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Worrals in the wilds 18th Apr 2013 10:14


Speaking of unhappiness, did anyone else see the clip last night where a woman asked a question of Julia Gillard and mentioned that she'd just spoken to Tanya Pibersek in the toilet? Pibersek, sitting at a table facing the crowd, did her usual nodding and smiling as she acknowledged the woman, but then, as the woman told Gillard that "Minister Tanya" (her words, not mine) had told her that Gillard was on a knife edge, the changing expression on Tanya Pibersek's face was...
Classy. :E

For all that the PM would do well to listen to conversations in the ladies' loo queue. IME they can tell you more about the prevailing female POV of the relevant demographic than all the expensive polling companies in the country...:suspect:

Well I won't be voting for the LNP based on their broadband policy alone. :ugh:
The LNP are very unexciting but I still think they'll romp it in. However, as with Queensland I think their massive predicted majority is due to the ALP being so dire rather than their own luke warm efforts. In other words, they won't win the election as much as Labor will lose it.

The only consolation is that we probably won't see either side's minority Fruit Loop Party or a rabble of Independents ('independent', now there's an oxymoron :ugh:) hold the balance of power in either house. I'd rather see the Libs in power than another three years of that, and before anyone jumps up and accuses Labor of doing deals with the devil (which they did) the Liberal National Coalition in Queensland did exactly the same thing under the Borbidge/Sheldon/Cunningham cavalcade of stars...sorry, government :E. For three years the state was effectively governed by the Member for Gladstone, which was a real treat all round. The only academic question is which side found it more irritating; the Coalition or the Labor Party. My bet's on the Libs. :}

david1300 18th Apr 2013 11:25

I'm surprised that no one has picked up on one current and obvious flaw in the NBN debacle - yes, debacle - see later.

I already get speeds of 10Mbps (tested right now at 11.16) to a local server (Gold Coast to Brisbane). But this drops to 1.22 Mbps when I select the fastest server in Singapore. So what exactly is the point of having anything faster locally, when the bottleneck is downstream from the Aussie servers? This is true of all international connections I have tested.

The debacle - just look how far behind schedule they are with installation, and how low the uptake is. Absolutely pathetic. Another Pink Batts, School Halls, Computers for every school kid, Grocery Watch, Fuel Watch, $900 to everyone to boost China's economy, unfunded Disability Debacle, unfunded Gonski Gockup and so on.

I have a close friend working for the contracted NBN installers in Toowoomba. His estimate is that he is at best 60% productive on a good week due to insufficient materials available, insufficient plant available and/or just plain bad scheduling/management/resource availability.

By the time the NBN is 60% complete I'm sure we are going to have alternate technologies at a fraction of the cost our kids are going to be lumbered with paying off.

RJM 18th Apr 2013 12:47


The Governor General, as The Queen's Representative, should announce that the government has lost the support of the people and a general election announced.
She can't do that, sisemen. Her reserve powers are very, very limited (see Kerr, Sir John).

Certain things have to happen in Parliament. For example a vote of no conficence passed in the Lower House and the PM being unable to form a government, or even the Senate blocking a Supply Bill.

Best to wait for Sept 14, unless you want to endure hours of Geoffrey Robertson's pompous, plummy tones on constitutional law, or Julian Burnside snivelling and wheedling on what's fair and what's not...

Andu 18th Apr 2013 22:30

ABC reports that a RAAF aircraft took some of the Sri Lankans who turned up in Geraldton harbour back to Colombo yesterday, with Sarah Hanson-Twodads in tears because they were not offered legal advice ("because they didn't ask for it" acording to Government officials) before boarding the flight home. (I'll bet the next lot are properly briefed to do so.)

What wasn't reported was whether the Sri Lankans who boarded that RAAF flight each had $3,300.00 in his/her pocket courtesy of the Australian taxpayer, as previous 'returnees' to Sri Lanka have.

Has anyone seen whether they were paid to go home?

chuboy 18th Apr 2013 22:41


Originally Posted by david1300 (Post 7799714)
I already get speeds of 10Mbps (tested right now at 11.16) to a local server (Gold Coast to Brisbane). But this drops to 1.22 Mbps when I select the fastest server in Singapore. So what exactly is the point of having anything faster locally, when the bottleneck is downstream from the Aussie servers? This is true of all international connections I have tested.

I'm passionate about building good infrastructure in this country and I believe Labor is on the right track here.

For almost all people the bottleneck is at their front door - i.e. the copper wire which was originally built to carry phone calls. It's old and decrepit and frankly, wouldn't be good enough to handle today's data requirements even if it were in perfect condition. Until now we've managed to keep up with the times by squeezing more and more out of the lines using more sophisticated transmission protocols (like ADSL, then ADSL2+, now VDSL as proposed by the Libs). But at the end of the day, you can't argue with the laws of physics and those laws dictate the limits of copper. That is, no better than 50 Mbps if there is less than a few hundred metres of copper between your house and a 'node'.

The bottleneck between countries per se shouldn't exist - after all we have very thick fibre links to Japan, the States and SK that I'm already aware of. Just because a server can only send you data at 1.2 Mbps doesn't mean the bottleneck is under the sea. A sample size of one isn't really enough to make that call.

In saying that, most of our content is actually downloaded locally. Companies like Akamai build datacentres in each country and they mirror frequently accessed content from Youtube, iTunes, you name it. So almost certainly, if you're using a website other Australians have accessed today, you're downloading from Australia.


The debacle - just look how far behind schedule they are with installation, and how low the uptake is. Absolutely pathetic. Another Pink Batts, School Halls, Computers for every school kid, Grocery Watch, Fuel Watch, $900 to everyone to boost China's economy, unfunded Disability Debacle, unfunded Gonski Gockup and so on.
I'm not sure it's as bad as you think. The rollout was delayed by negotiations with Optus and Telstra for access to copper ducts.

It goes without saying that the Murdoch media group does not stand to gain from everyone in the country getting fast access to the internet. They want people to keep buying Foxtel. So you need to keep an open mind when reading the anti-NBN/anti-Labor propaganda in their news, and if possible get it from other media sources as well to get a balanced view.

The rollout is starting to pick up speed now and is getting faster every day. If you average the number of homes connected per month since day dot and extrapolate them out, of course the figure looks bad. But if you took, for instance, the number of homes connected per month in the last few months and extrapolated that, the picture is a bit better. Considering the magnitude of the project I don't think the delays are that bad at all. Still better than the 787 :E


By the time the NBN is 60% complete I'm sure we are going to have alternate technologies at a fraction of the cost our kids are going to be lumbered with paying off.
Nobody has a crystal ball, but what we can say with certainty is that demand for data transfer speeds has grown exponentially since the birth of internet. We also know that fibre optic cable is best we've invented yet, using photons travelling at the speed of light as the transmission medium. Breaking this barrier is not 'the next step' - it's breaking the laws of physics as we understand them. I'm not saying it will never happen - but in my view it's up there with teleportation on my list of things that aren't going to be invented soon enough to warrant delaying an infrastructure build.

In any case, fibre optic cable has been shown to support speeds (both up and down) well in excess of we expect to need based on past growth, for the next 20-30 years at least.

I'm not saying Labor's plan is perfect, of course it's far from it. But to suggest that the Coalition's plan of spending at least $20b to continue using the soon-to-be-obsolete copper is a better use of money simply beggars belief.

I'll also point out that there's been plenty of fearmongering in the papers about this 'waste of taxpayer money' that is the NBN. If you aren't aware, the NBN is not funded with taxes but with a loan in the form of government bonds. As revenue increases, this loan will be paid back to the government plus interest, so the net cost to the taxpayer is zero. The ONLY people who will be paying for this rollout are the users of the NBN.

I don't mean to preach or come off as a Labor posterboy, I'm just frustrated at the degree of misinformation that is published in the news about this project, which is really much better than it is made out to be.

Captain Sand Dune 18th Apr 2013 22:44

And given her connections with the Liarbor Pardee, she's not going to any time soon!

Worrals in the wilds 18th Apr 2013 23:09

Thanks for the info, chuboy. Like most Aussies, I don't really understand this stuff beyond plugging a modem into the phone line, plugging that into the PC and getting access to a steady stream of 80s music videos. :\

I think that's a big part of why people are not all enthusiastic; most of them are incapable of understanding what's good or bad about it; I am, anyway and I'm not too bad with computers. Unlike a new highway, bridge or some other piece of traditional infrastructure it's a very nebulous concept to sell to people.

I also think that the current government have made so many balls-ups that a lot of traditional Labor supporters have simply stopped listening, because they no longer believe a word the government says. You obviously have a solid understanding of how the NBN works and can assess the plan on its merits, but many of the rest of us are pretty :confused: so the government must rely on its trust and integrity rating with the electorate for support, which are both currently sitting at about zero.

sisemen 19th Apr 2013 01:09

Thanks for the explanation chuboy. But I won't be voting for Labor simply because of the shaven-headed bovver boy they put in as head of NBN. (Why do otherwise apparently intelligent men go in for that look? Glen Stevens is another one. And is it a coincidence that both are Liebor Pardee appointees?



Well, that makes about as much sense as:


Well I won't be voting for the LNP based on their broadband policy alone.

chuboy 19th Apr 2013 01:29

It's probably the most relevant issue to me, more than it might be to you because I don't have children, or frequently visit hospitals, or commute to work through congested roads, or worry about "the boats" coming, etc.

Like I said, I'm not trying to change your vote. Everybody wants different things from a politician. All I was aiming to do was clarify the misinformation surrounding the NBN so that people can consider it fairly when making their decision.

For me, and I stress this is my opinion, I believe that a good internet backbone will be so important to our economy over the coming decades that the Libs, with their farcical proposal, is a bad enough proposition to put up with Labor and all of their flaws for another term.

Andu 19th Apr 2013 01:53

chuboy, I'm interested to see that the boat arrivals don't worry you. Care to expand on why they don't?

Like you, I'n not trying to change your opinion or your voting intentions, but I'd be interested to hear an explanation from someone who isn't bothered by what seems to me to be fast approaching a situation that could only be described as open slather for anyone who wishes to join us here in Australia to do so - so long as we bank roll them and their extended families, in all too many cases, for life.

Oh, and change our way of life to fit in with theirs.

SOPS 19th Apr 2013 02:19

Andu, do you have a current boat person count for this month? I've lost track.

Andu 19th Apr 2013 02:48

SOPS, I saw this note in the Pickering site earlier this morning.


chas
Off topic, I was just listening to Ray Hadley and he said there was a boat load of illegals with 150 irregular arrivals plus one with 80. For this month alone there has been 1,921 irregular (should be changed to regular) arrivals. This criminal lying whore and traitor should be stood down as the thing treats us like mushrooms.
I heard only about 10 minutes of Hadley this morning, but during that short time, he announced the arrival of another one, so I suspect it might be in addition to those chas refers to. He also said that some of the Tamils sent home yesterday had been living in India for some time, so their asylum seeker status was a little suss, (which might explain why the Labar gummit felt it could send them back to Colombo poste haste).

I'd still like to know if they were given the $3,300 'go home' present. Where I can see it's good economics -it's a far cheaper option than having to clothe, feed, accommodate, medicate and CentreLink the same people for years - it still sends a totally wrong signal to those willing to do a quick run to Broome or Darwin for a free flight and a gift that, to your average Tamil in Sri Lanka - (or Tamil Nadu) - would represent a very worthwhile starter pack for a very good life back in the home village, even after repaying the price of the boat ride.

chuboy 19th Apr 2013 02:51


Originally Posted by Andu (Post 7800763)
what seems to me to be fast approaching a situation that could only be described as open slather for anyone who wishes to join us here in Australia to do so - so long as we bank roll them and their extended families, in all too many cases, for life.

Oh, and change our way of life to fit in with theirs.

I think this is the sort of ridiculous scaremongering that has desensitised me to the issue. The problem of 'boat arrivals' does not seem to have affected my way of life at all. I'm not finding myself forced to learn how to speak Indonesian or visit a mosque. They aren't squatting outside my house. They aren't taking my jobs. I'm not even convinced we are bankrolling asylum seekers either, although anecdotally, there is evidence we are bankrolling our own. That's another story though...

Frankly I don't think they are an issue at all, relatively speaking. In many ways I see them as being a bit like 'speeding' - something that is relentlessly pursued by our government and police force in the name of road safety. But when you look at the statistics, speeding is the cause of only a small percentage of all motor vehicle fatalities.

In a similar way I think people coming to Australia seeking asylum are not really as big an issue as we are told by our overlords. Many times as many illegal immigrants arrive to Australia on a plane on holidays or to study, decide they like it here and stay for good. Without implicating that there is racism inherent in this "boat people" hysteria, most people either don't know or don't care about the white people who visit from Westernised countries and decide to stay without officially immigrating. But a few thousand dollars processing an asylum seeker is some sort of heinous crime?

Whenever I read about government waste, I like to qualify the statements made by politicians or journalists by reminding myself that Australians squander over $13b a year on cigarettes, $14b on alcohol and $19b on gambling. It helps to put things into perspective.

RJM 19th Apr 2013 03:32

chuboy, the NBN could be the most perfect product in history and I still wouldn't vote for that lousy crew of incompetent lying thieving self-seeking morons in the Labor Party.

chuboy 19th Apr 2013 03:58

The same could be said of the rest of them! I try and maintain a big picture view and filter out the white noise in between, the bickering and scandals and so on.

Assuming the NBN weren't an issue, I'm not sure what the LNP has to offer me other than 'not being the Labor party'. I would have to weigh up who gets my first preference with a bit more consideration. As a QLDer, we are already starting to feel the effects of voting out the Labor party in a landslide. There was a grand honeymoon period but it's safe to say it's more than worn off now. Newman and his lot are no more competent than Bligh was and I see no reason to believe federal politics will be any different.

At the end of the day being asked to choose your preferred politician is still like being asked which STD you would like to contract!

Ovation 19th Apr 2013 04:12


Many times as many illegal immigrants arrive to Australia on a plane on holidays or to study, decide they like it here and stay for good.
That may be so, but they come in through the front door, identify themselves in the process and the protocol for removing them is relatively simple straighforward process. The illegal entrants are schooled before arrival to frustrate the removal process by destroying their travel and identity documents.

If they are prepared to lie about who they are and where they're from, do we really want them here? Will they be model citizens or suck on the public tit for the next ten years? What are their real motives for wanting to come here? Are they really persecuted or country shoppers? Could they be terrorists infiltrating Australia? Do they become bonded labour to unscrupulous employers when they get her to pay off the smugglers at 30% interest?

When they come through the front door we are able to answer most of these questions.

Ovation 19th Apr 2013 04:23


But a few thousand dollars processing an asylum seeker is some sort of heinous crime? Whenever I read about government waste, I like to qualify the statements made by politicians or journalists by reminding myself that Australians squander over $13b a year on cigarettes, $14b on alcohol and $19b on gambling. It helps to put things into perspective.
I think you'll find that the average cost of processing an illegal immigrant would upwards of $100K, not a "few thousand dollars" as you might assert. To compare it to what we spend on fags, grog and gambling is just a diversion. What we as individuals spend on such pursuits is our own personal choice: it is not a cost imposed upon us by a country shopping queue jumper.

chuboy 19th Apr 2013 04:35


Originally Posted by Ovation (Post 7800835)
If they are prepared to lie about who they are and where they're from, do we really want them here? Will they be model citizens or suck on the public tit for the next ten years? What are their real motives for wanting to come here? Are they really persecuted or country shoppers? Could they be terrorists infiltrating Australia? Do they become bonded labour to unscrupulous employers when they get her to pay off the smugglers at 30% interest?

So what is the issue? I always thought it was that they aren't yet entitled to live and work in Australia.

If the problem is simply that we might have liars or terrorists or dole bludgers on our hands, then should we be tackling that issue separately and applying it to all of the population rather than flicking off a tiny proportion of people as though they have already committed a crime. After all you don't have to be a boat person to be a terrorist or welfare cheat.

Again I refer to my point about speeding being promoted as a big issue when in fact it contributes a small amount overall. I think potential terrorism threats, welfare cheats, liars etc are all just repeated over and over as reasons why we mustn't allow boat people into this country, when really if those issues were truly a problem there are much more effective ways a government could handle them.


E.g. If we are concerned about the size of our welfare bill, how about cutting out the middle class welfare? If we are concerned about terrorism, why not widen our focus beyond floating shanties of the poor?

Given that there is no way to tell whether somebody is going to be a welfare cheat or dole bludger or thieving scammer, I fail to see how entering the country 'through the front door' and then overstaying your welcome is any different to turning up in a boat. After all if somebody would rather stay in the country illegally than apply for PR what does that say about their character?


Originally Posted by Ovation (Post 7800841)
To compare it to what we spend on fags, grog and gambling is just a diversion. What we as individuals spend on such pursuits is our own personal choice: it is not a cost imposed upon us by a country shopping queue jumper.

Without wanting to become too deeply entrenched in a debate, I will point out that gambling, alcohol and cigarettes imposes a much greater cost on us than processing asylum seekers does. Even if you don't smoke, drink or gamble, your taxes still pay for the price of cleaning up after the people who do.

On that matter of processing cost, I stand corrected presuming you have a source to back up your figure. What exactly do you suggest that would be cheaper, given the cost of mobilising a patrol boat to escort the vessel from Australian waters, and remembering that seeking asylum is not a crime?

I still maintain that Australia faces more pressing issues within its borders than it does at them.

david1300 19th Apr 2013 05:23


Originally Posted by chuboy (Post 7800606)
For almost all people the bottleneck is at their front door - i.e. the copper wire which was originally built to carry phone calls... dictate the limits of copper. That is, no better than 50 Mbps if there is less than a few hundred metres of copper between your house and a 'node'.

50Mbps (from copper) is 10x faster than I am getting right now via fibre-optic cable to my house. The speed from copper is practical and affordable right now for domestic use!


Originally Posted by chuboy (Post 7800606)
The bottleneck between countries per se shouldn't exist - after all we have very thick fibre links to Japan, the States and SK that I'm already aware of. Just because a server can only send you data at 1.2 Mbps doesn't mean the bottleneck is under the sea. A sample size of one isn't really enough to make that call.

Typical sort of response one gets from Labor. "...shouldn't exist...". Well, reality is that it DOES exist. I'm not saying where the bottleneck exists, except that it is not here in Aus. And don't insult me with "A sample size of one ...". I depend on high speed internet for my living. I check speeds daily. I quoted one test as an example, that I did while I was posting so the example was current.


Originally Posted by chuboy (Post 7800606)
In saying that, most of our content is actually downloaded locally. Companies like Akamai build datacentres in each country and they mirror frequently accessed content from Youtube, iTunes, you name it.

Great for the bogans and others who only want to access YouTube and iTunes (basically playing on the www), but this is simply not as real/true for business as you think it is. Try this - delete iTunes from your computer, then download it again and record the download speed. Pathetic, isn't it. Now this is iTunes from Apple, possibly a program that opens the door to people spending $$$ at the iTunes store. Surely if what you said is true they would mirror-host the download site here. But they don't. Try the same with Microsoft updates - if what you claim is true these speeds should be right up there. But they are NOT.

And many of us want to access BUSINESS networks/sites/etc. Check your local download speed, then check your speed to any of these international sites, and you'll that what you say might be true in theory, but it's not reflected in real life. The bottleneck is downstream from our shores.


Originally Posted by chuboy (Post 7800606)
I'm not sure it's as bad as you think. The rollout was delayed by negotiations with Optus and Telstra for access to copper ducts.

Whatever the excuses, the current rollout and take-up rates are both way less than NBN predictions as recently as 6 months ago - well after the Telstra/Optus issues were resolved. Not a single prediction they have made regarding rollout and take-up has even come close to being met.

Originally Posted by chuboy (Post 7800606)
... We also know that fibre optic cable is best we've invented yet, using photons travelling at the speed of light as the transmission medium. Breaking this barrier is not 'the next step' - it's breaking the laws of physics as we understand them. I'm not saying it will never happen - but in my view it's up there with teleportation on my list of things that aren't going to be invented soon enough to warrant delaying an infrastructure build.

Less than 10 years ago wireless speeds were shockingly slow; less than 10 years ago commercially affordable domestic solar power systems were unavailable; less than 10 years ago bluetooth was something you had if you didn't get your gum-abcess attended to (and currently the European price of Carbon - their 'carbon tax' is about 85% cheaper than ours!!!). I am quite confident that in 10 years time (more likely 3 to 5) there will cheaper and comfortably speed-efficient technology that will deliver node/hub-to-home access.

Originally Posted by chuboy (Post 7800606)
I don't mean to preach or come off as a Labor posterboy, I'm just frustrated at the degree of misinformation that is published in the news about this project, which is really much better than it is made out to be.

You sound like both an ALP Posterboy and an NBN Manager. Like you, I am frustrated by the misinformation, but in my case by the misinformation out there trying to make the NBN sound like a necessary and reasonable investment.

david1300 19th Apr 2013 05:36


Originally Posted by Worrals in the wilds (Post 7800630)
Thanks for the info, chuboy. Like most Aussies, I don't really understand this stuff beyond plugging a modem into the phone line, plugging that into the PC and getting access to a steady stream of 80s music videos. :\

And like most Aussies, what you already have, or have access to, serves you well. If you had 4times the speed, or 40 times the speed, like most Aussies, it wouldn't affect you.

However, if money was being spent focussed on other-than-most-Aussies who can really benefit from equal-speed internet (like rural schools, rural health services, farmers etc), then it would make a huge difference to those people.

Originally Posted by Worrals in the wilds (Post 7800630)
You obviously have a solid understanding of how the NBN works and can assess the plan on its merits, but many of the rest of us are pretty :confused: so the government must rely on its trust and integrity rating with the electorate for support, which are both currently sitting at about zero.

Methinks you give too much credit where it isn't due. personally, I would rewrite this sentence as follows: You obviously have

a solid understanding
good speaking notes of how you would like the NBN to works and can

assess the plan on its merits,
repeat labor misinformation :p

Worrals in the wilds 19th Apr 2013 05:38


You sound like both an ALP Posterboy and an NBN Manager.
Not everyone who supports the ALP is a party stooge. As I said, I do not understand the NBN (and nor do many other people) so again, thanks for the information and a different POV. :)

However, while it may not always be apparent on this forum there are still many Australians who support the ALP (25% of about 14 million is still a large number) and many more who sthroroughly dislike the Coalition, even if they begrudgingly plan to vote for them. They are as entitled to their political views as true blue Libs are to theirs, without being accused of being paid by the party every time they disagree with the majority.

Ovation 19th Apr 2013 05:52


Given that there is no way to tell whether somebody is going to be a welfare cheat or dole bludger or thieving scammer, I fail to see how entering the country 'through the front door' and then overstaying your welcome is any different to turning up in a boat
chuboy,

There are a lot like you who try to make that same argument, and for any others who don't know, don't want to know or simply don't understand, there is a difference between arriving at Immigration desk with a genuine passport and valid visa and, legally being permitted entry to Australia, compared to an illegal arrival being intercepted by the navy approaching Australian territory (destroying their identity papers the moment they see the patrol boat loom on the horizon).

If they come in through the front door legally and then overstay, we know who they are, where they're from, and their history can be sourced etc, and, they can be easily deported.

On the other hand, if they come in illegally on a smugglers boat they frustrate the process by making it difficult and costly to identify themselves and will claim political asylum whether they are deserving of it or not. That alone demonstrates a lack of honesty, good character and good faith.

Anyone who enters Australia illegally has shown they have no respect for our sovereignty and should be returned to their country of origin. The same applies to those who have legally entered Australia and not complied with the visa endorsement by overstaying.

chuboy 19th Apr 2013 06:12


Originally Posted by david1300 (Post 7800878)
50Mbps (from copper) is 10x faster than I am getting right now via fibre-optic cable to my house. The speed from copper is practical and affordable right now for domestic use!

The slowest speed available on NBN fibre is 12 Mbps download, so I don't know who you're getting your internet from. And I will add that 50 Mbps is a speed you would achieve only if you had an air-conditioned, refrigerator sized cabinet on the footpath out the front of your house. Copper is copper, any transmission method you use on it is limited by distance and so for the majority of Australians, you won't see close to those speeds (just as most people do not see close to the 24 Mbps possible on ADSL2).


Typical sort of response one gets from Labor. "...shouldn't exist...". Well, reality is that it DOES exist. I'm not saying where the bottleneck exists, except that it is not here in Aus. And don't insult me with "A sample size of one ...". I depend on high speed internet for my living. I check speeds daily. I quoted one test as an example, that I did while I was posting so the example was current.
The bottleneck could be here in Australia too. Did you check the download speeds for other servers in Australia? How about download speeds in servers from other countries?

There will always be a bottleneck somewhere along the line. The important thing is making sure that it isn't always going to be the connection from the computer to the internet - that way the capacity is always there to be used when needed.


Great for the bogans and others who only want to access YouTube and iTunes (basically playing on the www), but this is simply not as real/true for business as you think it is. Try this - delete iTunes from your computer, then download it again and record the download speed. Pathetic, isn't it. Now this is iTunes from Apple, possibly a program that opens the door to people spending $$$ at the iTunes store. Surely if what you said is true they would mirror-host the download site here. But they don't. Try the same with Microsoft updates - if what you claim is true these speeds should be right up there. But they are NOT.
Well I don't use iTunes but I just tried downloading it and it was going at the full rate available to my house (10Mbps). So unless their overseas server happens to be limited to exactly my download speed I think my ADSL is the bottleneck.


And many of us want to access BUSINESS networks/sites/etc. Check your local download speed, then check your speed to any of these international sites, and you'll that what you say might be true in theory, but it's not reflected in real life. The bottleneck is downstream from our shores.
I'll just point out that one of the potential benefits of the NBN will be tele-health and education applications become widely accessible. Even if undersea fibre is a bottleneck as you suggest, it isn't necessary for data transfers within the country which is where a lot of the productivity gains will happen anyway.

On the topic of business networks - and there isn't nearly enough emphasis on this in the media - upload speed is critical. You can't have teleconferencing, working from home, transferring large files between offices, etc, without superb upload speeds. Fibre is the only medium which can deliver fast uploads to date.

This is something the Liberals have completely failed to address in their plan.

Whatever the excuses, the current rollout and take-up rates are both way less than NBN predictions as recently as 6 months ago - well after the Telstra/Optus issues were resolved. Not a single prediction they have made regarding rollout and take-up has even come close to being met.
I never denied this, but it's not a reason to can the rollout and proceed with something completely different (and technologically worse).


Less than 10 years ago wireless speeds were shockingly slow; less than 10 years ago commercially affordable domestic solar power systems were unavailable; less than 10 years ago bluetooth was something you had if you didn't get your gum-abcess attended to (and currently the European price of Carbon - their 'carbon tax' is about 85% cheaper than ours!!!). I am quite confident that in 10 years time (more likely 3 to 5) there will cheaper and comfortably speed-efficient technology that will deliver node/hub-to-home access.
It's not that we haven't invented super fast wireless, which is what I presume you're referring to. It's been done in experiments and the mechanisms behind wireless data transfer are extremely well understood. Our understanding is so good that we know for certain wireless data transmission potential is always limited by distance and is certainly no match for fibre optic cable. This is why bluetooth can transfer data so much faster than 3G, but only over a much shorter distance. So we could theoretically get very fast speeds over wireless, but the cost of building and powering all the transmitters you need is more than building fibre.

It's worth noting that wireless is always affected by congestion - the maximum speed attainable on wireless is only possible if you are the only person in range of the signal. As soon as you are sharing the signal, you are sharing the download speed.

There is a place for wireless. Wifi is great. Wireless IN the home is something we are all embracing and will continue to embrace. Wireless TO the home is something reserved for townships too expensive to deliver fibre optic cable to.

As for other methods of data transfer - there's copper. Hopefully I don't need to elaborate to someone clever like yourself why we can't rely on that :=


You sound like both an ALP Posterboy and an NBN Manager. Like you, I am frustrated by the misinformation, but in my case by the misinformation out there trying to make the NBN sound like a necessary and reasonable investment.
There's no need to be rude. You haven't really elaborated upon what misinformation it is you're frustrated about. Are you denying that our copper phone network is in dire need of replacement? Are you denying that it's unsuitable for future growth in data transfer requirements? Are you denying that our demand for internet is growing exponentially?

Buster Hyman 19th Apr 2013 06:12

Hey chuboy. Nice to have your opinion in the thread. I also appreciate calm, reasoned debate & stating your thoughts articulately. :ok:


I think this is the sort of ridiculous scaremongering that has desensitised me to the issue. The problem of 'boat arrivals' does not seem to have affected my way of life at all. I'm not finding myself forced to learn how to speak Indonesian or visit a mosque. They aren't squatting outside my house. They aren't taking my jobs. I'm not even convinced we are bankrolling asylum seekers either, although anecdotally, there is evidence we are bankrolling our own. That's another story though...
Enoch Powell was howled down for 'scaremongering' too.

Obviously, I don't know where you reside, but where I am, the demographic has rapidly changed & we are over 13% Islamic in my Municipality. 13% isn't a huge margin, but when there's two distinct groups of people hanging around a shopping centre all day, it doesn't take long to feel like a minority.

As an example, I only read this yesterday in the local rag... Jacana Ready for Fight. In summary...


Ian Jensen has been involved with Jacana since 1964, playing his junior and senior football there and later undertaking several stints on the committee
He agrees that creating a j unior structure is the main priority, but has seen a changing demographic in the area over the years, which has made doing that all the more hard.
‘‘ The demographics of the area have changed dramatically from years ago,’’ he said. ‘‘They are nearly all migrants now, so we need to be working on that . . . go back and work on the grassroots and try and encourage those kids from the ethnic backgrounds to come and play football.’’
Jensen seen not only the demise of his own club’s junior structure in his time, but others in the area fold for similar reasons.
‘ ‘There ’s no Broadmeadows, there’s no St Dominic’s, there’s no Holy Child, there’s no Coolaroo, there’s no Dallas Blues, North Fawkner’s gone,’’ he said. ‘‘They’re all footy clubs that were in that community that are no longer there.’’
My team, and others I played against in that list have gone. Now, I'm not saying that this is the end of civilisation, but aside from Bachar Houli, there seems little interest in integrating. I grew up in a time of Italians & Greeks emigrating, and the integration was seemingly driven by the kids who wanted to play sport with all the other kids. This doesn't appear to be happening.
Again, in fairness, we see Majak Daw, of Somalian extraction, playing his first game in the AFL. Fantastic stuff!
My point being that whilst it is not affecting you, and I accept that, it is having an affect elsewhere. :ok:

chuboy 19th Apr 2013 06:25


Originally Posted by Buster Hyman (Post 7800915)
Obviously, I don't know where you reside, but where I am, the demographic has rapidly changed & we are over 13% Islamic in my Municipality. 13% isn't a huge margin, but when there's two distinct groups of people hanging around a shopping centre all day, it doesn't take long to feel like a minority.

Just to get an idea - are these newcomers people who arrived illegally seeking asylum, or 'legitimate' migrants?

Clare Prop 19th Apr 2013 06:40

Just to add to Ovation's post, the other big difference is that visa overstayers don't have access to medicare, legal aid or any public funds.

I regularly fly over the Northam detention centre and I hate to see it there, we shouldn't be locking those people up, we shouldn't be spending a fortune on a UK company to guard them, they shouldn't be here. But I don't blame them one bit for trying, I blame the systems that let them end up in a place like that.

I came here as a legal migrant and boy what a tortuous seven year process that was. Including being assessed (with trade certificates, a degree and several years experience as a manager in my industry) as a "semi skilled manual labourer". So it's hard to sit back and watch others expecting and being given everything on a plate for life and hear snippets from firends who work for serco.

I have seen the country I came from changed irreversibly from Tony Blair's open borders. People said it wouldn't happen there either. Just look at Europe and if that is the sort of society you want in ten years time then vote ALP.

sisemen 19th Apr 2013 07:20


Our economy is about 1½ times larger than it was back in 1996. We have another 2 million Australians who have found jobs since then. And average wages have increased 20 per cent in real terms. In the decade before 1996 inflation averaged 5 per cent a year. Since then inflation has halved, averaging the low and stable rate of 2½ per cent a year. Ten years ago the Australian Government owed a net debt of $96 billion. The Government was paying an interest bill of $8.5 billion a year. Today we are debt free in net terms. And our net interest payments are zero. This is saving taxpayers $8.5 billion a year. Back in 1996 the Budget was in deficit. We were living beyond our means. Today we are living within our means.
Costello Budget address May 2007.


In May, Federal Treasuer Wayne Swan released the 2011-12 Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO). [4] In 2011-12, the Australian Government general government sector recorded an underlying cash deficit of $43.7 billion (3.0 % of GDP). [5] The fiscal balance was in deficit by $44.5 billion (3.0% of GDP).
Date (30 June) Gross Debt ($ millions)
2007 58,284
2008 60,462
2009 101,147
2010 147,133
2011 191,291
2012 233,976
Source: Reserve Bank of Australia[6]
Australian Government general government sector net debt was AUD$164 billion (11.133% of GDP), which was AUD$16.7 billion higher than estimated at the time of the 2012 Australian federal budget. The change was primarily driven by the higher‑than‑expected market value of Commonwealth Government Securities (CGS), owing to lower than expected yields. Australian Government general government sector net financial worth was -$358.3 billion at the end of 2011‑12. Net worth was $247.2 billion at the end of 2011-12.
Background to the Swan budget May 2012.

Perhaps if Swan had not been the economic illiterate that he is then the Coalition may well have been able to afford the gold-plated Rolls Royce NBN as well chuboy. Still, your vote may, but highly unlikely, allow Labor to carry on with its profligacy just so long as you get your bit of optical fibre linked to your computer and hang the effect on everything else in the country.

chuboy 19th Apr 2013 07:47


Originally Posted by sisemen (Post 7800968)
Perhaps if Swan had not been the economic illiterate that he is then the Coalition may well have been able to afford the gold-plated Rolls Royce NBN as well chuboy. Still, your vote may, but highly unlikely, allow Labor to carry on with its profligacy just so long as you get your bit of optical fibre linked to your computer and hang the effect on everything else in the country.

With respect, the NBN is funded off budget using bonds that will be repaid plus interest. The construction of the NBN is not a question of affordability but simply value for money. That's without considering potential increases in productivity and the viability of new industries once ubiquitous access to the internet is achieved. A road (not a driveway) to my house alone isn't worth much to the country. But a road to every persons' house creates many more opportunities for growth.

I realise not everybody even on this forum is as enthused about the NBN as I am. Nevertheless, stats from the ABS don't lie. The overall volume of data downloaded in the three months ended 31 December 2012 was 554,771 Terabytes, a 34% increase compared with the three months ended 30 June 2012. 95% of those downloads were using 'fixed line' internet as opposed to 3G or 4G.

Even if it's not you, you can't argue with the numbers. As a country we're using the internet more and more, and sooner or later the copper wire we're using to get access to it is going to need replacing. (Alas, Howard had plenty of warning in 2003 that something needed to be done and he did nothing, pursuing a surplus instead.)

As I have mentioned, if the LNP had committed to continuing the construction of Labor's 'fibre to the premises' solution, I would happily consider voting for them. It's a key issue for me. I'm not dead set on voting for any party in particular as I try to go with policy over persona.

Ovation 19th Apr 2013 09:32

For a start, the NBN has never been transparent, never had a proper independent cost benefit analysis and why? Because the ALP refused to allow it, that's why. That's an alarm bell - they must be hiding something, and I don't think there's anybody out there who believes the current ALP can be trusted to deliver anything at all, unless they've forgiven them for Pink Batts, School Halls, Cash for Clunkers, FuelWatch, GroceryWatch, Malaysian Solution to name but a few of their many stuff-ups.

The managers the ALP installed at NBN were implicated in some financial scandal in their previous employment with Alcatel. That's another alarm bell that suggests a lack of due diligence selecting their top management.

The NBN has consistently failed to meet roll-out delivery targets and customer take-up. Incompetence - if they have such good management there should be no excuses at all.

And the politician whose brainchild the NBN is - Senator Stephen Conroy. Calling him a moron is being overly kind and generous. He's proven himself to be a complete idiot for making his statement that "he could make tenderers wear red underpants on their head if he said so" - if that's the level of competence at the top of the tree we really are in deep sh!t.

mountainviews 19th Apr 2013 10:07


Originally Posted by chuboy (Post 7800914)
And I will add that 50 Mbps is a speed you would achieve only if you had an air-conditioned, refrigerator sized cabinet on the footpath out the front of your house. Copper is copper, any transmission method you use on it is limited by distance and so for the majority of Australians, you won't see close to those speeds (just as most people do not see close to the 24 Mbps possible on ADSL2).


The current version of DSL technology being deployed is VDSL2. The theoretical maximum speed if the cabinet was installed outside your house is 250 megabit/second. The quoted 50 megabit/second speed is often what Telecom companies quote when selling the service.


At 500 meters from the cabinet the speed is usually around 100 megabit/second and at 1 km the speed is around 50 megabit/second.


Well I don't use iTunes but I just tried downloading it and it was going at the full rate available to my house (10Mbps). So unless their overseas server happens to be limited to exactly my download speed I think my ADSL is the bottleneck.
Apple services are hosted here in Australia (They use a company called Akamai Technologies based in Melbourne and North Sydney) so international bandwidth is not an issue here. Possible issues are congestion on your ISP's connection to Akamai technologies, congestion on the link between your exchange and the Telco's core network or the state of your copper line.


I'll just point out that one of the potential benefits of the NBN will be tele-health and education applications become widely accessible. Even if undersea fibre is a bottleneck as you suggest, it isn't necessary for data transfers within the country which is where a lot of the productivity gains will happen anyway.
A large portion of the current ADSL2+ connections could support these health and education applications, if they are so fantastic why are the one million current ADSL2+ connections not already been used for these services, there is no need to wait for an NBN to start taking advantage of the great efficiencies these service offer.


In regards to the international links not being a factor in these services you are spot on.


On the topic of business networks - and there isn't nearly enough emphasis on this in the media - upload speed is critical. You can't have teleconferencing, working from home, transferring large files between offices, etc, without superb upload speeds. Fibre is the only medium which can deliver fast uploads to date.
A very good point regarding upstream speed, down-loaders tend to be users of services and up-loaders tend to producers of services. A strength of VDSL2+ is it allows the available bandwidth to be split between upstream and downstream as desired by the telco. A typical domestic 50 megabit connection may be split 35 megabits downstream and 15 megabits upstream whilst a business customer next door may have 25megabits downstream and 25 megabits upstream.


So fibre does not have a monopoly on fast upload capabilities.





It's not that we haven't invented super fast wireless, which is what I presume you're referring to. It's been done in experiments and the mechanisms behind wireless data transfer are extremely well understood. Our understanding is so good that we know for certain wireless data transmission potential is always limited by distance and is certainly no match for fibre optic cable. This is why bluetooth can transfer data so much faster than 3G, but only over a much shorter distance. So we could theoretically get very fast speeds over wireless, but the cost of building and powering all the transmitters you need is more than building fibre.

It's worth noting that wireless is always affected by congestion - the maximum speed attainable on wireless is only possible if you are the only person in range of the signal. As soon as you are sharing the signal, you are sharing the download speed.

There is a place for wireless. Wifi is great. Wireless IN the home is something we are all embracing and will continue to embrace. Wireless TO the home is something reserved for townships too expensive to deliver fibre optic cable to.
The CISRO has developed a wireless system using the old TV channels currently being dismantled. They have demonstrated a 12megabit/second (both upstream and downstream) that is not impacted by congestion. Your portion of the signal is only used by your connection only so is not impacted by the other users on your tower. Please note wireless broadband is NOT mobile broadband which IS impacted by the number of users connected in your cell. With wireless you have a aerial similar to a directional TV aerial on your roof. It is a good 'second best option' where landline broadband is just too expensive to roll out.


From overseas experience residential users of very fast connections generally use the majority (~95%) of the data for IPTV. Note this NOT viewing video over the internet, it is provided by a separate media provider(s) that delivers the channels using the DSL signal. A good government/regulatory system would prevent a monopoly developing amongst IPTV providers.


My major concern with the NBN is we are paying $5k to $7k per premises for a system that has in my opinion no possibility of increasing productivity enough to ever provide a return on this investment.

Brian Abraham 19th Apr 2013 10:48

mountainviews, I don't understand the techo language, but I'm more than happy with my ADSL phone line connection. I'm on line a good proportion of the day and the $39.95 a month I pay gives me everything I want. I have no need for anything "better", and certainly not at greater cost. Happy is as happy does.

mountainviews 19th Apr 2013 11:11

Brian Abraham From my experience working in the telco industry you are representative of most residential consumers, only a small proportion of customers (10%-15%) use the full speed that their line runs at - most of those who were using the full speed were using it to share media files (illegally) which has no positive impact on the nations productivity.

A non techie analogy would be your water supply, if your current one inch pipe is providing an adequate supply your house and you never suffer low water pressure would you spend money laying a bigger and better two inch water pipe?

Remember when it comes to costs with the NBN, you will have to install a new fibre leadin cable from the street and replace the copper internal wiring inside your house. In some situations this will be cheap and easy, in other situations it will not be so cheap and easy.

With the VDSL2+ (the type of technology that the Libs are proposing) you do not have to rewire and you can can even carry on using your current ADSL2+ modem, however with a ADSL2+ modem you will only get ADSL2+ performance (which as stated above is more than adequate for the vast majority of consumers at the moment)

RJM 19th Apr 2013 11:47

chuboy, I agree that most here appreciate your calm, informed and reasoned contributions.

But...


Assuming the NBN weren't an issue, I'm not sure what the LNP has to offer me other than 'not being the Labor party'.
Where to start. General competence? Under that head alone most of Labor's personnel would find rthemselves 'don't come Monday'd were they in the private workforce.

Reliability, etc. On it goes, failed project after failed project. Dollar after wasted dollar. I appreciate the 'offer me' in the quote, but it's your money they're pissing away just as much as anyone elses.

No. Enough. Time to give the other team a chance.

Andu 19th Apr 2013 23:59

chuboy, thanks for your reply to my question, (your post #5407), and in particular, (as others have said), for keeping the debate amicable. However, your reply left me feeling a bit like many of us feel a half hour after a Chinese meal – just a little dissatisfied. It reminded me – disturbingly, I must say – of Martin Niemöller’s famous essay “First they came..” ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_...me...#The_text ).


I think this is the sort of ridiculous scaremongering that has desensitised me to the issue. The problem of 'boat arrivals' does not seem to have affected my way of life at all. I'm not finding myself forced to learn how to speak Indonesian or visit a mosque. They aren't squatting outside my house. They aren't taking my jobs. I'm not even convinced we are bankrolling asylum seekers either, although anecdotally, there is evidence we are bankrolling our own. That's another story though...

Frankly I don't think they are an issue at all, relatively speaking.
Ask any long term resident of the suburbs in South Western Sydney or North Western Melbourne now dominated* by people of the Islamic persuasion, many of whom were born here (the Muslims, I mean). Most of the older members of this community arrived here legally as refugees, but many if not most of the recently arrived - and uninvited - newcomers (those some would call ‘asylum seekers’) end up in these areas as well.

*I use the term ‘dominated’ after careful consideration. That is not to say they are (yet) in the majority in these suburbs, but there can be little doubt (and the local police will readily confirm this) that they dominate these communities with aggressive and overtly hostile attitudes towards any resident who does conform with THEIR understanding of how EVERYONE should live and behave in those communities.

They have no intention of amending their way of life to fit, let alone assimilate, into the mainstream community. In fact, a disinterested observer could be forgiven for thinking that the only contact they encourage with mainstream Australia is to collect their benefits from CentreLink.


So you’ll forgive me if I’m dissatisfied with your answer. I find your answers regarding the NBN to be similar – everything you say about the wonderful NBN is how things SHOULD be, not how they actually are (or look like being in the foreseeable future) under the incredibly, unbelievably inept leadership of Stephen ‘Red Underpants’ Conroy.

MTOW 20th Apr 2013 22:14

This gets a bit repetitive.


Asylum boat intercepted near Christmas Island
Date
April 20, 2013 - 10:27PM

A suspected asylum seeker boat carrying 45 people was intercepted east of Christmas Island this afternoon.
It was the sixth vessel in the past week stopped by Australian border patrols near Christmas Island.

On Wednesday, two boats were intercepted near Christmas Island, one carrying 153 people and the other with 51. The day before, a boat with 97 people was detected.
Six days ago, a boat carrying 72 people was stopped about 53 kilometres from Broome in Western Australia. People who arrive by boat without a visa may be transferred to a regional processing country.
Asylum seekers who reach the mainland can avoid being sent to processing centres on Nauru or Manus Island in Papua New Guinea.


Read more: Asylum boat intercepted near Christmas Island

On a slightly different topic, (but not as different as some might wish it to be), I see the Age and the SMH are studiously avoiding saying which religion it was that the older brother alleged to have been involved in the Boston bombing 'became involved in'.

Fairfax’s Sun Herald editorialises on the Boston bombers:

Their mother said her elder son got involved in religion about five years ago and believed her sons were controlled by someone else.

What religion that might be is never mentioned. Christianity?
The Herald Sun also says that religion isn't the problem, but young men. ("The common link is not Islam, it is young men.") http://bl*gs.news.com.au/heraldsun/a...n_the_im_word/

Strange world we live in, isn't it, where those whose job it is to inform us of what's happening in the world feel it is more important we be protected from information that might sully our brains with unacceptable ideas - or at least ideas that are unacceptable to them?

david1300 21st Apr 2013 08:09


Originally Posted by chuboy (Post 7800989)
With respect, the NBN is funded off budget using bonds that will be repaid plus interest....

Playing with words, and, I suggest, misleading:=. The reality is that the Federal Government is using taxpayer funds to fund NBN company.

This is from the NBN Co own website (my bolding and highlighting). You can clearly see that only $13.4 billion is projected to come from the private sector. http://www.nbnco.com.au/assets/documents/faq.pdf

Q: What is NBN Co’s source of funding?
Funding for this important national infrastructure project will initially come from the Government, which is expected to contribute equity of $27.5 billion over the life of the project. However, NBN Co forecasts that it will be able to pay that equity injection back to the Government with a return over the life of the project. Other funding will come from operational earnings and private debt.
From FY2015 NBN Co intends to begin raising funds through capital markets. NBN Co expects that it will be a top tier major Australian debt issuer and a significant proportion of funding is likely to come from overseas investors. The quantum of debt to be raised from project finance or financial markets is estimated to be $13.4 billion.
Together the equity and debt funding add to a total funding requirement of $40.9 billion including funding costs. Capital expenditure will total $35.9 billion.

And here, from 25 March 2013 NBN Co?s rate of return forecast ?dubious?:

James Hutchinson and John McDuling
Leading telecommunications economists have questioned NBN Co’s claims that it will deliver a 7.1 per cent return for the government by 2040, as it faces a decision from the competition watchdog on its pricing methods.
The company has maintained it will recover its $37.4 billion capital cost by 2033 and generate a positive return for the government of 7.1 per cent between 2012 and 2040.
A positive financial return is critical because it allows the government, under international accounting standards, to classify equity funding for NBN Co as an investment on the budget, rather than an expense.
The government has already tipped more than $8 billion into NBN Co, and equity injections are expected to total $30.4 billion by 2021.
Former Telstra chief economist John de Ridder said NBN Co’s return forecasts were “dubious” and had never been tested. “NBN Co does not give ­sufficient data to verify it. On my ­analysis, it is dubious,” he told The ­Australian Financial Review.
“To get 7.1 per cent, you need a terminal value which is eight times higher than final-year EBITDA [of $11.2 billion in 2040]. This seems unreasonably high for what will be a mature, regulated, utility business.”

7x7 21st Apr 2013 08:36

36 jobs given to Labor mates | News.com.au




TONY Abbott has warned Julia Gillard against racing to appoint Australia's next Governor-General before the election and is threatening to overturn key Labor appointments if the Coalition wins power.

In a dramatic escalation of pre-poll tensions, the Opposition leader plans to directly raise his concerns over Australia's head of state with Ms Gillard, amid fears Labor wants to lock-in a raft of "jobs for the boys"- style appointments.

An investigation by News Limited can reveal an unprecedented number of one-time Labor MPs and union officials have been appointed to key Commonwealth agencies and statutory bodies, often on lucrative salaries.

THIS list shows 36 jobs given to Labor politicians and union officials in the past three years.

Name/ Background/ Appointment/ Commenced/ Salary
Arch Bevis/ Former parliamentary secretary for defence/ Anzac Centenary Advisory Board member/ August 2012/ ?
Arch Bevis/ Former parliamentary secretary for defence/ Review of Student Support Services Guidelines chair/ February 2013/ ?
Arch Bevis/ Former parliamentary secretary for defence/ Defence Remuneration Tribunal member/ May 2011/
Arch Bevis/ Former parliamentary secretary for defence/ Defence Housing Authority board member/ October 2011/ $57,600
Anna Bligh/ Former Qld premier/ Medibank Private board member/ December 2012/ $44,000-$89,000*
Anna Booth/ Former union official/ FWA deputy president/ February 2010/ ?
Desley Boyle/ Former Qld tourism minister/ Telecommunications Universal Service Management Authority board member/ July 2012/ ?
Steve Bracks/Former Vic Premier/Considered for New York Consul General
John Brumby/ Former Vic premier/ COAG Reform Council chair/December 2012/Also sounded out for New York Consul General/ ?
Bob Debus/ Former NSW and federal MP/ Land Sector Carbon and Biodiversity Board chair/ November 2011/ ?
Cameron Dick/ Former Qld attorney-general/ Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission chair/ November 2012/ $162,000-$192,000
Verity Firth/ Former NSW education minister/ Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care board member/ April 2013/ ?
Andrew Fraser/ Former Qld treasurer/ Australian Sports Commission board member/ November 2012/ up to $60,000
Andrew Fraser/ Former Qld treasurer/ Moorebank Intermodal Company board member/ December 2012/ ?
Geoff Gallop/ Former WA premier/ International Education Advisory Council board/ October 2011/ ?
Geoff Gallop/ Former WA premier/ Australia Awards Board chair/ May 2011/ ?
Leigh Johns/One-time Labor candidate/ Fair Work commissioner/ March 2013
Kate Jones/ Former Qld environment minister/ Landcare Council board member/ December 2012/ ?
Duncan Kerr/ Former federal justice minister/ Federal Court Judge and Administrative Appeals Tribunal President/ May 2012/ $400,000
Craig Knowles/Former NSW Government Minister/Chair Murray Darling Basin Authority/February 2011/
Jeff Lawrence/ Former ACTU president/ Fair Work Commission deputy president/ March 2013/ ?
Tim Lee/ Former Australian Services Union general manager and Labor staffer/ Fair Work Australia commissioner/ September 2011/ ?
Sue Lines/ United Voice assistant national secretary and hopes to fill Chris Evan's senate vacancy/ Aged Care Finance Authority board member/ August 2012/ ?
Paul Lucas/ Former Qld deputy premier/ Air Services Australia board member/ July 2012/ ?
Sheila McHale/ Former WA tourism minister/ Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission board member/ February 2013/ ?
Bernard Murphy/ Labor-aligned firm Maurice Blackburn chair/ Federal Court Judge/ April 2011/ $400,000
Roger Price/Former Federal MP/Consul General Chicago,USA/2011
Mike Rann/Former South Australian Premier and ALP National President/
Andrew Refshauge/ Former NSW deputy premier/ Australian Institute of Health and Welfare chair/ July 2011/ ?
Andrew Refshauge/ Former NSW deputy premier/ reappointed Aged Care Standards and Accreditation Agency chair/ July 2012/ ?
Bernie Riordan/ former official at Communications, Electrical and Plumbing Union, and Electrical Trades Union/ FWA commissioner/ February 2012
Justice Iain Ross/ Victorian Judge and former ACTU deputy secretary/ Fair Work Australia president/ February 2012/ ?
Jon Stanhope/ Former ACT chief minister/ Indian Ocean Territories of Christmas Island and Cocos (Keeling) Islands administrator/ August 2012/ $226,340
John Thwaites/ Former Vic deputy premier/ National Sustainability Council chair/ October 2012/ ?
John Thwaites/ Former Vic deputy premier/ Australian Building Codes Board chair/ November 2011/ ?
Christian Zahra/ Former federal MP/ Regional Development Australia Fund Advisory Panel chair/ WHEN/ ?
On the news this morning: Abbott warning Gillard not to appoint a new GG before the election after reports surfaced of a short list of potential appointees for GG is doing the rounds of Labor HQ.

sisemen 21st Apr 2013 16:14

And the world's best treasurer announces a further $7.5 billion overspend for this FY which was, if everyone remembers, projected to be a 'concrete, guaranteed' $1.5 billion surplus.

Now there's a surprise.

It's 144 days to the projected election. 144 = a gross; gross stupidity; gross recklessness; gross corruption; gross, gross, gross.

chuboy 22nd Apr 2013 00:34


Originally Posted by Ovation (Post 7801130)
For a start, the NBN has never been transparent, never had a proper independent cost benefit analysis and why? Because the ALP refused to allow it, that's why. That's an alarm bell - they must be hiding something, and I don't think there's anybody out there who believes the current ALP can be trusted to deliver anything at all, unless they've forgiven them for Pink Batts, School Halls, Cash for Clunkers, FuelWatch, GroceryWatch, Malaysian Solution to name but a few of their many stuff-ups.

I don't know if it's because there is something to hide. The technical side of the NBN as it is being constructed is not pioneering - fibre to the premises has been done in other countries so we know what to expect from it.

We also know that the alternatives to fibre are essentially satellite, wireless or the existing copper. The first two are slower than fibre but cheaper to deliver to remote areas. Copper, which we have used to deliver internet for decades now, is technically capable of delivering the download speeds that we are expected to require for the next few years.

There are two main issues with copper - the first being that it can't support our projected demands for uploads and downloads (based on exponential growth in demand since the birth of the internet), and, more crucially, it is old. Copper is already failing in many suburbs around the country - so you either replace copper with copper or copper with fibre. Costwise fibre is not much more expensive than copper but it supports speeds that copper cannot, and is far less susceptible to degradation.

What I think many don't realise is that we are going to have to replace all the copper in the country eventually. Telstra told us this back in 2003, ten years ago. The majority of people get some semblance of reliability with their internet connection but the cracks are starting to show. So it's a matter of replacing copper with copper or copper with fibre (or waiting for the copper to die completely before doing anything) - a no-brainer really.


The NBN has consistently failed to meet roll-out delivery targets and customer take-up. Incompetence - if they have such good management there should be no excuses at all.
Well - no matter how good your management is, you can't control the actions of Telstra and Optus. The primary reason for delays in the rollout were a result of negotiations to lease ducts from those two.

Takeup rates are actually quite good - I don't know which stats you're looking at. In particular takeup rates for the "top tier" 100 Mbps broadband are in excess of NBN Co's projections.

Nevertheless, I agree that the rollout has not been perfect so far, although things are improving every day as it picks up momentum.


Originally Posted by mountainviews (Post 7801181)
The current version of DSL technology being deployed is VDSL2. The theoretical maximum speed if the cabinet was installed outside your house is 250 megabit/second. The quoted 50 megabit/second speed is often what Telecom companies quote when selling the service.

At 500 meters from the cabinet the speed is usually around 100 megabit/second and at 1 km the speed is around 50 megabit/second.

This is the problem I have with using copper as the transmission medium. Everything is based on distance. Even with perfect copper there are no guarantees on your speed. You may only want 12 Mbps, you may want 100. What you get is a lottery regardless of how much you are willing to pay.


A large portion of the current ADSL2+ connections could support these health and education applications, if they are so fantastic why are the one million current ADSL2+ connections not already been used for these services, there is no need to wait for an NBN to start taking advantage of the great efficiencies these service offer.
I suppose the problem is that the portion of internet connections that can support remote health and education applications are not available to the people who would make use of them - those in remote or rural areas.

High definition video conferencing is still something out of the question, even for most people on ADSL2+. The reason is because uploads are so slow when using copper. Even if you did have a fast ADSL2+ that could support such a stream, it would saturate the connection and you would be unable to use the internet anywhere else on the network without paying for an extra phone line to be installed.


With wireless you have a aerial similar to a directional TV aerial on your roof. It is a good 'second best option' where landline broadband is just too expensive to roll out.
Agreed and we have seen this already in parts of the NBN rollout that have been completed. It is simply a question of how extensively you want the fibre to reach. I have heard that capital costs rise exponentially as you increase the total premises connected in the country above 90%.


From overseas experience residential users of very fast connections generally use the majority (~95%) of the data for IPTV. Note this NOT viewing video over the internet, it is provided by a separate media provider(s) that delivers the channels using the DSL signal. A good government/regulatory system would prevent a monopoly developing amongst IPTV providers.
This is another potential area which will grow as saturation of the NBN increases, and I have suggested that Mr Murdoch's investments in the Foxtel Pay TV network stand to lose out with the introduction of this competition - a key reason behind the anti-NBN stance in his papers.


My major concern with the NBN is we are paying $5k to $7k per premises for a system that has in my opinion no possibility of increasing productivity enough to ever provide a return on this investment.
Could you elaborate upon why you believe this will never increase productivity - at least to greater than $7k per household? It's worth remembering that, if built, the fibre network will have the capacity to support growth in internet usage for decades to come, so consideration has to be given to methods of improving productivity using the internet that perhaps have yet to be popularised (or invented).


Originally Posted by mountainviews (Post 7801281)
A non techie analogy would be your water supply, if your current one inch pipe is providing an adequate supply your house and you never suffer low water pressure would you spend money laying a bigger and better two inch water pipe?

One has to be careful when choosing an analogy for the NBN. I have yet to see a good one as there aren't many systems analogous to a telecomms infrastructure that are familar to people.

I've seen people describe the NBN as buying a Rolls-Royce when you can only afford a Mazda. I've heard the water supply analogy. I've heard people liken it to building a mansion when only need an apartment.

In many cases they don't fit the picture, even closely. For instance, in your analogy the water pipes are not starting to corrode and leak all around the country. There is still room to draw more water from the local water station all around the country. In your analogy, the water pressure coming out of the taps in the house stays the same no matter how many people in the house or neighbourhood are using it at the same time. Demand for more water pressure is not increasing exponentially in your example, either.

I would have thought your experience in the telco industry of all industries would have made this obvious to you?


Remember when it comes to costs with the NBN, you will have to install a new fibre leadin cable from the street and replace the copper internal wiring inside your house. In some situations this will be cheap and easy, in other situations it will not be so cheap and easy.
NBN Co will do what they call a 'standard installation' for free. They will install a Network Termination Device in a room of your house (you get to pick which room when the contractors do the install). Unless you reject the 'one time offer' of free installation when NBN Co does your street, you don't have to pay for it except in extreme circumstances.

I quote:
The NTD and, if requested by Customer or otherwise supplied by NBN Co, any associated battery back-up unit are able to be attached on the interior side of a wall of the Premises, at a location agreed between the End User and NBN Co (or the Installer), and:
(A) that location has a 240 volt power source available for the
supply of electricity to the NTD; and
(B) that power source is located within approximately 3 metres
of the location of the NTD; and

The Connecting Fibre is no more than 40 metres in length, measured by reference to the cable run distance between the PCD and the location of the NTD, or such longer length as may be reasonably determined by NBN Co in the circumstances.



With the VDSL2+ (the type of technology that the Libs are proposing) you do not have to rewire and you can can even carry on using your current ADSL2+ modem, however with a ADSL2+ modem you will only get ADSL2+ performance (which as stated above is more than adequate for the vast majority of consumers at the moment)
As I have already mentioned, the problem with this is that our copper wire is in poor condition and most of it will need to be replaced by the time a Coalition NBN is rolled out.


Originally Posted by RJM (Post 7801333)
Where to start. General competence? Under that head alone most of Labor's personnel would find rthemselves 'don't come Monday'd were they in the private workforce.

Reliability, etc. On it goes, failed project after failed project. Dollar after wasted dollar. I appreciate the 'offer me' in the quote, but it's your money they're pissing away just as much as anyone elses.

No. Enough. Time to give the other team a chance.

I confess, I have only recently taken an interest in politics. I am not overly familiar with Labor's performance over the last few years. There does seem to be a sentiment that it's time for a change in hands and I accept that. I will consider giving my preference to any candidate who supports a 'fibre to the premises'-type rollout. Even the Coalition, if they happen to change their minds.


They have no intention of amending their way of life to fit, let alone assimilate, into the mainstream community. In fact, a disinterested observer could be forgiven for thinking that the only contact they encourage with mainstream Australia is to collect their benefits from CentreLink.

So you’ll forgive me if I’m dissatisfied with your answer. I find your answers regarding the NBN to be similar – everything you say about the wonderful NBN is how things SHOULD be, not how they actually are (or look like being in the foreseeable future) under the incredibly, unbelievably inept leadership of Stephen ‘Red Underpants’ Conroy.
I think it's important to make a distinction between immigration as a whole and illegal immigration. Certainly - if integration with society were only a problem with 'boat people' then I would agree that more attention is needed in that area. But if there are issues with migrants, even those that arrive with all the paperwork they need, then those issues should not be lumped together with asylum seekers.

Addressing social problems with migrant communities in general is a whole different kettle of fish and one I wouldn't feel comfortable discussing (without wanting to put my head in the sand). I don't think any one person can make a decent comment without allowing personal prejudice to cloud their perspective on what is a delicate topic.

As for my comments on the NBN - perhaps I should admit to being a little zealous in my support for it. I spend a lot of time browsing other forums, in particular one which is frequented by many Australian IT enthusiasts and professionals. There are dissenters of Labor's plan there as well, but overwhelmingly, people are happy with the technical details of the plan. I'm led to believe that "what" Labor is doing is the best thing on offer for the country. Of course, I'm open to the idea that the "how" could use some improvement.


Originally Posted by david1300 (Post 7804117)
Playing with words, and, I suggest, misleading:=. The reality is that the Federal Government is using taxpayer funds to fund NBN company.

You say tomato, I say tomato. The big picture really is that NBN Co will pay back the money using revenue from NBN users and private investment. Once you pay off the loan on your car, is it fair to say it was paid for by the bank?

I think it's a redundant point of discussion because the only other broadband plan that has been proposed, the Coalition's, intends to use an identical method of funding. But, a fibre network that reaches 93% of homes and is suitable to meet decades of future growth is a much more attractive candidate for private investment than a patchwork plan which utilises aging infrastructure mixed with fibre, invests billions in new equipment that will be obsolete within years, costs more to operate each year, and is not projected to meet demand for growth beyond the end of the decade...

You pick which one will rely more on revenue from users - you guessed it, the one which provides inferior service that users will be less inclined to pay for. :confused:


Originally Posted by sisemen (Post 7804712)
And the world's best treasurer announces a further $7.5 billion overspend for this FY which was, if everyone remembers, projected to be a 'concrete, guaranteed' $1.5 billion surplus.

I heard this today. Disappointing news. Interesting that health is the biggest drain on expenditure. Too many oldies seeing the doctor ;)

7x7 22nd Apr 2013 00:41

At the beginning of the month, someone asked whether the average number of arrivals for April would exceed two boats a day. (From the Bolt blog), the numbers so far are this:


Boat arrivals for April to date: 2289 “asylum” seekers and 32 boats.
Reports are now spread between Home Affairs and Customs.

And April still with more than a week to go.
Unless we see a major end of month rush, we don't look like breaking the two boats a day average, or with 32 boats in 21 says, even reaching the two a day figure. Radio reports this morning say that 245 arrived over the weekend. 2289 over a 21 day period is an average of over 100 a day (and I wouldn't be surprised if the figure quoted didn't include the weekend arrivals).

Wayne Swan budgeted for 450 a month (~15 a day). Like the rest of Treasurer Swan's math, those figures just don't work. I suppose we should give credit where credit is due - 44 Tamils who arrived in Geraldton have been sent home.

Perhaps we're about to see Macquarie Dictionary re-define 'surplus'.


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