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Beware Turnbull’s Triple NBN Tax – your hidden out-of-pocket expenses

In Federal Election, NBN, Steve Jenkin on May 16, 2013 at 6:33 PM

By Steve Jenkin

May 16,  2013

Source: http://stevej-on-it.blogspot.com.au/

The Coalition has been very silent on one of its biggest and most invasive change to the NBN:

Every DSL-NBN subscriber is going to be saddled with three unavoidable out-of-pocket expenses. All in-house cabling changes have to be done by a registered cabler, it’s NOT DIY. You may go on e-Bay and buy a $50 VDSL modem, but it won’t work.

  1. Install a VDSL Central Splitter and new VDSL modem to get advertised speed. [$250-$500]
  2. When, not if, the copper phone service is turned off or you need a second line, install an NTD (Network Termination Device) as supplied “for free” for FTTP uses. The NTD contains two voice service connectors (via an internal “ATA”) and four data service connectors. [$500-$1,500]
  3. Either because you want a better service or when the DSL network is turned off in, say, 2022, you’ll pay to have Fibre run to your home. Charges by BT in the UK, whom it seems Turnbull is modelling his network upon, start at $1,250 and max-out at $10,000. That’s not a cap, they just won’t go further.

Step 1. Get VDSL working

The Coalition are saving a small amount, 5%-10%, in NBN construction costs of the NBN by forcing unavoidable costs onto householders. And not once, but three times, will ordinary householders have forced and avoidable out-of-pocket expenses. What’s not to like?

When a node is installed on your line, it will be “without disruption”. Your phone will still work, and given that your ISP can and will transfer your ADSL service from their exchange DSLAM to the node, your ADSL service will keep working.

Those nodes don’t just have ~150 DSL ports, they must also have ~200 phone ports, each with a filter that works for the two different ADSL and VDSL frequencies and a second internal distribution frame or patch panel. This makes them much larger, more expensive, and more complex than they need to be. More like the double-wide refrigerators that are Telstra RIM’s (with “Top Hat” conversions) than the very modest small-beige boxes of TransACT/iiNet in Canberra.

Not only are they forcing additional costs onto subscribers, they are increasing the cost & complexity (read “less reliable”) of the nodes. They could just follow the lead of the GPON FTTP rollout and provide an NTD and massively simplify the nodes and supporting network, but in the world of upside-down economics, a lower total cost doesn’t interest the Coalition.

If you want the advertised speed, you have to purchase a VDSL2 modem. Mr Turnbull has claimed they are “$50”, but not any brand-name models and nothing in the retail shops where you can get a least a modicum of pre-sales support and post-sales service and warranty. Perhaps if you bought 1,000 directly from overseas, they’d cost you $50. Looking at British sites, I see them in the $150-$250 range.

But it won’t work when you plug it in!

ADSL and VDSL operate with different frequencies and require different “splitters”. To get reliable service – nothing special, but just what’s been advertised and you’ve paid for – your best option is to install a “Central Splitter”. If you attempt to run “in-line” splitters, they are very likely to go awry and you’ll lose your service.

The Telco phone line into your house is cut and the “splitter” is connected before the first phone point. The splitter has two output connections: one for the DSL modem, the other for the phones in your house.

The cable up to and including the first phone point is the responsibility of the Telco. Only registered cablers are allowed to touch it, with some pretty draconian legislation applying to “line tampering”. Read the rest of this entry »

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What’s it all about, the Coalition no show for disability, no to MP to care for sick baby?

In Federal Election, Health, NDIS, Noely Neate on May 16, 2013 at 1:21 PM

Gillardcard

By Noely Neate

May 16, 2013

If you missed it, see last night’s awe inspiring rant by Mr Richard Chirgwin about the Coalition not bothering to turn up for the introduction of the Disability Care Bill. I had hoped that our media would report this lack of respect this morning, but no.

Did you know that Mr Abbott’s reply speech to the budget is more important than a mother taking time off work to care for her sick baby? It is. The Coalition did not grant ALP MP Michelle Rowland a ‘pair’ so she could fly home to care for 14 month old baby: Opposition blocks bid to be with sick baby.

Audio

So let’s re-cap. In one 24 hour period, our Coalition Opposition and soon to be our Rulers as the Australian media keep telling me (personally I would prefer to actually vote first) have insulted every disabled person in this country by not bothering to attend the Bill’s introduction.  I am sure the Coalition will backtrack on Ms Rowland’s dilemma, and there will be excuses of “Not being aware of the seriousness of the pairing request” blah blah.

What the Coalition cannot backtrack on is their non-attendance in Parliament yesterday.  Yes a budget is important, but it happens every year. This historic Bill is a one-off.  It should have been a day of celebration for the disabled, their families and their friends, and a celebration of our nation shared by all!

The relief for so many in this country who live in fear that they will die and not be able to care for adult disabled children is more important than a budget response. The fact that a family with a disabled child will be able to move State to better their circumstances if the opportunity arises due to standard nation-wide care is more important than a budget response. The simple promise that carers of the many disabled in this country have some surety about the future of their families is more important than a budget response.

I could give many more examples.  The very least the Coalition could have done was attend this sitting to show that they supported these people.

It has been suggested this morning that the ‘No-Show’ is not really that big a deal, as it has already been made clear that they would support it. I am sorry, but I disagree. Our MPs are employed to represent US, the Australian people, in the electorates where they were privileged enough to receive a vote of confidence from us, that they would represent our interests to the best of their ability.  Unless all these members that did not bother turning up for Parliament do not have any disabled in their electorates, I fail to see how that is representing their electorate?

Mr Abbott will have nothing to offer in his Budget reply except to say ‘This is a bad Government, ‘This Government can’t be trusted” blah blah.  You can guarantee that all of the Coalition have bums on seats to cheer Mr Abbott on.

The media are already setting the stage for Mr Abbott’s wonderful reply speech, as it will be – just ask them. It has been the lead story on all the TV stations.  Not one whimper about the total lack of respect afforded the disabled community yesterday, barely a mention of the pairing rejection. though anyone want to take odds when they invariably backflip on that there will be plenty of airtime given to it.  The producers of these News shows that decided the lack of support for this bill and blatant disrespect shown to the disabled by the Coalition was NOT news should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves. Read the rest of this entry »

The Opposition #NDIS no show. A rant from the heart by @R_Chirgwin

In Federal Election, Health, Ideology, Liberal Party, NDIS on May 13, 2013 at 12:37 PM
Wed, May 16 2013
People’s obligation in the first instance is to be in this Parliament.  — Warren Entsch:
  1. The LNP’s absence in Parliament in the chamber for the NDIS legislation … atrocious. Nutlessness as a service.
  2. So, Abbott tells the whip “nobody attend”. Whip tells nutless sheep “nobody attend”. What a grovelling bunch of coprophages they are.
  3. A minimal gesture of respect to the disabled would have put at least Abbott in the chamber for the NDIS first reading. (Yes I’m ranting)
  4. (Mute me if you like. Fight me if you dare) Abbott’s absence is the mark of the petty, vindictive, vicious, gratuitously nasty …
  5. … proud-to-hate, revelling in despising those who don’t fit his fresh-from-knuckle-dragging American philosophy … a shrivelled, heartless…
  6. …horror of a pond-scum, a dweller in the arse of life, a devourer of misery, the kith and kin, pith and epitome of the worst of Rand.
  7. Had Tony Abbott the faint shreds of decency you could attribute to a hyena, he’d have been present in the chamber. But …
  8. … This scummy vote-grubber, this little poseur of stunts, this infamous little ponce for whom “conscience” hangs in the wardrobe …
  9. … holding second place to his “imitation suit of the Lizard People” can’t manage to actually warm the SEAT HE WAS ELECTED TO …
  10. … to honour a move that is in favour of one of the most suffering groups of society. This man sucks shit lozenges and smiles.
  11. As for the rest of the LNP members. Having been lettuce-whipped into panting submission by your great leader, not one – NOT ONE of you…

MSM outrage-shaming: What’s it all about?

In Alison Parkes, Democracy, Federal Election, Fifth Estate, Freedom of Speech, Freedom of the Press, Journalism, Misogyny on May 9, 2013 at 10:46 AM

By Alison Parkes

May 8, 2013

This piece is written in response to these three articles which have appeared within the past couple of weeks

1)  Hooked on outrage in the Twitter wars  by Jacqueline Maley, 20 April Fairfax

2)  The left takes a turn for the ugly as power slips through Labor’s grasp by Chris Johnson, 28 April Fairfax

3)  Feminist backs Abbott on ‘calibre’ comment  by  Heath Aston and Jonathan Swan, 7 May Fairfax

What these three articles share in common is a criticism of how people, particularly those on the Left, use Twitter to express outrage at comments made by Tony Abbott, Alan Jones, and the politician Dennis Jensen. These three articles use outrage-shaming to mock the reaction of the Left to insensitive and offensive comments from the Right.

Outrage-shaming occurs when people in mainstream media (MSM) use it as a pulpit to shame people on Twitter over their outrage or reactions to a event. Recent articles based on outrage-shaming have targeted the Left, women and the working class, groups that have traditionally been shamed into silence for breaching the polite rules of society.

Too loud, too much, too emotional, too public.

If you don’t like something Tony Abbott said, and take to Twitter to express your opinion, people who disagree with you will dismiss this as inappropriate outrage. This can be also called faux-outrage or confected-outrage by those who think the reaction has gone too far.

Say too much and MSM journalists will write a newspaper column about you. Keep your emotions under control, don’t react, stay quiet, don’t get angry, say nothing – most importantly, do not get outraged. The MSM will decide the narrative and context and the circumstances in which you will be outraged.

This outrage as a means of control is not new. For centuries moral panics have come from the elites – the wealthy, the law, the churches, the men – from the top down, and have covered everything from witches who could wither crops with just a glance and Muslim terrorists to satanic heavy metal or the evils of jazz or rap music, unemployed single mothers on welfare to people in boats. Moral panics have been used to control behaviour, kids and their music, widowed women who owned property, people who prayed to a different God or had no God. Groups are held up as an example of how not to live, to shame those who have transgressed the boundaries, into repenting. Shaming also serves as a warning of what might happen if you, too, think about breaking the rules. The latest moral panic in MSM is ‘The Left are using Twitter to express outrage.

Feminist Eva Cox described the Twitter reaction to Tony Abbott’s “women of calibre” comment, from ordinary users as well as Penny Wong and Tanya Plibersek, as “an overreaction“. Sorry Twitter, you may react, just don’t over-react.

Of course you are entitled to free speech, be careful how you use it.

As Maley wrote in  Hooked on outrage in the Twitter wars:

Freedom of speech is one thing, but at a certain point in political debate you have to turn down the volume of the extreme voices at the edge of the debate, so you can have a reasoned one in the middle. You have to filter out the outrage and, even harder, not allow yourself to get outraged by the outrageous. –

So what if people take to their own Twitter accounts to express outrage?

People don’t always tweet expecting their conversations will be evaluated by mainstream journalists for levels of appropriate outrage.

And tweets that on the surface may appear to be an over-reaction aren’t always actually about outrage. Tweets can be used for humour, venting, sharing personal and painful experience and connecting with others. How different is this from the salons and cafes where people meet and talk, the turn of the century French Bohemian cafes or Dorothy Parker of the Algonquin Round Table and her acid-tongue put downs repeated to this day. Or the Pubs, the clubs and backyard barbecues and Sydney University Liberal Club president’s dinners.

Of course you are entitled to free speech, just not so outrageously public. Read the rest of this entry »

Is the world ready for PM Tony ‘what he meant to say’ Abbott?

In Federal Election, Misogyny, Noely Neate, Paid Parental LEave on May 8, 2013 at 6:48 PM
#WomenWithCalibre

#WomenWithCalibre

By Noely Neate

May 8, 2013

I was not going to go here, because all manner of Feminists, accredited and self-proclaimed, have had a say.  Some I agree with, some I think are getting hung up on exactly what many of us on Twitter are always complaining about, that is, focussing on a ‘gotcha’ instead of the actual merits of a policy.

I would love to be like some who try to be ‘above it all’, like the so-called ‘Legendary feminist Eva Cox’ (Mia Freedman’s words), though unfortunately, Ms Cox’s defence of Mr Abbott with “what Tony Abbott was trying to say in a somewhat clumsy way...” does not hold a hell of a lot of weight with me.

Ms Freedman chose a rather provocative title for her piece when she came out to bat for Mr Abbott, “I’m defending Tony Abbott. Let’s go.“, again translating what Mr Abbott ‘meant’ for us poor dumb punters as “He was simply making the point – albeit a little clunkily…”

Yet other articles have used various excuses for Mr Abbott such as “off-the-cuff”, “un-intended”. Even Paul Kelly on Sky a few weeks ago had to always interject with “So I think what you are saying…”

The fact is they are probably right, he really probably did not mean for it to come across as it did.

Tony Abbott would be an absolute moron to offend such a large proportion of the population intentionally, so to a certain degree I am sure that the example he used as to why this policy, The Coalition’s Paid Parental Leave scheme is so important, was basically just a brain fart.

Before I go further down the Mr Abbott’s all-time Bloopers road, let’s be above the petty gotcha’s and look at THE PPL policy.  To me it’s not very pretty…

Considering the Liberals are best mates of big business, it seems pretty stupid to be annoying them by smacking them with a Levy – (note the Libs are allowed to use the word ‘levy’ unlike the ALP or Greens levies, which are always ‘taxes’) – let alone telling them to fund this super duper ‘ladies’ special for him. “Australian Industry Group” has already publicly let everyone know they are not happy campers.

Now add in the fact that for the first time in forever there is dissent in the ranks. The Liberals for the past few years have been ‘tighter than (fill in the blanks)’ yet we now have three MPs and counting, and more muttering that they are not happy little vegemites, going against what they call “sound Liberal policy”.  So, close to an election that is not a good look.

I am not sure why Mr Abbott is staunchly defending his policy. There does not seem to be any good reason, as we have a Maternity Leave policy in place that is adequate and most women I know are more interested in ensuring actually they have a job to go back to AND have affordable and accessible childcare when they do. So to put so many offside when the only ones who will really benefit are a few highly paid female executives seems pretty dumb.

For people who keep saying ‘business is paying for it, not taxpayers’, you are delusional.  There is no way in hell a Liberal Government is going to put a tax on their best mates, the 3000 big earning companies in this country, without them getting a concession at a later date in some way, shape or form.  If they don’t publicly fight this policy then you know that the nudge-nudge, wink-wink deal has already been done.  When big companies get any sort of business concession that means less revenue for the Government and we taxpayers fill in the shortfall. Not to mention they will also double-dip (as banks tend to do) and pass on the so-called extra levy to the consumers of their products.  So in fact, you, the taxpayer, will probably pay for Mr Abbott’s gilt-edged PPL twice.

So why does Tony persist with his PPL? Chatting over a glass of wine, all we can come up with as a reason is that Margie suffered when she had to leave her job to have Tony’s daughters and he has promised her that his expensively educated daughters of calibre will never have to suffer the deprivations she did. Who would know? Read the rest of this entry »

Time to get NBN active, GenY

In Federal Election, NBN, Steve Jenkin on May 6, 2013 at 5:24 PM
Fraudband vs NBN: Live Streaming over copper.

Fraudband vs NBN: Live streaming over copper.

By Steve Jenkin

Source: http://stevej-on-it.blogspot.com.au/

May 6,  2013

Josh Taylor of ZDnet conducted a 45-minute “Communications Debate” between Conroy and Turnbull today. He did a splendid job with a couple of unruly protagonists not out of place in a kindergarden.
My praise and plaudits to Josh: well done, for conceiving and carrying out this head-to-head.

The most reported part of the “Debate” was when Conroy got under Turnbull’s skin and was called “a grub”.

There are a few things about this “Debate” I think are imporant:

  • Turnbull had a very informed and tech-savvy audience, yet maintained his argumentative, “content-free” style, reiterated vague generalities and platitudes and trotted out the same old electioneering phrases.
  • The people who are very interested in the NBN are Gen-Y, but seem strangely silent in my world:
    • They are the “digital natives”, born since the release of the IBM PC and Apple Mac.
    • They know and care about computing and its most recent game-changer, the Internet.
    • Their lives, values and views are defined and shaped by the Internet, increasingly by Social Media.
    • They can expect to live with this decision for the next 50 years.
    • They are, or should be, highly motivated to get the best Value for Money NBN, not in the immediate term, but for the rest of their lives.
  • People came along to the debate wanting more than a slanging match and a repetition of the same hackneyed phrases.
  • Turnbull repeated the same “talk over what you don’t like” tactic that got his microphone turned off on Triple-J Hack.
    • He has still not learned to be considerate & respectful of the moderator.
    • Why would a politician whose electoral success depends on the media, deliberately “burn” media contacts, especially Gen-Ys for whom the NBN really matters? It’s bizarre in the extreme. Either he can’t help himself or means to do it.
    • The media places Turnbull is no longer welcome will soon become a story in itself.

I think Turnbull misjudged his audience, treating them like the usual Mainstream Media, and either underestimated Conroy or came unprepared (shown by retreating to personal abuse) and didn’t say anything new, nor clearly & succinctly answer the questions asked.
Yes, he talked, a lot, and in the moment always sounds plausible.
But as one tweeter opined: What did he say? I can’t remember now he’s stopped talking.
 
Turnbull threw away a massive opportunity: he could’ve sold himself and his plan to the technical influencers in the electorate. And done so easily & simply by clearly annunciating his intentions.
 
The bigger question, the headline of this piece, is the comparative silence of Gen-Y in this NBN debate. If Turnbull was bombarded with 5-10,000 emails and tweets after each of his obnoxious media performances, like today’s, would he moderate his behaviour? You bet!

Gen-Y can take onto itself using the tools that it understands and uses everyday to make its point. We’ve yet to see a spate of mashups or clips ridiculing Turnbull as he pompously stabs his finger making one asinine, misleading point after another. The way the “Kony 2012” meme spread displays what is possible, when driven by someone who cares about a topic. Read the rest of this entry »

The MSM’s NDIS: Make the frame, change the frame, WTFs the frame?

In Federal Election, Health, NDIS, Tony The Geek on May 4, 2013 at 9:53 PM

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

By Tony ‘The Geek’ Yegles

May 4 2013

I was fascinated by the media’s framing of the NDIS debate this week. Within 48 hours it moved from reporting a naked tax grab by the Prime Minister, to a worthy initiative when Mr Abbott put the national interest ahead of his political interest. Update below May 15 2014


November 29 2012 – NDIS Bill is introduced in Parliament with Coalition absent.

NDIS Bill Introduction 29/11/2012

Tony Abbott: “We have supported the NDIS every step of the way.” NDIS Bill Introduction 29/11/2012 with only 6 LNP MPs present.


December 6 2012 – NSW signs on to the NDIS

PM Julia Gillard, NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell and NSW Disability Services Minister Andrew Constance at NDIS press conference in Canberra on Thursday 6 December 2012. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

PM Julia Gillard, NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell and NSW Disability Services Minister Andrew Constance at NDIS press conference in Canberra on Thursday 6 December 2012. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen


In the lead up to the NDIS Medicare Levy announcement, Joe Hockey and News Limited were the fiercest critics.

Falling revenue forecasts mean Gonski and NDIS reforms are unaffordable: Joe Hockey


Monday April 29: Government leaks the possibility of Medicare Levy

Economists say levy needed to fund NDIS

Levy on table to fund $15bn NDIS

Picture2

Interestingly the above story and headline in the print edition of The Australian was changed online from Abbott blasts plans for a levy to fund the NDIS to Julia Gillard expected to reveal NDIS levy details Read the rest of this entry »

Walking Away

In AFHP, Federal Election, Journalism, MSM, Tony The Geek on April 28, 2013 at 8:30 PM

Punter @YaThinkN’s contrarian take on Clive Palmer’s latest gig

In Federal Election, Noely Neate on April 27, 2013 at 12:06 AM
clive-palmer-parliament-run

United Australia Party – The new kid on the block.

by Noely Neat

April 26, 2013

Editor’s note: Noely lives on the Sunshine Coast, safe Liberal country, where Peter Slipper and Mal Bough may fight for Fisher, and Clive Palmer may take on the successor to Alex Somylay in Fairfax. Us Queenslanders know how shake up federal politics big time, and I’d love blow-by-blow accounts from voters on the ground. If I was an MSM editor I’d have a reporter living there doing immersion reporting starting now.   

I watched the media and Twitter having a good laugh about Clive Palmer forming his own party, the United Australia Party (UAP). There were all sorts of condescending comments, “You can’t buy a Government Clive”, “Clive Palmer running for office, “Clive Palmer couldn’t run if you set his arse on fire!“, and all the obligatory ‘dinosaur’ jokes. Every article online & or story on TV is prefaced with “Ex LNP donor, billionaire Clive Palmer…

Anyhow, I reckon the joke may be on the media and politicians trashing Clive. I don’t know why Clive is setting up a political party and I don’t really know what his real fight with the LNP was about. We were told it was the Queensland Government overstating how big the State’s debt was, and the mass sackings that resulted. He did put his money where his mouth was too, “Queensland billionaire Clive Palmer donates $250,000 to public sector union Together Queensland to assist sacked public servants“. For a man who has given millions to the LNP over the years and was a life member it was a big call to quit and give funds to the dreaded Unions. Read the rest of this entry »

How Sales dropped the ball on Abbott

In ABC, Federal Election, Journalism, Peter Clarke on April 25, 2013 at 3:53 PM

By Peter Clarke,

April 25, 2013

Late last year, Leigh Sales interviewed Tony Abbott live on the 730 Report. Sales was sharp and persistent, Abbott poorly prepared and struggling. Sales beat claims of bias and won a coveted Walkley Award for TV interviewing.

Naturally viewers were relishing the prospect of a return bout, and Sales and the program promoted the interview on social media. It now seems that if Abbott agrees to be interviewed on an ABC current affairs program it is a ‘get’. Because of the history and the ongoing tensions between the office of the opposition leader and the ABC, there is an additional expectation from the audience.

Unlike Sales’ interviews with Prime Minister Gillard, there is no history between Sales and Abbott around key policy areas or even how they engage in these set-piece, contested, political interviews. Rather, each interview appears to be built from the ground up, as if it was the first one. Their rarity causes a fundamental problem in the continuity of enquiry.

I first reviewed Sales’ performance in a piece about her interview with Gillard after she stared down Rudd to retain her leadership, in which I was quite critical of both participants. I have long been an admirer of Sales, and cite her as one of the best we have.

Or I used to.

Something happened in that Gillard interview which diminished the natural and hard-won interviewing skills Sales had clearly demonstrated. She gleaned very little useful insight or information for citizens. Last night’s interview with Abbott was calmer and smoother than the Gillard one or Sales’ last interview with Abbott, but, again, very little content of real value emerged. 

In fact, the most troubling aspect of the interview last night was that Sales did not appear to be listening acutely enough to Abbott’s answers. Alongside all the integrated skills and techniques in a top interviewer’s toolkit, LISTENING remains the key attribute. Without it, the ‘hollow dance’ becomes even more superficial.

This Abbott interview was roughly the same duration as the Gillard one – just over thirteen minutes. It was (as was the Gillard interview) pre-recorded. And Abbott was not in the studio with Sales. Here is a brief analysis of the interview transcript. 

In her set-up, Sales frames the interview as an enquiry into the Coalition’s economic plan, stating that “your vote will boil down” to your judgement on how well the Labor government handled the Global Financial Crisis and associated spending. Her opening remarks to Abbott followed that line until she ask the gift (for Abbott) question: Are you asking the public to elect you on blind faith?

In my article on Sales’ Gillard interview, I suggested that the interview never recovered from asking a broad diffuse and opinionated first question. Sales’ opening gambit with Gillard:

After recent events, aren’t Australians well within their rights to conclude that the Gillard Government is a dysfunctional mess that deserves to be consigned to opposition as soon as possible?

Notice the similarity in form and approach? Gillard walked through the giant gap. So did Abbott.

Sales could have chosen, as her set-up promised, a specific, targeted first question around economic policy to stop Abbott being able to rely on the generalised, abstract discourse politicians favour to avoid the question and stay on message. But Sales went for the flourish again, and it let her down, again. Read the rest of this entry »