Sunday, 9 September 2012

NBN: Turbull's Response

Mr Turnbull kindly responded to my questions on Technology Spectator.
So it's easy to find, not buried in the comments section, I've included  that response here.

[By] Steve Jenkin

Mr Turnbull,

Thank you very much for taking my questions seriously and making time to address them.

My apologies if I came across as 'indignant', that wasn't my intent.

I couldn't figure out how Telstra would transfer its assets *and* control of its "birthright" at a price anyone could afford and quickly enough to make a difference.

I haven't seen/remembered that comment by the Telstra board or CEO. Will try to find it and understand it.

Addressing your responses.

1. I thought that there would have to be a new entity created. Thanks for the clarification, that NBNCo will own/do the FTTN.

2. If NBNCo gets the Telstra assets, then my question is nonsensical being based on a false premise. But thank you for attempting to answer it anyway.

and same response to 2 (i), (ii), (iii) and (iv). False Premise on my part :-(

3(i). Thanks for spelling this out. No Telstra IP/in-confidence needed.

4 (ii). This made sense if a third entity, not NBNCo, was getting the Telstra assets.

I would hope that as part of the Election Campaign, not now, you will be either able to make some firm commitments to prospective customers on the FTTN [eg on minimum speeds] or be able to set expectations of the technical specs most customers will achieve.
Having price as the sole (?) differentiator between Labor and Coalition FTTx proposals will cause much heat and little light. But I know that Politics is a rough game and this may not be possible for any number of reasons.

I'm not sure where I picked up the phrase “$20 billion in savings” for this FTTN proposal. Did I hear it when you talked to Leigh Sales? I can't recall.

Your explanation is good and I trust your recollection more than mine: that you have been careful to NOT make statements on savings.
Is there a way I can retract that phrase, to take it out of the debate as I don't have a good source to cite? Leaving it stand can only muddy the waters.

Finally, I was always very impressed by what you did with UUnet, took nerve and good judgement. These are some comments I made in the first of this series on questions about an FTTN:


"Turnbull is smart, brave and persistent/dedicated to have done what's he's done and now is motivated to get back into (political) power. He's not playing this game for the pay, and he's unlikely to make rookie errors."

"As a very successful lawyer, he knows the importance of words and will carefully construct what he writes and says."

"As a successful Investment Banker and IT/Internet investor, he knows the Devil is in the Detail, and just what it takes to take "A good idea" to a successful execution."

"If he says he's got a detailed plan and reckons he can shave $20B off the NBN deployment, I'd NOT gainsay that. The evidence we have says he'll be able to pull it off. "

Lastly, thanks very much for the "Spycatcher" case. It meant that 40+ years after the war we finally found out what my Dad did and why he could stil read Katakana morse code.

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