NBN FTTN An open letter response to Mr Malcolm Turnbull


NBNFTTHOn the 12th of September Malcolm Turnbull MP wrote a public letter/blog in relation to a petition started up by Nick Paine which was to ask the Coalition to reconsider its position relating to the changes to NBN going to the exchange (FTTN – Fibre to the Node) back to the original plan by the Labor party of having the NBN service to the home (FTTH – Fibre to the Home)

Below is my response to Malcolm’s letter.

“The campaigning website change.org has been hosting an onine petition calling on the Coalition to abandon its NBN policy and complete the National Broadband Network on the same design as that set out by Labor – fibre to the premises to 93% of the population.”

I’d rather you’d think of it as more of an “adjustment” to the Coalition’s NBN policy to something that the Australian people want/need.

“Last Saturday there was a general election at which the NBN was one of the most prominent issues. The Coalition’s NBN Policy – which can be read here  had been published in April – five months ahead of the election. The Coalition won the election.”

Not to sound obvious here, what I’ve found from discussions with many of my peers & business colleagues those that did actually vote for the Liberal party did so because they:

a. Thought you were the best of a bad bunch.
b. A better option then the other guys.
c. Believed that the Coalition appeared to have a strong team.
d. Didn’t actually agree with every policy you had outlined as a party.

Realistically, if one thing was to stop us from voting, based on your process of logic, this means we shouldn’t vote for anyone we don’t agree with 100% which would therefore mean we won’t vote for anyone ever again.  This might just lead to chaos and maybe the Zombie Apocalypse.

“The promoters of this petition apparently believe that we should ignore the lengthy public debate on the NBN that preceded the election and also ignore the election result. We should within days of the election walk away from one of our most well debated, well understood and prominent policies. Democracy? I don’t think so.”

Definition of “Democracy” can be found “HERE” – I feel like you might need this next time you’re throwing the word around in an argument.

“For those who don’t have time to read our policy (but time to sign an online petition) there are a few important points to bear in mind.”

I feel like you’re making a pretty big assumption that those of that signed the petition didn’t take the time to read your policy, let me clarify, I have read your policy that’s WHY I signed the online petition.  Think about how much faster this could have been with NBN Fibre to the Home?

“We do not regard technology as an ideological issue. We are technologically agnostic. We want to ensure that all Australians have very fast broadband as soon, as cheaply and as affordably as possible.  The NBN project at present is running over budget and way behind schedule. At the current rate of progress it will take decades to complete and close to $100 billion.  The Labor Government has not been honest with the public about the NBN.  They never conducted a cost benefit analysis, they have sought at every turn to conceal the fact that the project has been failing to meet its targets.”

What has ideology got to do with this? No really? Please find definition of “Agnostic” HERE

I don’t believe that Labor was dishonest, disorganised maybe, severally under-budgeted absolutely – I’m pretty sure it was kinda obvious to all of us that the time frames were not realistic.  That doesn’t mean we’re not willing to wait a bit longer for “whichever government is in power” to get this right the first time.  If you continue with the proposed plans you will find that you too will also come across issues and problems that you hadn’t even considered.

Take this for example the phone line that services my home is covered in lead, it in fact pre-dates the early 1950’s, they’re so old in fact that the wires inside the lead covered lines are coated in cotton, why? because when the phone lines were laid down in my home plastic wasn’t actually invented yet.  Your FTTN solution – will not fix this and my internet will continue to drop out every time it rains.

“We will bring the public into our confidence. We will open the books of the NBN. There will be a strategic review conducted within the next 60 days which will show how long it will take and how much it will cost to complete the NBN on the current specifications and what that means both to the taxpayer and to the consumers. We will also set out what our options are to complete the project sooner and more cost effectively and again what that means in terms of affordability and of course in service levels.”

When you open the books on the NBN I have no doubt you guys will give this a good crack, really I don’t, what I know is that you WILL without doubt ‘miss something’ why? Because you’re human.  I’m wondering, how much with the strategic review cost the Australian public, could we perhaps put this money to better use and service a couple of homes with NBN with that money?

“Many of the FTTP supporters on twitter and elsewhere say that they don’t care what it costs or how long it takes – they want fibre to the home regardless. That point of view is reckless in the extreme. Every public infrastructure project has to be carefully and honestly analysed so that governments, and citizens, can weigh up the costs and benefits, This study is vital for the public to be fully informed and our redesign of the project will be informed by the result of those studies.” 

Every public infrastructure plan should also take into consideration the job of the Telecom predecessors in relation to the poor installation across the country and “short cuts” that were made and are resulting in issues now.

“The NBN debate is not over – but I am determined to ensure that from now on it is at least fully informed.”

I am no more or no less informed then I was previously to reading your letter. I however now much more deeply concerned that you are the one that isn’t fully informed, ultimately I “get” you can’t just roll over on this, it would look bad in the press, however you need to realise, your “public” are a smarter, more well informed, educated group of people, think of how much we can achieve if we stopped wasting time with this slightly idiotic argument about the internet and just GET ON WITH IT.

Ming Johanson
Business Owner
Supporter of #NBNFTTH


You can sign the petition in relation to having the NBN “Fibre To The Home” HERE
You can read Malcolm Turnball’s response to the petition HERE