NBN Anyone?

We have only a few more days in the aparthotel. While the apartment is habitable, we have not got our container which is probably somewhere in the Indian ocean as we speak. Hopefully still on board the container ship. Apart from the obvious things like fridge (check), Washing machine (check) and furniture (ahem… still working on that one) there are other things to consider. These days one of those is the internet. Hardly an essential but still a (very) ‘nice to have’. Although in this day and age many people (of a certain age group) would say it is more important than running water. Not much hope is there in a decade or so time?

Apologies. As usual I have digressed slightly…

Welcome to NBN

NBN anyone? What? Nobody has heard of it or knows what it means? No; me neither. At least not until last week.

NBN stands for ‘National Broadband Network’. As the name suggests it is a nationwide government controlled broadband internet provider. A government owned monopoly no less. The corporation tasked with designing, building and operating all this is NBN Co Limited (now known simply as nbn).

Sound Familiar?

Now wait a minute. If you live in the UK or know a lot about its political parties this may sound more than a little familiar. Read these quotes taken directly from a document produced in December 2019.

We will establish British Broadband, with two arms: British Digital Infrastructure (BDI) and the British Broadband Service (BBS). We will bring the broadband-relevant parts of BT into public ownership, with a jobs guarantee for all workers in existing broadband infrastructure and retail broadband work. BDI will roll out the remaining 90–92% of the full-fibre network, and acquire necessary access rights to existing assets.”

“We will deliver full-fibre broadband free to everybody in every home in our country by creating a new public service, boosting the economy, connecting communities and putting money back in your pocket.“

And, in case the penny hasn’t yet dropped…

“Labour will deliver free full-fibre broadband to all by 2030.”

Yes. This was part of the Labour party manifesto for the UK general election in December 2019. An election in which, it is widely stated, that they got slaughtered. And policies like this were considered to be largely to blame for the scale of their defeat. Yet here in Australia this is more or less exactly what is happening. It has been ongoing for some eleven years now.

I will freely admit that I too mocked their nationalised broadband plan. Maybe they just failed to explain it properly. I certainly don’t recall them comparing their plan with something already up and running in Australia. Odd that…

Where they went wrong

Instead of the Labour party explaining that they want to do something similar to an existing system in Australia, they added this socialist clap-trap – and this is what most voters picked up on. But only after strongly mocking the idea as a whole.

“BBS will coordinate the delivery of free broadband in tranches as the full-fibre network is rolled out, beginning with the communities worst served by existing broadband networks. Taxation of multinationals, including tech giants, will pay for the operating costs of the public full-fibre network. The plan will boost jobs, tackle regional inequality and improve quality of life as part of a mission to connect the country.”

Unfortunately for them, people are starting to see through this kind of Utopian bullshit.

My Concerns…

Back to the Aussie NBN. This is the bit I am concerned about. Taken from one of those wiki pages:

There has been a significant failure of the NBN to deliver nominal performance to end users. There has been contention between RSPs and NBN on the reasons for this. Bill Morrow, then CEO of NBN, admitted in 2017 that 15% of end users received a poor service through the NBN and were ‘seriously dissatisfied’

Note: RSPs are Retail Service Providers. The same as Internet Service Providers (ISP) in Europe. These are the companies that the government (NBN) allow to use their network. For a fee of course.

We shall see. I still need to get it installed and up and running. Interestingly the standard of service I have received from the retail RSP (not NBN) has so far not been great. Judging by their initial lack of ‘support’ this could become a series of grumpy old dad posts. Today for example it took me three calls of 10 minutes each before I actually got to speak to a human. Listening to those recorded messages is soul destroying. Although, I suppose this is typical when dealing with any large company. BT or Sky, in the UK, or Movistar in Spain – to name a few.

If there are any issues with our NBN connection I will be writing these blog posts from the local library while going round telling everyone that NBN actually stands for No Bloody Network!.

I will keep you posted. One way or another…

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