Saturday, 17 August 2013

NBN: Turnbull Communicates or Obfuscates?

What happens when Turnbull is given a letter from an MP with specific questions on the Coalition NBN from a constituent?
  • It took 4 (?) months to send a reply versus the hours he gets similar responses up on his website.
  • It's "content free", more interested in attacking, vilifying and denigrating the questioner than correcting misconceptions, informing and educating or providing clarity. Facts and sources seem irrelevant.
Promptness: 0/10
Civility: 1/10
Completeness: 0/9
Correctness: 0/10
Mislead/Misdirects: -9/0 [100% of answers are misdirects.]
Turnbull rattles off 1,000 word responses in an hour or less. A four month delay is deliberate and calculated to render the questions irrelevant.

There are two ways to assess a professional communication such as this and infer the intent:
  • What's said?
  • What's not said?
Turnbull has multiple opportunities to put on record corrections to claims, yet he not only fails to do this, he engages in gratuitous attacks on Labor, the questioner and the media reporting.

The most important part of any investment such as NBN Co is the revenue, not costs and resulting profits: Turnbull says nothing about their wholesale pricing or assumed input costs.

Couple this with months of ignoring ROI and pay-back periods, the essence of any business plan alongside Risks, then this deliberate silence speaks volumes: the Coalition NBN will be an unprecedented Financial Disaster.


The many comments on "unsourced assertions" are distractions, this isn't an academic paper or newspaper report.

"Your constituent is relying upon distorted or false reports" is a direct attack.

As is the closing: "does not appear to have read our policy documents" and "political prejudice", "credulous acceptance of biased or incompetent reporting".

Note: Turnbull closes with the lines "win out over fidelity to the facts".
This is very important. He's both claiming he's been misreported, including by the premises of the questions asked, and that by implication that he has responded with full and frank "facts", which couldn't be further from the truth.


There are 9 questions asked.
  1. What would the final Coalition plan cost be under all four "stress tests"?
    No answer. Long ramble, "it's all different", repetition of slogans.
  2. Is maintaining copper included in OpEx?
    No answer. Rejected claimed amount. Refused to state what OpEx included.
  3. Planned date of full FTTP upgrade?
    No answer. Gratuitous attack on Labor. "not relevant objective".
  4. Do the claimed savings include the cost of the planned FTTP upgrade?
    No answer. Refer to Q9 and "Policy Background" , slogan used: "Cost Effective"
  5. Cost of service upgrades to FTTP? Capped?
    No answer. This is NBN Co's problem. Coalition controls NBN, capped budget, sets Statement of Expectations. 
  6. Cost differential of ad-hoc FTTP service upgrades to a scheduled full rollout?
    No answer. "It's all different". Gratuitous attack on Labor.
  7. Use of 2005 data in support of FTTN deployment?
    No answer. "90% citations used after 2010". Gratuitous attack on Labor.
  8. Are reports of overseas Telcos upgrades to FTTP correct while the Coalition claims the reverse?
    No answer. questions "rely on false and distorted reports". 
  9. The conflict between 3 separate reviews/audits of the NBN and apparent Coalition decision to use FTTN already.
    No answer. This is NBN Co's problem, "we let them decide", even though we have done all the calculations presuming FTTN.

Question 7: "the coalition has used the most recent data available in all cases" - except the 19-Apr NBN Co release.

Turnbull has never updated his 9-April document to reflect the two firmed up FTTP prices of NBN Co (past premises and into premises)

Question 8: What do Telcos who own copper have to do with NBN Co who owns nothing? An irrelevant statement solely contrived for misdirection and distraction.

Question 9. Great point. "We reserve the right to completely change our Plan without Notice or Consultation".

This confirms the Turnbull staffer comment: 'The NBN the Coalition delivers won't look anything like their Plan'.

Closing:  Peppered with gratuitous, passive-aggressive insults and slurs.


This document was never meant to inform or disclose anything.

This is a very precise and intentional communication from a very experienced professional communicator.

It is simply more "noise and fury signifying nothing" from Turnbull.

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