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The Magnificent NBN, Victoria’s “Right-To-Kill Bill” And It’s Just A Flesh Wound…

Writing in “The Herald-Sun” (and no, that’s not really an oxymoron) in May last year, Terry McCrann lauded the government’s NBN success:


“RIGHT now, over one million Australians are actually signed on to and using the National Broadband Network. When Labor lost office in September 2013 barely 100,000 were.

So in just two and a half years the number of active users has leapt tenfold — an extraordinary rate of increase in both access and use.

The total number of premises which are able to connect, when and if they choose, has similarly expanded at that spectacular pace, from around 250,000 then to approaching 2.5 million now.

The NBN is finally a done deal. There really is, or should be, no going back to the failed all-fibre $100 billion-plus fantasy of Kevin Rudd and Stephen Conroy.”


And just a few weeks ago were told by Malcolm himself, that the NBN was “doing an extraordinary job”. Yes, just a few weeks ago the board that replaced the one that Labor put in place had the situation well in hand and, while even one complaint was too many, now that so many people were being connected then, of course, there’d be more complaints. After all, people are such ungrateful wretches, why look at how some people are complaining about the closure of Manus. As Tony “the Legend” Abbott tweeted: “For years, Greens and Labor allies demanded Manus close. Now it’s closing, they’re still complaining. They just can’t be trusted on borders”. (N.B, NOT SATIRE. ACTUAL TWEET. I know that it’s sometimes hard to tell. Just like when the Australian Border Force told the Senate that sometimes a boat arrival was not a boat arrival. From what I could understand, a recent boat wasn’t an arrival because it happened and we haven’t had one in over a thousand days so,therefore it couldn’t be an arrival, I’m not sure if it was still a boat.)

But more on Tony later… Mm, that last bit should be read aloud. Anyway, just because in a handful of cases, people were being stuck without a landline, they complained. Don’t they understand that this is the “biggest, fastest” thing in the history of Australia? Nay, the world. Why, it’s the biggest, fastest thing since the big bang. (Not the TV show, the Big one!) Don’t they understand that it’s one of Australia’s shining achievements? Why, Turnbull himself listed it and the NDIS as the achievements of his government.

So it comes as a complete shock to me that Turnbull, the man who took over when there was but a “bare 100,000” signed on to the NBN, should suddenly decide that it was a “train wreck”. Well, in case you think that it’s a mea culpa, remember that Malcolm and his Merry Men, don’t need to apologise because nothing is ever their fault. You see, it was because Labor started the project. And they had to take over from where Labor had left it. It’s not like they could put in a whole new management… Oh wait, they did. But it’s not like they could renegotiate the contract and stop the fibre to the premises… Oh wait, they did that too. But I suppose it’s the 100,000 houses that had signed up under Labor who are having the problems… Oh wait, no it’s not.

Anyway, it’s Labor’s fault because it was their idea, like the problems with energy policy: they want a Clean Energy Target but we’ve put in place: A GUARANTEE. And we’re good at things like that. Who could forget “Our Contract With Australia”? You know, the one where we promised to “End the Waste And Debt”?

Mm. Perhaps I’d better move on to Mr Abbott and mention that he “stopped the boats”, which must have fixed up the hospital queues and the traffic problems in Sydney. A remarkable achievement. In a recent tweet, he told us:

Now, I think that we really need to object to his emotive language. Wherever you stand on the issue, the use of the phrase “right-to-kill bill” is an attempt to paint the legislation in negative light. Ok, he probably neither meant to reference Quentin Tarantino nor suggest that Victoria was declaring open season on Bill Shorten… No, it was a really pathetic way of framing a difficult decision as “killing”. Allowing a terminally ill person to end their own life is vastly different from giving people the “right to kill”. Still, one can see why poor Tones might be finding parallels with euthanasia and what the Liberals did to his leadership and that may be what’s making him behave so emotionally.

But perhaps, Tony just likes to impersonate the Black Knight from “Monty Python And The Holy Grail”. You know, “it’s just a flesh wound.” How else could one explain one of his other tweets: “Re AFR story. This isn’t over. There are five million Australians yet to vote and the NO campaign is appealing to every one of them!”

Mm, does Mr Abbott mean that they are making an appeal, or does he mean that the No campaign is appealing to all of them but they just haven’t got around to voting yet?

Whatever, ya gotta laugh. The only other option is for me to decide that I’ve died and I’ve been sent to this absurd Hell, where Donald Trump is president and even after taking the leadership of Abbott, Turnbull behaves like he’s not only betraying all his previous principles, he’s putting his hand up to be the most inarticulate PM since Billy McMahon famously urged people to look at the facts and vote for the ALP… Billy did quickly correct himself, but history would have judged him less harshly if he’d pretended that he meant it. Whatever you think of Tony, he at least gives the feeling that he does have some misguided belief in the things he’s saying, while Turnbull sounds like an understudy who didn’t bother to learn his lines properly, let alone develop an emotional truth.


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  1. Pilot

    When we first connected ADSL years ago we had a download speed peaking at 32Mbs until Telstra capped us at 25Mbs which was a theoretical maximum and no one would ever achieve it. Along comes the NBN… When work started in our area our ADSL DL speed dropped to 5Mbs for almost 12 months. We were slated to get FTTP, we have the cable running past our place….. But nooooooo, FTTN is all we’ve got and although it was connected last week, can we get 25Mbs? Nooooooooo…… Am I willing to pay for access to 100Mbs and achieve 30 – 40Mbs? Nooooooo…… So we are stuck with outdated 20th century technology thanks to the lying, corrupt, fascist LNP, flat earth, scumbag, Model T ford style communications….

    An utter disgrace!!!

    Hopefully Australia’s voters will remember this utter hoax at the next election!! Here’s hoping for a Tony comeback!!!! (just to seal the deal)

  2. john ocallaghan

    My sister told the NBN people to go away when they came round to install it, and i will be doing the same thing if and when they come to my place.
    My Internet is not as fast as in NZ, but it’s a damm site quicker than what that obnoxious puffed up pompous pratt can deliver!!

  3. Terry2

    Kevin Rudd, whether you like him or not and I’m not fan of his, made some good points last night when being interviewed by Leigh sales on 7.30. On the subject of the NBN this is how it unfolded.

    LEIGH SALES : Did the Labor Party saddle the nation with a white elephant?

    KEVIN RUDD: *Well, Leigh, you know as well as I do that’s a grossly unfair question, because what we launched as the National Broadband Network was fibre optic to the premises nationwide, because it would be that model which actually delivered the revenue stream long-term to make the NBN financially sustainable. And it was that on which it was modelled.

    So what did Abbott and Turnbull then do? They turned it on its head and made it fibre optic not to the premises but to the node: that mystical point somewhere in the neighbourhood. So, in other words, they changed the model completely.

    And the reason why people are not taking it up is because what we find is that people don’t see the advantage in terms of reliable bandwidth and band speed on the ground.

    I note in passing that the position adopted by the conservatives in the 2013 election seems to have been identical with that preferred by News Limited. It’s I think a matter of historical record that News Limited did not want the National Broadband Network; that News Limited did not want fibre optic to the premises.

    And the reason they didn’t want that was because it would provide direct competition to the Foxtel cable television network in this country from service delivery companies like Netflix.

    And so, mysteriously, by some act of God, the Liberal Party found itself adopting the same position as Mr Murdoch. I wonder why?*

  4. Rossleigh

    Yep, it’s sort of strange the way the Liberals think that it’s always ok to simply blame Labor. As I once suggested, imagine if a mechanic convinced you that your current mechanic should be dropped and when it takes over the servicing of your car simply tells you that it’s running really badly and he was right: the other guy completely stuffed it. $450 please!
    Imagine if Labor came to power, sacked the previous government appointees and then when it was shown to be a shambles or “train wreck”, they tried to turn around and say that it was all the fault of the Liberals. They’d be attacked mercilessly by just about everyone.
    Yet, we have what’s loosley described as a Prime Minister telling us that energy problems are Labor’s fault, the NBN is Labor’s fault, any problems with the NDIS is Labor’s fault… How long before we hear that the closure of Holden or Tony Abbott are also Labor’s fault too?

  5. helvityni

    We don’t need the Liberals, as even when they are in power, the little eager beaver Labor ants are doing everything…. Yes everything,the NBN was their baby, but then during Tones and Mal’s ‘leadership’, Labor secretly tried to ‘kill’ or at least damage it….

  6. Frank Smith

    Mal, Fifield and the NBN chief are pushing the line that only 100,000 were connected to the NBN when Labor left office and now we have connected millions. In so doing they totally ignore the fact that it was essential to install the basic fibre backbone of the NBN before anyone could be connected and that takes time and money. And that is the same backbone the ill-conceived FTTN model uses.

    I also note that they have ommitted to acknowledge that it was the Lying Rodent’s Government that sold off Telstra thereby making it far more difficult to have the country’s leading Telco build the national broadband network as other sensible countries like NZ have done – yet another failure of the privatisation model to add to the energy debacle and the sale of Medibank.

  7. ace Jones

    “We have a strong and credible broadband policy because the man who has devised it, the man who will implement it virtually invented the Internet in this country. Thank you so much, Malcolm Turnbull.”
    says Abbott addressing his party room June 2013.

  8. Miriam English

    If you go to http://www.speedtest.net/global-index you’ll find that although our mobile speeds are pretty good by global standards, our broadband is pitiful. We are rated 54th in the world, coming just after Kazakhstan.

    Also, I found at

    Internet speed and cost by country [OC] from dataisbeautiful

    This image that shows graphically how well off we are. Any country that’s above and left of Australia is worse off in both cost and internet speed. As you can see we have a combination of high cost and low speed. There are only 3 countries that are worse off than us in both. Not good.

  9. Kay Schieren

    We live in a content -free age supplied by Hollywood, politics and marketing, etc. Until something truly horrible happens to each person (like their dishwasher packs up, or a million people die in their neighbourhood in a flood), we are stuck with very daft voters. Australia, like the US, has become the selfish, stupid country to an extreme. Just look at the roads and the cars (cars all look like Christmas tree decorations now) and smell the air – terminal stupidity voting for same. Perceptions are generated, and to most, are all that matters, and “public information” is manufactured by the highest paid criminal minds in the country.

    I have a home-made rural (40km from the Nowa Nowa, Victoria, signal source at least) local internet access which is far superior to the NBN satellite my neighbours use, and it’s more reliable. I installed it myself, and all the hardware cost me about $2000. By comparison to an invalid / age pensioner (me), our governments are a sick, corrupt, stupid joke, and the people voted for that. A lady friend of mine actually admitted that she voted for the bulge in Abbott’s shorts when I made fun of her – that’s how defeated voters are, that’s how irresponsible and stupid many are. So we have a collection of wankers voting in a collection of wankers. Ignorance is bliss, and nothing will change …. that’s how people are. A mostly heartless lot of cultivated ignoramuses …..

  10. Ricardo29

    How often do you hear people say “I have a great belief in the wisdom of voters”? Usually when their party’s in power. However we know that this “wisdom” often isn’t actually reflected in the elected government, as when the popular vote (numbers) isn’t reflected in seats. I am one of those who, like Kay, despairs that many voters don’t actually follow what’s happening in politics or government, just vote on some irrelevance ( I love the reference to the bulge in Tony’s bathers). Despite dwindling sales, the Murdoch rags still seem to wield influence.How else to explain that, 2PP 46 to 48 percent of people still support the coalition? That of course would include some Hansonites who, we all know, are mostly ignorant. How then to get the electorate away from watching reality TV and taking some notice of what’s really important?

  11. cowper133

    Another fact which was not highlighted in last night’s program when comparing the roll out of the NBN is the speed differentiation between FTP & FTN. With FTP each and every household has to have the fibre laid to the household or business, with FTN the Node box can carry streets full of connections to be switched over in one go meaning hundreds of houses/businesses can be connected at once. So of course roll out is faster. No one is picking up Fifield or Turnbull on their claim of faster roll out, which they definitely should.

  12. HeatherCam

    The LNC are playing divide and conquer tactics and it’s very wearing. It is like endlessly reducing the masses to zombies, so they will troll along to the vote for them at election time. The blame and denial games are exactly this. The whole theory of such people who frequent the LNC is not to provide something that is good, efficient and economical because it destroys their modus operandi to keep everyone down. It’s a very sloppy country this one. If you do well you are knocked over. Yes the tall poppy syndrome is alive and well. The original excellent NBN was the tall poppy. The excellent insulation batts was the tall poppy. The excellent school halls additions was the tall poppy. All good but to be destroyed by shoddy work people out for a buck, and the right wing heavies in opposition. If we did not have these moves we would have got crunched along with the countries going down during the GFC. Yep! Australia got the clues of how to deal with the GFC after watching the greed of others. The Howards, Turnbulls, Abbotts etc of this world all love things going downhill. Not their kids though, nor their houses, nor their bank accounts, and that is all they really care about. Tribal creeps! They pretend otherwise and that is the tricky part. I was appalled with the state of the NBN last night. Let’s just go out and plant many more tall poppies. Up them!

  13. Charles

    Whichever govt’s in power they don’t seem interested in getting value for the public.
    From NSW – ‘How a power station sold for peanuts became a $730 million asset’
    “The NSW government sold the Vales Point Power Station for $1 million in 2015. Two years later, it is now worth $730 million. . . A former energy industry bureaucrat and a coal baron bought Vales Point at the fire sale price . . “
    The public is being fleeced by politicians on behalf of their corporate mates. We need a series of Royal Commissions into Federal and State politicians to find out how to stop the rot.

  14. Möbius Ecko

    Frank Smith you are correct.

    What Turnbull disingenuously does, and taken up by McCrann, is use the cost and take up figure without including the considerable time and cost in initially setting up the entity. E.g. they say 100,000 when Labor lost office and this government has increased that ten fold. What they don’t tell you is when they took over the entity had been formed, board and management found and appointed, tenders let and contracts signed, and the rollout commenced from scratch.

    This government just continued the rollout already started, sacked part of Labor’s management and appointed flunkies and short cut by implementing inferior technology like going to a node as cowper133 points out.

    Also yet again I heard the $80 to $90 billion figure for Labor’s plan trotted out as a fact by an ABC commentator. That figure came from Turnbull on very flawed modelling that has been completely debunked. To get it he took the worse case scenario for each FTTP connection, including expounding pit issues like asbestos to every pit and then padded out inflation and delay numbers on top of that.

    When he modelled his mishmash of a system he used the best case scenario for every node connection, projected the cheapest contracts feasible (which didn’t happen), no delays and no problems with the installations, which is why he initially came up with $26 billion.

    I wish someone in the media would throw this back in Turnbull’s and Frydenberg’s faces, and would stop using the thoroughly debunked $80 – $90 billion figure for Labor’s NBN plan.

  15. Möbius Ecko

    Oh, and what they also don’t point out is that Turnbull’s Fraudband is way behind schedule and the stage he projected for the end of 2016 has been moved to 2020. And let’s not get into his cost blow out. From $26 billion to $54 billion, and another projected blowout without a figure mentioned by NBN Co the other day.

    Yet even the $54 billion figure is played down and falsely reported because NBN Co and Turnbull keep saying the cost blowout will be between $45 and $54 billion. The media and especially this government never mention the upper range of that projection, but nearly always say the blowout is the base figure of $45 billion. How disingenuous is that range as well? Labor’s cost blowout is always given as a definitive number at the highest end of the $80 to $90 billion range stated by Turnbull’s flawed modelling, but the Liberal’s NBN cost blowout is always quoted at the lowest end of the $45 to $54 billion range.

  16. Shogan

    Another thing nobody has mentioned is how many homes are now connected to the NBN via satellite which required no roll out to the premises whatsoever.

  17. Harry

    Here are the facts of the NBN:

    1.Both sides of politics are so infested with neo-liberalism that they think all public infrastructure must ‘pay for itself’ via user pays. In other words, they deny any social benefit element which, even in mainstream microeconomics textbooks, justify government subsidy.

    2.NBNco is the monopoly wholesaler of connectivity to the broadband network it has constructed as a public company.

    3.To recover the cost of the construction, NBNco has introduced what they call a Connectivity Virtual Circuit (CVC) charge by which they charge the internet service providers (ISPs) to buy capacity on the network.

    4.The ISPs claim the charge is exorbitant – being high because NBNco is forced by the Federal government to recover the construction costs.

    5.So the ISPs negotiate each month with NBNco for “bandwidth” and then onsell that to the public in packages. While the NBN can run at 100 Mbps, the ISPs have created several packages (12 Mbps, up to the maximum) which they use to product differentiate and segment the market.

    6.Given the high cost of purchasing bandwidth from the NBNco and their own profit aspirations, the ISPs are forced to charge very high connection rates for their higher speed packages, which means fewer people can afford them.

    7.To still profit in a market that is sensitive to cost, the ISPs cheat their customers by buying less bandwidth from the NBNco than they know they will need to satisfy their customer base (contracts etc). They then ration the bandwidth by slowing down the speeds they allow their customer base to connect at relative to the stated speeds in the contracts.

    8.Further, given the prices of the packages, market demand is heavily weighted to the low speed packages, which means the NBN infrastructure is being seriously underutilised relative to potential.

    9.The speed and reliability is also compromised by the hybrid technologies that the Federal government adopted when it tried to do it on the ‘cheap’. FTTPs would have been much easier to implement and as it has turned out less costly.

    Incidentally, my own experience is more positive as my ADSL1 connection speed was 5MB/s and with the NBN is now 25MB/s. However that is no better than ADSL2 speed.

  18. Frank Smith

    What you say is perfectly correct and arises from the Little Johnny’s earlier decision to sell off Telstra – a totally unnecessary sale if he and Costello had not squandered the mining boom revenues. I am interested to know whether your NBN speed is 25MB/s or 25Mb/s?

  19. diannaart

    A shame Labor felt they had to make the NBN “market worthy”… which is now entirely moot because the LNP just had to completely change the model, eff it up and then blame Labor… as they do.

    Oh, and both parties claiming to install the NBN at ridiculously fast rates, which meant a lot of dodgy contractors (shades of pink batts here) and mistakes are being made. Of course the shenanigans of private enterprise to make a fast buck out the project will never be brought to account, because it was Labor’s fault for coming up with the original plan.


  20. helvityni

    Thank you Miriam for putting up the chart of Internet Speed and Cost by Country.

    Pleased to see that Finland is doing well on both counts….


    here’s another Turdboy says ALP setting up monopoly which is anti-competitive.

    “Mr Turnbull said the NBN was being constructed as a Government owned telecoms monopoly and was “so much of an affront to our competition laws ” that it could never get approved by the ACCC.”

    He intends to change it. He now says that not allowing a monopoly to build and run the NBN as per NZ was a Labor mistake when in fact it was he and the LNP who broke up the monopoly. This guy is such a shit brain. https://www.itwire.com/government-tech-policy/42215-nbn-an-affront-to-competition-law-turnbull.html


    FACT: Turdboy destroyed the NBN to help Murdoch. Now he will no doubt seek to sell it to Murdoch at a bargain basement price. LNP Policy statement. “Subject to an equitable re-negotiation of these provisions satisfactory to NBN Co and the government, our goal would be to remove any contractual impediments to the use of existing HFC networks for broadband and voice. A key consideration in such negotiations will be ensuring open access to networks and scope for enhanced competition in the relevant areas”.

    “Turnbull has been clear that, in the interests of avoiding Labor’s “government monopoly” model and promoting competition in the provision of wholesale broadband services in those high-density urban areas in which the market can support it, Telstra would be allowed to offer wholesale broadband bundled with Foxtel services over its HFC network”.


  23. helvityni

    Turnbull does not seem to take responsibility over anything; Finkel says this, the electricity merchants tell him that, some Terry Mc Cann(?) writes something else in a Daily Rag…no doubt about Labor and NBN…??

    He wants Labor to agree with him, but treats them like some insecure schoolyard bully….

    What happened to his promise to be civil, he promised after all to be a more mature leader than Abbott…???

  24. totaram

    All those things are simply explained by the IPA wish-list:

    69 Immediately halt construction of the National Broadband Network and privatise any sections that have already been built

    The coalition is accomplishing the “next best thing” to the IPA wishes and also using the result to bad-mouth the Labor party.

  25. Jack

    I heard a great analogy this morning on radio. The FTTN vs FTTP blame game between both parties is like squabbling over the construction of your driveway without building the highway/main roads first.

    Harry says the truth of it. The CVC charge has stiffled competition and forced ISPs to provide reduced performance due to the exorbitant costs

    The only way out is for the existing NBN debt to be written off. Lets see if they have the balls to do it

  26. Harry


    I meant to write 25Mbps. And yes the decision to sell off Telstra was stupid. The network at least should have been retained in public ownership. I see no sense in privatising a public monopoly only to replace it with a private monopoly.


    Jack. ‘The only way out is for the existing NBN debt to be written off’ But the LNP will say it is debt to justify further reducing services and to introduce further cuts and privatisations.

  28. pierre wilkinson

    Liberal default position #101 “Blame Labor”

  29. Frank Smith

    Thanks Harry – with that sort of speed I was wanting to sign up with your ISP.

    Yes, privatising the network and assets arm of Telstra was utterly stupid as it then precluded the major Government owned Telco, which owned that infrastructure, from just enhancing it to deliver the National broadband network that NBN is now trying to cobble together. NZ and UK got out of this mess by splitting their major Telco into a retail arm and a network asset arm. They then used their Telco’s asset arm to deliver their fast National broadband systems. With our inferior NBN not delivering what many want at an affordable price and technologies like 5G wireless about to offer stiff competition, whichever Government is in power at the time may find that the best solution will be to similarly split Telstra and turn the National Broadband infrastructure build and maintenance back over to them. And that would be truly ironic.

  30. Miriam English

    If I was in power I’d simply split Telstra using anti-trust laws to prevent monopolies. One half would hold all the hardware — that part would be nationalised. The other part would have services, and could remain in private hands to avoid upsetting all the people who invested in shares.

    Then I’d forbid the hardware national telecom from charging for use of the network because it would be funded entirely by the government (similar to how people are not charged to use roads — tollways are an abomination), and I’d empower the Telecommunications Ombudsman to fine telecommunications companies hefty fines for overcharging and for misleading advertising. I would establish a public service to compete directly with Telstra service and all the other telecommunications companies. It would charge customers, but those prices would be kept low in order to force telecommunications companies to provide best service at a competitive price.

    Lastly, I’d let knowledgeable people connect themselves directly to the network without having to go through a service provider. This would give individuals and small communities free internet, like we used to have back in the early days of the net. It would also let small companies start up to sell specialised services to neighborhoods. All this would very quickly give us one of the best networks in the world at extremely low cost and would provide massive boosts to business, education, recreation and communications here.

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