back to article Australia's coalition reveals bits of broadband plan

Australia's shadow communications Malcolm Turnbull releases an alternative plan for the nation's national broadband network (NBN) today, an important moment in the network's evolution given the coalition Turnbull represents is likely to win government in September. IT media haven't been told where or when, in what seems to be …


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  1. ceebee

    a small policy

    A typically cynical small policy from a small minded party with no long term vision.

    Just a pity the other lot are so hopeless!

    1. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

      Re: a small policy

      It bothers me that one major party is too stupid to do the right thing, and the other simply isn't interested in doing the right thing.

      And the more I think about it, the less certain I am of which one is which.

  2. Anonymous Coward


    Looks like the proposed wireless 25/5 we'll be getting isn't so bad after all.

    Did Turnbull include the costs of replacing the rotting copper owned by Telstra? Malcy's ADSL2 is going to suffer sooner rather than later.

  3. borkbork


    30Bn for (up to?)25/? Mb, vs 45Bn for 100/40 Mb?

    Half again as much for something 4 times faster, with the possibility of 1000Mb as an easy upgrade in the near future? Sounds like a no-brainer to me.

  4. Bush_rat

    You'll Regret It

    On the one hand, spend $44B for Fiber to the home at a possible 100/40 Mb or spend $30B for 25/5(?) Mb for Fiber to the node. Lets do the math, 22.6M Australians at $44B over the next 8 years is $243 per person per year. Compared to $221 per person per year over 6 years.

    So as this is tax payer funded and the difference is F*ck all money wise as far as we're concerned, I vote for the Labor option of getting something 4 times better for 50% more than the price of the shite alternative.

    1. Roger Jenkins

      Re: You'll Regret It

      'So as this is tax payer funded'

      No!!!! I keep posting against this misapprehension. NBN is not tax payer funded, it is funded by way of Bonds (loans) that NBN are going to repay when they make a quid. In fact, they are committed to giving the government a return of 7% on the money, which is not bad at all for a utility. Certainly a lot better than the fortune that will be spent replacing the rotten copper to allow FTTN to be completed.

    2. Anonymous Coward

      Re: You'll Regret It ..

      @ Bush_rat You need to check your math. The NBN goes to premises, not individuals. That works out at roughly 7.5 million households for a cost of about $6K vs $4K per household in overnight dollars. If we assume the bond rate of 7.0% and the 8yrs you've quoted, the comparison is $960 pa vs $654 pa .. per household. This is a 30% difference and that is just to repay the capital costs.

      Now my current broadband comes pretty well smack in the middle of this .. about $700-odd pa. I do not know what the NBN package cost will ultimately be but I can be pretty certain it'll be higher than the capital cost recovery. That means that the FTTP option is guaranteed to cost me more than my current service (which is fine btw) without providing anything I need.

  5. Gray Ham

    "He often seems to be the best-read, best-informed, shadow minister".

    .... but that isn't a very big mountain to climb ....

  6. Winkypop Silver badge

    What next: Cars too expensive?

    "Horse and Carriage industry to be revived and protected by import protection tariffs"

    These guys really need to think about the future a bit more.

    And Turnbull's the best they have.

  7. nikku


    So I get to keep the "100Mbps" Telstra HFC connection I've already got, which barely gets past 25Mbps and when it's a peak period is even slower.


    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Great.

      You lucky bastard!

  8. Anonymous Coward

    A triumph of bias over pragmatism

    Wow, where to start with this one.

    Lets start with the numbers quoted... 44.1 billion- incorrect: it's 37.4 billion, but hey, what's a cheeky 7 billion between friends right?

    I'll tell you what it is, it's the difference between Turnbulls recently announced copper dependent (and inferior in every way) FTTN plan and Conroys future-proofed FTTH plan.

    Back to the article though, where the next three paragraphs go into detail of why Turnbull is such a great guy for investing in an ISP years ago. Apparently this qualifies you to be (and I quote) "the best-read, best-informed, shadow minister imaginable". The idiocy continues by proclaiming that "some aspects of the current NBN plan ie the acquisition and dumping of HFC networks, clearly deserve revision" demonstrates that the author (who clearly isn't an HFC user himself) dosen't have the slightest clue about the technical subject matter he's writing on.

    I'd expect this from the MSM or News Ltd, I cannot believe this is being published by the Reg. Unreal.

  9. Pu02

    SO that's it? Malcolm's vision boils down to 'let's build this tin-shed on the cheap'?


    How better to improve a project's efficiency and outome than to change it ***during the roll-out**...

    What is the result anyway? A 25% saving, ***if*** Turnbull's right?

    "...the total cost of the coalition NBN will therefore be $AUD29.4bn, rather less than the government's $44.1bn"

    WTF? Maybe this is a good line if you are going to sell the whole thing to MCI Worldcom (or perhaps somehow privatise the NBN (?)). Assuming you can actually do it.

    But it turns out that to do it he will cut out bits, like ignoring areas presently held to ransom by cable providers (sorry, I did mean serviced), along with any others they can avoid connecting when it comes to the crunch (for political reasons, cost, or wireless coverage) All these areas may be left on Cu for eternity too.

    And Malcolm no doubt will use his incredible Barista skills to convince Telstra to maintain this without extracting the costs plus profit from the Government?

    Can a Barrister make coffee? No. Can a Lawyer do anything other than argue and collect money? No. Can one see a future for IT?.... certainly not. That is why, under any such plan, we'll end up with a patchy, Copper network. Imagine the service (voice or Internet) delivered on fixed lines then... calls that won't connect... service providers fragmented all over blaming each other when faults occur. Call centres you can't call, letters not responded to? Numbers lost in the ether... (anything sound familiar?)

    Now who is responsible for the present Telco mess? Decades of poor service and increasing chrages? Why is it that the existing project replaces all the existing Telecom infrastructure, inc. cable? Did the shareholders really run into the ground so much?

    Not entirely: Sir Richard Alston screwed it, Amanda Vanstone stuffed it and Helen Coonan cooked it. And why is the result a smoking, uncompetitive mess?

    Why can the Libs not do anything right in terms of communications policy? Apart from the fact that they are all Lawyers (sorry, I'm sure I meant constructive visionaries)?

    At least the existing NBN plan will address this by replacing it all with one fibre system that is electronically configurable and cheap to upgrade, extend and maintain.

    But no... let's get Malcolm in to re-write all the contracts and do half-a-job. And have the lawyers (sorry, I meant Liberal Party) implement it.

    " one example of Turnbull in uncompromising attack mode. Yesterday's “Australia is one of the OECD's most expensive companies for telephony” was another, as Australia is 17th on the OECD's price lists"

    For some reason, in the 60s, 70s and 80s when it was the case that Australia had low telecoms rates compared to the OECD, the Liberals, inc. Malcolm Turnbull, privatised Australia Telecom. The new company's shareholders were given the operations for free. They didn't pay a cent. Shareholders paid $14.1B, took a share of the system generating a lot of revenue with a bold, bright future. Thanks to the wonders of privitisation, rates have gone sky-high ever since- and any half decent plan has to replace ALL of it.

    "...the total cost of the coalition NBN will therefore be $AUD29.4bn, rather less than the government's $44.1bn" This might be good line if you are going to sell the whole thing to MCI Worldcom (or perhaps somehow privatise it (?))

    When he and Abbott get in, telecoms will be worse than anywhere. They'll take the money and ensure the rich get all the p0rn: We will all pay a Broadband levy when going to a Hospital, use a bus, train or other public service. Comms rates will be going up and up- exactly as per their mates' past form running the newspapers, TV, Telstra, Macquarie Infrastructure (Airports, toll roads), Energy, etc.

    But hey, Malcolm started out defending the Packers' against criticism. Looks like he might finish his life doing the same... crumbs.... what do these guys want to be remembered for?

    Maybe when they've burned it all down they'll think of something.

    Can a lawyer be creative?

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