back to article Deluded Aussie geeks hail Turnbull's elevation to prime minister

With the elevation of communications minister Malcolm Turnbull to the office of prime minister, Australian tech-types are drying their tears and looking forward to a future in which he changes gear so that the country will get its all-fibre National Broadband Network (NBN) at last. Forget it: it's never going to happen. It …

  1. rtb61

    Computer geeks and nerds in Australia, only have one reason and one reason alone to be happy. Toxic Tony was so awful, just so globally awful and Australian web heads were feeling that coming back from else where in the world. Toxic Tony was single handedly destroying Australia reputation, with his other hand stuffed down his budgie smugglers and his ears flapping like a dodo trying to take off. It was a huge embarrassment and it is mostly over, expect Toxic Tony to run around stabbing everyone who kicked him out in the back and desperately trying to get back in power and pick up that Prime Ministers Pension.

    1. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

      Indeed. I'm also not entirely optimistic about the future. The remaining coalition ministry will be largely the same bunch they were yesterday, and the opposition's also a shambles, but at least Tony's gone.

      And he didn't even make it to One Term Tony.

  2. This post has been deleted by its author

  3. FozzyBear Silver badge

    Time will tell. However, issues such as data retention laws and the attorney general trying to dictate telco infrastructure all with input from Malcolm’s “transformation office” , I fear we have substituted toxic Tony with Moronic Malcolm..

  4. Daniel Voyce

    NBN wont win long term (infact it is already losing out)

    I have lived here for 3 years now and as soon as I arrived I heard plenty about how the NBN was going to change the future for Australia's internet, quite simply, it isn't. As The Reg has pointed out many times they are taking years to install an inferior product, by the time the roll out is completed they will already be behind the rest of the developed world.

    However what this does mean is that private companies are providing super fast internet into the basement of all of these new apartment blocks / office buildings that are cropping up off the plan, they are also installing into multi tenancy buildings and more recently have done some "Line of sight" wizardry with the office I work in out in the burbs (NBN isn't planned here for another 5 years), we pay reasonable rates are get a 100Mbps (vs the 6Mbps we can currently get over copper). I dont see anyway they can keep up.

    1. ZC

      Re: NBN wont win long term (infact it is already losing out)

      I couldn't agree more. In the outer metropolitan suburbs private companies have been rolling out FTTH for years. In fact, the sooner NBN dies the better. The government should sell it to the private sector and move on.

  5. Winkypop Silver badge

    Abbott and Turnbull

    Same shit, different shovel.

    No all-fibre NBN for you, and you, and you!

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Our local wireless NBN tower has been built

    It's line-of-sight too so the signal should be good. However, our ISP says it could be another 12 months before we can connect.

  7. Rainer

    Who goes to Australia for broadband anyway?

    Enjoy the weather, mate.

    Go to the beach, have a bbq. Drive around in the outback.

    Who needs broadband, anyway?


  8. mathew42

    Failure to justify 1Gbps speeds

    The reality is that once Conroy chose a financial model with speed tiers for the NBN be facing challenges. Labor's spin of selling a 1Gbps network while predicting less than 1% would connect at that speed in 2026 while close to 50% would be connected at 12Mbps has caught up with the real world. The harsh reality is that if speed tiers were removed from FTTN network then average speeds on FTTN would be higher than FTTP.

    As of 30 June 2015, 77% of Australians connected to fibre have a 25Mbps or slower connection (32% on 12Mbps). Only 50% of connections are active, so as more people connect we would expect the late adopters to select cheaper and slower plans.

    To change the path of NBNCo, the FTTP promoters need to explain to the 80% who are happy with FTTN speeds how FTTP will benefit them and why they should pay extra for a service they don't want. A discounted flat rate access change with more reliance on data charging would have solved this problem because everyone would have experienced 1Gbps speeds.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Failure to justify 1Gbps speeds

      Surely down-clocking the line-speed is the dumb idea. The whole point of the NBN was that it was tax-funded, so slowing it down for market segmentation and profit maximisation which results in data spending more time clogging up the network, was an idiotic decision. People have internet connections for years so amortising the cost of a 1G fibre nic should be a no-brainer.

      And completely off-topic, the Beeb's bit on the new PM includes this wonder: which appears to suggest Australians are in favour of hot lesbian threesomes. Well, they said "marriage" but I reckon the girl in the middle is close enough to be involved. If love wins, I see no reason to discriminate against gay polygamy as a valid and natural family structure; and to make teaching that mandatory to all children in kindergarten. I suspect that there's a lot more polygamy (formal and informal) than homosexuality in the world. Perhaps Elton should add it to his agenda when he has a chat with Putin.

    2. Jasonk

      Re: Failure to justify 1Gbps speeds

      Considering that the ARPU is stilling at $38 well above what they are expecting shows the model works.

      But then Turnbull FTTN was only expecting an $18 ARPU.

      But then poeple who are using the NBN that are downloading large amounts of data are the ones paying the 80% are not paying for a service they don't want if they are not paying more than 25Mbps are they since Telstra only offers an 0Mbps to 24Mbps service but now we going to get a 0Mbps to 25Mbps service sounds so much better.

      1. mathew42

        Re: Failure to justify 1Gbps speeds

        > Considering that the ARPU is stilling at $38 well above what they are expecting shows the model works.

        When you realise that the ARPU needs to rise well above $100 I remain unconvinced that Labor's plan was viable.

        > But then poeple who are using the NBN that are downloading large amounts of data are the ones paying the 80% are not paying for a service they don't want if they are not paying more than 25Mbps

        If we accept your argument that it is the people downloading large amounts of data who are subsidising the people on cheaper plans then there is zero reason for having speed tiers. At 12Mbps you can download 3.8TB/month which is 100 times the national average, at 100Mbps this rises to 32.4TB a month. People tend to download more when they have a faster connection. Combining these two facts means that removing speed tiers would stimulate more downloading subsidising those who cannot afford it while not denying them the benefits of a faster connection.

        1. Jasonk

          Re: Failure to justify 1Gbps speeds

          So where do you get this $100 ARPU how does the current model even come close to that with slower speeds masive increased ongoing cost and cost 2/3rds the cost of FTTP or costing more than the model you are getting your figures from. But there figure for the current rollout for the model your quoting was only expect an ARPU of only in the $20's

          It's not the removal of speed teirs that is holding back but the CVC pricing which is based off Telstra own model is to high. But then we already have ISP offering unlimited downloads as well one offering a 100/100Mbps service.

  9. Anonymous Coward

    Universal FTTP isn't dead and to say otherwise is wrong.

    This article is either taking a very short term view or has failed to separate technical reality from near-term politics.

    Fiber is the only game in town when it comes to fixed line data efficiency, as we know.

    FTTN itself is physically extending fiber closer to the consumer and the decision not to run FTTH is an economic argument caught up in politics, which is temporary thing.

    It might not excite people, or fit the hyperbolic narrative of the article to say that it'll happen eventually, but it will.

    New copper is not being laid en-mass, and FTTN is only augmenting copper that is already laid. It might not even get to 100% penetration in our lifetimes, but it is a one way process. Fiber is the endgame, as any network or telecoms engineer will tell you. Politics and other 'external' factors play a part in *when* it happens but the trajectory is undeniable.

    Anyway, beer.

    Because harmful long term drug dependency is how the locals deal with it.

    1. Knoydart

      Re: Universal FTTP isn't dead and to say otherwise is wrong.

      I would love to say you are right but at the moment it appears that political dogma is trumping technology progression. The cost for nbn mk3 will be the same again and then some. However New Zealand might have a few spare fiber jointers come 2025 so I'm sure we can send a few across the ditch.

  10. RobHib

    I was going write someting meaningful, but

    …it's too depressing and painful.

    With five prime ministers in five years, the Russian commentator who said that Australia was becoming the Italy of the Southern Hemisphere hit the nail precisely on the head.

    For those in the UK, Turnbull is THE leading advocate of Oz ditching Lissie and becoming a republic. Turnbull's always been on a self-aggrandisement kick, so it's of little concern to him that Oz has been and still is behaving like a delinquent teenager and thus is simply too irresponsible to become a republic.

    BTW, I'm a republican at heart, but with Turnbull in charge heaven help us.

    1. Timpatco

      Re: I was going write someting meaningful, but

      What is the point? The liars have the floor, the roof and everything in between. And the great unwashed have proven their status. The prefer to be lied to along with the sheeple of the USA and UK... glad I live elsewhere these days...

  11. TheOtherMe

    Failed privitisation

    Yet another example of why privitisation of infrastructure is a BAD idea. If the government hadn't sold Telstra nearly 30 yrs ago it would A) be making significant income from the rather profitable business that this telco has become and B) not be having this argument about our desired FTTP or even the lesser FTTN.

    1. Faceless Man

      Re: Failed privitisation

      Or at the very least, if they'd done it right, and only privatised the retail business, and kept the wholesale business and infrastructure in government hands.

      Personally, I'd have preferred it if they'd kept the whole thing, but if they had to privatise it, they could have at least done it right.

      And this is my problem with the NBN as well, it's always had privatisation built into the plan. The government builds the infrastructure, and then sells it off, when it was a perfect opportunity to return the country's communications infrastructure to public ownership, while still allowing competition at the consumer end.

      And I agree that the whole speed thing is a farce. The base level is ADSL1 speed. Not enough to use the network to stream video, and downright painful if more than one person is trying to use it at once. There ought to be one speed tier - maximum available. (And don't get me started on data limits...)

  12. Timpatco

    Turnbull IS dedicated but...

    NOT to the welfare of anyone, let alone geeks UNLESS it aligns with his sole purpose and that is wealth and power for MT.

  13. Jim84

    NZ 1 Aus 0

    How is it that New Zealand has already managed to build out fiber to the premises for most urban centers, yet Australia can't seem to manage this?

    Oh that's right, the NZ government saw as a key obstacle the former state telecoms monopoly (called Telecom) and set about playing hardball with Telecom to force it to 'voluntarily' split itself into a consumer retail company and a separate infrastructure wholesale company.

    Why was similar political will lacking in Australia (usually a fairly radical place that takes a dim view of monopolists)?

    1. Knoydart

      Re: NZ 1 Aus 0

      Not sure how the Aussies messed it up so bad. The NZ government even kicked into touch the offer to nationalize the limited HFC network to ensure a FTTP build to 75% (make that 80% in the next 10 years) of the population.

      The next challenge for the NZ government is to work out the policy for RBI2 and to try not to overbuild all the regional players that are already connecting a significant part of rural New Zealand.

      Sadly my UFB fiber is still a couple of years away but right now I have VDSL to one of the central Wellington exchanges 50 meters across the road to make up for it

  14. LaeMing
    Thumb Down


    The way people over here are going on about it all you'd think it actually made any difference who has the words 'Prime Minister' before their name. They are still answerable to the party which is in turn answerable to the same sponsors.

    1. Ronny Cook

      Re: Seriously!

      Replying 20 days later - it seems at this point that although big M is nailed down to a great extent by existing Liberal policy, he is succeeding in getting some changes done.

      The changes to the ministry look somewhat hopeful and there doesn't seem to be nearly as much tilting at windmills; he seems to be setting policy, at least in part, according to actual reality (e.g. the uncooperative Senate) rather than some wholly-concocted internal vision of an ideal world.

  15. 2 dogs

    Malcolm knows

    If you need a guardian to deal between the private sector and the public purse best have a person of experience in both worlds . Malcolm seems the best available

  16. Mage Silver badge

    Wireless the Future?

    It's only really good at Broadcast. It's wonderful at broadcast. But any conceivable wireless tech would need EVERY street lamp to be a basestation even to compete with DOCSIS on coax. Even that wouldn't come close to FTTP in performance and would guzzle a huge lot more power.

    Wireless is complementary to FTTP. Not ever going to replace it. Nor can fibre replace Wireless used for broadcast, especially in a disaster scenario.

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