Tuesday, 7 May 2013

NBN: Why I write.

I write these blog entries for myself, to explore and explain topics that don't make sense to me or I think haven't been dealt with elsewhere. I'm not attempting to be a journalist or convince people of any Point of View. I'm not Pro-Fibre or Anti-FTTN, despite what people have read into my pieces. I've written recently that BOTH political options are severely sub-optimal, that the rancourous debate and vilification doesn't just not progress the debate, it starves the real debate of attention: what's the actual demand? What will people pay? What's an optimal change strategy over 10, 20 and 50 years?

I'm not paid, I don't derive income from the blog, I've no political affiliations (in fact, don't have political views that are fixed or easily categorised), I'm not seeking fame, fortune or influence. If others find value in what I write, I'm pleased and flattered. If they disagree, they're welcome to refute my arguments in their own pieces.

On the NBN, I have much wider interests in I.T. than just the NBN, but this year has been mostly NBN topics. [I've rather too many "labels", if you care to browse them.]

After 7 years in a Telco and a lifetime with Computers and Digital Communications, I have an interest in the topic and a small amount of knowledge. I try to make plain as well, I have a whole expanse of ignorance in the modern Telco operations, although I've run ISP systems and some high-profile, large websites.

I have an interest in describing/understanding whole systems and bring this to discussing the NBN. I've been described by some as "not your average IT dude" and a manager once gave me a reference saying I had "an encyclopaedic knowledge" of I.T. That's not a claim I can make. I have spent over $150k out of my own pocket on training & courses. More if you include the ~$25k I now owe in HECS for half a masters in Accounting. I did well enough for the ANU to send me a 'congratulations on your marks' form-letter, but the subjects with journal entries weren't my strength: I don't have what it takes to be an Accountant.

Someone whom I respect and admire for their integrity, forthrightness, technical knowledge and entrepreneurial spirit, wrote to me privately saying he was very disappointed in my biased approach. I'd written 85 pieces on the NBN this year (who knew!) and they were almost all anti-Coalition, hence this piece.

Why the apparent bias?
  • The Coalition has been playing "guess the policy" for far too long. When the policy was released, care was taken to obfuscate important details. This was no accident, but a planned, deliberate strategy.
    • My interest has been to clarify just what is being offered by both sides.
      • What's being promised now by NBN Co is on public record, I don't have to speculate, forecast or analyse that.
  • The Coalition have been the ones making noise: press releases, statements and seemingly astounding claims.
    • The corollary of this is the dearth of information out of the Government and NBN Co.
    • It takes very little space to comment on the lack of something.
  • From my unique life's journey, I'm in, or understand, a number of very small minorities whose views and interests are commonly overlooked by National Policies. I like to bring the issues affecting them, especially people in the country, to the fore when I can.
  • I take an optimistic view of the future, that NBN Co is most likely to follow O.T.C., where I worked and the previous Govt. wholesale Telco, and turn into a "River of Gold" for the Government. From my time in Computing, I've formed the view that Universal Broadband will fundamentally transform every aspect of our Society: there's been nothing more important in 75 years.
    • This is an important and quite possible scenario that nobody else has been talking about.
    • This view is directly at odds with the Coalition view that the best an NBN can be is a drain on Govt. coffers. Yet another White Elephant.
    • I think raising this issue and determining where Reality lies is a very high priority for the Nation and its future, economically, politically and culturally.
      • To say Broadband Internet is only for downloading video is a vast understatement and gross trivialisation of the issues.
      • There's that wonderful Broadway show with the song, "The Internet is for Porn", that shows the fallacy of trivialising the impact & reach of Broadband Internet.
To summarise:
I'm not trying for "fair and balanced reporting" only stating what I feel to be important issues not dealt with well elsewhere. I do strive to base what I write on real evidence and strong logic.  I'm not a reporter or journalist, I'm a an I.T.-nerd with eclectic interests & training expressing a viewpoint.


  1. Hi. Can I email you a question on FTTP vs FTTN and network speeds, in regards to what some of my friends have been claiming about the NBN?

  2. Yes, I'll do my best to answer specific questions.



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