Alan Jones’ NBN confusion

Alan Jones’ NBN confusion

Summary: When he’s not insulting the Prime Minister, shock-jock Alan Jones is busy ensuring that his listeners avoid the intricacies of the debate on publicly funded broadband.

TOPICS: NBN, Networking, Telcos

The Australian media has been in overdrive this week, reporting on the fallout of Alan Jones' comments at a Young Liberals dinner at the University of Sydney late last month. Saying the Prime Ministers' dad had died of shame for the lies his daughter told, is not only tasteless, but also a little rich from a man who only ever tells one side of the story.

In this week's Twisted Wire podcast, we look at how Jones has approached the government's broadband policy over the years.

There are some fundamental questions about the Labor approach — how far should we roll out fibre? Should the cost of regional broadband be assisted by straight government subsidy, or by cross subsidisation from other users? Should the NBN focus purely on regional Australia, and leave market forces to operate in contestable areas?

These are all questions the federal opposition is asking, but strangely, their shock-jock stooge seems to be clouding the debate with throw away remarks about the cost of the exercise — do we need faster broadband, how wireless will do a better job, and how the Germans can offer broadband speeds up to 26 million megabits per second.

The greater travesty is not that Alan Jones made a clumsy remark at a Liberal orgy of self-aggrandisement, it's that, day after day, he only ever tells one side of the story.

Running time: 24 minutes and 22 seconds.

Topics: NBN, Networking, Telcos


Phil Dobbie has a wealth of radio and business experience. He started his career in commercial radio in the UK and, since coming to Australia in 1991, has held senior marketing and management roles with Telstra, OzEmail, the British Tourist Authority and other telecommunications, media, travel and advertising businesses.

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  • Who cares what Alan Jones says!

    What Alan Jones has to say about technology in general holds little interest for me. His stupid comments regarding Julia Gillard’s father should also be condemned. However the “over the top” reaction from the press and labor party has been just as ridiculous. Such self-righteous indignation from those who probably say worst things about people is more a comment on Australian politics and the press. I assume Alan Jones pushes the Liberal Party position strongly; others push the labor party position just as strongly. I think that is what happens in a democracy.
    From an NBN stand point, please remember the genesis of this FTTP program. It was not a fully thought out, debated, industry consulted, consensuses decision; we all know how and why NBN Co was formed.
    However here we are with this roll out (good or bad). My view has changed over time; I resisted strongly the idea of a monopoly provider (NBN Co) my view now is the notion of rolling out the infrastructure into regional areas before the 3 main Australian cities. From a financial aspect that makes no sense at all, and must increase the final cost of the NBN because NBN Co is delaying receipt of large scale revenue from the main bulk of potential customers.
    Blank Look
    • You miss the point

      It is an attempt to paint all those against the NBN, and by extension this govt, as biased.

      His comments re Gillard father where offensive, but have no place in discussing the NBN.

      Personally I have no idea of Jone's views on the NBN, but it would be better to discuss the issues rather than this continuous stream of informal fallacy.

      How quickly many are using these techniques in both government and the media reporting on them.

      I'd thought questions about the cost is central to the discussion.
      Richard Flude
      • Actually, I think you are missing the point

        If you listen to Jones, in places where the facts don't line up with his views (this is most of the time), he makes up new facts to fit them.

        I can think of no justification for such a series of bald-faced untruths...he is helping to really dumb down his listening audience (who obviously don't know any better).
      • hmmm

        "I'd thought questions about the cost is central to the discussion."

        I thought the cost thing had been settled for a while now?

        $37b seems reasonable to me, considering it's replacing a national network of copper which was started back in 1880. Seems even more reasonable when we (the aussie battler tax payers) will get both a shiny new modern communications network and $39b back.
      • Which is more objectionable?

        Alan Jones
        Suggest the PM be tied in a chaff bag and thrown in the sea.
        Siaid the PM's father died of embarassment

        Marieke Hardy
        Called Abbot a "c--t" and sugested that rather nasty things be done to him

        Catherine Deveny
        This "classy lady" saids that she hoped that an 11yo Bindi Irwin would "get laid".
        Statd that she hoped journalist Farr got "arse cancer".

        Bowen's wife (?)
        The wife of a senior Minister said the she hoped the Hones' cancer reeturned.

        Lied - There will be no carbon tax under the government that I lead

        Lied, calling Liberal statements that Labor would introduce a carbon tax as "Liberal hysteria".

        So, morally which is more objectionable? ALL of them!

        I don't like Jones and I feel sorry for those who listen to him and find him educational and entertaining. What I find objectionable is that of the people listed above, only one has been held to account for thier wordds and actions - and this is Jones. Why? Because he is of the Right and all of the othes are of the Left. The Left has a very nasty way of dealing with dissent!

        Hardy continued to appear on the Book club show on the ABC. Deveny continues to appar on Q&A. Why were there no calls for either of them to be banned? Becausew they are female and of the Left!

        There are merely a few examples of the Left domination of debate and discourse over the past few years. A more dangerous example is the Labor/Greens enquiry inot the media. This arose during the period of attacks by many journalists on the Labor Govt as a result of potential Rudd challenges to Gillard. Day after day, Labor claimed that what journalists claimed about Rudd was a lie and fabrication. However, when Rudd did challenge, Labor MPs described a situation far worse than any journalist could evcery have imagined. In other words, all along, journalists has been telling the truth, but a truth that was no where near as bad as the reality. Nonetheless, Labor still uses this as an excuse for their enquiry into the media.

        Before the 2010 election, GetUp! had a "Promisewatch" website. It desappeared when Gillard called an election with GetUp! lying that it was being "updated". After the election it was announced that GetUp! received $100,000 from Labor and a seat on the Board. In any other circumstance, that bribe would be a criminal offence.

        Politics in Australia, at the moment, is at a very low point, across all Parties but there is a particular sickness in the Left to any who challenges their "thinking" - and I use that term rather loosely as Left wing thinking has become something of an oxymoron.

        Jones deserves to be dealt with for what he said, but how come no-one from the Left deserves the same?
        • BUT????

          Not really convincing, Jones deserves to be dealt with..."but"?

          This isn't about using the left/right, us/them as an excuse... it's about decency in society.

          And if those other's said those things, regardless of the political tags you hang off them, then they also deserve the consequences. But they aren't alone either...

          For example, I saw on Facebook just the other day a picture of Gillard with the caption "cant" (then a reference that the second letter was misspelled)! Everyday people on all sides of politics do this.

          But I think why "this particular instance with AJ has taken off" and what sets AJ's distasteful comment apart from all others, is...

          Of course the content.
          Jones is a former high profile Liberal party candidate/Liberal party member.
          He was speaking at a young Liberal's meeting.
          Speaking as a successful, high profile Liberal elder, to be looked up to.
          His distasteful comments were aimed at the Prime Minister (from the opposing party) of Australia.

          As such it was seen as not only distasteful (such as Abbott or Gillard being called "C") but politically motivated/opportunistic...and it backfired.

          As for Politicians lying, you don't think they all do it? Gillard, Swan, Newman, Abbott... I'd say they all do.

          BTW when TA said sh** happens, I believe he was not in anyway meaning it disrespectfully and is innocent of wrongdoing. I think we all would, being on the coal face with the troops as he was, say sh**, just as TA did.

          So really trying to make a veiled attempt at suggesting AJ deserves it "but" (what about xyz)... really doesn't cut the mustard, imo.

          And with due respect, feel free to tell me to change the medication again or mention some strange stopping of time, if you yet again, are unable to rationally respond.

          Thank you.
          • Recently, I made the mistake

            of playing in your troll world and feeding you troll snacks. That is not a mistake that I will repeat; not now or in the future.

            Your comment does not reasonably represent what I said nor intended. It is purposefully antagonistic and purposefully deceitful.

            If you want to be an irrational troll, then you will be treated like one.
          • No answer scream troll, pat self on back...

            But, but, but...
          • "purposefully deceitful"

            Pot, kettle, black.

            Bowens wife tweeted that jones is 70 and the average life span of an aussie male is 79. She made no reference to cancer.

            The Tony Abbot saying that Whyalla would be "wiped off the map" because of the CT isn't hysteria?

            It's a real shame (and I'm not pointing the finger at you specifically here, you're obviously just repeating stuff you've heard elsewhere) that any discussion about anything in Australia becomes politicised. As soon as politics come in to it, "facts", and consequently "the truth", are the first casualties.
          • Sorry Tinman but,

            that person "retweeted" a comment and that tweet was a little more obnoxious.

            As an aside, the last time someone (Mr Swan) made a comment similar to "the coalition making hysterical claims" it actually came to be!
            Blank Look
          • Every report that I heard and read

            in the news and on tv and radio referred to Bowen's wife saying that she hoped Jones' cancer returned. If all of those reports are incorrect, then I would certainly welcome any reference or other information you have to it being incorrect.

            Because I correctly reported what I heard and read, that is hardly "pot, kettle, black" by me.

            I agree with you entirely about the politicisation of so much of the debate in Australia over the past few years. Every time one Party says something, the other Party feigns horror and outrage. We really are at a low point in politics across all Parties (and Independents). :-(
          • Google doesn't know about it

            The SMH and The Australian reports make no mention of it beyond AJ's comment:

            "The vile attacks on me, which no one has distanced themselves from, that they hope the cancer comes back, they hope he dies, one of these was made last week by the wife of a federal government minister," he said on his program on Sydney's 2GB radio.

            If Bowens wife had said it, trust me, The Australian would have been on it like a car bonnet...
      • Hmmm

        I actually agree with you Richard...!

        AJ's absolutely unbelievable comment (let's forget who his target was, does or what we think of her and see that comment hurled at us and how we would like it) isn't the catalyst for NBN point scoring.

        The NBN has many, many attributes and being so, such tactics are unneeded and best left to those who need and always use such tactics... the anti-NBN rabble!

        Ooh BTW - still "genuinely" looking forward to you supplying your comms accomplishments, you've be telling me about, just so that I know I am actually dealing with someone credible (it's easy to exaggerate on the interwebs - I'm sure you understand and will accomodate). As I requested, here -

        Cheers :-)

        But you don't know AJ's stance...? Curious for someone as outspoken as yourself Richard and squarely "in the business", not to have known of the Panel of Experts and now AJ's stance (including the "infamous Dr Evil quote")...hmmm?

        Now that you do know, what do you think about AJ's stance, Richard?

        Imo, the only informal fallacy in the NBN debate is coming from those with eyes shut, fingers in ears, refusing to even consider the positive expert NBN analysis to be "possible". Those screaming NBN is no good or too dear at every opportunity and using unfounded lies to do so, simply because they have nothing else.

        Those who hypocritically cling to the obsolete copper network, but would have back when (like the NBN) been the first to criticise the PSTN as a waste/too dear/we don't need it :/

        Why would anyone do that?

        Well it appears obvious... because it doesn't suit their deep seeded/bigoted ideologies and/or wallets....

        Ironically, those just like AJ ;)
        • Comparison between building the copper CAN and NBN are

          a little misleading. The former was built over many years (in the cities first) to provide voice communications, the latter had its genesis as the result of a failed tender process and a dominant telco who thought they could bully the government.
          Blank Look
      • Cost or sensible financial strategy

        Was the key point I was attempting to make. Plainly absurd to roll out this infrastructure into the places with the least number of potential customers. However with Tasmania close to being the first fully "fibred" state, we should expect the economy of that state to experience expected growth, money flowing in the streets as the fast broadband delivers the promised rewards?
        Blank Look
        • According to Peter Reith, Julian Leeser and the Libs... YES

          Snippets from the review of the 2010 Election by the Liberal Party...

          “This Review was commissioned in the context of the Liberal Party’s worst federal electoral result in Tasmania in forty years. The swing away from the Party of 4.62% was the largest suffered in any State and the ensuing two Party preferred result of 61:39 reflects a want of confidence in the Party...

          “Policy on the National Broadband Network had a particular effect in Tasmania for a range of reasons. In several towns Tasmanians could see the NBN being rolled out. Tasmania is often behind the mainland in receiving new technology so being at the forefront of the NBN was seen as a boost to Tasmania. The NBN provided jobs for Tasmanian contractors and it brought people to Tasmania from the mainland having flow on effects for Tasmania’s tourism, hospitality and service industries.”

          "The Tasmanian State Director told me that, based on Liberal polling, we were 50/50 in Bass on a 2PP basis, 10 days out from the election. Then the NBN issue really got going. The post election polling confirmed that the NBN was a major reinforcement for people to vote Labor in Bass. If we had negated NBN and offered, in a timely way, a decent Tasmanian package, Bass might have been a win instead of a loss."


          So be frivolous if you must, but even those who oppose the NBN admit the "reality of NBN rewards" for Tasmanians and also admit their "own perils of not accepting such a reality".

          Just to recap in case you missed it (according to the Liberal Party) -

          "The NBN provided jobs for Tasmanian contractors and it brought people to Tasmania from the mainland having flow on effects for Tasmania’s tourism, hospitality and service industries.”
          • Ok, it must be true and

            I guess we will wait and watch.
            Blank Look
  • Alan Jones is an idiot

    The man is only a shock jock, he is definitely no expert in technology especially since the demographic that support him. I know, I used to work for 2GB. Alan's idea of state of the art technology would be sending out smoke signals (which was the same category John Howard is). These Luddites and technophobes do not represent the future of Australia but rather rabid creatures who should be made extinct.

    Australians have watched how technology infrastructure have propelled countries into hubs of innovation (US, Korea, Japan etc). And we keep watching just calling ourselfs "the smart country". It is NOT smart not to have a national infrastructure. This is why our second airport debate has been going on for decades while business relocate to other countries.

    So yes, who cares what Alan Jones says anyway!
    Azizi Khan
    • What technology infrastructure specifically propelled those countries?

      Are you claiming the NBNCo will push Australia past them?

      John Howard is for reverting to smoke signals?

      What businesses are relocating because Sydney doesn't have a second airport?

      "These Luddites and technophobes do not represent the future of Australia but rather rabid creatures who should be made extinct."

      Ah the Left defined; a ridiculous number of unsupported assertions enng with a call to kill off dissenting opinion. Good work.
      Richard Flude
      • Under John

        there were 25 inquiries done in telecoms. In the time he was in power (96-07), he didn't act on one of them...