‘You’re a disgrace’: Turnbull slams lecturer’s accurate NBN analysis



news Communications Minister-elect Malcolm Turnbull has savagely attacked a University of Queensland lecturer for a seemingly innocuous article analysing rising online dissent towards the Coalition’s NBN policy, inaccurately labelling the academic’s article as “false” and “misleading”, and claiming that it was “a disgrace”.

Since the Coalition won power in last week’s Federal Election, a vigorous online movement focused on getting the new Abbott administration to abandon its own National Broadband Network policy and support Labor’s existing vision has been gaining force. Supporters of Labor’s vision argue that it will serve Australia’s long-term interests much better, as it features an all-fibre NBN, delivering a more reliable network and faster speeds.

The Coalition’s version of the NBN policy will see part of Telstra’s existing copper network maintained, in what is termed a ‘fibre to the node’ deployment. The model has been extensively and successfully deployed in countries such as the UK, but proponents of Labor’s policy have highlighted the fact that it offers limited speed boosts over currently available broadband in Australia (up to 100Mbps as a top-end limit), compared with Labor’s NBN, which will offer enhanced levels of reliability and speeds up to 1Gbps, coupled with significantly enhanced upload speeds.

Industry experts have consistently stated that they believe Labor’s NBN policy to be highly technically superior to the Coalition’s more modest vision, and having the potential to deliver Australia superior long-term outcomes in terms of service delivery and boosting Australia’s economy through productivity gains. In addition, questions have been raised about the extent to whether it’s possible to deploy the FTTN technology the Coalition is focused on in Australia and whether it will perform as the Coalition has claimed.

A petition placed on popular website Change.org on the issue following the election, demanding the Coalition reconsider the FTTN technology and focus on the superior FTTP option, has already garnered in excess of 240,000 signatures, with tens of thousands more Australians putting their names to the issue every day.

In addition, an online poll taken by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation this week showed Australians overwhelmingly believe focusing on the National Broadband Network should be Prime Minister-elect Tony Abbott’s highest priority in his first 100 days in office, eclipsing issues such as education, the carbon tax, border protection and the environment.

However, in a statement posted on his website last week, Turnbull rejected the Change.org petition. “The promoters of this petition apparently believe that we should ignore the lengthy public debate on the NBN that preceded the election and also ignore the election result,” said Turnbull. “We should within days of the election walk away from one of our most well debated, well understood and prominent policies. Democracy? I don’t think so.”

Turnbull’s statement was immediately met by criticism by a number of online commentators.

In a post on The Conversation, University of Queensland communications lecturer Sean Rintel pointed out that furore had erupted on social media following Turnbull’s response and that the community was rejecting Turnbull’s stance on the issue. And opinionated online commentator and IT professional Kieran Cummings, who has consistently been a fierce critic of Turnbull and the Coalition’s NBN policy, accused the Liberal MP of “hypocrisy” on the issue, given that he had supported similar petitions in the past on other issues.

In response, Turnbull once again today went on the attack, publishing a statement yesterday rejecting the criticism which had been levelled at him.

The Member for Wentworth first attacked Rintel, who he accused of “misrepresentation” of Turnbull’s view. “His first misrepresentation is in the first paragraph where he writes that social media users “are mobilising against … Malcolm Turnbull’s claim that “democracy has spoken” on the issue of the NBN”,” wrote Turnbull. “I am not sure what the University of Queensland means by “Strategic” Communications, but I doubt they mean “false” or “misleading”.”

“Rintel put the phrase “democracy has spoken” in quotes intending no doubt to create the impression I had written those words – but I had done no such thing. Had he left the quotes out, readers may have simply assumed he was paraphrasing (in his own view) my remarks. But the use of the quotes deliberately sought to create a false impression, that the words in quotes had been written by me.”

“But then he goes on to refer to a blog post on this site in which I “also appeared to dismiss democratic debate outside of elections.” Nobody who read that blog post could have honestly or rationally come to that conclusion. Indeed I described the strategic review and cost benefit analysis of the project and the technologies available to complete as being “vital for the public to be fully informed”. Far from dismissing debate outside of elections I concluded by writing: ‘The NBN debate is not over – but I am determined  to ensure that from now on it is at least fully informed.'”

Turnbull said Rintel’s comments “would disgrace any of his students”.

“He deliberately sets out to create a false and misleading impression about my comments, putting words into my mouth I have not said and attributing to me a view as to the role of public debate entirely at odds with the express words of my own blog on the matter,” said Turnbull.

“Far from ignoring or rejecting the petition I have responded to it. I have also had a discussion with Nick Paine the instigator of the petition. He asked me a number of questions about our policy. I answered them and referred him to our policy documents and FAQs on my website which I encourage him and others interested in the issue to read. I have discussed our policy in numerous forums – in the media, at public meetings, on the web.”

Turnbull said the election did not close down debate on the NBN, and that Australians were “perfectly entitled” to urge him to abandon the Coalition’s NBN policy and take up Labor’s.

“… but they should not take offence when we point out that we did take a very detailed NBN policy to the election, that we won the election and that were we to abandon it a week after that election Australians would thing we had taken leave both of our senses and our integrity,” the Member for Wentworth wrote.

Turnbull claimed that “far too few people have ever taken the time to read” the Coalition’s NBN policy.

“As I have said many times, I believe our policy should be technology agnostic. There is no doubt that if time and money were irrelevant we would run fibre into every premises. But not even the Labor policy proposed to do that. The question of technology choice depends on many factors but notably the time and cost of deployment, the relative service levels attainable and level of demand for particular service levels.”

“In a recent call with a leading European telco, for example, executives described how with FTTN (vectored VDSL) they could offer 100 mbps down 40 mbps up for between one fifth and one sixth of the cost of deploying FTTP. It could also be rolled out in a fraction of the time. So, they have made a call to do a great deal more FTTN and much less FTTP. The strategic review will consider all those matters – openly and honestly. No spin. No politics. Just hard facts. And that will make the debate much better informed.”

Frankly, I really have no idea why Turnbull, who is about to become the bloody Communications Minister, and take charge of the entire communications portfolio for the Federal Government, to say nothing of the NBN itself, is lowering himself to waste his time debating NBN policy on social media. And I certainly have no idea why the Viscount of Vaucluse has wasted time publishing an entire statement rebutting Sean Rintel’s eminently sensible and level-headed article discussing the online dissent against the Coalition’s NBN policy.

Ministers usually don’t bother doing such things … and I cannot understand why someone ascending to that position would sully their first couple of weeks in power with such nonsense.

Is Turnbull really silly enough to believe that he can convince anyone that the Coalition’s NBN policy is the right one, or that it is listening to the public on this issue, merely because he’s publishing statement after statement responding to the pro-NBN online activism movement? Does the man who would be Prime Minister really not realise that he is just fanning the flames here; that he’s handing his critics fuel to pour on the fire?

At this stage, after years of NBN debate, pretty much everyone knows what the Coalition is planning to do with the NBN. Most of Australia is against that path. And everybody realises that the Coalition isn’t going to back down from the policy stance it took to the election. Nothing Turnbull can say will change anyone’s mind on anything here.

The only thing that will is the Member for Wentworth shutting up and getting on with the job. As soon as Australians start getting better broadband, much of the impetus and urgency for the online activism will drop away (although, as I have previously written, much of the community will then start agitating for the Coalition’s FTTN network to be upgraded to FTTP). This is the only thing which matters at this point: Getting the job done.

To me, what Turnbull’s verbosity at the moment represents is a certain level of immaturity which I am surprised to see from the Duke of Double Bay. You’ve just taken power, for God’s sake, Malcolm. Stop campaigning and start governing: It’s what your constituents elected you to do. You’re a fracking Minister now, or you will be in a few days. Your policy is not the best, but it’s not terrible either. Stop obsessing about Twitter and prove your own policy works. Because you’ve only got a limited amount of time to do so, before journalists like myself feed you to the sharks.

Addressing Turnbull’s claim that Rintel had misrepresented him … well, it’s clear that the gross context of what Rintel said was accurate. Turnbull did brush off the online criticism of the Coalition’s NBN policy, and refer to the fact that it wouldn’t be “democracy” for the Coalition to revisit the policy immediately after the election. Rintel did err textually in the way he quoted Turnbull — but it was a minor error. He could have resolved the error by merely using single quotes instead of double quotes around the comment he had attributed to Turnbull: Writing ‘democracy has spoken’ instead of “democracy has spoken”. This would have indicated a paraphrase instead of a direct quote. But the overall meaning would still the same; Turnbull is really picking at minor points here.

Turnbull’s model, right now, should be drawn from that old favourite of his, Francis Urquhart. The Baron of Bellevue needs to stop wasting valuable mental energy on his online critics and become familiar with the response: “They may very well think that, but I couldn’t possible comment …”

Image credit: Office of Malcolm Turnbull


  1. I think maybe Turnbull has spent so much time invested in trying to convince the public that he isn’t a villain that he feels victimised.

    If he can’t rise above this criticism Abbott should probably think of finding a replacement communications minister. Which would be a shame: as much as I dislike his short sighted plan he’s the best minister to spearhead it.

    • Exactly, this is about the narrative. He’s the victim of a campaign by quasi-religious zealots using stupid arguments. His defending himself against that is the priority here to establish authority in a pretty back-handed way.

      In an article headlined “The importance of telling the truth” he mentions 100/40 Mbps as a thing on VDSL2. Right… This isn’t about truth or facts, this is exclusively about the narrative.

      • “Look, there was an election. And immediately afterwards a petition protesting the results of the election have sprung up. Well the Australian people have spoken and they know what they want.”

        Not in those words, absolutely not, nor in any way did it happen like that at all, but as long as that’s the narrative the average member of the public gets out of this, then that’s a success.

        • I can already predict the next step: “Renai, why are you and the techno-nerds trying to extort hard-earned taxpayer money from honest Australians just to create a Rolls Royce of white elephants that will never pay for itself and the vast majority of this country will never use to anywhere near the full extent?”

          • And just in case anyone is wondering who the person on the left is, it’s Andrew Laming MP.

            Who posted this on his Facebook:

            > how does copper sound for the next decade waiting for NBN to select your suburb

            He called it pork barreling when the NBN Co slightly preferred Labor seats in Brisbane and that Labor had no interest in marginal seats (he kept Bowman with a margin of 64 votes in 2007) and was just saving the political furniture. So when NBN Co announced that near enough the entire southern half of his electorate was in the three year plan he called it, I wish I was kidding, pork-barreling, according to the Redland Times.

            He’s also had a history fighting valiantly against the evil keyboard warriors: http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/technology/technology-news/mp-enters-online-trolling-war-20100927-15thk.html

          • Just in case anyone wants more quotes from Andrew Laming MP:

            > We’re looking at a cost of about $10,000 (through tax) per household that will charge people a lot more for a service they won’t need or use

            > Remembering that at $3-10k per household to install – I need to see takeup rate.

            > Tempted by Mr Rudd’s NBN. Well just as $43billion is spent, the new technology will arrive (100x faster) and it will be a redundant white elephant

            And then proceeded to link to an article talking about Intel’s Light Peak, aka Thunderbolt. Yes, Mr. Laming. Thunderbolt in your average MacBook Pro made the NBN redundant. Needless to say, he was reelected.

          • That comment about Thunderbolt really made me die a little. Thunderbolt is literally external PCIe, running at 10Gbps each channel. Copper Thunderbolt cables are prohibitively expensive, and with the frequencies used, are only good up to about 10 metres. Optical Thunderbolt (which is under development) will be even more expensive, and is estimated to only be good for around 30 metres. What kind of fool believes that a technology designed to INTERCONNECT PERIPHERAL COMPONENTS in an express manner will replace GPON, which uses entirely different modulation and data carrying techniques?

          • No kind of fool believes that. Or rather, every kind of fool.

            You are tilting at windmills here, as the average punter simply wouldn’t understand the difference.

    • Malcolm doesn’t see himself as the bad guy. He has enjoyed broad popularity for quite some time and even if people haven’t agreed with his policies he hasn’t been vilified like Abbott or Gillard. I think he genuinely wants to deliver a cheaper NBN to people faster and is a bit upset people can’t see his side of the debate. Unfortunately his NBN is objectively a worse NBN in the long term and people can see the wastefulness of building it. I just hope that once FTTN is being rolled out, the savings aren’t as big as they think, and people vote with their wallet for FTTH pushing them towards the better option.

    • If Malcolm is so convinced his plan is correct why doesn’t he start on online petition and see how many bames he gets for the liberal nbn plan..

  2. ehh I was interested in reading this until I saw who it was

    Sean Rintel is about as unbias as you are Renai, IOW, has long been labor supporting pro NBN zealot

    Nothing to see here, move along.

    • … ah, the coalition reaction to all differences of opinion re their ‘policies’… ‘nothing to see here, move along’… tres shilly nob…

  3. I find it curious that a party that supposedly has many of the nations ‘elite’ on its side would be so dogged in aspiring to a ‘near enough is good enough’ approach. If that is the approach to be taken with regard to this project I would imagine the question has to be asked……’Why bother pursuing it at all?’

    • its the conservative way, conserve what we have, to hell with what we could have, I’m alright dude, who cares about you….

  4. I like to think that he is slowly cracking due in part to my daily twitter harassment… Everyone should start the day with a pro FTTP comment at Turnbull on twitter, it is quite clear that it is affecting him in a larger way than it really should.

  5. I am thoughtful in one sense Quink, and that is your opinion of a Rolls Royce of white elephants, but in mentioning same, you don’t appear to understand the differences anyway, so a comment is moot.

    I have in the past, used the example of the Sydney Harbour Brisge, when looking for a comparison that Liberals can grasp. At a time when there were 60,000 odd cars in Australia, a Labor government built a bridge with 4 traffic lanes, 2 tram lanes and 2 train lines.

    A liberal Government put a punt at Putney.

    I don’t vote Labor FTR

  6. Just above the opinion/analysis section. Can we come back to this one over time?

    “As I have said many times, I believe our policy should be technology agnostic. There is no doubt that if time and money were irrelevant we would run fibre into every premises. But not even the Labor policy proposed to do that. The question of technology choice depends on many factors but notably the time and cost of deployment, the relative service levels attainable and level of demand for particular service levels.”

    Lets see now.

    Time = 2019 v 2021
    Cost = $29.5b v $30.4b
    Service levels = 100 Mbps v 1 Gbps+
    Level of demand = ???

    The only factor mentioned that could possibly put FttN into the better light than FttH is level of demand, which arguably favors FttN in the short to medium term. But at the completion point, that turns about and we’re playing catchup again, so medium to long term, it favors FttH.

    As I said, can we come back and explore that statement in more detail in, oh I dont know, 1 year?

    • except your timeframe for fttn is wrong. it wont take til 2019. most people should see a speed increase well before that, as opposed to ftth.

      • Sorry Guest, if that is your real name, but my timetable is spot on. One is factored to be completed by 2019, one by 2021. Its a reference to the completion date, not a milestone date.

        If you want to use milestone dates, then I’d (biasedly) argue that FttH is already delivering 100 Mbps, with 1 Gbps by Dec 13. FttN delivering nothing.

        You need to use the completion date as a reference, and specifically here to show that the delay is only 2 years for completion, to deliver something 10 times as fast.

        Can the Lib’s guarantee that FttN can be upgraded between 2019 and 2021 so everyone can have 1 Gbps?

        Look, if you read my posts, I’m not AGAINST FttN. My argument is that FttN was a good policy in 2005, not 2013. If FttN had been rolled out when it should have, we’d be planning for its replacement now, not continuing to extract the last ounces of capability from what would have been left of the copper.

        So why are we going back in time to what other countries were doing a decade ago?

        • No, they’re not a fair comparison. With FTTP, you either have it or you don’t, so there will literally be people in 2020 still waiting for their NBN and stuck on ADSL2+ of 4Mbps or something. This is not the case with the rollout schedule in Turnbull’s plan; it is effectively 100% coverage from 2016, with further upgrades afterwards, but everyone – everyone – will have 25Mbps in 2016. It’s less efficient, but I dare you to try that argument with a small business that has a choice of waiting either 3 years or anything up to 8 years to even crack 10Mbps much less 100.

          • “but everyone – everyone – will have 25Mbps in 2016”

            Surely, you mean “could” rather than “will”.

          • “Everyone will have 25mbps by 2016” oh really? How many nodes is that a day? 100? What a load of crap. There’s no proof they can even guarantee 25mbps at all (given to even their favourite example British telecom don’t pretend to claim that minimum)..let alone in such a short time frame.

          • if you believe he will hit 100% in 2016 – after all the shit thats happened to NBNco, you think its magically going to be any different now that your mob is in? lets wait and see how long it takes for the first services to be delivered to get an idea on that shall we, but i think you are far too sanguine as to their promises.

            yes they plan to finish the 25mbit tranche in 2016. plan and actuality is two different things and theres a lot of work to be done to get there; let alone the 100mit tranche in 2019. you even admit theres a problem with it yourself ‘its less efficient’. im assuming you mean in rollout, if so and its not as efficient in rollout it doesnt matter that some folk may get a short term benefit getting it ‘faster’. what that really says to me is most people will get it slower. i.e. its a change for a very narrow, very short term benefit. its not a broad benefit as it was sold as.

            if it turns out theres no difference between having to wait ‘between three and eight years’ for NBN service or FTTN service – and those at 8 years for switchon are going to find distinctly less utility on FTTN, when they finally get it turned on – i find it hard to see the claimed benefits here, i really am.

            i personally see issues with workforce given Tonys policies as far as roadworks is concerned, if there was trouble for infrastructure labour for NBNco to date i can only wonder what it will be like with some of the promised programs in the election. i think getting this govt up to speed is going to take a lot more work than they themselves allocated for it, so im going to watch and see how long it takes for them to start ticking off milestones…

            if they start behind the 8ball it will look bad. especially how Malcolm was bringing up ‘oh at current rates it will take [this] long for NBN to complete!’ 90 years, or something, was it? and if it was legitimate to bash labor then for perceived slowness, fair warning guys you know what im watching on.

            its very easy to throw brickbats from opposition, but now they have to front with governance. given they won im happy to give them time to get their shit in order. but shortly thereafter, everything theyve held Labor to the fire over is fair game for them too.

          • I’ll give you a clue Michael, under a FttN rollout I wouldnt get 10 Mbps by 2016, I’d be stuck with 6 Mbps. I doubt I’d get it by 2019 personally, but I wont go as far to say that I’d expect not to have something by then.

            Couple of reasons. First, I live in an MDU. The problems of MDU’s hasnt been solved in the past 20 years, what makes you think they will be universally solved in the next 3?

            Secondly, I have an interupted copper line to my unit. I SHOULD have 18-20 Mbps now, but struggle to get 6 Mbps on a good day. Across the road has 18 Mbps, behind me has 18 Mbps, and the next corner up the road has 18 Mbps. The reason I dont is simple – somewhere in the 100m between me and the next corner the copper line has eroded or broken, so my signal loops around the block giving me effectively 1km more copper loop.

            And until they can prove they are as good as their promises, I doubt that issue would be resolved. So under FttN, I have a loop issue that actually gives me worse speed than I have now.

            Happily, that issue shouldnt be a problem for me for much longer. Our FttH build is scheduled for completion soon, so it’ll only be an MDU issue holding me back, which is solvable under either plan. But if we werent getting that, I doubt I’d be seeing 25 Mbps by 2016.

          • @ Micheal: “No, they’re not a fair comparison. With FTTP, you either have it or you don’t, so there will literally be people in 2020 still waiting for their NBN and stuck on ADSL2+ of 4Mbps or something. This is not the case with the rollout schedule in Turnbull’s plan; it is effectively 100% coverage from 2016, with further upgrades afterwards, but everyone – everyone – will have 25Mbps in 2016. It’s less efficient, but I dare you to try that argument with a small business that has a choice of waiting either 3 years or anything up to 8 years to even crack 10Mbps much less 100.”

            Funnily enough, that is actually backwards. With FTTP, you can keep the copper as long as you like. With FTTN, it interrupts the current service to be implemented. http://www.sortius-is-a-geek.com/its-all-about-the-dame-nellie-melbas/ “Firstly, FTTN is an all-or-nothing conversion. Unlike FTTP, you can’t actually opt out of FTTN. Everyone must get it, or no one gets it. Why? For two big reasons: 1) when you cut into a 100 pair street cable, you can’t just connect some to a node & some to a straight exchange connection, the cable doesn’t work like that; 2) VDSL2 degrades rapidly when ADSL2 is present, and becomes unworkable when there are a lot of voice services.”

            Then you start getting into the state of the copper and find that Australia’s copper tends to be 1) smaller than the .60mm and greater diameters used in the labs to get the speeds the Coalition holds as typical. (typically .30 & .40 & places where it is greater tend to be far too long for ADSL anyway.) http://www.smh.com.au/technology/technology-news/concerns-over-state-of-wiring-for-the-nbn-20130915-2tswo.html “But in 2003 Telstra’s then group managing director of regulatory strategy, Tony Warren, told a Senate committee the copper was ”at five minutes to midnight” and would last up to 15 years.”

            We have been breathing life into a 100 year old network and might be able to continue to stretch the use of the copper network longer but its cost to do so will only increase, not to mention the additional maintenance cost caused by doing so.

            Having a basic idea of the state of the telecommunication network it baffles me that people that should have better information can back the already laughable Coalition policy. I don’t know how to get this through to people. The copper network is a dirt road and it is raining. Don’t send more traffic down this road.

        • Gav there is one minor correction in your time line – the FTTP NBN is scheduled for completion ‘by 2021’, but the LNP FTTN plan is scheduled to be completed ‘by the end of 2019’. So the difference is really only 12 or 13 months.

    • If “for between one fifth and one sixth of the cost of deploying FTTP” why is Fraudband costing so much? Unless it is by comparing an FTTP that will cost more only because he says so. And with each restatement that it will cost even more?

      And as to “one of our most well debated, well understood and prominent policies”. Does Malcolm have ANY evidence his policy is “understood” by the masses? Thee other “prominent” polices were three word slogans. The fraudband policy was much more nuanced and required additional research to understand its ramifications.

  7. Malcolm Turnbull is starting to crack. I predict he’ll be in a rubber room by the end of The First Abbott Ascendancy, chewing on discarded twisted pair and mumbling about “zealots…ashamed of themselves” and repeating the acronym FTTN, but trying to make it sound like a real word: FATATAN…FATUTIN…F’TEETEEN”

  8. My issue is why so much of the press keeps focussing on the technological advantage of FTTH. In my mind that’s never been the real issue: the real issue is to what extent you want Telstra to maintain control over key infrastructure.

    Whenever I speak to non-technical people about their issues with their internet service, the speed issue is significant but still not everything. Issues with customer service, with getting faults repaired, with being in an area where they can’t get a cheap plan, with billing…and the huge delay with getting connected in the first place. And with mobile broadband, it’s about the huge bills and inconsistency.

    Everything BUT the download speed will continue as it has been with the LNP plan. Turnbull has found an effective response to the speed issue, by promising good enough speeds, sooner. Why not attack him on the real issue: the presence of Telstra in our lives whether we take the free market option of going with a competitor, or not.

    • Most people will just see this as one monopolistic bureaucracy replacing another monopolistic bureaucracy.

      If you then need to go on explaining how vertical monopolies and horizontal monopolies are different, 90% of people have already tuned out.

      • Y’reckon? I think if the story is framed correctly, people would care. Telstra is still newsworthy beyond their status as a ‘monopolistic bureaucracy’.

        I think people tune out at 100Mbps vs 1Gbps. But a media that asks if people want to continue having every fixed internet connection dependent on Telstra, would be nice. I reckon Telstra has made it clear, somewhere in some darkly lit backroom, that they’re only going to play ball if their own involvement (and record) is kept out of the discussion.

  9. Apparently Abbott doesn’t keep his election promises for very long with the axing of Senator Ian MacDonald (QLD) from his front bench.

    Remember all those b/s 3 word slogans about “stability in government” & “stop the waste”.

    On that basis alone Turnbull’s argument of …. ” but they should not take offence when we point out that we did take a very detailed NBN policy to the election, that we won the election and that were we to abandon it a week after that election Australians would thing we had taken leave both of our senses and our integrity,” the Member for Wentworth wrote.”

    It’s just more b/s.

    • So, leading up to the appointment of ministers Malcolm is feeling insecure? And fees that he needs to show TA that he really is towing the party line?

      See! I do support the party line that FTTN is the best solution. And, I even know how to use all this new fangled social media stuff. Please make me Communications minister Mr PM not Bill Gates.

      (Not a quotation, but a possible interpretation)

  10. I think the message is getting through. A quarter of a million people signed a petition to say your solution sucks and you still want to push that barrow. Well you go right ahead and keep doing that while we find ways to remove you and get someone who listen’s to the Australian people. The majority are quite clearly behind the fibre model so get with the program or get out if you can’t stand the heat. Keep looking over your shoulder Malcolm.

  11. I’ve read the detail, such as it is, for the LNP Broadband and I find two aspects that haven’t been addressed.

    Security and Repair/Maintenance

    Not only will it be easy for someone with the required knowledge to access this system from each node, enhancing illegal surveillance and use. How secure are these node cabinets against damage whether it’s flood, fire or vandalism/terrorism/public defiance? How long will it take for the nodes to be repaired or replaced?

    What will the additional costs be for the Security and/or Repairs of the node cabinets?

    • i’d go with not knpowing fttn plan pricing, after all its much more easily compared against existing nbnco plan pricing for your typical voter to understand.

      costing less is one thing, and a couple of billion wont make much difference for people, its the price they themselves pay that is much more important to them.

      wonder when we will get a new fttn based corporate plan with pricing in it? im guessing not for a long time

    • Just some more stats on that, if we exclude parties that have made no policy nor any statements and if we reduce this to a two horse race between FTTN and FTTP, assuming only that it’s the government’s responsibility and that the government should have a policy on this.

      52% of the senate vote went to parties that propose FTTP. 6% of the senate vote went to parties that prefer FTTP if one of the two options was chosen. 42% of the senate vote went to parties proposing FTTN.

      Now, there’s an enormous drag factor from a thousand other policies in that, but everything from opinion surveys to this election even showed that FTTP is the electorate’s will. If the coalition is going to represent the majority will of Australians having gained power through a certain election, then this needs to come with it, having been established in the very same election.

  12. I’m sure a lot of Australians voted for the libs thinking they would eventually change their mind on the NBN and take up labors policy, this of course was never going to happen, even if it’s the most logical thing to do.

    Issue for the libs is they aren’t going to achieve much with FTTN in their three year term, people will remember what they promised and what they’ve failed to deliver on.

    Three years is a small delay in the NBN rollout if we eventually end up with what we all want ;)

  13. My opinion is that Malcolm believes any media attention is good media attention at the moment.

    Thus in 6-12 months time he is a very visible alternative to Tony Abbott as preferred PM.

    For the general public that doesn’t know or care about the NBN all the details of what he’s said for the last few years will be forgotten anyway.

    It’s more important to be visible to the general public above actually saying something. That was made plainly obvious this election.

  14. I think Malcolm has been drinking too much of that poisoned chalice koolaid.

    If he thinks for more than a minute that the coalition was voted in because they were the superior choice and not because Labor was on the nose then he is clearly delusional. The ‘best of a bad bunch’ is what comes to mind because the majority couldn’t continue with ‘better the devil you know’.

    To hide behind the notion that the electorate has spoken is a load of crap. I don’t understand why Malcolm still seems to be playing the game like he’s in opposition. It might be early days yet but if he doesn’t pick up his game perhaps a petition will be started to send he, and some of the other Liberal Party relics to the backbench.

    • Above comment from Mike is absolutely correct.

      Should also add – When you cant win the argument with logic and facts … go for the personal attack.

      Seems Mr Turnbull has learnt you can fool all the people, all the time.

      Pressure is getting to him and he knows fibre to the home is the best technical long term solution, and is running out of facts and logic to sprout the FTTN lies and garbage.

  15. “an online poll taken by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation this week showed Australians overwhelmingly believe focusing on the National Broadband Network should be Prime Minister-elect Tony Abbott’s highest priority in his first 100 days in office, eclipsing issues such as education, the carbon tax, border protection and the environment.”

    Fact Check: WRONG

    Polls which encourage people to respond if they hold a strong opinion do not tell you what most people think. Being able to state definitively what “Australians overwhelming believe” would require a credible pollster – one without an agenda of his own – using a credible polling method which used random sampling.

    • Fact check is not wrong. The poll DID overwhelmingly show the NBN as the biggest issue, to the tune of having nearly twice the votes of the next biggest issues. That’s overwhelming.

      Every survey you see runs the same way. People are asked a question, they provide their opinion. And when asked that question, its never asked if they have no opinion on the subject, but what category of X number fits their position.

      When you combine the 2 NBN response groups into 1, there were 9 topics with around 5% or more of the respondents. Of those, there were around 5 that were 10% or more, and only 1 that got anywhere near 20% – the NBN.

      Carbon tax, in second, came in at about 11.5% of respondents.

      If you want to quibble over the semantics of how it was worded, knock yourself out. You’re just deluding yourself into believing the NBN isnt still an issue with voters.

  16. Mals not up to the challenge, boardrooms and eastern suburbs clubs are not the tech community, and a thin skin will start to blister very fast now…expect to see Cory Bernardi appointed as comms czar soon…

    • Ouch – can you imagine, discussing “dinosaurs as we were a little while ago, Bernardi as Comms Minister. LOL. He still votes for women to be barefoot and in the kitchen.

  17. I think he has been taking council for so long from only those who agree with him on everything I think he is starting to truly believe what he is saying. Not much of a debate when you only listen to those that agree with you and insult and ridicule those that don’t.

  18. “me thinks he doth protest too much…”
    The LNP policy is a technologically retarded mess. And the earl of wentworth knows it.
    Remember his first instruction from Tony Abbott in 2010 was “destroy the NBN”

  19. I do find it amusing that the Baron of Broadband gets hung up on “important’ things like using quote marks properly, and yet cant manage to embed a correct hyperlink to the article (or even website!) he is referring to. :)

  20. We should get used to this from Malcom. As I have mentioned before, Malcolm is a fair weather charmer. Praise him, tell him how awesome he is, and he oozes with charm. Attack him, challenge him, or even contradict him and out comes the bully, aggressive, and even insulting.

    He so used to preach to the low information voter (a useful ploy in campaigning situations) that he has trouble dealing with knowledgeable people.

    I, for one, can’t wait for his policy to be properly developed and costed (as against a cap of $29.5b), taking into account the cost of the copper network, the state of the said network, the cost of vectoring, and last but not least, the actual number of nodes required to achieve his predicted speeds.

    I think he has given himself an enormous challenge. One that will be difficult to overcome without problem. When problems emerge and criticism follows, we will increasingly see the least attractive side of ” Malcolm the charmer”.

    • Malcolm preaching to the low tech voter would appear to be all he has available.

      Let’s face it, latte in Double Bay is as far as most of that crowd go with a mobile phone – usually an I-thing because they can’t get their heads around Android in any meaningful way.

  21. I’m not surprised to see Turnbull already in meltdown mode. With only 1201 days to go it’s probably dawned on him what is ahead doesn’t want to be associated with an inevitable disaster. He was probably hoping Labor would win too.

  22. Turnbull is deluded if he think his party won the election on his party’s broadband policy. The country voted against Labor and nothing more.

  23. It’s actually a lot simply than the very complex commentary.

    Turnbull doesn’t like being on the wrong side of an argument. Ever. In order to be correct, he must bully alternative views to shape them to match.

    Frankly, as much as he’s the most informed of the Liberal members, he’s not a viable minister if he will persist in burning all bridges to prevent informed debate.

    Now, more than ever, given the massive upheaval that a switch from FTTH to FTTN will bring forth, he needs to be held accountable. He was happy to pour scorn and skepticism on the Labor policy.

    Even the lightest of alternative views, is being considered tantamount to sedition. If the response is to have an ongoing, immature meltdown and hurl abuse, I don’t see how that will ever provide a sensible, viable outcome from a policy perspective.

    If we see this sort of childish behaviour in front of the Senate, should any legislative changes be required, Turnbull is unlikely to garner any real support, dooming his policy change before it has even begun.

    Perhaps, like Conroy, it’s time for fresh blood in the Coalition’s broadband ministry.

  24. It is very interesting reading the comments across the social sites and news sites about the Liberal NBN Policy and how it really doesn’t make sense. Why are they trying to sell us an inferior product when we are all smart enough to know that the Labor NBN was a better deal.

    Well, the answer to that question is Rupert Murdoch. The NBN basically is a noose on his business in Australia, between Foxtel and print media Murdoch’s business would be gutted over a 5-10 year period of everyone in Australia getting 1Gbps speeds in their home. IP tv would flourish and we all know print media is dead.

    So re ask yourself the question, why is Liberal pushing a shit solution that does not make sense, are there greater forces/deals in action here. Who will benefit from this second rate Liberal NBN, certainly not the everyday Australian.

    Maybe the man who helped Abbott get into power, maybe the man who has a LOT to lose. Maybe the real person running the Liberal party…….MR Murdoch.

  25. As a father who works in the IT industry and son of teachers, I would rather have quick rollout to ALL Australians of a reasonably quick network at a reasonable price than a slow rollout of 2010 technology.

    Our schools, medical centres, police stations, etc. have a genuine need for fibre speeds (probably gigabit).

    I will believe in the need for 100mb to the home when somebody tells me what they will be able to do with 100mb that they CAN’T do with 25. There are very few services out there that I use that would be substantially improved by me going from my current 6mb download/0.6mb upload speed to 25mb/2mb upload (most don’t push my 6mb connection, large Microsoft patches and large game downloads tend to be the exception).

    The IT industry is littered with failed projects that had a 10year ROI. What would we have in our hands as a fast national network if it had been commenced in 1980, 1990 or 2000? Perhaps ISDN or ATM anyone? I truly believe the current NBN plan has a CHANCE of being viewed in the future as being excessive in its cost and ubiquity because the future is likely to be driven by mobility and roaming wireless needs.

    For me the truly disturbing assessment of the current NBN is by Simon Hackett (a critique that I trust). His proposal of how we could have had fibre at copper prices is confronting and if his figures are correct, the current NBN is almost certainly a disaster. The first 4 minutes should scare most current NBN proponents.

    I hope that Simon Hackett gets involved with Malcolm Turnbull’s review of the current state of the NBN, but unfortunately, I think it is to late for the alternative he proposes to be implemented due to political, contractual and time constraints.

    Check out the video of his presentation on the latter part of this page:


    • Simon is just saying NBNco should outsource the NTU installation to ISPs… that should save some dosh… how much? he doesn’t know… if it only makes a small dent to the FTTH NBN build cost, hang the cost.. build FTTH anyway and let taxpayers wear it.

      Simon obviously hasn’t heard these two words: COST BENEFIT.

      • I think his main points were…

        – wholesale cost is marginally cheaper than ADSL and going up dramatically in the future whereas ADSL wholesale price is flat for the foreseeable future (i.e. if your isp is paying $60/month just for you to be connected, even the cheapest plan can’t be less than that – unless it is loss leader bait)

        – artificial and unnecessary bells, whistles and levers (QOS in core network, end point complexity, power points, batteries, pstn ports, etc.). The are yet another unnecessary cost that may add significantly to the complexity and labour costs of installation.

        Given that Simon is the former owner/founder of Internode and now a director of iiNet, I assume he has a firmer grasp on cost benefit than average and in the case of telecommunications a much better grasp than the vast majority.

      • A savings of about $7000 per installation if the NBNCo leaves an unterminated fibre at each house and the ISP becomes responsible for installing network terminating equipment (NTE).

        The NBNCo is using custom-built software on commercially available NTE, which combined with a battery backup means people can plug their old analogue phones into the POTS port of the NTE and have the same reliability of phone service as they do under the current copper POTS network.

        How many people actually use analogue phones at home instead of Skype & mobile phones? Not many, and they’ll mostly be dead in 20 years.

        In addition, the NTE proposed by NBNCo includes four Ethernet ports which can be individually provisioned. How many people need four independent network connections? Possibly those with back-to-base alarms at their residence for example. I have no idea what proportion of the population has or needs back to base alarms.

        The one-size-fits-all approach means NBNCo would have been gold-plating that Rolls-Royce solution.

        • LOL. I fat-fingered the number. That saving per house should be $700 not $7000. The NBNCo is not *literally* gold plating the NTE.

        • A savings of about $7000 per installation

          At 10 million premises, this translates to $70 billion dollars, or twice the entire projected CAPEX of the project. Either you’re out by a factor of 10, or more, or this figure has no factual bases whatsoever.

          As for your other suggestion, it has merit. However, the fact you have “I have no idea what proportion of the population” requires a POTS connection or extra Ethernet ports, I suggest you find out before you make blanket statements about what Australians do, or do not, need. Thus allowing us to make an informed decision about what option is the most cost effective.

          I tend to agree that providers should be responsible for the NTUs, however one’s “gut feeling” is not how we make informed, evidenced based, decisions.

    • more correctly what i can do with Fibre i cant with copper in its lifetime.

      its a lifetime thing, not a speed thing. over that lifetime maintenance costs will be significantly lower, and carries headroom to continually increase speeds for the next 30-40 years. the headroom in copper is virtually nonexistent, all the low hanging fruit is taken and more costly research and exotic schemes are needed for further improvement. iunno about you but for some taking the low hanging stuff is easier, and theres loads of it for FTTH.

      reducing to the ‘i dont see why we need 100mbit’ argument is a far too simplistic view of the network. your looking at one point and not the whole – its not just what the end user gets out of the network, its what it costs to run and maintain, headroom for future expansion – you dont see that as an end user but it is absolutely important to the whole proposition. and in this instance, where just about everyone accepts – even Malcolm – that FTTN will be upgraded down the track, it includes how much you are paying for a known short term benefit that you know you will need to spend on again later on. short term in this case being a decade instead of four.

      given the inflationary nature of data, sure, you dont need 100mbit now. when the fibre is 10y old then? 20? 30? theres fibre from the 70s still in use now, if you need 100mbit in 40 years its pretty likely the stuff NBNco has laid will still be capable. i rate copper carriage to be useful/capable at >100m lengths for less than 10 years from now. yes, even with VDSL2.

      i hope Simon DOESNT get involved with Mal. hes digging a hole well enough on his own, i have no wish to see Simon down there with him.

      • They have only given the following promises – 25mb initially, 50mb later, optical eventually. I have tried to find upload promises, but can’t. This is unsatisfactory clarity from the LNP

        The statements are woefully misleading. In my opinion, the debate is too focussed on technology and not enough on results. We should be saying that all Australians need to be able to do the following simultaneously….

        e.g. these kinds of points

        – allow two members of every household to work from home with videoconferencing
        – send their medical imaging results within X seconds
        – have two HD video conference calls
        – stream 4 inbound HD videos simultaneously
        – a reliable emergency channel
        – etc.

        Then the resulting statements should be (if the players respected the public and not the game)

        “In order to do this our party will provide NN mb/s download and NN mb/s upload to N million Australians in our current term and all Australians within X years. At a cost of $NN per connection (household) and at a cost to each taxpayer of $NN”

        I dream of having this kind of up front and honest reporting from the media and politicians alike. Anyone want to run for the senate and keep the politicians honest by forcing them to report numbers in relatable metrics rather than NN billion by 20??. Don’t need to stop any legislation, just insist that it is clear and understandable, not hidden in large numbers and vague statements.

        • Given that this is infrastructure you also need to plan for the future. You can try to write a wishlist now, but that will be outdated (if not 100% redundant) within a decade.
          Every time we have tried to nail down the internet, in particular the demand and innovation, we have failed miserably. We need to stop trying to write a list of the things that we want to be able to do and trying to build to that – because that is a recipe for failure.
          We need to look at trends instead, and build to those.

          • It’s a baseline not a wishlist. Where else do taxpayers dollars get spent on what people want rather than what they need?

            The goalposts may well change in unexpected ways and needs 10 years from now may well be unexpectedly different. But it is perhaps a bit rash to assume that the unexpected requirement will be bandwidth and not some other aspect.

            It is equally conceivable that the compute and storage we now acquire into our homes will move to datacentres in far away places and our need for high speed bandwidth to our homes will diminish.

            BTW: Do you remember Enron and how many billions they made fraudulently reporting the growth rate of the internet?

          • Yes there are if’s both ways…

            But history and laws (Nielsen/Moore) which have gone from theories to seemingly being the benchmark for companies to use for prgression, would suggest FttP will be needed sooner rather than later…whereas as on the flip-side it’s all conjecture.

          • It is equally conceivable that the compute and storage we now acquire into our homes will move to datacentres in far away places and our need for high speed bandwidth to our homes will diminish.

            If you move you processing/storage “off shore” or external, your need for high quality bandwidth will actually increase, not decrease…

          • “It is equally conceivable that the compute and storage we now acquire into our homes will move to datacentres in far away places and our need for high speed bandwidth to our homes will diminish.”

            The fibre would still be in need to be able to access your block in the center and be able to operate smoothly. In essence, fibre not only gives you the higher throughput of data but also better latency, the response times that will be needed for accessing and operating anything in the data center would lower the amount of time waiting on process to start.

      • I read the Budde article and it seemed to be mostly about contention ratios for wifi bandwidth in hotels. The FTTH connections he saw were “generally good” (not always?).

        It does raise the issue though… ISPs have two classes of ADSL service; home and business. The most significant difference in these is usually the contention ratio. A business service with a 1:1 contention ratio gets it’s adsl bandwidth all the way back to the ISP’s core network. But my humble home connection will share its connection speed with several others, What many perceive as slow and unreliable ADSL services are often problems beyond their ADSL connection to the exchange.

        It’s strange how ISP’s can arrange to have business class ADSL services on this aging, unreliable copper network without their industry customers constantly screaming. :-)

    • Hey Greg,

      I’ve put together a wiki article on Whirlpool that hopefully provides some examples to you on what you can do on a faster connection: http://whirlpool.net.au/wiki/nbn_applications

      There are plenty of applications which just are not possible or practical on a DSL connection, but it’s unfair to only consider those applications as justification for a fibre network, as there are plenty of applications which although possible on DSL, see great enhancement on fibre, and I’m mainly talking convenience and efficiency. Fibre, for the average household, allows for a paradigm shift in computing, seeing households move away from computers they have to manage themselves (install, backup, troubleshoot, etc) to computers which are for the most part plug-and-play, where any problems can be quickly and easily fixed via remote redeployment, file recovery, or in perhaps the worst cases, remote desktop assistance.

      The convenience and efficiency thing is huge in my opinion. It can be a matter of waiting 3 minutes or 5 seconds for a software update required to continue working, or it could be the difference between being able to do something at home or having to drive into work.

      I think applying how YOU use a computer NOW is not doing yourself any favors. I also think people are so use to the constraints of DSL internet that they become blind to them. Like most of the computer users at my work, they have no idea how much time and effort they’re wasting on something, until I show them a better way. Everything you take for granted today serves as an example.

      To take the mobile phone as an example, the main advantage when it was introduced 20 years ago, was the idea of making calls from locations where a landline isn’t available. Sure, that’s handy, but the mobile phone inadvertently provides much more convenience. It’s an address book on-the-go, it’s a way to contact an individual directly at any points in time completely privately, it provides a convenient text messaging platform for communicating with someone in a much less invasive manner than a phone call, etc. I haven’t even delved into what the smartphone has done for society.

      My point is, it’s impossible to predict the economic and social ramifications of ubiquitous fibre-to-the-premises. This isn’t to advocate blind faith; there’s nothing worse than being guided by “faith”. Like the mobile phone, there’s enough use cases already to our knowledge to justify the deployment of FTTP, and given computing trends, the likelihood of the average household not benefiting from gigabit internet by the end of the NBN rollout is slim to none.

      FTTP is literally a no brainer, even compared against a perfect FTTN plan and rollout, and I can tell you that the Liberal plan is deeply flawed, even when not comparing it to anything else – it’s worse than no NBN. This article really only scratches the surface of how flawed it is: https://plus.google.com/117364153071764012642/posts

  26. I’m wondering if maybe, just maybe, when you made up the ‘you’re a disgrace’ line, you secretly hoped he might attack you for misquoting in the same fashion as he did Rintel, thereby given you and your site the same publicity as Rintel and his site?

    • I think it’s simpler than that. As Renai states in the article,
      He could have resolved the error by merely using single quotes instead of double quotes around the comment he had attributed to Turnbull: Writing ‘democracy has spoken’ instead of “democracy has spoken”. This would have indicated a paraphrase instead of a direct quote. But the overall meaning would still the same; Turnbull is really picking at minor points here.
      Renai has shielded himself against such criticism, while also putting the barb into Turnbull, by “putting words in [his] mouth” when.

      The way I see it, Turnbull has spent too much time in internet arguments, such that he has now become a grammar nazi.
      As we know, he’s already guilty of ad hominem attacks and name-calling, so the only way to fall any further is to attack the writer’s grammar.

  27. “Australians would thing we had taken leave both of our senses and our integrity”

    First the Australian people would need to believe either Turnball or the Coalition had any sense or integrity to take leave of.

  28. Turnbull is responding to this because he has put a lot of personal energy into it. He has plenty of knowledge in the field and whilst we would all love to have the best of the best, a responsible government should provide value for money with their expenditure.
    I’d like to have super internet speeds, but the reality is (even as an IT professional) my ADSL2+ connection offers all I need, including streaming, and it is inferior to what the LIberals’ NBN will offer.

    • Have you JUST entered this debate? Forget responsible government, faster speeds and everything else your comment suggests this is about. There’s a fundamental difference in the two plans that has more to do with ownership than technology. is it a ‘responsible government’ that leaves key infrastructure in the hands of a retailer, thereby diminishing the competition? The Libs are meant to be ideologically opposed to anything that stifles competition.

      They haven’t done an adequate CBA, taking into account maintenance, service, repair and security, not to mention energy costs at keeping the last portion of the service electrified. They’ve inflated the proposed costs from the original plan $60bn beyond the original; without applying the exact same possible budget blowouts to their own plan (which, in the same scenario, would blow out exactly the same). Saying ‘our plan would cost $20bn, their plan would cost $40bn, but will blow out to $100bn while ours won’t’ is utter nonsense.

      I can’t figure for the life of me why anyone who isn’t Malcolm Turnbull would bother defending this shortsighted nonsense anymore. YOU don’t need faster speeds? Well it’s a good thing this massive amount of money isn’t being spent on YOUR house. ADSL2+ is good for you? Well bully for you for having access to ADSL2+. Same does not go for anyone in a new housing development, or Tarneit, or Point Cook, or even parts of South Brisbane. What about people who don’t want to contribute their money to Telstra?

    • Somehow I dont think you are really in a position to be judging which plan is better “value for money” bob. Thing is NBNco already has a product for people like you in the minority. It’s called the 12/1mbps plan. (And you must be in a minority because by your own admission what you currently have is “inferior to what the LIberals’ NBN will offer.” and we already know the coalition wouldn’t do something just to satisfy a minority)

  29. Would the “no carbon tax promise” have been forgotten if Tony had not reminded people of it daily? And often several times in the same day?

    Turnbull has made some equally undeliverable promises, he needs to be kept to them, “no excuses”, on a daily basis.

  30. Mr Turnbull has never seemed to look physically comfortable propounding the Coalitions NBN policy. Maybe he is trying to fan more vocal discontent against a policy he privately doesn’t believe in?

  31. Turnbull:. “The question of technology choice depends on many factors but notably the time and cost of deployment, the relative service levels attainable and level of demand for particular service levels.”

    As far as I , a non-merchant banker, can see:

    – Any project important to building the infrastructure of any country TAKES time. What the hurry which appears to hide the inconvenient fact that a crippled FTTP helps shield Murdoch’s Foxtel from competition.

    – Why bothering with laying fibre to the node (i.e. kerb) and then remove the potential for speed of 10 gigabits per second, and higher still later, by running copper wire to home? It’s no different to what Telstra has now. It’s another scheme that somehow neutralizes real competition to Murdoch’s Foxtel.

    – The costs of maintaining tens of thousands of (green) boxes around many corners of the streets will in the end add up to the initial lower costs of Turnbull’s crippled FTTP. Turnbull keeps inflating the costs of Labor’s FTTH in order to avoid being exposed on this point.

    – Turnbull must be thinking 25 megabits per second is fast, and 100 megabits is more than fast enough for Australians in future. It reminds me of the saying: ‘I think there is a world market for maybe five computers.’ (IBM Chairman & CEO Thomas Watson declared in 1943).

    – The total costs of alcohol-related accidents in Australia for 2010 was estimated to be $14.3 billion ALONE. Why do we let a merchant banker with little vision for the country and good and solid understanding of technology but arrogance behave as if he’s a trained and professional engineer but with a outdated 1950’s viewpoint.

    – Only a fast broadband, i.e. FTTH, will provide a reliable pfatform for competitors, anywhere in the world, to compete effectively and easily against Foxtel at a level playing field. This is what Turnbull shies away from mentioning. And also the reason behind Murdoch’s opposition to Labor’s FTTH. What else would a selfish bastard American would want to meddle with the building of this country’s infrastructure.

    Anything the Turnbull has put up so far such as cost/benefits study, expensive, longer to complete, people don’t need faster speed and so on are simply smoke and mirrors.

    That’s my two cents.

  32. The Viscount of Vaucluse, Renai?

    Off with your head – he must be addressed as nothing less than the Pontiff of Point Piper.

    And you’d better believe it, or your lamentable lack of deference to His Eminence will be dealt with.

  33. To me, what Turnbull’s verbosity at the moment represents is a certain level of immaturity which I am surprised to see from the Duke of Double Bay. You’ve just taken power, for God’s sake,

    Unlike your own verbosity and vitriol?

  34. Here comes the copper bogeyman…


    “Telstra has given inconsistent messages about the longevity of its network. Chief executive David Thodey said earlier this year ‘the copper has been going well for a hundred years. I think it will keep going for another hundred.'”

    “But in 2003 Telstra’s then group managing director of regulatory strategy, Tony Warren, told a Senate committee the copper was ‘at five minutes to midnight” and would last up to 15 years.'”

    “Mr Warren now leads the team renegotiating Telstra’s multibillion-dollar deal with the government, under which the Coalition hopes it can take ownership of the customer access network.”

  35. Hmmm MT is a Merchant Banker?

    In my neck of the woods “Merchant Banker” is Cockney rhyming slang.


  36. Great opinion/analysis piece Renai, straight to the point and hard hitting ( a star is born ).

    WHY didn’t Turnbull just say, thank you everyone for there enthusiasm towards the comms policy debate but I can’t comment until a full cost benefit analysis has been conducted nor can I make a judgment on the final mix of FTTN / FTTP until then.

  37. “As I have said many times, I believe our policy should be technology agnostic.

    I believe it should be too Malcolm….shame you put so many “FTTN” references in it to make that statement an absolute joke…

  38. I used to like Malcolm, but he seems to have forgotten that it was his support for Labors NBN that got him stabbed in the back by Abbott and for punishment became shadow communications minister. Malcolm you are losing Face and have started believing Abbotts propaganda. You, Sir, was my only hope for a return to true Liberal party fundamentals and follow the meaning of your party’s very name LIBERAL not fascist. Since when, Malcolm, did you lose your integrity and sense of social justice and listening to the people. Now you are just ” one of then” and in you’re support of the “string and cup” NBN, you are supporting the worst kind of human being on the planet today who just wants more wealth and power, Murdoch and to me that in itself shows a total lack of regard for the less fortunate in Australia.

    • Actually, it was his support for an ETS that lost him the leadership (by one vote mind you).

  39. I presume that turnbul will take his money from his investments in fttp
    In Spain and France and will buy his own fttn bonds
    Or is it do as I tell you not as I do if he will not invest his money in fttn in Australia he should resign from parliament with out his supper and pension

    My 2 cents

  40. “The question of technology choice depends on many factors but notably the time and cost of deployment, the relative service levels attainable and level of demand for particular service levels.”
    What about long-term needs and long-term evolution, Malcolm?

    • They’ll be out of government and it will be Labor’s problem to fix, thus, having to spend money…the same old circle, Libs scrimp on infrastructure and everywhere else, Labor have to spend to fix and look like the ‘baddies’, Tones favourite word 2 weeks ago…

  41. If Turnbull is a disgrace, what does it say about the millions of Murdoch-brainwashed, apathetic, naive Australian citizens who collectively voted the LNP into power? Did we really expect anything but this kind of behaviour really??? LNP voters, you got us into this mess, what are YOU going to do to get us out of it??? Don’t leave it up to the progressives to fight the battle you dumped the country in. It’s actually your responsibility to fight these battles – get to work!

  42. Do we really want to be even further behind the 8 ball in terms of internet structure?

    I hear so many people so “oh well I have ADSL2+ and my internet is fine”…

    I lived in the western suburbs of Brisbane for 2 years while I was doing my Games degree and all I could get was a wireless dongle…8gb a month / 145kb/s…all for 2/3rds of a uni degree…WHAT A JOKE!!!

    If that isn’t enough I have friends also doing the same degree that live not 15 minutes from Brisbane who cant get over 200kb/s for $90 a month…

    FTTN isnt going to be worth it by the time they purchase Telstras infrastructure and by the time they roll it out and have it set up, its going to be so obsolete it wont be worth the copper its built through.

    Turnbull has stated 100mb/s download speeds…yeah if you are sitting outside next to the node with a laptop…he has no proof of these speeds, just political heresay,…its about time all you naysayers woke up and looked around the world past your emails and social media.

  43. I still cannot fathom why the Labor NBN is still being referred to as FTTH (fibre to the home) by many. In actuality it is FTTP (fibre to the premises) which encompasses ALL businesses big and small. The advantages to every facet of business/industry in having exceedingly fast internet capability are enormous, as long as computer technology and affordability continue progressing accordingly.
    Truth be told, yes I’m a Labor voter since I can remember, this is a technological advantage this country cannot do without. Using the FTTN technology, our government is buying a used car without a test drive. We are a very smart democratic country with an excellent credit rating, an enviable standard of living and enormous potential as yet unrealised. Let’s keep it that way.

    • FttP is a looser term that basically means that copper COULD still be part of the connection. The definition is satisfied if the connection terminates inside the property line, while FttH is satisfied only when it enters the property itself.


      For most of the variations, the differences are subtle, and there are really only 1 or 2 where it can make a difference in the debate. FttC and FttN for example arent really much different, really only being the copper loop length, and node size, but one (FttC) offers higher potential speeds as a result. And because it deals with smaller loops, can possibly fall into the FttP definition as well.

      I’ve had this argument a few times in the past. Personally, if the Labor rollout was FttP, and the terminating unit was outside the house, it would be faster and cheaper to roll out. Then let the individual cover the last few feet when they connect, or not, as they see fit.

      If the Lib’s went with that as a compromise, I dont think many on this list would have a big problem personally.

      • I still prefer “FTTP”, mostly for this part of the definition:

        “where the fiber network includes both homes and small businesses.”

        FTTH is misleading in that it sounds like it’s just “homes” that get it.

        • Yeah, get that, and not really disagreeing as I dont think theres enough difference between the two for it to really matter, but on the pure technicalities, FttH is the more correct terminology for the Labor build.

          As I said, I dont think many here would complain if FttP was delivered as a compromise, and we got fiber all the way to the property line. Connecting that small a last mile to make it FttH should be well in the realms of even renters for the most part.

          Pure guess, havent costed it, but the 500m to 800m copper length needing to be replaced wouldnt be a cost factor, and thats got to be a pretty big cost when done individually.

  44. How is 4 k going to run through copper line that’s past it’s use by date. 4 k tv is Available now in department stores. . Ip tv Is now the future. Make NBN future proof. Full speed Fibre to the house is the only option that will work.

  45. Malcom accusing others of cooking up lies? He has done nothing but cook up lies.

    I would have voted Liberals ~2 years ago if Malcom was Liberal leader (and there was an election), but after the way he has been handling the communications portfolio – I don’t think I could ever vote for the Liberals with him as leader now.

  46. Daemon . You spoke about the SHB , yes the government of the day did build a bridge with 4 traffic lanes and 2 train and 2 tram lanes but now those tram lanes are traffic lanes . Imagine the SHB with 2lanes less . That’s what forward thinking is about not for today but the future . And as for your punts well I think they’re at the scrap metal recyclers .

  47. I love Malcolm’s new NBN policy and so do you all. Read my papers they will tell you the truth.
    Besides who needs fast internet when you got FOXTEL. I love FOXTEL and so do you, read my papers they will tell you.

    I’m a proud Australian I mean American and as rich guys know what’s best for you.

    R. Murdock (Billionaire tirent).

    • Yes, Mr Murdoch, Billionaire Tyrant,

      He has done even better than Christopher Skase. The naive Aussie public have given him, an American, control of our lower house – and the capacity for him to fleece us completely in three short years. Not only that, It will take many more years for the naive Aussie public to source their newfound hardship back to believing Murdoch’s political lies and propaganda. And by then Mr Murdoch will be in a very hot place indeed – and it won’t be Fiji.

      Mr Murdoch may find pleasure in being the singular destructive force for Australia, but despite his harmfulness, I pity Rupert Murdoch. Even in his crinkly skin, he is consumed by a compulsion for even more power and money. Even in his crinkly skin, he hasn’t discovered any of the most valuable qualities in life. Sure he’s gathered enough power to be able to brainwash global citizen into letting him bankrupt their economies – but despite his harmfulness – I pity him.

      The only thing Mr Murdoch rightfully owns is his character and on that basis he is one of the poorest and powerless souls on the planet. Mr Murdoch fears death, as anyone with his life record would. But Mr Murdoch is not immortal. No amount of wealth or power can undo this fact. Yep not even Newscorp, as good as they are, can undo this fact. One day, Rupert Murdoch will cease to exist.

      … and Mr Murdoch will be replaced by another billionaire tyrant unless all the apathetic, ignorant people reclaim their power. See. even though Mr Murdoch, will eventually be held account for his actions, he is not actually the entire problem. The rest of the problem lies with the apathy and ignorance that so many global citizens adopt in their every day lives.

      Mr Murdoch is merely a reflection of our own failings as human beings and each of us has the power to change that in our daily lives. So quit bitching and start taking back control. Aspire to make every single decision you make in your day to be in line with your values. Boycott everything Murdoch and Conservative. Only each citizen taking constructive action will put these type of monsters back in their cages!!!

  48. Mr Turnbull has said the voters have spoken and the election and has endorsed his plan if that is so why has Mrs Maribella lost her seat? The independent has stated that she ran on the concerns of mobile phone coverage ( dependant on phone towers that connect with the fibre optic grid) , NBN connecting every home and business in the town and district and high speed rail to Melbourne. In other words a conservative seat voted against the Liberal party and its plan!
    Mr Turnbull this is not a left wing plot and again like the republic you are willing to sell the nation down the river if you don’t get what you want.

  49. Anyone who thinks the election was about a single issue isn’t mentally fit to hold any office, no matter how minor

  50. Question 1 – Ask Malcolm Turnbull what kind of internet access he has access to at his home….hint: It’s not FTTN ;)

    Question 2 – Ask Malcolm Turnbull what the cost of running FTTN as opposed to FTTP is (and I am not even talking about maintaining or upgrading). hint: discover the difference between active and passive networks ;)

  51. If you believe The L/NP are not false, misleading and a disgrace then you are either weak, stupid or both?

  52. You mean L/NP?

    As LNP is QLD only.

    But they are still destroying both QLD and Australia.

  53. We will never get fibre from this government… because only a FTTN rollout which competes against all other technologies can be branded an “unworkable investment” and sold (gifted) to the private sector.

    The LNP is intending to deliberately miss the point of the network rollout (public monopoly utility) and restore power to the corporates (Telstra?!).

  54. Surely Dave, you’re not suggesting that MT is setting up an income stream for someone who is already wealthy? OMG I can’t imagine that.

  55. As one of the lucky Australians that got FTTP to my house, I can tell you that I’m glad that it was connected and running before the election. Coming from an ADSL 2+ connection that was lucky to pull down 3Mbs, I’m now living the life of 100/40mb connection that’s doing 94Mbs down and 34Mb up in peek times. Labor may have been a bunch of idiots, but there NBN vision for all Australians was excellent. Its a shame that FTTP is not happening for everyone. Australia, you lose.

  56. There is no need to throw the baby out with the bath water Malcolm!

    Don’t be arrogant, you know full well that FTTP makes more sense, you are in power now because Labor leadership squabbles not because FTTN is a better idea (it’s NOT!). Labor didn’t come up with the FTTP idea, they simply saw it made the most sense.

    Here’s a tip, if you continue to screw this up, if you show your blind arrogance to Australians, then you will never be Liberal leader let alone PM. Show us you understand representative democracy.

  57. I have just returned to Australia after living 8 years in Europe and 8 years in USA.
    Australians are being totally screwed and ripped off by our telco’s.
    In both Europe and USA, everyone has had access to 100Mbit networks for years, and there are absolutely no limits on data transmission volumes In other words they never ever pay for ‘Gigagbytes’, which is a ludicrous notion that only the suckers in Australia put up with. Ludicrous, because there is at best, only the most loose relationship imaginable between data size and data transmission cost.. I also worked in Japan for a long time and South East Asia networks today, put USA, Europe and Australia’s to shame.
    We are becoming an information services based economy. Australia needs high speed access to information probably more than any other country on the planet. Australians, go check out the internet plans in USA and Europe and Asia, prepare to get very very angry,

  58. Gary points well made, but don’t take into account a completely dumbed-down electorate prepared to accept any old crap that the government hands them.

    Even taking into account the Telstra model (we can sell you anything you are stupid enough to buy), and will accept second best, in keeping with our government model (we will give you everything you deserve since you are too stupid to demand better), and you have the basis of things here.

    Welcome home. How long are you staying?


  59. Dear Mr Turnbull and Senator Conroy,
    There are approximately 13.5 million subscribers to fixed telephone lines in Australia today. The NBN has been given a wholesale monopoly of high speed broadband. Each of these subscribers will pay NBNCO a minimum of $27.00 per month if they adopt the NBN. It is not a long shot to assume 80% uptake as the rollout reaches completion and Fibre to the Premises speeds attain 1GB download. Indeed at least 40% of these people may opt for the faster speeds at higher price increments. This will conservatively bring in $6 billion per year. This should mean a profit of $5 billion per annum. Within 8 years the cost of the initial rollout would be covered at this conservation level.
    Senator Conroy, your plan currently restricts FTTP to larger towns and densely populated urban areas anyone outside 0.5 km of a town gets the inferior fixed radio or satellite product. There is enough money to cover a majority of low density population areas, why are you allowing the “too expensive” argument to prevail at a time when money is historically extremely cheap and the income from the NBN will start producing an embarrassment of riches within 10 years? Explain how creating a digital divide between small towns, people living 0.5 km outside the high density locations and urban dwellers is for the common good, affordable or politically clever.
    Mr Turnbull, an investment banker, you can do very simple arithmetic, why are you deceiving the population with your ridiculous economics argument, while ignoring the benefits of the NBN and the obsolete state of the regional copper network?

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