back to article SURPRISE: Oz gov gives itself room to NEVER finish the NBN

The Vertigan panel's report on telecoms regulation in Australia was delivered in October and was mostly ignored by the nation's federal government, but the document has provided a fig-leaf for the abandonment of last year's pre-election promise* to complete the network (albeit with different technologies). According to the …

  1. Thorne

    Is there anything left the Libs can do to destroy the NBN any more?

    1. LaeMing
      Unhappy

      I am sure there is.

    2. Fluffy Bunny
      Black Helicopters

      Shut it down

      "Is there anything left the Libs can do to destroy the NBN any more?"

      Actually, you should be glad they didn't just burn the place to the ground. It would be better than continuing to pour taxpayer money into it.

      It was created by the KRudd government solely to buy a lot of ignorant votes. It succeeded. Now is a good time to shut it down.

      1. Thorne

        Re: Shut it down

        "It was created by the KRudd government solely to buy a lot of ignorant votes. It succeeded. Now is a good time to shut it down."

        It can't be. It didn't buy your vote and you're pretty ignorant........

      2. RobHib
        Mushroom

        ...Proof LKY's comment that Oz is the "Poor White Trash of Asia'' is STILL correct!

        ...And you've proved it! Thirty-plus years ago the former PM of Singapore, Lee Kuan Yew, said that Australia was destined to become the ''poor white trash of Asia''! [1].

        He was damn-well right—and if ever there was definitive proof that the statement is STILL correct then it's encapsulated in your negative, backward-thinking, narrow-minded and miserly, penny-pinching NBN comments.

        One wonders what actually drives that large collective 'shoot-oneself-in-the-foot' mindset that's forever driving Oz down the gurgler which you and others espouse, it almost defies rational logic. It's deeply depressing that such a conservative, self-centered and anti-utilitarian, don't-give-a-fuck-about-the-country-or-its-development attitude is so ingrained in the culture; it's no wonder I seek solace by working OS at every opportunity.

        Whilst it won't make a damn iota of different to you, I'll remind others of another (well-timed) Singapore story from today's El Reg: here. What a difference!

        These two very contrasting stories are a poignant reminder of the huge cultural differences between Singapore [and other Asian countries] and Australia, especially about attitudes towards nation-building and development, negative comments such as yours only stand to reinforce them. Myopic Australians are a tragedy for the country and a perennial joke for the rest of the world, especially those in Asia.

        _________

        [1] Lee Kuan Yew's comments

        1. RobHib

          Re: ...Proof LKY's comment that Oz is the "Poor White Trash of Asia'' is STILL correct!

          Perhaps, it's not clear but by comment's aimed at F.B. of course.

    3. Snow Wombat

      Yeah there is.

      The NBN just bought 11 Billion of 80 yr old copper off Telstra, rather than replace it with fiber.

      So now we are just getting the NBN built on the back of the wheezing copper that was causing all the issues in the first place.

      So in reality all the NBN is doing is upgrading backhaul for some places, putting in a smattering of fiber and the rest will be delivered over the same crap last mile we have always had so speeds will hover arounf 10 Mbps if you happen to live right next to the exchange.

      1. LaeMing
        Flame

        Re: Yeah there is.

        11 billion of copper that was installed at taxpayer's expense in the first place, don't forget.

      2. RPG

        Re: Yeah there is.

        Wondering where you got the 80 year old copper stat from, considering that fibre will be run to the nodes and copper will only be from the node to the premise - unless you are on HFC, which is much younger than 80 years. What percentage of Australian suburbs/houses were built before 1934?

  2. Neoc

    Why are you surprised?

    It was the coalition who sold off Telstra (the national carrier) in 1997. Why is anyone surprised that the current coalition is planning to sell off the NBN even before it is finished?

  3. LaeMing
    Unhappy

    I'd suggest selling off our Government.

    But I don't think anyone would buy.

    In fact we will likely have to pay someome to take it away.

    1. GrumpyOldBloke

      Re: I'd suggest selling off our Government.

      I think our government has already been bought. The price it seems was remarkably low.

      1. Winkypop Silver badge
        Unhappy

        Re: I'd suggest selling off our Government.

        Yes

        A few dozen unprofessional newspaper* front page rants from good old Uncle Rupert did the trick.

        You can fool many of the people, much of the time.

        * remember those?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: I'd suggest selling off our Government.

          "A few dozen unprofessional newspaper* front page rants from good old Uncle Rupert did the trick."

          As opposed to the highly biased articles that appear in the Fairfax press. Anybody read the Canberra Times lately?

          1. dan1980

            Re: I'd suggest selling off our Government.

            @AC

            Oh, they're both biased as all get out. But, that Fairfax is biased towards Labor does not in any way whatsoever lessen the bias clearly shown to the Coalition by the Murdoch press - particularly the state-based tabloids like Courier Mail, Daily Telegraph and Sun Herald, which seemed to almost compete - like young men streaking - for the most blatant and brazen front pages lambasting Rudd and Co (not that it was that hard).

            So, while Fairfax are indeed biased, the difference is that Murdoch has a near stangle-hold on the state-based daily papers, with some 75% circulation. He has far more ability than anyone else to wage concerted campaigns and has done so repeatedly in Australia and Britain. He actively pursues greater coverage for the purpose of influencing politics in his favour, with a particular focus on getting laws and regulations passed/changed/watered-down to allow him to achieve even greater dominance. Reference the push for the watering down of both Australia and the UK's cross-media ownership and foreign media ownership laws.

            So yes, Fairfax may be just as biased but Newscorp has far larger scope and influence and a very, very, opinionated, greedy, brazen, unscrupulous and insanely wealthy megalomaniac at its head. He is famous for his micromanagement of his papers and his strong pressuring of editors to follow his opinions, up to the point of replacing those who disagree with him too much and so Murdoch's empire toes the line to an extent that can only be surpassed by state-run media.

            Murdoch is right-wing. There is no doubting that and it can be seen most fully in Fox News in the US, which is utterly and completely aligned with his conservative political views. As the media landscape in the US makes it near-impossible to ever gain the dominance he now has in the UK and Australia, Fox News is free to promote the strong right-wing politics of the unfettered free market, which of course aides Murdoch, though the station is hugely profitable in its own right.

            Murdoch is also, however, an opportunist and so, in Australia and (especially) the UK, he will back whichever party will help him widen his influence, which of course makes him all the more powerful next cycle. Unfortunately, politicians seem not to think that far ahead - their goal is to get elected and damn the deals they have to make to get them there.

            So Murdoch campaigns - quite unashamedly - for the party which will make policy most in his favour. And, while this is understandable for an individual and even for business leaders, when the reach and volume of that campaigning attains the level that Uncle Rupert is able to bring to bear (and arguably long before that) then it becomes a different beast.

            All of which is beside the point, I'm just a little tired of the 'whataboutery'. Usually I have this argument with Fluffy Bunny. (Is that you?) If Fairfax editors were routinely sacrificing children to Cthulhu, it would not alter the bias, influence and single-minded push that Murdoch wields through his empire.

            1. RobHib
              Thumb Up

              @Dan1980 - Re: I'd suggest selling off our Government.

              Murdoch is also, however, an opportunist and so, in Australia and (especially) the UK, he will back whichever party will help him widen his influence...

              Correct. Remember, Murdoch backed the left wing Oz Whitlam Labor Gov't in 1972 which he later helped sack in 1975.

  4. CrazyLikeAFox

    Fsckwits of a government.

    That is all.

  5. KrisMac

    Well at least now..

    ..the pollies wont have the inconvenience of having to explain dumping FTTP for FTTN any more... irrespective of the technology the service will be shit and the plebs won't know the difference..

    Telstra must be pissing themselves with laughter... they get paid squillions to dump their aging copper liability so that Malcolm's boys can stick in kit that is not going to be any better than the ADSL2+ that Telstra used to drop on that old copper... Brilliant!

    1. Fluffy Bunny

      Re: Well at least now..

      "not going to be any better than the ADSL2+ "

      ADSL2+ gives a perfectly good service for next to nothing, since it runs on the same copper you used to run your phone line on. Still can, in fact.

      Now, if you want your 100MB, 1GB, etc communications, that's fine. But don't expect other people to pay for it.

      1. BlackKnight(markb)

        Re: Well at least now..

        If you want to drive your car at 100km/h on the highway you should pay for the installation of those roads directly too. (yes you sound this special)

        Whats is with this misconception that users dont pay? when you sign up for the plan your paying for the maintaince capex and opex + profit. companies front the money accepting a level of risk and set the price accordingly.

        Why should I pay for the last mile of fiber owned by the telco? If I'm paying for the installation of the fibre down the road they can rent the last mile of fibre off me. I paid I should own it should I not?

        ADSL 2+ may give decent service to some that are close enough but the vast majority are not.

        why should others not have the choice of paying for 100mbps just because you dont want to?

        Under FTTP You get your 12mbps at minimal cost I would get my 50/20mbps at my expense per month, and were both still paying an ISP for a service. the government then reclaims the cost of the build via the ISPs and the liberals would have had something massive to sell off in a decade to make there accountants look good.

        Instead All this NBN Lite will do is stagnate innovation and economical growth. pay telstra through government funds to rebuild the network they let go to crap, which will likely result in them building on there monoply buying it off the government in a couple of years. Yay for tax payers moneying funding telstras screw ups for the next decade. clearly a much better approach...

        1. mathew42

          Re: Well at least now..

          > Under FTTP You get your 12mbps at minimal cost I would get my 50/20mbps at my expense per month, and were both still paying an ISP for a service.

          You are deluded over the minimal cost if you think building an entire FTTP network so half the population can have 12Mbps is good value.

          A survey published by iiNet & Internode in 2007 when Rudd first proposed FTTN showed in Sydney the average ADSL speed was 11Mbps.

          > why should others not have the choice of paying for 100mbps just because you dont want to?

          I've never said I won't pay for 100Mbps. In fact I'll seriously consider installing direct fibre. What I'm against is the digital divide that is AVC speed tiers will create in this country. For example, an aunt has just cancelled her home phone line because she wasn't using it for phone calls and the extra $70/month (phone + ADSL) meant she could add additional data to her mobile plan and still be in front. For low data usage a 4G connection will often be better value than a 12Mbps FTTP connection.

      2. mathew42

        Re: Well at least now..

        > Now, if you want your 100MB, 1GB, etc communications, that's fine. But don't expect other people to pay for it.

        Or fight for equality and campaign to have the speed tiers removed. Then I'll support FTTP as it won't be just for the rich.

  6. SS2011

    F This Government!

    For wrecking the FTTP NBN and again lumbering me and too many others to mention with crap connections, I will NEVER, NEVER, NEVER vote Lie-bral!

    Turdbull... You Suck!!!

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Fluffie Bunnies are Government Glove Puppets

    Oi, Bunny boy, come over here to the Hills Shire (very INNER Hills Shire, practically Parramatta) and try my ADSL2+ - it nearly gets 1kbps on a very good day, when the Telstra'tards haven't washed out the patch frame with a FSCKING FIREHOSE like they do every bloody 3 months - in which case it doesn't bloody work at all, and takes about 6 weeks and numerous calls to the telecoms ombudstoothlessmutt to get it fixed.

    Come to the large corporate office that I work at, based in the Hills, that struggles to get even 3G phone clearly, let alone decent wired bandwidth. Yes, we have to outsource design to BOMBAY because they have better net speeds for shifting 150MB BIM files around. We can bloody see the Sydney CBD from the roof, it's not like we are in Lower Drover's Armpit, South Australia.

    This country can't run on bloody fracking and dirt-munching forever, you smarmy sock-puppet. One day it's going to have to crawl into the 20th century, whether your Reverend Tony 'Mad Monk' Abbott likes it or not.

    By the way, last time I looked I WAS bloody paying for the NBN, as I'm an honest taxpayer. Funny how the ones who go on about not putting a burden on 'the taxpayer' are the ones usually paying 2c in the $ despite the Eastern Suburbs mansion, garage full of cars and dressed in smarmy $10,000 suits.

    1. mathew42

      Re: Fluffie Bunnies are Government Glove Puppets

      > ADSL2+ - it nearly gets 1kbps on a very good day

      Somehow I seriously doubt this as dialup modems were able to exceed 1kbps in 1984.

      > Come to the large corporate office that I work at, based in the Hills, that struggles to get even 3G phone clearly

      Since the telcos are owned privately, mobile coverage would be an issue to take up with your provider.

      Are you sure you were on Labor's fibre footprint? Being outside of 3G coverage that might be doubtful.

      > We can bloody see the Sydney CBD from the roof

      Thought about using microwave links then?

      > One day it's going to have to crawl into the 20th century, whether your Reverend Tony 'Mad Monk' Abbott likes it or not.

      Labor's plan wasn't going to deliver that. Sure they promised 1Gbps, but Labor's published corporate plan predicted less than 5% connecting at this speed in 2028. Ubiquitous 1Gbps now would be considered world leading. In 2028, I suspect our ranking would be lower than what it is now, especially when you consider that Labor predicted 50% on fibre would connect at 12Mbps.

      > Funny how the ones who go on about not putting a burden on 'the taxpayer' are the ones usually paying 2c in the $ despite the Eastern Suburbs mansion, garage full of cars and dressed in smarmy $10,000 suits.

      Guess what? Because of Labor chose to introduce tiered pricing for speeds, the only people who could have afforded the fast speeds would be the exact people you describe. Have you noticed how NBNCo released 1Gbps plans to wholesalers in December 2013, but retailers aren't offering them? I'd suggest it is because the pricing models simply don't work because of Labor's abhorent pricing model.

      Thanks for your rant. I'm saddened that so many people were blinded by the shiny fibre light and failed to read what Labor was actually promising.

      1. Jasonk

        Re: Fluffie Bunnies are Government Glove Puppets

        First all anyone with half a brain could tell he meant 1Mbps but you have to criticize him on a spelling mistake.

        For the NBN to make money for the user and to pay back the gov loan its needs 20% of its user base to use its some if its top tier plans. Now considering that the ARPU is currently at $39 while NBNco charge $38 for there 100Mbps proves that it was working. So that 50% on 12Mbps are the one not paying for it its the top 20%. Another reason is that the top 1% use twice are more as the bottom 50%. But apparently that FTTP pricing model doesn't work.

        But now with Malcom Turnbull Mess they wont be able to hit that 20% by only supplying an UPTO 25Mbps (Fiber guarantee 100Mbps not an UPTO). Worst still if all NBNCo can deliver you now is UPTO 25Mbps while your neighbor can get UPTO 100Mbps your now expected to fork out twice $5k compared to the SR FTTP per premises of $2200 or almost 5 times as much as Melton rollout of just $1300.

        Even better the $30B saving Turnbull claims on CAPAX gets transferred to OPEX over the next decade. But would want a shinny new fiber when we can have rusted out copper for the same price.

        1. mathew42

          Re: Fluffie Bunnies are Government Glove Puppets

          > For the NBN to make money for the user and to pay back the gov loan its needs 20% of its user base to use its some if its top tier plans.

          The pricing of the plans is all based around spreadsheet models. Cheap AVC access with higher CVC would have cost NBNCo revenue initially, but I think everyone agrees that with faster speeds people download more simply because they can.

          > So that 50% on 12Mbps are the one not paying for it its the top 20%.

          WRONG. That 50% on 12Mbps are seeing very little benefit over an ADSL connection. Given that the cost to double speed is $5/month it is reasonable to argue that either these people don't care about speed or have very tight budgets. Therefore the NBNCo delivers little benefit to them, meaning that they are subsidising the 100Mbps users. The same principle applies in electricity networks. Electricity companies have increased the supply charge significantly because they've built new infrastructure to service McMansions running aircons all day because of poor design. Pensioners who struggle to pay for electricity pay the increased service charges for zero benefit.

          The equitable solution is to charge based on usage.

          1. Jasonk

            Re: Fluffie Bunnies are Government Glove Puppets

            >The pricing of the plans is all based around spreadsheet models. Cheap AVC access with higher CVC would have cost NBNCo revenue initially, but I think everyone agrees that with faster speeds people download more simply because they can.

            So that the ARPU of $39 is above the 100Mbps which only 23% are on charge of $38 but apparently that just spreadsheet models.

            The equitable solution is to charge based on usage.

            You answered the your self for me. If the bottom 50% of users where subsidizing to users on 100Mbps wouldn't the ARPU but around the 12/1 of $24 not $39 it is now? But it is accurately the other way around. Eg. Google charges a $300 connection for a 5Mbps free for 7 years connection they must subsidies those people on 1Gps.

            1. mathew42

              Re: Fluffie Bunnies are Government Glove Puppets

              > You answered the your self for me. If the bottom 50% of users where subsidizing to users on 100Mbps wouldn't the ARPU but around the 12/1 of $24 not $39 it is now?

              But the 50% of users on 12Mbps don't need FTTP, so would have been content with the existing system. You are also ignoring the fact that many of the 12Mbps FTTP customers would be equally fine on a 4G connection. Lets be honest here if they won't pay $5 more a month for double the speed, then using the data on their mobile plan is probably workable for them.

              > But it is accurately the other way around. Eg. Google charges a $300 connection for a 5Mbps free for 7 years connection they must subsidies those people on 1Gps.

              Different scenario. In this one a private company is paying for the fibre to be installed, not taxpayers. I much prefer the Google model of only one speed 1/1Gbps direct fibre (better than GPON). We could do worse than give Google $40 billion and ask them to build the network.

          2. BlackKnight(markb)

            Re: Fluffie Bunnies are Government Glove Puppets

            How is cost model that charges for speed and total download\upload not charging for usage?

            WRONG! That 50% on 12Mbps are seeing very little benefit over an ADSL connection.

            That 50% benefit from a gaurenteed connection of 12mpbs/1mbps for roughly the same cost as adsl (again comes back to choices of ISPs in the local areas which is no different today)

            while the top users subsidise there connection by paying the maximum dollar for there own connection.

            the average connection speed of ADSL2+ is 6mbps. many people fall well below that due to there distance from the exchange. a symptom not fixed under turdbulls design. with FTTP your distance from the nearest node would be irrelevent.

            1. mathew42

              Re: Fluffie Bunnies are Government Glove Puppets

              > while the top users subsidise there connection by paying the maximum dollar for there own connection.

              It is the transfer of data that puts load on the network, not the speed so I suggest that usage based pricing would support this and a lower AVC price would drive take up.

              > the average connection speed of ADSL2+ is 6mbps

              Are you sure about that? The only comprehensive survey I've seen is from Internode / iiNet which was published in 2007 when Rudd first proposed FTTN to show that his plan would offer little benefit over existing ADSL2+. The results were that the average ADSL2+ speed in Sydney was 11Mbps.

  8. TuffGuy

    Australians Lose Every Which Way

    Australians have already been consigned to the backblocks in the new age global digital economy no thanks to Turnbull. No government will ever be able to sell off NBNCo whilst the MTM exists which means the taxpayer will ultimately have to pay many more billions for a full country wide FTTN upgrade just to make it saleable.

    I still wait for the day I see someone, anyone, publicly ask Turnbull why he is investing his own money in FTTN overseas yet making the Australian taxpayer pay for a steaming pile of outdated crap.

    With the new Telstra deal announced I saw no details about who will pay to fix/replace all the existing copper that will be unsuitable for use in Turnbull's FTTN as well as ongoing maintenance costs.

    1. LaeMing
      Facepalm

      Re: Australians Lose Every Which Way

      When Aust. decommisioned old TV stations, the obsolete equipment was traditionally sold off cheap to their developing neighbours. I guess when Aus' (further-)developing neighbours have upgraded to FTTP they will sell off their obsolete equipment cheap to their de-developing neighbour Aust.

  9. nigelc

    Even Nz has the nbn called the ufb.

    1. JJKing Silver badge

      And I believe NZ will have Gigabit speeds by 2017. Meanwhile back in the lucky country........ will the last person to leave please turn the light off.

  10. JJKing Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Ooops, I was wrong about the 2017 date.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/business/66966379/Christchurch-gigabit-homes-likely-this-year

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