Citizen Journalism

Archive for the ‘Telecommunications’ Category

@sortius on how and why the Coalition’s NBN policy is designed to fail

In Kieran Cummings, NBN, Telecommunications on April 12, 2013 at 4:19 PM
Created by BushfireBill @BushfireBill

Created by BushfireBill @BushfireBill

By Kieran Cummings (@sortius)

April 12, 2013

Since the release of the Coalition’s broadband policy on Tuesday it has become clear that the policy is designed to fail. Even if taken at face value it is clear that the plan will not be able to meet its targets. So why devise a policy destined to fail?

One simple answer is to keep the ‘free market’ free – free from regulation, free from anti-monopoly legislation and free from responsibility.

The policy itself is made redundant by the three separate reviews the Coalition is planning for the NBN – a strategic review, an ‘independent’ audit and a cost/benefit analysis. Having these codified into the policy ensures that no matter the promises made, the Coalition can build a case to limit or even cancel the rollout, or cancel it in line with its 2010 election policy, using its long-running austerity narrative.

Who will do the reviews?  I’d guess Peter Costello. After his Queensland Commission of Audit, we can assume that the Coalition intends to use the same tactics to remove any case for change to Australia’s telecommunication network.

This will set Australia back decades under the guise of ‘economic management’. With broadband speeds barely reaching 13Mbps on average in Australia, & Akamai’s data transfer caps reaching a measly 4Mbps, the Coalition cancelling the NBN would have dire consequences for Australia’s digital economy.

Who will benefit from a negative outcome? The people who benefit from slower broadband speeds are legacy content providers like Foxtel. With over 70% of the population covered (but only 30% subscribed) to Foxtel’s pay TV service, the NBN is a direct threat to their business model.

Recent developments in the IPTV (Internet Protocol Television)/OTT (Over The Top) market in the US and Europe mean Foxtel can see that its days are numbered as a virtual monopoly. The only way to prevent ‘cord-cutting’, a term used to describe disconnecting pay TV services, is to stymie broadband development.

The NBN’s plan to decommission Telstra’s HFC network that Foxtel runs on ensures that competition is fostered amongst smaller players in the content delivery market. Murdoch’s press has been very vocal against the ‘wasteful’ NBN since 2010, leading me to believe there’s more to the Coalition’s plan to deliver substandard services to Australian consumers than meets the eye.

The main take-away from Murdoch’s speech at the IPA last week was less regulation, less fostering of development and more ‘freedom’ for corporations. The idea that developing national infrastructure is ‘placating a nation’ is laughable, as there has been little to no development of broadband markets by private organisations over the past decade (transcript of Murdoch’s speech below).

It’s clear that News Ltd’s market reach would be drastically reduced if smaller content providers were able to gain a foothold in this lucrative market. Users would no longer be subject to the whims of a monopoly and Foxtel’s ability to use lock-in contracts would be diminished. Read the rest of this entry »

@NoFibs NBN policy articles curated by citizen journo @pascalg15

In NBN, Pascale Grosvenor, Telecommunications on April 11, 2013 at 4:44 PM
Credit: Malcolm Turnbull Facebook - Spoof by The Geek

Credit: Malcolm Turnbull Facebook – Spoof by The Geek

By Pascal Grosvenor
April 11, 2013

With all the claims and counter claims going back and forth via Twitter or Facebook I’ve been getting frustrated,because there’s lots of incorrect facts and sometimes outright lies being perpetrated. People on both sides of the political debate have been guilty of this.

My goal is to collate the articles I’ve read about the NBN Co’s FTTH or the LNP’s FTTN alternative in one place. I’ll regularly update this list.

FTTH is Fibre to the Home (sometimes referred to as FTTP or Fibre to the Premise)

FTTN is Fibre to the Node (the Telstra junction box at the end of the street)

I hope people find this useful.  I include articles from both sides of the debate – please post comments or suggestions for extra articles to include.  I won’t accept anything from the ALP or Liberal party websites or from politicians for obvious reasons.

Please post your comments or suggestions for extra articles to include.New links added 18/4/13 – they’re highlighted in yellow.

Disclaimer : I’m personally in favour of the ALP’s NBN. I think it’s the best option.

Note re Comments : Any comments with swearing or personal abuse of me (or anyone else) will not be approved. Play the ball not the person …

Technical/ IT based blog posts :

Credibility And The Alternate NBN (by @mwyres)
http://michaelwyres.com/2013/04/credibility-and-the-alternate-nbn/

Not All Technology Is Equal (by @sortius) http://sortius-is-a-geek.com/?p=2883

Coalitions NBN plan to stop consumers taking control of media (by @sortius)

Why not FTTN ? NBN Myths (comparing FTTN speeds) http://nbnmyths.wordpress.com/why-not-fttn/

Coalition’s NBN plan: where’s the cost of the copper? http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/04/14/coalition_broadband_plan/

@sortius on how and why the Coalition’s NBN policy is designed to fail (australiansforhonestpolitics.wordpress.com)

Comments by ex Telstra linesman http://fibreorcopper.wordpress.com/2013/04/14/broadband-user-experiences/#comment-2

Articles in favor of FTTN :

Why the Coalition’s NBN plan makes sense http://www.smh.com.au/it-pro/government-it/why-the-coalitions-nbn-plan-makes-sense-20130410-2hkx2.html

Broadband utopia is a pipedream: analyst
http://www.smh.com.au/it-pro/government-it/broadband-utopia-is-a-pipedream-analyst-20130411-2hnl8.html#

Turnbull has saved the NBN http://www.businessspectator.com.au/article/2013/4/10/infrastructure/turnbull-has-saved-nbn

The case against /problems with FTTN – told by photos :

Worst of the worst: Photos of Australia’s copper network http://delimiter.com.au/2012/05/01/worst-of-the-worst-photos-of-australias-copper-network/

Some more articles :

#Fraudband is an #NBN fail, even for punters By Stephen Neate

A tale of two NBNs: the Coalition’s broadband policy explained http://theconversation.com/a-tale-of-two-nbns-the-coalitions-broadband-policy-explained-13304

News articles & opinion pieces from mainstream media :

The Coalition’s NBN policy is a triumph of short-termism over long-term vision (pcauthority.com.au)

NBN $17b cheaper, but slower (smh.com.au)

Coalition NBN Policy: Six Things To Think About (gizmodo.com.au)

Coalition’s NBN alternative bad for regional Australia : says telco expert http://www.sunshinecoastdaily.com.au/news/coalitions-nbn-alternative-bad-regional-aus/1823370/ …

NBN debate full of ‘erroneous’ information http://www.smh.com.au/it-pro/government-it/nbn-debate-full-of-erroneous-information-20130404-2h8m9.html

Telstra will decide Coalition’s NBN: Hackett http://www.zdnet.com/au/telstra-will-decide-coalitions-nbn-hackett-7000013724/

Personal accounts of people now using the NBN :
(or who want to be on the NBN asap)

Imagining an amazing innovative future with Labor’s NBN
https://australiansforhonestpolitics.wordpress.com/2013/04/14/imagining-an-amazing-innovative-future-with-labors-nbn

Jack McCaw’s NBN story
https://australiansforhonestpolitics.wordpress.com/2013/03/03/jack-mccaws-nbn-story/

We are now connected to the NBN. Here’s a run-down on the install. And the speed!
http://alankerlin.blogspot.com.au/2013/04/we-are-now-connected-to-nbn-heres-run.html

Pass or fail? Kiama mum grades the NBN
http://www.illawarramercury.com.au/story/1356891/pass-or-fail-kiama-mum-grades-the-nbn/?cs=12

Why Jake’s impatient for the NBN
https://australiansforhonestpolitics.wordpress.com/2013/04/02/why-jakes-impatient-for-the-nbn/

Examples of other countries deploying FTTH :

Benefits of Ultra-Fast Broadband http://ufb.org.nz/benefits/

Japan launches world’s fastest home internet 2Gbps : http://www.smh.com.au/technology/technology-news/japan-launches-worlds-fastest-home-internet-20130416-2hxge.html

Taking on Provo, Utah failure proves Google is serious about FTTH http://www.tellusventure.com/blog/taking-on-provo-failure-proves-google-is-serious-about-ftth/

France Telecom strikes FTTH network pact with Bouygues Telecom http://www.fiercetelecom.com/story/france-telecom-strikes-ftth-network-pact-bouygues-telecom/2012-01-17#ixzz2QnW70ZIF

#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
Source: yathink.com.au

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 http://forums.whirlpool.net.au/forum/142 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.

Coalition’s NBN plan to stop consumers taking control of media

In Kieran Cummings, NBN, Telecommunications on April 9, 2013 at 3:40 PM

skynews_861870

By Kieran Cummings (@sortius)

April 9th, 2013

The Coalition held its broadband policy launch at, wait for it, Murdoch’s Fox Sports, And the press secretary handed out copies of Murdoch’s Daily Telegraph instead of policy documents. Guess what the final outcome of Malcolm Turnbull’s broadband plan will be. The policy debate will heat up over the coming months because there are massive amounts of detail missing from the policy.

Turnbull was combative, if not outright belligerent. From the outset he was unable to give details on even the basics of his policy in answer to questions such as ‘How long will the copper last?’.

I had thought that finally Turnbull would release a policy filled with cogent arguments and factual information, but this was not to be so. Instead the press conference was laced with misinformation, leaving me feeling underwhelmed and annoyed. Details are even more scant in the press release offered up by www.liberal.org.au. Most of the document is merely an attack on the current NBN and vague figures like ‘estimated $90b’ & ‘up to 100Mbps’. There’s no real meat in this policy, and the oft quoted ‘background documents’ are non-existent.

So because I can’t do deep policy analysis I have to go with this policy being a Claytons policy – lots of words, but nothing to say. The best any journalist can do is look at the assumptions and see how out of kilter with reality they are.

There are no details on the future plans of the Coalition or on what will happen to NBN Co once the build is completed. Unfortunately for Turnbull, Tony Abbott played his hand early, stating unequivocally that an LNP government would sell off the NBN. No details as to whether they would uphold the legislation that ensures NBN Co remain a wholesale-only company and be required to foster innovation and competition.

If anything, the build and sale planned, to deploy VDSL via FTTN, would stifle innovation and quash competition within the network. With Vectored VDSL, as Turnbull keeps stating will be deployed (but not mentioned once in the policy document), competition is incompatible. You cannot run multiple ISP’s vectored services via the same cable.

The next thing to look at is the LNP’s build estimates. Unfortunately there is no data to support the costs given, however there seems to be a large amount of information missing on ongoing maintenance costs, power consumption costs for running the cabinets and the cost of acquiring Telstra’s copper network. All of these together would seem to wipe out any reduction in the $40b-odd an FTTP deployment is estimated to cost.

There is no way the Coalition are anywhere near the mark with their $90b estimate to build FTTP, especially since even they have even said it would cost ‘several thousand dollars’ per user to run FTTP from a node. If we look at the BT example of FTTP upgrades and extrapolate an average user being charged ad-hoc rates close to $7000 per premises, it will cost users approximately $65b to upgrade all services. Seeing NBN Co is not charged ad-hoc rates, this cost would be far lower (closer to $30b for an end-to-end fibre service). So the savings from the Coalition are merely offloading costs from off-budget financing to end-user financing.

The main question is who benefits from the savings? It’s certainly not end-users. It’s certainly not businesses. It’s most certainly not retail service providers. The people who benefit will be the people who buy the network.

So who could possibly buy the network? Optus, iiNet, or even Vodafone? The three might be able to handle such a big fixed line network; however they do not have the technicians to maintain the copper. The only player capable of handling such a network is Telstra as they already have technicians and contracts with third parties to maintain the network.

So the end result would be Telstra selling their copper to NBN Co for an inflated price then buying it all back at a discount price, as no other company would want to take on such a liability as $1b per year in maintenance costs to run the copper network.

The fact that Murdoch’s subsidiaries have been so involved in this policy release betrays who is calling the shots. It’s not Turnbull (or as Abbott named him, Mr Broadband), nor is it Abbott. It’s clear that Murdoch’s media empire does not want FTTP – just read any of their papers on any given day to see the utter contempt for NBN Co in any article on the NBN.

The bottom line is that this is all about control. With FTTP the control is in the hands of consumers, giving them an opportunity to utilise Over-The-Top (OTT) services and remove the need for Foxtel if they wish to watch pay TV services.

With FTTN the need for satellite dishes and coaxial cable connections is vital to maintain internet speed while watching pay TV. Turnbull’s claim that VDSL is capable of carrying HD streams is myopic at best, as he ignores the technological advancements in broadcast systems such as the soon-to-be-released 4K broadcast standard.

@jtwyman John Twyman Speed difference between the #NBN & the Opposition's #fraudband proposal

@jtwyman John Twyman Speed difference between the #NBN & the Opposition’s #fraudband proposal

Even the most compressed 4K video requires at least 20Mbps of bandwidth, so the Coalition’s plans for a minimum of 25Mbps is severely lacking after network overheads are taken into account. The only way users on FTTN will receive 4K video is to utilise a dedicated connection to pay TV providers, meaning OTT providers are left out in the cold.

Essentially this policy ignores future needs of Australian consumers and business in favour of end-of-life technologies. Utilising such technologies ensures the control of media in Australia is maintained by the likes of Murdoch and his ilk.

If voters can take anything away from today’s policy announcement it’s this: the Coalition do not want to see Australia’s telecommunication network progress, but merely want to waste $30b delivering what’s there now to sell it off to the people who screwed up the network in the first place.

Read More:

Why Murdoch’s media is gunning for your NBN

Jack McCaw’s NBN story

Why Jake’s impatient for the NBN

Why Jake’s impatient for the NBN

In Jake Baldwin, NBN, Telecommunications on April 2, 2013 at 7:27 PM
Jake Baldwin

Jake Baldwin

By Jake Baldwin
April 2nd, 2013

My name is Jake Baldwin. I am a 19 year old first year University student studying a Bachelor of Communication, majoring in Film. Along with my day to day internet browsing I contribute to, and maintain a handful of media related projects that involve a large amount of bandwidth and download/upload speeds required for online video games, uploading data and digital purchases.

I spend a good 80% of my time connected to the internet – via desktop PC, laptop or smart phone – researching or organising new projects and coverage of upcoming events. Alongside my study I’m pursuing a career in the production of Live Streamed competitive video game content.

I very rarely get involved in politically charged arguments, but the implementation of a high speed network seems of absolute necessity to the career aspirations for myself and those around me.

I currently make do with a ADSL2+ line that has 5.5 megabit per second download and 0.7 megabit per second upload speeds. While yes, these speeds are bearable, they are far from ideal, especially considering States in the US are already having Gigabit speed lines (the likes of Google Fiber) installed in residential areas. Compared to the network at my University, where I can get up to 95 mbps download and 10mbps upload speeds, it’s a dismal number.

I know handfuls of people who have similar aspirations in online media creation and with these sort of speeds prevalent around the country it just isn’t possible. The NBN will simply offer more opportunities around the country for self-motivated content creators.

Even when it comes to my leisure time, access to a high speed network means I can fully enjoy the things I love: music streaming – a service that’s becoming more and more popular these days – online video games, uploading my own digital creations, or watching videos/video streams in high definition. They can all hindered by slow internet connections, so I’m sometimes left to choose to enjoy one or two at a time and even then at a lower quality.

My passion lies in Live Streaming (ie. twitch & justin.tv, ustream etc.) which has become prevalent it has become in delivering timely and high quality content. As opposed to the packaged method of delivery used by television, Live Streaming is as simple as switching on a PC at home, plugging in a microphone and a webcam, and going live.

After sampling many forms of delivering a show – pre-packaged recording, reading from scripts and speeches – I’ve found the demanding task of being an eloquent and consistently enthused unscripted live host to be the most thrilling form of content delivery.

While my home internet is far from sufficient to host my own video stream, I’ve been lucky enough to access fiber speeds like at University and the results are stunning. Streaming on these speeds is as smooth as you’d like at full 1080p HD and at 60 frames per second it looks glorious for the viewers. Even for special content such as mini-documentaries and high quality video coverage the times it takes to upload several hundred megabytes is outstanding, and makes it infinitely easier to share this content rather than waiting at the computer for 5 or 6 hours.

I’m looking to move into a place with access to Fiber sometime this year so I can begin to create this daily HD content, but until then I’m working on a very restrictive line, or, at best, using University internet during the low traffic hours of early morning and late afternoon. It’s not a desirable solution but it will have to work until the NBN is fully rolled out.

Jake Baldwin is a 19 year old University Student studying in Melbourne, Victoria. He spends the majority of his time online enjoying the company of others with gaming, or creating his next digital project.

 

Read More:

Why Murdoch’s media is gunning for your NBN

Jack McCaw’s NBN story

 

Transcript – 774 ABC Melbourne, Mornings, Friday, 8 March 2013 08:35 AM

In ABC, John Faine Affair, NBN, Telecommunications on March 6, 2013 at 1:44 PM

Audio of Jon Faine – Stephen Conroy Interview

[audio http://blogs.abc.net.au/files/hectic-half-hour-8-3-13.mp3]

JON FAINE:
We shall turn or attention to state politics in a moment or two, but first on the federal sphere, is it true that there is now a push within the Labor Party to replace Julia Gillard and look for a Denis Napthine style option? Stephen Conroy is the Minister for Broadband Communications, the Digital Economy, Digital Productivity – this is the longest title anyone’s every had surely, and leader of the Government in the Senate. Senator Conroy good morning to you.

STEPHEN CONROY:
Yes it is a very long title. Good morning Jon.

JON FAINE:
We’ll come to the NBN and its problems in a moment, where you’re being accused of pork-barrelling, but is it true the Labor Party are looking at Simon Crean as a Denis Napthine option to replace Julia Gillard before the federal election?

STEPHEN CONROY: No.

JON FAINE:
My information is that that’s now being considered as an alternative to a Kevin Rudd push which would be electorally toxic.
STEPHEN CONROY:
Julia Gillard overwhelmingly won a vote last year for the leadership…

JON FAINE:
Long time ago now.

STEPHEN CONROY:
She retains the majority support of the Parliamentary Labor Party, and she will take us to the next election. There’s lots of stories but bottom line is, the Prime Minister has the overwhelming support of the caucus.

JON FAINE:
In the last 24 hours, since the change in leadership in Victora, it’s been put to me by figures involved in the Labor Party that this may be an option as well for resolving the predicament you find yourselves in. And Kevin Rudd, unacceptable, that would make a mockery of your procedures and processes, and Simon Crean emerges as the Denis Napthine.

STEPHEN CONROY:
Look Simon’s doing a great job travelling the country, talking about the benefits of Labor’s policies, explaining them to people in regional and rural Australia, championing the National Broadband Network, and is doing a fantastic job. But, Julia Gillard, the Prime Minister, has the overwhelming majority of caucus supporting her. And this is just further distraction to getting on with – explaining, demonstrating, and ensuring that our policies are fully understood out there in the broader community. I mean we are focused on reforming the education system, we’re focused on introducing a National Disability Insurance Scheme, and continuing the roll out of the National Broadband Network.

JON FAINE:
And yet the opinion polls show, and they’re trending in a very awkward direction, they show that none of that is getting through. And I put it to you again, Kevin Rudd, absolutely electorally unacceptable as well as internally toxic, Simon Crean the Napthine equivalent.

STEPHEN CONROY:
Look, Simon, as I said, is doing a great job. But Julia Gillard has the support of the overwhelming majority of the Parliamentary caucus. And what all of the caucus members need to focus on – is if we keep talking about ourselves, if we keep just having conversations about what’s going on in the Labor Party, we will get a response in the polls that goes down. People are not interested in hearing about the ins and outs in the Labor Party, they’re interested in hearing about how we’re going to reform the education system so that every child gets a better education; about how we’re going to ensure that one of the segments of society, families with disabled children and family members need more support; and the National Broadband Network which will open up opportunities for small business, open up opportunities…

JON FAINE:
Speaking of the Broadband Network, you’re accused of pork-barrelling with the roll out of the Broadband Network, and yet again we’re seeing western Sydney getting a disproportionate share of not just the NBN, but all infrastructure promises because of its electoral sensitivity.

STEPHEN CONROY:

Look this claim about the NBN and pork-barrelling Labor seats has been debated and disproved. But let me really precise about this, the ACCC, an independent statutory authority, intervened in the process of building the NBN. They said, following lobbying from telecommunications companies, that there will be what we call 121 points of interconnect, or POIs in the jargon. And they ticked the, you know, physical sites of these points of interconnect, and said you will start building from here. And if you overlay the map of the roll out of the NBN, it pretty much follows the instructions from the ACCC. And the ACCC are an independent statutory authority, so suggestions that there’s one electorate favoured over another are absurd.

I did want to raise one issue, John, which is starting to concern me, and I know a number of listeners, particularly to the ABC – there now seems to be a policy of trying to intimidate ABC personnel. Malcolm Turnbull is constantly attacking and trying to bully some of your journalists. And today I read in The Australian, and I know you shouldn’t always believe everything you read in The Australian, but a very disturbing thing where another journalist on the ABC staff has been internally disciplined because they’re not prepared to just accept every policy pronouncement, or claim that’s made publicly.

Now this cannot go on. These internal procedures of the ABC have to be more open and more transparent. Journalists cannot work on a basis that they’re going to be bullied and intimidated, and have complaints lodged against them in a process that is not transparent and open. This is the second…

JON FAINE:
Well now by way of background, the ABC has disciplined one of its editors, who – a man called Nick Ross who edits a forum on the ABC’s online publications, who has been critical of the Coalition. Mr Ross has been critical of the Coalition’s broadband policy, and supportive of yours. And it’s been determined by the ABC internal complaints process that his reporting has not been even-handed.

STEPHEN CONROY:

Well what – I don’t agree with all of Nick Ross’s findings, he’s not someone I’ve ever met expect for I think at press conference. I don’t agree with everything that Nick Ross writes in his columns. But what he’s been prepared to do is compare policies, now that is the job of journalists. To be prepared…

JON FAINE:
No, he’s been accused of being part of your fan club.

STEPHEN CONROY:

No he’s been prepared to compare the Labor Government’s NBN policy, and Malcolm Turnbull’s pretend NBN policy. And he’s gone to great lengths to compare all of the claims backwards and forwards, he’s been critical of me plenty of times in the past. In fact he used to be very critical to my face at press conferences. But what you see here is he’s engaged in getting the facts together, demonstrating that the claims – just by having the facts, demonstrating that the claims that Malcolm Turnbull makes about his policies, are not – don’t stand up to scrutiny. And for this he’s attacked by The Australian, he’s vilified in The Australian today, and a campaign, through a process that is non-transparent, doesn’t give people inside the ABC a fair go.

JON FAINE:
Well you’re the Minister for the ABC, if you think the process is not transparent and unfair, why don’t you do something about it?

STEPHEN CONROY:

Well I don’t run the ABC, it’s got a board, it’s got an independent charter, and it’s got a managing director. But I think it’s time to call out, where you’ve got journalists inside the ABC are being disciplined in a process that does not – does not remotely give fair justice to the journalists involved. This is just an outrageous process.

JON FAINE:
I have to return to state politics in a moment, but just one final question Senator Conroy, and we’ll see if either the ABC management or others want to comment on that, we’ll see if Mr Ross wants to comment too. But you’re a key factional warlord in Victoria for the right.

STEPHEN CONROY: [Laughs]

JON FAINE:
Who are you going to install in Gellibrand to replace Nicola Roxon?

STEPHEN CONROY:
Well I expect that the party will open its nominations in the near future. I’m sure, given it’s a very traditionally safe Labor seat, there’ll be a lot of interest, and there’ll be many nominations, and the rank and file members, as they do in most occasions in the Victorian branch of the Labor Party, get an opportunity to vote.

JON FAINE:
Yeah that’s the theory, but the practice is that you will choose who you want to install. Who have you got your eye on? Why not just tell us?

STEPHEN CONROY:
The rank and file members of the Labor Party will get nominations, and they will get an opportunity to vote on who they think will be the best representative for Gellibrand. We’ve been extraordinarily lucky in the last 20 years, we’ve had treasurers like Ralph Willis, we’ve had health ministers, and attorney-generals like Nicola Roxon. We have been very very lucky in Gellibrand to have some high quality candidates. I’m expecting a whole range of high quality people will put their hand up as well.

JON FAINE:
Are you going to offer a parachute to Senator David Feeney who’s been put into an unwinnable position on the Senate ticket in Victoria? One of those who was instrumental in the removal of Kevin Rudd.

STEPHEN CONROY:
Look, the third position in the Senate is not unwinnable, it’s challenging. David Feeney won it last time, and I’m confident David can win it again.

JON FAINE:
You’re going to leave him on the Senate ticket, or are you going to move him Gellibrand?

STEPHEN CONROY:
We’ll look for Gellibrand nomination to open, but I think David won against the odds the third Senate posi last time, and I’m confident David will be able to win from there again.

JON FAINE:
Thank you. we’ll read between the lines, and undoubtedly we’ll get the chance to speak again soon. Thank you for your time.

STEPHEN CONROY: Thanks Jon.

JON FAINE:
Senator Stephen Conroy, Victorian Labor Senator, and the Minister for the Broadband Communication, and Digital Economy portfolio in the Gillard Government.

Why Murdoch’s media is gunning for your NBN

In Kieran Cummings, NBN, News Limited, Telecommunications on February 27, 2013 at 1:09 PM
Kim Williams, ex Foxtel and now CEO News Limited.

Kim Williams, ex Foxtel and now CEO at News Limited.

By Kieran Cummings (@sortius)
February 27th, 2013

It seems a day doesn’t go by where articles are being posted to News Limited (Murdoch) websites with nothing but negative spin for the NBN. Most, if not all, are founded on poorly constructed arguments that ignore technology & the reality. They all seem to point to one solution: anything the Coalition are saying they’ll deploy.

While this does reek of patent bias amongst Murdoch’s Australian arm, I feel this goes a little deeper than just wanting a Coalition government, but a fear of becoming obsolete in the age of IPTV (Internet Protocol Television).

While FTTN (Fibre to the Node) can offer basic IPTV, it cannot offer multi-set full HD broadcasting as FTTH/P (Fibre to the Home/Premises) can. With this in mind, it doesn’t take long before it’s apparent the likes of Comcast & Time-Warner in the US, are bleeding subscribers or seeing a slowdown in subscriber uptake due to internet streaming services such as Netflix or Amazon’s Prime service.

While we haven’t seen a drop in subscribers here in Australia, there has been a slowdown in subscriber uptake that is sending a message direct to News Limited/Fox: kill off any advancements in broadband speeds before it kills off your business model.

WHAT MAKES FTTN BETTER FOR PAY TV PROVIDERS

One thing to remember is that the main differences between FTTN & FTTH are, speed, service area, & reliability, with FTTN failing on all three. These differences can mean someone can happily use an IPTV service, or you are relegated to stuttering pixelated video. The one (& only so far) pure IPTV example I can give in Australia is FetchTV, with others like Quickflix not quite making their mark due to limited outdated content.

FTTN, which a large portion of Australia already relies upon, can be of many flavours, but the generally accepted limit is VDSL2+ up to 1km, VDSL2 up to 2km, & ADSL2(+)/ADSL1 after that. Looking at these numbers, even if VDSL2+ is used, a large portion of Australia will not be able to stream more than one channel to one TV comfortably in HD. Some will not be able to receive HD video at all, having to opt for 1.5Mbps “lite” services offered by IPTV providers.

sdtv-vs-hdtv-vs-4k-uhdtv-graph2-706px-a (1)

With this in mind, we can see that opting for slower, less reliable, with a smaller service area for higher speeds, broadband benefits satellite & cable TV (pay TV) providers by limiting customers’ ability to utilise lower cost IPTV services. Don’t get me wrong, Foxtel are dabbling with IPTV with massively crippled plans that are far more expensive in dollars-per-channel than their set-top-box contract locked services.

Essentially FTTN offers a moderate speed boost to allow for slightly faster speeds, but not so fast as to make pay TV obsolete. This benefits pay TV providers, but not customers or content producers, leaving a monopoly in place to reap the rewards of archaic infrastructure that’s way past its used by date. Read the rest of this entry »