Tony Abbott Says Coalition NBN Plan Is 'Absolutely Bulletproof'

The leader of the Coalition isn't afraid of making a bold claim or two.

Image: Getty

The ABC reports from its election blog that when questioned costings for the Coalition NBN policy this morning, Tony Abbott stated that

"The national broadband network policy was released many months ago by myself and Malcolm [Turnbull]. The Government's been crawling all over it. No-one has been able to question the costings. It is absolutely bulletproof."

Actually, Tony, nobody's been able to question the costings, because you haven't released the full costings (due to happen this afternoon) -- or for that matter, the full plan. That's actually part of your policy; the very first thing that was stated in the Coalition's NBN launch many months ago was that the first thing you'd do if you assumed Government was launch into a series of reviews around the NBN itself, and that this was likely to take time. It's a sentiment echoed by Malcolm Turnbull himself only a couple of days ago.

Are there NBN costing and implementation issues to contend with? I'd say there are. There's the issue of how much Telstra will actually want for its copper network, no matter how many times it's declared worthless. That feeds into the issue of how much it'll cost to both remediate and maintain the copper in order to meet the Coalition's aggressive 25MBps download speed goal for all Australians by 2016.

Bulletproof? It's as bulletproof as the existing NBN, which, lest I be accused of being on a Labor payroll (which seems to happen any time I write about NBN issues) has been plagued with under-delivery, cost over-runs and health scare issues.

Those are implementation issues, and they're not something that's likely to simply vanish switching from FTTP to FTTN. My core interest remains the technology -- and I don't think anyone's in any doubt as to which solution is by far technologically superior -- but statements that declare a plan "bulletproof" make for nice soundbites, but lack in that all too critical proof.


Further Reading: Can Australia Afford The Coalition's NBN?



    Tony Abbott Says Coalition NBN Plan Is "Absolutely Bulletproof" but you might not be able to use it when it rains because the copper sucks.

      Look.... um... uhhh... I think we can all... uh... agree here... that ... uh... the um.. issues you're talking about here... um... let's be clear... are not...uh...bullets. But they do have some sex appeal, am I right?

        funniest comment ever

      well, he said bulletproof, not waterproof

        You're right!

        Maybe he was talking about the nodes? Maybe the only bulletproof part of their plan is going to be the actual nodes.

          are they going to be making the cabinets out of Kevlar?

          They might be bullet proof - but I have a photo of one ripped out, flipped on its lid - the fibres still connected but the cabinet - defintely not bullbar proof.

            Show pics or it didn't happen!

              I cannot display this particular'll just have to take it on faith (ha!)

      I believe he was referring to the costings of it not the actual network,

      Last edited 05/09/13 2:36 pm

      My suburb, Nicholls ACT, is on RIMs which is very like Abbot's NBN. It is digital E1 to a local node and wire from there to homes. It cannot handle ADSL 2 +, and the speed is not much more than 1 MB/s. The big problem is reliability, which is terrible. with frequent (10 /day) modem drop outs and failure to reconnect automatically. Telstra and my ISP just say I have to buy a better modem. I have bought many modems in my desperate attempt to get a reliable service, and the most expensive ones are better. So, why is this my fault. It was a new suburb when Telstra did this as an economy measure. They still charge the full price for each line, so why not?

      Last edited 22/09/13 3:26 pm

      Hello did you read it at all? It's Fibre to Fibre.... and Telstra should pay to upgrade their own lines, why do we pay line rentals!!!!!

    Until now I was hoping (praying) that the coalition NBN plan existed just for the sake of the opposition disagreeing with the government. That's how 2 party systems work. Their sole job is to disagree and argue against the govt. Can't we all just get along?

    I would have like to see them just scrap this whole stupid idea when they win on Saturday, and say "oh you know, this labour thing wasn't so bad after all".

    But then he comes out and spews forth rubbish like "bulletproof" and now I'm really worried. This may actually change my vote... not for Labour.... but not for Liberal either....

    Maybe he's saying the costings are bulletproof not the actual NBN plan....?

    Last edited 05/09/13 1:29 pm

      I've been hoping the exact same thing. I seriously hope they do some kind of turn around on their bogus plan. For anyone who believes 25mbps is enough speed, tell me that same thing in 10 years or even 5 years. Even 100mbps as Turnbull says people can achieve on their plan - 10 years time what will it mean for Australia when the rest of the developed world (who already receive well above 25mbps NOW across many countries) are on speeds far above this. We will be lagging behind as we already are. As the digital age progresses the effects of this are going to become more and more apparent.

      I think people just don't understand why the Liberal's decision on this is simply outrageous. You can't just think about now. Yeah sure it may be marginally cheaper, but don't let that be the guiding decision when our debt levels are hardly excessive compared to other major players in the world.

      I just hope Tony Abbott finds some sense and does something about this.

        I can't wait to hear all the complaining start up when the big, ugly, honking cabinets are installed up and down every street, on people's lawns.

        Someone shoot the captain pls.

          They are going to look like crap.
          Man, Imagine what it would be like when accidents happen on these nodes IE car's hitting them, people digging and cutting wires accidentally, fucking nature ect...

          If Tony Abbot win i will loose more faith in humanity.

          If their on the corner at the end of the street won't they block visibility?

            Erm.. my road is a like a 5KM long... not all of us live in streets a few 100 metres long.

      Actually, the opposition's job isn't to just blindly disagree with everything (despite what today's politics may seem like). The idea is so that one group doesn't have absolute power. A good idea is still a good idea, no matter which side it comes from. Today's politicians have forgotten that.

        Oh don't get me wrong... I know what the point is, but it very very very rarely happens.
        When was the last time the opposition said "we support the governments plan/idea/position"??
        I'm sure it's happened in the past but I can't think of a single example.

          It was probably when Turnbull didn't oppose the Carbon tax and got dumped as opposition leader.

          i remember reading a statistic when i was in high school apparently the majority of all legislation passes through the house and senate with out challenge (everyone agrees), it's only the decisive stuff that receives media attention. as it turns out no one cares if the CSRIO's budget is increased 2% to help fund additional research into medicinal qualities of whale excrimant.

        I can't help thinking that with any large and expensive project there are lots of winners (from the construction/installation process). If you drive the project in a certain direction then you can decide who the winners will likely be. You scratch my back and I'll scratch yours :-(

      Since he said "No-one has been able to question the costings. "
      I'd assume he was talking about the cost.

      geez. Maybe if more people listened to the crap that comes out of his mouth he wouldn't have so many supporters. Rudd\Labor are not perfect by any stretch.... none of them are, but Abbot and the Liberals... Ughh I think this country is gonna pay a far bigger toll with him as 'Captain', spouting his 'Captain calls'.

        I vote for the party (direction) not the man. The prime minister is a puppet just like the a president. They don't hold any individual power. Everything goes through the party and the members. The leader of the party is the "face" of the party not a real leader.
        I don't really care who stands on the podium as much as what they stand for.

        Unfortunately during election time both sides simply stand for what the other side doesn't stand for. Which means both are as useless as the each other. I prefer to look at history and do my best to try not to let it repeat itself

      Rumour: Liberals will create a crap version of FTTN as an example (in Melbourne), then claim they are forced into FTTP and blame labor for the cost for the next 3 elections.

      When I say rumour - you can probably translate that as insider knowledge.

      Edit: Appears to be a best-case-scenario install again - like the one in NSW so you can ignore my rumour regrading it being a crap install - its a gold-plated install (and cost a tonne to do).

      Last edited 06/09/13 10:53 am

        I'm sure their primary strategy is to make the current government look so bad, that the new government can blame all their failures on their predecessors.

          If you're anywhere near Melbourne UNI in Carlton you can probably go out there today and see them integrating the new FTTN Cabinet.
          There were people taking photos yesterday as it was powered up and Telstra were very very unhappy about that.

          Also - this 'trial' appears to be in a new apartment block, close to the Carlton exchange and has perfect, dry copper recently installed. more info to come as it is integrated.

      That's right.
      Ah, Well.. Labor has taken their NBN to far and now it's too late, we'll have to carry it out as Labor intended. (We won't admit they were right)
      But now we are going to have to make more cuts to pensioners and single parents to pay for this.. This was "unforseen"

      Yeaaaah bullocks.

      it was a clever plan by Tony Abbot to reduce the popularity of his main rival, Malcolm Turnbull. It is working, Mal looks like a luddite idiot now.

    Just like the fact that nothing is ever "bulletproof" in reality, his version of the NBN is based on total fantasy.

      Well he did say that 'Turnbull' practically invented the internet, so he must have some idea of what he's talking about.... Wait... Well um err .... :)

      It's a shame it bulletproof. It deserves to be taken behind the shed and shot.

      C'mon man copper wire is perfectly fine.....for the 1950's....

    If they are bulletproof then I look forward to seeing an exact figure on what percentage of the existing fibre needs to be replaced because it will not support the promised 25mbps minimum.

    Not sure how you cost something when part of the plan is "replace the bad copper as we find it"?

    OMG, just vote already! The coalition doesn't need your votes anyway. For every one of the whining NBN pro voters there are 2 more ordinary voters that don't believe the world revolves around the NBN. I use to enjoy reading Gizmodo. Surely, the NBN has been done to death on this site. Personally, I had a problem with Conroy, but fortunately he's gone now for good.

      I think what you meant to say is that for every one of you, there are two or more ignorant, gullible voters who make their decisions based on three word slogans and fear campaigns.
      Keep up the good work Gizmodo. We need to know this information to help us make and informed, intelligent decision.

        one comes to mind. Cut, Cut Cut

          Or "We'll Stop The Boats"

          Yeah? I'll stop the boats too.. doesn't mean you will like how I do it!

      In your defense I do agree that there are a lot of people who have no idea what all the kerfuffle is about. I asked the tech that fitted the fibre to my house what he though about the idea of cabinets on the end of the street and he had no bloody idea what I was talking about at all. had to explain it to him...

      If you don't think broadband is important then seriously ask yourself how you would feel right now if you were forced to use dial-up.

      I believe that broadband is more important than road upgrades.

        No one will need to use dial-up under any proposal and don't worry, road upgrades are very low on my list although improvements would save human lives and that certainly is more important than getting a better highway to the internet. Good luck all with your campaign.

    They do know that if they keep this stupid FTTN plan that is going to cost them more to maintain the substandard copper over the life of the NBN than it will to keep the current FTTP plan, right? I just don't get it.

      Of course they know that but ssshhh the average voter doesn't know that.

        And there is the problem. The average person doesn't care about the technical side of the NBN. Hell, I bet 99% of voters don't even know what fiber is.

        Last edited 05/09/13 2:21 pm

          The average voter doesn't matter after Saturday.
          What matters is what they do over the next 4 year + years.
          This is a perfect example of an election promise that I don't want them to keep. Use it to get votes if you have to, it's unfortunately how this whole thing works, but don't go wasting money on stupid obsolete technology.

      That's the hope I'm clinging to now - that fact that the coalition KNOW their plan is a steaming turd, but surely they're not actually serious about it. So they'll spend a few years stalling for time by conducting review after review into the NBN while the rollout quietly carries on in the background. Until they reach the point where they say it'll be cheaper to just finish the proper NBN than to implement theirs.

        This is what I hope as well. I mean, honestly, I know Abbott is totally clueless when it comes to tech, but Turnbull knows better. FTTN vs FTTP has been systematically dismantled as lunacy by literally every tech site/blog on the Internet; its a textbook example of throwing money away. I struggle to believe that a political party that is supposedly 'for business' would deliberately cripple its own economy in so many ways.
        Then again, they're kind of for separation of class too, and their NBN will certainly separate the rich from the poor.

    I don't want copper even if it is bulletproof

    It's bulletproof because it doesn't exist. They send it to the commission of audit who say that the money is better spent elsewhere and that the NBN should be delayed for at least a year...then two...then they'll promise to revive it after the next election...lather, rinse, repeat.
    You can fire as many bullets as you like when there's nothing to hit.

    Jesus, I can't believe these ass clowns are going to get in. When are people going to start doing research and actually look at what they are saying / not saying. This is crazy.

    Just goes to show, you don't have to be smart to be a politician...

    Telstra is going to rape the crap out of the nbn. Telstra is by and far the most expensive Telco, and they will screw everyone down to their last cent just because we might have to use 100 metres of their copper lines. If Telstra is involved, expect to pay one hundred fold more than any one else on the planet. We're screwed

      Well why wouldn't telstra screw the govt for all it's worth on the FTTN network knowing that the plan is impossible without it.

      And for the coalition voters who think this is just a smoke screen and they will do a 180 and install a FTTP network - get real. It AIN'T gonna happen. We will spend an absolute fortune on a big steaming turd of an asset. Then in 5 years when they realise it's garbage, we will pay for the FTTP network we should have now.

    Sigh. Best analogy I've used has been: wouldn't it have been better if the M5 were built as a 4 or 5 lane highway all the way in from the get-go? Sure it would have cost more initially, but then we wouldn't have the horrendous traffic every day, and wouldn't need all the costly roadworks now. It was at capacity when it was finished, and the city just keeps getting bigger every day.

      Unfortunately you're talking about future planning. More and more it seems we left that idea behind in the 60s and 70s...

        Well the conservative view is still kinda back there... I can't expect too much from troglodytes.

    The Sheeple have spoken !

    Tony Abbott is an idiot and will say anything to get voted in, unfortunately the majority of voters will believe him because they don't even know what the nbn is.

    'Bud' Abbott even looks like he is living in the 1950s. Hi ho a merry oh, its back to the 50s we all go.

    The whole behaviour of the coalition in this election has been dodgy as hell.

    What I find interesting is that I have heard from a fairly reliable source that the NBN Co. spent a ridiculous amount of money on their offices. Now I don't know the absolute specifics of it, but office chairs for regular employees in the $3000 range and an interesting, but expensive feature in the reception area is not what I call a good use of the government's (i.e. our tax) money. I haven't seen the offices myself, but I know someone who does office fitout and furniture project management for a living, who tends towards extravagance himself, and if he says it's extravagant, then I'd imagine it's pretty well over the top for a government funded company.

      Reliable source eh? heard that one before....from a friend of a friend of a cousin of my mates uncle's brother in laws aunty....

      Last edited 07/09/13 1:47 pm

      "Reliable source"... right...

    I shot a hole through one of the Coalition's NBN Nodes. I can safely say that their plan is not Bullet Proof.

    Rejoice everyone! We can be boasting 25 mbps up to a century from no. Pffft, who needs fast internet, it's not like we're a developed nation or something.

    Did anyone take into consideration the amount of theft of devices in these cabinets. I know the device that connects fibre to a switch can be worth up to 10000 dollars.

    I have NBN to my home with speeds of 94mb/s down and 38mb/s up and it still takes me an hour to upload a 5:38 1080p video to youtube.

    But regardless i have a question: Does anyone know if my speeds will slow to the coalitions shitty speeds or will i keep the same speeds i have?

    (though this might be a question for my ISP)

    Last edited 09/09/13 11:33 am

    It is now Monday. Your worst fears have materialized. Can you stop the incessant electioneering for Labor, please.

    The speeds can only be as fast as its slowest point, if last leg is on copper then your current speed will be your theoretical max, only difference will be less "congestion" related speed drops on the backbone!

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