NightKhaos on Digital Freedom

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Posts Tagged ‘conroy

States should opt-out of opt-in.

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Not a good situation to be in...

There has been some political game playing go on in reference to the NBN, as there always is. As usual there were some reports coming from various sources which, according to Mr Malcolm Turnbull, just proves that the NBN is a big fat waste of money.

I could go on to explain that fast passenger transit is not analogous to the ability to move information quickly, and completely refute the one of the premises of the report “Superfast: is it really worth the subsidy?” which compared FTTH to Concorde.

But I digress, that report does have some merit, it does point out the obvious: that upgrading to Fibre is expensive. Drastically so. Why does the opposition think it is going to cost $27b of tax payers money?  And this has not been unknown by the industry, nor does it make FTTH a high risk as the above report asserts. No, it only serves to mean that providers have a hard time rolling out the service because it costs money to do it.

We could compare it to building a motorway infrastructure or high speed rail infrastructure. To do so you need to completely rethink your premise of building your network. Any yet governments still do this, why is that? I’m not saying the price difference between roads and motorways is as significant as fast to super-fast broadband, nor that the price difference between rail and high speed rail is that significant either, but what is significant however is to roll out such a network of comparable scale (the entire country) of such technologies is equal to if not greater than that of running out FTTH to every home.

But again, I digress. The point of this post was to talk about Ted Baillieu recently saying that connecting to the NBN “ought to be optional.”

Well, yes, it ought, but not if such options mean that those ignorant of the changes happening will get stung by $400 installation fees when their Telstra CAN connection gets disconnected. (Let’s not forget the wonderful article that brought us this news from the state of Victoria thought that we are building a “carbon-fibre network”, which causes a few chuckles around my friends to be sure.)

Which brings me to the whole reason I started off on this rant, a Twitter user by the name of @BrettPemberton who reports that his landlord “cannot make a decision on Fibre” even through he, and allegedly NBN Co, both asserting that the FTTH connection was free installation, and also that once roll out is complete if you are not connected to FTTH you will be without a phone line.

Ignorance, from people like Brett’s landlord, is the reason why we should make it opt-out, not opt-in. I do not want to hear horror stories in the coming years where little old ladies are forced to cough up $400 because they didn’t understand what that consent form the came in the mail two years ago meant. Afterall, it’s still optional, you have the option to opt-out.

But maybe that’s just because the roll out has just started, maybe if an advertising campaign like “Get Set for Digital” was used, we could make the transition a little more smooth and prevent situations like Brett’s from occurring. But I have yet to see an advertising campaign encouraging people to opt-in to the NBN, probably because Mr Conroy is too busy spending $136k on a glorified web shortcut…


Written by NightKhaos

December 8, 2010 at 1:21 pm

Posted in NBN

Tagged with , , , , , ,