Comparisons drawn between a proposed fibre broadband plan for the UK and Australia’s NBN have raised the ire of former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd.
Earlier this month, the UK’s Labour Party announced a policy that would see fast and free full fibre-broadband provided to all households; assuming of course Labour gains power next month. The scheme would involve bringing parts of BT into public ownership and creating a new British Broadband public service.
It certainly stirred up a lot of debate – among it was a brief comment submitted to The Independent that appeared to draw a parallel between the plan and Australia’s NBN – and specifically mentioning our ex-PM Kevin Rudd.
Showing he still has his finger on the pulse where his name is mentioned, Kevin Rudd took exception to the comparison in a reply* to the comment.
Mr. Rudd said the only thing the commenter had right was the cost aspect:
“the NBN’s costs have spun out of control after the totally botched “redesign” by the conservatives, at the behest of Rupert Murdoch, who perceived the NBN as a threat to his business,” Mr. Rudd wrote. “That’s when it changed to a fibre-optic-to-the-“node” network rather than fibre-optic-to-the-premises under our model.”
Well, it didn’t actually change to a fibre-to-the-node (FTTN) network per se, but to a Multi-Technology Mix (MTM) – aka Multi Technology Mongrel – which incorporated a large number of connections using the much-maligned FTTN technology.
The Turnbull Strikes Back
On a related note, also defending his broadband legacy recently was another ex-PM, Malcolm Turnbull.
Mr Turnbull was keynote speaker at the StartCon conference in Sydney last week. When later questioned at the event about the NBN’s comparatively slow speed, Mr. Turnbull stated the assessment was “BS” and claimed there wasn’t a comparable developed country with as ubiquitous availability of high speed broadband as Australia.
Mr. Turnbull said the way Labor was going about it was “certifiably insane” and that he made the best of inheriting “a mess”. He also said he believed people will not pay much, if anything, of a premium for higher NBN speeds than are currently available.
As mentioned last week, A recent report from the ACCC indicates a big jump in the proportion of Australians shifting to higher speed NBN plans over the last couple of years.
*It’s assumed The Independent did its due diligence and confirmed the reply was actually from Mr. Rudd.