I Want My Super High Speed Internet Access

I reckon the NBN might just win this election for Gillard.

There is a strong swell from younger people (and some old enough to know better) that if an ALP government will give them super high speed internet, that’s enough for them. Abbott is being positioned as a luddite. If you mention the $43 billion you get an answer like “no-one questioned the cost of the Snowy River Scheme”.

I gently pointed out to a friend living in the bush (sorry, rural and regional Australia) that whoever wins she will not get high speed internet in her lifetime. Though she is almost as skeptical about politicians as I am, she was willing to trust that promise.

The best discussion on the subject I have seen is Grahame Lynch in today’s Australian. But I don’t think anyone is listening – present company excluded, of course.

If this does win it for Gillard and my friend and others do not get fibre before the election after this, will they accept the promise again?

And by the way, anyone know about government accounting? How long can they keep the cost off-budget, on the basis that the business will eventually be sold? If it was a company, auditors would require some sort of impairment charge…

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39 Responses to I Want My Super High Speed Internet Access

  1. I don’t trust Labor with wires or internet issues, period. Hey, is that house burning down over there?

  2. JC says:

    I think the coalition erred terribly in this. They simply should have said we don’t have a high speed network policy, that’s for the market to decide. They should have given the US example where there isn’t major interference yet they’re on their way to 4G and their speed in he cities is faster than the the proposal from the Liars party.

    They should have proudly stated they don’t have a policy on intervention.

  3. Infidel Tiger says:

    They should have proudly stated they don’t have a policy on intervention.

    The reason politics sucks is because you are now expected to have a policy on everything. When one party is flaunting a new super dooper porn downloader and your alternative is “we don’t have one”, the media pillory you for it. It sucks balls, but it’s the way things are.

  4. pedro says:

    A friend thinks the same thing after watching QandA (I think). I wonder whether the young bogans are so concerned though?

  5. JC says:

    That’s ok, infidel. Let them pillory you. They won’t be when this $43 billion elephant falls in the sink hole. Keep reminding the public that the same government that pushed insulation is embarking on one of the most complex engineering feats around and they will invariably fuck it up and send you broke.

    If it doesn’t work this time around it will down the road and you then have a clean slate when you say ” I told you so”.

  6. Ken Nielsen says:

    Dunno about that JC, NSW governments have been reelected many times promising to build the same railway line.

  7. RoD says:

    One word can stop any traction the ALP has with the NB announcement: FILTER. They should run hard on the Filter for the last week and aim at Gen Y and Gen X.

    As for this super-duper NBN; the ALP’s site still says it will be 100Mbps and rural will get 12Mbps via satellite.

    Conroy cannot explain how the NBN suddenly got 10 times faster (quelle surprise!) but NBN’s boss (“the NBN guy”) indicated 1Gbps packages would be aimed at large business and academic users -with home users offered 100Mbps.

    So, in other words, two-tier internet with those paying extra getting up to 1Gbps to fund this white elephant and the rest of us stuck on speeds averaging well below 100Mbps.

    South Korea is installing 1Gbps only in its major cities over the next 3-4 years – and even that will cost about $AUD 30 billion. If anyone thinks 97% of Australia is getting 1Gbps for $30-40b they are deranged – like ‘Conroy’ deranged.

  8. JC says:

    Let them, Ken. Conservative can’t ever win a spending contest with the Liars party as they will always beat you. You can’t win that game.

  9. Ken Nielsen says:

    sure JC I just wish the electorate wasn’t so bribable with bright shiny things. But maybe I’m wrong…

  10. dover_beach says:

    How much will these faster speeds cost individual customers?

  11. Ken Nielsen says:

    Stop being negative d_b

  12. Infidel Tiger says:

    “Sir, usually when buying a Ferrari one doesn’t need to discuss price.”

  13. JC says:

    That reverse Einstein, Shane Wand was on 7.30 report last night explaining how the NBN was one of the major pillars to raising productivity. And Shane Wand is part of the best and the brightest in the Liars party.

  14. Infidel Tiger says:

    As well as comparable speeds to Korea and Japan is the government guaranteeing comparable prices?:


  15. dover_beach says:

    Thanks, Jarrah. That is expensive. I’m quite content with what I have so wouldn’t bother paying $20-$60 extra. Also, if you’re connecting wirelessly using a router at home wouldn’t the speeds slow down somewhat?

  16. Rococo Liberal says:

    Most voters are now over 40. They don’t give a fart about the NBN. All they see is a bill of $2000 for every man, woman and child.

    The NBN is like the parrammta rail link, a total wank that everybody with any experience of ALP governments at State level knows will never actually get built.

  17. JC says:

    I can’t figure how they can make money unless they fraudulently apply a very low cost of capital ROR.

    My back of the envelope numbers.

    23 bill debt for 20 years at 6.5% coupon 1,500 bill

    Real market cost of equity on
    $20 bill. standard industry cost is around 15% 3.000 bill

    Annual running costs 1.000 bill

    Straight depreciation of the line
    over 30 years 1.430 bill

    Total cost Approx $7 Bill

    Imagine 3 million households wanting the top of the line web connection.

    That around 200 buck per month. I pay $130 per month for Bigpond extreme and even there I think it is far too much although I like what it offers and happy with the current speed.

    I bet there are no more than 300,000 household buying Bigpond extreme at the moment.

    It’s a complete turkey.

  18. Steve Edney says:

    They should be reminding everyone that even if we get superduper ALP NBN then we are also going to have that 1000,000 Terra bits (or whatever it gets up to) pushed through an internet filter.

  19. Rococo Liberal says:


    But hasn’t Conroy said that the NBN will be compulsory? Doesn’t everybody have to use it?

  20. jtfsoon says:

    The 4 things now that have turned my reluctant support for the Libs into more enthusiastic support are
    1) The NBN
    2) The filter
    3) Abbott making the right noises about supporting a flat tax and higher tax free threshold
    4) The tax receipts idea

  21. Ken Nielsen says:

    JC but BP is handing over it’s network and customers to the NBN and will become a retailer for it. You won’t be able to stay with the deal you have.

  22. JC says:

    I haven’t heard to prick say that, RL. If they force everyone on it, that’s a different story.

    How the fuck can they do that when lots of people won’t be able to afford that sort of charge without making serious trade offs, such as oh ummm not eating a couple of meals a week?

    Oh I get it, we’ll then have a tax credit for lower income groups.

    The more I think about the nastier these arseholes are.

    They’ll use the tax system through another dose of redistribution to pay for it under the cloak of lower income support for a hook up.

    Let me ask… would the “professor” of economics, Andrew Leigh be supportive?


  23. JC – you forgot that all the switchgear in the network will need to be swapped out every few years. Some companies replace it every 3 years, others might wait as long as 8. Depends on how long a maintenance period the manufacturer is willing to offer and whether the company is willing to run equipment when maintenance is no longer offered (IT companies often stop maintenance when the kit is 5 years old).

    If they crank the speed up to 1Gb as advertised, lets assume you have a switch with 144 1Gb fibre ports in it – that obviously will do 144 houses. You’re looking at paying at least $250,000 for that switch – or $1736 per port. If you scrap the switch and replace it every 5 years, you have a whacking great depreciation charge to take care of.

    And that’s just the front layer of switches. You’ll have a whole shipload of them in the tiers behind the front layer.

  24. dorinny says:

    If the fate of the economy rests in the hands of a bunch of pre-pubescent barely old-enough-to-vote video game pirates, that is a very depressing reality to come to terms with.

  25. TimT says:

    Meh, maybe there a buncha kids sucked in by the ‘more better good quick internet now’ line being given them by the ALP, but –

    – there’s a lot of older folks who aren’t, and who will have had experience with previous similar government failures;

    – It probably depends a lot where the kids are located; if they’re in the major population centres they may simply look around, see that contrary to the Labor Govt line, internet service is good and getting better already.

  26. THR says:

    Irrespective of the merits of the policy, it’s good politics. People on the marginal outer-suburban fringe, and in rural areas have been subjected to poor internet access for years, and, in some cases, are probably still bemoaning the sale of Telstra. This bit of cyber-pork should appeal to them nicely.

  27. jtfsoon says:

    just saw this. who are these frigging gamer world of warcraft nerds who find such trivialities amuising?


  28. Jc.. says:


    Oops you’re right. I underestimated the depreciation charge.

    Sorry … And here I was thinking I was okay.

  29. daddy dave says:

    This is very depressing. It’s a vast waste of money. It’s the biggest electoral bribe in Australian history.

  30. thefrollickingmole says:

    Given Tasmania was “switched on” by Julia a few days ago shouldnt they be showering the world with their tech savvy by now?

    Or is the cousinxxxcousin.com website down again (please I made that link up, no-one distress me by finding out it really exists)…

    Is there any uptick in the productivity of Tasmania yet, or is it still on the way?

  31. Ben says:

    I’m not sure how they can keep the nbn off the books. The debt they are issuing is indistinguishable from normal commonwealth debt. There is no way they can keep the debt off the books. However, I’m guessing they can hold the nbn asset on the books at whatever fictional value they want in order to offset it.

  32. ken n says:

    “Irrespective of the merits of the policy, it’s good politics. ”

    Trouble is THR that this describes a lot of what this government (and I’ve gotta admit) the opposition is promising.

    This is the worst election campaign I remember.

  33. ken n says:

    Could be Ben – when I was a company director the review of asset values before the annual report was something that worried the s out of us.
    I guess polis work to different rules…

  34. dorinny says:

    From jt’s link, the author, Asher Moses writes: “Industry experts and small business groups have universally panned the Coalition’s policy,”

    universally??? the only people quoted in Moses’ link are some anonymous analysts, and a small handfull (3 people?) of nobodies who work in the telcom industry.

    Firstly, Moses should have mentioned that the “panning” came from the telcom industry, not just industry in general, and second of all, I didnt see a single mention of “small business groups” who werent in the telcom industry. Well of course small telcom providers want the NBN – they will be the ones providing those expensive plans to go with that expensive infrastructure.

  35. ken n says:

    Yes dorinny, that was an awful quote.
    In business, it’s pretty well only rent seekers who are in favour.

  36. THR says:

    This is the worst election campaign I remember.

    Yes, I agree. I think both major parties only survive in this country because of widespread voter apathy toward politics. Naturally, both parties do everything in their power to encourage this apathy, not to mention cynicism.

  37. ken n says:

    No THR I don’t think the parties encourage the apathy – it’s rather that they don’t have confidence in the intelligence of the electorate.
    The reason most of us here are libertarians (more or less) is that we believe in people’s ability to decide what’s best for themselves.

  38. Andrew Reynolds says:

    ken n,
    If they are applying the same accounting rules as the rest of us (lol) they will have to have it on book from day one.
    The fact (?) that their intention is to sell it at some future point is irrelevant to that determination.

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