We Need the NBN

Australia's future depends on it

The next 60 days

Over at /r/savethenbn on reddit, there has been a post by blogger and NBN advocate, Sortius.

The original post is here, but the content is as follows (for those of you who don’t read reddit).

Hi Everyone,

Most of you have probably read some of my work over at http://sortius-is-a-geek.com, I just thought I’d drop a line here detailing what happens from here with the NBN.

In the first 60 days, we’re going to see reviews & audits galore, I’m expecting a reshuffle, so I’m not sure who will be looking after DBCDE this time next week. One thing I will say is I have contact with some Senators & MPs on the (now) Opposition, so I will be pushing matters discussed here to them (keep that in mind, keep conversations civil, & yes, I need to listen to my own advice there).

So we have 60 days to mount a compelling case to keep the NBN as it is, rather than the dire prediction I made of the whole project being cancelled. The best way to do so is tell your stories, post them here.

Some things to mention are:

  • what your current connection is like
  • stability of connection
  • what you use the internet for (don’t be afraid to be honest, although porn is probably not the best justification)
  • why you see reusing the copper as a bad thing
  • how FTTP will affect your work life
  • if you have a disability, explain how it would help you

The key is, during the review stage, much of this material can be submitted to those doing the review.

We ALL need to participate if we want to keep the NBN as is. Sign petitions, explain to people who don’t see value in it why it can change people’s lives.

A change in government doesn’t have to mean the end of such a life changing technology.

Either go to the reddit page to post your stories, or send them through to me on the contact page. We’ll start collecting stories, and put them up so everyone can see that Australians from all walks of the life need the NBN.

Remember also to contact your MPs and Senators (the list isn’t up yet from the election, but it should be in due course). Emails, phone calls, letters – it’s all important, and all helpful. I have emailed and called my local MP, and will continue to remain in contact with her office. We need to make them aware of the sheer number of people who care about this, and that we won’t take “good enough for now” as an answer.

Finally, if you haven’t already, sign the main petition (which has exploded over the last two days). The amount of support that we’ve all seen is amazing, and I hope that with enough push, we can get the coalition to change their NBN plans for the better.

12 comments for “The next 60 days

  1. Michael Corcoran
    September 10, 2013 at 11:32 am

    I, like many Australians, believe the NBN project is is very important to the future of Australia’s information technology and knowledge sharing. It will be very important in the future especially for business- Businesses (and individuals) will be doing things over the web in 10-20 years that do not even exist right now- we need the infrastructure to accommodate for that. Having optic fibre which can reach up to 1000Mb/s will accomodate our growing capabilities and demands well into the future. The current Liberal plan will be able to reach roughly 50mb/s by 2019 and that is only if you are close enough to a node. This will not be acceptable for our future and will have to be revisited anyway.

    It is for these reasons I am signing this petition to keep the NBN project running.

  2. Trystan Perry
    September 10, 2013 at 12:04 pm

    I’m an IT and Game Design student.

    The “mainstream” games industry of Australia is stagnant at best, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have people with the drive to make games. They’re just spread across the country. With FTTP, we can communicate with each other much easier, to help us work together in development.

    My current connection is slow, at best. It constantly is dropping connection, and quite frankly, I’m lucky even to have enough time to post this comment.

    The FTTN copper plan will cost more over a longer period of time, and will be obsolete when it’s finished being built.

  3. Rob Knipe
    September 10, 2013 at 12:41 pm

    I tend to see FTTN vs FTTH a lot like insurance. You can save a few dollars by not taking out Flood cover, but when it floods, it ends up costing a fortune. It’s far better to spend that little extra now instead of a lot extra later. That’s exactly what will happen with FTTN.

  4. Christopher Strickland
    September 10, 2013 at 1:41 pm

    My current connection is poor, having been promised speeds of up to 25Mb/s and achieving around 3Mb/s and less than 1Mb/s upload whilst paying around $100 a month on the plan. Furthermore, the stability of the connection is poor and certainly not worthy of the fee that is paid per month and the service received.

    I am a Psychology and Commerce student. The NBN appeals to each of these sensibilities, it will greatly assist in the development and communication of mental health education and treatment in rural and urban Australia. Facilitating the seeking out of institutions and aiding people that do not wish to publicly seek help. While the commercial side may see the benefits of decreasing wait times, having the ability to speedily transfer files between work and home with the goal of increasing work output.

    FTTH would greatly assist in the education and development of Australia’s youth, by being able to introduce technology and internet based learning systems which are customisable. It would make seeking on-line resources a breeze. I hope to see this service continually offered to the Australian population.

  5. adamskee
    September 10, 2013 at 3:07 pm

    the NBN will be killed due to under the table dealing with Murdoch, the NBN is bad for Murdoch, his newspapers and Foxtel will take a thumping if the FTTP went ahead.

    There is no logic at all in Liberal killing the NBN, it is crucial for Australia to move forward, to move away from mining and into the new digital industries, the NBN is dead due to Murdoch.

    It is a sad day when a man like Murdoch can control the policies of Australia, it is just Murdoch doing what he has done in the US…Big business wins again

  6. September 10, 2013 at 3:22 pm

    For the past 16 months, I’ve been recording and broadcasting a podcast and internet radio show out of my own home. We try to stream live video through Ustream and take listener and guest calls through Skype, but the current state of the internet where I live makes it near impossible.

    My current copper connection through Telstra is slow and unreliable – my bandwidth is in a constant state of flux, making it impossible to stream my show with any sort of continuity. I’m currently paying $80 a month for what essentially works only 50% of the time.

    FTTN would fix this. My listeners would love to be able to watch live HD video of us recording the show, or call in via our Skype line and interact with us – but until a reliable fiber connection is established, this won’t be a possibility.

  7. Wei-Sern Chong
    September 10, 2013 at 3:51 pm

    Fathers and mothers working from home could use the speeds provided by Labor’s NBN to work from home and care for their children at the same time. This would give people more family bonding time. FTTH will allow better long distance communications eg: Skype with no video stuttering. Families can connect and have proper “face to face” video chat without jittering videos or lines dropping due to congestion in the cables. Work productivity may increase through the use of cloud services to share large files to your peers. The speeds provided by FTTH will allow Australia to compete with other advanced nations, and be equal in terms of network speeds and productivity against countries like Japan or Singapore. FTTH will allow technology in Australia to flourish and gain access to new technology, work ethnics and a change in how we used the internet, which is not accessible with current speeds and the proposed FTTN by the Liberals.

  8. September 10, 2013 at 4:15 pm

    I live in Geraldton, and the connection I get there is terrible. I live 5km from the exchange and my area only allows me to get ADSL 1. The speeds (both download and upload) are terrible. I can download a file at 150 kB/s at THE MOST, most of the time however I can’t exceed 75 kB/s. There is hope for me because the NBN will be arriving at my home in a year or so (and when I say to my home, I mean RIGHT TO THE HOUSE).

    I’m not going to have to worry about my speeds at home next year, but I fear for the rest of the country who will have to use a substandard, slower and monopolised service.

    I use the internet for online gaming, well when the latency isn’t 5 seconds. I can barely use the internet for video streaming at 144p on YouTube because the connection is so bad.

    We need new infrastructure because it will improve my life, the lives of others, the lives of future generations and businesses. That’s why we need the NBN

  9. Rajiv
    September 11, 2013 at 2:39 pm

    I live in North Ryde which is Australia’s ‘Silicon Valley’. I have moved 3 times within the area:

    The first time I lived in a block of units in Fontenoy road just 2 Kms from the exchange. However my Broadband speeds were miserable between 2 to 4Mbps. This was because the copper in the units was very very old and damaged.

    I then moved to Fawcett St in Ryde, just 1km from the exchange. This time the speed improved slightly to 5 or 6Mbps. However whenever it rained the pit would flood and my internet connection would drop out for days. The copper in the house was also very bad and old.

    I then moved to Coxs Road, just 1Km from the exchange. This time I did not bother with copper at all and went with Cable Broadband with advertised speeds of 30Mbps. However this too is a pipe dream with me getting only around 10Mbps on the best of days. On weekends and after work the broadband speed drops to an excruciating 3Mbps as more and more people use the internet – Cable broadband being a shared medium becomes extremely slow.

    At work in Lane Cove we do not get ADSL2, just ADSL1 as the copper here is old and too far from the exchange. Our broadband repeatedly falls over when it rains and the copper gets damaged. Whenever this happens the Telstra guy comes over and keeps swapping cables till he finds a good enough pair to use. After a point we just gave up and upgraded to a Fibre broadband connection – there was already Fibre in the building, so we were lucky but the bill is a hefty $2000 a month. But our business relies on the internet so we just shut up and pay up.

    Well, that’s my story – I have cited 4 examples from my own direct experience. Everyone else I know has the same problems. Only 1 person I know so far has said their broadband was good – and this was when Telstra first rolled out their 100Mbps DOCSIS 3.0 cable and there were hardly any customers on it – since then even that has become crowded and slow and that person is now complaining of slow speeds like the rest of us.

    – Rajiv

  10. September 16, 2013 at 11:00 am

    I believe NBN is critical our economic prosperity in post mining boom era.

    I live in Asquith, NSW. My wife and I are both IT professionals and we work from lot of times a week (after hours support and working from home etc). The current connection is ADSL2 which never crosses the 2 to 4 MBPS normally (far less than advertised 24mbps) and becomes unusable at peak times. The connection is useless once one of us starts working from home (VPN), it makes the connection pretty much useless for any thing else.

    We both are migrants from India and we skype/video chat with our family often and the quality is always fluctuating from good to very bad.

    NBN would make a great difference to our work and personal life.

    – Kishore

  11. Gail
    September 17, 2013 at 9:35 pm

    Hi – I’m a 63 year old woman living in a country area on the Mid North Coast of NSW. I mention my age and sex only insofar as I wish to point out that not only young computer nerds demand decent broadband internet. I live about 3kms from the exchange, as the crow flies. I can only get ADSL1. Speeds are excruciatingly slow – 1.29Mb/s download and 0.19Mb/s upload, if I’m lucky. I operate a home-based business with online ordering via my own website, as well as producing publications which require me to transfer large files. These sometimes take hours – sending late in the evening, they still haven’t reached their destination in the morning! I also communicate by weekly newsletter to community groups, mostly in the same age bracket as myself, and this is often difficult with my broadband dropping out. In wet weather, sometimes my connection drops out for days. Fibre to node isn’t an option for me. I doubt whether I will be able to afford the connection from the Node to my home on an age pension! Let’s keep equality in communication and have Fibre to the home. Advance Australia FAIR!

  12. Keith C
    September 29, 2013 at 2:27 pm

    Samuel, I really wish you and all your readers well

    This is the way to actively promote the good of the fibred future for Australia, some activisim

    Our region is seeing longer and regular wet seasons (cyclones too), once the phone pits have around an inch of steady rain, every ones speeds go to sh i te!

    We are a region that earns big incomes for the country, yet I still can not make a satisfactory Skype call to my sister in Melbourne! Tried yesterday – video was hopeless, ended up just on audio. This is ADSL copper at its end game!

    Get us fibre and Not this FTTNoalition fraudband, PLEASE

    Oh and I signed Nicks petition too … I tried to comment on Mr Turnbulls Blog (I did not swear) and my post was censorsed by the Earl of Wentworths nasties … :(

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