John Menadue. The ‘claytons’ NBN

Dec 16, 2015

In his statement on innovation, Malcolm Turnbull said ‘the internet and the technology it enables means we are now part of the truly global market place. It means there are few barriers to entry for Australian businesses, no matter where they are located, right across Australia and they can sell their products and services to just about every corner of the globe.’ 

The internet is the bedrock for innovation today. But unfortunately, Malcolm Turnbull, as our former Minister for Commerce, damaged the internet. He introduced an internet censorship scheme at the instigation of the copyright cartel. He presided over a pervasive data retention scheme that has imposed a heavy burden on the whole communications sector.

But the biggest problem is the ‘claytons’ NBN.

In this blog on 10 September 2015, Rod Tucker, Laureate Emeritus Professor at the University of Melbourne, commented ‘The NBN; why it’s slow, expensive and obsolete’.

In The Conversation five days later Rod Tucker commented further ‘Under Turnbull the NBN budget has blown out as much as $A18 b. and on current projections is four years behind the original schedule.’ 

Paul Budde in his blog BuddeBlog on 29 September 2015 said ‘When the NBN was launched in 2009 one of the goals was to get the country into the top ten of the international ladder. Now in 2015 we have dropped to 42nd position.’

In this blog on 2 November 2015, Mark Gregory, a Senior Lecturer in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering at RMIT University said ‘The decision by the Coalition government that was implemented by Turnbull in 2013 to adopt the obsolete FTTN technology for a significant percentage of the NBN will, in future years, be seen as economic madness. … The NBN is likely to be the most expensive lemon in Australian history. … ‘

For further elaboration of these comments, see ‘Malcolm Turnbull and the NBN mess’ in this blog on 3 November 2015.

And the criticism of Malcolm Turnbull’s stewardship of the NBN is gathering pace.

In the SMH on 11 December 2015, under the heading ‘Malcolm’s mess: how the Coalition’s NBN came unstuck’, Hannah Francis describes the mess that we now have with the NBN.

Malcolm Turnbull is right that the internet is the key technology that enables us to be part of the global market. But the high cost, slow and second-rate NBN which is now being rolled out is going to be a major handicap.

But there may be more to come. In the AFR on 4 December 2015, Andrew Clark said ‘the Turnbull government is in discussions with large telecommunications companies about selling large chunks of the government-owned NBN, including its huge hybrid fibre cable, copper and fixed line networks. A combination of the government’s dire fiscal position and criticism of the progress of NBN is fuelling the decision to engage in what would in effect be the biggest privatisation since the Howard government offloaded Telstra.’

Could this be an attempt to bury the NBN debacle before the final bills come in?

Godwin Gretch was an error of judgement without serious national consequences But the errors of judgement on the NBN have profound national consequences.

In all this sorry mess Jason Clare has gone missing in action.




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