Another rant about NBNCo and Australia’s broadband fiasco…

The Australian voting public seriously need to wake up to themselves and realise the Liberal National Coalition (LNP) has failed this country for the best part of 20 years! The Howard Administration is directly to blame for the monumental cock-up that is NBNCo., and now Abbott and Turnbull have continued along that same ridiculous line of thinking. Whilst the rest of the world was upgrading their telecommunications infrastructure by allowing a competitive marketplace, the Liberal Government essentially sat back and took the money from a single entity; one that grew to demand nothing more than monopoly control over the Australian telecoms landscape.

During the Howard Years, legislation was put in place which created a political and legal minefield for any company wishing to install its own new infrastructure and become a direct competitor to Telstra’s rapidly deteriorating copper network. Telco’s from around the world couldn’t be bothered with negotiating their way through the amount of red tape and political infighting necessary to get their cables in the ground. Unfortunately, that’s left this country with a junkyard full of wires and boxes that are far behind the rest of the world in terms of serviceability, efficiency and most importantly performance.

Just think, if only the man many consider to be the best Prime Minister Australia’s ever had got off his backside and let a competitor build a full 100% fibre-to-the-premises network alongside Telstra’s copper (just like Google Fiber did in the US and companies like them in other countries) we would now have a very similar level of ‘superfast broadband’ communications that our trading partners have, with these added bonuses:
(a) back then, it wouldn’t have cost anywhere near as much as it does today to build a full 100% FTTP network,
(b) due to the presence of someone to take away their customers, Telstra then would have upgraded their own network to fibre so as to remain in business, meaning operating and upgrade costs would now be lower,
(c) pricing to consumers in today’s money would also be lower than current costs of NBN services, and
(d) most importantly, we wouldn’t have to put up with Turnbull’s crappy multi-technology mix!

The corporate muppets running Australia’s communications landscape should be blasted off into the nether, where poor quality services have been the order of the day for far too long. We want Australia to have the fastest and best communications network in the world, with a much fairer pricing structure, but the last 25 years of stagnation by the Federal government and the price-gouging assholes at Telstra have proven they’re not to be trusted with such an important piece of kit as the NBN.

What I still don’t understand is why did NBNCo – a company originally formed to build a fibre network throughout the country – need to buy Telstra’s old copper network in the first instance? Common sense tells us that the existing copper should have been left to rot where it was, and all new fibre be installed alongside it by NBNCo. They should have used every cent at their disposal to install FTTP as a priority. IT experts from both across the country and the world have all agreed that FTTN is a poor substitute, so why has Turnbull continued to ignore those experts, and the Australian public, who are demanding FTTP be the only network installed?

Telstra are a privately owned company, and our responsibility to them as taxpayers should have ended once the Government sold off its remaining shares. We owe them nothing! Their place in the scheme of the NBN – as a privately owned telco – should only ever be as a provider of communications services on that publicly owned fibre grid, and nothing more. If they want their copper back, let them pay for its removal, instead of the taxpayer handing them a seven year multi-million dollar contract to replace the junk we’ve already paid $11 billion to own! Forking out that kind of cash, then a few million more spent on a parliamentary inquiry into why the money was spent, has wasted funds which are better spent on rolling out fibre to every home and business. The whole thing reeks of corruption and ‘jobs for the boys’!

Lastly, once the fibre is in, thereby making Telstra’s copper ‘old-hat’, NBNCo (read: Australian taxpayer) should in no way be fiscally responsible for that obsolescence. It’s exactly like owning a tiger moth and expecting Airbus to pay you ten times its value when they start building an A380…

With Thanks to Hairy…

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