back to article Oz network hits serious speed bump

While the political battles have occupied centre-stage, Australia’s National Broadband Network has hit its first real-world speed-bump, with reports in Australia that it has halted negotiations over key civil works tenders. The Sydney Morning Herald on Friday reported that negotiations for construction tenders were halted …


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  1. Z80


    “every bid was above what we were expensive”.

    This English is below what I am acceptable.

    1. Richard Chirgwin (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: Y'what?

      Thanks. Fixed.

      1. Maverick
        Thumb Down


        > Thanks. Fixed.

        not as far as I can see

  2. Ed Cooper

    I was in Australia last year

    I was in Australia last year and the ADSL connection at the house we were staying at, had a cap of something like 10GB, which was apparently pretty normal!? As someone who has got used to downloading that amount of stuff in an hour I was a little surprised!

    1. Rattus Rattus

      .au monthly caps

      10gb is a bit low, but yes, sadly 20-30gb per month is pretty normal down here. I get 140gb a month but only because I'm paying a lot of beer tokens for the privilege.

    2. Winkypop Silver badge

      Blame the cockatoos mate!

      Apparently they eat the data as it passes through the old copper network.

    3. shaunorman

      internet noobs.

      normal for people whom don't use the internet much.

      double the fee they are paying and you can pretty much get a terrabyte or petabyte (coming soon I've heard) plan.

    4. Paul 129

      Thats the thing

      They want to replace a market place, that has been shaped and controlled by a state run come private Monopoly. With another Monopoly to fix all the problems caused by the first. Worse still is the fact that this idea was [IMHO] what got the current government over the line and into power.

      -How likely is this to be resolved quickly

      -How likely are we to get value for money

      -What are the chances do we have of not getting screwed by the new beast?

      [5% until election time, 0% (Curent track record) , 0% (maybee not initially, but a monopoly will do what monopolys always do)]

      1. Veldan


        I just couldn't help but comment.

        That was by far the most apt and correct description of the entire Australian government i've ever heard.


        Have a cold one!

    5. Anonymous Coward


      Apart from the odd Linux distro, MS update what are you lot up to, to need to get 10GB in an hour? Don't get me wrong, I don't want caps, we should be free to get what we like, but I am genuinely curious to know what home users need that kind of through-put for during the general run of things? I might be missing out on something good!

      1. Anonymous Coward

        re: Seriously?

        Per MONTH. Per hour... that is fairy land stuff.

    6. A B 3

      The telcos are ripoffs

      They tried to charge me $350 for going 170MB over my mobile internet limit. I was lucky enough to talk them down to $50 after several sessions with their customer service.

      Also there are some good plans available: 120GB for $60, but they leave customers on ancient plans without telling (or upgrading) them of newer ones. So often people are paying $60 for 500MB a month.

    7. c0rruptd

      Thats about right

      10GB limit at 1.5mb/s is about right for the average now, and is usually charged at about the AU$50/month mark. A few years ago, 512kbps was the average (and this is in fairly large population centres too).

      Any wonder some of us are pushing hard for this NBN, no matter how badly it's going to get screwed up? Anything is better than our current tin-and-string system... =P

    8. _Daniel_

      In Australia

      Download quotas vary very widely depending on what you are willing to pay.

      While true unlimited would be nice there are several things which conspire to make it impossible to do (here at least).

      By paying more for more downloads, along with a reasonably robust competitive landscape ISPs have incentive to increase downloads for your dollar.

      There are some ISPs which do offer unlimited but they are generally massively over subscribed so as to make your connection worthless. The ACCC did take several ISPs to court for advertising "unlimited" plans which had limits in the fine print.

      I'm more worried about NBNCo planning on using a scarcity model (hello 1990 allover again)

    9. Stephen 10

      For US readers

      The 10GB is per month btw (both upload and download in this figure), not per day. It's a result of Telstra being handed the keys to the infrastructure and government having more of an interest in protecting its share price than serving the public.

      1. Youngone Silver badge

        For NZ readers also.

        That's exactly what happened here.

  3. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    1. Steve Brooks


      And there follows a pause in the construction of the NBN, rather a pregnant pause one might say, as the elephant in the room gives birth to another elephant.

  4. John Tserkezis

    @I was in Australia last year

    Pretty much anyone I hear who has come from overseas thinks our Internet service is a practical joke.

    The NBN is no different. :-)

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Stop visiting Australia

    You bastards are using up all my quota in one weekend!

  6. Denarius

    did anyone expect anything else ?

    typical private sector anywhere these days. Gov cash, wounded bull price list.

    If the chicago school of corporate theft did not have such a stranglehold of the tinpot policy wonks, Telstra would be told "make it happen" and it would be so with only a bit of price gouging.

    But as it was sold to lowest bidders, what else do you expect ?

    For once, much as I dislike saying it, the little wonder of Oz pollies actually had a lower cost solution to encourage wireless outside of cities, once he and his mate Keating had finished destroying the publics silverware in firesales.

  7. Anonymous Coward

    Typical Oz Opposition gibberish

    NBN Co have done their homework and called out the price gouging of the private sector companies.

    So Turnbull bags the *government* for overspending? Talk about obvious misdirection. Half the reason government run projects are so expensive is that the *private* sector are a bunch of racketeering goons who see our tax money as their own personal slush fund.

  8. DownUndaRob

    Dont be confused

    By the Download cap (ie how much we are allowed to download per month before shaping and/or excessive traffic charges) and the bandwidth we are supplied with (normally OPEN2 where available) so up to 24Mbps (theoretical).

    1. Mark 65

      Err no

      I think you'll find that he's saying that even though they believe they had accurate benchmarks and gave some upside headroom they've found that reality is a little different and when you've said you are going to be putting in fibre to the premises (i.e. a shitload of fibre all over the country) the suppliers/installers know they can start taking the piss on prices. They're either going to pay the prices, start their own cable crews, or not deliver on their election promise.

      It's also quite sweet that the Government is on the receiving end of what everyone else has been telling them - i.e. that the mining sector has been draining workers out of just about every profession across the country. If you think that's an exaggeration I know of teachers and a landscaper that now work in mining as they get over $100k driving a dump-truck and this high-pay skills drain is happening on a regular basis. Do a search on google and you'll find articles about multiple workers sharing the same bed in shifts, shitbox houses renting for mansion prices due to local accommodation shortages etc etc.

  9. Anonymous Coward

    Who knew?

    "key civil works tenders"

    Blimey, our Glorious Leaders have discovered that building anything in Austfailia is:

    A. bloody expensive

    B. full of shoddy half-arsed contractors

    C. full of very dodgy and quite possibly corrupt tenderers

    D. relies on a construction industry ruled by one or two very large standover men, er, construction companies

    E. All of the above.

    Anonymous. They know where I live.

  10. troldman

    Transit IP costs

    I only know a little about this but I understood that half the problem was the expensive cost of international transit IP in to Aus (USD70ish per Mbps per month) as opposed to Europe and US (USD10ish), partly due to the location of Aus and partly due to the aledgedly anti-competitive ownership of the undersea cables. So that's before all the political, monopolistic and low punter/Sq Km issues with the backhaul networks.

  11. AndrueC Silver badge

    I'm looking for someone

    You know the type. Slags of the UK internet infrastructure. Tells us it's because we haven't got the government involved. Points to Australia as an example of How It Should Be Done(TM).

    Anyone seen anyone fitting that description?

  12. Roger Jenkins

    Maybe it's the right thing to do

    If I go into a shop to buy something and I have a fair idea what price range it is in and they quote way above that. I reserve the right to tell 'em to get stuffed.

    It is after all a fair negotiating stand to say no!.

    The suppliers make an offer, NBN says no. Now the suppliers have two choices, sharpen their pencils or get out of the game.

    I'm sure we tax payers would be right pissed off if NBN just took the lowest of the high prices and allowed us to get ripped off.

    1. LaeMing Silver badge

      I imagine...

      ...the assumption by the bidders that the govt would take the best offer regardless of how high it was in absolute terms was at least part of the reason for all the quotes being so high?

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