NBN: TV host blasts Prime Minister’s innovation claim

Slow internet is annoying but is it really worth getting angry about?

man waiting for his computer to download due to slow internet

When he was Prime Minister, Tony Abbott may have crowned then Communication Minister, Malcolm Turnbull “the man who virtually invented the internet”, but outspoken television host Waleed Aly has taken aim at Mr Turnbull’s “age of innovation” claim amid reports that the NBN rollout is floundering.

Papers leaked last week reveal that the Government’s rollout of the NBN is indeed in trouble, despite assurances by Communications Minister Mitch Fifield last month that such reports were unfounded. Issues over the fibre to node part of the Coalition’s alternative plan to that implemented by the then Labor government have caused the program to be delayed by as much as 87 days in certain areas. 

On last night’s Channel Ten current affairs program, The Project, Logie-nominated host Waleed Aly, in his regular segment, ‘Something We Should Talk About’, said the delays were not trivial and were indeed a concern, "This is worrying because while we were never told we would have the fastest internet under the Coalition, we were promised it would be delivered much earlier than under Labor." Interviewed for the segment was former director of the University of Queensland’s computer centre, Alan Coulter, who said, "If we're going to be the innovation nation, we shouldn't go for the cheap and error-prone solution." 

Labor’s original plan was to deliver a fibre to the premises NBN by 2021, at a cost of $45 billion. The Coalition, when in opposition, modelled that it would actually cost $85 billion and put forward its own plan when it won the 2013 Federal Election. The slower fibre to node NBN delivery opted for by the Government was to be quicker and cheaper to rollout and  scheduled for completion in 2019. However, the costs have already blown out to $56 billion and it is currently scheduled to be finished by 2020, although further delays may affect this date.

Noting the increase in data usage by Australians, Waleed Aly went on to say, "The problem here is, despite the latest figures showing the amount of data downloaded by Australians increased by 40 per cent from June 2014 to June 2015, the Abbott-slash-Turnbull government has never demonstrated that they value the need for high-speed internet." 

Stating that the Snowy Mountains scheme and the Sydney Harbour Bridge were built with the future in mind, Aly continued to lambast Mr Turbull’s “age of innovation” claim. "But now, as we enter Malcolm Turnbull's 'age of innovation' and we're told the NBN is the most important infrastructure project of the 21st century, we're expected to rely on a decaying copper network that experts say is already past its use-by date, instead of investing in fibre which the same experts say could service our internet needs for the next 100 years."

And his final dig? "So if you're watching this right now on the internet, and you had to wait for even a second for this video to buffer, you know who to blame," he said. "Tony Abbott… and the guy who he says invented the internet."

Watch last night’s episode at Tenplay.com.au

Read more at SMH.com.au 

Opinion: Are we lagging behind?

Slow internet – sure it’s annoying but is it really worth getting hot under the collar about? Should it be an issue that shapes the election debate? You bet it is.

The NBN rollout has been going on for so long that many people simply accept that they will get it at some point in time and that it may make their internet quicker – it may not. But in today’s digital world, that simply isn’t good enough.

A fast and stable internet infrastructure will be the cornerstone of delivering health and aged care support over the coming decades and may indeed, be the only way in which we can support an ageing population. Delivering health services such as virtual consultations with GPs for those in remote areas or who can’t visit the surgery, managing vital statistics such as blood pressure and insulin levels in patients and monitoring the frail and less mobile for falls can all be done remotely, efficiently and more cheaply if we have the right infrastructure in place.

To be able to entice new business to come to Australia is also reliant on an internet service much improved from the one we have now. With the demise of the resources and manufacturing industries, we must also look to secure the future commitment and investment from multinationals already operating in Australia, a country where costs are high compared to our Asian counterparts. And it is these emerging Asian nations that will have the faster and more reliable internet systems. On a recent visit to Vietnam, I was blown away by how quick and readily available free wifi was – something I don’t think Vietnamese visitors would ever say about Australia.

In fact, Australia is actually going backwards when it comes to the speed of our internet. According to rankings released by content delivery network provider Akamai, Australia has dropped from 30th to 60th in the last three years. Singapore, a country with which Australia will compete for investment over the coming years, has internet 100 times faster than we do. 

It’s not really about being able to download movies and watch television over the internet, although that is fast becoming the norm. Delivering the NBN has become, in the eyes of the Government, something it must do to save face, but it does it without any real conviction. If Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull does indeed believe in innovation, he needs to raise the profile and priority of delivering a fast and efficient NBN and do it quickly.

Do you have access to the NBN? Do you think a fast and stable internet connection is vital for future innovation in health care, aged care and business? Or is all the fuss about the NBN unjustified? Do you think we should revert to the original fibre to premises rather than the node NBN?

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    COMMENTS

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    4b2
    7th Apr 2016
    10:38am
    No the NBN was due in my area in 2014 under the Labor plan (Bennelong Electorate). Under this confused and ever changing Government we do not have a date. So much for on time and under budget. The NBN will be late, slower, and cost more. We cant trust this mob for anything, they say one thing to get elected then try and change their prommises after the election. What an exciting time to be waiting for a fast innovative second class roll out of the NBN.
    Julian
    7th Apr 2016
    10:47am
    Comment removed (racism)
    Happy cyclist
    7th Apr 2016
    11:08am
    Goodness, what a couple of nasty comments. Sounds to me like you have a vile agenda of your own Julian. Mr Aly is an incredibly intelligent, articulate and thoughtful man. Clearly those attributes are not appreciated by everyone, although he is appreciated by many thousands for his wit, his thoughtfulness and his courage. I see every day people on this website saying really nasty and often unfounded things about the politicians yet when a media commentator makes a well thought-out critic of the PM suddenly he is a 'wannabee' PM? Oh, please.
    ozimarco
    7th Apr 2016
    11:10am
    Waleed Aly tells it like it is and, if you happen to be an LNP supporter, that can really hurt. Waleed is as Australian as they come. Just because he is not white and Christian does not make him any less Australian or entitled to point out what is wrong with this government. Turnbull is the biggest hypocrite you could imagine. The very man who sabotaged the NBN is now spruiking himself as the champion of innovation. The only right NBN for Australia was a fibre NBN, not this FTTN rubbish. By the way, I hope Waleed gets his Logie. He certainly would be a worthy winner.
    Polly Esther
    7th Apr 2016
    11:39am
    I thought the subject matter here was the roll out of the NBN.
    Why are you shooting the messenger?
    Golfer
    7th Apr 2016
    12:15pm
    Polly Esther they're shooting the messenger because he has a political agenda and consequently a biased perspective. His anti LNP tirades are well publicised and The Project needs a new anchor.
    Rational
    7th Apr 2016
    12:23pm
    Far too often commentary is focussed on undermining the source of an issue rather than addressing the issue itself - the reality is, regardless of the commentator, that the NBN in its currently planned form [FTTN] will not deliver the broadband performance Australia needs and will need to be upgraded to FTTP [as initially intended]. The departure from the FTTP path was ill-advised, and will cost more in the long term, both in terms of maintenance of the node hardware and batteries and when upgrade to FTTP is implemented [which must inevitably occur]. Regardless of personal opinions of Mr Aly, the point he made is quite valid and worthy of rational discussion. Australia's broadband infrastructure is inadequate and access is too expensive even when compared to some developing nations.
    Happy cyclist
    7th Apr 2016
    12:35pm
    Rational, your name is well chosen!
    Scrivener
    7th Apr 2016
    12:43pm
    Waleed is one of our most articulate, educated and intelligent commentators. Slagging him off because your values are to the right of Ghengis Khan only reflects on those capabilities in you. What precisely has a person's religion to do with their ability to be a highly qualified social commentator who has the capacity to penetrate political lies?
    That would make an atheist God-like.
    Anonymous
    7th Apr 2016
    4:19pm
    Bigotry! Bigotry! Bigotry! Julian & Maggie.... let's call it what it is shall we.

    THE FACTS - Labor's NBN:
    - costed & audited (back then) at $37billion
    - due to the speeds attainable would have paid itself back in full by 2034;
    - would be good for 50+ years;
    - could be UPGRADED;
    - could handle higher and higher speeds - as future speeds got higher;
    - went to ALL Australian premises, AT NO COST, so that no-one was excluded;
    - would have put Australia 20 years ahead of the world in innovation and technology; and
    - it gave Australia a FUTURE instead of relying on sheep and mining.

    THE FACTS - Liberal's NBN:
    - never costed or audited and it has been reported as nearing up to $70billion and that does NOT include the cost of power (equal to two power stations) needed for the millions of ugly nodes NOR the cost of Telstra to maintain the copper.... NOR does it include the capital cost of Turnbull buying segments of the copper network at TOP $$$, then finding that it was in such bad shape that it needed to be upgraded.... copper is more expensive than the top level fibre (Labor was using) and then Turnbull was reported as saying that he would be virtually GIVING this network back to Telstra & Optus.
    - will NEVER pay itself back because the speeds are that slow, the USA doesn't even regard it as a NBN, and such slow speeds will not generate an income;
    - is OUT of DATE right now (other countries are pulling this ancient technology out);
    - CAN'T be UPGRADED;
    - CAN'T handle high speeds (some cases speeds are way less than ADSL2) and can't go higher;
    - doesn't go to ALL Australian premises... in fact if you are more than 300m from a node, you have to go back to 'dial up' or get 'satellite' - both are unsatisfactory;
    - if you want a slightly better speed, you can pay up to $20,000 to put in fibre from the node to your premises;
    - it will put Australia 20years BEHIND the rest of the world... even developing countries... leaving Australia to depend on sheep and mining... with little hope of retaining our LIFESTYLE and prosperity.


    ADDITIONALLY, Labor's NBN installation was running basically on time with a few hitches..... considering the world considered the Labor NBN proposal as a 'world wonder', this was to be expected.

    In comparison, Liberal's NBN installation is in SHAMBLES and have started to instal not only their fibre to node but multi-mixes.... employees of NBN Co who are involved in this installation call it a "clusterf***".

    Please, by all means.... if you thing the above is wrong... let me know and we can discuss it.

    We can even leave politics out of it and just discuss this gross *^%$#@! UP of Australia and its future.
    Anonymous
    7th Apr 2016
    4:24pm
    Oh! one other thing ..... Turnbull is now issuing murmurings that resemble the start of a political PROMISE (for what it is worth... promises seem to have no meaning to this party) THAT he will now lay fibre to the property line.

    TWO things about this.....
    1). The fibre is CHEAP flimsy and nasty and will not do as good a job and will only improve the speeds but will not be able to last more than five (5) years and then will be out of date!
    2). Question: Who pays for the connection from the property line to the premises, especially if you don't want to rely on the old copper that is obviously a problem.
    Anonymous
    7th Apr 2016
    5:22pm
    Unlike Tony Abbott, Waleed Aly was born here.
    Wstaton
    7th Apr 2016
    6:55pm
    I think people like Julian should read all about Waleed Aly here

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waleed_Aly

    Before Downing this Australian.

    What have you done compared to him.
    ex PS
    8th Apr 2016
    10:25am
    Golfer, does that mean that the right wing pay for comment Andrew Bolt should also be sacked and show be given to a balanced commentator?
    Does it also mean that you think that the NBN rollout is in fact faster speed, faster to be implemented and cheaper than fibre?
    Just because you don't like the message does not mean you sack the messenger, if you don't agree with what he is saying put a point across th proves him wrong, it"s called debating an issue.
    Should most of the editors of Australias leading papers be sacked for their shameless attacks on the Labor party during the last election? Or is it only the people who expose your beloved LNP for the snake oil salesmen they are that should be wary?
    marty1468
    7th Apr 2016
    10:49am
    I've had the NBN for about 18 months now. I'm supposed to be on the superfast 100Mbs download plan from Telstra yet it is woefully inadequate at times, especially in the evening. Yes I have Netflix and it often "buffers" which is something I thought wouldn't happen on the NBN. This country will be the laughing stock of the modern world if it isn't already. If either party cannot see that faster internet speeds are not only essential now, but will become more so as time progresses then they are fools, seemingly resistant to change and history will judge them on this.
    MICK
    7th Apr 2016
    11:33am
    Who do you think destroyed the NBN? Turnbull turned it into a hybrid and everybody knows that with anything in life things are only as good as the weakest link, in this case the copper section and the antiquated exchanges.
    Ozetwo
    7th Apr 2016
    3:01pm
    The LNP were never going to support a high speed broadband network that would intrude on the vested interests of some of its supporters. The original concept was scuttled in favour of the now inferior model that will take as long a time to roll out as they can make it.
    Foxtel and its owners Newscorp and Telstra must be very pleased. remind me again who is the CEO of Newscorp? Some American guy I think.
    The far right conservatives of the LNP hold the reins and Turnbull will do their bidding.Their interests are not those of Australia.
    Anonymous
    9th Apr 2016
    1:19pm
    The NBN like to many other infrastructures in this country has gone to the dogs, crappy roads, rail services, etc, etc
    Julian
    7th Apr 2016
    10:59am
    Of course the budget has blown out. When doesn't it blow out!? Governments, consistently underprice major projects to make the numbers look good and the proletariat happy. The reality is that subsequent governments have to somehow go into damage control once the lies are revealed. Then try to complete the project with money they don't have. This is consistent with Gillard's socialistic spending of money we don't have and over promising something that can't be delivered on time. Then we have an outcry over cost blowouts and delivery performance.

    Wake up readers. Who made these promises? Who is trying to clean up the mess? What once was considered a conservative party. I'm not defending Turnbull but its fact.
    MICK
    7th Apr 2016
    11:34am
    Indeed.
    Scrivener
    7th Apr 2016
    12:49pm
    I trust you do know the difference between spending and investment?
    ex PS
    8th Apr 2016
    10:35am
    What Ton-abull is delivering is nothing like what Kevin/Julia/Kevin promised, it is a mixture of bad outdated technologies. I think a lot of people need to think about the difference between cheap and cost effective solutions, there is a big difference.
    In a twist of fate Ton-a-bull is now having to defend a bad solution that he sold us as Communications Minister. He sold us a lemon and now he can't blame anyone else, he has to fix it or wear the consequenses. Remember he is supposed to be an expert on communications.
    JAID
    13th Apr 2016
    5:17pm
    My memory is of rising NBN cost estimations under Labor. The system proposed was good cost is always an issue to be reviewed. Mr. Turnbull's approach was put as an alternative to this.

    While the previous approach was I (without expertise) judge a better long term approach, the rising debt and the rising NBN cost makes the decision to change course understandable. Now that it is made, there is no way the end cost of the previous approach can be estimated. The present approach will probably also blow out but there can be no point in comparison without a valid cost comparison which is not possible.

    It is then very easy to criticise but we do have a country staggering through gross and poorly handled spending over a number of years, unrealistic public expectation while facing also a particularly uncertain future.

    In uncertain times risk still needs be taken but some responsibilities are more important that others and we have elected government to assess the balance between them.
    ex PS
    13th Apr 2016
    8:46pm
    Well said JAID, and I agree with most of your assurtion, but in this case I can't help but think that this decision was made for political reasons rather than for the benefit of Australians.
    There was far too much professional advise that indicated that the cheap solution would not be effective.
    I would also say that you don't try to fix one case of economic missmanagement by creating another one.
    Watto
    7th Apr 2016
    11:18am
    Comment removed (racism)
    Misty
    7th Apr 2016
    12:06pm
    Why Watto?, because Wally has a different opinion to yours?, that is the problem with the world today people are not prepared to acknowledge that someone else may have a different, and dare I say it, a better opinion the theirs. What happened to that old saying "Live and let live"?, the world would be a better place if we could all just agree to disagree sometimes without all this nastiness.
    Scrivener
    7th Apr 2016
    12:48pm
    "Go back to where he came from." Which suburb in Australia is that then?
    MITZY
    7th Apr 2016
    1:58pm
    Watto: Waleed Aly and his wife were both born in Australia (Melbourne in fact) he in 1978, she in 1980.
    Waleed's parents were from Egypt. I'd say he is just as much Australian as anyone. I've never watched him on TV but I've read quite a lot of his newspaper articles which more often than not are intelligent communications and food for thought.
    Basically Australians are fair in their assessments of most things but at present there seems to be a trend in a small minority who think they are extremely precious and what they think is definitely right and not to be contested.
    Happy cyclist
    7th Apr 2016
    2:05pm
    Mitzy -- you make some excellent points.
    Anonymous
    7th Apr 2016
    5:24pm
    MITZY - Watto will now post "Sorry, I was wrong".
    Phil1943
    7th Apr 2016
    11:22am
    There is not now nor has there ever been a genuine "age of innovation". It's just a weak and meaningless phrase coined by a government with no clues as to how to create a future for this country.
    To be fair, the NBN was conceived by another government and MT has been stuck with trying to carry on with the job while battling his own party's conservative (read: hopeless) attitude towards technology. But nevertheless, the NBN is falling further behind in both quality and progress towards completion and Malcolm has to carry the can for it.
    And yes, Waleed Aly is correct when he says we were promised a faster rollout and lower costs by the Libs when they were in opposition, whereas we've achieved neither to date. In fact, 'later' and 'more expensive' are appropriate descriptors. But we knew that already.
    After seeing what's now being called "the Netflix effect" I'm concerned that the NBN might be outdated even before it's accessible to most Australians. A bad idea certainly won't get any better if it's administered by the Coalition's talentless management.
    MICK
    7th Apr 2016
    11:35am
    Called re-election lies. They can't use the Paid Parental Leave lie a second time as even the feeble minded would catch them out.
    Wstaton
    7th Apr 2016
    4:52pm
    Ci thick they are now called the three word slogans what Abbott introduced.
    Paulo
    7th Apr 2016
    11:22am
    You can have the fastest internet in the world but will still suffer delays etc as long as the server you are connected to has lack of capacity, this especially applies to major government websites like Centrelink, Telstra, QANTAS etc. These companies need to invest more in their interlink network interfaces and infrastructure.
    Scrivener
    7th Apr 2016
    12:36pm
    Fair go! The elves are pedalling as fast as they can. They are big complex engines the poor little elves have to crank up and keep turning - all by hand and leg power. No help from Turnbull's government. He keeps talking the hands and legs away from them.
    MICK
    7th Apr 2016
    11:31am
    It is unfair to bag the NBN when it has been butchered by Turnbull and his cronies. Labor designed the system to completely do away with copper but now we have have a hybrid. So why do people think there are problems? There will be....and the final cost will be much more. This is what we all get for listening to a propaganda campaign run by the big end of town and their commercial media outlets.
    I did not listen to the interview mentioned but given the gross and ongoing dishonesty from the current government expect little more than BS, lies and the next propaganda campaign to get people to vote for them. I am certainly on to it and only a few days ago I listened to Leigh Sales on the 7:30 Report interviewing the next liar Morrison. Whilst this apparent clone of a used car salesman questioned where Labor would get the funding for schools the question was never asked about where his government was going to get the funding for the Paid Parental Leave Program, a policy which this bunch never intended to implement but which sucked in gen Ys hoping to get a handout. My disappointment is that Sales did not challenge Morrison on this government's own record. But then maybe the departure (removal?) of Mark Scott as CEO of the ABC is a sign of what is to become of the only real broadcaster of balanced political reporting in the country.
    Scrivener
    7th Apr 2016
    12:32pm
    Didn't Turnbull's mob actually pay Telstra for its dead Copper network? Something like $12B?
    MICK
    7th Apr 2016
    12:38pm
    It did. And this government NEVER releases the cost figures and comparisons. Just keeps up tagging Labor with the next layer of blame whilst refusing to own up to the reality that the current PM has stuffed the whole project and then blamed Labor for the mess and cost. That is what Liberal governments do.
    Scrivener
    7th Apr 2016
    3:05pm
    That's what sociopaths do.

    They should man up, own the problem and then fix them - even if they have do a mea culpa and ask for some more time. But if you are a Canberra pollie you sit at the right hand of God and she won't let you be fallible.
    Wstaton
    7th Apr 2016
    4:56pm
    Hold on. Man up, what politician has ever said they have done the wrong thing
    Rosscoe
    7th Apr 2016
    11:53am
    Of course we should jump up and down about the NBN mess! All this talk about innovation and agility is a crock if we can't get this right. Bring on the lection so I can help vote this mob out!
    MICK
    7th Apr 2016
    12:48pm
    Here, here.
    if's and shouda's don't count
    7th Apr 2016
    3:55pm
    NBN and MTM,
    One stands for National Broadband Network the other stands for Malcolm Turnbulls Mess.
    Second rate, second past the post, second try, second to everyone else.
    wally
    8th Apr 2016
    10:28am
    Yes, Rosscoe. We should turn out the LNP government and go back to the Halcyon days of ALP over promising, underperforming misguided feel good for the moment and just plain bungling of the Labor years of 2007-2013. Do we need to return to the illegal boat arrivals brought on by Rudd's open door policy to illegal migration? We are still paying for that in dole payments and medical care for them while pushing needy Australians further back in the public housing queue. Do we need an rerun of the Pink batts scheme as another taxpayer funded Santa Claus gesture? What about Julia's great educational scheme for the schools? The Labor Mates in the building game made squillions building giant carports and other school buildings, (whether needed or not in government schools) while the performance of Aussie school children continued to decline when compared to Asian school kids' results? A great educational reform, that one! Never mind the fact that between 2007 and 2013 Australia went from having a surplus left by the Howard government to hundreds of billions of dollars indebtedness to China to fund Rudd and Gillard's feel good wet dreams of self glorification.

    So maybe the flat screen tv Rudd financed for Rosscoe needs replacing and Rosscoe thinks Bill Shorten will pay for a new one. After all the NBN was another ill funded Rudd cockup from the word go.
    ex PS
    8th Apr 2016
    10:47am
    Rosscoe, overpromising, underdelivering, I actually thought you nwere talking about the LNP with those statements.
    LNP promises broken, NBN faster, cheaper, rolled out more efficiently, Payed Parental Leave, better more coehesive government, will not swap leaders, return to budget surpluss and most of their campaign promises.
    You want to talk about feel good wet dreams, how about a leader of the opposition who goes begging to an Independant saying "I would do anything except sell my bum to be PM"? I think that pretty much says it all.
    ex PS
    8th Apr 2016
    10:49am
    Sorry Rosscoe, my last comment was intended for Wally.
    Fready
    7th Apr 2016
    11:54am
    I had the NBN connected to my home yesterday. It is all fibre, presumably because it is a new area. Not one comment here about how we would fund a better system for all, given the huge debt that the Government currently has.
    Would those who want a better system be prepared to sign up to pay for it.!! I get the impression that there are no taxpayers contributing to discussion on this site.!!
    MICK
    7th Apr 2016
    12:46pm
    We would have less debt if we were not now subsidising the coal industry to the tune of $8 billion a year after the repeal of the Carbon Tax. Not much ever said about that cosy little deal between the government and the coal industry.
    And then there is the tax this government refuses to collect from the rich and multinationals.
    You talk about "debt" Fready but the reality is that we have problem because of fraud at the highest levels of our society which fails to administer or amend the laws in place if they do not put truckloads of money into the bank accounts of the rich. And then we have Tax Shelters.....which the current PM also uses. The Four Corners program identified around 800 Australians in just one (Mosseco) such scheme in Peru with many many more in the British Virgin Islands which has some 500,000 shelf companies also avoiding tax and hiding money.
    We certainly have an issue: average Australians are being over-taxed because of (accommodated) fraud at the highest levels of society and nobody is doing anything about it other than the normal dishonest rhetoric designed to make it all go away...with nil action.
    Janran
    28th Apr 2016
    6:38pm
    Glad to hear there are some people getting a real NBN (ie copper free). I am on this site right now - waiting for my business emails to leave my outbox.

    Talk about a waste of time and not to mention inefficiency! No wonder business is stalling in our country (in this great age of "innovation and excitement"!)

    We need a new govt who can get things done for a sustainable future. I hope Labor is up for it, 'cos the LNP has proven to be bloody hopeless, even in areas you might expect the LNP to be proficient in. It just goes to show, running a successful business is nothing like running a govt/country. Why? Because a corporation is beholden to no one but its shareholders and a govt is the servant of the people who elected them. Unfortunately, Abbott got elected because electors were convinced Labor were no good so Abbott "Stephen Bradbury-ed" into office, not because he was any good but because Labor imploded before the finish line.
    Polly Esther
    7th Apr 2016
    12:16pm
    There is no doubt in my mind that Turnbull is trying. - Very trying :-)
    Scrivener
    7th Apr 2016
    12:27pm
    Waleed for PM.
    Scrivener
    7th Apr 2016
    12:30pm
    I wonder if the election of Turnbull's coalition depended on those who have the NBN voting for them and all other votes were to go to Labor, would we all have NBN fibre to the Home by the time of the election?
    MICK
    7th Apr 2016
    12:47pm
    Why would voters give their votes to this lying dishonest corrupt government? Because of the NBN? Who do you think brought the NBN? If it were up to a liberal government we would all still be on dial-up.
    ex PS
    10th Apr 2016
    8:05am
    Scrivener are you crazy? Waleed is far too honest and ethical to be a politician. You need someone like Andrew Bolt, he would fit in well and allready has friends in the LNP who he can sit with at play lunch and big lunch.
    Tarzan
    7th Apr 2016
    1:09pm
    We will vote back the current Government because of the previous lieing corrupt Government, too many rent seekers on this site, Ally needs to start thinking like an Aussie and the future of his and his children's country.
    Julian
    7th Apr 2016
    1:25pm
    Unfortunately we're screwed either way. Either continue with this incompetence and infighting or succumb to union-run corrupt leader with a dodgy history with no idea.

    Minor parties may be gettinga boost in popularity i suspect
    Anonymous
    10th Apr 2016
    8:17am
    Tarzan - It's Aly, not Ally.

    Asking him to think like an Aussie is a rather mysterious request. He was born in Melbourne and grew up in the suburbs. So when he thinks, it' is, by definition, as an Aussie.

    As for rest of your post, the topic is the NBN, not the previous Labor government.
    ginger
    7th Apr 2016
    1:28pm
    I have been on nbn now for two years.Our area in Ballarat was first to be laid I think.It is fibre and not bad at all.However we have now gone to windows ten and it is almost instant.We used to be with neighbour hood cable,and that was very fast,but as usual they were taken over by other companys the last being Inet and things slowed down then.Since being on nbn we are now with southern phone as isp and combined with windows ten back to where it all began.
    Cheers
    Wstaton
    7th Apr 2016
    5:02pm
    Well ginger you appear to be one of the lucky few who got labors fibre before this government turned it around. Just shows that fibre to the home is the way to go.
    maelcolium
    7th Apr 2016
    1:44pm
    And who was the person who tore apart the original NBN FTTH plan? Why, no other than our agile banker cum PM who hides his wealth in an organisation using the Caymans to avoid taxation and so get a better return for his dollar as he told us. And everyone is doing it he said when they invest as that gives him some weasel wriggle room. So now we have a more expansive, but agile solution as FTTN which will deliver speeds at about where third world speeds are now. Has he been brought to account? No, until a talk show host pointed out the hypocrisy. He should be removed from office and replaced with ......... ummm, well then anyone (not his predecessor) ...... how about Shorten?
    Happy Jack
    7th Apr 2016
    1:46pm
    Well ! well! the chickens have come home to roost. The man with a way with words- Tumbles Turntable, our illustrious LIEberal prime minister, the spruiker of the dire need for us to be innovative and the priority for us being the smartest people on the planet has been caught out. Because of their silly exercise whilst in opposition of opposing the Labor party's fibre to the house and putting the fibre to the node and then copper to the house in place of it they made a bloody big Boo Boo. Someone forgot to tell them that in doing this they would need electrical connections for this option to work. Hence the big delay in the roll out and a huge blowout in cost. But never mind, Telstra (now a public company) will be making a fortune out of this little lot. Funny you know- Tumbles was all for the far superior fibre to the house until the mad abbott breathed down his neck. And what did he do? sold his principles out to the ultra conservatives like he does every time. Your'e in the wrong party, mate! and they'll dispose of you as soon as they've used you.
    MITZY
    7th Apr 2016
    2:17pm
    I don't think Turnbull belongs in any political party. He is through and through a business man, made his fortune, parked it where it does the most good for himself and is just the front man in the Liberal Party because he has been stewing to get there since he first entered parliament in the Howard years. How could a man of his wealth comprehend the thoughts and aspirations of the average Joe?
    When Abbott made the announcement with Turnbull by his side on the changes to the NBN, Turnbull was so embarrassed to be standing next to him. However, he's not a person who would like to have egg on his face, so he's just got to lump it, regardless of the extra costs it will now incur. It's a fine mess we are in from all angles. There is hardly a decent politician to consider voting for and I doubt I will have an Independent either, as they are scarce in my electorate. And, I've got a boundary change as well for the next election which I am not happy about. We seem to be an electorate they can play around with. Fourteen years ago when I retired to the south coast of NSW my electorate was Eden-Monaro, then it changed to Gilmore, then back to Eden-Monaro and now again to Gilmore. Gilmore is in the Shoalhaven district with the major city being Wollongong and Eden-Monaro goes from the Eurobodalla to the far south coast and across to Queanbeyan.
    Maybe I will find an Independent with the change?
    Jolly
    9th Apr 2016
    4:57pm
    Why would Telstra be making a fortune on this little lot. Thanks to Government regulation, Telstra has lost millions on work it used to do. With all new estates around Australia - Telstra was not allowed to quote for the cabling and instalation work. Yet they had to put in the pits and the cabling from the exchange to those pits. This is your government at work.
    LiveItUp
    7th Apr 2016
    2:39pm
    I've had NBN wireless internet for just over 6 months now. It's great and everyone is happy now. No more buffering or asking people to get off the internet.

    I wasn't expecting it for years and was very surprised when they told me it was available.
    Golfer
    7th Apr 2016
    4:09pm
    Bonny....Ssshhh... Don't let people on this site know you've had NBN success and happiness; you'll be accused of fabrication or lying.
    This site is for bagging the government, sitting LNP Parliamentarians, their policies and even their upbringing not praising. So please keep good news on that front to yourself...cheers to you.
    Wstaton
    7th Apr 2016
    5:09pm
    The fact is is that wireless and Satellite was always going that way for remote areas lnp or labor. Fibre was always going to be for the Mets and towns up to a certain size.
    LiveItUp
    7th Apr 2016
    5:59pm
    Recently spent some time in NZ and the availability of WiFi surprised me. I bought a local Sim card and hardly used it.
    Blondie
    7th Apr 2016
    3:01pm
    " Happy Cyclist", I totally agree! Gosh, I didn't realise the depth of racism that exists, sadly amongst the " older " Aussie! Waleed, is, as you say, young, intelligent, and for some, he has the wrong name, and colour of skin. Sad. Sometimes you just have to wait for dinosaurs to die! Truth tellers are VERY unpopular, and the FRAUDBAND that Turnbull has foisted on Australia, will have us cursing him for some time to come! Copper will guarantee that we will fall even further behind the rest of the world.....fibre to the home, could have afforded us a place at the front of the queue! Now, we're below Romania, ( but then, so are our trains!)
    Wstaton
    7th Apr 2016
    5:18pm
    I suppose if it was a Christian saying the same thing you would agree with him then. It's just because he is a Muslim that makes him wrong. Mind you all of us on this site who are saying what a mess has been made of the NBN are in fact religious fanatics of some sort because we are saying this. By the way Waleed Aly is not the only one who has written what a mess has been made.
    Anonymous
    7th Apr 2016
    5:31pm
    Julian - I reckon your hatred of Muslims is a form of racism. It's a hatred of unacceptable practices in the middle east that proponents justify as part of Islam. So what you're really hating is people of middle eastern backgrounds.

    The biggest Muslim country is Indonesia. Most of them are very moderate Muslims.

    There have been Muslims in Australia from long before you were born. None of them have ever done you any harm. Their beliefs are very moderate. Yet you bundle them in with the worst from the middle east.
    Adrianus
    7th Apr 2016
    6:31pm
    Blondie you do know that Australians built the Romanian trains don't you? So how could their trains be better?
    Anonymous
    7th Apr 2016
    6:35pm
    Really Frank? That's something we should be proud of if true.

    Got a source for it?

    (And yes, I have Googled it, and can't find anything.)
    wally
    8th Apr 2016
    10:46am
    Comment on Barak's comments of 7 April.

    . The radicalized fifteen year old child that murdered an accountant working at NSW Police Headquarters in Parramatta was a Muslim. In Melbourne another radicalised Muslim teenager was shot while carrying out a stabbing attack to two Victorian police officers. Were these two youngsters born in Australia?

    Barak's allegation (531 pm on 7/4/16) that no Australian born Muslims have done harm to anyone needs a bit more investigation and clarification to justify these comments.
    Anonymous
    8th Apr 2016
    12:29pm
    wally - you have misquoted me. I find that happens a lot with people whose arguments are weak.
    Adrianus
    8th Apr 2016
    1:32pm
    Yes , those trains were built in Maryborough QLD. Sadly they stopped building a couple of years ago. Yes we had a government which did not want that type of business. Just like Whyalla Steel Works. Making life tough for them, then throwing $600m at them did not help it seems.
    ex PS
    10th Apr 2016
    7:28pm
    Hey Wally, 80% of the people in prison for violent sex crimes identify as Christian, does this make all Christians potential sex offenders?
    I think there is something seriously wrong with nyour logic there.
    Fredklaus
    7th Apr 2016
    3:02pm
    they have been working in my area for 18 months ,still doesn,t work (fttn),nbn working on a solution,i am less than 100 metres from node which has been there for more than 6 months.
    downunder
    7th Apr 2016
    3:17pm
    The current state of the NBN is a dog's breakfast. Waleed is 100% correct, at least here is someone who calls a spade a spade and does not talk along the government lies
    Happy Jack
    7th Apr 2016
    4:01pm
    The cost of this sub standard 2nd class NBN has blown out by over 30% since the LIEberal party got their grubby hands on it. On top of this, completion of the roll out has shot out to 2020, what a joke. God help us when it comes to their decisions on the submarines- probably looking at 100 Billion. We're gonna be taken for the biggest stich up since old Bob Menzies ordered the F111.
    Anonymous
    7th Apr 2016
    5:44pm
    sour jack, which is a better description of his pen-name, by reading his comments, I still don't know why, it is always negative and points to his political alliance, I was one who lived in Australia during the menzies era, one of the greatest progressive governments ever in Australia, yet reading his comments which by the way have nothing to do with the subject of this particular column, I should have known better then to waste my time, same useless and unfounded accusations by a person who is blinded and brainwashed to follow the party line regardless.
    Anonymous
    7th Apr 2016
    5:47pm
    Messenger shooting, like all the Waleed haters.
    Anonymous
    7th Apr 2016
    6:06pm
    maybe barak can state where I stated I hated waleed?
    Anonymous
    7th Apr 2016
    6:13pm
    I have not accused you of hating Waleed. Just messenger shooting, like all the Waleed haters here. Didn't say you are one.

    Are you?
    Oigle
    7th Apr 2016
    5:26pm
    It is unfair to compare countries like South Korea and Singapore which are minute in size and have therefore quickly established superior broadband systems, whereas Australia is a continent with many remote areas to be serviced and a small population to pay for it. Oigle
    Wstaton
    7th Apr 2016
    10:12pm
    Almost 90% of Australia is urbanised. Most of this is in a strip down the eastern seaboard then across to Adelaide then to Perth. Virtually all of this will be serviced by fibre to the node the rest by Wireless and satellite. This is an augument about fibre to the home.

    Australia being so urbanised then the comparison is moot as all the activity is in the urban areas and where the costs are. .Distance is not a great expense as far as fibre is concerned, it is the fiddle bits at the end which is the problem which is the same for any country. The cost in the long term whatever the country should be the about the same per person. Korea has over 50million people compared to Australia’s 25.

    With the current system being installed by the Libs that it will be way out of date long before completion it will need upgrading. There again it would appear that the Libs want to sell the NBN off anyway. What does this mean. Private enterprise grabs it. Then we will get "Want higher speeds?" Well we can give you fibre to the home and then you will have it It will cost you off course to get the fibre laid. Who then pays for it? We will.
    We can now see what the Libs ultimate goal is. Sell the NBN off to the conglomerates probably their Telstra mates probably for less than we paid to build it. (another fiasco now occurs).

    Of course they can manage it more efficiently at less cost and lower prices than if it wasn’t sold. Yep just like the power companies, gas, water and all those others that were supposed to reduce prices. Because they can operate them more efficiently by costing us more.

    Gee we are mugs.

    7th Apr 2016
    5:33pm
    I got better Internet service in several places in Bolivia last year than I ever get at home in Australia.

    Don't tell me the NBN will fix that. Its website can't even tell me when it's coming to my area. And I live in suburban Melbourne.
    Adrianus
    7th Apr 2016
    6:41pm
    I'm not sure I fully understand what Waheed Aly is getting hot and bothered about? He states that "Labor’s original plan was to deliver a fibre to the premises NBN by 2021."
    The fibre to node NBN delivery opted for by the Government was to be quicker and cheaper to rollout and scheduled for completion in 2019.
    So the government's option is faster and we don't need to borrow as much to get it up and running.
    He's always negative toward the government but certainly not Labor.
    I know I will be accused of racism for my comments but what the heck?
    Anonymous
    7th Apr 2016
    7:25pm
    Not racist. Just silly.

    What the government's plan WAS to be is irrelevant now that we know it's running late and will cost more.

    And what it WAS to be is not what it IS.

    The government has delivered bugger all. Why not point that out?

    Oh, and BTW, criticising the government does not automatically make one a Labor supporter. The world is not that simple.
    Anonymous
    7th Apr 2016
    8:19pm
    frank you can't argue with a one eyed supporter of labor, can you recall any labor initiative which came on time or on budget, if you can you are a better person than all of us, barak so easy to forget the heinous decisions of the former labor party who put this country, AUSTRALIA, from being a paradise to a pauper's country, of course barak you have no regrets what so ever, barak, your only contribution to these columns has been how great it was in bolivia, one of those countries mentioned for their inhumane practices.
    Anonymous
    7th Apr 2016
    8:27pm
    Sorry. Wrong. Haven't voted Labor since the Franklin Dam.

    I've always loved voting below the line on the Senate paper.

    I won't defend Labor. It's neither the topic nor the government anyway.

    But I will point out when the govt gets it wrong. That surely only helps to make things better for us all.
    Adrianus
    7th Apr 2016
    8:44pm
    heemsy what I find amusing about this NBN argument is the number of posters who actually think Labor still has a full fibre policy. You could put the unions in government tomorrow for 2 terms and still not get a full fibre network.
    Anonymous
    7th Apr 2016
    8:47pm
    Frank, what I find amusing about this NBN argument is the unquestioning loyalty of Lib supporters.

    The same amusement applies to anyone with unquestioning loyalty to any party on any issue.

    Do you have no doubts?
    ex PS
    8th Apr 2016
    11:00am
    Frank, if you were buying a new car and had the choice of two new vehicles a fuel injected, air conditioned vehicle that runs on un-leaded and an aspirated , non airconditioned car running on two stroke that would be 20% cheaper and could be delivered a week earlier, which would you choose?
    Adrianus
    8th Apr 2016
    1:46pm
    If I had unlimited borrowings with someone else taking responsibility for the repayment of the loan, which do you think? I love the naturally aspirated engine. But then all that proves is that I'm no different from many others. There is something which stops all of us living in a Vaucluse mansion. Our borrowing capacity. Why don't we have a problem with our government having no limit? Eventually this madness will come to an end, and when it does many of us will suffer.
    ex PS
    9th Apr 2016
    1:41pm
    Frank I completly agree, governments should have a limit. But if it is going to spend our money I expect value for money. I would prefer to go without rather than have a cheap innefective, not fit for purpose solution. Sometimes the best outcome is to not proceed rather than just do something so that you don't look like you are indecisive.
    Sometimes putting a project on hold or even cancelling it is being decisive.
    As far as I am concerned, there is good debt and there is bad debt, we all make that decision on an almost daily basis, governments have to make these decisions on our behalf, unfortunatley we have been let down by both sides.
    cockyhockey
    8th Apr 2016
    2:34am
    This PM is insulting the intelligence of the Australian people, perhaps he is ignorant to the cost to SME's with the NBN he is proposing at such a huge cost to tax payers, it is a DUD and a disgrace. More tax payer funds will have to be used to fix this third grade NBN, I agree developing nations and even third world countries have better internet speeds. I am currently overseas and can confirm this first hand and the cost it has on my business operating in OZ.
    pfbnug
    8th Apr 2016
    4:31am
    For what it is worth, I live in a small(Muslim) village in Southern Cambodia some 9 km from Town and 2 km down a dirt track from the nearest road. I saw the local rep today and his company will run a fibre optic cable to my house next week for $12/month. And I'm supposed to be living in a Third World country?
    Adrianus
    8th Apr 2016
    8:24am
    Yes, but do you have a set top box, pink batts in your roof?
    Does Cambodia have a $10b Green Fund?
    Can they boast about a $20m donation to help get Hillary Clinton elected?
    How many detention centres have they built in the last 10 years? We spent $6.6b on detention centres in 4 years!
    Did you get any money from the Cambodian government to buy a new TV when the GFC hit?
    What's more we have the best union reps in the world after our government gave them $20m for training, to make sure the cable is laid in the right manner.

    pfbnug, its not just all about cheap internet.

    To be fair I'm not saying we spent all our money wisely. We have had a little waste.
    Like the two Billiard tables our government sold for $6,000 and then spent another $100,000 to investigate wether the sale was value for money. Did anyone hear of the findings?

    Or the time we gave the Clinton Foundation $550,000 to set up a rather questionable carbon accounting scheme for Kenya. The tender was awarded to the Clinton Foundation for designing a national Carbon accounting system. I say questionable because the Foundation's expertise was in HIV/AIDS not carbon accounting.
    OK we could have had Cambodia's option but we have so much more.
    Anonymous
    8th Apr 2016
    8:37am
    Why are Lib lovers so desperate to defend something they have no technical understanding of?

    Is it conceivable that your party got it wrong?
    Adrianus
    8th Apr 2016
    1:22pm
    Barak, it's not surprising for me to learn that so many people want everything. What does surprise me is that so many have no sense of when the bank balance is running on empty.
    We have to have what we can afford. Other countries have chosen a differing set of priorities. These are the countries that sold us the pink batts, obsolete set top boxes, solar panels etc.
    Anonymous
    8th Apr 2016
    1:35pm
    The NBN is not in that category though. The government will charge people for using it.
    Adrianus
    8th Apr 2016
    2:03pm
    Oh, so the government will charge us for using it? Is that an extra cost added to the cost of the ISP.
    Anonymous
    8th Apr 2016
    2:27pm
    It will be part of the ISP's charges, just as the Telstra wholesale cost is part of most ISP's charges now.
    etc1
    8th Apr 2016
    6:29am
    I totally agree with Waleed. I recently relocated to an area with Fixed Wireless NBN. What a joke. Slow as. When there is a breeze and the trees sway. No Internet. Now that is INNOVATION for you, isn't it Turnbull ?
    ex PS
    8th Apr 2016
    10:15am
    You buy cheap you get cheap especially when you are purchasing IT. This government needs to distinguish between buying cheap and getting good value for money, there is a world of difference.
    What this fiasco demonstrates is the short sighted view of politicians, they knew that the technology they were offering was last generation technology, they knew they couldn't deliver it much quicker and they knew that it would not be cheaper to implement.
    Their decision was made soley to undermine the government and to win an election through deceipt. all of the non-government warned them that tis would be a disaster but they went ahead anyway.
    This is a pure example of a political party putting their own election result ahead of the voter. We will have to spend even more now to totally replace a system that was obsolete before it was started, talk about waste of government funds. How can we take seriously any comments that this government makes about being honest and caring about the Australian voter?
    Happy Jack
    8th Apr 2016
    10:58am
    Well! Well! we have germsjerk69 back on the job with the mission of saving this ailing government that's on the ropes and will very shortly be down for the count. In his desperation he is even being defensive of the typical conservative, 'Bob Menzies' (pig iron Bob) who apart from funding universities and introducing the metric system did sweet $$#@ all in 30 years except for flogging off pig iron to the japs which not soon after was returned in the form of armaments used against our troops in WW11 and then sending our conscripted troops off to the Vietnam war which a blind man could see we had no hope of winning. That war cost over 500 lives of our youths not to mention the both physical and mentally scarred returnee's. You know, germsjerk69, he was dead against the building of the snowy mountain scheme, though he took great delight in opening it when it was built along with the launching of the first Holden car which came as result of the Chifley Labor Government using their initiative. No germsjerk69, the only thing this mob is good at is protecting their very wealthy supporters, a great deal of whom avoid paying their fair share of tax. And whist I'm here germsjerk69, ask your offside Franky hankie about the 62million payment to the corrupt Cambodian Prime Minister, Hun Sen for settling one, very unhappy, refugee. What a stroke of genius that was!
    P.S. I see the punctuation skills haven't improved- perhaps a splash of Gonski funded education may improve.
    Rosscoe
    8th Apr 2016
    2:14pm
    Thanks, Happy Jack, for brightening up my Friday! Bring on the election so that we can get rid of this bunch of clowns!
    alfie
    9th Apr 2016
    7:57am
    The problem with politicians today is that they are very protective of their jobs due to the perks that they receive and will do anything for their party to win and not for Australia.
    If the opposition comes out with a good idea for Australia so that they would win office the other party will destroy it to retain office even if it's good for Australia. That's what has happened. If the parties join forces on what's good for Australia things would be cheaper all around but greed gets in the way.
    Ny19
    9th Apr 2016
    8:00am
    Yes we need to revert to Labor's plan of fibre to the home. My friend got the fibre to the node NBN about 6 months ago and says it is no quicker, therefore a waste of money putting this in. The slow speed bugs me in my playing around here and there so I can imagine how frustrating it must be for businesses. The previous Labor governments were much more innovative than this government which seems intent on doing nothing more than undoing all of Labor's achievements.
    ex PS
    9th Apr 2016
    1:52pm
    And that is what happens when one political party has its number one priority of destroying the reputation of its opposition. About time the government concentrated on running the country for the benefit of its employers (The taxpayer) rather than wasting time and money on witchhunts and petty get even schemes.
    Pablo
    14th Apr 2016
    12:18pm
    Waleed Aly is so far wrong with his biased comments, but that is nothing new for him! The only one to blame for the crappy internet we have to put with in Australia is TELSTRA. They consistently did nothing to speed up our internet access or make it more available for people who live outside the CBDs of our capital cities. They wanted to force Australians to use their useless wirless broadband access!


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