Category: NBN

NBN Co’s $31 billion write-off caused by Coalition catastrophe

Abbott’s plan was always to sucker punch Turnbull

NBN Co has had to write off tens of billions of dollars in an effort to lower prices and become more financially sustainable. Paul Budde reports.

THE PREVIOUS Coalition Government under then Minister for Communication, Malcolm Turnbull, promised a cheaper, good-quality NBN that would be delivered faster. However, since it became clear that his Government was unable to deliver on this promise, I knew that eventually, something had to give.

Source: NBN Co’s $31 billion write-off caused by Coalition catastrophe

NBN write-down confirms its national importance and Coalition failure – Pearls and Irritations

Concrete man hole cover with the NBN label and pattern in the concrete.

Tony Abbott handed Turnbull the poison chalice he filled to guarantee its failure. More important to Abbott was the threat Turnbull posed to his leadership. The failure of the NBN was Abbott’s scheme to cement his position. It failed on all counts but also damaged Turnbull and his legacy. Abbott’s Frankenstein NBN has since been branded as Turnbull’s.

The previous Coalition Government under the Minister for Communication Malcolm Turnbull promised: ’a cheaper, good quality NBN, faster delivered’. It failed on all counts.

Source: NBN write-down confirms its national importance and Coalition failure – Pearls and Irritations

Former Telstra CEO regrets silence over NBN disaster

Abbott’s single-minded partisan politics of Nope Nope Nope and internal LNP politics of enforcing Abbott’s poisoned NBN chalice on his potential challenger Malcolm Turnbull was a guarantee the new revolutionised Internet infrastructure would fail. The mainstream news and Telcos were behind him in the hope that some positive outcomes would somehow eventuate out of much-needed system change so they remained silent. Murdoch media was a major voice always in support of Abbott no matter his mistakes. The outcome has been a total fail, a waste of money,that left us in a technological backwater. 60th in the world when it came to speed. Finally, an ex-Telstra CEO has the balls to speak out.

My suggestion was to keep the end goal in place, but make changes to the way how to get there. However, with a Prime Minister such as Tony Abbott at the helm, the national interest was replaced with political interest and there was no way for a compromise or for an open discussion on the topic. Reviews were stacked with those supporting the Government.

Source: Former Telstra CEO regrets silence over NBN disaster

Tony Abbott’s NBN plan may have been a better option

Suicide is painless

With all of that in mind, if we at the time would have followed Tony Abbott’s advice to kill the NBN altogether, would that have been better? Was Malcolm Turnbull’s alternative of stripping down the fibre to the home (FttH) plan to the Multi Technology Mix (MTM), with hindsight, indeed the better option?

And the NBN is not the only casualty of this level of politicking. The energy policy, climate change policy, electric vehicle policy — all have been delayed by the Coalition Government for a decade. They are now finally followed by one backflip after the other.

Obviously, this also reflects the voters who preferred a conservative government that would not come up with those “scary” progressive policies. We no longer are trying to reach each other at the middle ground. When I (and others) between 2007 and 2012 tried to build broadband bridges between the Labor Government and, at that time, the Coalition Opposition, there was absolutely no interest from the Liberal Party to do this — not on broadband, not on smart energy, not on e-health and so on.

Now, 10-15 years later, all these policies are suddenly being accepted by the Coalition. What a waste of time having delayed progress on these issues for so long.

Source: Tony Abbott’s NBN plan may have been a better option

Government wants NBN Co to focus on the money

The Government’s new financial plan for the NBN is more about protecting its own investment as opposed to what’s best for the country. Paul Budde reports. Rather conveniently, NBN Co has removed all forward financial projections beyond the next 12 months in its Corporate Plan for 2022, released last week. As I also mentioned when the Government released its financial results a few weeks ago, understanding how the company is really performing remains rather murky. The new corporate plan only adds to that lack of clarity. Of course, it is no secret that the company is struggling with its financials. It has been unable to lift its average revenue per user (ARPU) as it has been projecting for many years. From now on, projections for revenue, earnings, net profit and CapEx will no longer be provided because of its ongoing efforts to secure debt financing.

Source: Government wants NBN Co to focus on the money

Government still holding Australia back in global broadband ranking

Abbott told us FIBRE wasn’t NEEDED in his NOPE NOPE NOPE campaign and handed TURNBULL the poison chalice to put it in place so he wouldn’t be blamed neat politics, hey! However, a fucked up government service to Australia

Australia has a fibre penetration of just 21.7% out of a total of 9.1 million broadband subscriptions at 25th position, below the OECD average of 30.56% fibre penetration. If NBN Co’s 900K FTTC lines were defined as fibre, that percentage would rise to nearly 32% and 18th position. New Zealand fared much better, posting a 60.1% fibre penetration rate and 8th position. Austria, Belgium, Chile, Ireland, Israel and the United Kingdom all increased their fibre connections by more than 50% in 2020. In more and more OECD countries, most broadband connections are now fibre, with the share of fibre in total broadband above 50% in Finland, Iceland, Luxembourg, New Zealand, Norway and Portugal, exceeding 70% in Japan, Korea, Latvia, Lithuania, Spain and Sweden.

Source: Government still holding Australia back in global broadband ranking

Is the ACCC protecting telco consumers or fattening up NBNCo for sale? – Michael West


Abbott’s Legacy and embarrasment  being dumped

Is the ACCC helping the Government get the best price for the sale of NBNCo? The competition regulators are doing consumers no favours hindering investment in new telco infrastructure. Who is looking after the interests of telco consumers? asks former NBNCo CTO Gary McLaren.

Source: Is the ACCC protecting telco consumers or fattening up NBNCo for sale? – Michael West

The NBN is now being attacked from all directions


It would not make any sense to have the competition build overlapping fibre infrastructure. However, when the Government changed the game and went for its second-rate multi-mix technology version, I agree with Telstra that at that stage it would have been better for the Government to abandon the NBN altogether and leave it to the industry. We would have had, in many areas, a far better network at lower costs than the one we have today. Thanks to Tony Abbott (ODT)

via The NBN is now being attacked from all directions

What happened to broadband in Australia?: NBN Co’s former CEO on how the Coalition broke the internet | The Monthly

Another piece of crap due to Tony Abbott’s political determination to block anything Labor for whatever the cost. (ODT)

It has taken several years for a clearer picture to emerge, but we now know the decision to change to the MTM was thoroughly flawed – and the network performance and NBN Co’s financials demonstrate this. The MTM network costs more and does less.

The nation will be bearing the consequences of that decision for years to come in an area that is critical to its long-term future.

Betting tens of billions of taxpayer dollars on a myopic, expensive and backward-looking network based on copper, as the Coalition has done – while the world was moving away from copper and embracing optical fibre – was a huge miscalculation. It was not driven by a sophisticated analysis of the best technology choices for Australia’s NBN, but by ideology and politics. As Paddy Manning observed in his 2015 biography of Turnbull, Tony Abbott was intent on killing off the NBN if the Coalition won government in 2013, and Turnbull believed the Labor plan for the NBN was flying in the face of 30 years of governments exiting from operating businesses.

The fact that such a huge amount of money has been invested in performance-limited MTM technologies means that a writedown of these investments is almost a certainty.

via What happened to broadband in Australia?: NBN Co’s former CEO on how the Coalition broke the internet | The Monthly

Kiwis to get 20-times NBN speeds for similar price |

Australia's publicly-owned national broadband network is rapidly falling behind New Zealand's privately-owned one.

New Zealanders will soon be getting internet speeds 20 times faster than those enjoyed by most Australians for just a few dollars more a month, further widening an already-huge gap between the two countries’ broadband networks. Chorus, the ASX-listed company that operates New Zealand’s broadband network, revealed on Wednesday it would slash the wholesale price of its ultra-fast one-gigabit plan. From the middle of next year, the price of the plan will go from $NZ65 ($61) to $NZ60 ($56.30) a month. Chorus will further reduce it to $NZ56 the following year. Internet speeds of one gigabit per second (Gbps) are 20 times faster than the most popular speed available on Australia’s national broadband network of 50 megabits per second (Mbps), the plan almost half of NBN users are on.

Source: Kiwis to get 20-times NBN speeds for similar price |

ACCC intervenes in troubled NBN project

Lest we forget Tony Abbott aborted the NBN before birth (ODT)

For numerous broadband experts, not to mention millions of hapless NBN customers, this might be seen as a classic “no shit, Sherlock” moment. However, it is probably the most significant recent development in the long-running saga that began with Labor’s 21st century fibre-based national broadband network, only to end in tears for so many when former Prime Minister Tony Abbott ordered his heavily-wedged communications minister, Malcolm Turnbull, to “destroy the NBN”.

via ACCC intervenes in troubled NBN project

The tragedy of Australia’s NBN

The network effect of 97% of the population being connected via fibre is a vision that won’t be reached anytime soon. And the blame for this can be seen to be laid at the feet of former Prime Minister Tony Abbott and current Prime Minister and former Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

AUSTRALIA’S NATIONAL BROADBAND NETWORK (or NBN for short) could have been a game changing national infrastructure project for the 21st century and possibly beyond. That was the vision of the then Kevin Rudd-led Labor government after winning the 2007 federal election. Originally to be delivered via Fibre to The Node (FTTN) technology to 98% of premises, but later changed to the more future-proof Fibre to the Premises (FTTP), the NBN was to be nation changing.

The maximum line speed NBN proposed for the majority of customers on FTTP was 100 Mbps download and 40 Mbps upload. The beauty of fibre internet, though, is that at some point in the future this could be theoretically upgraded to 1 gigabit per second symmetrical and, who knows, even 10 gigabits per second. That’s the beauty of fibre. Once the fibre optic cable is laid into the ground it takes minimal effort to upgrade the equipment at either end of the cable to produce breathtaking results.

via The tragedy of Australia’s NBN

NBN facing irrelevance in cities as competitors build faster, cheaper alternative – Analysis & Opinion – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Lauded in the 2009 Commonwealth budget as the single largest nation building infrastructure project in Australian history, the NBN is at risk of becoming an expensive white elephant in our cities. Years of political interference, poor technology decisions and a monopoly business attitude have damaged the brand.

Rather than meeting its objective of connecting 90 per cent of homes and workplaces with broadband speeds of up to 100 Mbps, the NBN is looking more like a giant sponge. It soaks up public infrastructure dollars and returns high prices, long delays, unacceptably slow data speeds and service standards that are now the subject of an ACCC investigation.

As a result, a growing number of competitors are bypassing the NBN by undercutting prices and beating performance standards.

via NBN facing irrelevance in cities as competitors build faster, cheaper alternative – Analysis & Opinion – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

With rapidly evaporating respect Mr Turnbull, that’s crap – » The Australian Independent Media Network

With rapidly evaporating respect Mr Turnbull, that’s crap. The rest of the world is moving to fibre whilst you have made us a communications backwater, ranking 50th in the world behind places like Thailand, Estonia, Bulgaria and Kenya. With rapidly evaporating respect Mr Turnbull, that’s crap – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Why can’t the nation own the NBN? – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Why can’t the nation own the NBN? And when was it ever about a deadline and cutting corners to achieve it? The original fibre to the premises plan was the right choice and the monetary cost should never have been a consideration.Blaming Labor for this debacle has made Malcolm Turnbull look small. He knows only too well, the mess is his to own.

Source: Why can’t the nation own the NBN? – » The Australian Independent Media Network

And now for Malcolm Turnbull’s latest NBN trick

Instead, the Howard Government – of which Turnbull had been a member since 2004 – opted to close down a Parliamentary inquiry into structural separation. Their overriding objective was to maximise the dollars they could earn in selling off the national carrier — and they succeeded.

In 2007, the fully privatised Telstra declined to roll out an NBN, except on quasi-monopolistic terms. The incoming Rudd Government then had little choice but to set up a new company, NBN Co, to design and build the new wholesale network.


Source: And now for Malcolm Turnbull’s latest NBN trick

Fixing NBN requires tougher rules and stronger watchdog, parliamentary report finds – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Key points: The report warns a tougher approach is needed to ensure NBN Co meets minimum performance standards Some Coalition members including committee chairwoman Sussan Ley were angered by the findings NBN Co says it is already changing the way it operates to help customers

Source: Fixing NBN requires tougher rules and stronger watchdog, parliamentary report finds – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

NBN has a message for Australia: ‘If you want high-speed internet, you are going to have to pay more’ – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) That wasn’t Abbott’s Promise (Olddog)

Disappointed your new much-hyped NBN is a step down? You’re not alone and the only way to fix it is to pay much more.

Source: NBN has a message for Australia: ‘If you want high-speed internet, you are going to have to pay more’ – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

How do you know if you’re getting a good deal when you connect to the NBN? How do you know if you’ll be getting the high-speed connection you were promised?

55 workers sacked by Telstra NBN provider | CEPU – The Communications Union

Mr Murphy said the sackings are the result of the failed, sham pyramid contracting scheme employed by Telstra and their contracting partners.“The Federal Government and NBN Co are turning a blind eye to these dodgy employment set-ups. This company has been the subject of a number of worker complaints including the failure to provide adequate training, unlawful withholding of overtime payments and unfair dismissals. NBN Co and the Federal Government know the way their contractors are operating, but they don’t seem to care. They’ve got a lot to answer for.

Source: 55 workers sacked by Telstra NBN provider | CEPU – The Communications Union

How Australia Bungled Its $36 Billion High-Speed Internet Rollout –| No Names Mentioned but thank you Mr Nope Nope Nope Abbott’s legacy

Its businesses and consumers burdened with some of the developed world’s slowest speeds, the country is a cautionary tale about big-money ambitions.

Source: How Australia Bungled Its $36 Billion High-Speed Internet Rollout –

Q&A: Christopher Pyne defends Coalition’s NBN plan in wake of controversial AFP raids – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Christopher Pyne rejects the NBN is behind schedule and says the Government has no regrets over its policy for a slower, cheaper network.

Source: Q&A: Christopher Pyne defends Coalition’s NBN plan in wake of controversial AFP raids – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

A reminder of why our broadband is lousy – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Led by the latest warrior of justice Waleed Ali, Malcolm Turnbull’s ridiculously inferior NBN has come under heavy criticism over the past few days. Turnbull, of course, has been shrugging off the attacks and continues to stand his ground. For as long as he or the Liberal Party remain in power, Australians will not be…

Source: A reminder of why our broadband is lousy – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Malcolm’s NBN innovation: from helpful and important to ferret underpants | First Dog on the Moon | Opinion | The Guardian

Now he is Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull should totally be able to make the NBN work. Just turn it off then on again

Source: Malcolm’s NBN innovation: from helpful and important to ferret underpants | First Dog on the Moon | Opinion | The Guardian

Internet speeds: Australia ranks 44th, study cites direction of NBN as part of problem

Hands hold an optic fibre wire during installation of Tasmania's National Broadband Network

A US study has delivered an unwelcome finding about Australian internet speeds, finding that they are well behind the international pack.

One engineering expert said the nation would continue to tumble down in world rankings if the rollout of the National Broadband Network (NBN) continues in its current form.

The State of the Internet Report from cloud service provider Akamai ranks Australia 44th for average connection speed.

The US-based company produces the quarterly report looking at connection speeds and broadband adoption around the world.

Dr Mark Gregory, a network engineering expert from RMIT University, said the Akamai report was a reputable review.

“In the latest report, Australia has dropped a couple of places down to the 44th position, which is a pretty big drop really over such a short period of time,” he said.

Media player: “Space” to play, “M” to mute, “left” and “right” to seek.

Audio: Internet speed rankings see Australia drop to 44 in world (The World Today)

Dr Gregory said Australia’s relative decline was because many other countries were moving forward apace with new and upgraded networks.

“The drop is happening because a lot of other countries over this period are moving towards fiber-based access networks, or they’ve already completed rollouts of what we would call the multi-technology mixing/mixed networks,” he said.

“Whatever way you look at it, what it means is that the average speeds that Australians are enjoying are slowly becoming less than most of our competitors around the world.”

Copper-based network slowing Australia down: expert

Dr Gregory said the Federal Government’s decision to switch from fibre-to-the-home to a mixed fibre/copper network was part of the reason for the decline.

“One of the reasons is that we’re falling down the list [is] that we’re moving towards utilising a copper-based access network,” he said.

“Whereas previously, under the Labor government, we were moving towards an all cyber-based network, which is what most of our competitors are now doing.

Average connection speed by country

1. South Korea

2. Hong Kong

3. Japan

4. Switzerland

5. Sweden

6. Netherlands

7. Ireland

8. Latvia

9. Czech Republic

10. Singapore

44. Australia

Source: Akamai’s State of the Internet Report

“And we’re also seeing this drop because, as we keep changing direction with the NBN, we’re putting in large delays before the rollout is actually occurring.”

New Zealand is one of the nations now ranked ahead of Australia, with faster average internet speeds.

Dr Gregory said that was largely because it has stuck with a fibre-to-the-home network.

“The key difference between New Zealand and Australia is that New Zealand made the decision to do fibre-to-the-premise, they’ve stuck with that decision,” he said.

Even though Australia is much larger geographically, Dr Gregory said fibre-to-the-home should be financially viable for a network to cover the vast bulk of the population.

“Fibre-to-the-premise is viable in Australia, mainly because most Australians are clustered around the coast,” he said.

“If you look at the density of Australians, then really we don’t differ very much from most other countries in the world, we’re just a large country, but with the technologies that we’ve got today to actually roll out fibre systems, the cost is not that different from most other countries in the world.”

Quality of streamed video ‘much lower’ than overseas

Dr Gregory said many households will notice the deficiencies in Australia’s internet when they try to watch television over the internet, such as through the Netflix service coming to Australia this year, or its local rivals.

“Even though the suppliers say they are giving us high definition of 4K steaming, to actually be able to stream over Australia’s connection and our connections will be a lot slower than the rest of the world,” he said.

“What they will do is that they will increase the compression ratio on the video.

“Even though they are saying that we are getting high definition, or 4K TV, the actual compression will be far more in other countries and therefore the quality of the video that we are viewing at home will be much lower.”

Dr Gregory added that another development may push Australia even further down the rankings for internet speed.

“The most important change is occurring in the United States where the FCC chairman – and that’s their body that looks after telecommunications – has decided to redefine broadband to 25 megabits per second download speed,” he said.

“So what that means is that, in Australia, the Government has been saying that they’re going to provide every Australian with high-speed broadband.

“In the future they’ll be able to say that they’re providing Australians the bare minimum broadband under the new FCC determination on what broadband will be called.

“For many other countries around the world of course, they’re moving towards gigabit broadband now and that is super-fast broadband under the new definitions.”


MERRY CHRISTMAS – Tony Abbott’s new NBN tax for new houses

Thursday, 11 December 2014 13:31
Fresh from its new Petrol Tax and GP Tax, the Abbott Government has today quietly announced a new $900 NBN Tax as part of its “proposed approach to the provision of telecommunications infrastructure in new developments.”

On page five of the Government’s policy document released today, it has announced that new home owners will now be hit with a new $300 NBN connection fee, while developers will also be charged a new $600 deployment charge for homes which they can pass on to home buyers.


Telecommunications infrastructure in new developments – page 5

This $900 tax will be even higher in areas where NBN Co has no ready access to backhaul. Merry Christmas new home buyers.

No wonder the Australian people don’t trust Tony Abbott. Since the election he has broken promises like they are plates at a Greek wedding. This is just the latest.

Home prices are already very high. This tax will hit those who can afford it the least—young families just starting out. The last thing new home buyers need is a new NBN tax.

This tax is also unfair. It means that if you buy an existing home you don’t have to pay anything extra for the NBN. Your taxes pay for it. But if you buy a new home, you have to pay for it twice.

In his first press conference as Prime Minister Tony Abbott said: “I don’t intend on making promises that I won’t keep.” That turned out to be the lie that laid the platform for more and more lies.

For more information on the Abbott Government’s broken promises visit