Six Myths About The NBN You Should Stop Believing Right Now

I live blogged the launch of the 2012-2015 NBN Corporate plan for Gizmodo this week (Giz editor Luke was trapped on a secret mission with a camera which may or may not have involved underwear, so I stepped in). The big takeaway from the event? Cogent dismissals of six persistent NBN myths which I suspect most readers already know are utter rubbish, but which keep clouding the actual discourse about our broadband future. Let's review.

Editor's note: We've taken some of the information about the cost of the NBN and calculated how much the project costs per annum compared to the Australian Olympic team.

If you want the full details of what was announced, check out the whole feature, which covers all the notable comments from communications minister Sentator Stephen Conroy and NBNCo chief Mike Quigley. Predictably, most of the coverage of the corporate plan launch I've seen to date has focused on the increase in NBN costings, though rather less of that reportage has noted with the same prominence that the predicted rate of return as an investment from the NBN has increased.

But I'm not going there, because arguing solely over the costs ignores all the other issues. If you want "Aaargh the NBN is evil and overpriced" coverage, you have most of the mainstream press at your disposal already. And I'm not going into the whole fibre versus wireless debate either, because we've already covered that a number of times.

Myth #1: No-one wants higher speeds

A standard anti-NBN trope is that "the speeds we have now are more than adequate". That approach ignores all the statistical evidence, which clearly shows our appetite for both download speeds and data allowances is ever-increasing even without the NBN. It also ignores the NBN signup patterns, which show the strongest demand is on the 100/40 and 25/5 plans. NBNCo is still conservatively assuming most customers will use the slower 12/1 option, but that prediction is likely to err on the wrong side. A similar pattern is evident with even the slower satellite services, as Quigley noted: "We're seeing takeup of the interim satellite is in fact exceeding what we expected at this point in time because the service is such an improvement over what we've seen beforehand."

Myth #2: Consumers hate the NBN because they may not be able to make emergency phone calls

The question of whether 'battery backup units', which ensure you can make a call on your landline in a blackout, should be compulsory has been much debated in the press. Given the total saturation of mobile phones, it's questionable whether this is a drama. More to the point, when NBNCo has asked current customers if they want a battery backup in their home, few say yes once they realise that their current cordless home phone will be dead in a blackout no matter what the network is doing. As Quigley said: "When people understand, they say 'but I've got a phone over here, is it good for that?' and it's a cordless phone. There's not much point backing up a cordless phone."

Myth #3: Money spent on the NBN should be spent on roads, etc.

Because the NBN is an infrastructure investment which takes place over a decade, its total cost is an easy target. If you don't like the NBN (or you don't like the current government), suggesting that spending the money elsewhere would make more sense is an obvious ploy. But it's not a logical ploy, because the NBN is treated as an investment, not a one-off expenditure. As Conroy pointed out, yet again: "To treat it as an expense would be breaching international accounting standards." You can't just shift the money from 'NBN' to 'roads' or 'hospitals', because the latter require a different accounting treatment.

Myth #4: NBN plans are overpriced compared to ADSL

The really short version? I compile and update Lifehacker's Planhacker listings for the NBN, so I know this is total rubbish. There are NBN plans available at a wide range of price points. And that's before you remember that comparisons of basic prices often ignore the fact ADSL prices require you to pay for a landline, and that the NBN, unlike ADSL, can offer a guaranteed speed.

That doesn't stop the myth being perpetuated. As Conroy pointed out, Tony Abbott's budget reply speech suggested a typical NBN plan would cost three times as much as current offerings. That's not true even if you ignore the speed and performance difference. And when you consider that with recent price rises, basic line rental from Telstra can cost less than an NBN plan, it's a lousy, deceptive and pointless line of argument.

Myth #5: You will be forced to use the NBN

Yes, your copper cable will eventually die (unless you live in a satellite-only area). But if you don't want the NBN connected to your house, you can take your chances with 3G or a rival satellite service. Even when NBNCo is wiring up your street, you can decline the option to have a basic connection enabled for your house for future use. Annoyingly, if you live in a unit block, if enough of your neighbours are misinformed anti-NBN zealots, they can disconnect your block altogether. As Senator Conroy noted: "If the strata says no, we declare it 'frustrated' and we move on. We can't storm the building. We still have property rights in Australia." If my neighbours try this, I will move, and curse my lowered property values.

Myth #6: Mainstream NBN coverage is objective and balanced

If I ever doubted that much of the local media coverage of the NBN was predisposed to negative bias, five minutes in the room ahead of the announcement were enough to dispel that notion. One journalist from the alleged national paper might has well have been wearing an 'NBN Sucks' T-shirt. As soon as the press release was handed out, she complained: "This can't be the plan, can it? Three pages?" (We got handed the full printed plan as well.) Another financial press journalist was phoning in the increase in the overall costs from the press release, ignoring the statements in the same document about how pricing had largely changed due to delays in the deal with Telstra and the addition of Optus cable customers.

It's not that the cost isn't important, but it's boring and simplistic to say "This costs too much and therefore it sucks" without looking at the context. As Senator Conroy pointed out and we've already noted, the incessant mantra that money spent on the NBN could be easily redeployed to roads or health or education or your cause du jour ignores the realities of how different expenditures are accounted for, let alone ignoring the fact that not changing Telstra's monopoly control on the existing copper network would leave large swathes of the population permanently screwed. Ultimately, we don't have a fully-priced alternative to the NBN from the Opposition, and it was the Opposition in power that 'privatised' Telstra while giving it near-monopoly control over the copper network. Under those circumstances, giving random statements from Malcolm Turnbull or Tony Abbott equal weight with a fully-costed plan is not balanced journalism.

Originally published on Lifehacker Australia


Comments

    Its clear that the NBN will be great for Australia. What is also clear is that to get Abbott as PM the mainstream media must report everything the government does as a negative irrespective of whether it actually is. As the NBN will also greatly benefit business in Australia I suspect/hope Abbott will allow its rollout to continue should he become PM. Would he cut off his nose to spite his face?

    Too true. I didn't even consider that strata might block my access to the NBN... I'll have to start hounding them now so they're ready in a year or two.

    Still don't know why EVERY house needs to be connected, and why Sydney, Australia's financial hub and largest city is last to be connected when it would be assumed to have a strong take up of the service and be in the best position to generate returns on this investment, to say the choie of locations is not politically driven is like calling the earth flat. Why not look to roll out the service into the areas that currently have the highest percentage of users who are currently on the highest speed service available as these people are the runs most likely to sign up straight away and also the ones who will most likely get the cost benefit from the service..... .
    It makes sense to invest in the NBN, it just doesn't make a lot of sense as to why every residential house needs to be linked to it - should have been business/commercial areas first then a roll out to the residential areas that have the highest level of subscribers to the current fastest services -> then maybe people would not be so sceptical

      If you did big city CBDs first then suddenly there'd be no money to do "remote" areas. Its a wise decision to leave the cherries till last.

        Cause if it is done the other way round, the process will be stopped when ROI stars to fall.

      Some of us can't even get access to ADSL 1. I would hope we would see some nbn before other full speed adsl2 users get connected.

    In regards to Myth #3, I think its a bit silly that the NBN is having so much money spent on it and there is no additional investment in healthcare or education. They are investments as well, except their benifits are not phsical and cannot be measured as easily as the NBN.

    I am not saying these sectors will not be improved by the NBN but if I need surgery, I would my prefer a phsyical doctor rather than one via skype. Same with my children, I would prefer them to learn in a school rather than via skype.

    From an accounting perspective I am sure that the money could be still be spent, it would just mean the govenment would need to be very specific about what the money would be spent on and thus their accountants would need to work harder.

    That said, I have a particularly negative view on Government spending as I know first hand how they throw their money away.

    For the record I am not against the NBN at all, the only thing I believe is that Labour has got the roll out wrong.

    At the end of the day, there is always an arguement for and against everything. I just hope in twenty years that we as Australians can say it was money well spent. Money spent on health and education is always going to be money well spent!

      I'm not exactly sure what your argument is here. That the NBN should be done but it should be able to be done for less? By the same reasoning money spent on health and education isn't necessarily always money well spent, you can just as easily throw money at these things in a useless and ineffective manner without actually improving anything.

      As already pointed out, the NBN is an investment and it has already been costed. It has no effect on spending on health or roads.

        Pity the costs keep blowing out every 6 months. Why would anyone expect anything else from this wasteful government. Not one single project done on time or on budget. Another labor party, trade union free for all. Get on board the NBN gravy train.

      Roads and health are not infrastructure investments, mostly- they're largely on going expenditures. Completely different things.
      It's like budgeting for a big extension on your house to make room for your extended family VS budgeting more for general repairs. The house will always and forever and ever need general repairs, if you keep on budgeting the majority on those then nothing else will ever get started or finished.

    On the point about cost, there are a couple of things. Firstly, how you do the accounting does not change the figures. It is a lot of money that could very easily be spent elsewhere. Money spent building a new hospital is also an investment, as is any money spent in education. Secondly, why should it be the government who pays for it? Why couldn't it have been undertaken by private enterprise, just like the mobile phone networks are? Tesltra and Optus are all about the infrastructure, they would have been more than happy to do it, I reckon, and could probably have done it more cost-effectively.
    I'm not saying its a bad idea, although it interests me not in the slightest, I'm just saying that Angus's point of view is just as biased as those other journalists he was having a go at. There is good and bad in there but I suppose in the end, it is better that it is being done than not.

      Hospitals are not an investment in the financial sense unless you adopt the US model.
      The government must "pay" for the NBN otherwise only the larger metropolitan areas would get it - there being too little potential earnings in smaller areas. Note the "N" in NBN stands for "National".
      I know that large corporations cannot do any major project more cost-effectively. The bureaucracy within private sector is generally as crippling as the public sector.
      If you have no interest in the NBN why bother commenting?
      All your arguments are based on conjecture. I'm inclined to believe that Angus provides a more objective view of the NBN that mainstream journalism is.

        Try going for a drive in the country and see what Telstra and Optus ("DONT") offer in the way of mobile service, private companies do it for profit no the betterment of the nation.

      Money on education is only a virtual investment and hospitals are usually built by state governments I believe. Health money is just for on going costs etc. The money cannot be "just as easily" spent elsewhere, this isn't like you deciding what you want to spend your own money on in an way shape or form.
      And as said in the article and elsewhere, most of the NBN costs are total costs for the lifetime of the build period so it seems like more.
      The private enterprise argument is total nonsense- one of the main reasons for the entire project is because all private enterprise point blank refuse to undertake this infrastructure development in regional areas or anywhere they consider at all unprofitable. At best they lie, stall and claim they'll do it at so future unspecified time.
      So yes, we do indeed need the government to step in and do this for us or it will simply never get done.

      For once I totally agree with what you have said.

    For the umpteenth time - the Internet economy and the Services Economy enabled by the Internet exceeds Mining and Agriculture put together. These jobs did not exist in the format we know them, 20 years ago. The jobs you will be doing 20 years from now do NOT exist yet. What will enable these jobs is the next generation of high-speed Internet access. Yes, Healthcare is important, and so are roads, but if you really wanted to make a difference, get Smokers to pay their healthcare costs, and Corporations to pay fair use levies for using the road infrastructure that the taxpayers subsidise for their use!
    Use your brains people - they're there for a reason.
    SK

      The government is not paying for all of it, about half is being paid for by the government. And like any investment the government (the people of Australia) will ultimately make a profit from the investment.

        The jobs did not exist.. DIFFERENT jobs existed. The internet has NOT CREATED any jobs. It has only moved them. Otherwise, there would be a massive spike in the change of the jobs rate as the internet took hold--and there never was.

          Go to India, China, Korea, Philippines or even the US and tell me that the Internet did not create jobs.
          Just because your world view consists of your suburb and shopping mall does not mean that everyone shares this blinkered approach. And I did mention that the jobs were different.

          Err, that argument would only make sense if the total number of jobs then is the same as now. There has of course been a significant increase in the total amount of jobs....the 'jobs rate' might not have changed but the size of the workforce in total certainly has...

      The internet and service sectors in Australia mostly move money around inside Australia, and assist in the export of money overseas by way of payment for goods and services. Mining and agriculture export physical goods and this brings money into Australia. They are very different things. almost all of the hardware for the NBN is being imported. The project may eventually generate a return sufficient to roughly cover construction costs but it is currently being funded by debt. Come the next Federal election the LIb/Nats are likely to be running the country and have clearly stated they will not be continuing with the project in it's current form and we will end up after further delays with a complete mess. Articles which talk about the NBN in 10 years time are works of hopeful fantasy. I would connect the day it runs by my home but it's not going to happen.

    I should also say that it is somewhat annoying that I am paying for something I cannot use. Even if you take the $34.7billion cost over 10 years, and you say there are roughly 12 million tax payers (I have no idea how accurate that figure is), that represents a cost to me, personally, of almost $300 a year for 10 years. That's $25 a month on top of whatever plan you sign up for.

      Again, the government is not paying the total cost, about half roughly i being paid by te government. And again, it is a genuine investment from which the government will make a profit.

      "I should also say that it is somewhat annoying that I am paying for something I cannot use"

      I hate it when the government does this. They spend an absolute fortune on the military but do I ever get to drive the tanks? No!

      Don't even get me started on Family Tax Benefit. I don't have kids. Why the hell should I pay for people that do?

      There will always be parts of the budget that aren't for you, that's just how budgets work. All of the money gets thrown in a big pool and then spent how the government sees fit.

    A very one-eyed article. The NBN is a complete waste of money. All it does is provide what we already have, but faster. It is entertainment. To compare it to hospitals or roads is ludicrous, especially when this country is suffering a health crisis and many of us have to wait 12-18 months just to get on a waiting list, to then wait another 12 -18 months, especially when our education system is pouring down the gurgler. Education MAKES money, although the time for it to return is a matter of decades. Entertainment COSTS money and does little in return, and it is very short term and an instant gratification, which seems to be the way we are headed.

    The NBN is popular with spoiled kids and yuppies who can't get their priorities straight, and want to play games and watch movies (faster than they already do). Of course the whole thing is politically driven. A popularity ploy, like offering lollies to kids.

    I've never seen a greater waste of money in my life, and never hope to again.

      The NBN will make enormous benefits for the delivery of services to Australians, including medical services. Applications are already being worked on which will allow many people to be treated and monitored while they remain in their homes, rather than taking up valuable beds in hospitals. This means in effect that the NBN will directly contribute to our hospital system.

      Australia's education system is often criticised by both those who actually do no better and by the ignorant. If you compare it to the rest of the world it is thetop 5 - 10, depending on the criteria used to judge it.

      Itis inevitable that as the NBN continues to be developed that bsinesses, utilities, governments and individuals will find many ways to benefit from it and to create real wealth far in excess of the cost of building the NBN.

      Many countries in Asia already have better IT infrastructure than Australia and if we do not upgrade our IT infrastructure we will just be left behing by these countries until we become the "poor white trash of Asia". That is not a future that I would look forward to!

        It will take services away that should be properly supported by the government. People can already be treated in their homes. We have telephones. We once had home visits, but funding has been slashed on such things. Hospital beds are important. If they were being funded properly we would not need a second-best, bandaid solution.

        Australia's education system has never been in such a poor state. Teacher dissatisfaction at their work and student standards is at an all time high. University entry scores are at amazing lows. Lecturers are banning calculators because kids can't do basic maths. So, no, I refute the claim that we are anywhere near the best. We are going downhill fast.

        Maybe so, but that is is still money that would still have been used in traditional areas.

        That last point is not a valid argument.

          You can be diagnosed by a specialist 3000km away over the phone? Really? Since when?

          The last point is a valid argument. Although perhaps it could have been put better.

          Becoming uncompetitive in the international landscape-- especially in the thriving east asian economy... Well to suggest that makes good business sense is utterly moronic.

          Every single cent spent on the NBN *IS* a cent spent on Health, Education, Foreign Policy, Competitiveness, Security, Decentralisation and Australian quality of life. To argue any differently shows an entire lack of understanding of the very fundamentals of this technology.

          The real problem is that every cent is also going towards kicking over a lumbering, rotting system that a lot of people have grown up inside and feel comfortable in. People tend to be afraid (or at least unsettled) of wholesale change in the entire system by which they've lived their lives.

          This is exacerbated by the traditional media, one of the current majorly displaced and therefore unimpressed industries, being these peoples major source of qualified information. Stacked on top of this, is technologists who find it hard to appreciate that anyone would be this misinformed, and instead choose to believe that people are unjustified in their beliefs so not only do they preach, but they kick back.

          Ultimately the technology will win-- it always does. We *WILL* have this kind of national infrastructure. Its just that right now, not only is it relatively inexpensive (once you factor in short to medium term benefits) but more importantly we also have the capacity to implement it. We have... nearly... a first movers advantage here.

          Either way I'm hedging my bets on becoming unspeakably wealthy before the shit hits the fan so that if it all turns bad I can run away to somewhere with more vision :). I sincerely hope this does not happen.

          My opinion is that, if you're looking to evangelise this concept (which I believe most well informed individuals should be) you need to take the measured approach. Accept the issues people are bringing up as legitimate concerns, and then help them understand (through exploration of the evidence presented) that these issues may not even exist, and when they do exist, they are mitigated by the benefits.

          If we simply ignore *all* their concerns as negative rubbish we might even miss some important holes in the whole system-- I don't personally think that Conroy is the sharpest pencil in the box (although on balance I'm pretty sure that Tony Abbott is as blunt as they come).

          There are going to be some major problems implementing this thing and they're not technical nor anything to do with the bank account. They're all entirely political.

          Never, ever forget that that the biggest issues people have with the whole situation is that the old, safe, secure machine is being replaced by this swish new world that they don't understand yet. Illustrate the new kinds of security that such a world provides for every single part of their lives. Help them understand, not through negativity and aggression, but positivity and persuasion.

          That old machine is on its last legs anyway. Already the security it offered to our parents and their parents is crumbling. Like so much public policy this isn't a choice about whether the thing is going to be implemented. The real choice is how long we want to spend sitting around playing the biggest cock game, instead of ultimately discussing the issues to a resolution.

          Isn't politics fun ;).

      "All it does is provide what we already have, but faster"
      No. It also provides consistency. People keep forgetting that. Right now there are huge areas that can't get anything more than basic ADSL speeds.

      "It is entertainment."
      No. Entertainment is one use of the faster network. There are plenty. I am a database developer, and with an NBN connection I will be able to do a lot more work from home that isn't efficient on my current connection.

      "Education MAKES money"
      The NBN makes money! Also, the NBN will enable remote communities to have better distance education.

      "Entertainment COSTS money and does little in return"
      Entertainment does contribute to the economy, and new sources of online entertainment will create jobs. These changes won't be immediate, but they will appear.

        ADSL is enough for almost every use. That's my point.

        But the majority of use is entertainment.

        Yes, but again, it makes money that was already being made somewhere else.

        Yes, of course entertainment makes some money, but again this is not creating jobs, it's moving them, and NO OTHER investment makes as great a return as education. 2 to 1 according to Doctor Karl. We don't NEED all this money spent on entertainment, because it is vacuous. It is a first world problem. We NEED money spent on things that matter to families and every day lives. If the internet turned off overnight, no big deal. If anything else was suddenly gone--health, education, key service--our society would be in chaos, yet those things are being starved of funds while this monstrous mess continues.

          ADSL is absolutely not enough for almost every use. Please stop being so short sighted.

          "ADSL is enough for almost every use. That’s my point."
          You are wrong.

          "But the majority of use is entertainment."
          How can you possibly qualify that statement? The NBN isn't finished yet, so we don't know what people will do with it. I am sure that when everybody was using dial-up people didn't dream of cloud storage, working online from home and online education.

          "Yes, but again, it makes money that was already being made somewhere else."
          The NBN? It will earn money that is currently made by the owner of the copper network.

          " If the internet turned off overnight, no big deal"
          To you maybe. If the internet disappeared overnight there would be a LOTof people that would suddenly become unemployed, and there would be a lot of services that would be effected. You seem to think the internet is nothing more than YouTube and Facebook.

          "If anything else was suddenly gone–health, education, key service–our society would be in chaos, yet those things are being starved of funds while this monstrous mess continues."

          But the NBN will IMPROVE all of those things you list as more important than the NBN?

          "If the internet turned off overnight, no big deal."
          I don't think you really comprehend just how deeply integrated the Internet already is into these other key services. Regardless of whether the NBN is needed, turning the Internet off entirely would be crippling.
          Also, entertainment might be the majority use of the Internet in people's homes, but to say it is an overwhelming majority use across the board is short sighted and completely missing the scope and potential the Internet has both now and increasingly in the future.

      By the same argument building the Ayre Highway to Perth was a complete waste of money. All it did was to provide what we already have but faster.

      The rest of the world rejoices when it gets connected to a fibre optic network but you whine about it???

      Candles were sufficient so what a waste of money to build the power grid.

    There will always be an argument as to why a project should or should not proceed. For example "why isn't the money being spent on hospitals" or "why isn't the money being spent on roads" and the answer is simple; all infrastructure needs investment. The fact being ignored is that unlike roads, rail, health, defence etc, the copper network is nearing the end-of-life. In other words in a very short time, what is adequate now will become inadequate. The system barely copes now and hwas not had a major upgrade in 100 years. Your points are valid and well thought out. in 20 years the luddites won't even remember what the fuss was about. More over, they'll say "but I always thought it was a good idea" just as they did when the internet itself became widely used. watch even the most hardened luddite do without the internet now and watch them squeal.

      Given that projected usage is strongly towards wireless, very few people will be using copper or land-based connections soon anyway, therefore your point seems starkly invalid. Businesses are sinking money into wireless like hot potatoes.

    What about these myths?

    That it is not ludicrously expensive.
    That it is not already way over budget.
    That it is such an amazing idea that all alternatives are not worth considering.

      Well put.

    Myth #7 - the NBN is anywhere near its projected targets for connections.

    High speed broadband is great. How many Australian will use it? Not as many as you or Conroy would have us belive. The politics of its implementations is the problem and you should not involve yourself in this. The "myths" you point out are based on politics and the "art" of opposition.

    However, the fact is plain and simple (and some people just don't seem to get away from this) the NBN DID NOT need to be funded by all Australian Taxpayers.

      Well let me see. When I first connected up to the internet in the early 90s I was one of only three people I knew of that went online. Today, except for a few octogenarians I don't know anyone who doesn't go online.

      BTW you look at it wrong. Instead of talking about the speed of the connection, speed can now be so fast that it becomes irrelevant when discussing/working/using the internet. The medium is not the message.

        Also the fact is plain and simple (and some chose to ignore it) that without government involvement a fibre optic network that extended beyond the larger Australian cities would probably never be built.

    Myth #6. Last I checked, Gawker was a fairly "mainstream" media outlet and is INCREDIBLY slanted towards pro-NBN. (wikipedia: "Gawker Media....considered to be one of the most visible and successful blog-oriented media companies.").

    Oh, I guess that supports your point that media is not "objective and balanced", just be sure to lump Gizmodo and Lifehacker into that group, please.

      Let me stop you right there. Gizmodo Australia isn't owned by Gawker Media. Thanks for playing.

        Is this a technicality? Who owns Gizmodo Australia then?
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gizmodo_Australia#Licensed_Australian_weblogs

          I'll answer my own question while awaiting moderation.

          "Gizmodo Australia is published by Allure Media in association with Gawker Media."

      Gizmodo/Lifehacker have the right to take whatever editorial stance they choose on their site, just as you have every right to disagree with them. No need for conspiracy theories or rue the demise of fairness and balance - I for one, disagree with them, but am willing to change my mind. One thing I appreciate about the coverage on this site has been the technical input from its writers and commenters as I am hugely skeptical of government picking winners technology-wise yet this site has me convinced that isn't a concern. There are still more outstanding issues that I find problematic, but one thing at a time...

    Myth #2, it may be a small percentage of the population but not everyone in Australia has mobile coverage (Telstra) at home. But but the time I get the NBN who knows...

    Did anybody else misread the headline as "Sex Myths About The NBN You Should Stop Believing Right Now"

    Didn't take long for the Liberal party apologists to take over this thread. Thankfully, they were not in power when Australia was attacked by the Japanese forces in WWII. They would have debated about how expensive the war effort was and how much better the Japanese in their red rising sun budgie smugglers would run the country.
    Can't wait for Cybernetics to take hold - imagine a world with no religion, ideology or ignorance.

      That makes no sense. Sit down and take your pills.

    Interesting... allow me to retort one point I think is in error.
    Myth #5 You will be forced to use the NBN
    According to Telstra (http://www.telstra.com.au/abouttelstra/commitments/national-broadband-network) Under Telstra's agreements with NBN Co and the Commonwealth, Telstra will progressively retire the existing copper telephone network, region by region, 18 months after the NBN is rolled out in the region.
    So if Telstra owns all the copper and it turns it off what are you going to do?
    Hmmm... I guess you can go wireless and by definition you really aren't being "forced" onto the NBN...
    BTW - I want the NBN, I'm just not happy a bunch spendthrift drunken sailors are in charge of running it.
    So yeah, I'm happy with 5 out of 6 myths you have up... ;)

      Teslstra would be retiring the copper network regardless sooner or later. ;)
      At least with the NBN as a future option you have something more affordable now than the more expensive alternative they were likely going to replace it with.

        Yes the copper network is failing all over the place and they didn't want to replace it as it'd cost a lot of money. So as said, the NBN will replace existing copper, that might of might not have been replaced if there was no NBN, and if it was replaced would of been likely costing the end users more money.

    Myth #5 Isn't entirely correct..
    The Carrier is only responsible for the lead in cable and termination point on your property cabling or distribution issues inside the building or on the property belong to the property owner/s
    Also if the cable is being laid in your street and you elect not to have a connected to your property at that time because you are happy with your existing service or for whatever reason you may have and people will have their reasons. It will not affect your property value this is a very misleading thing to say and another “MYTH”... You can always have it connected from the street at a later date if you change your mind etc.. It just means you will incur an additional fee to the standard connection fee usually a couple of hundred dollars as the lead in cable from the street will need to be installed and terminated on your property.. This cost may vary. Newer properties its just a matter of running the new cable through the same conduit the copper lead in runs on older properties they may have to dig a trench..

    Me personally, I will be letting them run it to the house unless they try to charge me for it...

    What was that remark about balanced journalism???

    Probably need to qualify "Myth 5" - if you're an Optus cable customer (as I am), yes you will. Apparently work starts in my area within the year and I'll get transferred over - no idea as to what the cost to connect will be though. Then things will be different, I'll be living in a bold new future - I won't have to wait thirty seconds for my Apple TV downloads to buffer any more, and, er... stuff like that... If the service turns out to be less reliable and/or significantly more expensive than my current service, I'll be sure to post about it using my super duper fast connection - if the internet filter allows me.

      No, you won't. You can use ADSL in the mean time, or 3G/4G from now and into the future.

        Fair dues, I'll qualify that qualification - if I want to have a service at least as good as my current service, I will. Not that I feel particularly upset or coerced about this, I think the term "forced" is a bit strong.

    I love how the only way so many people can think about the NBN is in terms of entertainment media. It's like no one has ever been involved in any sort of business that involves the internet in any serious way that relies on large file transfer at reliable speeds with fast, affordable , reliable connections...
    It's almost like they're all living in the 1980s and would be just as happy with a fax machine and a local video hire place.
    Such a weird time travel experience reading the comments here.

      + 1

      Part of my job is managing database hosting. I have clients in entertainment, travel, education and health industries. Every one of those clients has a specific reason for their database to be available online.

      I have one multiple clients with offices in 3 different states, all sharing the same hosted database. They would be able to do a lot more (and more efficiently) with the NBN.

      Absolutely agree. This also applies in education - it's not just about boosting profits by saving time uploading a file.

      Working with ADSL lines at 1.5 mbit (maximum) due to distance and line quality essentially delivers a very slow and unreliable service to students and teachers - and with more happening online than ever before in schools, high speed connections that are reliable and dependable, with low latency, are a must-have. And with the big push on 1:1 computing (Digital Education Revolution, anyone?)... well, the infrastructure needs to catch up too.

      Some schools can afford fibre, microwave, or other alternate methods that provide high speeds. There's a lot that definitely can not.

      Let's not forget this - there's far more to the NBN than just loading that funny cat video on YouTube faster. It's an infrastructure investment that will support schools, hospitals, public services, and so much more, for many years to come.

    I wanted to chime in here. I have the NBN service at my house. We got it installed over 9 months ago living in one of the picked areas in Australia. Hands down, it is great, not just for entertainment but also my work as a freelance video maker.
    Calling the NBN a waste of money and calling out ADSL as good enough is extremely short sighted. My example lives inside what I do, uploading, transferring , Dropboxing and doing the Yousendit thing pretty much everyday. File sizes have gotten larger, pixel dimensions are getting massive and therefore, transfer quotas and speeds are also ramping up.
    Take medical imaging as but only one example. Advances in imaging quality also ramp up file size. Instead of a basic x-ray, imaging is now able to delve deeper and further into the human body, discovering and analysing smaller and smaller detail. And it WILL continue to do so.
    The tech of the NBN may not only support downloads, games and movies, but heck, if it allows a doctor from one region to another easily transfer multiple images and files at quicker speeds, wouldn't we all be better off.
    This is only one example of hundreds of industries whose technology requires it so.

    this is all well and good. but if i do a speed test right now, i won't even get 10mbps and some guys are complaining about 30mbps? really?

    ( before you ask I'm on vivid wireless )

    i've been living in the uk for the past 7 months and the internet over there is 10X better then it is here. the sooner they roll this NBN out the better i say!

    After reading through all the comments I think we should petition the government to have all those that oppose the NBN ommitted from the connection plan. The rest of us can carve out a future for Australia without the shortsighted naysayers.

    This should come with the declaimer, "This is a paid political announcement". How much are they paying you this time Mr Kidman? Who needs a political media unit when they have you.

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