By LAURIE PATTON | 6 January 2019
2019 is shaping up as the year we’ll be forced to face the fact we are building a National Broadband Network that simply isn’t good enough. It’s also the year our major telcos will start rolling out their capital-intensive 5G mobile networks, having spent millions of dollars buying up spectrum from the federal government.
Nobody seems to have asked if we really need 5G right now. Or why Australia is rushing to be one of the first countries to adopt 5G when 4G speeds are more than most of us realistically need at the moment, or will need for some time? Too few commentators have delved into the ‘value proposition’, or asked if 5G, at least in its first iteration, will actually be all that some people are predicting.
As a nation keen to be a leader in the 21st Century’s digitally-enabled world we’d arguably be better off fixing the NBN before investing in mobile networks few in the know reckon will add much to the consumer experience.
Across the country people are coming to understand that the broadband network we are being delivered is a dud – especially in the bush!
Continue reading “My New Year’s Resolution – Keep fighting for #BetterBroadband”
By LAURIE PATTON | 16 November 2018
The contrast could not be any starker. As warnings emerged that Australia’s telcos are seeing their profits squeezed by the end of NBN Co’s short-lived wholesale price discount (with the likelihood that retail prices will rise), across the ditch came word that New Zealanders are about to see their broadband speeds greatly increase while the cost of connecting to the Internet will come down. How could this be?
Continue reading “Time to ditch our dud NBN – beaten by the ‘All Blacks of Broadband’”
By LAURIE PATTON | 6 November 2018
The boss of the ACCC, Rod Sims, has told The Australian “its recent dealings with the retail telcos has highlighted a weakness with the fibre-to-the-node (FTTN) access technology”.
For numerous broadband experts, not to mention millions of hapless NBN customers, this might be seen as a classic ‘no shit Sherlock’ moment. However, it is probably the most significant recent development in the long running saga that began with Labor’s 21st Century fibre-based national broadband network, only to end in tears for so many when former prime minister Tony Abbott ordered his heavily-wedged communications minister, Malcolm Turnbull, to “destroy” the NBN.
Continue reading “ACCC begins search for light at the end of the NBN technology tunnel”
By BOB CARR | 13 August 2018
This week Australia’s Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull reset the Australia-China relationship – ditching 12 months in which Australia had become the most rhetorically adversarial towards China of all of the United States’ allies and partners.
Turnbull was always going to do it. It was a matter of language and timing. Fears his government has allowed to spread about Chinese money in Australia’s democracy and China’s growing influence in the region had little substance, and have done Australia more harm than good.
Continue reading “Australia draws line under anti-China hysteria. Will it be enough to unfreeze relations?”
By TANYA PLIBERSEK | 7 August 2018
I understand Ross Gittins’ frustration at the continuing debate over school funding. But Labor will continue to fight against Malcolm Turnbull’s school cuts because many of the things that will help our school kids improve – such as more individual attention and excellent teaching – all cost money. If you care about our school kids doing better, you have to care about school funding. Continue reading “Tanya Plibersek’s letter Fairfax refused to publish “
By LAURIE PATTON | 28 December 2015
The ABC Online News headline was pretty blunt: “Abbott orders Turnbull to demolish NBN”. In the article itself then Opposition Leader Tony Abbott is quoted as saying: “The Government is going to invest $43 billion worth of hard-earned money in what I believe is going to turn out to be a white elephant on a massive scale”.
Fast forward five years and the cost of the Coalition’s NBN is now put at $46-56 billion, with many experts maintaining that this significantly understates the likely real cost. Confusion and disagreement reign as to how long it will take to complete our much needed broadband rollout. Continue reading “Malcolm Turnbull: NBN killer or saviour?”