Tuesday, 23 April 2013

NBN: Political Lies decoded

Political spin and half-truths normally only annoy me. About the NBN, it's much worse: Herald-Sun reporting on the NBN in Blacktown:
last week Mr Turnbull said most residents didn't need super fast broadband and the network could be upgraded down the track.
The only truth in the Marketplace is what people are prepared to pay for. 100Mbps and 1Gbps services wouldn't be on the menu if they was no demand for them.

Unsurprisingly, there's no mention of the real economic legacy of the Digital Have's and Have Not's the Coalition is preparing to enforce: Digital-Have-Not house prices will be $3-$5,000 less.

Here's what's being said:
  • "super fast broadband", like 640Kb of RAM, is "all you'll ever need".
    • Do they mean 1Mbps like Al Gore's "Information Superhighway"?
    • What was "fast" in 1998 is laughable today, it's a vacuous and misleading phrase.
    • If he means 25Mbps, he should be saying it.
      • Now that NBN Co has announced the availability of 1,000/400Mbps services, doesn't that rate now define "super fast", relegating100Mbps to "fast" and 25Mbps to somewhat less than "fast", say "barely adequate"?
  • "most residents don't need" has two problems:
    • There are very few folk who need more than 56kbps dial-up, seriously.
      • Everyone who values their time at more than $0 will pay for higher speeds.
      • The basic theorem of Economics is that Individuals uniquely assign a Utility value to goods and services, expressed as their willingness to pay:
        • What we need is not nearly the same as what we want.
        • What we desire is different to what we're prepared to pay for what we want.
        • In the Market, the most critical factor is willingness to pay:
          • How else do you explain the "cost" of women's shoes and cosmetics?
          • Women complain about high prices, but keep buying...
        • From the 50% higher take-up of NBN than predicted and the associated 50% higher Data downloads, we now know that many, not all, people place a high-value on reasonable download speeds.
    • The second problem is "most residents":
      • Those people willing to pay for higher speeds aren't neatly grouped by street or postcode, they are spread through the community, albeit, often correlated with ability to pay, or disposable income.
        • It isn't possible to run a fast network just to the people who want it and will pay.
        • To reach the Early Adopter and Early Majority markets clamouring for higher download speeds, the network has to pass every premise.
      • But you'd be surprised, demand is unpredictable:
        •  a group-house of low-income guys in the Far West may well spring for a 100Mbps/1,000GB plan while the "rich" neighbours of Turnbull almost all would just keep using their 4G smartphones and tablets...
        • It's just as important to fully network Greenway as Double Bay and Vaucluse.
  • "the network can be upgraded" is at best fatuous, at worst hypocritical and deceptive.
    • This is pure B/S, the same misleading statement as "You can always trade-in your 25yo Gemini on a Rolls Royce".
      • It's syntactically and semantically true, but never happens in real-life.
    • The Coalition paywall of $3-$5,000 per-premise upgrade to full Fibre is an effective barrier to entry for most households.
      • The Coalition will say in 10 years "Look we were right, there was no demand for Fibre to the Premise, because nobody buys the upgrade". Then babble on about what great fiscally-responsible economic managers they are...
      • All the while, the statistics will show that the 2.8M "lucky-few" on FTTP are using more and more services over their real "super fast broadband".
  • Can we demonstrate the Coalition knows it is telling "less than the the whole truth" or being misleading and deceitful?
    • Not so much without recordings... That's the game of Politics.

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