Why Albo won’t win the NBN election debate

Why Albo won’t win the NBN election debate

Summary: Election success depends not only on engaging voters, but on keeping them that way. Unless Anthony Albanese can transform the NBN election debate into something that resonates with voters – the general distrust of Telstra, for example – he risks losing their attention and handing advantage to Malcolm Turnbull.

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One of my earliest childhood memories is from 1977, when – sitting in the local theatre to watch this exciting new movie called Star Wars – the intense trash compactor scene was rudely interrupted when the film literally broke, the screen was washed out in white, and the house lights came up.

The audience, despite being none the happier, stuck around – and, ten minutes later, the movie picked up more or less where it had left off. And, of course, it was worth it.

People will put up with a lot when they’re engaged and interested – but I suspect the politically dermacated and tedious deja-vu nature of the NBN debate is starting to test the patience of many voters. Just as in that theatre of my youth, the pace of the rollout has been repeatedly interrupted – by asbestos dramas, contractor complaints, Syntheo disaster, barely-hit targets, the departure of Stephen Conroy and Mike Quigley, and the ever-present Opposition bleating, just to name a few.

Albo-Wan-Kenobi
Albo-Wan Kenobi will need more than the Force to win voters in this pre-election NBN debate. Screen capture: David Braue

In the wake of his solid-but-uninspiring performance against Malcolm Turnbull last week, I wonder whether Anthony Albanese will be able to sustain voters’ interest as we careen towards September 7.

To do so, he’ll need to rework his NBN rhetoric to make the project sound interesting, engaging, and edge-of-the-seat riveting enough to convince voters to let him play it out to his intended end. He’ll also have to get better at countering Turnbull’s arguments that a Coalition NBN will do everything from saving us money to solving global warming and giving us fresher breath.

Albanese’s 100Mbps-1000Mbps confusion at the start of the discussion was a careless mistake that did little to strengthen his presence, and his failure to call out Turnbull on his $20,000 contention untruth was a significant missed opportunity.

Most surprising was the deputy PM’s utter failure to bring partisan politics into what became a mostly bland, overtechnical debate about minutiae that nobody in the real world cares about or even understands. Instead, he got caught up in a speeds-and-feeds battle in which both he and Turnbull flung around technical terms like “6 megs”, “CVC”, “one-gig”, and even “node” as though most viewers would intrinsically understand the lingo.

I hate to have to point this out, but the average punter has absolutely no idea what most of this means. Turnbull and Albanese were elected to represent the interests of their constituents, but moderator Emma Alberici was the one best representing the people when she intervened to stop the debate from getting too technical.

The successful party will be the one that gets voters to look past technology and capture their imaginations....If he wants to win the NBN debate, Albanese needs to stop parroting Labor’s well-worn NBN messaging and steer the discussion into the political arena where Turnbull would rightly be on the defensive.

Sure, the NBN debate is inherently technical, but the successful party will be the one that gets voters to look past technology and capture their imaginations. Otherwise, voters will tune out – and those that might have turned their backs on the Coalition’s earlier plans may not now see enough in it anymore to affect their vote.

If he wants to win the NBN debate, Albanese needs to stop parroting Labor’s well-worn NBN messaging and steer the discussion into the political arena where Turnbull would rightly be on the defensive.

Albanese should, for example, press Turnbull about the bald hypocrisy of the Coalition continuing to refuse its have its NBN plan costed despite doing so for nearly all of its other policies. Such costing is necessary to support the Coalition’s continued claims of superior financial credentials – but it instead supports Tony Abbott’s contention (AFR subscription required) that the focus of the election runup should be on policy rather than costings.

Given that most of the Coalition’s argument against Labor’s NBN has been on financial grounds, that sort of claim should ring hollow with anybody that has an interest in the NBN. Given that we were having the same discussion about a costing-phobic Coalition two years ago, Albanese should publicly speculate about why the Coalition STILL hasn’t managed to conduct said costings – and what that means for the type of ministry Turnbull would run if the Coalition is elected.

Turnbull's repeated answer – that further analysis is not necessary because the Coalition’s “careful analysis” (constructed from the start to discredit Labor with its $94b furphy) is more than detailed enough – should ring hollow with voters. Lacking corroboration by a legitimate analysis and costing, it is an insult to voters to whom Turnbull, like Abbott, is essentially expecting to be elected on a platform of “trust me”.

Without some modicum of independent validation, the Australian public can put no more weight into the Coalition’s NBN policy than it can put into Turnbull’s hypothetical-upon-hypothetical $94 billion claim. But the public do love a good sound bite, especially around election time – and the battle-hardened Turnbull knows this all too well.

Such points would make for delicious argy-bargy should Albanese seize upon them – although his “Coco Pops packet” comment did seem to annoy Turnbull – yet he continues to be drawn on technical details and the same old round-the-twist arguments that Turnbull has used for years to keep the opposition position alive.

Without some modicum of independent validation, the Australian public can put no more weight into the Coalition’s NBN policy than it can put into Turnbull’s hypothetical-upon-hypothetical $94 billion claim. But the public do love a good sound bite, especially around election time – and the battle-hardened Turnbull knows this all too well.

Most voters probably despise Telstra, even if they don’t know exactly why. Albanese should tap into this to talk about why Telstra needed to be contained and controlled – and why Labor's NBN offers a better chance of doing so.

He should construct and paint a narrative about the real reasons Labor has undertaken the NBN the way it did – the ones relating to Telstra’s decade of market abuse after it took advantage of the abject failure of John Howard’s profit-minded Coalition government to make Telstra do anything at all, about anything.

This failure not only held back real competition in broadband and pay TV as the company excluded competitors from exchanges, breaching competition rules, cancelling competitors’ wholesale orders, and so on.

Albanese should point out that the Coalition went to the 2010 election arguing against the separation of Telstra, and only relented when it was clear voters would brook its market abuses no longer.

He should make political ammunition out of Turnbull’s comments that he would have had Telstra build the NBN and refute Turnbull’s claims, in a Fairfax-hosted Google Hangout this week, that Telstra has been “completely excluded from construction” on the NBN “largely for political reasons”. Given that Telstra has actually built part of the NBN and remains involved in nearly every aspect of its design, I think many would dispute that statement.

What Turnbull is kicking back against, perhaps, is the fact that his beloved Telstra – and I say “beloved” because the viability of the Coalition’s NBN plan relies entirely on Telstra’s largesse – has not been simply handed the keys to the NBN but has been, correctly, treated as one of many market players.

This is a good thing: the entire industry wants Telstra kept on a short leash, and in the few weeks remaining before the election Anthony Albanese needs to explain to Australia why this is necessary – and why Turnbull’s love affair with Telstra would be hazardous to the cause of competition.

Most voters probably despise Telstra, even if they don’t know exactly why. Albanese should tap into this to talk about why Telstra needed to be contained and controlled – and why Labor's NBN offers a better chance of doing so.

Why the NBN will fix that situation by constructing a communications infrastructure that Telstra cannot control.

How the NBN isn’t about fibre or 100Mbps versus 1Gbps, but about ensuring every Australian has access to a competitive communications market.

How the whole reason Labor’s NBN is necessary, is because John Howard’s Coalition government fumbled the privatisation of Telstra and ignored the cause of telecoms competition in favour of maximising the revenues from its privatisation.

Why this has held back broadband development in Australia and left us falling increasingly behind the global curve when it comes to access to online services.

Why our exploding data consumption is already straining the seams of our existing broadband infrastructure.

Why relying on Telstra’s network is an intrinsically anti-consumer policy.

Last election, Tony Smith’s ineptitude and Tony Abbott’s apathy put the Coalition all out to sea when it came to broadband. This time around – under Turnbull’s capable hand, and at arm’s length from Abbott, the Coalition’s policy is close enough to Labor’s that most voters have probably already tuned out.

If Anthony Albanese is going to take ownership of this debate and prevent patrons from walking out of the theatre, he’s going to need to repaint it in terms that voters can relate to – and do it fast. Otherwise, he runs the risk of following in the footsteps of Obi-Wan Kenobi, simply shutting off his light sabre and waiting for the coup de grace.

What do you think? Are Albanese and Turnbull holding the attention of the electorate? Or is the NBN sliding towards becoming a bland non-issue in this election campaign?

Topics: NBN, Leadership, IT Policies, Australia, Broadband, Telstra, Telcos, Government AU, Fiber, Next Generation Networks

About

Australia’s first-world economy relies on first-rate IT and telecommunications innovation. David Braue, an award-winning IT journalist and former Macworld editor, covers its challenges, successes and lessons learned as it uses ICT to assert its leadership in the developing Asia-Pacific region – and strengthen its reputation on the world stage.

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  • Political insights; my two bits

    Albo's problem is he doesn't understand his portfolio. He was parachuted in because Conroy couldn't work with Rudd.

    Attacking Telstra will be counter productive. The company enjoys (unbelievably) strong consumer recognition and respect, particularly in regional areas. Ditto attacking the coalition policy by bringing up the Howard govt.

    As far as costings MT just has to point to the failed NBNCo corp plans, mocking their rollout, costs and revenue predictions. These aren't "barely-hit targets" David, they've missed by death star proportions.

    Pushing financials plays into the oppositions hands politically; Labor's record speaks itself as does their polling on who has the better financial image with voters.

    Labor should be selling the NBN dream; it's all they have. With a dream you can dismiss any criticism, a large part of the electorate will believe it (though I suspect not enough; the majority grow up).
    Richard Flude
    • Telstra a major problem

      I don't agree with your assertions about Telstra, especially about their respect by the Australian people. From my experiences in dealing with Telstra and from talking to others who have dealt with Telstra, their brand is almost as unanimously hated as much as solicitors and politicians.

      The only reason Telstra is enjoying an increase in profits and customer base is as a direct result of market competition and the demise of Vodafone. Speak with any Telstra customer and they will admit that Telstra has the coverage, but they would rather be using another provider, simply based on Telstra's arrogant and abusive behavior.

      How does this all affect Albo and the NBN? Albo needs to attack any possibility of Telstra remaining a major player in the fixed line market. To allow Telstra any sort of control or foot in the door is bad for competition and bad for consumers. The only ones that see Telstra playing any sort of part in the NBN are Telstra shareholders and the Coalition. Everyone else recognizes that Telstra needs to be exiled from any type of fixed line assets in order to increase true competition in this country.

      The NBN as envisaged by Labor is truly the better policy for the future. It separates Telstra from any sort of market control and it opens the system up to new players that would have had no chance of competing against such an aggressive company.

      Telstra have been attempting to build public confidence, but it truly is a farce as it is engrained in their core business model to force out every competitor in order to eventually control the market and assert its dominance.

      Albo needs to seize on the Coalition's reliance on Telstra and its willingness to allow Telstra to remain vertically integrated.

      In the grand scheme of things Telstra should in fact be sidelined to simply being a market leader in the mobile market. Though mobile technology is on the increase, under Labor's NBN there is the ever increasing possibility of a truly ubiquitous network with a rise in free wi-fi, which will directly compete with mobile network operators business.

      As we all know, wi-fi speeds are continuing to get faster and will tap into the 1Gbps speeds offered under the NBN. So that begs the question, why would you pay for mobile broadband speeds which are somewhat unreliable when you can get free wi-fi access and achieve the same result?

      So I see no negative aspect in Albo and the Government attacking the Coalition and Telstra on their very shady policy and lack of detail.
      Mat Singo
  • Political insights; my two bits

    Albo's problem is he doesn't understand his portfolio. He was parachuted in because Conroy couldn't work with Rudd.

    Attacking Telstra will be counter productive. The company enjoys (unbelievably) strong consumer recognition and respect, particularly in regional areas. Ditto attacking the coalition policy by bringing up the Howard govt.

    As far as costings MT just has to point to the failed NBNCo corp plans, mocking their rollout, costs and revenue predictions. These aren't "barely-hit targets" David, they've missed by death star proportions.

    Pushing financials plays into the oppositions hands politically; Labor's record speaks itself as does their polling on who has the better financial image with voters.

    Labor should be selling the NBN dream; it's all they have. With a dream you can dismiss any criticism, a large part of the electorate will believe it (though I suspect not enough; the majority grow up).
    Richard Flude
    • Apologise for the triple post

      NT
      Richard Flude
  • Political insights; my two bits

    Albo's problem is he doesn't understand his portfolio. He was parachuted in because Conroy couldn't work with Rudd.

    Attacking Telstra will be counter productive. The company enjoys (unbelievably) strong consumer recognition and respect, particularly in regional areas. Ditto attacking the coalition policy by bringing up the Howard govt.

    As far as costings MT just has to point to the failed NBNCo corp plans, mocking their rollout, costs and revenue predictions. These aren't "barely-hit targets" David, they've missed by death star proportions.

    Pushing financials plays into the oppositions hands politically; Labor's record speaks itself as does their polling on who has the better financial image with voters.

    Labor should be selling the NBN dream; it's all they have. With a dream you can dismiss any criticism, a large part of the electorate will believe it (though I suspect not enough; the majority grow up).
    Richard Flude
    • Yesses and nos

      "Albo's problem is he doesn't understand his portfolio"

      True - you are right. Albanese is in my opinion not the guy for the job.

      "Attacking Telstra will be counter productive"

      False. All points argued by David are 100% correct. They have neglected the building of infrastructure for future profits and always live in the "here and now" and maximizing profits for the short term. I deal with about 120 small businesses and none enjoy being forced to work with Telstra, their over-inflated prices and shocking support. Was a victim of that just this week being told I would be called back within 36 minutes (I wasn't) then when I was called being handballed between 3 different departments in the space of a 50 minute phone call, after which I was finally told it was a temporary outage only affecting WA and customers with a Telstra Ultimate Gateway. The service came back on while I was talking to them. After scratching my head for hours, while the customer was waiting. Not to mention the HUGE inability to have ANY ADSL in this area, and the huge black spots with 3G coverage (having to use Yagi antennas). This is in an area 20 minutes south of Perth, richly populated. Ridiculous. Telstra are a joke and I would suggest attacking them could be the best thing for Labor.

      "These aren't "barely-hit targets" David, they've missed by death star proportions."

      Yes, they've missed targets. Death Star? You get an "A" for drama there Richard. After 16 years of living where I do I still don't have usable 3G coverage from Telstra, and only ADSL1 speeds. They're not the answer. MT's NBN is UNCOSTED as of this moment. Who is to say the alternative will truly be cheaper and stick to it's $29b budget? MT is making VERY large assumptions of current copper conditions without knowing anything about how bad things really are. If he actually went out into the field and inspected things he would find out very quickly just how appalling the current infrastructure is. Even he would have to admit maybe his copper/VDSL idea is a bad one if he really knew. I can almost guarantee his alternative would take as long if not longer to build, as a lot of copper would have to be replaced to get anywhere near his 25Mbps vision. Not mentioning the nearly $1b yearly copper maintenance costs currently which will go up, plus the electricity his boxes will require. Show me a lib NBN and I'll show you Death Star proportions of failure Richard. Why do you always seem to think the grass is so much greener on MT's side? Or would you rather have no NBN at all and let Foxtel, Telstra to name a few maintain their monopolies. In the end the consumers lose. Thaqt means you AND me buddy.

      As for selling the NBN dream, I actually agree, it's the only trump card they have. But you certainly, and unfortunately a lot of other people have NO idea the importance of that card for Australia.

      Should they win an election on NBN even IF everyone agreed with it? Probably not, their failure is pretty obvious on all other facets of government, but I fear the alternative load of bollocks from the libs is going to stifle our progression severely.
      Ramrunner-5dd3e
      • Investment and service not up to scratch

        however Telstra constantly recognised as Australia's most powerful brand, it's market dominance across the board huge, and a stock owned by many (all with super?).

        As for being forced to work with them, many people are happy they have at least one provider.

        I'm not defending Telstra, often many better alternatives, just the risk of a strategy of attacking them.

        MT's plan is not uncosted. A very detailed plan have been produced (far more than any other taken to an election), but its not been independently verified (for what's that worth; see NBNCo corp plans). However FTTN projects are many internationally, all have demonstrated the feasibility and cost savings.

        I'm critical of the NBN today for the same reason from the beginning; it's a massive amount of taxpayers money, poorly thought out and likely to be far more expensive than acknowledged. And so it has come to pass, NBNCo's performance is by any measure disasterous.

        The coalition plan is workable, reuse of existing infrastructure a good idea, incremental improvements shown to be less expensive and faster to deploy. I too are concerned by their aggressive timetable and potential for cost blowouts; but both less likely under this plan than FTTH.

        6 years ago Labor talked up their $4.6b (not a cent more) NBN. Today few can get anything, 10s billion spent, almost daily stuff up stories.
        Richard Flude
  • Advice to Albo

    Just let people know that under the Coalition, they'll be getting a "Flintsone" network for a "Jetson" price. At least the current NBN is the "Full Jetson".

    And where is your Cost-Benefit Analysis Malcolm? Oh, right, you need to know the cost part first...
    Tinman_au
  • NBN

    Once again, the NBN proven the failure of government in term of Labor. The highest officials of minor government as Stephen Conroy or now Anthony Albanese couldn't predict what happen for the project costs so much money, but it is not stable and the cost has been increasing while services seems lessen. The wireless communication becomes the real competition of NBN.
    The technology updates that could change any thing, but the project NBN key holders shouldn't know the future to be worsened. Technology could endorse the politic, but it isn't a tool for politician, so the low technological knowledge of the key NBN officials could waste money and also wipes out their job in the election.
    Hoa Minh Truong.
    ( author of 3 books: the dark journey, good evening Vietnam & from laborer to author)
    hoa minh truong
  • Good job David

    I think you have captured the essence of the governments situation well.

    I disagree with previous posters about respect for Telstra. Having lived in rural Australia for about 7 years there was an understanding that the Telstra mobile network was superior but that was it. In every other way they were painful to deal with. Never dealt with network problems unless it became an emergency, constant billing problems that were their fault and terrible customer service that just managed to waste so much of my time. My personal belief is that the whole NBN is justified by the productivity gains of the country when you no longer have to deal with Telstra, even if the Libs were right and it cost $94B!

    I despair somewhat because I really, really want to vote Labor out of office. The problem is that we have 2 shades of incompetent in our political leadership. Between them they have created a world of entitlement and have framed the running of our country as 'Us or Them'. The past several decades have seen very poor coordination of finances and infrastructure spending by both sides. Decisions need to be made over time frames of 20-30 years and in that context 'the idea' of the NBN is fantastic. On that sort of time frame Malcolm's plan will never add up - before you even get into arguments about how the LNP will open a backdoor for Telstra to do us all over again.

    Unfortunately, politicians are politicians whether LNP or Labor. They will spend their time working out stupid-clever names for each other and picking through each others mis-steps (Chris Pyne is particularly despicable) rather than seriously getting down to identifying what is needed and implementing it properly.
    RHUL_SP
    • Agree state of parties and entitlement spending

      "My personal belief is that the whole NBN is justified by the productivity gains of the country when you no longer have to deal with Telstra, even if the Libs were right and it cost $94B!"

      You're claiming productivity gains of $15b a year from removing Telstra (7% on borrowing + offset loss if company profit)? What NBNCo gains have we seen even in the millions, not billions?

      What about the connecting experience, universally described as a nightmare, points to NBNCo being even as good as the old Telecom?

      Replacing an increasingly competitive market with a govt monopoly will not end well; it never has.
      Richard Flude
      • I would argue ....

        .. that any customer experience with Telstra (with the caveat that my last experience with them was over 14 months ago so they may have changed) is likely to give you post traumatic stress disorder. So rather than naturally embrace communications technology to improve the world you actually go into some kind of technological fetal position. With millions of people being scarred in such a way by the big T our economy has already been retarded by billions and billions.

        ;)
        RHUL_SP
  • Telstra isn't the demon, the LNP plan is.

    Terribly written option piece, lacks insight into the telecoms industry, too much political nonsense. Pre-empting the result of public debate/the election as well = bad.

    The reason Labor’s NBN is necessary, is because Telstra's old network simply isn't worth the price it would cost to buy. You could buy a whole new network for the 20 something billion Telstra valued it at, so that is exactly what Labour did. The $1b odd a year spent on maintaining the old copper is too high as well, and should be redirected elsewhere.

    What about the ISPs that have to troubleshoot problems with Telstra's copper cables, and customers loosing money on downtime/waiting around for technicians that sometimes don't even show up ? How much is that costing us ? Even the government itself stands to save money with the FTTH network in place, as it then has access to cheap high speed links for offices, research, traffic signals, etc.

    The coalition plan is put simply flushing public money down the toilet, it will struggle to pay for itself, won't work a fast or as reliably as they think. Any other government would get called out for this sort of debacle, but as IT is involved no one cares.
    haseo20
  • Best quote has to be

    "...about ensuring every Australian has access to a competitive communications market."

    By creating a govt monoloply supplier, single technology option, with exemptions to competition policy and ACCC oversight explicitly preventing competition;-)
    Richard Flude
  • NBN NOW, ASAP & MAKE IT EASY TO UPGRADED

    History of NBN goes back a bit.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Broadband_Network

    There's easy ways to explain complex concepts. CVC - is the network of cables between your house and other places in Australia. These connections are bandwidth rated, like a home connection. So, if someone wants to sell you a connection with say 60Mbps/20Mbps - then they'll need to get you a modem that's connected at that speed, and they'll need to buy the usage of the network that's deployed in Australia, The NBN, so that the Vendor - the person who sold you a connection - can connect your home, to the internet. They also have to pay for Internet capacity; and they work best when they've got lots, and lots of customers - and their able to share larger pools (the whole thing is somewhat like a water supply. the internet, is kinda like people buying the dams - lots of capacity) of network capacity, both local and internet bandwidth, and provide that to customers in a way where customers can use the network without competing for limited resources.

    If you think about a water supply - Internet Networks are kinda similar - just that it's not getting and giving water, it's doing the same sort of thing with information or data.

    Whilst i agree that Albo is having some difficulties, i'm not sure that problem is about opportunity, but moreover interest. I thought Albo was almost going to be PM, when that Gillard thing happened... Perhaps there's some sort of problem, and his in-charge of NBN knowing his really not the best person for that portfolio specifically.

    When it gets down to the nitty-gritty, the fact is that things like HD Skype - Needs a connection that can give the software a decent, reliable 1.5Mbps / 1.5Mbps. if you want to have a conversation with two people, those numbers change to about 3Mbps / 1.5Mbps, mind it all depends on what's going on. When we're talking about homes, the reality is that a connection today of a reasonable 50Mbps/20Mbps or thereabouts - provides more than sufficient connectivity for a family, and in terms of grandma's needs, it's perhaps a bit of over-kill... I've been teaching oldies how to use ipads, at their age - they've often got limited desire to learn how to use a computer. they might be loosing their sight, or fine-motor skills - but an ipad, those kind of devices - make things easier to get connected to the rest of the world, on this thing called 'internet'.

    The real problem, is that no-matter if you consider the needs of TeleHealth, of downloading media via TV stations or Video Store like places; Current networks throughout Regional Australia and many other suburbs throughout our urban centres, only offer up-to 1Mbps upload (or data sent to the internet) and without some form of near-term NBN, this may be the case for quite sometime.

    The vast business cases for internet continue to evolve, and our industrial applications need something a bit better than things homes use, as soon as possible. Our international trade depends on our capacity to communicate, innovate and provide valued services.

    So when it's all boiled down; it's really about whoever can delivered it most affordably, and as quickly as possible.

    The good fortune in that, is that by doing something quickly, the time spent hiring contractors to build the network (much like builders for a house) will be less on making it available; entering the age of servicing the network, for users getting connected or users upgrading to faster services due to some new business model that makes an affordable solution for commercial or enterprise grade internet communication infrastructure a big new employer.

    My question really would be that if a person can't get their head around an infrastructure project, that could be compared to a system for supplying natural gas, or clean water or even electricity and related capacity and economic influences... Then what's the chances his got sufficient information to be confident of his decisions, as an honourable member of parliament.

    Good or bad, the NBN is in its present state. The main part of the network is mostly done, and customers can be signed-up one way or another, soon. the questions i think people need to ask themselves, is how long do you want to wait? if you could get something that functioned the same way, but was cheaper - and could be delivered sooner - would you be interested in that option?

    This whole debate reminds me of the Tesla Motors Model S. The problems with getting one of those at the moment, is that their expensive... None on the second-hand market. Then the other problem is that the charging method, is kinda hard to use anywhere except for your home where it's installed. Needs a special power-supply too.. car goes about 400Km's, but it's not quite enough to get to sydney, where the Australian service centre is set-up.

    So, whether it be the type of NBN, or the type of CAR - i'll keep my eye on the Model S, or the models produced between now and when their more practical. In the meantime, i'd like an upgrade... and of course, if that upgrade means i'm not allowed to get a model S in the future - well, that's just not an acceptable option. When that time comes, i'd still like to have a choice.

    Still, an upgrade now - is better than buying a Model S now. I wish that wasn't the case, but it's just the way things go...
    SailingDigital
    • Really?

      "When it gets down to the nitty-gritty, the fact is that things like HD Skype - Needs a connection that can give the software a decent, reliable 1.5Mbps / 1.5Mbps"

      Fact? Not according to Skype's support site; min 400/400kbps, recommended 500/500kbps.

      "The main part of the network is mostly done, and customers can be signed-up one way or another, soon."

      Not according to NBNCo. Rollout figure show very figure premises passed, one third of them can't connect for upto 18mths.

      Not sure about the car analogy. Any network is upgradable.
      Richard Flude
      • Sorry, I was wrong

        HD does require 1.5/1.5. I looked at the high quality option.
        Richard Flude
    • No way is NBNCo or the NBN is ready for anything

      The NBN has been on hold for at least 6 or so months now.

      All the old contractors got dumped as they (NBNCo) screwed up their own reports on the costs, as they shot up so the decided it'd be best to reset everything and restart the tender process all over that was pretty much the whole of this year gone in terms of installing anything.

      I know some of the major nodes are installed but still, it's nowhere near ready to roll out.

      The stuff you see people connected to these days is the old contractors finishing off projects started and paid for.

      Now you have the whole asbestos problem in the old pits around Australia which is a NBNCo problem as they bought all the pits off Telstra. that alone will be extremely costly to remove and process think of a few billion just to sort that as those guys will be getting $50+ an hour.

      The area I'm in doesn't have any sort of start date on the NBN site it just says "one day you should. Hopefully, expect to have some sort of connection from a company called NBNCo soon"

      I just think it's a shame that the government jumped in to do this mess of a network, got 40 billion and yet it's going to take around 20+ years to fully install it, and has no idea of what the end cost to do that will really be.

      When Telstra who everyone is bagging out on here was going to spend 3 billion off their own backs, and have it installed in 2 years across the whole of Australia as long as it was Telstra only customers on it.

      ANd they handed the POTS network over for free so the other companies would have ever had to pay a line rental and Telstra was going to pay to keep it going into the future but not upgrade it and the companies could do as they pleased.

      Now the CCC had a whinge and now everyone has the mess of the labor government trying to set up the mess called the NBN.

      It's a farce really, as most people would have been on Telstra fibre network if they wished or pay very little and stuck with the other companies.
      zag-cb115
      • Supporting evidence please

        Because that is not the way the written record shows
        Abel Adamski
  • A good representation

    is to show people how we compare to the rest of the world. As it stands, our average speeds compare well with Jersey, Monaco, Slovenia, Mongolia, Curacao, Poland and The UAE...

    http://www.google.com/publicdata/explore?ds=z8ii06k9csels2_&ctype=l&strail=false&bcs=d&nselm=h&met_y=avg_download_speed&scale_y=lin&ind_y=false&rdim=country&idim=country:CO:AU:AR:VE:CL:BR:BO&ifdim=country&tdim=true&hl=en_US&dl=en&ind=false&iconSize=0.5&uniSize=0.035#!ctype=c&strail=false&bcs=d&nselm=s&met_y=avg_download_speed&scale_y=lin&ind_y=false&ifdim=country&hl=en_US&dl=en&ind=false
    dmh_paul