Thursday, 15 August 2013

NBN: More Turnbull double-speak. A world of difference between Fibre and Copper.

Fairfax's "Need for Speed" has an interview with Turnbull where he poses two very false propositions:

  • There's little difference between the two NBN plans/policies, and
  • The NBN Co project is somehow in (deep) trouble and needs his skills to be "sorted out".

The effrontery and hypocrisy of Turnbull is astounding. The Turnbull Node Plan is a guaranteed financial disaster on a scale Australian government has never seen before, so he's attacking the NBN Co project while he's never released basic financial data of his Node Plan: like wholesale charges.

Turnbull would like us to think that he, without expert knowledge or detailed analysis, has shown that the entire professional, expert team of NBN Co have got their numbers out by three times. Professional Engineers just don't do that, except in the fantastical, exaggerated and inverted logic of Turnbull.

There is a world of difference between the two NBN Plans, apart from only Fibre being able to turn a profit:

  • With tiered pricing on speed, the 25% high demand users generate all the profit and the rest of us get services at cost or loss. Turnbull's "one price fits all" scheme denies him this profit.
    • This small but crucial difference, charging by access rate (offering 'models' at different prices), doesn't just make users happy, it creates profits and allows & supports the sustained high-growth that is normal for the Internet and new Telco services, but that Turnbull claims has never happened.
    • By 2021, NBN Co will reduce access charges by 20-25%, by 2040 51%-89%. The Turnbull Node Plan may start cheaper, but it will not ever be able to reduce its access rate without going bankrupt.
  • Currently everyone gets a 4-port managed, secure "NTD" installed, provided & maintained as part of their service - this isn't offered as an option. The NTD is necessary for supplying "multicast" video and additional services like Telehealth, Work-from-home (telework) and uniform & secure Educational access.

We already have a "statistically significant" sample of customers signed up to the Fibre and Fixed Wireless NBN. We know that the forecasts are conservative and NBN Co financial results are spectacular:

  • 31% of customers, vs 18% in the plan, are taking up the most expensive plan offering.
    • 39% are selecting entry-level
  • The current ARPU is $38, years ahead of forecasts.
  • In Dec 2012, the ABS reported an average download volume of 30GB/mth nationally, NBN Co already reports 50% higher download volume, 45GB/mth.

This Turnbull quote outraged me. His "NBN Plan" is incomplete, uncosted and unchecked while suppressing/hiding all basic marketing and pricing data, ignoring all payments to Telstra and never detailing their assumptions and risk factors. Leaving out 25 years of a 30 year Business Plan is a "magic trick" is majestic proportions.

''Our job is to open all the books, expose everything, lay it all out and say, 'Ladies and gentlemen, this is where we are. This is the business you own. This is the position you're in. Here are our options for sorting it out.'''
Here's the challenge to Turnbull:
open your books, expose all your details and lay out all 30 years of your Business Plan.
Turnbull's criticisms are wrong and foolish. All large projects take time and run into unexpected problems. This is why there are Project Managers and why that's a hard discipline: herding cats isn't easy.

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