Citizen Journalism

#Fraudband is an #NBN fail, even for punters

In NBN, Noely Neate, Telecommunications on April 10, 2013 at 11:12 AM

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By Stephen Neate
April 10, 2013

Before Steve Dalby (director at iiNet in IT) was attacked by Malcom Turnbull (investment banker turned politician NOT in IT) the argument over which NBN plan works best seemed obvious.  Oh my god I am so stupid, and Steve highlighted it by saying: ‘It is disappointing that the NBN debate is about speed, and not about infrastructure’ (paraphrased of course – although the recording is here: TheHack MP3).

If you ask anyone in IT about the benefits that FTTH has over FTTN (please don’t glaze over yet) you will get many well formed and educated reasons and ideas as to the how, why, need etc….  You can read what passionate IT people say at and on many other blogs around the web.

In the words of Ygritte in Game of Thrones, ‘You know nothing, Jon Snow.’ I am Jon Snow.  In the current political landscape of fear, miss-information, lies and general bullshit (from everyone) why on earth was I thinking an intelligent argument would get through?  Arguing over better, strong, faster (queue the 70s Steve Austin) where the #Fraudband was born, against the Terminator NBN (aka the future) is pointless.

With that in mind, how does one sell the NBN over #Fraudband?

Well the same way all other political messages are sold – a grain of truth smothered in dog turds wrapped with a pretty bow and delivered by a girl in a bikini.  (actually I may pay more attention to politics if it was closer to a Beauty Pageant “I just want world peace”, but that’s another story).

Being involved in IT myself of course I want the ALP NBN version, and it has nothing to do with party politics at all.  I need speed of delivery, my clients need speed of delivery, I want to help clients utilise cloud functionality to improve their work productivity and I want to use new technology not yet released as its created, not a decade later.

My decisions, like so many other users, is not based on downloading movies faster like the LNP keeps telling me.  Seriously, they are one step away from saying I only want speed to consume porn faster. Get a grip guys (pun not intended). Speed is to do with work – the national economy when extrapolated across tens of thousands of businesses – NOT leisure.

But as the LNP raised the argument that home users don’t need it I have a counter argument for you.

With the current situation or an LNP FTTN plan (these figures can be lower/higher based on needs): Internet $50+ ADSL, Phone $60+ incl. line rental, Entertainment $90+ (Foxtel/Videos) = $200+/ month (and my House/Investment has LESS value compared to the FTTH one in nearby suburbs).

With the FTTH the ALP NBN (these figures can be lower/higher based on needs): Internet $55+ for fibre, Phone (VOIP$15+), Entertainment $45+ (assuming paying for video download etc…) =$115+/month (and my House has the SAME value compared to others in nearby suburbs).

Hell, I just saved over $1000 per year for ME, which doesn’t even take into account the family home/investment home pricing, which will be higher and can make the difference of time to sell when putting it on the market.

So I counter your argument with a ‘I want something for me’ as a punter, as you clearly are not listening to the common sense arguments put forward by educated IT people.

Cheers from Stephen (tech/geek/developer/web person)

PS: I wont even get into the fact that the LNP policy makes regional Australians second class citizens.

  1. Welcome Stephen :-). I hope Noely didnt twist your arm to write this. Either way great to have you onboard at AFHP

    • Thanks Pascal, of course she did ;), although the NBN topic needed a new perspective because the jargon over Mbps, Ethernet, Pits, Nodes, FTTN, FTTH, FTTP, Fiber, bandwidth, etc…. is really boring coming from mouth pieces that either have no idea or are intentionally being dumb.

  2. Good piece. Thanks for giving the perspective of NBN (ALP version) benefits for the average person out there.

  3. also, i’ve actually seen comments from LNP supporters bagging out people in favour of NBN by saying the only reason they want NBN is for highspeed porn access… how pathetic and close minded !

    • They are self incriminating themselves,it is now obvious to all that many brain dead Liberal sheep are using the internet to view porn sites,Projection is a defence mechanism used by many unstable persons.

  4. Thank you Stephen for this enlightening piece. We all know which is the superior version & why we want it but often cannot elucidate our reasons as well as an expert in the field can. This is why articles such as yours are very important.

    Yes, Pascal, those anti-NBN comments really get up my nose. They are all using the same idiotic comments about why pro-NBN people want that access. Truth be known they are projecting their own desires & have no real idea what good broadband access can do for the population as a whole. This is a most important piece of infrastructure which all should insist happens.

  5. Transcript of Neil Mitchell of 3AW and Malcolm Turnbull Wed 10 Apr 2013
    3AW: The nerds don’t like you, the geeks are after you.
    Turnbull: Ha Ha
    3AW: I saw the comparison in the Financial Review saying it was like driving nine laps in a Ferrari and (mining) a horse n buggy!
    T: That’s just ridiculous – – It it hyperbole!
    #AW: Well explain it to me. And it’s lovely hyperbole… But we’re ripping along with your fibre and we get to the copper wire – what happens – how much do we slow down?
    T: Well you… the answer is, in practical terms, not very much. I mean the, the… you gotta recognise Neil, that bandwidth is only valuable to you insofar as you can use it for services. You know, you could connect your house to a pipe, for example a 1 terrabyte per second pipe that you might have to … on an international cable – ah – and there’s of no value to you ’cause there’s nothing you can use it for.
    3AW: Well not today, what about in ten years?
    T: Well, well, let me just come to that. The reality is that the speeds that we, that will be available under our approach are very, very high, and they are more than capable of delivering, ah, all the services that people want to have – are prepared to pay for now and in the foreseeable future.
    3AW: So what is the figure?
    T: No no no
    3AW: Is it 50 – 50 megabits is it? Maximum.
    T: Well, the, the answer – no – under fibre to the node you get a maximum of – you’d get – I wouldn’t say you could do more than a hundred megs – people are delivering a hundred megs on fibre to the node. (B)DSL 2 that’s a…
    3AW: Yeah but is that to the node or to the house?
    T: No that is to the house, that is to the house – you should look…
    3AW: So you get – you can get a hundred to the house. Down the copper?
    T: Yes. BT is delivering 80 as their top product. Belgacom in Belguim is delivering a hundred and the, the ah, there is a new technology that we would deploy from the start, called “vectoring”, which is a noise-cancellation technology, which, as I was discussing it with the guys that developed it originally, from Alcatel just the other day… It can double the speed that people are currently getting over copper. So what has happened in the last 5 or 6 years is that the technology to use the last, you know, 500 to 800 metres of copper has improved so much. Because what technol, you know, technologists. Telcos have been trying to grapple with the problem that taking fibre to the premise is so ruinously expensive, and that you cannot get a return on it.
    3AW: OK
    T: ..and it takes so long.
    3AW: But what about the argument that copper’s degrading? That seems logical, is it?
    T: Ah, well, in some parts it is, in some parts it’s not.
    3AW: So…
    T: I mean Telstra has a very low bulk rate. The bulk rate is less than 1%, so the, the answer is, some areas of the copper network are in bad repair. Ah, as you roll out a network on the basis we’re talking about, what you do is you accept the copper in a particular footprint, a particular locality ah, you, ah, if it’s in good knick that’s great. If there are portions that are not good you can either remediate them, that’s to say, fix up the copper itself. Or if it’s really in damage – if for example there’s a lot of flooding or water damage, ah, and the, you know the maintenance history has been poor, then you might replace that with fibre, ah, from the start. But you know the maintenance’s different between copper and fibre. Copper does cost more to maintain, but the cost, annualised, is very small, relative to the huge capital difference – capital cost difference of doing fibre to the premise.
    3AW: Well, that was part of my point. You’re saying your system’s $17 Billion cheaper – which is a helluva lot – 17
    T: Well it’s a lot more cheaper than that.
    3AW: Alright, how much cheaper?
    T: 60 – more than 60 billion dollars. Labor – Labor’s figures about the cost of their network have no credibility. They have missed every target they have set. That’s a fact. They can’t deny that.
    3AW: Alright well, well whatever – whatever …
    T: Neil, Neil, let me just put this to you. We have said a key element in our assumptions – ’cause we’ve taken some very realistic – I think generous, to the NBN Co assumptions about what they’ll cost. And one of the key assumptions is – it’s gonna cost them on average 36 hundred dollars to connect every premise with fibre. You know something – they can’t deny that, because they’re not prepared to tell us what it’s actually costing them.
    3AW: How much are you saying it’ll cost – per premises?
    T: Well, we – at the moment I believe it’s costing a lot more than this, but we are assuming it will cost them 36 hundred dollars per premise.
    3AW: OK, so at the – If, if you do that, if you do that, what is different about the service you get at the end of the fibre at your house, compared to fibre-copper house?
    T: Well the service will be, the service, the servicing, the speed , the highest maximum speeds you can get under fibre-copper…
    3AW: Umm
    T: Are higher than you could get under our scheme. But what we’re saying is……
    3AW: OK, but isn’t that good?
    T: Well it’s – it – not – it’s only good if you’ve got a use or a value for those speeds, and, and if you believe that additional use or value justifies the capital investment. See, the, the problem with Labor – and this is, this is- look – Labor’s attitude to this is summed up in a little add they’ve had on Julia Gillard’s Facebook yesterday, which said, “Connecting to Labor’s NBN is”, and then in great big capitals, “FREE”, that lovely four letter word that the Labor Party loves. ‘Cause it’s not free. I mean this is part of the nonsense. It’s gonna cost taxpayers 94 billion, and consumers – and again we’ve set this out in the Policy – will be paying, under Labor, 300 dollars a year on average more for Broadband access than they will under us. You know that’s not our figures …
    3AW: OK
    T: I mean that, that – Labor has put their figures into the ACCC and if you think about it – if you have a massively, ah, overcapitalised Government monopoly, is that gonna lead to higher prices or lower prices?
    3AW: Ok, well…
    T: It’ll lead to higher prices.
    3AW: Alright well, Ok well is it correct that your system will cost more for country people? We got, got a large country – No?
    T: No. Absolutely not because everyone will be paying less. There’ll be a uniform wholesale cap, so the, the NBN, ah, will not be able to charge more, you know, above the cap in the ah, in the, in the bush. That’ll be set by the ACCC. We will deliver ah fixed line Broadband in more places. This is a very important point, particularly in Victoria. NBNCo is only going to deliver fibre to the premise in communities or towns with a thousand houses and premises or more. Now there’s a lot of country towns that don’t, you know, regard themselves as as hamlets – you’ve got less than a thousand premises. Under NBNCo they’ll just get fixed wireless. Under our approach those areas will be very suitable for fibre to the node. So more people will get ah fixed line broadband..
    3AW: ok
    T: so those guys will get higher speeds under us than they will under Labor.

    • In the interview Malcolm Turnbull sounded like the blustering buffoon he really is. Even the normally sympathetic-to-the-Liberals Neil Mitchell showed his scepticism of the worth of the LNP version of NBN-lite. Poor old Malcolm did not have a clue as to what he was talking about, just prattled on making a fool of himself.

  6. Good informative piece that I can use, to attack the “Slick” Abbott cheer squad across the MSM.

    Pleased that “Slick” Abbott has just handed 2 more seats to Prime Minister Julia Gillard on her way to wining the September 2013 Federal election by 10 seats.

  7. Just dropped a recommendation over at “The Australian Independent Media”

  8. Amusingly I was asked about the COSTS after the above article. (which I was trying to avoid so I came up with this response based on what I have managed to read so far)

    The original intention of the article was to ignore the two divisive issues of tech and cost. There is partial truth for both policies but neither can be explained in a simple 1 liner. The biggest flaw in the ALP argument though is their sales pitch. Where as the LNP have a great 1 liner “mine is cheaper”. (everyone likes cheaper)

    With the costing aspect that both parties have put forward, and my limited economic skills something is awry here.

    As I understand it based on available documents it reads roughly as;

    NLP version – $29.4b (no expected return to Government)
    Main issues:
    – doesn’t include cost of purchasing the copper off Telstra, maintenance of aged network and a host of other items
    – will have to be upgraded at considerable additional cost in the near future anyway *

    ALP version – $44b (long term 7.1% return on infrastructure investment)
    Main issues:
    – some costings are dependent on future trends (usage for example) as way to raise money for its own growth which could result in a far greater investment by Government and of course lower return vs investment if take up is very low

    Yes NLP is cheaper, ALP is more expensive.

    So looking forward a decade the NLP NBN will cost* a great deal in excess of the ALP version which will be at a direct loss to the tax payer. Although at a direct gain to major players (Telstra, Foxtel etc…) as their infrastructure / services have to be purchased for no return to the coffers.

    Clearly that is not the most eloquent answer, but it is in part the issue with dealing purely with the cost as a factor (and not the tech).

    If you could buy a new car today for $44k that in 10 years will pretty much hold its value with little depreciation, or buy a cheaper car for $29k that will be obsolete in 10 years requiring you to spend $120+k for a new one what is the better deal.

    * assuming that Australia wants to stay competitive with neighbouring nations in business and upgrades to a 1st world telecommunication standard.

  9. […] #Fraudband is an #NBN fail, even for punters ( […]

  10. The NBN is a simple exercise in good policy,long term economics to which Wayne Swan is a proven success.The alternate is the short term Liberal Hockeynomics to which,when understood is an obvious,obsolete failure.We have till Sept. to enlighten the average voter.

  11. […] #Fraudband is an #NBN fail, even for punters  (by Stephen Neate) […]

  12. […] months. The recent piss-weak proposal by the LNP has galvanised me into unexpected action. This is the second article about it I have written in a week. Normally my interaction online is very limited – hell I […]

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