Dear Mr Turnbull,
I write this letter out of frustration & disappointment in your current discourse regarding the state & future of Australian telecommunications. I have been working in IT for almost 20 years & have been supportive of any positive change to Australia’s ailing copper network. Over the past few years you have done nothing but attempt to sabotage the largest infrastructure project Australia (maybe even the world) has ever seen, all for political gain while not considering the consequences of your actions.
After watching the speech you gave atÂ Woodford Folk Festival I feel that your hypocrisy has gone too far.
You speak of truth in politics, ofÂ ‘one-line sound bites’, of the need for fact checking, yet you have spent the last year lying, using one-line sound bites, & denouncing those fact checkers you demand. When presented with evidence you are dismissive at best, downright ignorant at worst. When asked for your broadband policy documents, you refuse to hand them over to anyone. When asked for evidence to back up your claims, you attack the National Broadband Network.
I now have no doubt that not only do you not have any broadband policy, but you are actively deceiving Australians to help your leader, Tony Abbott, become Prime Minister. In some ways, this is far worse than being Tony Abbott himself. You know the destruction he has already caused, yet you still support him. You claim that you should learn from failure, yet you haven’t learnt from the failure that is the Coalition’s views on Australian communications infrastructure. In 2006 the then Howard government refused to invest in Telstra’s plan to install FTTN, yet now there is value in it when it is already out of date. Helen Coonan, like yourself, argued against upgrading Australia’s infrastructure with the same lines that you use (the technology will be superseded, it will cost too much, etc) while services outside major centres deteriorated.
The sound bites, the FUD, & the general arrogance that you know better than IT professionals needs to stop. You will never garner support those who rely on technology while you use glib lines like “an alternative technology or another way of leveraging existing technologies might come along and render this huge and supposedly ‘futureproof’ investment obsolete” (while investing in France Telecom), in fact, the opposite is the case. Many of us have worked in IT since before you became an MP, we have seen technology change, & we know more about the networks than you do. We understand that you ran OzEmail, which, to be honest, was a bit of a joke back in the 90’s, & no doubt while running OzEmail you relied heavily on technical experts to make decisions.
I ask only that you listen to technology experts, not your leader, for guidance on what the best fit for upgrading Australia’s infrastructure. The same sentiment you used to garner applause at Woodford Folk Festival should be used to guide you through 2013. Admit you don’t have a plan, admit that your previous rhetoric was baseless & designed to sabotage one of the biggest investments in Australia’s future.
I do hope you read this & realise that the best way to help the country is to support projects that will grow the economy, have a return on investment, & deliver parity of service to all Australians.
UPDATE: Malcolm Turnbull responded with this:
@sortius you would be more convincing if you itemised the statements of mine relevant to the FTTP/N qn you claim to be factually incorrect.
— Malcolm Turnbull (@TurnbullMalcolm) January 10, 2013