NODE NEWS IS BAD NEWS

NBN Co. has disclosed to a parliamentary committee that only one in four customers with fibre-to-the-node (FFTN) will have access to top speeds.

Figures obtained by The Sydney Morning Herald show that when the rollout of the NBN concludes in 2020, three out of four customers with FFTN, the most controversial technology in the mix, are not expected to access the fastest download speeds of 100 Mbps.

The parliamentary disclosure comes as higher building costs, delays, lower customer take-up and lower than expected revenue per customer has led experts at Macquarie Wealth Management and wealth management firm Morgans to consider a write-down of the network, which the government has invested $30 billion of public money into and plans to eventually privatise.

While Geelong and parts of outer Sydney incorporate FTTN, the connection is mostly used in suburban and semi-rural areas, with inner-city customers usually accessing the NBN through existing pay TV or other cables.

An NBN spokesperson said 90% of customers accessing the NBN through wire methods (as opposed to satellite) will still be able to access speeds of up to 50 Mbps in 2020, with all able to access at least 25 Mbps and future network upgrades to be funded with forecasted revenue post-rollout.

LIBERAL ELDER BLASTS TURNBULL

Former Aboriginal affairs minister Fred Chaney has described the Turnbull government as having either “misunderstood or misrepresented” the idea of an Indigenous voice to parliament in their rejection of the Uluru Statement.

The Australian ($) reports that Chaney, a minister under Malcolm Fraser and former deputy Liberal Party leader, supports the Referendum Council’s proposed Indigenous body and “voice” to parliament as a “generous” concession to constitutional conservatives.

“Through this whole process, Aboriginal people have removed the logs in the path, this idea that there would be a bill of rights, that it would disturb the balance between the parliament and the courts, all of these things have been removed,” Chaney said. “All we are asking is for the specific existence and survival of Aboriginal people to be acknowledged.”

“We essentially tried to annihilate them, to wipe their culture and language from the country, and they survived,” he said. “It is a heroic story. This is a very gentle proposal … which would allow Aboriginal people to be heard on legislation that affects them.”

Malcolm Turnbull was quick to reject the Uluru Statement last year on the basis that the council’s proposed First Nations Voice would be seen as a “third chamber” of parliament, a characterisation rejected by the Referendum Council and described by constitutional lawyer Megan Davis today as “poor, fallacious legal analysis”.

Chaney, who also published an opinion piece ($) today for The Australian, also described the government’s response as confusing, “because it talked about equal citizenship, an idea this nation has already ­addressed with a previous referendum and full legal citizenship”.

THEY REALLY SAID THAT

“Roger, tonight you seemed like a gazelle out there on the court, would you describe your game as like a silky gazelle?” — Ron Burgundy, aka Will Ferrell, asked an extremely amused Roger Federer after his Australian Open first round win last night. “Maybe. Maybe not. Don’t they get eaten at the end?” Federer giggled in response, to which Ferrell deadpanned “not if they’re fast enough”.

READ ALL ABOUT IT

AFP issues 20 arrest warrants for terror suspects ($)

Banks cut savings interest rates over holiday season

Bitcoin tumbles as fears of cryptocurrency crackdown linger

Crinkling News to stop publication eight months after raising $210,000

‘Tens of thousands’ to join Australia Day activist WAR ($)

‘Weak and defective’: Judge warns against Malcolm Turnbull’s plan to adopt Victorian corruption model

WHAT’S ON TODAY

Adelaide: Nick Xenophon will campaign across the Murray Mallee region, including meetings with family-owned steel business Bow Hill Engineering, Chairman of Grain Producers SA Wade Dabinett to discuss genetically modified crops, and Southern Mallee Council.

Adelaide: Glenelg tour down under street party is expected to bring over 30,000 people to Jetty Road.

Sydney: Sydney Seaplanes will resume flight services more than a fortnight after a fatal crash involving one of its aircrafts in the Hawkesbury River.

America: Donald Trump is set to announce “fake news” awards fake news awards for “the most corrupt and biased of the mainstream media”.

THE COMMENTARIAT

Why the Aziz Ansari story matters —  Katy Hall (Daily Telegraph $): “In recounting their date, Grace called Ansari’s advances ‘aggressive’ and says the events that unfolded made her feel ‘violated.’ Ask Ansari though, and he claims the activities of the evening were ‘completely consensual.’ And it’s for this reason that Grace and Ansari’s story matters so much. It is a story that so many of us know.”

Wildlife in the fast lane: winners and losers in suburbiaDr Mark Eldridge (Sydney Morning Herald): “The appearance of a swamp wallaby so close to the heart of Australia’s largest city dramatically draws our attention to this species’ slow but steady spread through the bushy gullies, parks and gardens of Sydney’s northern suburbs over the past 10 to 15 years.”

CRIKEY QUICKIE: THE BEST OF YESTERDAY

Channel Seven’s Summer of Nazis raises national security fearsBernard Keane: “Seven’s ‘news’ report on Sunday, in which Cottrell was allowed to freely opine about the alleged ‘African gangs’ issue in Melbourne as a legitimate Neighbourhood Watch-style community group, prompted widespread condemnation and social media derision, with the hashtag #7summerofnazis trending heavily.”

Razer: seven times those hawks who called for civilian blood were totally adorableHelen Razer: “I’m a bit sick of this redemptive sin. Perhaps you too have tired of warmongers recast as lovable old folks on late-night TV. If it is the case that you have come to my outrageous conclusion — that the enemy of good is evil, not perfection — enjoy some light Trump-era relief in the popular BuzzFeed style: Seven Times Those Hawks Who Called For Civilian Blood Were Totally Adorable.”

Rundle: those Libs in a tizzy about China giving aid are gobsmackingly hypocriticalGuy Rundle: “Most like Fierravanti-Wells and others in the right believe this guff — that Western aid, which is heavy on services and marketisation, and low on infrastructure — is delivered in a spirit of generosity, while Chinese aid is done with a view to binding nations into its communist embrace.”

HOLD THE FRONT PAGE

Peter Fray

Save 50% on a year of Crikey and The Atlantic.

The US election is in a little over a month. It seems that there’s a ridiculous twist in the story, almost every day.

Luckily for new Crikey subscribers, we’ve teamed up with one of America’s best publications, The Atlantic for the election race. Subscribe now to make sense of it all, and you’ll get a year of Crikey (usually $199) and a year’s digital subscription to The Atlantic (usually $70AUD), BOTH for just $129.

Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey

JOIN NOW