, 62 tweets, 13 min read Read on Twitter
My first words on NBN: “NBN: Pricey, but it’s building for the long term” (8 Apr 2009) crikey.com.au/2009/04/08/nbn…’s-building-for-the-long-term/
Oops no. “A massive and much-needed catch-up” (7 Apr 2009) crikey.com.au/2009/04/07/a-m… Such a @crikey_news lede!
I also wrote some shit about contention ratio crikey.com.au/2009/04/08/nat… and he inane commentary crikey.com.au/2009/04/09/nbn…’s-got-an-opinion/
Back then, the idea of a national broadband network was framed by the paranoid as being part of the internet censorship “filter”!
Skipping ahead a bit, it’s fair to say that the original NBN plan fell way behind schedule, and way over cost, for a number of reasons.
Not least was that NBN is a civil works project. 71% of the original budget was blokes, trucks etc. Mining boom meant prices went up.
It took more than a year to get NBNCo and Telstra to reach an agreement. There’s one delay right there. crikey.com.au/2010/06/21/cla…
Later in 2010, “Turnbull’s NBN challenge: real analysis, real policies, not rhetoric” (15 Sep 2010) bit.ly/2l8ujIy
I’ll skip ahead here a bit. I can see that I wrote a few yarns about Turnbull’s FUD, as I then saw it, on making a profit and cost blowouts.
“Turnbull and the barking mad NBN debate: numbers needed” (19 Feb 2013) crikey.com.au/2013/02/19/tur…
And then in April 2013 we got the Turnbull Plan...
“Ninety billion maybes: 13 questions about Turnbull’s NBN” (8 Apr 2013) crikey.com.au/2013/04/08/nin…
“Broadband battlelines drawn: Turnbull’s plan for fast internet” (9 Apr 2013) crikey.com.au/2013/04/09/bro…
“Broadband battle: hard numbers, ideology and gut feel” (10 Apr 2013) crikey.com.au/2013/04/10/bro…
The TL;DR of these three yarns? That the devil is in the detail of the cost models, but those spreadsheets weren’t made public. Who knows?
I can see that I went through the arguments in some detail. NBN was failing, but how to fix it? Technology choices became partisan.
The Liberal Party has long since taken the broadband policy off their website, but here are the 2013 targets.
Anyway, @4corners is starting. It’s a montage of quotes, starting off with a customer complaining. Here we go with the live tweets.
Compulsory mention of big infrastructure project. Will Australia be a decade behind New Zealand? That”s where we begin.
Do we really need footage of a rugby match to tell us we’re in NZ? Get on with it.
We seem to be pissing away a lot of time in Dunedin on this NZ-beats-AU thing, We’re only now mentioning FTTP as the “gold standard”.
Dunedin explaining that gigabit broadband has attracted tech businesses. Now in studios of Rocketwerkz, a gaming company. It’s handy.
Rocketwerkz CEO says gigabit broadband is a recruitment advantage.
Now in a Sydney game dev office, so we’re getting the start of the complaints.
The internet comes to “this green box, called a node”. OK, kids, I think I may have time to fix some of the broken links I tweeted.
“NBN: Pricey, but it’s building for the long term” (8 Apr 2009) bit.ly/2gCojXh
“A massive and much-needed catch-up” (7 Apr 2009) bit.ly/2zw8Uvw
Yeah, @4corners is currently running through the history I’ve already sketched out, with sound bites. I’ll keep fixing my links.
Mike Quigley, former NBNCo CEO, just said Coalition’s “cheaper, faster, better” was “wrong on veery count”.
Now Minister Fifield is telling us that the NBN is a fibre network at its core. The “guts of this” is fibre.
Fifield has already posted the full transcript of his interview for @4corners. It’s the standard talking points. stilgherrian.com/wp-content/upl…
Now we’re off to Dubbo. Real estate agent says buyers ask if a home is FTTP or FTTN, just like they ask if it’s gas or electric water.
Just before, Fifield says NBN is “fit for purpose”, without saying what the purpose is.
It’s the “Tech Choice” program, apparently. And if some people already get that for free, well, they’re lucky.
“That’s just how it works,” says NBN CEO Bill Morrow. It is what it is what it is.
Paul Budde! DRINK!
OK, they just hinted at contention ratios and the CVC, but this is going to be difficult to explain. @NewtonMark @simonhackett can you help?
The core issue here is economic. It’s about the way retail service providers (RSPs) pay NBN. Impossible to explain in a tweet.
So there is a point there. Everything else being equal, FTTN is a quicker rollout that FTTP, but that assumes the copper bit is good.
What needs to be mentioned is that Telstra let the copper fall apart ’cos they knew that some day it’d be replaced.
Instead, NBN “bought” it sight unseen. Since some of it dates back to the 1920s and has been eaten by rats, well, it’s not too flash.
Yep. Fair summary.
Meanwhile, @4corners has been out with an HFC customer, and now a contractor, pointing out how shit the rollout is.
Contractors are paid per connection completed, so as you can imagine there’s o incentive to do it properly. Who knew!
Contractor shows a photo that went viral amongst his peers: a pair of optical fibres “connected” with connectors for copper.
Indeed. So Bill, who’s the boss in charge of all this? Oh yeah. You are. This is most disappointing.
Morrow just made the key point, though: They’re building the network that the government asked them to build.
OK, so some initial reflections. @joshgnosis is right. This was a reasonably good summary for those just joining us. But ...
One key point is that under both Labor and Coalition schemes, technology choices became partisan. Government should never have been here.
As always, @rohan_p is on top of the real issues.
And yeah, I’m going with @bengrubb’s summary here.
What happens from here, presumably, is a bunch of media grumbling, and soundbites stored up for the next federal election.
It’ll get the politically-engaged folks talking, comparing stories, and solidify the national narrative about what happened with NBN.
I love you, @dobes.
HERE BEGINS MY OFFICIAL ALLEGED LIVE TWEETING OF TONIGHT’S @4corners ON THE NBN. I may choose to reply to questions, or not.
Many thanks to my alcohol patrons. I shall thank you properly in tomorrow’s podcast and by email. #moregin
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