 10 years, how can we say 25Mbps is enough?

    Turnbull needs to look at this intelligently and compare the saving of roughly $10B (if they do it on budget) to what it means to continue to use copper wire and how far that will put us behind the rest of the developed world.

    $1000-5000 might be pocket change for Turnbull and his Ozemail millions, but it’s not a realistic price to pay for the average worker to get proper high speed broadband.

    • “Labor have announced that the fibre will support 1Gbps (no, not up to, a full 1Gbps for every household) and countries are already rolling out 2Gbps. ”

      It will do a lot faster than that. Take a look at the documentation available on NBNco’s site.

  44. LOL @ the one-sided traffic of anti-Liberal political abuse above.

    Just do it. Shut down the comments section on NBN articles until after the election.

    • Yea that’s right, censorship is the answer when you don’t like what’s being said… Seriously? You think the Chinese model is what we should be following?

      We’re all adults (well, mostly) – we can handle what’s being said, even if some of it is a bit one-sided. I actually think it’s interesting seeing how narrow minded people can be, even people who are relatively well informed and would consider themselves to come to a rational and impartial decision based on all the evidence.

      Of all the one-sided, uncritical and biassed commentary above, however, yours stands out as probably the most virulent and idiotic.

      • You’d have to be terminally blind to not notice the comment sections of all NBN articles are full of political bile, close-mindedness and relentless negativity… that belongs to the dark side.

        Only a Sith believes in absolutes (fiber or nothing, etc). Delimiter has become a cyber haven for Siths.

        • “Delimiter has become a cyber haven for Siths.”…..and the odd genius with with strong liberal leaning and nothing else useful to contribute.

        • “You’d have to be terminally blind… “

          Really? I wasn’t aware blindness could be a terminal condition. I think this makes your comment… Yes, I do believe it makes it invalid.

          ” the comment sections of all NBN articles are full of political bile, close-mindedness and relentless negativity”

          I have noticed this, yes, but unfortunately we can’t just ban all comments from LNP supporters. We maintain hope that at least occasionally one of them will have a reasonable and valid point to make, rather than half truths, misunderstanding, obfuscation, misleading pseudo-engineering, faulty logic, unsupported beliefs and unapologetic trolling.

          • I wasn’t aware blindness could be a terminal condition.


            I’m not surprised. Plain obvious from reading tech blogs that low-level network admins/techies and the ilk have an extremely narrow education.

            We maintain hope that at least occasionally one of them will have a reasonable and valid point to make..

            Says the guy who can’t even convince his own in-laws on the supposed merits of FTTH NBN….

            laugh out loud

          • Oh, I see if someone in a newspaper says something stupid, you think it is true. And you have the audacity to talk about others having limited education.

            You are obviously here to provoke. I bet you go and tell your like-minded friends (if you have any) how you really show them at Delimiter.

            Well guess what? All you are doing is showing how immature and irrelevant you are. I could some suggestions about what to do to yourself but I won’t bother.

          • The usual tactic of those who can’t substantiate their argument based on facts falling back on personal attacks. Your posts and your opinion are invalid.

            Interesting how you are trying to attack the education of others in the same comment where you attempt to provide evidence for a terminal illness by linking to a SMH article where the title is a play on words, ‘terminal’ in this case meaning ‘sitting at a computer’. You still haven’t provided evidence for blindness being a terminal condition, which you can’t, because it isn’t. Blindness doesn’t kill people, falling down stairs kills people.

            As for ‘not being able to convince my in-laws of the benefits of FTTH’, that’s a misunderstanding of the problem. They agree that the NBN is a good idea, they simply fail to accept that the LNP will change anything once they get into power. They believe it will be business as usual, and won’t accept any evidence to the contrary. You can’t ‘convince’ the narrow minded and the opinionated with facts that disagree with their existing beliefs.

            Now go troll someone else where you might have some chance of not looking like a complete funking moron (I realise about the only way you could achieve this would be to pick on a 5yo on the Playschool website, but sadly I don’t think that kind of behaviour is below you).

          • I had the dubious privilege to see your post with references to “terminal” blindness before it got removed.

            Again, you show that you believe what is in the news but also what you read in popular science magazines.

            The accepted definition of terminal illness, from medical or legal sources, is an incurable condition that will result in death.

            The best of your links was the one from DNA india, the article claims that they found a cure for it but wait….it is terminal. Surely, if a cure was found it is no longer terminal.

            You should try to read the real scientific stuff, it could make you more humble and, in the process, realise that you are not the intellectual giant you think you are.

  45. I have 24Mbps ADSL 2+ right now, and I only get around 10 Mbps actually. They keep quoting the laboratory conditions. But why does nobody challenge the numbers on this FTTN?

  46. I’m sorry Renai, but there is a difference between being content and having no other option than paying $5000+ for FTTP.

    If someone had a choice of guaranteed Internet connection speed (as is avilable with FTTP) and then choose a specific speed, you could call them content.

    When all that is taken away and replaced with FTTN instead, it doesn’t make one content, it simply removes all other options and they are stuck with whatever their FTTN connection provides them.


  47. My New NBN Plan is Better than Turnbull’s:

    Telstra’s market capitalisation is currently 63 Billion dollars; I would propose Telstra be divided into 2 companies.
    Company (1) Telstra: Would own all mobile telephony, Foxtel and retail ISP/telephony operations, Sensis (directory operations) and a share of buildings currently owned by the Existing Telstra. (Market cap 33 billion)
    Company (2) NBN Co: Would own all Telstra ducts, pits and cables and a share of Telstra buildings and existing NBN Co assets (market cap 33 billion) (Australian government would recoup 3 billion for existing NBN Co assets).
    Under the charter for this company, the Federal government would contribute 3 billion dollars per year in new stock purchases at a fixed price for 11 years and end with 50% equity in 11 years.
    NBN co would sell IPTV channels, wholesale broadband/telephony services to all ISP’s at the same levels of pricing and the new company would build FTTH to the 93% of Australian homes, and satellite systems to the remainder.
    This structure has a number of advantages and has similarity to the Chorus build in New Zealand;
    1) The new NBN Co would have an existing income stream from infrastructure already in place.
    2) Would have a capital commitment equal to the commitments made by Malcolm Turnbull and Tony Abbott, but the equity structure and new company would already in place and already have a substantial shareholder base to oversee operating costs.
    3) Under a new Government the build could be restructured to make a faster build out in the major city CBD’s and densely populated high income areas close to the city centres, to provide a faster capital return rather than the low value and high cost rural build out being prioritized.
    4) Borrowing requirements for the new corporation would be much lower as an existing income stream would offset borrowings.
    5) NBN co would only install Fibre to the premises and then VDSL boards and equipment in the building’s telecom switch boxes. Private property owners (Strata Building’s and Offices would have to do their own fibre cabling, State Governments would legislate to allow majority votes to carry installation in buildings and require annual voting on cable installation, also allowing buildings to borrow and seek contributions to build the cabling.
    6) May allow a faster build out as The Private NBN Co would independently borrow to finance more lucrative areas being rolled out quicker.
    7) The New NBN Co would have a much better staffing and contractor arrangement already in place.
    8) No need for the Government to purchase any ducts, pits, cabling and buildings.
    Government could then sell its shareholdings at any time perhaps as early as 5 years down the line and if the financial situation of the new company is solid could sell its fixed price shares on acquisition thereby negating any investment. This would also allow Telstra to compete with NBN Co via its cable and Mobile services.

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