It’s just incredible how over the last 20 years Australia has been controlled by the policies of The Coalition (Liberal + National Party) moreso than the Labor Party, and yet ordinary Australians fail to notice the complete shitfight those policies have turned the place into. If John Howard was such a revolutionary and forward thinking PM, why didn’t he give a flying fuck about the future of the nation’s telecommunications network when he was the boss? When the LNP didn’t have any policy on broadband to take to the 2007 Election, Kevin Rudd beat him with popularity and a much-publicised desire to improve Australia’s technology landscape. This catapulted the Labor Party into a position where, finally, there was a group of people actually willing to get their hands dirty and bring this country into the 21st century.
Ziggy Switkowski (as CEO of Telstra) first tried to get Howard to look into going halves with them to upgrade the national network infrastructure to fibre-to-the-node (FTTN) back before the 2001 election, when the Coalition didn’t care about broadband, and Howard laughed him out of the Lodge. Then, after Sol Trujillo took over at Telstra he tried to get the LNP to buy in on FTTN back in late 2005, and got the same, “Fuck off, we don’t care about the internet” response that Ziggy did. When Rudd took over, Sol submitted a tender to build Rudd and (Senator Stephen) Conroy’s NBN with his same FTTN plans, but because Conroy was steadfast on full fibre the deal was shot down once more. Soon after, David Thodey moved into the role of Telstra CEO and swore he’d never allow Telstra to be under the thumb of the Australian government ever again.
Thing is though, when Big Ears (Tony Abbott) took over as PM and wanted a cheaper NBN rolled out faster, Malcolm knew of Dave from his days at Ozemail while Thodey was a big wig with IBM Asia Pacific back in the late 90’s. That’s where the building blocks of the Multi-Technology Mix were first cast, due to IBM’s ties with Alcatel and their designs for digital subscriber line analog modulators that were being deployed across the world at the time, upgrading existing dial-up systems to the all-new Asymetric Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL) technology. Back in 1998, as CEO of OzEmail, Malcolm was trying to find ways to take command of the fledgling peer-to-peer ‘bulletin board’ system over dialup we had in this country, but got his ass well and truly smacked when he and his best mate Sean Howard (no relation to the former PM) tried to screw over a Tasmanian by the name of Peter Tattam. Sean and Turnbull got hold of Trumpet Winsock – the software libraries that were helping Windows PC’s connect to the all-new World Wide Web – manipulated the code a little bit to create a new type of point-of-presence server for ‘electronic mail’, called it ‘OzEmail’ and went on as if they created it. That’s why Malcolm calls himself The Father Of The Internet, even though five years after throwing his hat in the ring he sold his stake in that company for a, wait for it, 99.12% profit margin! Yep, even then Turnbull was scheming and scamming his way to the top, taking over little tech. companies along the way from his initial investment of $500,000 to a personal payout of over $57 million. And you think he cares about working class Australians that struggle from payday to payday on shithouse wages?
Here’s a few observations I’ve made about the current position this country is in with respect to the largest infrastructure project in our history:
- Paying $11.5 billion for 30 year old privately owned telecoms infrastructure before checking to see if it actually worked, is WASTE!
- Giving another privately owned company (Optus) $800 million for infrastructure that technology experts across the country have consistently identified as not fit for purpose, is WASTE!
- Contracting both of those companies you bought that infrastructure from, and paying them in excess of $80 million a year for at least the next four years to repair their shoddy networks, is WASTE!
- Spending the best part of $5 billion on reports, studies, inquiries and corporate-level salaries to your old business mates that you have under your thumb, is WASTE!
- Buying ten year old hardware to build a cheap-and-nasty telecoms network that leaves the entire nation ranked 60th in the world for broadband speeds, is WASTE!
It is an undeniable fact that both Tony Abbott and Malcolm Turnbull are DIRECTLY RESPONSIBLE for the farce that is The National Broadband Network Project in its present state! Go ahead and carry on about what Labor did before September 2013 with respect to the NBN, but there’s factual evidence which proves beyond any doubt whatsoever that, by installing an antiquated multi-technology mix instead of sticking to Labor’s FTTP plan, the current Coalition Government made the ridiculous mistake of completely ignoring highly respected experts in economics, telecommunications and information technology from all over the world. Thing is, should you be reading this over a full fibre to the premises connection that has been installed at any time in the last five years, you only have Labor to thank simply because the Abbott & Turnbull Show have done as much as possible since September 2013 to stop the FTTP rollout. If, unfortunately, you’re on a FTTN connection, or are still waiting for the NBN to reach you, level your hatred directly at the Liberal candidate for your electorate next time you’re at a polling booth.
Australia’s telecommunications network will never be amongst the best and fastest in the world while backstabbing assholes such as Turnbull, corporate failures from the telecoms world such as Switkowski and Bill Morrow, and technically illiterate fucktards like Andrew Penn and Mitch Fifield have anything to do with it. Also, the Federal Department of Communications needs to be a single-focus entity run by someone with IT and telecoms ‘street cred’, and not just a forgotten piece of a portfolio puzzle that includes the Arts and Senate Business. Here’s hoping that the upcoming election brings a change in party, policy and personnel, allowing for Australia’s telecommunications needs both now and in years to come to get the attention that it deserves!
With Thanks to Hairy…