My NBN Rant: Short Version

Error message

  • Deprecated function: The each() function is deprecated. This message will be suppressed on further calls in _menu_load_objects() (line 579 of /var/www/drupal-7.x/includes/
  • Deprecated function: implode(): Passing glue string after array is deprecated. Swap the parameters in drupal_get_feeds() (line 394 of /var/www/drupal-7.x/includes/
Published by Matthew Davidson on Sat, 08/06/2013 - 2:34pm

(You don't want to hear the long version.)

On practically every issue that matter, there is no "other side" in mainstream politics. The NBN has been designed by economists for the benefit of Telcos, with the objective of preserving the current broken status quo of Internet connectivity. The debate over "fibre to the home" conceals the fact that neither party has any intention of delivering "Internet to the home".

Communication between two people in Coffs Harbour will still be routed via Sydney and/or Brisbane, because that's where the Telcos' tollgates (Points Of Interconnect, in the NBN jargon) are situated. If we had street-level routing, as we would if the NBN adopted the obvious solution of providing a packet-switching Internet Protocol network, where would the Telcos put their tollgates? For that matter what useful purpose would the Telcos serve? Wouldn't they be redundant if the network in my street was the same as the network anywhere else in the world and there was no "out there" out there to pay a premium for access to? How much waste could we get rid of if we could run our own email servers, web servers, Voice over IP, social networking, etc. from the computers sitting on our desks?

The NBN is not designed to extend the Internet to where we live and work, it is designed to allow (the eventually privatised) NBN Co to sell the Telcos access to us. (As a side-benefit, it provides a one-stop-shop for censorship and spying as well.)

Neither party disagrees with this objective; they have a minor tactical disagreement on the means of reaching it.