back to article Turnbull waters down broadband black spot fix promise

Pre-election promises to prioritise broadband black spots appear to have gone onto the back burner after the release of the Broadband Availability and Quality Report (BAQR) (PDF) by Australia's Federal Department of Communications. The report was commissioned by Minister Malcolm Turnbull as one of several studies into the …


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  1. Denarius

    imnsho bull$hi4

    Should be a lot more white space on that jpeg. Especially in rural NSW. I suspect more rural Ozzies will find their areas very optimistically rated. As for 3/4G, don't get me started....

  2. Tim Roberts 1

    anyone surprised?

    Well you shouldn't be. The original NBN was forward thinking and yes, very expensive. The coalition NBN is a shadow of the original and not so expensive. The problem is that the easiest places for the NBN to get to already have reasonable DSL access (mostly). The black spots were and will continue to be expensive to service - that's why they are black spots. The coalition policy of reigning in the cost of NBN has not affected people like me who already have good access, it has affected those in black spots and "grey" spots.

  3. Winkypop Silver badge

    Murdoch/Turnbull's NBN is already here

    No Bandwidth Nation

    Meanwhile, I'm living squarely in zone E: (A capital city no less)

    "Lowest quality rating: Typically premises will only have access to ADSL services. This rating also includes regions that have no access to any form of fixed broadband service. A small proportion of premises may have access to fixed wireless networks."

  4. Flat Phillip

    It works well!

    I know I have crappy Internet and I go to the site and find.. I have crappy Internet.

    Alls good then, it's *supposed* to be that way. No need for further investment.

  5. Bubba Von Braun

    Total Spin

    Living less than 3km from the CBD of Melbourne, and currently trying to run a business on < 3Mb/s its akin to false advertising, paying $$ for a ADSL2 service and getting ADSL.

    And why... oh its the copper network is so old in the inner burbs, and T$ wont touch it unless it gets below 256kb.

    Fortunatly I will soon ~6 months I will get Labor's FTP, but the poor folks now destined for Malcoms Turnbulls Mess clearly shows who's pockets he lives in.

  6. Neoc

    So: first the coalition pares down the NBN drastically, then they get a report about it, then they wax lyrical about how it's all going to be fine.

    It's almost as if they are following Lewis Carroll's recipe in order: The Butcher, the BAQR, the Candlestick Maker. When do we get to see the Billiard Marker and the Banker? And will the Beaver turn into a Weasel?

  7. Fluffy Bunny

    Oh, the humanity !!!!!

    An Australian government paying attention to the commercial realities of doing business. What will they think of next?

    1. The Blacksmith
      Thumb Down

      Re: Oh, the humanity !!!!!

      I agree. In fact, education, healthcare, security, any of these should ONLY be governed by commercial reality. You want your child to go to school? Pay for it, you want the police? Pay for it.

      As for healthcare, I'd suggest we implement the commercial reality as practised in our vast livestock industry. If you find a sick sheep out the back paddock it's either a quick bullet, or just let it get better/die by itself - it's cheaper that way.

      Society works better, is more enjoyable, and is safer if everybody has a basic standard of living. Today society deems food, water, healthcare, education, security and communications as basic requirements. Basic requirements should be satisfied by the government. Relying on "commercial" organisations is a copout by the government.

  8. FrancisYoung

    Broadband tool inflates median peak speeds

    Malcolm's Magic Broadband Pudding Gauge seems to inflate current speeds.

    MAIT 73 is a pocket of my suburb where I have surveyed many residents, none of whom ever achieve sync speeds of 3 Mbps, yet the "median peak speed" quoted for MAIT 73 is 3.79 Mbps, with the assertion that some residents would probably achieve double this speed.

    Yeah, right. The best we ever see is 2.5 Mbps, but the copper is so appallling that unrecoverable errors see it drop quickly back, normally to 108 Kbps, before I pull the plug and force a cold resync.

    I contend that the numbers of premises experiencing inadequate ADSL speeds are demonstrably far worse than this tool says.

  9. Mussie (Ed)

    Would live to know

    Would live to know which polly (or cousin, brother, sister ect of a polly) is getting their pockets lined in this deal...

    I honestly beleieve that our wonderful leaders have no idea how sparse and large the country they run is.

    Wirless broadband is a farse the only provider that works outside of metro is Telstra and the best bang for buck is $50 for 3GB. mind you Its faster than my ADSL 2+ which runs between 9 and 22 Mbps the LTE at my house will hit 44Mbps late at night.

    EDIT: BTW Telstra charges $2500 a GB when you exceed your limit (not a typo) we had one guy run up a $300,000 bill on his 4G.

  10. dan1980


    The most important part of the concept of the NBN is first 'N' - national. The idea is (was) to provide the overwhelming majority of Australians with fast Internet access.

    Addressing black and 'grey' spots is therefore paramount to achieving that goal.

    As a service provider, I can attest that these ADSL dead areas impact business, preventing people and companies from using and deploying connected services and thus preventing the providers from selling them. That's technology jobs* not being created.

    It also means that fewer people can work from home - either because they don't have sufficient speeds or their business doesn't. Politicians talk about 'tele-commuting' and how important it will be to minimise congestion on our roads. Guess what? Many of the people unable to tele-commute due to current poor network speeds are also the ones who have little choice but to drive into work due to lack of public transport coverage and infrastructure.

    People in some of the more remote areas with really poor coverage are also the ones who could most benefit from things like online-learning.

    Yes, it costs more to provide services in some areas and yes, that can been seen as people in the cities (where it is cheaper, per-person, to deploy services) subsidising those in less dense areas but that's why it has to be a national, government project.

    Bean-counter decisions like this are exactly the reason these black spots exist in the first place.

    For the record, I live in a place with decent access and the fact that my tax money will help provide better Internet access to people in remote areas is fine by me in much the same way that my tax money providing health care for those unable to afford private cover is also fine by me.

    That's what it means to be a social democracy - the government works to provide services and support even (especially) were they are not 'commercially feasible'. Providing healthcare and medication free or at low cost is not 'commercially feasible', which is why we have a public health system. It's also why we have public schools.

    Health and education are considered as beneficial for both the well-being of the people and the economic health of the country and, while broadband access may not be quite in that league, it should be viewed in a similar way - as an important service that is beneficial for our nation.

    After all, communications and services are VITAL to our economy and quality of life and increasingly both communications and services are being provided 'online', meaning that suitable Internet access is becoming every bit as important as post and phone access has been in the past.


    * - You know, those same type of 'high-value' jobs that the government is always claiming will replace the 'low-value' manufacturing and administrative jobs that are being closed up and outsourced . . .

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Rock and a hard place.

    Trouble with a project the scale of the NBN is the scale of the project.

    Since you have passive repeaters and upto 32 premesis hanging off each line, you need to control the final termination units, cause if Jo Bloggs, connected his cheapie XXX brand endpoint it could take 31 other people/businesses.... off the air.

    The resulting manpower requirements is a Labor wet dream, saftey audits, material hazzards, all the reasons under the sun to extend the project.

    What is it we all want? Fibre and the ability to plug into it what we want, and are happy to pay for.

    Thats not exatly what we are getting....

    Oh and I've yet to see how the wireless version of it pans out. Theres something very unsettling about having ADSL removed and a wireless system installed with VOIP!!!!!

    Replacing something that isnt great but works, for something that isnt reliable [Telstras VOIP ;-) ] over an unreliable medium! :-0

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's a (Turn)BS web site

    For area RWOD:166 it lists HFC as being available. There is no HFC access for anyone in that area (except perhaps 10 places that front Maroondah Hwy) - we have it all around around us but the small estate was created after the HFC roll out so we get ADSL2+ and depending on your address it's between 1 to at most 3Mbps.

    We're a small blackspot but according to the Government I should be able to use the non-existent HFC Network which would solve all my broadband needs. I note that above the ratings it says "Measures access for each premises in your local area to at least one fixed broadband technology." - it's unclear if that means someone a few hundred meters away can get it so we just say you can or very misleadingly means at least one person in RWOD:166 can get it so #$($*($# you - we will count you as being able to get it as well.

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