Blatant Political Corruption, Right Under our Noses
Thank you, NBNCo, for inspiring me once again to write more content.
And that's where the thanks shall end. I'm amazed at the ability and patience of professional journalists who are able to maintain an even tone and impartiality whilst they write about an issue of totally indefensible corruption. I have no such patience, nor compunction to do so.
**** Bill Morrow, **** Malcolm Turnbull and **** the NBN rollout.
I've written before about how disgusting I find it that at a time where the government is stripping away penalty rates for the poorest 17% of our working class, they simultaneously decided to give a $1.2m bonus to a public servant who was already on a salary of $2.4m per year, despite being in charge of the most calamitous execution of a rollout program the world has ever seen.
I honestly can't express my hatred enough: **** Bill Morrow.
Add to that the public sentiments of him saying "The public wouldn't use broadband internet if we gave it away for free", "the board decides my salary" and "blame the ISP's for your slow NBN internet".
Man - **** Bill Morrow.
My own mother told me to edit back my original NBN article to avoid any potential legal issues - so I did. I won't again, because I don't generate enough traffic or interest for anyone to care, mostly, but also because I'm not saying anything that isn't readily available to read on whirlpool. So this is now at you, Bill.
Bill Morrow - you selfish, greedy, corrupted disgrace of a human being. I was at Vodafone when you took the reigns to arrest a flailing, failing merger with 3 whilst haemorrhaging customers during the 2011 Vodafail debacle. I was there when you took the reigns, immediately cancelled all Christmas parties at short notice when the staff morale was at an all time low and they needed it most, to the tune of a couple million dollars saved. I was there when you then decided to pay yourself almost the same amount as a bonus.
I was there when you personally sent out a company-wide email that notified us that you had conducted a survey for customers to see what they were most dissatisfied with, and wait time in stores was one of the highest reasons of customer dissatisfaction besides network coverage. I was there when you said, in the very same memo, that we would add additional steps in store that would actually increase wait times for every customer. I was there when you failed to make that connection, signifying that even then, your ear has failed to reach the ground from the comfort of your cushy chair in your penthouse executive office. I was there when you gave up on the idea of salvaging Vodafone and left them at their worst yet, after failing to have any positive impact whatsoever.
I was astonished at the decision to hire you as chief of the NBN, despite you somehow managing to leave Vodafone in a worse position than when Nigel left and you took over. I shouldn't have been - I know how nepotism works and your weasly connections to the top. I was amused at the irony of Tony Brown saying 'he has no obvious political connections. Hopefully he can be an honest broker above the fray'. I am thoroughly disgusted, yet not at all surprised that you have managed to completely f*** up the NBN rollout. I am embroiled in rage, yet totally expectant of you blaming everybody except yourself for horrendous volumes of NBN criticism currently directed at NBN Co. So far you have blamed labor, ISP's and customers themselves - yet you have not taken any responsibility on behalf of NBN Co at all. You even managed to get your way out of legal trouble through, no doubt, 'influence' from a hacking scandal in 2012, 3 months after you took over from Vodafone. Needless to say, I don't believe for a second your hands are really clean of that, now that we know your history and character.
Perhaps the greatest summary of what has happened under the Abbott government after you took over is from this article:
I wonder where the ex-Vodafone execs idea came from, Mr ex-Vodafone CEO?
LNP, Tony Abbott and Malcolm Turnbull: **** you too. You managed to turn an important national infrastructure upgrade into a political gambit, knowing full well the general public wasn't going to understand any of the technical aspects and appealed purely to the $$$$ in their eyes. You knew full well the costs of the project using ageing copper wires would mean maintenance costs infinitely more expensive than a one-off expense of Fibre. You knew full well that using yesterday's solutions for tomorrow's problems would mean Australia is technologically behind in an age of economic unrest where now the top 5 companies in the world are technology giants. You knew full well that the infrastructure was going to cost a hell of a lot more than the original FTTP plans anyway - you lied to the public, you reported on those lies, you won an election on those lies and now you've managed to keep the utter failure of the NBN relatively buried since.
You all have absconded responsibility, managing to continue to blame private enterprise and the opposite political party for all the shortcomings in the NBN. There is no legitimate evidence to back any of your claims up, yet you persevere still, as facts seem to have no place near politics or popular opinion these days.
You have had NBN whistleblowers' homes raided like it was Osama bin Laden's hovel, as opposed to addressing the information in the leaks. You have bought $800m worth of useless Optus HFC cable using taxpayer money, then declared it unfit for service, and managed to keep that quiet. You have publicly taken people off high speed HFC connections and stuck them on FTTN garbage connections for no feasible reason at all. You have added infinite complexity for everyone from Telco CEO's to retail ground staff and field technicians to actually provision NBN connections.
As anybody with the slightest technical knowledge of networks knew from the beginning, the FTTN model was never financially viable. The cost of the nodes, maintenance of the nodes, power to the street to power the nodes, the maintenance of ageing copper and complexity of multiple connection types and therefore multiple NTD types for different premises was always going to be more expensive. None of that was necessary with FTTP. That has now been proven to be correct many, many times over. Add to this the sheer volume of band-aid solutions and lack of communication between each party and the labor required to those issues and you have possibly the most inefficient business model that has ever existed. And the fault of this particular aspect, which overall is the reason the project is such a joke right now, is purely the fault of the coalition. Originally, the plan to simply replace copper with fibre was visionary and, as much as is possible when talking about large scale technological upgrades, relatively simple.
Worst of all - you don't attempt to justify any of this, or proceed with any transparency whatsoever. You're like the modern day Illuminati, only using taxpayer dollars and private jets to fund your fat exec bonuses. Using high-level corporate connections to quell media empires so the general public hear very little. In fact, Mr Morrow, you hilariously claim that so many of the issues are simply 'teething' issues and that retailers expectations being set are too high. Really? It's been 10 years Bill, and the technology being used is obsolete. How long are teething issues expected to occur? There's no doubt pressure to get this as completed as possible by the next election in order to shout 'hooray we've reached nearly 100% of premises earlier than expected'. Never mind the cost has gone from $29.5b (LNP quote for 2013 election) to $49b so far, is disgustingly inadequate and the rollout itself has been almost criminally incompetent.
For anybody who wants to read more into this or thinks that my opinions expressed in this piece aren't largely grounded in fact, I implore you to read in full, as I have, the following articles (especially the first two):
No witty end to this highly opinionated (but correct) rant. I really, really hope a governing body that oversees fair market operations steps in here soon. I wouldn't hate Bill Morrow being hit by a bus tomorrow either.