Wilson warns NBN disaster is looming

AUSTRALIANS have come to expect such a poor standard from the new National Broadband Network that it threatens to become a self-fulfilling prophesy and make things even worse, says Fremantle federal Labor MP Josh Wilson.

Reflecting on his first year in Parliament, the Beaconsfield resident has sat on a committee investigating a myriad of problems with the network and says it’s been a fiasco that threatens to degenerate into a complete disaster for the nation.

Mr Wilson says NBN Co’s recent announcement that it’s going to start running fibre along the streets in Perth rather to neighbourhood nodes, was a tacit acknowledgement that Malcolm Turnbull’s preferred model had failed.

• Josh Wilson in action in Parliament. Photo supplied

Three-tiered NBN

But the patch-up is going to create a three-tiered NBN in the city; those connected under Julia Gillard who’ve got primo fibre to the premises (FTTP), those in the first stage of the Turnbull rollout who’ll end up with a second-rate fibre to the node (FTTN) model that often won’t deliver speeds faster than already exist under ADSL technology, and those with the new fibre to the curb (FTTC) who’ll be somewhere in between.

Mr Wilson, who grilled NBN Co CEO Bill Morrow at the committee meeting, says he’s worried that further upgrades to those already on the FTTN model are going to be based on revenue. That means people in low socio-economic areas are likely to get stuck on the bottom speeds, which he fears will affect kids’ ability to do school work and make it harder for them to break out of the poverty cycle.

People are also baulking at taking up the top-rung internet bundles (100 Mbps) because there’s a general belief they’ll be paying for something the network can’t handle, meaning NBN Co isn’t reaching its revenue projections, further inhibiting its ability to upgrade the system.

Meanwhile, says Mr Wilson, internet service providers are exploiting the flaws in the system to get away with selling people packages they know they can’t honour. With low expectations about speeds on the network already ingrained, when it delivers exactly that people are unlikely to complain to the provider.

He believes there needs to be more regulation, but says the ACCC recently put the providers on notice that it wouldn’t tolerate that behaviour.

Another problem looming is the rollout of 4k ultra high definition movies, which are about a year away from flooding the internet and are going to really push most people’s internet service.

Mr Wilson said the committee heard evidence from industry experts that the 4k rollout would mean a minimum download speeds of 50 Mbps would be needed for the average family, otherwise they’d have to take turns using their computers; but that’s way above what a whole bunch of Perth households can receive.

by STEVE GRANT

3 responses to “Wilson warns NBN disaster is looming

  1. Looks like labors home movie connection is just what it always looked like a very expensive lame duck

    We already see that writing skills are well down from the naplan tests

    Kids are using computers more for games than school work

    Learning to read, write and count aren’t held back by Internet speed

    It just basic education

    Sadly the education system is preoccupied by issues like safe schools and a raft of other distractions, instead of basic education of our children

    Now it seems the NBN speeds will be held to the excuse list of why our education standard is dropping more cheap politics.

    Disgraceful

  2. You are taking the piss right Bob? The ‘lame duck’ is Malcolm Turnbull’s corrupted version of a national broadband network. And it was deliberately neutered because of the disgusting political ideology of conservatives (like you, obviously) who think that ‘ordinary’ people don’t deserve better technology and services because all they do is sit around watching TV! You obviously have no idea what the actual issue is…why high speed broadband is important. You clearly can’t see much further than the end of your nose. Do you have any idea at all about how, for instance, AI is changing the future of work (right now even) and how many jobs are going to go and be replaced by new types of work due to the tidal wave of advanced technologies coming down the highway? Do you even know what AI is and how far it has come, and how close these changes are? Not 30 years…not even 10 years before the landscape of work changes at a speed which will make the Industrial Revolution look glacial in comparison. I am fed up with the ‘politics of envy’ based ideological myopathy, and indeed, discrimination, expressed in views like yours. Sorry for the rant Josh but it gets frustrating seeing comments like this.

  3. Oh I just re-read my post and it might look like i am attacking you and your article Josh but I am actually responding to ‘Bob”s comment above. Totally agree with your position vis a vis the Turnbull version of the NBN. I would go even further…as I have done in part above. 🙂

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