Due to the move of the blog to Wordpress posts from Jan 2012 onward will have commenting disabled (when I remember to do it)
Cheers - AE

Sunday, 5 September 2010

Also on the federal election...

... things have moved a bit closer to Julia Gillard retaining power, which will more than make up for her footy team getting the shit kicked out of it last night, and it's all thanks to one of the independent tails enjoying its chance to wag the dog.
IN A blow to the Coalition, key independent Tony Windsor has backed Labor's $43 billion national broadband network, criticising the opposition's cheaper alternative as a ''retrograde policy'' that would create a digital backwater in rural Australia.

Mr Windsor told The Sunday Age he believed Labor's national broadband network was the better of the two policies.

Mr Windsor, who was briefed by senior officials from the Department of Broadband last week, said he had been convinced that ''you do it once, you do it right, you do it with fibre''.

The comments come as Mr Windsor and the other two rural independents, Rob Oakeshott and Bob Katter, remain locked in negotiations with both sides to determine who they will ultimately support: Prime Minister Julia Gillard or Opposition Leader Tony Abbott.
Well gee thanks, Tony, you fucking bellend. Shall I send my cheque for four grand direct to you or to to your new buddy Julia? Because that's what it's going to cost us all. I repeat:
Labor want to install a 100 Mbps fibre service to cover 93% of the country and high speed satellite for the rest - a snip at $43 billion. The Coalition would rather provide us with a 12 Mbps fibre and wireless service that might go as fast as 100 Mbps, covers 97% of the population (the rest to get satellite again) and which only costs $6 billion. And obviously both are missing the point:

It's not your fucking money, you thieving pricks! You're not there to piss our cash away on rolling out broadband as if it's a public service. Being a telecoms company is not a government function, which is why we have fucking telecoms companies. When 90 plus percent of the population really need that sort of service, whether it's $6 billion or $43 billion, they'll be willing to put their hands in their fucking pockets for it and someone will come along and put the network in. It's called the market, and all that is really required from the government is for it to stay out of the fucking way.
There are about 22 million people living here, and while the AEC page I screencapped earlier says there are 14 million eligible to vote, which will be everyone over 18, you can safely assume that some of those will be retired, not working or employed by the taxpayers and therefore pay taxes only in a nominal sense.* I wouldn't be at all surprised if this $43 billion cost is borne by less than half the population, and that would make it around $4,000 each. And even that assumes that it'll be on fucking budget and also neglects the ongoing costs of running the bloody thing.

I'd love 100 Mbps broadband. Probably everyone I know would love 100 Mbps broadband. But I doubt I know anyone who'll fork out $4,000 just for the fucking connection. I don't think there are many people who'll fork out $4,000 just for the connection, because if there were Telstra and Optus and iiNet and all the others would be fighting each other for a share of the money. That they're not suggests the market for broadband isn't there yet. But because the bloody ALP are so free with other peoples' money and haven't got a clue where government is supposed to fucking stop, and because some independent MP in a rural seat sees an opportunity to get the rest of Australia to pay for what his own electorate - any electorate - won't stump up for voluntarily.

And the crazy thing is that even if they ultimately get 100 Mbps and even if by some miracle the cost doesn't overrun they'll still end up paying over the odds in the long run. Let me put it like this, Tony, if your campaign pledges had included a promise to help yourself to $4,000 from each voter to pay for a high speed broadband network do you think you'd have won the seat, or do you think that perhaps most of the 63,000 who voted for you would have decided that while the current options might not be that fast or cheap even Telstra won't charge them $4,000 plus eventual running costs just for the privilege of having the fucker available?

As is becoming my regular scream of fury in these circumstances:


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