The Inside Track: The Coalition is strongly hinting it won’t support a FTTdp NBN


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  1. Called it. Yet more evidence the MTM patchwork clusterfuck is a politically motivated one. GimpCo wants to make sure FoD is expensive as possible just so they can claim faster speeds are not needed. Forget the future speed requirements, it was already established when the coalition clowns decided to do the illogical and go backwards that they did not care about such things. 25mbps for all by the end of 2016 is good enough… oh wait.

    • James Paterson the IPA space cadet is asking the questions in the video above. One of the IPA points on their 75 point wishlist is to privatise the NBN and sell it. What a way to do that! Wreck the NBN, put your hands up like a drowning sailor and scream “help, sell sell sell”.

      So so predictable.

    • HC, the evidence certainly doesn’t support any other possibility at this point.

      Some would suggest incompetence, but their destruction of the NBN has been entirely deliberate!

    • Funny, I seem to have called it *again*, Renai:

      Me: “The NBN under Prime Minister Malcolm ‘Political Vandal’ Turnbull will drop FTTN and HFC in favour for FTTdp over his cold, lifeless corpse, and not a moment sooner.”

      Amusingly, in that comments thread I said the LNP were about to run out of funds for the NBN too. Prophetic? No, as usual merely the inevitable result of very simple calculations.

      But remember, according to Renai my ‘opinion’ is ‘very much on the fringe of accepted thinking’. No, wait, let me get that quote for you:

      I wrote: “… I get frustrated every time you propose that FTTN is viable without consideration for the viability of the actual plan as a whole, because you can’t have FTTN without all other aspects of the LNP’s plan (and indeed the LNP themselves).”

      Renai responded: “I’ve consulted widely on the Coalition’s NBN policy. Pretty much every independent analyst, and most of the important telco executives and strategists, agree with my view on it: That’s it’s a viable way forward with many benefits, but that it’s also not as good a policy as Labor’s NBN policy.

      “You and all the other readers who love to jump up and down and scream that I should be attacking Turnbull 100% of the time don’t realise that you are on the industry fringe. The *global* industry fringe.”

      That was in November 2013.

      Why am I bringing this up again now? I’m not just here to grind an axe. I raise this for the same reason I railed against the suggestion that the LNP would approve FTTdp as a viable way forward. Giving the LNP a free pass is a proven recipe for disaster. There is *no* benefit to be derived from drawing favourable conclusions that the LNP might make good choices that actually benefit Australia generally, because they have absolutely comprehensively proven otherwise. There is no grey area. If the LNP put something in legislation, you can believe it. But if they make vague promises, the only thing you can possibly believe is what they have *actually said*. And even then, if it isn’t backed up by cast iron guarantees then there’s a good chance it was an empty promise – look how many election promises they flat out reneged on. Malcolm is a master of leading people in a certain direction and letting them draw their own conclusions, then going in the other direction and claiming that he didn’t say he was going to do such a thing. Which is of course true – he just made it seem like he might be agreeable to something entirely different without ever committing himself.

      Renai likes to think well of people, he likes to think that the LNP are just a more business friendly alternative. He gives them the benefit of the doubt because he thinks you should approach people like that. But with federal politics, I’m sorry Renai but you’re out of your depth. Malcolm is not a cuddly bunny lover really, who wants the best for Australia, he’s a sociopath who will do whatever it takes to benefit himself and those close to him. Is it all OK if you then publish a correction? No, not really, because a single article doesn’t undo months or years of holding and writing on a particular position or platform.

      When, and only when, the LNP and the current NBN make an official announcement about FTTdp you can believe they’re doing it. Until then such speculation is worse than worthless, it is actively dangerous. Because it was complacency and naivety that put the LNP into power and allowed them to wreck not only the NBN, but the entire economy. We should oppose repeated naivety in the strongest terms possible, or this time it will be far, far worse.

      • In Renai’s defence, I think he was probably right in saying:

        “You and all the other readers who love to jump up and down and scream that I should be attacking Turnbull 100% of the time don’t realise that you are on the industry fringe. The *global* industry fringe.”

        Where he was wrong, is that Australia is an outlier to the RotW in that the folks upgrading the copper, didn’t own the copper. We’re the only ones that fit that “model”.

        And I’m also thinking Malcolm (Mitch, et al) will nail themselves to the cross of the “Holy MtM” because he wants the be “right”, not correct, honest and truthful. It’s pretty obvious after the budget that the LPA is willing to die in a ditch to be “right” and not do what’s actually good for the country.

        • His *statement*? Yes, of course he shouldn’t be ‘attacking Turnbull 100% of the time’. But that was disingenuous misdirection in the first place – my problem, as was evident even from that single line, was that he kept pounding the line that FTTN was a reasonable alternative. He made that argument over and over from April to December, as though we were discussing technical options in a vacuum. But we weren’t – the ‘FTTN’ option involved putting the LNP into power. Malcolm wanted to make it a technical merit argument, and with most journalists he succeeded. But it was *never* an argument on technical merits, it was a political argument. You couldn’t separate FTTN from the LNP, and therefore you couldn’t simplify the topic down to FTTN Vs FTTP – you had to take the whole policy in context. Which meant all the ramifications, like the impact on competition (reducing market share, which reduces profitability), reduced fitness for purpose which reduces product options for customers, which reduces ARPU, which reduces profitability, which reduces ROI, which reduces the likelihood of it remaining an investment, which makes it more likely to be a direct budget cost, which makes it far less likely to attract private investment, which either means it fails and isn’t finished, or further tens of billions are stumped up by the tax payer. And because it can’t make a profit, the Government will use that as an excuse to offload it for a fraction of its construction cost, just like the LNP did with Telstra.

          And there are a dozen more pertinent reasons it was a bad idea, reasons all based heavily in fact and evidence that were simply ignored time and again, and which, surprise surprise, have turned out to be accurate.

          No, Renai (or any journalist) should never be 100% ideologically opposed to a particular party or politician for the sake of it, or at all. I never said he should, yet his virulent attacks against his own readers demonstrated that instead of listening to the sensible, factual arguments they were presenting, he was taking an ideological position *against them*. And he defended himself using ideological language and misrepresentations.

          Yes, he came back and admitted he was wrong about Turnbull, but what he has never said was that the way he censored conversation by shutting down discussions was out of line, he never admitted that he had dismissed facts and logic out of hand in favour of his ideology. And I don’t expect him to – anyone paying attention has his measure, so we know what we’re getting.

          What I hope is that, maybe, the same mistakes aren’t repeated. That Turnbull won’t be given a free pass this time, that a message of complacency isn’t written by journalists who should know better. Because complacency is the opposite of what’s required if we want any hope of a decent future in this country. We need to be engaged and vocal and, frankly, outraged. If we want the rest of the country to make intelligent decisions about our future productivity and prosperity the very last thing we need to be telling them is ‘it will be OK, they’re all as bad as each other’, because that is demonstrably untrue. There is a better and a worse outcome here, and while there’s still plenty of grey, one of those is a whole spectrum lighter than the near total darkness of the other.

          • So basically UG you think he should have taken a hard line from a purely practical pov?

            If so I agree completely, the work of Nick Ross is a perfect example of proper detailed research showing up the realities for all to see.

          • Yes, which is why he’s a superior journalist – superior to pretty much the entire industry in this country. Making what happened to him an even greater tragedy and travesty – I really really hope that one day he finds the support, courage and strength to write like that again. We all all far worse for his silence.

  2. Bill Morrow finishes by saying that there will be a good ROI [ Return on Investment].

    Yeah Bill, like that wonderful 3.5% ROI that you revealed last night. Pathetic.

  3. Would be interesting to see how many board members jump ship if labor wins the election so they wont be held accountable.

    • I am sure a couple, for example Michael Malone, would be retained, but I am also sure Labor would be getting rid of Ziggy quick-smart.

      • Surely they would be holding on to a gem such as KK

        Actually who wants to bet that their contracts are renewed for as long as possible with large penalty payouts if they are dismissed. Will have to look at whose ass TB is kissing at the moment, he had his face firmly embedded in MTs butt cheeks last election.

    • I’d wager most of the honorary spots would stay (so MM like Renai says) but the paid staff could kiss their seats goodbye. Wonder if they’ve done any updates to their linked in pages lately.

      Actually you would think given the serious nature of the undertones of the budget 1 or more would probably ‘springboard’ out even under LNP. (whilst it still looks ok on a CV).

  4. James Paterson and Wyatt Roy may be ‘tech savvy’ MP’s, but when it comes to making a contribution to the NBN, all they’ll be doing is making broadband in Australia slow, expensive and unreliable. They have no employment background in telecommunications the way that Ed Husic, Michelle Rowland, Tim Watts have. Sure, the boys might not start at the same place as Tony Abbott did (who labelled Labor’s NBN as a $40 billion dollar entertainment system), but like all LNP politicians, they’re playing their part in building a 3rd rate telecommunications network that will be sold for less than what it cost to build and fund.

  5. After some discussion along these lines, Paterson asked NBN chief Bill Morrow to confirm that it would be a “reasonable summary” that he wasn’t “particularly excited” about the potential for FTTdp

    Sounds a lot like they are willing to cut off their nose to spite their face. If they go too far down this line, their MTM will turn into an even bigger clusterfuck than it already is…

  6. I wonder how well this debate would go if we still had fttp rolling out?
    Ohh wait, it would be redundant already and we wouldn’t need to improve on superior technology.

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