Foresight Battle Royale

This is hilarious; Australia’s over budget, late, poor quality National Broadband Network can’t cope with the demand from a bunch of teenagers playing video games.

Unexpectedly high levels of downloads can cause sluggish connections for all customers using broadband, not just those downloading game updates.

Some games companies release their updates, which can be tens of gigabytes worth of data and are known as “patches”, without much notification or the ability to download in advance of the release.

Hang on, that’s not what we signed up for. Back in those halcyon days of 2009 we were told we’d get 100Mbs over which we’d be able to run all sorts of society-changing services.

Here’s the original 2009 press release, just for the record.

Ah, promises made, not honoured. Just $43 billion over 8 years, eh? And the suckers believed them.

The NBN really has stood the test of time in the 24 carat lies department hasn’t it, right up there with, “the cheque’s in the post”, “yes, I love you too” and “of course I won’t come in your mouth”.

Gaming was baked in to the capacity according to the original “business case” (we use that term loosely; it doesn’t bear much resemblance to any I’ve seen in my career). Here’s the document, page 26 has the mention of gaming.

You’d think a modern, highly technical and, most importantly, centrally planned telecommunications network would be able to either cope with a few spotty kids playing shoot ’em up games OR be capable of prioritising other traffic.

After all, the UK are planning to block porn sites unless people have registered to have them unblocked (nobody’s told the government nanny state about VPNs), so it must surely be simplicity itself to block or throttle a single games company?

Yet here we are, begging Epic Games for details of their forthcoming updates and promotions.

How utterly embarrassing.

Bill’s Opinion

Australians are no different to many other nationalities in their belief that the government can magically deliver major programmes of work on time, to quality and on budget… despite all the evidence to the contrary.

I still have conversations with people who believe the plan was poorly executed because their political opponents’ duplicity and/or incompetence.

The reality is, a simple further deregulation of the telecoms industry would have done the same job quicker, cheaper and more suitable to the demand.

The government could have concentrated on making some provisions for the 3% of the population who don’t live in the metropolitan areas. Posting them porn DVDs each week, for example.

8 Replies to “Foresight Battle Royale”

  1. Having experienced the installation of the NBN, I can say we didn’t get much for our several billion dollars.
    Never have I experienced anything so disorganised & disruptive in my life.

    Installation involved 2 or 3 visits to my site – each of an hour or so duration.
    Nothing to it you’d think.

    Except each of those visits involved a phone call of an average of 30 minutes to arrange.
    Each visit was booked & postponed & rebooked up to 40 times.
    Each rescheduling involved two phone calls of an average of 30 minutes.

    Each visit was a “no-show” at least 3 times, but I still had to have staff & contractors standing by, on penalty rates, for a “technician visit” that never happened.

    One of the visits was an hour late.

    Probably half the time on the phone was taken up with the Indian/Filipino call centre worker giving me a tune-up over my shortcomings & errors as a customer.

    A lesser person than me would probably have cracked & believed it to be all my own fault.
    Except I don’t fall for high-pressure subtle tactics to get me to agree I’m an asshole customer.

    To me, if NBN/Telstra plain do not turn up for a carefully booked & scheduled appointment – then no amount of word twisting by a pushy Filipino is going to get me to agree I’m the guilty party.

    From Go to Whoa the installation/transition took more than 5 months.
    This included the dickheads switching off all my telephone lines (more than 30 of them) & all my ADSL connections (I think 7 of them)
    When harassed over this (via mobile phone) on the 4th or 5th call the Indian/Filipino/Bogan in Melbourne call centre soothed me that they’d have me up & running as early as 14 days time.

    THIS was not well received – & I did not submit to agreeing that it had all be switched off “at my request” (FMD – as if)
    The ATM owners & the state government treasury (all of whom have lines into my place for daily data collection) were onto me as soon as the first overnight dial-in (or whatever you call it now) failed.

    The whole saga went on & on & on & on & on & on & on & on in the same vein – for over 5 months.

    Nothing unusual or new in it – I’ve been a Telstra customer for more than 20 years.

    The whole time I couldn’t help thinking how much quicker the install would have been had it just been left to the private sector.
    It is now more than 10 years since that dickhead Rudd (or was it Gillard?) came up with the idea.
    Hardly a quick rollout.

    Kids with two tin cans & a piece of string would have got things running faster & better.

  2. 5G will be rolled out before the NBN is completed.

    Yep, something which at the time was as obvious as a stiff dick in a pair of wet speedos.
    (i.e. on the day Rudd announced the upcoming squander-thon)

    1. Yes. I mentioned this to a few “IT” people in 2010 and was laughed at.

      “Why not just further deregulate the industry and let the market decide the best solution?”, I naively asked.

      “But, nanny knows best”, summed up the replies.

      1. Just discovered an added bonus to the NBN.
        Our phones now will place nothing but a local call.
        i.e. we cannot call a mobile phone.

        On past NBN form I expect this to take several weeks to sort out, more than a month at a minimum.
        It will use up hours (several) of my time, half of which will be spent listening to Mozart via a mobile phone.

        1. Like herpes, it’s the gift that keeps on giving.

          You’re welcome, by the way, given that I paid taxes towards it.

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