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A reminder of why our broadband is lousy

Led by the latest warrior of justice Waleed Ali, Malcolm Turnbull’s ridiculously inferior NBN has come under heavy criticism over the past few days.

Turnbull, of course, has been shrugging off the attacks and continues to stand his ground. For as long as he or the Liberal Party remain in power, Australians will not be getting an adequate NBN.

You must often wonder why Turnbull, his predecessor, and his party were determined to deliver a substandard NBN. You must also wonder why the needs of (at least) Australian businesses are completely ignored. Australia now belongs in a global economy and a global market. To compete, we need to have at our disposal the communication systems that are of world standards. We clearly don’t have that, and this government is adamant that we never will.

Why are they so adamant?

Perhaps the answer can be found in an AIMN article from 2013. Given that the attacks on Turnbull’s NBN have been dominating social media, it is pertinent to reproduce the guts of it here.

To me it answers the question of why the government is so adamant that we will be getting an inferior NBN.

I believe it is for the benefit of Rupert Murdoch. Our article explains why.

. . . in the months leading up to the (2013) election The Age noted Murdoch’s vicious attacks on Rudd echoing that:

News Corp hates the government’s National Broadband Network (NBN). The company has formed a view that it poses a threat to the business model of by far its most important asset in Australia, the Foxtel cable TV monopoly it jointly owns with Telstra.

The claim found its way to the top office in the land, with even Kevin Rudd recognising that:

Murdoch’s views on the election campaign largely mirrored those of conservative opposition leader Tony Abbott, who has promised to downsize the planned broadband network.

“Does he sense it represents a commercial challenge to Foxtel, to the major cash-cow for his company, or not?” asked Rudd, referring to the planned broadband network.

The British press had picked up that it was evident that the destructive attacks by the Murdoch media against the Labor Government:

The reason for Murdoch’s dramatic intervention in the current election has caused some debate. One interpretation of Murdoch is that he acts only for commercial advantage. Reflecting this, Paul Sheehan in the Sun-Herald argued that Murdoch wants to destroy Rudd and Labor because they are building the National Broadband Network (NBN). The NBN’s capacity to allow the quick downloading of movies and other content would be a threat to Murdoch’s Foxtel TV operation, so the argument goes.

This of course was scoffed at by Tony Abbott.

Mr Murdoch has immense financial interests in this country. Naturally he wants to protect them. Even nurture them. Murdoch could only have supported the Coalition for no other reason than they offered the best deal in protecting those interests. They simply have no other policy that could have possibly attracted his fanatical support. It had to be the NBN. Or the destruction of it, more’s the point.

Respected citizen journalist and IT expert Kieran Cummings writing on the No Fibs blog site took a deeper look at how the NBN would have been detrimental to Murdoch’s business interests in Australia. He revealed all in his telling article, Why Murdoch’s media is gunning for your NBN and begins with:

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.

It’s clear that content producers aren’t fazed by IPTV service providers, with Netflix in the US signing up many studios/channels to their service, & FetchTV offering a number of non-Fox channels for a fraction of the cost of Foxtel on Xbox/Smart TV (Foxtels pure IPTV service).

So where does that leave the likes of Foxtel in such an open market? Well, on the pointy end of a large stick. Murdoch & his ilk aren’t prepared for digital TV distribution, much like they weren’t prepared for digital news distribution & digital music distribution. Instead of being agile enough to deal with new technologies, pay TV providers have gone for the “entrench the customer” model that has not only failed for other mediums in the past, but turned customers away from their offerings.

Abbott won the election and anybody who followed Rupert Murdoch on Twitter couldn’t have helped but notice his elation. And with his business interests secure he hadn’t waited long to confirm the suspicions of those labelled ‘conspiracy theorists’ when The Australian reported that:

Foxtel has muscled up in the battle with the free-to-air television sector over Netflix-style “video on demand” subscription services, the pay-TV operator unveiling a new platform offering extensive movie content over the internet.

The new streaming service – to be called Presto – is seen as a pre-emptive strike against likely moves in coming months by Seven West Media and Nine Entertainment Co to offer their own versions of subscription movie platforms. It will also further build the pay-TV operator’s muscle against players such as Quickflix and Fetch TV.

How convenient. And how insightful was Kieran Cummings? And how intuitive were the British press in recognising how ‘the NBN’s capacity to allow the quick downloading of movies and other content would be a threat to Murdoch’s Foxtel TV operation.

Murdoch can now make a “massive” $24.99 off of each Australian who signed up for Presto. That certainly was worth backing Abbott for.

The links in the above articles are now a few years old. But not this one: in 2015 Murdoch’s Foxtel launched a pre-emptive strike against Netflix with Presto TV.

The pieces are coming together. That’s the best reason I can find why Australians are left with a broken, inferior, soon-to-be- obsolete NBN.

Thank you, Mr Murdoch. Thank you, Mr Abbott. Thank you, Mr Turnbull.

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23 comments

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  1. David

    The big items Labor can use during the election are mounting, with the pathetic NBN bound to resonate with the majority. Bill and his troops are being spoilt for choices by the rabble Turnbull/Abbott Govt

  2. Cassandra

    I love that a quick glance of the attached Murdoch photo to the article, with a very well positioned male in the background, leaves the viewer seeing devil’s horns on his head…a telling image really.

  3. ImagiNation

    … but, but Australia does have the best politicians money can buy.

  4. brightconcerns

    how come people miss the scariest issue of all if lnp get back in turnbull wont last long he wants to sip champagne and enjoy his millions the real scary part is once turnbull is out of the way then comes morrison and andrews (sorry people should have got you prepared for that scare take some aspirin) !! can you really imagine what condition this country will be be in if those pair are running the show ! either of them can have a spike driven through their heart and they cant feel it they operate without brain or heart! australians will be heading to nz instead of the other way around where do we go !! ouch ouch ouch scream scream

  5. Carol Taylor

    I remember after Abbott replaced Turnbull as leader that Abbott (having a somewhat warped sense of humour) decided to present Turnbull with the dud-est portfolio that he could think of – ripping up the NBN. To Abbott, the NBN was “a rip off” and “the greatest white elephant of all time”.

    Quote from the ABC September 14, 2010: Tony Abbott has ordered Malcolm Turnbull to “demolish” the Government’s National Broadband Network (NBN) as he today brought him back to the Coalition frontbench to head up its communications portfolio.

    And Turnbull cheerfully obliged. I remind myself if ever I think of Turnbull pro-Republic, Turnbull pro-gay marriage, that Turnbull was prepared to accept this for the sake of a frontbench possie for himself.

    So let’s not forget Turnbull’s manifesto: to “demolish” the NBN…he didn’t quite, but may as well for the use it’s going to be in a few years time – inadequate before it’s even finished.

  6. Clean livin

    Does it really make any difference if the NBN is FttP or FttN?

    The last few weeks have demonstrated that Australia biggest Telco does not have the capacity in shared infrastructure to handle FttN now,let alone FttP!

    If, last week, we had a 1000mb NBN, similar to Singapore, it’s top speed would have been around 2mb due to inadequate infrastructure not being able to handle the “free” downloads of the mobile network.

    As an example, my ADSL2+ Connection was downloading at 6% of its capacity.

    Until we get serious about NBN and innovation, the technology to deliver data to the premiseswill not matter.

  7. Wally

    If Labor win the next election will they be able to resurrect the original NBN and install fibre to the premises? Tonight I noticed new conduits and what appear to be cabinet bases installed on the road where I live. I have been waiting a long time for NBN but right now I want the work to stop hoping that we can get the real thing instead of a half baked bag of crap.

  8. Wally

    Clean livin

    “Does it really make any difference if the NBN is FttP or FttN?”

    If the entire network was installed as originally initiated by Labor there would be no bottle necks and if there were it would merely be a matter of increasing the capacity of the trunk lines because each home would already have a dedicated fibre line. With the LNP rollout from what we can determine the weakest (slowest) link is from the node to the home so to increase speed (assuming no bottlenecks) the feed in needs to be changed to fibre and all of the modems etc. replaced. Everything installed now will be wasted and at what cost?

    I find your comment “due to inadequate infrastructure not being able to handle the “free” downloads of the mobile network.” hard to understand because the original NBN roll out was supposed to have its own infrastructure so any issues with the existing Telstra and Optus infrastructure would be irrelevant.

    The other issue with Turnbull’s NBN is how many premises will be connected to each individual fibre? The NBN company do not tell us how many homes in a street will be connected to a common fibre line at the node, even this section of the infrastructure may need to be replaced to achieve the original objective. Some cable and wireless networks provide excellent speed when few simultaneous users are online but as soon as demand increases speeds slow dramatically.

  9. kerri

    I have been bleating long and hard on Facebook that everyone should drop their Foxtel subscriptions and never buy ANYTHING. Murdochian. Follow the links below for lists of Murdich’s (oops Freudian typo there) possessions! Never ever buy any of them and beseech you friends and familyto do likewise! If they argue remind them of the $800,000 Murdoch squeezed out of our taxation system for nothing!
    http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2015/06/11/what-rupert-murdoch-owns/71089066/
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_assets_owned_by_News_Corp
    http://www.zacks.com/stock/news/194013/what-rupert-murdochs-news-corp-and-21st-century-fox-really-own

  10. Clean livin

    Wally. I totally agree with your comments.

    The only reason we have an inferior NBN is political, brought on by Abbotts propensity to say No!

  11. townsvilleblog

    What would Waleed Ali know about justice, he didn’t see it until he arrived in Australia, we are still waiting for the NBN thankfully, as we may get the original version. I can’t believe the lack of uproar concerning the lack of contribution to our nation from the rich and the corporate sector some having paid zero tax since 2013, and the latest panama papers, surely Aussies must get angry at something?

  12. Michael Taylor

    You’re right. He didn’t see it until he arrived in Australia. He was born in Melbourne.

  13. paul walter

    townsville, you watch him on telly- does he not seem a person who tries to think out a constructive answer if asked a question? Not sure why you would dislike him, particularly when there are many, many less worthwhile and even deliberately destructive people on tel, say like Andrew Bolt?

  14. Salstarat

    There is ONE grub who is micro-managing this country and his name is RUPERT MURDOCH! This self serving, non-taxpaying megalomaniacal narcissist threw away his Australian citizenship years ago in order to attain media ownership in the USA. Murdoch cares NOTHING about Australia or Australians, his ONLY focus is on himself, the attainment of power for power’s sake and the relentless, remorseless pursuit of obscene wealth. Murdoch is a non-Australian yet has the staggering hubris and audacity to play LNP politicians like pawns on a chess board. It is a game to Murdoch … a game of Absolute Power which he relishes – the type of power that uses and abuses people for his own ends. The man is an unmitigated psychopath who has no conscience, no heart and not one iota of insight. What is worse, is that the gutless, spineless minions in the LNP have FAILED to do their job and put the interests of Australia and Australians FIRST .. instead, they have sold their black souls to a scheming, plotting devil (Murdoch) who will stoop to any level, even criminal, to get what he wants.

    Like his spineless, inarticulate little puppet, Abbott (and now the useless Turncoat), Murdoch is a despicable pathological LIAR who uses his disreputable, discredited media empire to spread vicious, vindictive LIES and character assassinating propaganda to push through the worst, most despised government in Australia’s history because Murdoch knows that the LNP would swim through sewers to protect him and his revolting empire. Vote the LNP OUT and never ever put them back in again …. The LNP/Murdoch/IPA Alliance are like peas and carrots … the most evil, morally bankrupt collaboration of self serving neoliberal, fascist sociopaths this country has ever seen! Could it get worse? You bet it can! If these bastards win the next election, God help us! Democracy, free speech, our national pride, our environment and our egalitarian society will become a distant memory.

  15. 2353

    Kieran Cummings certainly did see the writing on the wall. Pity the three years of the Abbott/Turnbull government neutered the system for all Australians for the next 20 years.

  16. John Kelly

    The NBN is, to me, the central issue in the upcoming election. Despite Labor’s superior economic credentials, selling that to the voters is a tough ask. Convincing them that they are getting what should have been a state of the art communications system, but which is now a second rate internet system, is easier to sell.

  17. dafid1

    John agree and in Jason Clare Labor have an ideal person to prosecute the NBN case. Its is a hot topic all over Social Media and in replies to articles whenever the 3rd world rubbish we are being expected to live with by this wrecking Govt, is discussed.
    It is a sure winner particularly with young tech savvy voters

  18. Kyran

    Talcum’s track record on supporting the benefactor (whether it be Murdoch or his IPA stooges) is probably his only success story, for all the wrong reasons.
    He started whilst in opposition when he managed to nobble Nick Ross, resulting in the removal of adverse comments about the NBN by the ABC/SBS prior to the 2013 election.
    In addition to the destruction of the NBN, he managed to impose a new standard for ministerial interference in the impartiality/independence of the ABC/SBS, evidenced by the removal of Scott McIntyre.
    And don’t forget the new media laws, which will also assist the benefactor.
    Much of Mr Cumming’s writing is echoed on a website, Delimiter, which also produces regular technical essays, none of which are favourable to the current NBN structure, detailing reasons (not rhetoric) as to its lack of any redeeming features.
    Rabid could only ever be considered a mindless foot soldier of the benefactor. Talcum has been an enthusiastic participant.
    I can only hope, as other posters have noted, that the majority of Australians do understand the importance of this infrastructure. Thank you Mr Taylor. Take care

  19. Sir ScotchMistery

    The male in the background is of course Count Kwistoffer Pyne. I am certain of that because he is close to Murdoch and has an erection coming up.

  20. David

    I note in answer to a question at his public meeting last night, Bill Shorten said he would not be ripping up all of the Turnbull/Abbott Govts changes to the NBN installation…wouldn’t elaborate. I am covering my ears!!!

    Meanwhile an hour or so ago Labor’s Shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen announced after the next election should Labor win, there will be a royal commission into banking and finance matters – the latter being into things like investmenting in countries like the Cayman Island tax haven.

    Dutton came on immediately after to say Its all lies, Labor will increase Taxes. What a brain dead gallah

  21. Brad

    It shits me to tears that the legacy left by the aging parasite will only benefit a handful of other parasites at the expense of an entire country – in more ways than just the NBN.
    Shitting me just as much is our lickspittle politicians that have enabled him to do it. Arghh!!!

  22. Wally

    I recall when colour TV was introduced Australia held off for the technology to develop and selected the much better PAL system. This worked well people only incurred 1 expense and the first TV’s can still operate today with a set top box fitted. With Internet we have waited and seen the technology develop then put a gorilla in the PM’s seat and selected inferior technology, many complain the new NBN is slower than what they had. That is progress they say and we will in time pay much more than it would have cost to do it right in the beginning.

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