Google Chairman Eric Schmidt Loves The NBN

During the Q&A session of his Mobile World Congress keynote, former Google CEO and current Executive Chairman of the company professed his love for Australia's NBN.

Answering a question from "Ben from Australia" about mobile advertising, Schmidt begins his response with a confession of love for the Labor government's NBN policy:

"Let me start by saying that Australia is leading the world in understanding the importance of fibre. Your new Prime Minister as part of her campaign and now as part of her prime ministership, has announced that by roughly I think 2015, 2016, 93% of Australians - which I guess are all the folks in the cities - will have gigabit or equivalent service using fibre, and the other 7% will be handled through wireless services of a nature of LTE. This is leadership. And again, from Australia, which I think is wonderful."

You can see the relevant quote at the 4 minute mark of the video above. Given that Schmidt spent the majority of his keynote talking about the importance of wireless and its roll in the future of communications, the praise for the Gillard government's fibre rollout just goes to show that regardless of how awesome technologies like LTE are, they're even better when they're coupled with a strong fibre network.



    I want fibre to my place just like the next guy, my concern is the Federal Governments ability to stick within it's promised budget to do it. We've seen how they love to blow money.

      "Love to blow money" complaints tend to stem from the GFC stimulus package. People like to ignore the fact the despite any inefficiences in spending, the job savings more than make up for it.

      NBN Co. is so ridiculously different to that situation, the people should be ridiculed for making the comparison.

        Actually the 'love to blow money' argument comes from the money they have blown on dodgy insulation schemes, the school halls 'revolution', solar panel schemes (now cancelled), and other vote buying rubbish that is so poorly managed they barely help anyone.

        But im sure theyll manage this project fine.

          I'm guessing you like to read the Australian.

          Both sides of government are inefficient, both buy votes. To argue any differently shows either ignorance or partisanship.

          At the end of the day it's just about what infrastructure we get out of their time in power - and IMHO the NBN looks to be a valuable piece.

          All of which insulated many thousands of homes, provided badly-needed facilities for thousands of schools, took significant load off the utilities, and more importantly, saved thousands of jobs. There were numerous positive knock-on effects too, which is why Nobel-laureate economist Joseph Stiglitz (among others) praised those stimulus efforts as "one of the most impressive economic policies I've seen, ever".

          None of which is relevant to the management of the NBN, which is handled by a separate, politically-independent entity (NBNCo).

          Good work on listing the those stimulus projects that people like to rag on Joe. Still has absolutely nothing in common with how NBN Co. is operating.

          Hi Joe,

          Blown out spending is a hallmark of all governments.
          It's not isolated to local, state, federal or international.

          It's a trademark of the collaborative nature of spending and committee organisation... if you want a different solution, you'll need private enterprise.

          So despite evidence by independent reports showing very little wastage in the School programme you still tow the Libs line that it was a waste. Have you been to any of the schools that benefited from the programme? I know of 3 local schools in my area that got work done that was badly needed they had been waiting years to have done.

          The insulation programme was actually a pretty good concept but came crashing down due to all the cockroaches that crawled out of the woodwork to exploit the system with shonky work, forged documents, and lack of training of staff.

          As for the solar panel programme, it is being wound back as it is too popular and the budgeted funding has been exhausted with power companies struggling to keep up with the demands to be connected. Yeah what a failure!. The Insulation and Solar Panel Programmes were designed to have an impact on greenhouse gas emissions but this means nothing to the liberal who just basically want to completely screw the environment.

          I believe the NBN will provide the arena for businesses that we have not yet even thought of to develop and for Australia to be world leaders in the field. As other countries improve their own networks, they will look to Australia for expertise.

            My main issue with the solar panel plan (apart from missing out on gouging the tax-payer myself) was the cost per tonne of carbon saved. A recent article in the SMH outlined some of these costs, and the solar panel rebate cost over $300 per tonne of carbon saved. The average of different carbon reduction schemes over the last 10 years was $168 per tonne, with the Howard govt remote renewables scheme the worst at $340 per tonne. Interestingly, the ETS that was blocked in parliament last year had a price of $20-$25 per ton.

    now Google is a company that really could take full advantage of the network. and really revolutionise our lives. the Australian branch has already done some pretty awesome stuff, be great to see what they do with the NBN!

    The issue is not about paying more for an NBN, due to poor management, but whether we have one or not. To me its inconsequential if it costs 20, 30, 40, 50 or 60 Billion so long as we get an NBN.

    Years ago I had a "fast" 2400 baud modem and I never imagined that an ADSL 2+ connection could be slow.

      One thing is for sure: if Tony Abbott will be the leader in one way or another, there will be no NBN at all. :(

    The problem with the NBN rollout isn't the concept. The problem with the NBN rollout isn't the technology. The problem with the NBN rollout isn't the politics.

    The problem with the NBN rollout is lack of progress. 22 months after the NBN announcement, only 400 of 10,000,000 premises have the NBN. Every few weeks grandiose announcements are made about things NBNCo are doing. These announcements are nearly always INPUTS (money going to suppliers, number of staff hired, etc) into the project, not the OUTPUTS (people with high speed broadband) we should be seeing.

    I don't care if NBNCo has leased some expensive datacenter space or if they are using Cisco for LAN switches in their head office. I don't care if NBNCo has a big or small contract with a fibre manufacturer. All of this crud is project INPUT. NBNCo is meant to transform these inputs into OUTPUTs, and they just aren't doing it.

    600 staff, 22 months, 400 connections. What a joke.

      It hasn't taken 22 months to get 600 connections, but seven years.

      The Howard government first had the vision to deliver universal broadband in 2004. We had two failed attempts to do it for under $6 billion. By May 2010 we had a workable solution and by July 2010 we had pilot connections already operating in Tasmania. We now have fourteen first-release sites in progress, from which valuable lessons are being learned to optimise the workflow and techniques.

      The NBN is going very well. But it is a massive project that required careful planning and realistic timeframes. Remember that some people will not be connected until 2020.

    I watched it live.. (yah, kinda sad). The full presentation is up on the the official WMC site with far greater production value than the phone-camera video on youtube.

    Unfortunately you will need to create a login to access it, but it's a typically simple and free process.

    To believe that jobs were actually saved is a fallacy, all that happened was we delayed some pain immediately to experience later, when we either run out money/ability to pay for the debt these make work/projects becomes to much to bear. Hey but thanks baby boomers, you've promised us all a harder future for your soft present right now, things are not different here Australia, they are just behind.

    Anyone who thinks regulations actually help business to be honest is a moron, it creates contempt in the business community, which makes abuses all the more attractive. Do you enjoy being told what to do by the cops? - it's not much different, you'll likely feel a little pissed off about it, think about what you'll do next time to avoid the confrontation. Anyway all I'm saying is regulation and government incentives or imposed penalties, or make work schemes, and concern that we haven't had enough (to service the debt) will fail.

      this is a very immature comment. labeling someone a moron for having an alternative opinion to you is more a reflection of your shortcomings. Regulation is necessary to reinforce moral and cultural standards and protect society from the excesses of the few. i think you'll find the first thing the american banks asked for as lehman bros and the rest started to fold was tighter regulation to prevent sub-prime mortgages and other poorly understood practices from occurring. i'm very thankful for the job cops do in controlling crime, and should they have a word to me rather than being pissed-off i'd be having a good hard look at myself and working out what i could do to lift my game

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