AFR claims on NBN sale just plain “wrong”, says Fifield


news Communications Minister Mitch Fifield today flatly rejected claims by the Financial Review newspaper that the Government was in talks to sell the bulk of the National Broadband Network to Telstra for as little as $20 billion, stating: “There are no plans to sell NBN”.

The newspaper today reported (we recommend you click here for the full article) that the talks were “at an early stage”, with the Government “not committed yet to a sale”. The AFR stated that it believed such a sale would be likely to take place after the 2016 Federal Election, and could see the NBN company broken up into parts, with Telstra likely to be the highest bidder for much of its infrastructure. It reported the possible sale price as being $20 billion.

The news represents only the latest time that a sale of all or parts of the NBN infrastructure has been rumoured by the Coalition Government since it took power in September 2013.

In March 2014, for example, the Sydney Morning Herald reported that the NBN company and the Government were considering hiving off key parts of its network infrastructure.

However, this afternoon Communications Minister Mitch Fifield poured cold water on the Financial Review’s claims.

“Today’s speculative piece on NBN ownership arrangements is wrong,” the Minister stated in a post on Facebook. “There are no plans to sell NBN. The Coalition is committed to rolling out the NBN and expects the network to be completed by 2020.”

Senator Fifield pointed out that there were currently legislative requirements in place that set out certain precursors to guide any changes to the ownership of the NBN company. “These include a review by the Productivity Commission within three years of the network being completed,” he wrote.

It is difficult to foresee the Government being able to change those requirements in the short term, with the future of any reform to the NBN’s core legislative arrangements likely to face a difficult Senate process.

Today's speculative piece on nbn ownership arrangements is wrong. There are no plans to sell nbn. The Coalition is…

Posted by Senator Mitch Fifield on Friday, December 4, 2015

The news represents only the most recent time that the Financial Review has proven itself less than accurate in its ongoing coverage of the NBN project.

For example, in June 2012, in its main masthead editorial, the newspaper published a number of heavily disputed statements regarding the NBN project, including backing the controversial claim that a new generation of wireless technologies could make the NBN’s fibre rollout obsolete.

In February 2013, the newspaper published a story claiming that the NBN project wouldn’t recover its costs by the year 2040, despite the fact that NBN Co explicitly stated in the same document reported by the AFR that there were several potential scenarios where it would recover the costs by that date.

In August 2012, following sustained criticism of the NBN project by the AFR and other newspapers such as The Australian, then-Communications Minister Stephen Conroy delivered a fiery tirade against the media for constantly repeating misconceptions about the NBN, singling out the Financial Review newspaper for particular ridicule and recommending that those interested in accuracy read broadband forum Whirlpool instead.

Opinion/analysis to follow separately.


  1. Business Insider have also covered it, essentially uncritically:

    The thing is, they’re not getting this out if nowhere – who are their sources? The article suggests this is coming from more than one place. I also don’t believe a word from Fifield, nor NBN Co these days – when just about every statement they put out is steeped in obvious and deliberate misinformation, they are hardly a credible source suddenly.

    You’re right that legislation would need to be changed to allow it to proceed, but I have no doubt that they would line up a buyer long before trying to force the legislation change though. In theory, there’s nothing stopping them from doing so in 2016/17 if they get a majority in both houses at the next election.

    One thing has been clear since April 2013 – this is their end goal, regardless of when.

    • Yeah, same. I thought the coalition would use it as a political tool – “We got the NBN back on track, we delivered where labor could not” etc. Then after a bit they would decide to sell it off – “But now it’s time to hand the NBN over to the professionals” etc.

      Only problem is that their MTM is starting to stink now and its no longer a valuable political tool, but a liability. I guess they want to get rid of it sooner rather than later. The whole thing will get swept under the rug though. The coalition will just deny everything until its forgotten about.

      In the mean time telstra will take its sweet time upgrading everything and we will go back to a monopoly. Chances are the ACCC will stuff up the regulations and we end up back to where we were 10 years ago.

      • No, the spiralling costs and excessive delays are not a mistake, they are running according to plan. Why? Because anyone who knew anything about the networks and the technology involved would have told them FTTN would cost as much if not more, it would only be faster if next to no remediation was required and they could begin construction immediately, it would fundamentally undermine the business case and profitability of the whole project and end up being an ongoing and unstoppable drain on the federal budget – in short, an absolute disaster. They were provided with this information again and again from April 2013. They’ve seen the real figures – that’s why they’ve refused to release so much, and what they have released has been heavily redacted.

        Why would they want it to fail so badly? Because that way they get to take a privatisation plan to Parliament where they will propose to sell the whole thing to Telstra for a fraction of its construction cost, with the justification that it is costing the budget $3bn to $5bn a year. That’s how they’ll get bipartisan approval for legislation change – because of the political fallout of Labor blocking legislation that would save the tax payer billions annually (but you can bet they will report it as a 10 year figure, to make it look even worse).

        • Would you really give the coalition that much credit? Are they really that smart? Was this their master plan all along?

          I -highly- doubt it.

          They are incompetent, ignorant, blind and deaf to sound advice and facts. Politics is the only language they speak and opposition was the flavour of the day. If a policy does not serve their political agenda, they will beat, deform and mangle it until it does – or just flat out ignore it. At the time, labor had a good policy, so the coalition had to come up with something – anything – that would set them at odds with labor.

          • Don’t confuse blind ideological ignorance with stupidity. The things conservatives do may seem utterly stupid, but that doesn’t mean there hasn’t been a great deal of thought that’s gone into it.

            On this particular subject, I don’t just believe this was a plan, I am certain of it. I wrote about it at the time, and had Renai tell me I was very much ‘on the fringe’ of rational thinking on the subject (in other words, he thought I was being an irrational hand-waver). About a month after I published a piece to the ‘net Alan Kohler wrote a similar article looking at the same evidence and drawing the same conclusions – FTTN would eliminate high revenue products and scuttle the NBNs financial viability. He didn’t go so far as to say that would lead to spiralling debt and selling off to Telstra for a fraction of its build cost, but that is only the logical outcome of any drain on the budget. This can all just be classified as ‘budget repair’ now.

            The thing is, it doesn’t matter how stupid you think the LNP are, the question is whether or not they received advice, planning and modelling on the effects various alterations would have. The reality is that of course modelling was done, of course they consulted and we’re advised. There was never any other outcome that was possible from their plan. They have known about it, they have planned for it, and they’re simply executing what they set in motion back in April 2013.

            You can give them all the excuses you like – all you’re going to do is make it easier to get away with it. This was no error, it was not an accident, it was fraud and theft and misappropriation of tens of billions of dollars, that’s still being transferred from the public into private, millionaire hands. If you still think this wasn’t deliberate you haven’t been paying attention.

          • I agree with you in general UG however I think you have the motivation wrong, FTTN etc is all about a 20 plus year gravy train for the libs cronies because that’s how long it’s going to take us to get back FTTP now.

            Just think of all those fat juicy upgrade and maintenance contracts and consulting gigs Malcolm turncoat has generated for his mates for the next 20 years at our expense!

          • Derek, think of it like this – why is FTTP so scary? Who has the most to lose, and who has the most lobbying power? Many people jumped at the Murdoch angle, and there’s a lot to be said for that and I’m sure it had some influence. But Murdoch wasn’t going to suddenly find himself without influence and control as a result of the NBN. It would cause some disruption, sure, but there isn’t a direct correlation between the NBN and critical damage to Murdoch’s empire.

            No, the major pain was inflicted precisely where it was meant to do the most damage – Telstra. The NBN was designed to deliver a level playing field to the whole ICT industry, one free of monopoly leveraging by a privatised government infrastructure owner who siphoned excessive profits out of Australian people and businesses through no actual effort of their own. The NBN made Telstra a retail player finally. And if NBN Co had been allowed to continue what they were doing, rolling out a national fibre network that would last potentially hundreds of years, Telstra was going to have to accept the fact that their days as an 800lb infrastructure gorilla were over, and its share price was beginning to reflect that reality.

            So the major lobbying would have come from Telstra, not Murdoch. What Telstra wanted was what they tried to get the government to give them on several occasions previously – they wanted the government to pay for a new network they got to keep. This isn’t a theory, it is a matter of public record that Telstra attempted to get the government to fund both full fibre and FTTN at various times.

            So then the Labor party, apparently committed to doing something about infrastructure that had gone nowhere in ten years, came up with a solution. What Telstra, Turnbull and possibly a few other insiders worked out was how to get what Telstra wanted despite Labor’s plan to block them out forever. And it was easy, as long as the LNP could get into government. It was easy and simple, because by wrecking the NBN, that made it unprofitable. Making it unprofitable made it difficult to justify retaining. If you couldn’t keep it, it would have to be sold off. But who would want to buy a network haemorrhaging money? Well, one given lots of incentives, of course. Like purchasing it for a song, being allowed to increase pricing, and retaining competition guarantees.

            You think it is about making money from copper? No, that’s just garnish. If Telstra get the fibre, they will have an indefinite monopoly – they will be the toll man every time anyone wants to communicate anywhere with any thing, owning a network that will need hardly any maintenance and low running costs (ideal for a profit driven company). Also remember that evens if this deal goes through next year, the most important part from Telstra’s perspective is already finished – the Transit network. Allow competitive over building as much as you like – the Transit network is what absolutely everything will always have to flow over, so owning that will entrench Telstra as irreplaceable, taxing every bit of data that flows across the nation.

            Thats where the real money is – perpetual, indefinite income.

          • UG what you say does make a lot of sense and would certainly explain a lot if true.

            We need a royal commission into the destruction of the NBN to find out all the vested interests and expose them.

            Unfortunately it doesn’t seem like shorten has much chance of knocking off Turnbull at the next election as his reality distortion field is too strong (even Renai fell for it once).

          • Derek O,

            “We need a royal commission into the destruction of the NBN’

            No we don’t because we have no ‘destruction’ just because the FTTP fans are pushing that agenda, or are you looking backwards at a RC for the FAILED Labor NBN rollout?

            “to find out all the vested interests and expose them.”

            wow the tin foil is getting a workout in this discussion, what’s next aliens are living in FTTN cabinets?

          • UninvitedGuest,

            “If Telstra get the fibre, they will have an indefinite monopoly –”

            … or any other Telco here or from overseas that bids and gets it if and when privatisation takes place.

            Labor also intended to privatise the NBN but only the Coalition version is really really bad because it is a MtM model, and anything about MtM is bad and anything about FTTP is good, it’s the natural order of things ‘cos we say so.

            You also glibly ignore because it completely shreds your argument the role of the ACCC, the ACCC sets the wholesale pricing now for both the NBN and Telstra, for your conspiracy theory to work either Labor or the Coalition will need to have legislation passed to remove the ACCC from the role of umpire on monopoly infrastructure access and wholesale pricing.

            So that is a given is it?

          • Lol reality
            If the afr article is correct the only network available to sell at this stage is FTTP.

            But then if they wait it’s all complete then there are 5 networks to sell off. No one would want the FTTN high OPEX low revenue. HFC only a little bit better still having high OPEX but higher revenue than FTTN. The only value is the FTTP due to low OPEX and high revenue.

          • “If the afr article is correct the only network available to sell at this stage is FTTP.’

            ahh the big ””IF”” , and I didn’t get that inference at all, it depends what biased eye is reading it I guess.

        • Reality so how much HFC have they done to sell how much FTTN have they done so far SFA.

          • Rizz,

            A hell of lot more than two years into Labor’s NBN post 2007.

            yeah that’s right they were still ‘thinking’ about FTTP trial sites in 2009.

          • Oh FFS Alain, keep ignoring what really happened!!!

            It’s not like the ALP went to the 2007 election with an FTTP plan now is it?

            You sir are nothing more than a LibTroll

          • Yeah they changed their mind I know about that, the point remains about the progression of the FTTP rollout after two years of a Labor government, apparently no comparisons are allowed because you say so.

            Followed by the inevitable personal attack – class act.

          • A Personal attack on you is justified Alain as you have proven you aren’t interested in facts, you are here to troll for your political party.

          • @Reality,

            Your name is ironic, because you ignore the reality that nbn had to build an entire backhaul network to be able to support the nbn in the first place, so to claim nothing happened because no FTTP connections to premises were made, is entirely disingenuous.

            BUT, you know this, and you have been told on numerous occasions. What did the Liberals have to do since getting into power? Did they have to build an entirely new backbone for their network? No…. But you find it perfectly acceptable that they have done nothing but a few trials in 2 years, yet Labor doing more than that is “doing nothing”?

            Kay, go back to under your bridge you tiresome troll.

          • @DevoidOfReality

            Chew on this forensic review of your Lib buddies destruction of the NBN!!! This is what the ICT industry really thinks and the occasional blinkered LibTroll like you is in the tiny minority!

            From one of Australia’s best political ideas to a smouldering mess of ideology trumping the good of nation, the NBN looks likely to fail in almost spectacular fashion.


            Labors’ original plan for an Australia-wide fibre network was ambitious but certainly not unattainable. It was expensive, sure, but the economic benefits would have been staggering – regions limited by their communications infrastructure would blossom as their intellectual assets were released by technology. Copper that had degraded over decades of poor maintenance or environmental degradation would be replaced by fibre that is much less expensive to keep alive and less susceptible to the ravages of the Australian landscape. NBN Co (now nbn™) would have easily returned a healthy profit for the government, over time.

            After the election, the flurry of proposed reviews and plans began, and it was of no surprise to anyone that they all supported the new government’s position. Labor’s plan was “dramatically” more expensive than the Coalition’s proposed “Multi Technology Mix” plan. It would, in fact, be cheaper and faster to build! But don’t worry too much about the dramatic loss of speed for around 38% of the population, who would be lucky to get 50Mbps for the foreseeable future. Nor the other 32% who would be stuck on aging, shared HFC infrastructure, relying purely on the fact that the government would continue to upgrade this over the next decade to keep up with the demands.

          • Derek O,

            Nice ‘opinion’ piece nothing more nothing less.

            I love these statements.

            ” that is much less expensive to keep alive and less susceptible to the ravages of the Australian landscape.”

            The ravages of the Australian landscape lol , is that the same as the ravages of the UK landscape with sub zero temperatures, regular snow falls in urban areas and floods, or our ‘ravages’ a special type of world unique ‘ravage’ that only FTTP will fix?

            ” NBN Co (now nbn™) would have easily returned a healthy profit for the government, over time.”

            Sorry I missed the date, what does over time mean? actually it means nothing.

            ” Nor the other 32% who would be stuck on aging, shared HFC infrastructure”

            Is that the same HFC infrastructure that Comsec USA’s largest internet provider is upgrading to DOCSIS 3.1 or is our HFC infrastructure which the NBN Co got for the same price Labor were paying to NOT get it once again unique in the world?

            Thanks for the article Derek, it at least gave me a laugh.

          • Reality
            You have no credibility to comment on an article since when you linked Turnbull pre election policy claim in there saying they where using HFC when there was no such mention. Lol

          • Ah good old Alain, telling us white is black and black is white as usual.


          • R0ninX3ph

            “so to claim nothing happened because no FTTP connections to premises were made, is entirely disingenuous.”

            I didn’t say ‘no FTTP connections to premises were made’, you made that up, so there is no being disingenuous in the first place.

            “Kay, go back to under your bridge you tiresome troll.”

            another classy personal attack, the fallback sign of desperation as the 2013 dream of the failed Labor FTTP fades away with each passing year.

            BTW PA doesn’t bother me, much pro FTTP argument when factually countered has no where to go except to try and shoot the messenger, I enjoy a robust rational evidence based discussion, to throw the towel in so early is sad.

          • @Reality,

            You made the claim that the first 2 years of Labors policy and the Liberal policy were the same.

            So, I simply extrapolated you must mean that Labor did nothing because they didn’t build any FTTP connections in that time, because if you’re saying that putting together a GBE, planning and beginning construction of the backbone network to support the NBN is “doing nothing” then you’re just an out and out twit.

            The Liberals did NOT have to build a backhaul network, the Liberals did NOT have to put together a new GBE from nothing, the Liberals only had to get on with the job, yet 2 years in they had a whopping.. was it 20 premises… connected to FTTN?

          • Either way, I think calling you a Libtroll is less of a personal attack and more of just an accurate description at this point.

            You like to make claims that make it seem like building the underlying base required to even begin construction of a national broadband network is nothing, so it is either the mark of a troll, or someone incredibly unintelligent.

    • The LNP need to get rid of it, it is an albatross around their neck. The NBN has demonstrated that they are incapable of working for the benefit of ordinary Australian’s or of even producing a positive outcome to a problem and it touches too many people to ignore. Tony’s Leadership, Joe’s budget, George’s mass surveillance, Andrew’s trade agreements, Julie’s war with Russia, Scott’s compassion and Malcom’s NBN. The LNP need to quickly clear the air so they can get back to adult subjects like death cults and national security. Planes that will barely reach our closest neighbour and won’t make it home without support, helicopter ships to threaten small pacific islands, over the top payments for submarines and laws, lots of laws. These are the things the LNP does best and this is the narrative they have to regain.

  2. I’m no big fan of the AFR, but I think it’s a but hasty to assume they’re wrong based on Fifield’s word. He did after all only say there are no plans – talking about the possibility of a sale is not the same thing as a plan to sell.

  3. This looks like just an attempt to gauge the practical consequences of a sell-off and how viable/beneficial it would be, rather than a firm commitment, but I would have no surprise at all at the Coalition wanting to. This is their whole ideology, of ‘just get our mates in the private sector to do it and we all make $$$’. Scratching each other’s backs, that’s just what they do.

    The fear is that we would become trapped in the American telco model, where cable companies are dominant and 63% of Americans have a choice of one ISP (their cable company), or return to the dominance of Telstra. But then the Coalition sees that as the natural order, no matter how stifling to the economy in the context of a changing world.

    • “This is their whole ideology, of ‘just get our mates in the private sector to do it and we all make $$$’”

      No, there’s a pretty big difference between leaving the private sector to its own devices (or even encouraging investment through incentives) and building infrastructure *for* the private sector using public funds and then giving it to them for a fraction of what it cost to build.

      Imagine this – the LNP Government make a policy announcement that they want to spend $20bn in public funds building a nationwide fibre network for Telstra, that entrench Telstra as the monopoly owner of the new fibre network that every phone and Internet company in the country will have to pay for access, just like they’ve had to on the copper network for two decades. This isn’t the government footing the bill, they say, because Telstra will be paying for about half of it – this is merely an ‘incentive’. Telstra, they tell us, can be trusted to operate their new monopoly fairly, because: history. Do you think, for a second, that such a plan would even see the light of day, let alone be tried on the public? Of course not.

      But that’s what is happening, just in a convoluted, roundabout way. This was predicted because it is the logical result of calculated input – increasing costs plus decreasing revenue equals a nonprofitable NGO. A nonprofitable NBN equals not-an-investment. Not-an-investment equals on-budget expense. $55+bn on-budget expense equals unsustainable fiscal black hole. Unsustainable fiscal black hole equals get-rid-of-it-at-all-costs. Divestment of unprofitable infrastructure equals government taking a hit to pay down the debt and selling off (privatising) the infrastructure for a fraction of its construction cost. Go on, tell me where that calculation falls down?

      When the ALP launched the NBN, Telstra saw the writing on the wall and demanded their friends in the LNP (particularly Turnbull, almost certainly, because he has so many contacts in Telstra) do something to stop it. Telstra share price started taking a hit, because as the NBN took shape even the public could see that a Telstra without national wholesale infrastructure was a much weaker Telstra (thank #@&$). It would have been obvious right from the beginning to both Telstra and the LNP that the best outcome would be to organise the sale of NBN’s fibre network to Telstra. If allowed to continue under Labor that would be very difficult to impossible to achieve, but if the LNP could get in then the NBN could be undermined from within, causing the business model to collapse and turning a nation building, wholly independent NGO wholesale provider into little more than a Telstra 2.0 reboot subsidy.

      This is no accident, this is no simple mismanagement, this was a plan executed to perfection. It is theft on an unprecedented scale, and people should be going to jail for their natural lives. But they won’t – they’ll be hailed as ‘visionary’ prime ministers and captains of industry. Because that’s what you get when the people putting these corporate raiders in power are endemicly stupid.

    • Thank you UG. I don’t know what to say about the magnitude of what has just come to light.

  4. Not surprising, they might have plans but Fifield is right, the hoops they’d have to jump thru make it virtually impossible until it’s completed and been running for 3 years etc etc.

    • No, they’re only limited by the legislation. That they could change with bipartisan support. All they have to do is make it more politically damaging for Labor to block such legislation than to let it through.

  5. LOL… I was only joking at the other thread when I said, we await today’s MTM fuck up… BUT… :/

  6. Until national projects and their fates are taken to referendum, then Mitch Fifield is talking out his arse. The NBN project’s completion and sale is on the whim of whichever faceless, falsely democratic organisation wins the next rigged election.
    Remove the problems at the source and remove the party system!

  7. Wait let me check under my sofa pillows *finds a dollar coin*
    Okay I’m in the bid to buy the NBN! :)

  8. They are setting up their trash heap to be sold to Murdoch after they have spent all our money remediating the copper to prevent fibre. Then google will come along and give us 10gbps fibre.

    • Daniel Rossi ,

      “then google will come along and give us 10gbps fibre.”

      LOL, Google cherry picks where it is going to put their fibre in the USA, ask them to roll it out here all over Australia, give wholesale access to all ISP’s in Australia, and the ACCC will set the wholesale rates.

      • Which is alain????

        Why we needed the FttP NBN, thanks for finally awakening from your mindless stupor.

  9. Why would a government of any colour – ever get into a business they know nothing about?
    We have seen for 30 years that they are largely incapable of even doing their own jobs… efficiently or effectively!

    • The Govt. didn’t get into the business. They created a company staffed by highly qualified, skilled people to build the business.

  10. What’s hilarious about all the above lengthy rambling no fact conjecture based monologue tin foil hat conspiracy theories that would leave Alcoa struggling to keep up supply is that Labor fully intended to privatise their version of the NBN that was FTTP to 93% of all residences.

    Apparently a Labor privatisation model is ok and free of any conspiracy theories because …. umm err it just would have been.

    • That’s because a full fttp model would be world class and future proof. It would be a highly profitable and saleble product. Could net taxpayers and govt a very big bonanza.

      Whereas, the mtm is low profit, not wholly saleable, will end up making huge losses for the govt and taxpayer, and we end up with a crap nbn.

        • “Reality”, you really have NO clue do you? Even the AFR is talking fire sale prices. $56Billion+ invested with a sale price ~$20Billion. And most likely Telstra would be in the front running, iirc there is a clause in the current agreement that gives them first refusal or veto of a sale concerning any of their former assets. What would Telstra gain? A monopoly network to leverage off of again. Exactly where they wanted to be with their original “FTTN to all” plan 10 years ago.

          All these years the fibre “zealots” have pointed out all the deficiencies in the MTM model, and all those chickens are coming home to roost and yet you still believe the political codswallop that is being spouted by the vested interests. I’d rather be an informed zealot than a ignorant moron anyday of the week.

          • Sean,

            ‘chickens coming home to roost”

            yeah sure it is.

            One AFR article which Fifield has denied and it’s all over apparently.

            “Communications Minister Mitch Fifield today flatly rejected claims by the Financial Review newspaper that the Government was in talks to sell the bulk of the National Broadband Network to Telstra for as little as $20 billion, stating: “There are no plans to sell NBN”.

            The FTTP fans desperation is getting frenetic as the 2013 DREAM rapidly dissolves away with every passing month leading up to election 2016.

            The need to hang everything on every media rumour is really sad.

            More like the plucked roasted and eaten Labor FTTP chicken has flown away, and that was two years ago.

          • You’re mistaking holding politicians, parties and Governments to account as ‘living in the past’. We’re not living in the past, we’re saying there was an infrastructure project planned, financed and executing that was interfered with for political reasons, reasons we know to be fatally flawed, and we are making noise about it because
            A) the public should have greater (or, you know, full) knowledge of this, particularly when the man responsible for the turnaround in the LNP’s fortunes is the same man who sabotaged said infrastructure project, and
            B) we believe those who have sabotaged national infrastructure, planned and executed a many tens of billions of dollars in redistribution of public funds into private hands should be held to account, not just politically but criminally. It’s not just deceptive, it isn’t even mere fraud, it is the worst case corruption and white collar crime in our history.

            This is *way* beyond a preference for a particular type of communications tech. The fact that people like you have ever thought this is utterly ludicrous to begin with, but as the ramifications become clear to more people that whole argument will be nothing but laughable to all but LNP diehards. This has always been very serious to all that understood what was at stake, but as it unfolds it will be unavoidable by even Malcolm’s reality denying misinformation.

            The chickens, they are coming, and they don’t look friendly.

          • Reality, the chickens refers to whole MESS that’s been made of the NBN. It was a small mess under Labor, now it’s bordering on a catastrophe under the LNP stewardship. I beggars belief that certain people can’t see that the MTM is a political solution for a political problem. At no point was it an engineering solution, at no point was it a fiscal solution. If you can’t see that then I need to borrow those lovely blue tinted lenses in your specs.

          • “which Fifield has denied”

            It’s a good thing politicians never lie or this statement would look ridiculous!

          • Sean,

            ” was a small mess under Labor,”

            That’s the understatement of the year , Labor roll out targets were cut so hard in the end it was at a little over half of what they originally estimated.

            “now it’s bordering on a catastrophe under the LNP stewardship.”

            The so called catastrophe is a desperate beat up, it relies on leaked documents that are in draft form or modelling scenarios, apparently that’s all it takes and they suddenly become fact and indisputable proof that the MtM is in trouble.

            Documents that are officially released by the NBN Co like CP 16 released August this year in most part are ignored because they contain to many unpalatable facts about FTTP.

            When faced with unpalatable facts FTTP fans just deny they exist.

            ” I beggars belief that certain people can’t see that the MTM is a political solution for a political problem.”

            It beggars belief that the MtM model a model used successfully the world over is only a problem here.
            It also beggars belief that the Australian communications environment is so unique in the world that there is ONLY one fixed line solution, FTTP for 93%.

          • Reality
            Turnbull targets have been cut so hard claiming to deliver 25Mbps to 12M premises by 2016 when according to the CP16 only 2.5M premises will be connected by then.

            So they have cut that target to just under 25% of the irignal target.

          • @alain, you keep harping on about MtM being the world model of choice but it’s pure nonsense, all major Telco’s are moving to FTTP.

            Verizon: 20 million premises passed
            Comcast: 18 premises passed by the end of 2015

            and now AT&T: planning to cover 14 million premises with FTTP


            wake up and stop the anti-FTTP BS!

            You just keep proving you are nothing more than a party political hack!

          • JK,

            I think we have all got it, Labor and Coalition NBN Co’s adjust funding estimates and roll out targets, there is only one way you can stop that, don’t roll out a NBN at all.

            What is total BS is to simplistically assert that the only solution is to replace FTTN with FTTP and magic happens, rollover targets are met and funding estimates and completion dates will never have to be changed again.

          • Derek O,

            ” all major Telco’s are moving to FTTP.”

            Except the one’s you didn’t mention that are using a mix.

            Oh you left out the full story on AT&T, (funny that).

            “AT&T is rolling out a mixture of FttN and FttP across 22 states of the US for its U-verse network that not only provides broadband, but also TV services. FttP is generally reserved for new housing premises in affluent areas. AT&T embarked on its fibre-to-the-node project in 2006, and estimates put the total number of new premises getting VDSL at 90 percent.”

            There you go fixed it for you.

          • Lol reality
            First you bag how bad labor FTTP rollout is now you defend how bad coalition rollout is. Lol almost as good a laugh when you claim that Turnbull was going to use HFC in his pre election policy.

            AT&T have stopped any new FTTN and are focusing on FTTP as FTTN can not deliver the speeds there customer demands

          • @Alian AT&T haven’t expanded their FTTN network in quite some some and actually criticised FTTN as being “too slow”!

            sounds a bit like you Alain!


            AT&T quotes figures in its submission to the FCC (PDF link) that its ‘FTTN-based broadband services that in most areas are capacity limited today to 45 Mbps (and nowhere exceed 75 Mbps)’ are just too slow compared to competitive FTTP services that in many places in the US are already offered at 1Gbps speeds.

          • You keep leaving the key bits out you don’t like, especially the key reason why AT&T were rolling out FTTP.

            “So, AT&T says FTTN is too slow but FTTP is ‘extraordinarily costly’.”

            AT&T is selectively rolling out FTTP to cherry picked areas of the USA for AT&T customers, it certainly would be ‘extraordinarily costly’ to roll out FTTP to 93% of residences in Australia.

            “With DirecTV under its belt, AT&T says it will have many customers to which it can sell content and services, giving it the customer base and the scale that it needs to justify and pay super-expensive FTTP, which profits from its resulting customers will also help pay for”

            So the DirectTV AT&T product justifies and pays for its “super-expensive FTTP”

            I wasn’t aware the NBN Co Labor or Coalition were going retail and going into the DirectTV business to help pay for its FTTP in cherry picked areas of our capital cities.

            Just as well the Coalition got the Telstra copper and HFC and Optus HFC for the same price Labor were going to pay them for not getting it, much more sensible option than the ‘super expensive FTTP’ don’t you think?

          • Reality
            NBN is offering free to air to service over its fibre it also has the option of delivering other channels of its choice if the NBN wish to do so.

          • Your response is highly simplistic in the extreme, we are referring to the AT&T FTTP rollout article linked above.

            1. The NBN Co is not a retailer, it is a government legislated wholesaler of BB products to all ISP’s, with the access conditions and pricing set outside the NBN Co by the ACCC.

            2. The NBN Co is not retailing its own streaming TV product to selected cherry picked NBN Co customers (no wholesale to all) to justify its FTTP rollout to those selected customers.

            Not even close to being a same as scenario.

          • Your “points” are irrelevant Alain, as usual!

            Fact: AT&T are not building anymore FTTN
            Fact: AT&T are going to build FTTP past 14 million premises over the next 4 years.

            Reasons: FTTN is too slow and no longer competitive!

          • Lol Derek that can’t be right 14M in 2 years wow that’s beating the MTM for 12M in 7 years

          • @Jason K It makes a mockery of nbn’s rollout target. Telstra actually wouldn’t put up with such a laughable rollout target. Telstra is getting the network after all, so nbn should lift its game :)

          • It beggars belief that the MtM model a model used successfully the world over is only a problem here.

            Really Reality?

            Name one other country that bought the POTS to “upgrade” it?

            In actual fact, no other country has tried this model…

          • Tinman_AU,

            “Name one other country that bought the POTS to “upgrade” it?”

            Name one other country that paid the POTS owner $11B and not get the POTS included, and decided it was cheaper to spend $11B to shut it down and overbuild it with expensive FTTP?

            “In actual fact, no other country has tried this model…”

            The FTTN model is nothing new, a MtM model is nothing new either, both models are in use overseas quite successfully, apparently Australia has this unique landscape where only FTTP will do.

            Perhaps there is a problem with cockatoos and FTTN cabinets, where all will be revealed in the next NBN Co ‘leak’, stay tuned.

            In fact if such a leak was released as a joke the fibre zealots would run with it, and still keep using it for years even when the joke was revealed.


          • Derek O,

            “Fact: AT&T are going to build FTTP past 14 million premises over the next 4 years.”

            That’s amazing that 12 million was added because in the article you linked to they state:

            “US mega-telco AT&T has decided to deploy FTTP to 2 million US homes over 4 years”

            So what you should have said is ‘No Fact:’

            You really need to stop with the own goals, while you are behind.

          • Jason K,

            “Lol Derek that can’t be right 14M in 2 years”

            lol Jason K you are correct for the first time, it can’t be right.

            I want a totally independent comment, what does Rizz think?


          • Reality
            And yet how is the MTM going
            FTTP 1.5M connect and 600K active (labor model ftw)
            FTTN 30K connect 300 active lol
            HFC trials lol
            The MTM is suppose to be faster lol
            It’s not cheaper as an $8B difference for an FTTP is nothing at all
            And FTTN plans cost the same as FTTP so it’s not even cheaper for the customers.

            Wasn’t it supposed to be cheaper faster and more affordable.

          • …. oops another slip up, two fallback options available, personal attack or a diversion, often both, the diversion wins out this time.

          • Reality
            How is that a diversion. You the one making the diversion as you can’t even comeback at the statement.

            It’s like the $26B cost blow out and 7 years time blow out. You only excuse is CP change lol. Yes they do but labors only change with only $4B while with its hopelesslty slower rollout than FTTP has blown out by $26B.

          • Perhaps there is a problem with cockatoos and FTTN cabinets, where all will be revealed in the next NBN Co ‘leak’, stay tuned.

            It’s only Tuesday, give them till Thursday at least ;o)

          • Name one other country that paid the POTS owner $11B and not get the POTS included, and decided it was cheaper to spend $11B to shut it down and overbuild it with expensive FTTP?

            That’s probably one of the reasons, yeah. POTS has a much higher on going cost to run/maintain. That and the main reason, access to the ducts/pits.

          • I’ve stayed out of this one and look ay Reality in his glory, screaming personal attack (*sigh*) whilst personally attacking (claiming Derek, Jason and whoever else is me)…and talking complete shit, which when I confronted him to supply a rational response, he ran so fast, he could have broken Bolts 100m record…

            So I’ll remind everyone alain, where you just yesterday, clearly admitted FttP was the better plan and that Turnbull and Morrow are to blame not Conroy and Quigley…

            You’re welocome again…

            @ Reality..

            Classic comment (as per c/p below) even from you child…

            * “Oh so the Coalition NBN Co have not been for the last two years rolling out greenfields FTTP, some brownfields FTTP, FTTB, fixed wireless and satellite, and it’s all BS.

            ** I must tell a relative who connected to Coalition NBN Co fixed wireless one month ago and is very happy with the speed it is all BS.

            *** Conroy is not in charge anymore and Quigley is not the NBN Co CEO, you really need to move on and start inputting advice to Labor on their NBN 2016 campaign, knock up some fraudband banners and dance around some FTTN cabinets, that should convince the swinging NBN voter.”


            * Yes the Coalition have been rolling out FttP, haven’t they. And yet you are blind to the irony, nay hypocrisy, of you of all people beating your chest about FttP roll outs? GOLD.

            But how’s the FttN (FRAUDBAND)/MTM part which differs from the previous rollout/plan going? Oh slowly if at all, with cost and time frame blowouts and daily fuckups.

            Seems you just admitted and I agree, “FttP did work and is still working (and working much better than FttN/MTM – FRAUDBAND), regardless of whether the Labor Party or the Coalition are rolling it out.”

            ** “You’re relatives” are enjoying the “Coalition’s” NBN. What a surprise.

            *** Yes we know Conroy/Quigley aren’t in charge anymore. Thanks for finally realising this too. So not only do you finally acknowledge in just three paragraphs, that FttP worked and still is working, but also you finally acknowledge that Conroy/Quigley are no longer in charge and ergo cannot in any way be blamed for the “current FttN/MTM – FRAUDBAND complete and utter mess”.

            Wow how about that AGAIN… run Usain…

    • Try addressing the facts, Alain. You do know what facts are, don’t you? Is it possible for you to have a rational discussion without resorting to insults?

      Personally, I have very little patience for you or interest in replying to you. You have demonstrated over several years that you are wholly incapable of holding a reasonable discussion – you make wild, disingenuous or exaggerated claims. When people take time time to reply to you succinctly and honestly, even helpfully, you either obtusely misrepresent what they’ve said or pretend to misunderstand, or you simply disappear, failing to acknowledge what has been painstakingly written in response to your questions or argument, before reappearing in the comments in another article spouting the same misinformation as though you had never been provided with comprehensive evidence demonstrating why your argument is flawed. You are at best an utterly unreasonable person unworthy of the time any of us has spent attempting to debate with you rationally.

      But unfortunately it’s possible that someone may be reading this that doesn’t understand why your point is invalid, and it would be slightly hypocritical of me to chastise you for attacking people and not arguments while doing the same.

      So, you contend that there is hypocrisy in an argument against LNP privatisation when the ALP was going to privatise the NBN anyway. Let’s look at that, shall we?
      A) You may not be aware, but very few people ever considered the ALP NBN plan to be flawless. Allowing the ACCC to dictate the excessive Points of Interconnect, the flawed contractor model, and the contingency for privatisation were all criticised. One of those had to be changed because it wasn’t working – who’s to say that other aspects may have been similarly altered in the future, swayed by rational argument?
      B) Labor’s plan provided a contingency for privatisation of the NBN to be considered after analysis and consultation following a review conducted three years after the whole project had been completed. That’s a hell of a difference to a sale conducted with most of the network not even started – in fact, we have one satellite in orbit but yet to have customers connected, a fair bit of fixed wireless, and the only part actually finished (well, close to) is the Transit Network. I wonder what will happen to the rest of the network if privatised before it has been constructed?
      C) Labor’s FTTP NBN mk I would have been a revenue generating asset. The government would have been stupid to sell it, but at least if it did they would have attracted a significant profit selling a cash flow positive asset. Selling debt laden infrastructure with no hope of achieving profitable returns requires the public accept a huge write down to the tune of tens of billions, and then they have to accept throwing unreasonably high costs to access extremely mediocre communications infrastructure that goes to shareholder profits of a company that didn’t even pay for that infrastructure in the first place. That’s a hard pill to swallow (and exactly what we’ve had to do in this country for two decades already).
      D) Privatisation of NBN mk I would have occurred at a point where the cost of access was continuing to fall as the debt accrued for construction was repaid and the project approached revenue generation. Being cash flow positive would mean the cost of access for consumers would continue to fall, making communications infrastructure more affordable for everyone. Privatisation of an incomplete, cash flow negative, debt laden infrastructure means not only would the government have to take a hit to pay down the debt, not only would they have to subsidise the sale, not only would they have to commit to ongoing subsidisation to ensure that the purchaser wouldn’t go broke just running it, but prices for consumers, the cost of access, could not only never fall, they would steadily increase as the company and the government sought to limit the damage and the haemorrhaging.

      Can you really not see that there is absolutely no similarity between privatisation of the NBN as it stands now, and the contingency for privatisation as originally laid out for evaluation after the whole project had been completed? Do you really think trying to compare the two is a reasonable and rational comparison?

        • Indeed Derek. As Quigley’s analysis highlighted, ARPU on fibre is actually tracking *higher* than predicted, and that’s with all the >100mbps plans (which had the highest RPU) withdrawn. Imagine where it would be had the fibre rollout continued to accelerate unmoledted and those plans up to 1gbps released.

          • Absolutely, imagine how much take up of the high ARPU Biz plans there would have been once all the metro businesses currently on bonded SHDSL, P2P Microwave etc etc had been passed! Totally wasted opportunity by lumping is with Mal Turncoats Mess!!

          • Linking back to your own false/flawed statements merely demonstrates that your denial of reality is consistent.

            Yes, FTTP that was already contracted continued. But not at the same rollout rate – if you take into account the rollout deployment planned and detailed in the 2013 business plan you will see that the rollout was scheduled to accelerate dramatically. Instead we had an essentially linear progression – all the construction that was contracted and due to commence over the following six months instead took up to two years for the deployment teams to get around to, because they stopped employing more contractors to ramp up the rollout. Huge amounts of the network that were due to commence over the following twelve months were simply cancelled because the contracts hadn’t been signed.

            Trying to represent this as continuing apace is not only disingenuous but flat out deceptive – you are denying facts. Yes, they competed the contacted work, but that ignores the fact that new contracts were being signed continuously as new areas were being provisioned. The rate of contract agreement didn’t just slow, it completely stopped. The contracted work that *was* completed didn’t roll out at the planned pace, it trickled out as existing teams could get around to them. That is demonstrably *not* continuing FTTP as it was being rolled out under Labor.

            I also note that after your sniping comments attempting to draw a parallel between the planned contingency to evaluate privatisation under the original NBN plan and a possible firesale by the LNP have been comprehensively refuted you are yet to accept you were wrong/mistaken/disingenuous/misleading. Go on Alain, grow a pair and admit when you were wrong.

          • UG,

            I don’t know how many times I have to state the bleeding obvious, the Coalition NBN policy is not the same as the old Labor NBN policy, to state another bleeding obvious point that the FTTP rollout other than greenfields was scaled down once outstanding brownfields build contracts were fulfilled is a given, yeah I have got it, I never said the FTTP rollout is exactly the same as Labor would have been.

            I think the reason might be Coalition NBN policy is not a mirror of Labor NBN policy, I think the electorate understands that, well before the 2013 election.

            A key reason for that is that the Coalition policy is reusing Telstra infrastructure which the NBN Co received for the same $11B Labor were going to pay Telstra anyway and NOT get the infrastructure, the product using that infrastructure is called FTTN.

            You can go on all you like about if only Labor NBN Co were allowed to continue the FTTP build they were going to ‘speed up’ and they were just ‘ramping up’ when they lost Government etc etc

            The problem is they were always going to do that as each rollout target was reduced, it was always going to be made up in the next reporting period, they never did.

            After six years Labor had their chance and blew it, simple as that, someone different is running the NBN show now and may even be the same lot post 2016, you need to move on.

          • Yet reality
            It’s not cheaper or faster to roll out any more as what they where claiming before the election

          • @UG
            Thank you for the exceptional write up.

            The simple “REALITY” is that the ARPU at the moment is $40. So this doesn’t take into account the rollout the ramp up or anything like that. It is based purely on the average revenue per user. Hence The volume of users that are currently on it. These people are only on here due to the existing Labor plan. There is almost no one on due to the new coalition plan. Hence we are seeing a representative sample of what the the ARPU would have looked like had the Labor plan continued.

          • “A key reason for that is that the Coalition policy is reusing Telstra infrastructure which the NBN Co received for the same $11B Labor were going to pay Telstra anyway and NOT get the infrastructure”

            Almost right the $11B labor spent on access to pits and pipes involved Telstra actually bringing those up to standard for use by NBN and maintaining asset they still owned (the pits and pipes). Now Telstra get the same amount of money but all the expense has been dumped onto the NBN. We went form $11Bil to $11bil+ unknown extra.

          • Rizz,

            So you are Hotcakes as well, my my you are a busy lad flat out 24-7 game playing the comment system.

          • alain, you amaze us all I’m sure, that any (supposed grown person) can become even more ridiculously childish each day… WHY?

            Just when we thought no he couldn’t possibly get any sillier, could he? Voila!

            But having corresponded with you for years through your endless hypocritical contradictory idiocy – HFC failed/HFC is great, FttN is FRAUDBAND/FttN is great, Labor promised/its ok the Coalition altered, blah blah, blah, etc, etc, etc.

            Nothing surprises anymore… perhaps you need to be even sillier (if that’s remotely possible) and then really surprise us…

            But for now, tell us your rare truths again…how the “FttP (not MTM/FttN FRAUDBAND) roll out is still working out well today and Morrow/Turnbull (not Conroy/Quigley) are now in charge of the MTM/NBN FRAUDBAND fuck up and ergo Morrow and Turnbull are completely to blame…

            Just as you did just yesterday..

            That’s my new fav of your’s … go on tell us again..

      • + (UP TO) 56B for this comment of your’s UG, in relation to our dear freind alain…

        “Personally, I have very little patience for you or interest in replying to you. You have demonstrated over several years that you are wholly incapable of holding a reasonable discussion – you make wild, disingenuous or exaggerated claims. When people take time time to reply to you succinctly and honestly, even helpfully, you either obtusely misrepresent what they’ve said or pretend to misunderstand, or you simply disappear, failing to acknowledge what has been painstakingly written in response to your questions or argument, before reappearing in the comments in another article spouting the same misinformation as though you had never been provided with comprehensive evidence demonstrating why your argument is flawed. You are at best an utterly unreasonable person unworthy of the time any of us has spent attempting to debate with you rationally.’…

  11. Fifield ruled out selling the company nbn(tm), but he hasn’t ruled out selling parts of the network, so what’s stopping them? There are “legislative requirements in place that set out certain precursors to guide any changes to the ownership of the NBN company”, but what requirements are there, if any, for selling the network? It’s just an asset like any other, and the government sells assets all the time – every time the Liberals find a government owned property that’s worth anything, they don’t hesitate to sell it, no matter the costs of renting a property for and moving the departments and employees it accommodates.

  12. Any further analysis of this sale/privatisation/disposal of NBN Assets needs to refer back to the last of the Vertigan Report recommendations, the Minister’s initial response to these recommendations, and the Minister’s full response to these recommendations.

    Not to forget that the National Broadband Network Companies Act 2011 No. 22, 2011
    Part 2 Division 4—Divestiture of assets by NBN corporations
    which is in a seperate section than the Part 3—Ownership and control of NBN Co
    and appears to give the Minister significant powers to sell specific assets, like it’s HFC Assets, without actually “selling NBN”.

      • According to the National Broadband Network Companies Act 2011, it appears that for disposal of NBN Assets (like the HFC assets), as opposed to a change in ownership and control of NBN.
        1. Requesting the advice of the ACCC is optional for the Minister
        2. The Communications Minister does not need to declare that, in his or her opinion, the national broadband network should be treated as built and fully operational before disposal of Assets goes ahead.
        3. There is no productivity commission review required.

        Am I missing something in the legislation, or was there an oversight in omitting to put in additional protection mechanisms to cover the disposal of NBN Co assets before or after the NBN was actually completed? Happy to be proved wrong.

        • I think it is more that Labor weren’t truly thinking they would lose power that they didn’t pass more legislation to lock things down before they got voted out.

          If it looks like the Liberals wont win before the next election, I can almost guarantee they will try to lock in the MTM rollout as is through legislation.

          • They won’t be able to legislate for the same reason the ALP wasn’t able to lock the FTTP NBN in cast iron legislative protection – without majorities in both houses you need bipartisan support (or at least crossbench support) to pass anything.

            The thing is, the LNP don’t need to do anything more at this point to guarantee the demise of the NBN – it has already happened. They will lock in FTTN contracts of course to frustrate the ALP, but it doesn’t matter – without the fundamental conditions created to support the original NBN, without universal fibre and guaranteed customers the financial rationale underpinning construction of a national ubiquitous network providing the same access for everyone at the same cost is impossible. ARPU can’t hit the levels required to pay down the debt on $55bn given the lack of high revenue customer products. Remember the ROI for the MTM was at 2% before all the cost blowouts. If it can’t pay down the debt it is not an asset and not an investment, so becomes an entirely on-budget expense. Because it can’t turn a profit it becomes a financial burden to the federal budget. It won’t matter what Labor wants to do with it, the LNP will call for privatisation and claim the ALP is wasting billions annually propping up a failed vanity project. It won’t matter how important the NBN is, it won’t matter that it will cost less to pump a few billion into the NBN annually when we spent billions on all sorts of ‘public interest’ subsidies, like the billions pumped into the car industry for decades, or the $45bn given to East Coast power companies to upgrade networks to cope with fictional demand that will never eventual (because demand has been steadily falling for a decade). None of that will matter, because the LNP and the media will pursue Labor relentlessly, making continued blocking of privatisation politically untenable.

            The only hope the NBN now has is complete scrapping of the MTM, acquisition of any competing networks and releasing of high revenue products that will allow the ROI to dramatically improve. Clearly spending $10bn+ on contracts designed for MTM is exceptionally wasteful, but it may be possible to avoid substantial portions of that if an ALP government can prove those contracts to be a result of corruption and thus illegal. Personally I think the whole premise is fanciful, but I put it forward because I see no other way around it – the reality is, the reality has been from the moment the LNP won the last election, the NBN has been turned from an empowering, level playing field for the entire ICT industry, to a tens of billion dollar subsidy gifting Telstra with an indefinite monopoly to #&@* us all with forever, and the ALP won’t risk their political credibility on what is essentially a marginal issue for most voters by standing in the way.

        • If you’re right it shows that Fifield’s statement wasn’t worth the breath it was uttered with.

  13. Quote: “In August 2012, following sustained criticism of the NBN project by the AFR and other newspapers such as The Australian, then-Communications Minister Stephen Conroy delivered a fiery tirade against the media for constantly repeating misconceptions about the NBN, singling out the Financial Review newspaper for particular ridicule and recommending that those interested in accuracy read broadband forum Whirlpool instead.”

    /looks at thread of replies


    Srsly Renai, WP was one of the few bastions of fanatical (unquestioning) support for Conjob (or at least his FTTP “plan”) back in ‘the day’. If a pollie tells you to go someplace for a source of “accuracy”, it’s instantly suss imo. Hell, more than one place in this thread, people believe the article in question purely because Fifield said it was false…

    Mmmm, factual…

    I remember when you copped a right shellacking pre-election for being willing to see what the coalition did before grabbing a torch and pitchfork. That was the WP crowd if you recall correctly.

    • Amusing considering you start speaking of fanatics and then reference “Conjob”.

      This goes both ways.

    • Org’asmo
      How is the pre election fully costed plan to deliver 25Mbps to all by 2016 going. Where is the accuracy in those figures apparently did s lot of research to get those numbers as well as talking to the people building the FTTN networks.

      The closet to the $94B Turnbull was quoting was $71B from the SR.

      Renai was just defending Turnbull if his per election fully costed plan was possible but was we know that was never going to happen.

      • “How is the pre election fully costed plan to deliver 25Mbps to all by 2016 going”

        May I Jason…?

        It’s about as fucked as fucked can ever possibly be. I.e. eminently fucked?

  14. If nothing else the minute its sold any shortfalls between its sale price and the Taxpayer funding will mean the difference hits the budget (so until they can sell it for more than its cost its not going to happen).

    At this point your looking at whoever sells for $20b needing to find $9b spare in the budget and this will hold true for some time. Basically no-one is going to buy it unless say like Telstra they can operate wholesale and retail and if the LNP sell/privatise again and don’t force a separation between the two someone needs to be hung drawn and quartered! (plus a RC).

  15. I don’t get it.

    Why would Telstra want all that junk back after it’s built up it’s whole current model to not be “fixed” anything? Telstra’s future is mobile/wireless…

    • One word: Monopoly.

      They will happily buy it back at a bargain basement price if it means they get to retain a fixed line monopoly to continue the last 15 years of screwing the Australian consumer for another couple of decades.

    • Plus they would only want the FTTP as its the only part of the NBN that has any value

      • I think Telstra would also be happy to get the HFC as well, provided that Optus did not get to compete against them with their HFC in the Telstra HFC footprint, and if they had assurances that the ADSL/copper would be decommissioned in the HFC footprint and that could charge whatever wholesale and retail prices were required to provide them the required Commercial rates of return. Being allowed to refuse to wholesale some or all of their HFC services would be a bonus (to Telstra).

    • Yep, you sure don’t get it.

      What’s the future of wireless without a decent fibre network to connect all those wireless devices to?

      • Huh?? Telstra have always had a great backbone, which isn’t touched with any of the deals.

  16. I disagree with the otherwise informative and sobering UnivitedGuest on one point: I think Murdoch had a critical influence over this outcome (including directly via Abbott). He has too much to lose from a level playing field for media distribution, and the democratisation of public debate space. Put it this way: I doubt the FTTP version of the NBN would have been trashed if Murdoch was in favour of it.

    I agree that the only way full FTTP can now work is for the next government to simply tell the spivs to get stuffed, nationalise the physical network, pay only what compensation they absolutely have to, and get on with the original FTTP plan. Explain it all clearly to the public, and don’t ever sell it (a forlorn hope, I grant you :( ).

    Telstra in particular should be forced to fight for every penny of compensation due to their appalling misrepresentations about the state of the copper, pits, and pipes. It was straight lies from a central player, which critically contributed to this unfolding disaster.

    And Abbott should forfeit his pension for his central role in this stunning wrecking and plundering job.

    We have become the feckless country. Despite plenty of timely warnings and sound advice, we completely failed to stop this obvious major policy disaster. We done it to ourselves, fellow voters, and we are going to pay the price many times over, for decades to come.

    Now I just feel increasingly numbed to it all, and resigned to our self-inflicted fate on this core policy.


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