Wednesday, February 22, 2017

The Story Of The NBN Seems To Be Unravelling At Worryingly High Speed. A Bit Of A Shame.

We had two bits of very worrying news.
First we were told the NBN would not be able to deliver for our future by the CEO.

Bill Morrow's 'alternative facts' about the NBN

Australia is unique in many ways but today one more attribute of this country now falls into that class: we are the lone nation to be building a broadband network that cannot give us affordable super-fast connections.
Yes, you heard right. And you can't question the source, for these words come from the chief of NBN Co, Bill Morrow, the man who earns $3.3 million an annum (that's $9041 a day, a little less in leap years) to push the build of the National Broadband Network that has become both a joke and a national shame.
After Morrow suffered from an attack of loose lips and told a crowd at the release of NBN Co's half-yearly results last week that Australians, bunch of chumps that they are, did not want super-fast broadband even if it came gift-wrapped and hand-delivered with no money asked, he must have felt some amount of blowback.
So on Wednesday, Morrow decided that he had to provide some "facts" to try and change the narrative. So his narrative was that this NBN build could not provide super-fast broadband — and by that he means 1Gbps — at an "affordable" price.

But then who decides the wholesale price? Why, the same NBN Co. It is based on this price that retailers decide how much to charge the public. Retailers are upping prices to compensate for the insane rates they pay NBN Co. At the end of line is Joe Public who gets stung as usual.
Morrow's logic is that when something is priced out of reach, if people do not buy it, then they are telling the seller that they are not interested. Which sounds something like the "alternative facts" that Kellyanne Conway (of Trump administration fame) came up with last week.
His plan is that the NBN should be built as soon as possible and then it should be rebuilt as and when higher speeds become necessary. Yeah, sure. We need another decade of political wrangling with every two-bit politician throwing in their opinion like we need a bullet to the head.
The statement that takes the cake is this: "Rather than build for a demand that may materialise in 10 years, we are constructing a national network capable of continuous upgrading to meet market needs as and when they arise."
Lots more here:
And then we were told it was going to cost more for the services we presently have:

NBN switch will cost users up to 20% more

The NBN is starting to make inroads into the capital cities, with construction in Sydney, the nation­’s biggest consumer market, to begin later this year.
  • The Australian
  • 12:00AM February 13, 2017

Chris Griffith

Supratim Adhikari

Households face a price hike of nearly 20 per cent on internet servic­es, on average, as they are required to sign up to the National Broadband Network when it arrives in their neighbourhood and the ­existing service is switched off.
The NBN is starting to make inroads into the capital cities, with construction in Sydney, the nation­’s biggest consumer market, to begin later this year.
Until now the more than 70 per cent of NBN’s rollout happened in regional and rural areas, but the switch to the metro will gather pace this year, especially if the company rolling out the network, NBN Co, wants to hit its target of having 5.4 million premises ready to receive a service by June 30.
NBN Co has spent $22 billion on the project so far and with the Coalition government lending the company an extra $19.5bn in Novem­ber, it has the money to complete the rollout. But with users required to move to an NBN service, there are concerns about prices­ they may pay for services that may not be that much better than their existing ADSL set-up.
Ovum principal analyst Craig Skinner said consumers should avoid paying for more than what they need for NBN services and shop around retailers before enterin­g into a long-term contract.
“Unless you’re watching multiple videos at once, you don’t need a higher speed. Unless you have a large family you shouldn’t need to pay more,” Mr Skinner said.
Technology research firm Telsyte’s managing director Foad Fadaghi said while research showed that consumers were prepared to pay more for the NBN, they expected more.
“Our research has shown that the average price of plans this year has come down, but the expectation of what people expect to pay in future is actually up on previous years,” he said.
The high prices currently charged by NBN Co for wholesale access is also seen as a problem, with retail service providers looking to pass some of the cost on to consumers.
Lots more here:
It rather looks like we have all be sold a pup, stepping back a very long way from the K Rudd vision of a decade or so ago.
What a pity. I am sure it would not have cost that much more to have done it once, properly and right!


Anonymous said...

The NBN has been a joke since it was hatched up on the back of a drink coaster by Steve Conroy and pitched to Kevin Rudd on a flight.

Labor thought it was a brilliant way to create another telco service monopoly (NBN wholesale network), rip people off their existing and adequate ADSL connections and replace it with expensive gold-plated FTTH connections and hire more over-paid public servants to compete with the private telco companies and distort the market. Pretty offensive really.

Morrow is absolutely correct in terms of price points, the retail service providers have to charge a margin otherwise they go out of business, and the wholesale price is artificially inflated.

Thank god 4G has become 5G and they are predicting 10G in time.

I could really go on and on about this.

Anonymous said...

Why is a very good question. This added to the other announcements of late indicate that in very technical domains ADHA has an obvious lack of any real leadership that can grasp the complexity. I see little evidence that anyone running these even knows who to ask for help and what help to ask for. Looking at the various announcements and releases I feel like each undertaking is coming from very different and competing organisations out to knock off the competition. I can but wonder what the vendor community must be thinking

Anonymous said...

They can do all the consultations they like, they can ask for all the help in the world, but unless they have the skills and knowledge to make sense of it all, it will just go to waste. Until the strategy is revealed, we won't know. But we can guess.