Much Ado About Nothing

10 Apr 2013

The "New" National Broadband Network described by Mssrs Abbott and Turnbull amounts to a Big Zero. 


The Liberal path to the NBN

It seems that Mr Abbott has come to the realisation that, with so much work done on the National Broadband Network, rather than ditch it (like remove all the fibre that has been laid and renege on all the deals that have been done). He has accepted the inevitable that it would cost too much, not even counting the breach of contract compensation that would occur, and so he has resurrected his old plan, given it some spit and polish, had Mr Turnbull research some international costings, and presented this to us as a new plan.

Much ado about nothing really as nothing has really changed.

I watched Mr Turnbull on ABC Lateline last night (09/04) as he stumbled and flustered (yes, flustered) over figures he had extrapolated from England and America to calculate his costings. Although he admitted that these were estimates and “not real figures” he tried to bend his maths to make his old plan sound new.

It was embarrassing to watch this great rhetorician, who is quite accustomed to winning debates and legal arguments, squirming with what he was given to reveal in the interview. Trying desperately to justify the “fibre to the node” argument, which he admits will be 50-75% slower than fibre to the home, he left out as much deleterious material as he could manage.

The main problem with the Liberal plan is that leaving copper wire to connect from “the node” to the home, especially when that copper has been damaged or is in a high density area, will result in a much slower transmission of data so that broadband speeds will be the same as they presently are for many. The present wire means that those closest to the exchange have a faster speed than those further along the line. Copper wire has a finite speed due to its resistance. No amount of fibre will enhance the speed of the copper wire.

What this means in simple terms is that Mr Abbott’s plan will spend almost $30b, only $7b less than the Labor Govt, to provide those of us who cannot afford the huge amount of money, stated as being around $5000, depending on how far you live from the exchange, to have a National Broadband Network with no benefit at all!

Is this worth the effort? I think not.

But like Mr Abbott, I am not a “tech-head” and so if you find my argument too simplistic or founded upon faulty technical reasoning, please advise me.

Last modified on Thursday, 11 April 2013 02:47
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