NBN becomes lynchpin in Labor win

Independent MP Katter sings high praise for Labor's NBN, but sides with Coalition

The National Broadband Network (NBN) has once again emerged as a deciding factor in the future make up of the Australian Government with Independent MP Bob Katter, strongly praising Labor for the national infrastructure project, despite siding with the Coalition.

The remaining independent MPs, Tony Windsor and Rob Oakeshott, have backed Gillard’s Labor Government, a result that will cements the future of the National Broadband Network (NBN).

Speaking on ABC television overnight, Katter said he had to pay the former Rudd Government a “very great tribute” for its pursual of the NBN as example of a government not buying votes.

“I have watched for 20 years the corruption of government in the sense that all they spend money on is buying votes. There is no infrastructure, there is no development, there is nothing.

“I have to pay a very great tribute to the Rudd Government as for the first time in 20 years I saw a government – the broadband rollout, the national energy grid—there is no votes in either of those things.

“They are a good thing for this country, a great thing for this country and they undertook both those things knowing there were no votes in it for them.”

The comments follow similar remarks from Independent MP, Tony Windsor, at the weekend that he had been convinced of the veracity of Labor's $43 billion NBN plan, following briefings from Peter Harris, the secretary Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, as well as Communications Minister, Stephen Conroy.

In an interview on Sky News, available as a podcast through the Australian Agenda link, Conroy said Windsor and the other independents understood that the NBN would drive better healthcare, education and small business benefits in regional Australia, as well as enabling other technologies such as smart electricity grids.

In late August, the third ‘gang of three’ Independent MP, Rob Oakeshott also expressed support for better telecommunications in regional areas along with suggesting an Emissions Trading Scheme would be an important goal; indicating closer alignment with the Labor party.

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It is astonishing how easily the independents accept the back-of-the-envelope costing of the NBN and pretend to be aghast at the Coalition's costing of its electoral promises. You believe in what you want to believe in, obviously.



Also interesting that the 2 most regional states, QLD and WA who would supposedly benefit most from the NBN, voted overwhelmingly for the Coalition.

denis mulheron


there is nothing wrong with our present net work save 43 billion and reduce taxes



Well.... here we go. Reverse Pork barrelling by the Independants. I thought their electorates clearly did not vote for either party. It is far better to prevent a Govt from being formed by the vote of the people than to back a failed, incompetent Govt (Labor) or an untried new leadership. Yet that is what these hopeless few are going to do if their demands are met.
Reminder to the labor independants (read Greens) and the other Tree branches.....you relectorates did not vote for you to become prositutes.. payment for services offered.
I would ratehr go back to the poles than have labor retunred to continue their financial destruction of this country. Their policies have already killed enough Australians.

Old hand


The mis-spellings in comments three and four especially suggest that they are more the jaundiced views of miserable tories, than an intelligent comment on the fact that at least some of the backbenchers in Parliament have some understanding that ICT infrastructure should be built properly, and is worth paying for, rather than cobbled together with second-rate left-overs.



Spelling flames are home of the lame. The Labor NBN is second-rate junk. The rest of the world are implementing LTE 4G (and soon enough, 5G) hybrid networks, Conroy, and his slavish luddite followers want to string wire over trees.....
As for Peter Harris, I wouldn't trust that idiot washing windows.

Rob G


"The rest of the world are implementing LTE 4G (and soon enough, 5G) hybrid networks"

Umm, yes, as is the NBN though the hybrid is satellite and fibre.

The a large amount of "the rest of the world" has already implemented fibre networks or is in the process.

LTE won't come anywhere near the speeds nor the future proof state of a fibre network.



could you biased troglodites stop carping on about wireless networks as if you know anything about them???

wireless will never get anywhere near fibre in terms of speed, flexibility and stability. Private investment wont be able to fund an NBN alone in Australia because of our size and population density. When the NBN is completed we will be left with a very valuable asset that can then be sold. You people need to stop being so one eyed and acknowledge a good idea when you see one.



Go easy on them, bbbram, most of them seem to be merely pushing their corporate or political barrows.

Perhaps some of their rants would sound more convincing if they didn't keep wrongly repeating that wireless has the capacity to replace the need for a national FTTP network.



can someone tell me why we would need to sell the NBN?, if it eventually starts making money then it is a good source of revenue and if its regional costs outweigh its city profits then wouldn't selling it cost the bush in terms of QOS? Seriously i am open to arguments.



@Addinall...5G? To my knowledge they iterate a new wireless generation every ~10 years. So I'm presuming that when you say "soon enough" you mean 2020, because it wont likely be slated as a standard until then.

We're all very impressed by the 4G speeds, but understand that from a technological point of view 4G will not suffice to provide the backbone of our data network. Wireless currently relies on a copper backbone, which is firstly ceasing expansion, is expensive to rollout, and frankly in 10 years will bottleneck.

Yes we need real costs/benefits of fibre implementation, but when you check implementation costs in Canada and Korea for example, the achievable and potential speeds down the track combined with the relatively low upgrade costs of fibre, the pro's tend to outweigh the cons.

Man of the World


Katter's praise of the NBN does absolutely nothing except to keep him in the limelight for a little while longer now that he's chosen the side that will kill it.
Katter said "...There is no infrastructure, there is no development, there is nothing..". How right you may turn out to be Katter should the Coalition win.
Stop whinging about saving $43Billion. Would you prefer it sit in an account somewhere doing nothing? Better yet, let the pollies help themselves to it for a job well done saving taxpayer money, taxing us heavily, and not actually applying it to keeping this country competitive with the rest of the world.

D Newman


All delightfully a moot point now, as the NBN will now be going ahead.....And it was one of the main reasons for the choice of Government by the indies, improvement of the Liberal plan would of won them government, sweet irony.



Addinall - You have no idea what you are talking about hope you took note to what Mark has said as his assessment is entirely accurate. If you still think fibre is not the way to go then you need education. Wireless will always have very useful applications however this solution alone will not provide Australia with the network infrastructure our nation requires.



As a Telstra shareholder I will now vote against the NBN deal to encourage competition. I am sure alot of us users will prefer to use the cheaper alternative and hang onto ADSL2 or HFC than pay the interest dept on $43Bn.

D Newman


@16 yes while everyone laughs at your tanking stock price if you dont accept the 11 billion to reinvent yourself..Oh and face the bill for all that copper Telstra needs to replace ASAP...Good vote, makes alot of sense (shareholders PFFFT)



@Mike ELLIOTT, not sure of what you mean. Perhaps you meant to say "As a Telstra shareholder I will now vote against the NBN because I am a Telstra shareholder and feel threatened by competition"?



Where is that idiot...Raymond?

Quick somebody pull the plug! Ray's obviously filled the bath and has had his a**e submerged for the last hour trying to drown himself, after today's ego shattering announcement.

Game over...moron!



Seems as though the grubby little Ray worm (with combination huge mouth, even huger, narcissistic ego and no brain) who normally can't STFU, simply isn't man enough (surprise, surprise) to show his cowardly biased, old face today, even with my juicy and compelling coaxing...




Perhaps what Mike (#15) meant was, because he bought shares in Telstra at $7, that are now worth $2.85, it proves he has absolutely NFI and by making that stupid comment, he just proved it!



@ Mike ELLIOT. Another intelligent telstra share holder I see.
If you look closer into it, the NBN/telstra deal is to reduce the cost of the NBN using telstra's existing infrastructure as opposed to building a parallel line. So actually it would likely improve your share value, as well as decrease the overall cost of the NBN.
To the others, sure the 4g wireless services would be great to have but it requires a fair bit of radio bandwidth which is currently consumed by the FTA TV channels. you'll find that once australia adopts a Free TV across the fibre, it'll free up the necessary bandwidth which will make the ultra fast wireless networks useful also, with the FTTP network providing the back bone to the wireless network.
In closing, Australia just caught up with the rest of the world in regard to national internet infrastructure.



wow, an it website with an overwhelming majority of support for what will likely be old technology by the time the estimated 7 year completion date gets here. who would have thunk it.

i hope you people are not as lost in your insular worlds as it would seem.

why dont you google wimax2, you really think we wont get that far in 7 years.. please



Wow dan, if only you'd have shown up earlier today...! You could have had a word in the ear of the independents and "saved us all".

You could have shown them the light and got them to join with the coalition and we could have instead, had their equivalence of 1990's obsolesence...

What a shame you were too lost in your insular, world.

...please indeed!



DN I'm sure good [sic] "old" dopey Ray's here, biting that tongue, smoke coming from his ears and wiping the tears from his eye (yes, that one solitary cylopic, idiot, Liberal eye)... not knowing what to say, apart from who is Newman! LOL!!!

Oh well Ray fool, your question will be answered when you deliver the two cases of beer to DN @ iiNet, eh stupid? Although I'm sure one as wealthy as you, will deliver two cases of Cristal (via solid gold chopper, of course) not that Centrelink dwellers mud.

Everywhere stupid Ray has turned and everything he has said has turned out to be W R O N G. We have proven him (with his trumped up lies about himself) at best, a sadly biased simpleton.

Although I must give him 100% for being consistent...Consistently W R O N G...LOL!!!!

As such, even one as conceited, audacious and uneducated as him knows when he is beaten (no that wasn't a threat Ray/idiot, lol).

Oh well, enough fun for one day, with MIA Ray, as I'm sure we'll get to continue to play with his multitude of alter ego idiots (minus one...Ray, lol) as from tomorrow...YAY!



A "regions first" approach to the NBN rollout is problematic.

Normally projects seek to implement the revenue generating portions first, and then the loss making portions later.

Scheduling the loss making portions first will force deferment of revenue. The project will be more costly to implement in this way.



The government sold shares in telstra ,any other company doing the same would be taken to court for fraud,and also as it was howard he also should be charged as a war criminal.



wow, an it website with an overwhelming majority of support for what will likely be "old technology by the time the estimated 7 year completion date gets here".
well, exactly. this is the type of comment you post on normal news websites where there are a lot of people who have no idea about the technology, and can be swayed by uninformed and biased opinions.

but for the sake of argument, what, pray, will replace soon-to-be-outdated fibre?

please enlighten us.



@all the net nebies
Wo! So many! Is this what happens when a few script kiddies learn to new pords, 'ping' and 'latency' and self qualify as network architects? Amazing.
Fibre as a technology isn't likely to be outdated. It was for a while when 100mbps copperand than 1EGb copper replace the use of FDDI in MANs and LANS (never was very popular in LANs). It has a place in bulding high capacity long haul netork segments. (some of you are under the impression this is a new idea. Not so. TAT-8 went live in 1988. Currently ALL of Telstra's 5,500 exchanges are linked by OFT.
SO 32, years now. Between Telstra, OPTUS, AAPT, Internode, iiNet, there ALREADY exists a OFT 'backbone' in this country. So the reports on the Telly that NBNCo are starting a 'backbone' this week is the work of purest fiction. So, although OFT technology may not change much in the next fe years, the topology of broadband networks IS changing, and changing to a mixture of Satellite/Fibre trunk/LTE (soon LTE-A) using a FTTN (or STTN) network architecture and rolling the 'last mile' with a mixture of wireless, fibre and copper. Taking FTTH for everyone that lives in or near a city is just plain stupid.
The rest of the world are building IMT-Advanced wireless as defined by ITU-R.

From Wiki:
The 4G working group has defined the following as objectives of the 4G wireless communication standard:

- Flexible channel bandwidth, between 5 and 20 MHz, optionally up to 40 MHz.[6]
- A nominal data rate of 100 Mbit/s while the client physically moves at high speeds relative to the station, and 1 Gbit/s while client and station are in relatively fixed positions as defined by the ITU-R,[11]
- A data rate of at least 100 Mbit/s between any two points in the world,[11]
- Peak link spectral efficiency of 15 bit/s/Hz in the downlink, and 6.75 bit/s/Hz in the uplink (meaning that 1 Gbit/s in the downlink should be possible over less than 67 MHz bandwidth)
- System spectral efficiency of up to 3 bit/s/Hz/cell in the downlink and 2.25 bit/s/Hz/cell for indoor usage.[6]
- Smooth handoff across heterogeneous networks,[12]
- Seamless connectivity and global roaming across multiple networks,[13]
- High quality of service for next generation multimedia support (real time audio, high speed data, HDTV video content, mobile TV, etc.)[13]
- Interoperability with existing wireless standards,[14] and
- An all IP, packet switched network.[13]
- Femtocells (home nodes connected to fixed Internet broadband infrastructure)

This network is being built now in the USA and Japan. The project in the USA intends to make this available to 228 million subscribers at a cost of about $11 BILLION AUD. It has been costed,the business case and the ROI has been worked out.

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