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Australia's National Broadband Network To Go Ahead 222

Posted by timothy
from the beware-coriolis-effect dept.
angry tapir writes "After weeks of a hung parliament following the Australian federal election, the incumbent Labor Party has garnered enough support among independent MPs to form a minority government. Broadband was central to clinching the independents' support. Labor's victory means the $43 billion National Broadband Network will push ahead. The policy has generally been popular among ISPs and telcos — though some rebel operators preferred a policy that emphasized wireless technologies, similar to the proposals put forward by Labor's opponents. The primarily fiber-based NBN is set to offer Australians 1Gbps broadband."
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Australia's National Broadband Network To Go Ahead

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  • by Deathnerd (1734374) on Thursday September 09, 2010 @10:41PM (#33530154)
    Of having broadband if you can't watch some good ol' small breasted porn?
    • Who cares about small breasted porn?
  • What filter? (Score:5, Informative)

    by DMJC (682799) on Thursday September 09, 2010 @10:47PM (#33530188)
    Greens/Liberals/Independants hold the balance of power and are all dead set against the filter. It's a dead scheme stop mentioning it. There will be no mandatory net filter in Australia. The ETS and mining tax are probably also going to get blocked. They don't have the numbers to pass that sort of legislation anymore.
    • They don't have the numbers to pass that sort of legislation anymore.

      I wonder if any legislation will get passed between now and the next election.

      • by Crypto Gnome (651401) on Thursday September 09, 2010 @11:18PM (#33530326) Homepage Journal
        If you're not passing any legislation, perhaps what you need is more fibre?
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by StrahdVZ (1027852)

        As stated on Q&A, the vast majority (at least 80%) of legislation is passed through the House of Reps unanimously. Only the contentious legislation is held up for debate.

        The ignorant masses need to watch quality current affairs and quality interviews once in a while rather than Today Tonight "OMG the Murdoch media empire said something bad about Labor so it must be true we're all going to die thanks to Labor now lets see how Masterchef is doing".

    • Re:What filter? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Eskarel (565631) on Thursday September 09, 2010 @10:50PM (#33530210)

      While I agree with you, it's important to remember that the Liberals haven't actually said they won't support the filter. Joe Hockey has said they won't support the filter, but he is neither the leader, nor the communications minister.

      That said, the filter was always a dead scheme, which is why Labor never tried to push it through.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        Yep. They did come out against the filter fairly definitively in the end, however I still would not put it past them to have a "conscience vote" on it when it comes to the crunch - in which case even if less than 1/3 of them supported it it would still fly through the senate. Which is to say, it still entirely possible that this will happen.

        My biggest concern about the NBN is that it will make it extremely simple for a future government to implement such a policy, possibly without putting it through pa

        • by Sabriel (134364)

          I suspect at least one problem with the idea of sneaking filtering into the NBN is that much of the opposition to filtering is coming from the same technical sector that would be needed to design and build it.

      • There is also the possibility that the greens could horse trade censorship for carbon trading or some other environmental pet project they want. Remember these people are polititians.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Actually, I attended the National IT Debate just before the election and the liberal minister for communications did explicitly say that the Liberals were against the filter and would prefer to return to the old Howard policy of providing filtering software for free that people could install on their own computer (and thus not affect others)

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Bifurcati (699683)
      Actually, the ETS (at least) has a reasonably good chance of being passed in some form. Yes, Labor will need the support of the Greens MPtwo independents, but Oakeshott will probably be in favour and Windsor, although opposing the existing scheme, is generally in favour of an emissions trading scheme. The Greens opposed the scheme originally because they knew it couldn't be passed even with their support, and thought they'd gain more political mileage by being the Extreme Left voice. Now that they're actua
    • by Capsaicin (412918) *

      The ETS and mining tax are probably also going to get blocked. They don't have the numbers to pass that sort of legislation anymore.

      BZZZZT! Wrong.

      Let's just examine the ETS (mining tax I wouldn't want to bet on just yet). First off both Windsor and Oakeshott support an ETS, as does Wilkie and obviously the Greens so:

      House of Reps: Labor 72; + Greens 1; + Wilkie + Windsor + Oakeshott = 76. 76 votes required so it passes the house.

      Senate: Labor 31 + Greens 9 = 40. 39 votes required, so it passes that ho

  • by JohnnyKlunk (568221) on Thursday September 09, 2010 @10:53PM (#33530222)
    OK, so this seems like a good idea - but what can we do with it? Having that kind of speed is great, but only if you have infrastructure that can serve you data that fast. We're a long way from anywhere and have only a limited amount of fibre connections to other countries (where I imagine most data will come from), this is reflected in the silly high prices we pay for data already.

    So whilst it's great that we will have these kinds of speeds, how are we going to get data services fast enough to take advantage of them?
    • Cached on continent (Score:3, Informative)

      by perpenso (1613749)

      We're a long way from anywhere and have only a limited amount of fibre connections to other countries (where I imagine most data will come from), this is reflected in the silly high prices we pay for data already ... So whilst it's great that we will have these kinds of speeds, how are we going to get data services fast enough to take advantage of them?

      A lot of data/content can be cached on continent. Akamai claims that:
      "Akamai routinely delivers between fifteen and thirty percent of all Web traffic, reaching more than 4 Terabits per second."
      http://www.akamai.com/html/customers/index.html [akamai.com]

      • All claims aside, you'd be horrified at how much content *MUST* be individually hauled across the phorkin-huge pond between US and DownUndahLand.

        For a start "the internet" is more than just the google-indexable WWW, and carries more protocols than JUST HTTP.
      • by Kjella (173770)

        "Akamai routinely delivers between fifteen and thirty percent of all Web traffic,"

        Watch the doublespeak, it's not between 15 and 30% of all Internet traffic. Very much content *could* be cached, if you'd allow the mother of all copyright-infringing servers to sit on the border. Until then, there'll be tons of P2P traffic dragging content from edge to edge of the network.

    • by p3anut (1131451) on Thursday September 09, 2010 @11:04PM (#33530268)
      http://forums.whirlpool.net.au/forum-replies.cfm?t=1511009 [whirlpool.net.au] That will help answer your question.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by muphin (842524)
      stop thinking globally and think locally.
      when we get the NBN up, major IT contenders such as google, microsoft, facebook, youtube will have local caches within australia, jobs will be created from expansions of such companies, more data centres... let alone medical applications, video conferencing, IPTV streaming, extremely cheap phone calls, ability then to setup local call centres ...
      Education expansion, schools no longer have to be where the most people are when it can be done vide a video link.
      More b
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by DarkEmpath (1064992)

      So whilst it's great that we will have these kinds of speeds, how are we going to get data services fast enough to take advantage of them?

      If you build it he will come.

      At the moment, everything is overseas because it's not practical to have them here. As soon as we have the infrastructure in place, not only does it become more practical to mirror a lot of content and as well as provide additional services here, but it provides an underlying platform for new services to be created/invented.

      You have to start somewhere :-)

    • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

      by labnet (457441)

      Silly high prices. It will only get worse.

      Lets see
      $43B / 5M users (50% of existing users) = $8600 cost of capital per connection.

      Lets say 10% cost of capital (interest on loan + repayment of principal) is $860/annum
      + maintainance of the NBN + ISP fees. at say 2.5% and $30 respectively means about $120/month.

      Hmmmm... what is the take-up going to be when it is already competing against 5-20mbit ADSL???

      This is another Labor government pork debt binge.

    • by thegarbz (1787294)

      So whilst it's great that we will have these kinds of speeds, how are we going to get data services fast enough to take advantage of them?

      Well not upgrading our networks till the end of eternity definitely is not the solution to getting faster data services. Do you not realise that part of the FTTH is also upgrading of infrastructure? Or are you complaining about international data? Because part of what makes an area lucrative for data centres and such is the ability to connect to high speed infrastructure.

      As the old saying goes, Build it and then will come.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 09, 2010 @11:04PM (#33530272)

    NBN (Fibre Network) is supported by:
    All independants
    The Greens
    Labor Pary

    Therefore it is guaranteed to pass throught the upper and lower houses :)

    Censorhip is supported by:
    Labor

    Therefore it will not be able to pass through either house of parliament unless the Liberal/National Coalition switch their position (which wouldnt surprise me)

    • by Techman83 (949264)

      Therefore it will not be able to pass through either house of parliament unless the Liberal/National Coalition switch their position (which wouldnt surprise me)

      Actually I would be very surprised. They would have to do a complete 180 flip on how they've behaved as the opposing party for the last 3 years. Which mainly consists of opposing everything and slagging off at every opportunity. I dare say that's part of the reason why the Greens got 4% of the swing away from Labor and the Coalition (liberals) only got 1.5%. Admittedly they need to change their tactics, but being a conservative party, change isn't going to happen fast.

      • by elrous0 (869638) *
        New parties in power often do 180's. In the U.S. just look at Republicans/Democrats. Republicans were all for cutting spending, as long as it was Democrats who controlled the purse. The second they took over, they went on a spending spree that would make Paris Hilton blush. And, now that the Dems are back in, suddenly they've "rediscovered" their fiscal conservatism. Ditto for the Dems. Obama was all for scaling back Presidential power and Bush's more Draconian surveillance/security policies. But, now that
    • by MikShapi (681808)

      Yep. We got just the -precisely- well balanced minority government, to
      a. get a NO to get the filter shot down, not only in the senate where it would have been shot down anyway, but in the house of reps as well.
      b. get a YES on the NBN.
      c. get Better Place in (who were stamped all over the Labor's promised intentions in all but name, and who already landed access to ~100M$ of govt money in NSW) and thoroughly funded via some serious consumer-enticing EV-adoption tax breaks I suspect are coming circa 2012-2013.

  • On all the internet forums I'm on, people from Australia complain constantly about their slow speeds and Draconian caps.

    Now they're on their way to being the best! Congrats, entire country of Australia!
    • I will believe it when I see it. Even now innocent people get leeched for incredibly small ADSL plans. 200MB per month from Telstra. That sort of thing.

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by Zuriel (1760072)

        That's Telstra. Their pricing has always been terrible.

        We had someone post on the guild forums that they were planning to join Telstra Bigpond and they got this response:

        Why god why!? What in the hell possessed you to decide to join _them_? Have you finally gone completely insane, are you punishing yourself for something you've done, have you been befuddled by evil little imps sent by _them_, what is wrong with you man!? Think of your wife and child, turn back from the dark side, telstra isn't really your f

      • by batkiwi (137781)

        http://go.bigpond.com/broadband/index.jsp [bigpond.com]

        Their smallest plan is 2GB for $9.95 (if you have other telstra stuff to bundle) a month and shaping (no overage charges ever)

        I'm an internode fanboy, but you are thinking about Telstra under Sol ($$$$$$$$$$ FOR ME!!!!), not Telstra of today (best network but higher prices).

    • by snookums (48954)

      On all the internet forums I'm on, people from Australia complain constantly about their slow speeds and Draconian caps.

      Unfortunately, these things are mostly the result of expensive data links between Australia and the rest of the world (where the content is). The NBN is not going to change this.

      What the NBN will enable is better access to domestic services like IP television, VPNs for telecommuting, VoIP, and so forth.

    • by EEPROMS (889169)
      slow speeds and Draconian caps.

      You have to be shitting me, Im on a ADSL2+ connection with a 500GB cap for the same price I used to pay for dial up (100mb limit/mnth) 12 years ago. Dodo is now offering a "unlimit" ADSL2+ service "yes no cap at all" for $49/mnth. My parents were on a 256kb/s 2GB a month account until I visited them and made a few phone calls, now they have ADSL2+ with 2-8mb/s down and a 200GB cap for $39. I find most people complaining about speed and caps these days are just lazy or don't
  • With their budget surplus, handled economy, and this? I may be moving my ass there.
    • With their budget surplus, handled economy, and this? I may be moving my ass there.

      We don't want your ass here, we've already voted a pair of asses into power.

      • That's unfortunate for me. I don't really care for the US, and Im a citizen here. I like the people, and the geography in the northwest, but our government is a joke. Its completely ruled by special interests geared at funneling as much money as possible into the hands of a few. We have no such thing as affordable health care. You may as well die rather than burden your family with medical bills if you get any terminal illness, even if its a treatable one. We live in essentially pretty close to an aristocra
    • by bloodhawk (813939)
      surplus? I am sorry you must be thinking of some other country. We have a deficit since labor came in with a projected surplus in 2 or 3 years time, but even that is dependent on geting controversial mining tax through and NBN actually staying on budget, neither is currently highly likely.
      • I certainly would not agree with the mining tax since it affects your major export.
        • by c0lo (1497653)

          I certainly would not agree with the mining tax since it affects your major export.

          Pick you choice: would you agree with NBN and a huge budget deficit?

          • a huge budget deficit?

            A huuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuge budget deficit of 6% of GDP. Oh how it is to laugh.

        • by bloodhawk (813939)
          yep it is an incredibly dangerous tax in what is currently a declining market. There is also a lot of questions around the estimated tax income considering labor seem to have claimed tax revenues on the market increasing rather than going backwards 50% + like it has been doing.
          • I can't believe its still under consideration. I have no business commenting on your politics, but I thought it was so unpopular with Australian citizens it should have been thrown out already.
            • I have no business commenting on your politics, but I thought it was so unpopular with Australian citizens it should have been thrown out already.

              You really don't - it's not so unpopular with citizens as it is with the special interests in the mining sector, and they managed to sell it well for a sector of the economy that barely makes up some 7% of our GDP. I noted you were bemoaning the special interest groups ruling the roost in the US by funnelling the money from the wider economy (this tax was counter-balanced with a broad cut in company tax), and yet here you are tut-tutting a tax proposed by a party which stands against these groups?

            • by timbo234 (833667)

              but I thought it was so unpopular with Australian citizens it should have been thrown out already

              It's not since we'd be fools to just let large mining companies take *our* resources out of *our* ground without paying a reasonable tax on them. The government isn't squandering the money either, they're using it to help fund superannuation increases meaning we might be the about the only western country that can actually afford to fund the retirement of our ageing population.

            • by kramulous (977841) on Friday September 10, 2010 @06:26AM (#33532108)

              It is not really that dangerous ... for a couple of reasons
              1. The mining industry is responsible for 80% of Australia's energy consumption (this is largely subsidised by taxpayers). 40% of that is just crushing rocks.
              2. The mining industry hasn't always been our biggest. Primary industry was except for the last 13 years we've been in drought. The drought has ended and we are in for a bumper crop, once again. One of our biggest competitors, Russia, is in major drought.
              3. Our services industry is actually huge (a big reason for the NBN).
              4. Our education industry is huge (was number 2 bread winner for at least 30 years straight)
              5. The mining industry has actually agreed to the tax.

          • Incredibly dangerous tax in a declining market? Say what?

            The tax is structured as follows: for earnings above government bond rate + 7% return on investments in iron ore and coal, a tax rate of 30% will apply. There's a 25% extraction allowance, so the effective rate will be 22.5%. State royalties are deductible.

            Say whatever you want for coal in the context of climate change efforts, it isn't going away soon. And iron ore is always going to be needed as a basic resource for building practically anything dur

      • by dbIII (701233)
        He's probably talking about the trade surplus and not how much the government has borrowed.
  • Sweet! 43 Billion! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by AbRASiON (589899) *

    That's fantastic, a country with a serious water crises in at least 3 states, with a housing price epidemic and using sweet fuck all sustainable power - but hey we can get really fast internet! Even though our international links aren't even that good and a heap of city dwelling people can get from 8 to 24mb/s now,.......

    • by mjwx (966435) on Friday September 10, 2010 @12:55AM (#33530792)

      That's fantastic, a country with a serious water crises in at least 3 states,

      Cant do jack against mother nature. With the ENSO event last year this has lessened somewhat. Perhaps if people stopped wasting so much water on lawns and washing their hotted up HSV we wouldn't have such a crisis.

      with a housing price epidemic

      Limited land, bad land releases and a few companies have a stranglehold on constructions. Do you suggest the government give land away or fix prices for private corporations (because that will go down well on SlashLibertarian). Point in short, problem is procedural and throwing cash at it wont help.

      using sweet fuck all sustainable power

      Every time someone utters the word "Nuclear" the NIMBYS are up in arms taking torches and pitchforks to parliament house on sixty minutes. The same NIMBYs who complain about housing prices, broadband costs and water crisies but cant stop washing their cars every second day and watering their lawns in the middle of the day (40+ C is not unusual in Australia folks).

      but hey we can get really fast internet!

      Which will spur economic and scientific growth and get us out of this communications dark age we are currently living in. CLUE: we are competitive with Russia for broadband, that puts us at #42 in the world. Economically we are a first world nations about #12-15 from the top.

      You criticise the government for not fixing problems it can do little about by criticising the government when it does do something to fix a problem it can do something about. Jesus H Christ, Australia doesn't need any more people like you.

      Lets break down the numbers, out of that 43 billion, 16 billion is being contributed by private entities. So that's 27 billion. Divide that by 11 million households and thats less then A$2500 per household. Amortise that over a 20 year lifespan (20 year minimum, 40 more likely) and its $125 per year, per household. A bloody bargain at twice the price. OTOH, lets look at the Sydney harbour bridge. That cost 60 Million to build in the 20's, we didn't pay it off for 60 years... as long as we dont count the economic benefits of the North Sydney CBD created directly as a result of the Sydney Harbour Bridge (oh and theres a bit of tourism $$$ for that iconic structure).

      • by MikShapi (681808)

        >> using sweet fuck all sustainable power

        Wrong.

        2012-2013. Better Place rolls out all of the east coast.
        Read:
        [a] Most of the national car fleet off oil in 10 years...
        [b] ... and powered of 100% renewable energy...
        [c] ... which, due to the distributed-battery-nature and smart-charging-grid/ERGO(=EV equivalent of a cellular network operator), becomes the first-ever national-scale distributed-battery-cache to cache up spare-dirty/renewable power generated at night(wind) or when the sun is out (solar), whe

        • by mjwx (966435)

          using sweet fuck all sustainable power

          That particular nugget belonged to the GGP but...

          I honestly did not know about "better place". Maybe because I live on in Perth (yes, I'm pretty disgusted with it myself). Australia is fairly green for a western industrialised nation, most LGov (local Government) run recycling programs and either dual bin or single bin recycling.

          I would like to see a nuclear power industry in Australia as opposed to coal, oil and natural gas that we have currently but I cant se

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by dbIII (701233)

        Every time someone utters the word "Nuclear"

        Australia doesn't have the fuel processing infrastructure to make it worth it with the current technology (sad to say, without a military nuke infrastructure to leech off things are difficult with civilian nukes). That may change with technology that is under development or imported fuel could be used with current technology.
        For most current designs it's not worth contemplating nuclear unless it's something really big to give an economy of scale (lots of steam),

        • by mjwx (966435)

          but for now the NIMBYs are not the problem - bankers are.

          I disagree, the amount of money the government puts into building new coal and gas plants will pay for most of it. As you pointed out, a fuel processing industry will grow around the requirement for one.

          Private corps didn't build the plants they now own, they were built using public money and then sold off to private corps (mostly by the Howard govt). Hence power costs are sky-rocketing due to profiteering (mine went up 40%).

          The problem remain

          • by dbIII (701233)

            I disagree, the amount of money the government puts into building new coal and gas plants will pay for most of it.

            The expense is vastly more because it means the establishment of an entire new industry to provide the fuel while a new coal fired plant piggybacks on existing infrastructure. The first nuke plant of any size will cost a fortune - after that it's less per plant. Look at the Iranian situation for a recent example, and even that is riding on the back of military spending.
            Your power bill has gon

    • by timbo234 (833667)

      That's fantastic, a country with a serious water crises in at least 3 states, with a housing price epidemic and using sweet fuck all sustainable power - but hey we can get really fast internet!

      Australia also has the world's 2nd highest standard of living (HDI), per capita GDP that put it among the top few richest nations on the planet, the smallest government debt and deficit of any major western economy etc.
      It'll always be possible to point out problems in the country but that doesn't mean we should not do

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