back to article Former nbn CEO Mike Quigley ends his silence, unloads on government

The former CEO of Australia's NBN Co, the entity responsible for building and operating Australia's national broadband network (NBN), Mike Quigley, has hit back at two years of being blamed by two prime ministers for the troubles that beset the project's multi-technology mix model (MTM) mandated in 2013. In particular, Quigley …

So Quigley says it is not Quigley's fault.

Whether or not the MTM (copper) is a good solution in the long run, it is obviously cheaper than digging up every single home's front lawn to lay fibre. And given the total secrecy surrounding Quigley's NBN, it is a bit rich for him to make any claims to transparency! Comparing current bullshit estimates to previous bullshit estimates is also nonsense.

As to Telstra, remember that the NBN was always going to pay them a small fortune just to cut the copper so that (the large number of) people that did not want the NBN would be forced to switch to it anyway.

Whether Turnbull is guilty is debatable. But Quigley has no credibility at all.

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Re: So Quigley says it is not Quigley's fault.

I don't know what you've been smoking but I want to try it, the effect on your perception of reality has been incredible! How is it "obviously cheaper" when ALL the numbers say it is more expensive? Even if you ignore the fact that all this FTTN work is going to be redundant in 20 years and we'll eventually have to do the work anyway, it is still more expensive now!

What total secrecy around Quigley's NBN? The previous NBN was completely open, it was constantly being audited, all the documents were thorough and released to the public. It'd the current NBN that is hiding documents and denying perfectly reasonable FOI requests.

The previous NBN deal with Telstra was not "just" to cut the copper, it was also to remediate the ducts and pits so that they would be in good shape. The thing he was talking about has nothing to do with that deal, he is talking about the ongoing maintenance costs which have now been taken over by NBN.

There was not a large number of people that did not want the NBN. Nobody in their right mind would choose not to switch to a superior service which cost the same amount.

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Re: So Quigley says it is not Quigley's fault.

This current mess all started when Abbott ordered Turnbull To "Demolish The NBN"

Nothing to do with "choosing the best approach in the real world" just another of Abbott's dishonest attack dog tactics to gain power at any price ably supported by Rupert's commercial interests.

The term "Fraudband" for a FTTN network was coined not by us but by a LNP "claque of cud-munching cretins" that switched from a fibre NBN over to MTM by reusing the copper they sold then recently spent billions buying back sight unseen despite Testra describing it as being "5minutes to Midnight" some 20 years back & has since been "Maintained using Lunch Bags" (both also "Faster & Cheaper")

How much of that copper will need to be "Remedied' by using what & at what cost? That 14 million every 5 months is just cover the node interconnections. But how much of the corroded copper is to be secretly replaced with more copper instead of Turnbull's promised all fibre remediation?

What with all their lies, misinformation & secrecy to date we're still expected to trust them to act in our best interests?

They've already stumbled from their original $29 to $56 Billion & likely rapidly heading towards Hockey's stated 70 Billion or more & that's not including any eventual far, far greater running costs for power & maintenance than on passive water immune fibre.

MTM: I would suggest is the inevitable result when career politicians, lawyers, bankers & their crony bean counters, instead of the sacked qualified experts get to determine their best outcomes instead of the country's.

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Re: So Quigley says it is not Quigley's fault.

The cost of the NBN was ALWAYS going to be >$70 billion. Politicians (in this case the ALP) are experts at introducing major projects, but completely understating the cost of said projects. It's part of getting the public to support the project(s) in the first place. Then, once it's underway, the cost "blowouts" (actually the REAL costs) will be someone else's fault. Yep, politicians (of ALL colours) are expert tricksters.

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Re: So Quigley says it is not Quigley's fault.

"he cost of the NBN was ALWAYS going to be >$70 billion."

Indeed. So trying to compare previous bullshit estimates with current bullshit estimates is ... bullshit. As to transparancy, show us the docs. There arn't any beyond waffle.

In the initial rollout of 4,000 houses in Tasmania, only 10.9% took up the NBN offer even though it was free. [Wikipedia]. Maybe the other 90% were idiots, or maybe they just knew their own needs better than zealots here. But whatever the reason, that is why it was so important to cut the copper and force people to use the NBN.

What they should have done is asked people to pay $500 up front to be placed in the NBN Queue. That would have produced just a few thousand household, and those are the ones that should have been focused on.

Personally, I just want a fixed wireless line, so the less money wasted on fibre the better.

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Re: So Quigley says it is not Quigley's fault.

"Maybe the other 90% were idiots, or maybe they just knew their own needs better than zealots here."

Prior to being forced onto the NBN (FW), we had a very reliable 1.5 Mb/s ADSL1 connection. After we were on the NBN, we expected to see an increase in speed to 12 Mb/s and to be able to DL ~10% of our previous data limit for the same cost. For several months we never saw speeds any greater than 5 Mb/s and often the NBN was slower than our ADSL1 connection had been. The speed problem was eventually fixed after several months.

We only had two other options for service provision and the other was half the bandwidth (i.e. ~5% of our previous data allowance) for 20% greater cost. And no, that wasn't Telstra. Their offer was ~5% of the bandwidth at 200% of the cost IIRC, but they couldn't connect us because they said the NBN wasn't available at our address!

During this month's billing period we had two whole weeks of being shaped to 256Kb/s, thanks to MS pushing W10 and our now severely restricted bandwidth. I certainly wouldn't have voluntarily gone on the NBN. And no, I'm not an idiot.

Nearly forgot. The installation wasn't "free"; it cost me a length of Cat 5 because the NBN installer didn't have any. At least I got FW. I estimate that ~35% of my neighbours cannot see the wireless tower so they are forced onto satellite. And not to put to fine a point on this, it was Labor that foisted this on us long before the Mad Monk was elected.

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Re: So Quigley says it is not Quigley's fault.

The fuck-up which is the to-ing & fro-ing of electricity to photo pulses is not cheap & required for every line in both directions on every connection. Malcolm is wrong & he knows it. The fellow who blames Quigley, if you actually know what you're talking about then give us some science or some numbers that back you up otherwise stfu...

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Re: So Quigley says it is not Quigley's fault.

"The fellow who blames Quigley, if you actually know what you're talking about"...

I have NFI what YOU are talking about! Did you write that post whilst you were asleep?

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I believe the story means to state that nbn TM now has ongoing responsibility for the copper infrastructure. It was always responsible for the fibre.

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Not only that, but Telstra was responsible for Pit and Duct remediation including asbestos, that was part of the original $11Billion. Telstra discovered what a terrible state that infrastructure is in and the massive badly underbudgeted cost to make it fit for purpose, maybe why they were so tardy in pit and duct remediation and why the complete mess up of their contracted Asbestos remediation (once obvious LNP would win) this greatly increased costs for contractors and subbies and slowed the whole roll out.

Now NBN is responsible for all of that and is paying Telstra to do the remediation at an undisclosed cost, but certainly more than the $2Billion Telstra had budgeted and found was badly inadequate.

Plus now maintain the copper and field mounted active electronics as the world is experiencing greatly increased extreme heat and flooding events, often in the same area just a few months or years apart..

The MTM a solution designed by fools for fools

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Not designed by fools at all. Basically a major act of corruption to feed billions of tax payer dollars to the corporations that won the LNP election. A Royal Commission into the corrupt mishandling of the NBN with a view of recovering the tax payer dollars corruptly accessed by News Corporation and crew and getting custodial sentences for all those who participated in the greatest public theft in Australian history.

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Anonymous Coward

Of course the increase in cost isn't Quiqley's fault.

"Under the FTTP rollout plan, Telstra was responsible for its infrastructure until the fibre was in place, after which the copper would be decommissioned. Under the MTM NBN Co, now called nbn, has an ongoing responsibility for the fibre assets."

Don't you mean the copper assets?

"Whether or not the MTM (copper) is a good solution in the long run, it is obviously cheaper than digging up every single home's front lawn to lay fibre."

1) Fibre IS the solution in the long run - copper will eventually need to be replaced. You can run fibre to the curb/distribution point, then fibre to the outside of the premises, but eventually you need to remove it altogether. The cost to incrementally do something that you then remove is going to be greater than doing it all upfront in the one visit.

2) The more it is delayed, the greater the cost to maintain the copper - it is forecast that maintaining copper will be $1B annually more than maintaining the fibre. This doesn't include the extra chaos and confusion for consumers and RSPs when implementing or troubleshooting a connection either...

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Here we go again. Malcolm BlatherFopJacket Turncoat will now attempt to defend the indefensible.

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Somebody needs a right royal editing

Mr. Chirgwin excels at long, badly constructed, ungrammatical sentences. He must be an "I write as I talk" guy.

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Headmaster

Re: Somebody needs a right royal editing

Now, now, if you make each sentence its own para, that fixes everything!

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"It's regrettable, Quigley told the program, that this particular omelette can't be unscrambled: the Telstra agreements in place and nbnTM's ownership of the copper assets make it impossible to return to FTTP."

Which is exactly the way Abbott wanted it.

It doesn't matter whether one thinks FTTP was the best solution or not, or even whether the NBN as a whole was a good idea - or not. The fact is that it was there, on the table and underway, and Abbot wanted it destroyed.

The contracts that the LNP have signed the Australian people up to ensure that any future ALP government wishing to bring back the original FTTP plan will have to incur great costs in doing so, which is something that the LNP will be able to criticise loudly from opposition.

They have salted the proverbial earth in an act of political and ideological spite and I, for one, feel utterly betrayed by those who actively made this happen, and have done so without caring one iota that we, the tax payers, will be paying for this for decades.

It is a fact that an FTTP infrastructure is more future-proof than an FTTN one and a fact that the longer an FTTP network is in place, the cheaper it will become compared to an FTTN network. No serious analysis has ever suggested otherwise.

Given that, it doesn't matter how much bandwidth people want now. Even if, as people like aberglas (above) assert, the vast majority of people neither want nor need the speed that FTTP could provide, it would work out cheaper in far fewer years than one might think.

Of course, one might argue that the whole NBN concept - regardless of technology was inherently bad and wasteful, but it was already underway and so we must look at the outcomes from that point.

I am not joking, nor exaggerating when I say that I feel betray by Abbott and Turnbull here and, though I should be hardened to this kind of disappointment, it almost brings me to tears and, again, I am not exaggerating. This has cemented what I always knew anyway: that our politicians put the people last.

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It's all politics

Labour tried to sabotage the liberals ability to cancel their plan by making it expensive. The Liberals were out to differentiate themselves and help their friends at Telstra, by taking the increased costs, added to them, and handed them back to the nbn.

For my money, they are politically both as bad as each other, but turnball's bad is costing me and I'm not getting fttp from it, whereas at least labour were willing to give me something for my vote and increased taxes.

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Re: It's all politics

@P.Lee

This is exactly my point - both plans were going to be dreadfully planned and ineptly managed and thus unnecessarily costly and delayed.

But that is de rigueur for any government project, nearly a given for a government infrastructure project and a certainty for a government technology project. Thus if the NBN - a governement technology infrastructure project - did not run wildly over time and budget and was not plagued by inefficiencies and mistakes from day one, then I would start looking over my shoulder, waiting to see a couple of dudes on horses.

In the end, one plan would have balanced the pain and expense and delays with a good, future-proof system that unshackled us from Telstra and the other will not.

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