Tony Abbott and Malcolm Turnbull are in Sydney today announcing the alternative Coalition broadband policy. We’re updating live.
11:00 And we’re live!
11:25 We’re waiting on these two to get their selfies done before we get underway.
11:30 Abbott and Turnbull are up. The Coalition leader starts with a tribute to Margaret Thatcher.
11:32 You can get a sneak peek of the policy here.
11:34 Abbott: “We will deliver a better NBN faster and better than this government can.”
11:36 Abbott: “By 2016 — at the end of our first term — there will be minimum download speeds of 25Mbps and up to 100Mbps.”
11:40 Coalition announces three inquiries: Commercial review completed within 60 days as to how quickly the NBN can meet the Coaltion objectives. The next is an audit of the NBN because of the “current mess” and the third is a study and cost/benefit analysis of the current plan to see what we need in future.
“I’m very proud of this policy”
11:41 Malcolm Turnbull taking over now.
11:42 This is a failing project that is behind schedule, says Malcolm.
11:43 We’ve done the hard analysis that the Government never did. We looked at what telcos are doing in major markets in the US, Europe and Asia. Our plan is consistent with
Turnbull: We will have FTTN in greenfield sites and major locations like schools, hospitals and industrial estates, but for residential suburbs, fibre will be taken out into the field but not all the way into the premise. The reason it saves so much money is because the cost in this network is the labour, not the cables and electronics. This is a much smarter approach.
11:46 Ironically, our building is connected to an ailing copper line, so our press conference link has dropped out. Stand-by.
11:47 And we’re back, with graphs!
Turnbull says the barrier to entry for broadband is cost, adding that Labor is going to charge people too much for broadband.
11:47 More graphs, now Turnbull is criticising the NBN Co for not meeting its roll-out targets. This whole press conference is very bizarre. It’s being held at a Fox Sports studio, presumably for graphical gravitas.
11:47 Internet speed is only good if you’re actually going to do something with it. 1Tbps is for a datacentre, and you don’t need that in your backyard.
We’re going through a graph from BT about what people are using their internet connections for at 40Mbps.
“A high-definition video stream only takes 6Mbps!” Turnbull says, adding that you can have lots of other things. “
11:47 To put this in a geeky way if you forgive me for this. The value of broadband does not increase with a linear fashion with the speed. 20Mbps is not twice as useful or valuable to you as 10Mbps, and 40Mbps is certainly not twice as valuable as 20Mbps.”
“This will deliver all of the services and applications. That is why this approach has been taken around the world.”
11:50 Turnbull is now talking about the replacement of copper that is in poor condition.
You can remediate the copper, fix it up, and that is something that is done all the time. In an area for example, where there is a lot of groundwater and the copper has a lot of…problems…that is an area where you might just put fibre right through. You make a judgment based on where you go.
Good news for those in the tropical north: you’re probably getting fibre.
11:50 Abbott is back up, and we’re now taking questions.
Update: Here’s the video of the Q&A:
Abbott: “Where copper can’t continue to be used, we’ll replace it. LAbor’s network junks useful infrastructure, copper and HFC networks.”
11:55 Q: “How long will copper network as it stands now actually last?” A from Turnbull: “Nobody knows.”
Turnbull previously indicates that failing copper will be rolled over into fibre when it perishes. Seems rather open ended.
11:58 We’re now deriding journalists asking questions. This is descending quickly.
11:59 Turnbull: “When Labor says they have a technology that is ‘future-proof’, they are kidding themselves. Nothing is future-proof and nobody can predict the future.”
12:00pm The policy documents are up, you can view them here.
12:01 What do you think of the policy so far? Tell us in the comments.
12:02 Now responding to questions about budgets and whether the capital cost of the Coalition network would appear on the Federal Budget spreadsheet.
12:03 The Coalition’s NBN will be built and then sold off. Abbott says that the network will go back into the private sector, but not until it’s ready for sale. Question dodged.
12:04 Turnbull on the Telstra deal: “There will have to be some renegotiation with Telstra, we set out to do that speedily. We respect the need for Telstra shareholders to be kept whole. The approach we’re taking is not bad news for Telstra, in fact, they’ll be marginally better off according to analysts.”
“Telstra shareholders have nothing to fear from our deal”.
12:04 “We have not assumed any change to the Optus agreement at all.”
12:07 “There is no government that is actually building a new telecom monopoly and prohibiting anyone from competing with it,” says Turnbull of the NBN Co. Governments are meant to seek competition, he adds. “Not China or even North Korea,” Turnbull says.
12:10 We haven’t really covered the upload speed of the Coalition’s broadband plan yet.
12:11 Turnbull now detailing about how people can actually pay to get fibre links to their homes, references BT in the UK charging “several thousand pounds” to get that connected. That’s no small figure, Malcolm. We didn’t all invest in Ozemail.
12:13 “We are absolutely confident that 25Mbps is going to be more than enough for the average household,” says Tony Abbott. I can’t say I completely agree with that.
12:14 Lots of shouting going on now. Turnbull and Chirgwin from the Register are arguing about semantics.
12:16 We’re now hearing the world’s weirdest analogy involving Irish pubs which ended in just more soundbites. Sigh.
12:17 Abbott and Turnbull urge us all to read the three documents they have put out today.
We end out on praise for Malcolm Turnbull as a founder of Ozemail while slamming Conroy.
12:19 Abbott: “[Turnbull is] Mr. Broadband.”
Abbott and Turnbull are now answering sporting questions because they’re in a Fox Sports studio. Fair to say that there’s nothing left to see here.
12:20 We’ll be going through the documents and we’ll have a preliminary analysis up soon.
Stay tuned for our analysis.