Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Biased or Objective Reporting?

I have better things to do with my life than waste time writing this blog. It started as the odd comment, mainly questioning the decisions of Conroy & Rudd. In late March, I wrote to an editor saying "I guess I'll be finished commenting in a week when the Coalition Plan is released". Instead, my effort has ramped up because the Turnbull Copper/Node Plan is woefully incomplete & inconsistent and he has actively worked to obfuscate, confuse and distract, never answering simple, essential questions.

So why do I persist in writing, how do I respond to those not happy with my ratio of articles for/against each side of politics and the comments I've had about my use of language and occasional focus on individuals?

While I started writing about the NBN to voice, & clarify for myself, my questions and concerns about the government programme, goals and design, I've persisted because of the problems, inconsistencies & omissions and political game-playing within the Liberals policy and statements. I started doing a little research to satisfy my own curiosity, I've continued for two reasons: I seem to be almost the only person still actively researching the topic and digging into the Liberals policy (see "sortius" for another) and my strong Professional ethic to "finish what you start". I'm persistent in my enquires, which is why my projects were always completed and always worked.

If the Liberal policy had been open, transparent and complete, my last significant post would've been around 15-April. I've spent my time since then trying to get answers from them and understand what's going on and how it might work.

In late April, a rabid Liberal supporter complained to me about what they perceived as bias on my part: I'd written some large number of comments since January and most weren't supportive of the Liberals, which to the correspondent meant I was actively critical and opposed to the Liberal plan.

The simple and complete answer is that, without exaggeration, nothing about the Turnbull Copper/Node Plan stacks up. Every new question or consideration turns up a new problem. I've made multiple long lists of problems and unanswered questions in all sorts of areas: business, financial, technical and operational.

I put on record very early that I thought that the Liberals/Nationals had the upper hand with their NBN policy and they had many options that the ALP didn't. They could have 'taken the field' with the same technical design, but with much better financing, project management & prioritisation. There are billions extra that NBN Co could have made with trivial changes: like pre-payments (more money up-front for a faster deployment) and "No Free Lunch" a construction fee of $250, paid up-front or over 24 months for a small extra charge. Pensioners and low-income could've been subsidised directly by the government for equity.

Part of my focus has shifted to the misinformation and disinformation campaign by Turnbull. It is very deliberate and contrived. This is a very strong news story in itself that has not been picked up by the Mainstream Media.

For my efforts to seek and clarify the detail of the Liberal policy - very basic and central questions like "what numbers did you use in your model/spreadsheet?" - I've been stonewalled and abused by Turnbull staffers. Their reaction deserves digging into it, especially the false publication by Turnbull that he'd apologised and "calm had returned" (or similar phrasing). This was classic disinformation: Turnbull implied, but didn't say explicitly, that I've been contacted with an apology and then inferred I'd accepted the apology.

Complete rubbish. Never happened... But that wasn't "newsworthy" for the mainstream media.

So, my trying to bring Turnbull's actions and bad behaviour to public attention is solely about the news value. I might be ignored in the main by the ALP, but I've only been actively attacked by Turnbull and his staffers and acolytes (not just 'supporters').

I think my commentary has been objective and unbiased. I think also that I can substantiate that, that it isn't just my perceptual filters misleading me.

The reason I've discussed the Liberal policy extensively is because they are hiding everything they can, their plan is incomplete, inconsistent and impossible and Turnbull et al have very actively targeted me.

It now seems to me that the Turnbull Copper/Node Plan, when totalled over its whole life, will be more expensive than full Fibre and it will be a Financial Disaster of unprecedented dimensions.

If I'm right, that in itself should be a major newstory: It's not "NBN.Lite" it's "NBN.not!".
If I'm wrong, it would take Turnbull's office 30 seconds to completely refute me. They only have to release the full spreadsheet/model, out to 2040, that their policy is based on. The longer they persist in deliberately withholding this, they more it looks like a cover-up.

Biased? I don't think I am.

Just for the record, I've also refuted the ALP's claim of "$5,000 for Fibre on Demand". Firstly, we have nothing from the Coalition to base pricing on. If we followed the UK/BT model, there are 3 fees not one: running Fibre (distance charge), upgrading the Node port to Fibre (one-off) and a monthly surcharge to use the Fibre.

Secondly, the only people who'll consider fibre are in the 400-800m zone. At $50/m, that's $2,000-$4,000 + node upgrade + NTD install. For most people, it will be cheaper, easier and quicker to move to an FTTP area than pay the "speed ransom" for fibre-on-demand AND nodes will simply not be able to offer the same congestion free service that direct Fibre will.

Turnbull staffer stonewalling and abusing me on-record.
The Turnbull Copper/Node Plan Financial Disaster.

The "$110 ARPU is Bad" debunked: A great thing for everyone.


  1. Seems like there's a fair bit of story you've only hinted at here. Did you write up the details of the problems/interactions you've had with Turnbull's staffers?

    Keep up the good work.

  2. David,

    Thanks for pulling me up!
    I was being slack, I've more writing to do and have limited time today and tried to slide by :(

    Have put 3 links in at the end of the article.


  3. I would think the point to clarify here is that you attack the FTTN policy NOT because it's a Liberal policy, but because it's an incomplete and flawed approach regardless of who proposes it. It's the message, not the messenger you criticise.

    However, Malcolm and his staff have made this personal instead of technical on numerous occasions, and that certainly complicates the discussion. The disdain shown by MT towards techs who disagree with FTTN has been astounding.

    1. Thinka,

      You make a great point, I totally overlooked. It's the technical &

      If this was the ALP policy/tender from 2008, I'd be analysing & commenting on it just as much as the current Turnbull Copper/Node Plan.



Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.