The minister and the elephant: a broadband tale

One day a rooster, the next day a feather duster!

By LAURIE PATTON | 31 March 2020

As we all hunker down to work or study online at home in response to the Coronavirus, according to communications minister Paul Fletcher everything is fine and dandy thanks to the National Broadband Network.

The reality is many families will struggle with inadequate telecommunications, especially those NBN customers with the FTTN (fibre-to-the node) service delivered over old copper wires.

To be fair to Mr Fletcher, the culprits who destroyed a nascent 21st Century broadband network – Tony Abbott, Malcolm Turnbull and Mitch Fifield – have all gone offline, so to speak. They’ve left parliament and they left behind something smelling like what comes out of the wrong end of the elephant in the room.

Continue reading “The minister and the elephant: a broadband tale”

NBN: Won’t be finished on time. Simple as that!

By LAURIE PATTON | 24 October 2018

In my opinion, the National Broadband Network rollout will not be finished until everyone has access to fast, reliable and affordable broadband. On that basis the rollout will take us well beyond the current official completion date of 2020. It looks like a lot of NBN Co customers are in for a long hard ride unless the Government instructs the board to abandon FTTN (the trouble-plagued technology using Telstra’s ageing copper wires) sooner rather than later.

NBN Co boss Steven Rue told Senate Estimates in late 2018 they are still projecting that FTTN will be used until 2040. Yet experts, including Internet Australia chair Dr Paul Brooks, say FTTN will have to be replaced within 5-10 years of completion, preferably before then.

It’s not Mr Rue’s fault of course. He has been left ‘holding the baby’ – stuck with the flawed multi-technology mix (MTM) strategy introduced by his predecessor. But in a year from now it will be his problem fair and square.

Surveys regularly show that people increasingly regard access to broadband as an ‘essential service’. Which is why it’s essential that we fix the mess NBN Co has managed to get itself into.

Continue reading “NBN: Won’t be finished on time. Simple as that!”

Broadband: It’s buggered in the bush too

By LAURIE PATTON | 17 June 2016

PREFACE: Sadly, not that much has changed for a large number of NBN customers in rural and regional Australia since I wrote this article, especially those stuck with the FTTN version using old copper wires..

Unless we wish to have a two class Australia, with digital ‘haves’ and digital ‘have-nots’ determined by geography, we need to be providing #BetterBroadband in the bush. Continue reading “Broadband: It’s buggered in the bush too”