Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Australia, we need to talk... [Apologies to Waleed Aly]

The results of the 2013 election need to be explained:
How could the Liberal/National Party win when some of its major policies weren't costed, as required by it's own legislation? Especially as each policy by itself had previously helped them to decisively lose an election.
How did not just one, but three, major policies of the Liberal-National Coalition (LNP) not get costed by the PBO (Parliamentary Budget Office) under the rules of Howard's "Charter of Budget Honesty".

It gets worse, there have since been two independent audits into the operations of the PBO, and the failure to cost all major party policies before and after the 2013 election is ignored.

These three policies were worth $1B- $10B / year each:
  • Border Protection (including we discovered later, "boat turn-backs" and extra patrols)
  • Direct Action - an abandoned plan to pay major polluters for their carbon emissions. 
  • NBN, National Broadband Network.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Election 2016: it's ALL about the Economy. If not a Real NBN now, when?

Election 2016 will be a watershed decision for Australia.

We're in trouble, deep trouble, and nobody is talking about it. "Jobs and Boats" is a side-show, the Good Times are well and truly over: we need to address hard questions or we'll be hammered.

If you think 8 years on from the GFC, still with record-low interest rates, heading down to 1%, signals anything but a fragile economy on its knees, facing "falling off a cliff" from the slightest nudge, you haven't been paying attention... If this were a plane crash, we're in the last few hundred feet while the 'pilots' are working hard to avoid it, while over the PA they're saying "we have a slight problem".

The key to our future is "The New Economy". The  chief enabler for it is simple: Fast, Real Broadband, everywhere. Any technology that buffers, 'breaks-up' pictures/voice or has long delays is not 'Real Broadband'. The NBN matters to our future now, more than at any other time.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Deflation, Housing Bubbles and Sacred Cows

Contrary to the Political party's dictate, there is no Revenue or Spending problem in Australia. There is however, a lack of honesty, debate and courage, the willingness of our Pollies to broach hard subjects and engage in a meaningful three-way conversation: voters, conservatives and progressives.

There's $120 billion of Revenue that Political Parties choose not to collect or discuss, yet they claim we have a $37 billion 'deficit' which they say will increase "as far as the eye can see".

It doesn't have to be this way.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Questions to the Government on the NBN: why are you hiding important figures?

Questions on the NBN I'd like to see asked in Parliament Question Time, or posed directly to Turnbull and his Ministers by Mainstream Media:
  1. Cost to the Taxpayer:
    • What is the cost to taxpayer, as shown in a Budget line-item, of the NBN so far?
    • What is the expected on-Budget cost to taxpayers of the MTM-NBN when fully rolled out and upgraded to the promised levels already made? Is that 2020 or later?

  2. Quality of NBN Investment:
    • Since when is an IRR of 2.7%-3.5% better for an investment than 7.1%?
    • Just what are the nominal & CPI-adjusted monetary values of each investment?
    • Despite multiple attempts, the Liberals have yet to offer any convincing evidence that the 2013 Business Plan was deeply flawed. It was well ahead of all its financial milestones, whereas the Turnbull legacy is a litany of successive upwards revisions, to around double the number taken to the 2013 election.

  3. Funding:
    • Why haven't the 500,000+ Self Managed Super Funds with $600 B assets, looking for long-term, high-quality investment, been offered a large ($30B) 15- or 20-year NBN Bond?
    • That not only takes the funding pressure off the Government and hence taxpayer, it actively transfers or shares Risk with willing investors and simultaneously provides an important financial sector with a perfectly targeted investment vehicle. They are patient investors looking for guaranteed returns and stable, dependable growth businesses.

  4. Rollout Preferences:
    • Why haven't any of the ~10 M affected subscribers been offered the option to contribute directly to the increased costs of Fibre vs HFC or Copper Pair/VDSL2? Even on the inflated and manipulated MTM figures, the CapEx (not Peak Funding, the actual cost), per line is $2,300 for FTTN and $4,400 for Full Fibre. (Table 8: CPP by technology, page 67)
      Why haven't subscribers been given the option to pay $1,250 towards Full Fibre, repaid over 3-5 years?
    • Requiring people to put their hands in their own pockets conclusively demonstrates "value in use" and their "willingness to pay". We don't have to take anyone's word for it.
    • At a stroke, this would remove all the future Copper service upgrades, reduce the Capital Requirement, provide a commercially significant priority order for rollout and make the 65% of taxpayer-voters who want Real Broadband very happy.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

The MTM-NBN rip-off: saving $250 Million costs the taxpayer $125 Billion.

Related links. This was originally a comment on a previous post.

There's a point  related to hidden OpEx costs which makes a nonsense of Cost-Per-Premises of "nbn ltd":
the bulk of maintenance costs will be spent on the Copper Pair network. [50% of all? FTTN 50% higher?]
Where is that in the CPP costings?
That, for me, makes these company documents not 'business' but 'political', they are misleading figures.

Friday, February 19, 2016

MTM: the Road to Nowhere. Waste on a truly grand scale.

The widely reported Feb-2016 Australian Infrastructure Plan, resulted in a piece on The Register ("Calls for sale - in pieces - to promote competition, plus reveal of bush services' costs").

This is a repost of my comment, and a couple of follow-ups (here and here) in response to a comment claiming a 'Fail', copied below.

Two good friends contributed off-line feedback:
  • Just like buying a power tool. A good one last a lifetime and a poor one lasts for a couple of sessions with it.
    • I'd phrase as: Professionals find it cheaper to buy & maintain expensive tools that JFW’s (Just Works), not a throw-away for every job.
  • Sometimes I wonder if anyone actually gets the basics of network design and deployment. So many people think in the ultra-short term rather than in the medium to long term. Every dollar spent now saves potentially hundreds in the future when it comes to network design and deployment.
    • It's the difference between buying a cheap TP-Link router and a Cisco router for business. One might last a year, the other will last a decade.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Things I don't understand about NBN Economics: how does $1,500/premises become $4,500?

I can’t figure out the basic cost equation of the NBN.

If it’s costing ~$1,500/premise to install new fibre, how does the full cost become $4,500?
What does the extra $3,000 buy us?

The POI’s (Points of Interconnect) and transit network, the network operations centre, the provisioning & billing systems and what else? But these are common costs across all networks, it cannot be them.

FTTP costs: 2017 nbn co Corporate Plan (pg 53) Browfields: $4,411 Greenfields: $2,608. [Aug-2016]
Why does it cost $1,803/premise more for 'Brownfields' connections? It's 50% more than the pre-2013 costs. Where did these new costs come from?

There is a difference between ‘passing’ and connecting premises, so what proportion of the $1,500 is 'passing' and 'connecting'? That's hard to find and doesn't account for a three-fold increase.

Edit: Population Sources added at end, 27-Aug-2016.
Edit: Fibre cost-estimate Sources added at end, 20-Feb-2016.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015