The NBN is around about half done, but that also comes with a massive jump in complaints to the TIO over the last year. The ACCC is on the case, and it might end up regulating the standard of services agreed on between NBN and the retail service providers (RSPs) that deliver you your high-speed broadband.
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Opinion: I won’t be the only one putting pen to paper after last night’s Four Corners article on the nbn. In fact, it appears many did that already, overnight. Me -- well, I went to bed. To those of us who work hands-on in the industry, last night’s article was disappointingly light on detail and disappointingly heavy on politics.
In 2009, then-Prime Minister and Labor Party leader Kevin Rudd launched the National Broadband Network -- building fibre infrastructure to 93 per cent of Australian homes, the largest public works project in Australian history. In the last eight years, though, the NBN has transformed drastically -- including a fundamental change in design after the 2013 election won by Tony Abbott and the Liberal Party. After a few years in the wilderness, Kevin Rudd is back in the spotlight, and he's throwing shade at the farce he thinks the NBN has become.
Complaints about the NBN involving connection delays, unusable internet or landlines and slow internet speed are on the rise. Most Australians will be forced to move onto the NBN within 18 months of it being switched on in their area, and that means navigating what can be confusing new contracts.
So, what are your rights regarding landline and internet connections?
This morning, NBN released a list of the 10 most expensive fibre to the premises (FTTP) installations rolled out under its original network plan. Despite the company generally staying tight-lipped about 'commercial in confidence' information -- including in its reports to the Senate committee charged with keeping it in line -- it's clearly happy to publish data that supports its government-mandated multi-technology mix.
"Significant concerns", for the ACCC, is basically DEFCON 1. It's six stars in Grand Theft Auto. It's "giant state-wide blackout in SA" serious. The ACCC doesn't pull out its big guns often.
And the ACCC has "significant concerns" with Australia's national electricity market.
The search for missing Malaysia Airlines flight 370 ran for more than three years, and was one of the largest marine surveys ever conducted. Within the search area coordinated by the Australian government, 278,000 square kilometres of ocean floor data was collected and collated by Geoscience Australia. That data is now publicly available, and has been used to create an interactive story map of the search for the missing aircraft.
Earlier today, it was reported that the Australian Defence Force grounded its fleet of DJI drones -- after the US Army did the same thing last month -- on security fears. Around 40 drones were taken out of active service in early August on concerns of "user vulnerabilities", and were out of action for a fortnight while an investigation took place. The popular drone manufacturer has released a statement saying that it makes drones for peaceful purposes, not military customers, and that the company has "no way of knowing who they are or what they do with them".
The High Court of Australia's judgments website went offline for an hour this afternoon, just before the court handed down its ruling that Australia's same-sex marriage postal survey was to go ahead. Another piece of national technology infrastructure that isn't up to the task of handling the vote, then.
The Telecommunications Universal Service Obligation was set up to ensure that all Australians have access to a landline. The Federal Government's Productivity Commission just a released a report calling the $3 billion over 20 years initiative "anachronistic and costly", recommending it should end by 2020.
The report points to the "sizable public investment" in NBN infrastructure that will provide high-speed (voice-capable) broadband "to all premises (on request) across Australia by 2020 at a quality that is, for the most part, superior to what has been available" as one of the reasons for ending the program.
Australia has the highest rate of rooftop solar panels in the world, but also one of the lowest rates of large scale solar infrastructure. You, dear reader, are better at renewable energy than the government you pay your taxes to.
A series of dramatic events over the past year, most notably the September statewide blackout in South Australia, have revealed an electricity system under strain, and left many Australians worried about the reliability of their power supply.
In response, state and federal politicians have announced a series of uncoordinated and potentially expensive interventions, most notably the Turnbull government’s Snowy Hydro 2.0 proposal and the South Australian government’s go-it-alone power plan.