ABC crossing the line in promoting the NBN?

Grahame Lynch thinks so:

All websites have their biases: there is obviously a great degree of support for NBN on say Whirlpool and some of the specialist tech sites, less so in say News Limited outlets and the Australian Financial Review. These biases often reflect their audiences. A website with a largely financial audience may find it hard to support the NBN policy as it stands both through editorial policy and the types of comments its readers make; a website with say a pro-gamer or IT industry audience will tend to the reverse.

Okay – but what about the government-owned and controlled ABC?

[Nick Ross] is the technology and games editor for ABC Online, the website of the national broadcaster and one of the most highly read sources of Australian news and analysis on the web. He is subject to a code that governs how he exercises his duties – specifically in terms of the need for balance and standards.

However, Nick has used the web platform he edits to publish article after article expressing highly personal views that advocate the ALP Government’s NBN policy and totally disparage the Opposition’s.

The Nick Ross article comparing the government and opposition positions is here. The take down is here. The real tragedy is that both sides are locked into a very expensive public infrastructure project.

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53 Responses to ABC crossing the line in promoting the NBN?

  1. Mundi

    The NBN is amazing in that you can read 1,000 articles about it talking about its benefits, and all of them without a single dollar figure ever mentioned.

    Go to whirlpool for example. It doesn’t matter to them if the NBN is $4.7b $47b or $470b. The money was never a consideration.

    Infrastructure spending at least gets you something for your money. Compared to the rest of the money labor has spent at least the NBN gets something.

    Does anyone know how much NBN co have spent so far? Last I checked only 6,000 people were actually on the NBN.

  2. Chris M

    It’s state-run media – so get over it or get rid of it. Just don’t act surprised.

  3. Johno

    Golly gosh. It isn’t just the political presenters at their ABC who are overly biased against the Coalition. The rot extends further than that.

    There is no justification for State-run media in a free and democratic society. Maybe Nick Ross has done us all a favourite by turning Turnbull off their ABC. If it helps to convince Turnbull that he should pursue a liberal policy and sell the ABC and SBS he will have done ths country a great service.

  4. dan

    Firstly you need some padding in the left margin, it hurts my eyes having letters on the edge

    I can tell you from experience that the utility of adding the NBN, for modern hospital medicine approaches zero.

    A telephone over a copper wire is pretty useful for a consultation. SMS of a photo is often useful..
    Moving on I have had some useful examinations or interactions using Skype, whether over a 3G connection or fibreoptic cable or ADSL, doesn’t really matter. Generally most independent practitioners Skype for better or worse because the commercial solutions are expensive to install.
    And naturally there are private systems up and running that transmit encrypted data to share pathology results or results from bandwidth-intensive applications such as CTs, MRIs. There are no doubt a lot of creative uses of technology that need to be invented. However at the moment I don’t see that any conceivable medical intervention is waiting that is being held back solely by a lack of NBN-type infrastructure. If one of these people wants to give me some examples and I can listen without giggling then I will change my mind.

    It really is funny listening to Ross telling me all the wonderful things I could be doing in my practice if only I had an NBN. He has no idea. It’s like me speculating on the microchips that should be invented for a Playstation and suggesting that some game will be much better for it without having any experience in that field.

  5. dan

    My understanding though is that the connection is supposed to be so fast, that you could use a game controller in Melbourne but have the game hosted on a crazy supercomputer in New York, something like that. This would explain why professional gamers want to spend my money on this crap.

  6. Harold

    Commsday blog,

    There’s nothing wrong with supporting the NBN – many sensible people do and one’s support for it is really dictated by what one thinks public policy should prioritise or not prioritise.

    Buy a BMW or a Hyundai? Both are valid options.

  7. Chris

    The real tragedy is that both sides are locked into a very expensive public infrastructure project.

    Well I don’t agree its a tragedy, but I do agree that the two policies are in effect a lot closer than many would believe (both partisan Lib and ALP supporters). Both believe in satellite/wireless (wifi) in sparsely populated areas and FTTH or FTTN in built up areas. The coalition also believes in using existing HFC networks – which from a technical viewpoint I think makes sense too (at least until they reach capacity at which point they can be gradually replaced by fibre).

    My understanding though is that the connection is supposed to be so fast, that you could use a game controller in Melbourne but have the game hosted on a crazy supercomputer in New York, something like that. This would explain why professional gamers want to spend my money on this crap.

    For gamers who *really* care fibre will help a bit, but they’ll never be able to be truly competitive with a lot of games if the servers are in NY. Fibre or not, you cant make light go faster than, well, the speed of light :-) And when you’re talking roundtrip AUS->NY thats significant. Gamers who care about low latency (3D shooters) just want servers in Australia or at least Asia rather than west coast US.

    The people I know who are really hanging out for fibre (and I think in practice FTTN with VDSL will be good enough for the next decade) are those who are stuck on slow ADSL links (say 2-5Mbit/s or slower). And its for work related applications, not gaming. Often work from home, but there’s also smaller businesses that suffer from not being able to get decent bandwidth from suburban office spaces because its ADSL only.

    And its not that most people need a sustained 100Mbit/s link, but being able to burst to that speed would definitely be very useful as you spend less time twiddling your thumbs waiting for data you need to use to download.

    FWIW I think Nick Ross’s articles do cross into the “cheerleading” type of article rather than something I would expect from the ABC. The “takedown” article from what I skimmed through is also of rather poor quality too.

  8. Steve of Ferny Hills

    It’s state-run media – so get over it or get rid of it.

    Yep.

  9. My view is that there are two main lines of argument.

    The first is: do the benefits outweigh the costs? Nick Ross is basically using lots of “it wills” to make the case for benefits. It will revolutionise this, it will change the face of that.

    Japan’s had 100Mbit fibre for more than a decade: have his predictions played out there? Nope.

    The second argument is about technology. If what you want to do is move bits en masse from point A to B, fibre is the best way to do that. It has higher bandwidth, lower latency, lower packet loss and lower contention than any other technology. I know you lot around here like to argue about the technology, but really, it’s a sideshow.

    What matters isn’t the question of picking technology; it’s a matter of cost-benefit tradeoffs in public finance.

  10. I should add that as a consulting software engineer I could definitely have some improvement in productivity with a 100Mbit connection to the internet. But it would be a percentage improvement, not a multiplicative improvement.

    I already have the ability to move gigabytes to and from clients in an hour or two. And I already videoconference daily with my customers. I’m on a stock ADSL2 connection which syncs at 7Mbit.

  11. Jarrah

    “The “takedown” article from what I skimmed through is also of rather poor quality too.”

    Really? Seemed to me he knew what he was talking about, going by the number of words/phrases that were above my pay grade. Maybe that was just jargonistic obfuscation, but I don’t think so, especially after reading the comments.

  12. Dan

    I’m not referring to low latency so you can react faster than the other guy, I mean have the top-of-line hardware operating the game on a remote server while you just have a screen, controller and client so all the processing power is served remotely. Apparently some startups have tried to do this with mixed results.

  13. Jarrah

    “Apparently some startups have tried to do this with mixed results.”

    NVidia is going down that path.

  14. Splatacrobat

    You can’t play a lot of games now without registering with Steam. They already have cloud functionality.

  15. wreckage

    Steam and traditional PC and console games are not “thin client” which is to say, IIRC, just a screen and a controller here, all the hardware over there. The cloud only stores your data (well, some of it, like control preferences and what games you own).

    The cost-benefit argument is the only one there is, or we’d all have superconducting computers in liquid nitrogen baths and fly between continents in supersonic rockets. Fibre won’t revolutionise anything, demonstrable as plenty of areas have fibre!

    I can’t figure out why in 2013 there are hundreds of businesses that can’t get mobile coverage, and we’re instead focussing on massive bandwidth for people who have OK bandwidth. The big advances are from zero mobile coverage to decent mobile coverage, in terms of business. Do that first.

  16. Chris

    I already have the ability to move gigabytes to and from clients in an hour or two. And I already videoconference daily with my customers. I’m on a stock ADSL2 connection which syncs at 7Mbit.

    That’s related to something that is not often mentioned when comparing the status quo vs fibre. 7Mbit is a decent ADSL link, but its the download speed. I’d guess that you’re probably getting maybe a tenth of that in upload speed? So yes if you’re just downloading data its ok, but if I want to send data back to a colleague it takes me a lot longer. Whereas with a fibre connection ISPs are offering up to 40Mbit *upload* speeds. Even the middle spped plans offer 5-20 Mbit upload. Its the difference between being a consumer and a producer.

    I can’t figure out why in 2013 there are hundreds of businesses that can’t get mobile coverage, and we’re instead focussing on massive bandwidth for people who have OK bandwidth. The big advances are from zero mobile coverage to decent mobile coverage, in terms of business. Do that first.

    I agree mobile wireless is important. Though perhaps disagree with many here in that I think its complementary to fibre (mobile wireless often requires a good fibre backbone – something that the Libs also support developing). Currently mobile data prices are around an order of magnitude more expensive than fibre or ADSL though so that affects the economics of where its suitable to use it.

    The telcos already are rolling out a lot infrastructure for better mobile coverage – the NBN isn’t stopping them from doing that (if anything the fibre backbones are probably helping).

    I’m not referring to low latency so you can react faster than the other guy, I mean have the top-of-line hardware operating the game on a remote server while you just have a screen, controller and client so all the processing power is served remotely. Apparently some startups have tried to do this with mixed results.

    Actually that’s a case where latency really does matter. Because the client is pretty “dumb”, all the user input is sent up to the servers. So a 150-200ms latency really hurts (users will notice that). This is different from a lot of online games where the client is smart and so is able to make predictions about what the server will do and so users are less likely to notice lag. But thats a bit beside the point – its a simple problem of distance and speed of light being fast, but not instantaneous.

    Really? Seemed to me he knew what he was talking about, going by the number of words/phrases that were above my pay grade.

    Yea I think it was a pretty partisan article that missed the point. Just one example – he talks about the power savings of FTTH vs FTTN as not being that significant (FTTH boxes in the street are passive). But he totally misses the problem that with FTTN you have to run power to the boxes *and* if they lose power you no longer have a connection to all the homes that go via the box. So each FTTN box needs to have backup power of some kind. Currently phones still work during a power outage because the exchanges have backup power and if they were desperate due to say an extended outage they could bring in generators. But it would be a lot harder to do that for each FTTN box.

  17. Grahame Lynch

    Chris… FTTN nodes have battery backups just like FTTH terminals and cellular basestations. Powering issues are overrated. If your neighbourhood loses power it is a moot point. FTTH is powered in the home. It’s not an argument for or against anything. Power networks are more reliable than comms networks anyhow. You seem like a fairly opinionated bloke yourself so I will take your jabs at me with a grain of salt.

  18. Grahame Lynch

    I might add that the NBN isn’t doing a thing for cellular backhaul. They offer a product to homes and businesses. Not basestations.

  19. 2dogs

    Mike Quigley appears to be have noted the likelihood of a Coalition victory in September, and, somewhat belatedly, thinks studies such as a cost benefit analysis are a good idea.

  20. Bruce

    What is missed with all this discussion is that the people really really want mobile data, therefore FTTN will be the winner no matter whether the NBN is built or not.

    The only way to manage vastly popular mobile IT is through a version of the cell system. Which FTTN basically is already.

    So Quigley may not like the idea of building tens of thousands of boxes on street corners he will have to do this eventually. Or more likely Telstra will, and the NBN will rust quietly in the ground into irrelevance.

  21. Entropy


    That’s related to something that is not often mentioned when comparing the status quo vs fibre. 7Mbit is a decent ADSL link, but its the download speed. I’d guess that you’re probably getting maybe a tenth of that in upload speed? So yes if you’re just downloading data its ok, but if I want to send data back to a colleague it takes me a lot longer. Whereas with a fibre connection ISPs are offering up to 40Mbit *upload* speeds. Even the middle spped plans offer 5-20 Mbit upload. Its the difference between being a consumer and a producer.


    Chris, that is just a decision of the telcos. There is no reason the upload speed *has* to be less than upload. For example, I am already at 105 Mbps download, but for some reason my upload is limited to 2.5 Mbps.

  22. Entropy


    The only way to manage vastly popular mobile IT is through a version of the cell system. Which FTTN basically is already.


    How so? It isn’t as how you could get a new cell tower at each node. Wile technically desirable, that would be some kind of regulatory hell, with build out happening when the first starship reaches alpha centauri.

  23. johno

    Mike Quigley appears to be have noted the likelihood of a Coalition victory in September, and, somewhat belatedly, thinks studies such as a cost benefit analysis are a good idea.

    Quigley has nothing to fear from a Coalition victory. After all, Turnbull will be his new boss. There will be a bit of huff and puff, then back to business as usual.

    It’s not like Turnbull is a liberal who will ask the basic question – why on bloody hell is the government running a communications company. Didn’t we sell off Telstra last time. Why are we keeping this failed white elephant?

  24. The latest diatribe by Nick Ross is seriously wrong in claiming that the benefits of a fibre-based NBN are becoming increasingly important in providing support in emergencies and natural disasters.

    Does he know that one-quarter of the local access network will be constructed aerially?

    Why would any sensible person do this? The NBN is the next-generation of telecommunications infrastructure, intended to carry lifeline communications. It makes no sense to string it overhead on electricity poles that are all-to-often rotting in the ground and subject to the damaging effects of errant road vehicles, storms and bush fires? How can we honestly say to our children that this quarter of the NBN constitutes an investment in their future?

    It is simply dishonest to justify aerial construction on the grounds that it is cheaper and faster to roll out. There are clear benefits from having utility services wholly underground, and the National Broadband Network is no exception – just look at

    Remember that the NBN is a nationally-funded and mandated monopoly supplier of broadband infrastructure that end-users will rely upon to handle communications of lifeline importance! Why knowingly build second-rate infrastructure for our children?

  25. A H

    Call the NBN what it is, an Internet tax.

    Everyone’s connection is going to cost more as a result of the NBN.

    These added costs are going to last decades, well past the used by date of the infrastructure. The added cost is due to the wasteful inefficiency of government spending… this is all being recouped through the pricing.

    If there is a demand for faster internet, let private companies provide it.

    If there was not the overhang on the NBN, fibre would be a lot more widely available.

    The plan for the NBN is, when fibre is laid, the copper is to be pulled out. What is the point of destroying the copper infrastructure. There may be decades of use left in. Not everyone needs fibre speeds. Allow people who wish to use ADSL2+ to use it. Allow people who wish to pay for fibre to do so. If the owners of the copper wish to decommission it, let them do so, based on their own business judgement.

    The plan of removing the copper is to force everyone to use the NBN. This allows NBNCo. to charge whatever they like for access to the internet. There is no technical reason for removing the copper.

    Generally, people do not create a monopoly for themselves so that they can charge competitive prices.

    Choosing a technology strategy of FTTN/FTTH/Wifi etc should not be up to government. Let people buy what they wish to buy and let businesses sell what they wish to sell.

  26. Chris

    Chris, that is just a decision of the telcos. There is no reason the upload speed *has* to be less than upload. For example, I am already at 105 Mbps download, but for some reason my upload is limited to 2.5 Mbps.

    Err you realise that the “A” in ADSL stands for ‘asymmetric’? Its an inherent part of ADSL that you can get significantly faster download than upload speeds.

    From your speeds I’d guess on your cable (HFC) because that is a crap upload speed for a fibre connection? HFC also has asymmetric download/upload properties. It is not just a telco decision. I believe even the way they’ve done the NBN fibre its asymmetric (though the limition is only about 2:1 rather than about a theoretical 20:1 with ADSL (24 down, 1 up).

    And YOU totally miss the point that THE SAME THING will happen with FTTH!!! Except that now EVERY SINGLE FREAKING HOME IN AUSTRALIA will need to have a generator or huge battery banks if they still want to be able to use the phone during emergencies when the power is out.

    The NBN boxes in the house come with battery backup. Much like my monitored alarm system does. Some, not all monitored alarm systems will end up being replaced when
    the copper is EOL.

    Actually I agree here than copper should not be forcibly removed, just leave it up the telcos whether they still want to maintain it or not or remove it when its no longer economically efficient to keep it going. Its not without precedence – with the analog TV signal being progressively turned off around the country there’s lot of TV being made redundant. At least without people buying a setup box to convert and there’s no reason you couldn’t do that for alarm systems either if you really wanted to.

    It’s not like Turnbull is a liberal who will ask the basic question – why on bloody hell is the government running a communications company. Didn’t we sell off Telstra last time. Why are we keeping this failed white elephant?

    Because the original Telstra sale was screwed up. If it was separated into separate infrastructure and retail companies like was suggested at the time then we wouldn’t have a lot of the competition problems in the first place. But the government knew they could a get more money selling it as one company because of the monopolistic powers it would have.

    And FWIW Turnbull is saying that the NBN won’t be privatised for a while.

  27. .

    Err chris

    The NBN has 38000 dwellings either completed or under construction.

    In 2.5 years.

    The NBN will never be built so the issue of ripping the copper out is a non issue except for maybe 3000 or homes that are actually connected.

  28. Jessie

    Dan at 10.26

    Generally most independent practitioners Skype for better or worse because the commercial solutions are expensive to install.

    I note you state independent practitioners. The nub of the argument, at least in central and northern Australia, where all data for welfare recipients is owned and reported by state or community controlled health services/local government. Justice, employment, education and training projects another matter. As is Indigenous TV.

    By ‘projects’ I mean the experiments continue, at expense to the individual in poor outcome/public teat and to the general public’s purse.

    I have yet to read a cogent article on this behemoth, though read plenty of subtle hints that technology will improve this northern situation.

    In my experience anyone that tried a cogent argument was removed, as was a predecessor to Quigley marched from office. Little reported there.

  29. William Bragg

    The error in Sinc’s argument is evident when he asks:

    Okay – but what about the government-owned and controlled ABC?

    The ABC is a statutory body that is not controlled by the government of the day. Even Cats themselves have argued in the past that the ABC is controlled by groups other than the government.

  30. stackja

    PMG delivered letters. So they got the telegraph and phone. PMG became Post Office. Telecom got the OTC and the phones. Later Telstra got the phones and dial-up internet. Various startups wanted to use Telstra line. Optus build its own line. In the USA they created Baby Bells we now have Baby Teles. Why go back to PMG?

  31. Bruce

    The ABC is a statutory body that is not controlled by the government of the day.

    William – There is an idiom “he who pays the piper calls the tune”. The ABC is presently the feudal villien of the ALP Government because most of their employees are of similar political persuasion and the ALP Government writes the cheques. Like the $10 million extra for ABC News last week. Its an election year and the ALP is short of advertising cash, haven’t you noticed?

    The ABC has shown many times that what is written in their charter is not necessarily what they do in practice. They are so biassed that they make Stalin look like a centrist. Should we not hold them to account for that? Who else will?

    Defund them, like PBS in the US.

  32. William Bragg

    If you believe that its the case of ‘the piper calls the tune’, Bruce, to be consistent you must also believe that the ABC did the Liberal government’s bidding when it was in power. If so, you would be the first Cat to claim that, I suspect.

  33. wreckage

    Willy; the ALP consistently gives the ABC more of what it wants.

  34. rebel with cause

    As someone who takes a passing interest in IT, the amount of cheering going on about the NBN absolutely disgusts me. Many of these ‘experts’ should know better – they are old enough to remember what life was like under the Telecom monopoly where prices were absurdly high and service was abysmal. And yet they have convinced themselves that this time it will be different.

    There are another group of people that live in areas not currently serviced by ADSL that are cheering hard for the NBN. This group fails to acknowledge that a) the Government floating the idea of the NBN killed private incentive for ADSL/fibre rollout dead and b) some people live in areas that are too remote/sparsely populated to be worth serving with fast internet and they should either move or accept what they have rather than expect a subsidy.

    Anyway, at the rate the NBN rollout is progressing we will all be dead in the ground before the entire country is wired up. Every single time they mention a ‘ramp up’ in connections they hit a snag and no one gets connected for months.

  35. wreckage

    and they should either move or accept what they have rather than expect a subsidy.

    Or work on feasible ideas like wireless.

  36. .

    If you believe that its the case of ‘the piper calls the tune’, Bruce, to be consistent you must also believe that the ABC did the Liberal government’s bidding when it was in power. If so, you would be the first Cat to claim that, I suspect.

    Andrew Leigh (a former economist) published a study where he concluded the ABC has a distinct and consistent right wing bias.

  37. Jc

    Andrew Leigh (a former economist) published a study where he concluded the ABC has a distinct and consistent right wing bias.

    Taxpayer money funded that unforgivable dishonest propaganda. He ought to never show his stupid smiling face in public over that, or repay the money to the taxpayer. Fat chance we’ll ever see the mullah back from that deceitful scoundrel.

  38. Jc

    Don’t get me started on Leigh, Dot. Seriously.

    He also had the temerity to campaign by telling the APS slob voters in Canberra that he would do his best to protect all their jobs and also reminding them that HoWARd reduced their numbers for a time. The arsehole.

    He’s also advocated against free speech obviously because he wants to shut people up talking about him and other members of the Liars Party this way.

    A merely mouthed first rate douchebag has never graced these shores like him.

    As I said don;’t get me started on him.

  39. John Mc

    Andrew Leigh (a former economist) published a study where he concluded the ABC has a distinct and consistent right wing bias.

    His credibility has been slipping for a long time now. He as once seen as a bright, non-partisan, realist, up-and-coming thinker.

  40. Jc

    His credibility has been slipping for a long time now. He as once seen as a bright, non-partisan, realist, up-and-coming thinker.

    It was all a trick. I suspected him from the first time I read his stuff that he was a first rate phoney.

    The teethy smile and the merely mouthed way about him was always hard to take.

    The stuff he did was mostly pop economics anyways and about as worthless as a dead snail on the sidewalk. Good for getting shoe soles dirty.

  41. Leo G

    The real tragedy is that both sides are locked into a very expensive public infrastructure project.
    The real tragedy is that the Labor government committed to a project that was predicated on a level of latent demand which implied 70% of households passed by optical cable would promptly and permanently take up the associated service, yet there was abundant evidence that demand was considerably less.
    What has it been? Something in the range of 13% to 25% (and even that overstates enduring demand).
    Enduring take-up rates will not likely approach 70% in this century.
    The present government will find that the tragedy for them will have a very Greek ending.

  42. brc

    And FWIW Turnbull is saying that the NBN won’t be privatised for a while.

    Because it is worthless. Hard to sell a telco when the CEO earns more than the total revenue from customers.

  43. Chris

    some people live in areas that are too remote/sparsely populated to be worth serving with fast internet and they should either move or accept what they have rather than expect a subsidy.

    Ok, so now lets take this approach with road funding. Lets privatise them all and let private industry look after building new ones where it makes economic sense.

  44. Chris

    Or work on feasible ideas like wireless.

    Which results in data costs which are an order of magnitude more expensive than ADSL or fibre and poor performance during peak periods.

  45. Aliice

    Truthtold says
    “What a stupid idea, to rip out all the copper wire so that everyone will be FORCED to use the Government NBN.”

    Stupid I hear you say? This is the new world order. Herd the suckers on to it by force and force them to pay up..

    Between monster oligopolies and public monopolies the Australian public is just getting screwed.

    This isnt for the greater good – its for the greater good of a few bad men (and governments just happen to be full of bad men er.. and women doing rent seeking deals in their own self interest in case you hadnt noticed).

    ie this is the norm and its only a stupid idea to the majority of us to whom it will serve no benefit.

  46. John Mc

    Ok, so now lets take this approach with road funding. Lets privatise them all and let private industry look after building new ones where it makes economic sense.

    Now you’re finally talking some sense!!

  47. wreckage

    Chris I am talking about rural areas. There is no ideological debate. Calm down. If you think farms 30km out of Barmedman are going to get fibre, well, then, LOL. Sucker!

  48. wreckage

    Also congestion on wireless bands is at least partly a legislative problem, there is a lot more spectrum that can be used, more than enough for farms and isolated hamlets.

  49. Chris

    Chris I am talking about rural areas. There is no ideological debate. Calm down. If you think farms 30km out of Barmedman are going to get fibre, well, then, LOL. Sucker!

    The NBN already are rolling out wifi to regional areas where the population density is low and the tin-foil hat people aren’t in control of the local council (wifi-radiation conspiracies). And satellite elsewhere – in fact the majority of NBN subscribers at the moment are on wireless and satellite, not fibre, though this is changing as the fibre rollout accelerates.

    Regional/rural areas have a reasonably long history of being heavily subsidised by the government when getting satellite connections. Thats probably a major factor why the LNP won’t in practice kill off the NBN. The regional areas especially want the cross subsidies (and its significant when talking about satellite access).

  50. John Mc

    And satellite elsewhere – in fact the majority of NBN subscribers at the moment are on wireless and satellite, not fibre, though this is changing as the fibre rollout accelerates.

    This is a funny way to defend the NBN (for both you and the government) when it’s justification was that it was going to have high speed fibre for everyone, and it’s critics have always said you don’t need a federal project to do wireless and it will be both viable and cheaper in the market place.

  51. wreckage

    And satellite elsewhere – in fact the majority of NBN subscribers at the moment are on wireless and satellite

    The subsidised connections already existed. The subsidy has been increased, is all.

  52. Tel

    Err you realise that the “A” in ADSL stands for ‘asymmetric’? Its an inherent part of ADSL that you can get significantly faster download than upload speeds.

    It does indeed.

    So when they provide a symmetric service (over exactly the same copper) they change the name. *spin clacker above head*.

    TPG SHDSL starts at $200 per month, Exetel SHDSL starts at $250 per month. The price ramps up as you want a faster link, and on the whole is asking more than what the NBN is planning for their (asymmetric) services. That said, NBN has yet to turn a profit, and there’s a reason why ADSL is what it is — because the vast majority of customers want it that way.

    Whereas with a fibre connection ISPs are offering up to 40Mbit *upload* speeds. Even the middle spped plans offer 5-20 Mbit upload. Its the difference between being a consumer and a producer.

    Given that the price of datacenter hosting in the USA or Japan is of the order of $20 a month for a basic VM with massive data allowance (and even Australian hosts are coming down in price, although on the whole Australia is not competitive) the conclusion is if you are a data producer, you buy datacenter space, period.

    There’s another reason for this: a datacenter can deliver uptime, but neither copper links, nor NBN fiber can provide any guarantee of uptime. Sure you can pay Telstra a thousand dolars a month for a 99.9% guarantee but in the fine print, the most you get back on that guarantee (should a real disaster happen) is two months free service. In the case of the NBN I have yet to see them offering any penalty payments at all (but by all means prove me wrong, maybe I missed the obvious). DISCLAIMER: I read through Telstra’s fine print personally, but I’m not a lawyer, I’m perfectly willing to admit I’m wrong if someone can provide a suitable URL.

    It is vastly cheaper and more likely to work properly, if you just pay for multiple data centers, give yourself physical diversity and redundancy. Then you don’t have to read the fine print.

  53. Tel

    The present government will find that the tragedy for them will have a very Greek ending.

    Hardly.

    They will lose, and then spend the next two terms in opposition blaming everything that goes wrong on the Liberals. Many people will believe them. It would have worked, if only… you just wait for the cries.

    If the NBN fails, it will fail in the hands of Malcolm Turnbull (unless Tony Abbott tries incredibly hard to lose the next election).

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