“They’ve completely stuffed it”: MyRepublic slams Turnbull’s “shit” NBN


news Pioneering Singaporean broadband provider MyRepublic has reportedly damned Malcolm Turnbull’s Multi-Technology Mix vision as “shit” on the eve of launching predominantly fibre-based broadband services with unlimited quotas in Australia.

MyRepublic was formed as a new broadband provider in Singapore, formed back in 2011 by telco and network specialists Malcolm Rodrigues and KC Lai. The company quickly shot to prominence in the island state through providing unlimited broadband plans at 100Mbps speeds over Singapore’s Next-Gen National Broadband Network, which is based on the Fibre to the Premises network rollout model.

Subsequently, MyRepublic entered New Zealand in 2014, focusing again on providing fibre broadband services with speeds of at least 100Mbps and with no data limits. Actor William Shatner features in the company’s TV ads. The company has actually started offering broadband speeds of between 100Mbps and 1Gbps in its home country.

MyRepublic’s website states that it is “rearing up” to launch in “Australia and other NBN-ready nations”, bringing “the amazing power of fibre NBNs to empower everyone with amazing connectivity”. It has also launched a LinkedIn page for its Australian operation, which states:

“MyRepublic AU are Australia’s Fibre Broadband Specialists with user focused plans for home, gaming and business.

Purpose-built for the national broadband (NBN). MyRepublic was founded in Singapore to challenge outdated incumbent attitudes on the importance of customer experience, products and pricing. Whether it concerns service reliability or superior support, MyRepublic looks to do things differently if it means doing it better, empowering consumers with greater choice and control over their online experience.

MyRepublic believe you deserve the ultimate fibre broadband experience at mass market prices.”

However, the fibre company appears so far to have taken a very dim view of the Coalition’s Multi-Technology Mix model, which integrates several different inferior network technologies — HFC cable and Fibre to the Node — alongside the Fibre to the Premises model which MyRepublic clearly prefers and which is the dominant model in New Zealand and Singapore.

Rodrigues reportedly told Fairfax Media (we recommend you click here for the full article) that the FTTN model was “shit” and that the current Coalition Government had “completely stuffed it” in terms of its policy model for the NBN.

The model which the Coalition is using to deploy the NBN — where the Government-owned NBN company is acquiring legacy HFC cable and copper networks from incumbent telco Telstra and its competitor Optus and upgrading them — does not appear to be being pursued anywhere else globally.

The standard model in a number of countries globally appears to be countries facilitating competition between independent HFC cable operators and incumbent telcos, additionally structurally separating incumbent telcos so that they are incentivised to upgrade their existing copper networks to Fibre to the Node or full Fibre to the Premises.

The ‘mixed’ network approach in one company appears relatively unique to Australia and is likely to result in the NBN company charging the same or similar prices to residents and businesses in close geographical locations for radically different network connections.

Let’s not beat around the bush here — in my opinion, Rodrigues has put into plain language what a lot of Australians think about the NBN.

There is absolutely no doubt that the MTM model has vast problems which are being airbrushed by the Coalition and by the NBN company itself. It’s a bastardised model which will leave Australia behind compared with countries such as Singapore and New Zealand, which are focusing their efforts on full fibre deployments.

And yes, I agree with Rodrigues that the Government has “completely stuffed it” when it comes to broadband policy.

There were two points where this happened. The first was back in the late 1990’s, when the Government of the day allowed Telstra to deploy its own HFC cable network, instead of restricting the incumbent telco and allowing Optus to deploy its HFC cable network to constitute infrastructure-based competition to Telstra. At that stage, Telstra’s retail and wholesale operations should have also been separated, to allow retail competition to flourish in the telecommunications market.

Labor’s FTTP-based NBN project — although unwieldy and complex, suffering many delays and construction issues as Labor underestimated the scale of the effort required — would have eventually corrected this mistake. The Coalition’s decision to abandon a full-fibre model for that project has created a massive mess that will take decades to sort out — if it ever does.

Sometimes it takes an outsider to point out how badly we’re screwing things up.

Image credit: MyRepublic


  1. But do we care as a country enough? Does popular media bother with this when they’ve got their “78% POWER BILL INCREASES” (bullshit stats that they’ve cherry picked to run their agenda)?

    I thank you for your work Renai, however the rest of the media landscape leaves a lot to be desired in keeping the bastards honest.

  2. Thought it was very generous saying they would get 20-30Mbps on FTTN consider the current design rules give an average 5Mbps

    • if i understand it rightly you only need get 25mbits a second at one instance a day to be considered ‘done’ under this governments FTTN policy. thats what they are designing for. if you at the lowest tier of speeds/capability of the network, then you are probably right; any test at not 3am hours could conceivably hit only 5mbps.

      there is far too much latitude afforded the FTTN design to shoot under the mark; whereas the FTTP was the reverse: you would get your headline rate *unless* everyone on the local loop was hitting at the same moment, on a 100mbps plan (which would iirc still yield >70mbps speeds).

      IOW one possible instance a day when you cant expect top speed, VS one instance a day where you could hit top speed, and having done so be considered as satisfying the promised speed requirement. those are starkly different design outcomes, and show the gulf between the design philosophies. personally i think that allowance to shoot under the mark is an insult, and not in any way able to be dignified as a network “upgrade”.

  3. Well that’s what happens when you have a government who don’t believe the internet is important. To them it’s all just “nerds wanting to play with their computers”. As with so many things, they’re out of touch, apathetic, clueless, insensitive and useless.

  4. I’m looking at the GimpCo blog (http://www.nbnco.com.au/blog.html) because this story should appear there but it seems to have turned into a insipid lifestyle blog. Regardless MyRepublic of course are correct, GimpCo have made a mess of what was originally a simple and effective solution.

    • Yea I wonder if Richard can name an ISP that can deliver a min of 25Mbps over FTTN or HFC.

  5. The original intent of the NBN was to provide ubiquitous internet access across Australia, not to provide FTTP. Fibre based technology only became part of the equation when Kevin Rudd needed some political points.

    The argument that the NBN will somehow miraculously transform Australia from a commodities centric economy to a ‘new’ economy based on technology driven industries is completely invalid.

    The majority of Businesses can now access high speed internet – you can get anything if you pay for it. The government should never subsidise business – we have had enough of that with the ‘old’ industries of manufacturing and mining, both of which are in decline.

    You can get 100Mbps internet using Telstra cable in limited areas now – again if you want to pay for it. What benefit will the taxpay get from subsidising private individuals getting fibre? Every recent internet growth report statistics point to a dramatic increase in wireless usage, whilst fixed line stagnates. Surely the answer, to fulfil the original promise of ubiquity, the best return on taxpayer dollar is to subsidise unlimited high-speed wireless.

    There is considerable research being undertaken in developing new standards and protocols or wireless internet – researchers have demonstrated 1TBps 5G wireless in January this year (2015).

    • Nice try Brian but you are simply wrong on almost every point!

      Here’s some links to help you better educate yourself on the benefits of a proper, reliable, high speed, ubiquitous, equal access, nation wide Comms infrastructure.



      The rest of your arguments are simply a poor attempt at historical revisionism which as I’m on my smart phone I’m not going to waste my time refuting.

    • You can get 100Mbps internet using Telstra cable in limited areas now – again if you want to pay for it

      Everyone that wants “100Mbps internet” wants to pay for it. I want to pay for a 250/100mbps connection. So first the infrastructure needs to be built.

      What benefit will the taxpay get from subsidising private individuals getting fibre?

      Another nonsense argument. Under the coalition clown plan my taxpayer dollars will be used to subsidise private individuals on HFC to enable them to get speeds on a network I don’t have access to.

      researchers have demonstrated 1TBps 5G wireless in January this year (2015)

      Lab conditions over a distance of 100m. Not that it’s even relevant but it still doesn’t beat fibre.

    • Hi Brian,

      Firstly WRONG… the initial request for proposals to build the NBN clearly stated “using FTTN or FTTP architecture “…

      Secondly, I’ll ask you the same simple still unanswered question I ask all the sound-a-likes…

      Why is it ok for a government to build and fund FTTN but not FTTP?

      Thirdly unlimited high speed wireless! You do understand the “limitations” of wireless?

  6. MyRepublic boss Malcolm Rodrigues has slammed the NBN rollout. Start-up MyRepublic has been heralded a Telstra-killer, and now the Singaporean company set to shake up Australian broadband has taken aim at the NBN.

Comments are closed.