It's NBN Public Action Day...Apparently

When you came to work today, you probably saw people pushing along fibre cabinets, carrying placards, wailing in the street and tying themselves to Telstra buildings with networking cable. It's a National Broadband Network Day of Action, of course. Wait, you didn't see that? Well what's all the fuss about then?

Outside of Malcolm Turnbull's office right now is a group of 20 people, holding signs and wearing t-shirts saying that they want a Fibre To The Home NBN. Why are they there, you ask?

A few months ago 270,000 people signed a petition saying they wanted a Fibre To The Home National Broadband Network. You know, the one that was tossed out with the last government.

The guy running the show these days, Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull, took the Fibre To The Node NBN to the election as one of the most detailed policies in the electoral manifesto, and they won. Now these 20 people are unhappy about it, and want to hand-deliver the FTTH petition that Turnbull has consistently brushed off.

I think if everyone in Malcolm Turnbull's office came out onto the street right now, the staffers would beat the protesters in a Battle Royale. It's that small.

Here's a photo of the protest from El Reg's Simon Sharwood.

Come on guys.

This "protest" shows people the difference between eating the burger and buying the cow. 270,000 people signed a petition for faster internet. They didn't care how it was delivered.

If you want to get involved in the "National" NBN Action Day, check out the literature, or follow Simon Sharwood for a blow-by-blow on the ground. Jesus wept.

Riot police image via Shutterstock



    I'm sick of your NBN bias, Luke. We get it, you voted Liberal and you realised they suck and you are trying to comfort yourself, but come on. These people are protesting for something they believe in, there is no need to discredit them. Also, another thing, the coalition did not win because of their NBN policy, it played no role on the outcome, the lies they spread, the media that helped them and the xenophobia of the Australian community is why they won. If you look at opinion polls Labors policy is the more popular policy.

    Last edited 26/11/13 12:52 pm

      Yeah sure because voting for the corrupt Australian Mafia party is such a better option, neither sides saints but at least the liberals aren't going to bankrupt the country.

      Last edited 26/11/13 3:01 pm

        Assuming one can trust the things they promised before the election. You know, promises they're breakin-- I mean, reinterpreting, right now.

        You do know that all that spending kept us out of a global recession? All that spending was investing in our future.

      I'm pretty sure that none of those reasons are why they won.

      They won because Labor sucked. Simple as that.

      I'd be out there protesting, if I didn't have a day job that actually requires my presence.

      Labor's plan was a genuine leap forward to bring our nation's infrastructure into the modern age. It was perhaps managed poorly, and executed without sufficient communication with the public. But the concept was once of the best ideas hatched by a politician in 10 years or more. Can you name another single government policy in living memory that would genuinely improve the lifestyle and livelihood of every household in Australia, while delivering a profit to the taxpayer?

      Blind Freddy can see that the Coalitions plan is a massive retro-grade step in comparison. It doesn't have an ounce of vision, and it will end up costing a massive amount of money while delivering a poor result. And it will still need to be upgraded (again!) in the next 10-15 years when we realise just how enormously inadequate it is.

      It's disgraceful that they play politics with such vital national infrastructure. And given Gizmodo Australia's role in the tech community, it's truly disgraceful that Luke Hopewell would endorse the Coalition's plan.

      Luke, your cow analogy is deeply flawed, because you cannot possibly claim that households will receive the "same result" from FTTN. You know better.

    I know right! The people who signed the petition to deliver faster internet "via FTTP" should risk losing their jobs today to deliver the petition personally! What a mob of splitters. I for one signed the petition and didnt take the day off so my name should automatically be removed from the validity of said petition.
    Stupid people, looking to the near future and remembering it does actually get here!

      This minus the angry tone and personal attacks.

      It's a Tuesday. I'm literally at work right now. They gave ten days notice for the event (I have the emails). By company policy, I need to give more notice than that for annual leave. There's no way I and many, many others could have attended.

      I'm not there in person. I am in spirit?

      Last edited 26/11/13 8:04 pm

    Luke, you of all people should know the FTTN model is archaic and obsolete. This article reads as a desperate attack at a significant group of people who know FTTP is a much better model in regards to future proofing, speed delivery and future upgrade costs. You should be ashamed of yourself for posting this rhetoric!

    I love how everyone is jumping down Luke's throat about his article. No matter how you feel about FTTP or FTTN it doesn't change the fact that this protest has obviously been underwhelming with only a small group of people taking part. Perhaps this is due to poor organisation or planning or perhaps it's due to lack of community support (beyond taking a moment to sign a digital petition). Either way it is clear that this protest has been a failure and perhaps Turnbull was right to brush them off.

      Yeah their organisers need to have a strong rethink about what they're doing. Appearing as a splinter group of randoms does nothing to help them.

    Interesting biblical reference at the end there Luke.
    The passage "Jesus wept" taken in context was Jesus ' outpouring of grief for a close friend dying before he went on to bring him back to life from the grave.
    I trust this is a veiled reference to your belief that this small but determined group of protesters will resurrect the FTTH model, lying slain this many months.

    I didn't even know of this :/ not enough advertising/info on it.

    Yeah, that's it Luke! F*ck the future of Australia's internet! Screw these whiney little b*tches and their demanding an infrastructure solution that benefits everybody in the country equally! We don't need this FTTH crap. We've got copper! Copper is the solution to all of our problems! Our mighty Liberal Party overlords said so, and I for one take every single word they say as absolute gospel. After all, they got elected right? And if there's one thing we know for sure, it's that every single person who voted for the Coalition agreed 100% with every single one of their policies. To think otherwise is both moronic and senseless.

    Last edited 26/11/13 1:37 pm

      Bingo, I'm sure if people could have voted Lib whilst outvoting FTTN we would have seen some better stats.

        This is why re need the referenda system the Swiss have. We could vote on any policy, so long as we had the requisite number of signatures on the petition (in Switzerland, I think they only need 100K for it to go to a referendum). Petitions could ACTUALLY contribute towards something, rather than just being symbolic and easily ignored by our leaders!

          I'd go with 200k+, but otherwise, that is a really, really good idea.

            Yeah, their population is only something like 8.5 million, so we'd need to bump it up a bit in comparison.

          You need to be careful with systems like that, or you'll end up in the kind of mess California is in. What do you do if everyone votes to both increase spending and to reduce taxes and those votes are binding on the government?

          While it might not be perfect, there is something to be said for giving the government the responsibility to deliver a balanced budget.

            I was thinking more along the lines of letting the government continue as it pleases. However, if a petition against a government action reaches [threshold], the action is deemed against the public wishes and must be redrawn again. For better or worse.

            Then we can tack on some buzz words and appealing conditions by stating something like: if a government decision is successfully challenged by the people [x] times, no confidence is assumed and another election announced.

            Obviously there's kinks that need ironing out, but the overall idea could be feasible.

        I voted for neither, but did preference Liberal over Labor (...just).

        If I could have, I would have voted to have the FTTN policy die a horrible, yet quick, death.

        Want to see the stats?

      Meanwhile back before the election.

      "ehhh What's this pesky NBN that they want to spend all this money on?! I'm 75 I don't use the internet therefore it's not my problem, Guess I'm voting for the coalition then it's back to bingo for me, yew straya!"

    Nice "journalism", do you get paid for this liberal propaganda?

    270,000+ signatures is no small feat, pretty sure they raised a boatload of money (I donated $10).

    It's pretty shit that only 20 people showed up but I don't think it's a fair assessment of the support. The journalist is clearly having a laugh at this which is shocking coming from gizmodo, I would have thought like minded people would be all for Australia's tech.

    Last edited 26/11/13 1:37 pm

      To be fair though, it's during business hours, on a working day. Australians are flaky with protests at the best of times. Do a simple survey of FB events/protests and look at the percentage of supporters actually turnout. The numbers are always pretty low. Plus what boss is going to be sympathetic with "I'm just taking an extended lunch break to go to an NBN protest"? Despite the general understanding of the FTTN being complete shit by people who have even a little understanding of the subject (this seems to count out Mr. Hopewell, possibly), most people-- and I'm talking about the majority of Adult Australians, just don't give a shit about this sort of thing. They'll bore the shit out of you with X Factor, the last episode of the Bachelor, ANY fucking illness or ailment they have, dumb shit their offspring gets up to, but not something like this, even though it will have a HUGE personal impact. Most Australians STILL get a little overwhelmed and distraught when you talk 'computers' with them! At least, that seems to be my experience with people I know and about 95% of the people I work with and on every floor of my building.

      If they did this on a Saturday, the numbers would have been better, though by how much, who can say?

    Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull, took the Fibre To The Node NBN to the election as one of the most detailed policies in the electoral manifesto

    It wasn't hard to be the most detailed policy in the real solutions brochure, sorry I mean "electoral manifesto".

    It was crammed full of details, like the full price they would be paying Telstra for the copper. The amount of nodes that would be required. What percentage of the copper needs to be replaced because it is incapable of delivery the minimum speed.

    The FTTN policy was so detailed that the policy of upgrading bad copper was "we'll do it as we find it". How do you write that into a budget exactly?

    lol at all the God damn Giz how dare they report news that in anyway disagrees with my beliefs and viewpoints.

    The FTTP may indeed be the better option (indeed it is on a personal level), but not everyone wants there tax dollars been spent on such a trivial thing such as improved Internet speeds, would it be nice sure... did the Labor party just waste billions of tax payers money on crap, yeah they did, hence Australia needs to conserve and reduce it's expenditure to regain our financial stability.
    (please tell me you haven't all forgotten the billions of dollars that Gillard and Rudd shat on)

    Another point more directly supporting the FTTN over the Labors FTTP plan, this method will allow the people with horrible Internet to get to a more tolerable level, it's purpose shouldn't be to enhance other peoples already adequate Internet so they can stream their torrents or porn faster.
    Malcom's FTTN plan levels the Internet playing field for all Australians, including those neglected in rural, semi-rural areas.
    I believe there's actually an option that if you wish to upgrade to a direct fibre-optic you can pay to do so. (not entirely sure, can't remember where I read that)
    I'll just be happy to get speeds faster than a 0.5 Mbps.

      Im so fing sick of reading this ignorant and false response from people.


      Seriously your 2nd point is also ridiculous because that's the exact opposite of what will happen, we will get random people who get fibre for free and we will get random people forced to pay 5 grand to get it, class divide much. The point isn't internet for everyone now so much as it is fantastic internet for everyone in 10-20 years, under tonys dogshit policy the speeds we have by 2025 for anyone still on copper will be the same equivilent as what you get now (.5), which is why everyone is so against it. The second it is finished it will need to be completely overhauled and done FTTP like it was supposed to be the first time, the Liberals have already stated this themselves.

      There are so many more reasons why FTTN is just bad all around from the non profitability thanks to cherry picking, the hidden extra $10+ billion cost of buying the copper which wouldn't be used under FTTP, the multi billion$ per year maintenaice cost on the nodes themselves. The fact they underestimated the amount of nodes needed by multiple factors, that we will get only 25mbps instead of the 100 and eventual 1GB.

      People who are against FTTP are wrong, there isn't any leg for them to stand on it doesn't make financial sense its not good for the country and people like you and Luke (seriously fire this guy already) need to realise this before you help tony make one of the biggest infrastructure mistake in our countrys history.

      Last edited 29/11/13 11:37 am

        This. This 2000lb JDAM of truth. This right here, this is why he is the King. Long live the King!

        Last edited 26/11/13 5:22 pm

    there should have been better communication for this, the amount emails you get from "change" is a little too much some times, Sure, we did sign the petition and we do like what change is all about, I really don't have time to read all the emails :( ,but a good facebook campaign would have attracted more people. I sure would have loved to take no pay and support this.

    Round 2 ?

    Tl dr;

    Houses that were lucky enough to get NBN will most likely sky rocket in price.

    Thanks obama.

    Last edited 26/11/13 3:22 pm

    Hey you all realise that super-fast oz internet will only be super-fast around Oz right?

    The instant you go to a server OS, the signal has to go to another continent and viola. Speed is capped.

    I had a good chat to my phone tech about this the other day. He said that it was a massively over-engineered waste of cash. And he works on this stuff every day.

    Sorry but thought I'd put forth an alternative point of view.

      Hey you all realise that super-fast oz internet will only be super-fast around Oz right?

      Yeah, like remotely administering all of my client's databases.

      I work on that stuff every day.

      Your mate the phone tech needs to educate himself. Perhaps you could join him.

      1. Our cables to international servers have plenty of additional capacity, and can easily handle the extra traffic without any real loss of speed. We're not anywhere near reaching the capacity of our undersea cables.

      2. If your tech mate had any clues he'd know that every comms company's medium of choice for fast data connections is fibre. Telcos use nothing else, unless they don't have a choice. That's why it's a good future-prrof choice for our whole network.

      3. At present, a select few lucky people in cities have cable internet. Those in urban areas normally (although this is not guarateed) have access to ADSL, which is often unreliable and massively variable in performance. The rest of the country is on a patchwork of dial-up, satellite, 3G and other wireless services which are generally slow, expensive, variable and unreliable. It's a ridiculous mess of a network for a prosperous developed nation.

      One of the major purposes of the NBN is to get everybody onto the same network, with decent performance. That way Australians can have a reliable platform for communication, e-commerce, universal e-health and all the other systems that are only possible if everyone has a decent connection.

      4. It's not even very expensive, in real terms. We can easily afford a proper NBN, our economy can easily support this and will undoubtedly grow as a result of better communications infrastructure. Blind Freddy can see that the internet is vital for our everyday lives these days.

        Good stuff, so sick of reading peoples responses who have no fucking clue.

        That guy and his tech mate need to educate themselves, its people like this with no fucking knowledge on the subject who are keeping aus well beyond whats needed.

        Especially considering he "works in the field", he should probably be sacked. But he doesn't work remotely in the field, he works in tech support.

        Last edited 26/11/13 5:22 pm

          Yeah! Screw those people with opinions other than mine! Especially someone who lives and breathes cables every day. What would they know??? They should be FIRED MAN!

            This isn't oh fire this guy because he thinks gays shouldn't marry or that pot should stay illegal.

            IT IS NOT A DISCUSSION or an opinion, it is FACT. The guy is wrong, 100%.

            This is a guy supposedly working in the field that has no knowledge at all about his supposed field, yeah i'm pretty sure i'd fire him and hire someone who knows what they are talking about.

            Last edited 29/11/13 11:41 am

        But you're not giving any links to ANYthing!

        You've got proof of all of this right?

        And I beg to differ. 99% of people will be purely using the NBN for youtube and torrents. Therefore it's not a good solution. It's overengineered and there's no guarantee that it won't be obsolete in 15 years time when the rest of the world is using satellites.

        And you don't think it's expensive??? Are you Clive Palmer's child or something?

      That's a very narrow minded look at it. Firstly it's the communications around the country such as between universities, hospitals and doctors with their patients that will benefit from it as well as accessing local content. There are new international pipes going in all the time and you will still benefit from all the internal routes and lookups that happen up until that point of the international pipe.

    A whole 6 people turned up to deliver the petition to Andrew Wilkie's office in Denison, Tasmania. I would have gone but I feared being trampled to death.

      lol, Luke liked this comment but refuses to reply to anyone else, the thing is, people criticise Luke but his ego is so huge he doesn't take it onboard, there is no defending this article or any of his NBN articles, he clearly doesn't know what democracy means or how elections work, someone with knowledge as low as his should not make articles like this or at least defend themselves. As NBNMAN posted, if you really want to argue Luke, at least have facts on your side so you don't keep looking like a fool every time you write these articles.

    The clever country strikes again: go the business acumen of the silver spooner who inherited wealth ,

    The biggest problem in society is apathy. The government knows the people have the real power but feel safe in the knowledge we won't do anything. If all the drivers in Australia tore down every speeding camera, the government could do nothing about it. They can't throw us all in jail so they would stop putting speed cameras up. Instead, we just complain and whinge about it and the government just puts up more cameras and rakes in the money. Bit by bit the government takes away our rights and all we do is quietly comp lain. Just look at the U.S.for instance. There rights are getting whittled away daily but no one does anything. We only have ourselves to blame because of apathy. Society is just made up of gutless people too afraid to get out of their living rooms and say enough is enough.

      I think the main thrust of your post is true, but in the example of speed cameras, what rights are being taken away? You don't have the right to drive over the speed limit. You never did.

    My name is on the petition too. I didn't go marching because I have a job that I do rely on to keep money coming in my bank account. However Luke- you are not doing the right thing by belittling people who have stood up for their right to demand better of Malcolm Turnbull. I know that I will be upset if his "review" says anything not quite factual. FTTP Is the better deal and Simon Hackett is the man that Turnball should be relying on for an improved delivery method. Also what happened to a fast and smooth transition for telstra's copper?

    Well I didn't even know that there was a protest until seeing this Gizmodo article popup on my Facebook feed this morning.

    I signed the petition and added my information so as to receive updates etc but nothing came through about it (unless I missed something when I signed it.... hey it's possible, I am only human!).

    I'm also on several Aus. tech FB/Twitter pages, email lists etc and heard nothing at all.
    Maybe I just wasn't lurking on the right pages at the right time of day if/when it was mentioned but that kind of thing happens when you have to work.

    Maybe if it was on a weekend and better organised then a few more people would've turned up for it, not everyone can take time off of work or school to attend rallies.

    Oh well, better luck for the rally (& hopefully all of us) next time

    '270,000 people signed a petition for faster internet. They didn’t care how it was delivered' except for the part where you note that they petitioned for FTTH ie the how so what's your point again?

    The point is that most of the whiners won't do anything more than whine on Giz.

    And apparently the Lib's know that ...

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