What's wrong with the NBN

What's wrong with the NBN

Summary: Last week, Twisted Wire asked politicians, industry insiders, and commentators to highlight the good points of the NBN. This week, they're back with a more pessimistic outlook.


The National Broadband Network (NBN) has been responsible for a lot of debate, inside and outside of the industry. Do we need it? Is it too ambitious? Are we doing it the right way?

Last week on Twisted Wire, we asked five people to point out all the good things about the NBN. That was an easy job for Labor MP for Chifley Ed Husic, but slightly more challenging for Liberal MP for Bradfield Paul Fletcher.

The tables are turned this week, as Paul Fletcher can vent his many and varied objections. But Ed has some reservations, too. He spoke to Twisted Wire, aware that it might see him crossed off Senator Stephen Conroy's Christmas card list.

We also hear from CEO of the Internet Industry Association (IIA) Peter Lee, Paul Brooks from Layer 10 Advisory, and industry commentator Kevin Morgan.

The discussion ranges across technology, regulatory decisions, commercial impacts, and corporate behaviour. If the conversation seems a little too negative, listen back to last week's show for a more positive outlook.

Running time: 46 minutes, 16 seconds

Topics: NBN, Government AU, Australia


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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  • Please

    KM, seriously :/
    • Indeed

      Yes, Kevin "I'm the only expert who really knows what's going on!" Morgan.

      I'm sure he's clearing his schedule for late 2013 as he prepares to take on an advisory role to an incoming Minister Turnbull. Good luck to him.
  • And good luck too, to his CFO...

    Henry Ergas
  • the cost of the NBN rollout & lack

    of clarity regarding ongoing running expenses, however those concerns are offset because the 7 percent profit can be used to help bring the federal government budget to surplus. Maybe they could sell the NBN and use the proceeds to push the budget back to surplus?
    Blank Look
    • Stop worrying

      All is good for Rupert.
      Once the coalition is in power and gut the NBN ensuring it is all in Telstra's hands with token infrastructure competition and NO real product or service competition, as it will be the Telstra/Foxtel/Sky media and broadband products as the only products available, wholesaled at high prices of course for the token competition.
      After all News Ltd's print division is a money pit, their profits are from Pay TV and Movies.
      News Ltd will want their pound of flesh for services rendered.
      Exactly how could it possibly be otherwise. ?
      You will have achieved your goal
      Abel Adamski
      • thank you for the response but,

        my goal is to????
        Blank Look
  • Your goal was...

    ...to talk down the socialist, monopoly, white elephant (not my words) NBN and tell us all WTF would you know all you want is fast porn and download free stuff, leftists.

    Then the socialist, monopoly, white elephant NBN became available to you.

    And you signed up to the the socialist, monopoly white elephant NBN.

    You then came here, in true leftist style and told us how great the socialist, monopoly white elephant NBN is.

    So I guess your goal now is to man up, apologise and tell us you were wrong.

    Thank you and merry Xmas.
    • Oh really? Thanks for

      letting me know what I was thinking. Only one problem I do not have access to the gold plated NBN fibre, just stuck with horrible HFC, which delivers a terrible 15MBS on a good day.
      Blank Look
  • Oh that wasn't you then...?

    Sorry... you all sound the same ;)

    Thanks for admitting HFC isn't good enough though :)
    • It's funny RS, 15mbps is not enough, 100/40mbps is too much but apparently FttN and what ever it delivers is JUST RIGHT (let's just ignore that those 'just right' numbers align magically and perfectly with the limitations of the technology for now). I guess somebody forgot to tell them you can get other speeds besides 100/40bmps (but let's just ignore that for now too). No, the real issue is they don't want anyone having internet speeds faster than whatever they think they need or currently have (a common characteristic for those on HFC). It comes down to simple jealously, the thought of someone buying something 'more expensive' (remember it is "gold plated" after all lol) than what they can afford or are willing to spend must be overwhelming for them. I come across people like this all the time, coveting what I have. I honestly feel for these people however the BIG difference between the NBN and my possessions is they'll eventually be able to buy a 100/40mbps connection too.
      Hubert Cumberdale
  • Any sign of Twisted 2013?

    Last comment suggested uncertainty over the future... no sign yet.. Are coming back Phil?