Vaccination Part 2 – Commercial Motives in Science and Medicine

This is a follow up blog to this one I wrote about a week ago before I headed off on a five day Rite of Passage with my Stepson:

https://uraonconsciousgovernance.wordpress.com/2015/04/13/a-call-for-pro-truth-to-replace-pro-vax-v-anti-vax/

I came home last night to find that the blog has had north of 18,000 visitors, and a few comments asking for more support for some of the statements I made in the original blog. I am happy to provide more information, but have a life and will not spend days in a comment string debating with individual commenters, and especially not on a blog that has drawn so much attention.

What I am happy to do is blog about the essence of where the comments were coming from.

Blog definition

Before I address specific issues though I want to say this is a blog. It is not a submission to a peer reviewed journal like Science or Nature.

A blog by definition as per Merriam-Webster is:
‘A Web site on which someone writes about personal opinions, activities, and experiences.’

The blogs do contain opinion, judgements, and conclusions reached by me. That said I am a person of 53 years life experience and 34 of business experience.

Not everything in a blog needs to be referenced to someone else’s research. When one has deep experience, in the context of a blog its OK to come to a conclusion based on one’s own experience.

My expertise and experience

There was some questioning of my expertise to comment on the issue of vaccination, a fair question.

I did state in the original blog:

“It is a subject to which I bring quite deep industry experience having worked as a senior commercial executive in medical science for 12 years and in other sciences for another three. I’ve been involved in TGA and FDA approval processes, clinical trials, medical manufacture, medical product R&D, and in commercial relationships with universities.”

I don’t profess to be a vaccine expert, but I do bring very valuable insight to the issue as someone who has variously been a CFO, COO, and VP for Point of Care Diagnostics and intimately understands the business of medicine and science. For 15 years I have been in the board rooms of the companies I worked for as every significant strategic decision was made, including how markets are penetrated and how the companies should go about changing medical practice to create product adoption.

Not all questions are answered by science itself. There are other forces in the world, and an understanding of how commercial drivers influence, the practice of medicine, public policy, and politics is essential if you are to truly understand how the whole system functions.

As to science, having worked with scientists and engineers, PhDs, MScs and more, I have necessarily acquired quite a deep understanding of science, the scientific method, and issues that are vital to understanding scientific studies and applicability of science through issues like Outliers, Sensitivity and Specificity. It doesn’t make me a scientist, but it gives me plenty of understanding to be able to debate conclusions, strategy around science, and the limitations of science.

A point I do want to make is that unlike many people on Social Media, all of my social media activity I undertake under my own name, backing myself and my professional reputation.

The rare commodity of Science untainted by commercial drivers

There was some questioning of two of my conclusions, as follows:

  • “One of the key things to know about science today is that there is increasingly less and less science that is untainted by commercial drivers.”
  • “Even absent specific studies, most University Professors have consulting contracts with commercial parties, from which they personally benefit,”

These are my own conclusions based on quite extensive personal experience, and I am happy to share the basis of those conclusions.

grant_money

I have been involved in upwards of 200 Scientific Studies with multi-party funding and with a vast majority drawing public money such as Australian Research Council grants, NHMRC grants, Cooperative Research Centre funds, Centre of Excellence funds. I am struggling to recall more than a couple which had no commercial party contracted as a participant. Most competitive grant criteria today encourage the securing of commercial parties, because the government want to encourage the translation of research into commercial outcomes and hence economic activity.

Commercial parties can participate in university, CRC or CoE research in a number of ways. Sometimes they are members of a CRC or CoE, sometimes they contribute cash to projects, and sometimes they make ‘in-kind contributions’. In kind contributions are the provision of resources the company was already paying for to a project, like some time from an expert staff member, use of laboratories, equipment or infrastructure.

There are always contracts that govern the projects, and in return for their contributions the companies get commercial rights and often rights to provide representation to Project Advisory Committees. This gives the commercial parties a voice in all the things a PAC oversees including study design and how to deal with grey areas in study results like outliers. How much a commercial party can influence a study result away from where it might have landed absent their presence depends primarily on the strength of character of the people on the PAC and the Project Leaders and Principal Investigators, and to a degree the proportion of the budget funded by the commercial party.

University Commercialisation Offices

A fact of life in the modern university is the University Commercialisation Office.

I have dealt with most of the universities in Australia and can vouch that all of them I dealt with had an Office of Commercialisation. Universities are very much businesses today, an education business and a research commercialisation business.

From what I have seen of Universities, and from discussion with the many professors I have dealt with across the universities I dealt with most of those professors decried the lack of pure research funds available from the university to fund research.

The Professors with significant research portfolios source most of their funds externally, and are then subject to the encouragement by the funders to bring commercial parties, and by the University Office of Commercialisation to create royalty streams on research.

The other factor at play is that the Universities achieve another of their objectives via Offices of Commercialisation. Universities achieve public standing and reputation through having prolific researchers as Professors and through high profile publications. In a world of globalised commercialisation Professors can easily be attracted away from the university by offers to join companies where their skills will create great value. The way the universities retain them is by allowing them to participate in arrangements with commercial partners, by way of royalty sharing or consulting. This allows the universities to hold prolific researchers while not funding all of their earnings through off-loading some of that cost onto commercial partners. I can speak of the existence of these contracts as I have negotiated many of them.

Whether ‘most’ was the right word for how many Professors in researching faculties consult or benefit commercially we can debate. By the definition ‘almost all’ perhaps not, by the definition of ‘the majority’ (i.e. greater than 50%), I would say “absolutely and plus some” based on my extensive experience with universities and commercialisation.

Of the Professors I worked with I have high regard for almost all of them. There is only one from a US based university that left a bad taste in my mouth who was all about ego and what was in it for them. I don’t suggest that all science should be ignored because of commercial relationships, but I do very strongly argue that it is a factor and I know many good researchers that argue it is a concern to them.

The real concern is the scale of the numbers when you get to the top end of town. I worked in relatively small companies where the values at stake were not big enough for people to compromise themselves seriously. When we start to talk global companies with billions at stake and CEOs and executives with multi-million dollar bonuses or share and option packages riding on outcomes and big budgets to allocate to creating outcomes it becomes critically important to understand the potential for tainting of science by undue pressure.

In Summary

In my experience, most commercial people are loathe to publicly discuss commercial motives. I am more than a little bit different. Despite a financial background my greatest drivers have always been values and people, which is something anyone close to me in my career would affirm loudly.

My passion now in life is bringing greater consciousness to business, which is something I now do in my work as a Business Coach, mixing good business outcomes for businesses with good outcomes for the communities they exist to serve and the community that constitutes their workforce.

I find myself very concerned by the level of influence of ‘Too Big To Fail’ global corporations on the political process. They make donations to both side of politics and control the game no matter who is in office, and the donations are a pittance against the tax they avoid through global tax structuring, and the politicians are heavily influenced by them. Anyone who doesn’t see that is not paying attention. For a clear example look at the rampaging fracking industry which should never have got out of the gate on public safety and environmental grounds, and yet is expanding at a staggering rate.

What I bring to the debate is analysis and conclusions on this highly emotive subject based in deep experience of the business of medicine, and a lot of life experience that has brought me to a place of seeing the futility of choosing sides and pushing positions.

I respect people who elect to vaccinate unilaterally or selectively. I respect people who choose not to vaccinate. My issue is with people who portray the issue as black and white, and who regurgitate propaganda. Further my issue is with public policy being driven by propaganda campaigns initiated by a media empire with motives worthy of investigation, and a Prime Minister who announces the policy with the title of the media campaign.

Ura P Auckland
Social Entrepreneur and Business Coach
Managing Director
Authegrity Pty Ltd

A call for Pro-truth to replace Pro-Vax v Anti-Vax

Viral Vaccination Post

I shared some thoughts on Facebook last night and had my first taste after years as an active social media user of ‘going viral’. As I write there have been 1,463 shares and 1310 likes.

The subject was vaccination. It can be a viral subject, but it can be very ugly too, generally with discussion strings getting quite insulting and with most participants either pro-vax, or anti-vax and with the people in between keeping out of the line of fire.

NoJab

My Vaccination Position : Pro-Truth

My position on vaccination is pro-data, and pro-truth.

Vaccination is not an issue that is purely black or white.

The subject in my experience get lots of misinformation pumped in from both sides of the argument.

It is a subject to which I bring quite deep industry experience having worked as a senior commercial executive in medical science for 12 years and in other sciences for another three. I’ve been involved in TGA and FDA approval processes, clinical trials, medical manufacture, medical product R&D, and in commercial relationships with universities.

I am in favour of vaccines for certain diseases, and where the vaccine product has been well designed, and has good safety profiles.

Epidemiology is an absolutely essential field and some management of the risk of epidemics is not only responsible, but an essential function of public health. Humankind has made the progress it has in eradicating many diseases because of the science of epidemiology.

The key point here is science.

One of the key things to know about science today is that there is increasingly less and less science that is untainted by commercial drivers. In fact our governments encourage the presence of commercial participants and funders in most forms of science grants as a demonstration that the science can develop commercial outcomes which are generally presumed to be ‘good for business’ and therefore the economy. The trouble is, commercial participants generally want to influence study design and the way the studies or trials are reviewed and analysed. Even good science is grey and there are always issues of outliers, specificity, and sensitivity and with commercial parties at the table they do have an influence in how these are dealt with.

Even absent specific studies, most University Professors have consulting contracts with commercial parties, from which they personally benefit, and this can have an effect anywhere from emotional commitment through to (in rare circumstances) fraud for personal gain. My feeling is most university professors strive for the high ground, but with a commercial party at the table there will always be an influence and then the reader doesn’t know what they don’t know about how much the study has been impacted.

It is an absolute fact that you can’t say every vaccine is both safe and well designed to be effective.

The Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting systems exist because side effects are an unavoidable part of injecting products into a diverse population of individuals. Furthermore they have to deal with the fact that the agents injected travel all through the body, and absent clever nano-delivery mechanisms can’t just go where they need to in order to achieve the desired result and stay out of all of the other bodily systems. If you are in doubt about the reality of side effects in medicine read a package insert in a drug or vaccine packet.

Through an old colleague I came to know a number of people in the HPV (Human Papaloma Virus) world. My old colleague is a scientist who took the CEO/Business path and counts as friends many of the HPV opinion leaders in the US. He will not have his daughter immunised for HPV because he believes it is poorly designed because it doesn’t address all the species of HPV. That omission changes the landscape for infection, but does not eradicate the disease and his position is that doing so is irresponsible and creates a false sense of safety in the patient, and in turn a complacency about managing ongoing risks in a disease that needs monitoring. People may disagree with his position, but it is one based on his reading of the complexity of the issue and is an example that it is not black and white, and that not all objectors are ill-informed.

The problem is now the journey the whole vaccination issue has taken. It began with more people making the conscious decision not to have their children or sometimes themselves vaccinated.  The Pro-Vax lobby argue this was all driven by the Andrew Wakefield study (a study withdrawn by the Publisher over which there are now doubts) tying vaccination and autism together, and there is no doubt that was a big part of the trend.  That said, it’s discrediting does not remove the issue that side effects are a real issue as outlined above and people have good reason to pause and consider vaccination decisions. The issue is the anti-vax trend attracted some people that made it black and white and painted all vaccines as bad. This aligned the interests of the now worried Public Health Officials charged with managing Epidemiology and those of the Vaccine companies worried about loss of revenues.

Murdoch Media No Jab No Play and No Jab No Pay Campaigns

This brings me to ‘No Jab No Play’ and No Jab No Pay’.

The No Jab No Play campaign was initiated by the Murdoch Daily Telegraph. Yes, a newspaper whose function I understand to be reporting news, not initiating campaigns.

http://www.news.com.au/national/no-jab-no-play-campaign-launched-to-ban-unvaccinated-kids-from-childcare-centres-and-preschools/story-fncynjr2-1226635256015

James Murdoch was a Director of Glaxo Smith Kline one of the largest vaccine manufacturers in the world. He decided not to stand for re-election as a Director in 2012, that’s the public story.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/27/james-murdoch-glaxosmithkline-board_n_1236256.html

One could wonder why a drug and vaccine company needed the skills of a media expert on its board. Clearly they have felt threatened by the trend of more people questioning vaccines.

By 2012 my assessment is that GSK and the industry’s media strategy had been born, now it would serve GSK better if Murdoch was not tied to them, ‘Plausible Deniability’ they call it in the game.

The mood has definitely altered on the issue in Australia and there is now a vehement element of the public who have taken as granted the Murdoch Campaign’s one sided painting of vaccines as free from risk and the only responsible decision for every disease for every person.

The Murdochs were successful in having NSW State Law passed on the strength of supposed public support that had to a large degree been manufactured by the Murdoch Press for ‘No Jab No Play’. Under this law children could not be enrolled in Preschools if they had not been vaccinated.

Now our Prime Minister Tony Abbott has announced a policy that parents receiving social security benefits for their children will only receive it if their children have been vaccinated in accordance with the recommended public health recommendations (‘No Jab No Pay’).

Movement into mandating vaccination and taking away parental rights to make a decision considering the welfare of their child is a worrying step. Vaccination is not black and white and parents do have the right to weigh up evidence. Its not only a right it’s a responsibility, because not all vaccines are good products and vaccine approvals focus mainly on safety profiles, and set relatively low bars for issues like product efficacy. HPV is the perfect case in point, as I outlined above.

Our Prime Minister has delivered to the Murdoch campaign and to the Vaccine companies a windfall revenue outcome by creating a massive financial incentive for a significant part of the population to comply with policy.

Those in the GSK and other Vaccine company boardrooms will be congratulating themselves and without question increasing forecasted revenues.

Public Policy

From the reactions to my Facebook post today, there are a lot of people who value a voice that recognises vaccinations is not a black and white issue.

It should be driven by careful consideration of good untainted science, and we need more of that rare commodity.

Public Policy is not something that should be driven by Drug Company and Newspaper PR campaigns. Very few people have joined the dots between the Daily Telegraph campaign, the Murdochs, and GSK and the Industry.

This whole situation has been an over-reaction to an over-reaction and its time we as people all came to the middle ground and demanded good policy of our leaders and public health officials, in place of propaganda.

The emerging culture with the government and drug companies over-reacting has been to come (at least publicly) from a place of denial sweeping the genuine issues under the carpet. There are already too many strong commercial drivers that create that behaviour, we don’t need it from our regulators. We need a commitment to analyse side effects properly and to drive the creation of safer and more efficacious products.

Join me in the middle ground and look for the truth, not propaganda or anti-propaganda from one side or the other.

The Value of a Rational Voice

The biggest take home message for me today was how much people valued hearing a rational voice coming from a middle ground.

For those interested in the issue I can tell you that people are tired of the debates being wars. Every share in essence was applauding the taking of a balanced position.

In listening to the arguments and concerns of both sides, I was heard by both sides and I saw movement in the positions of people on both sides. There was almost no flaming or debates on my post or those I saw on other’s shares.

To my eyes there is a lesson in that for those who seek to have influence in the world.

People feel truth and sincerity, and there is a trust built when we show a commitment to truth no matter how it falls.  When we have dug ourselves into a foxhole defending a philosophical position, we engender suspicion more than trust. At an intuitive level most people know these issues are not black and white.

Ura P Auckland
Social Entrepreneur and Business Coach
Managing Director
Authegrity Pty Ltd

The Coalition NBN Policy – Stage 2 The Renegotiations

I am writing this blog to address the misinformation, the unsaid, and the blind spots in the public debate on the NBN.

The NBN has become a heavy political issue. My own politics are to support politicians of substance and courage who truly act for the people. There are more of these types of politicians found among the Greens and as independents, and I find both major parties to be dominated by policies that serve their benefactors.

There has been much criticism by the Coalition of Labor’s NBN. Some of the criticism is probably fair, while some of it has been making issues of non-issues like the asbestos in Telstra’s pits which has always been Tesltra’s problem and is not news and not of NBN Co’s doing.

Much of the criticism is coming from Rupert Murdoch’s New Corporation empire, and there is good reason to look at why that might be.

05-rupert-murdoch

The Current Labor NBN

The Labor NBN was designed as a network that in most metropolitan and major regional areas would bring Fibre To The Premises (FTTP). It began life with the following options for customers:

  • ·         100 Mbps Download       40 Mbps Upload
  • ·           50 Mbps Download       20 Mbps Upload
  • ·           25 Mbps Download         5 Mbps Upload
  • ·           12 Mbps Download         1 Mbps Upload

The Labor NBN capital budget as currently being executed by NBN Co is $37.4Billion. A funny thing happened though on the 9th April 2013 when the coalition announced their NBN Fibre to the Node Policy for which he claimed speeds of 25 to 50 Mbps from the node to the premise using VDSL. Malcolm Turnbull began to compare the Coalition NBN speeds to the Labor proposals and noted that on affordability most people would subscribe for the 25Mbps option under Labor and thus would experience no difference.

Sleight of Hand

Both parties here are guilty of sleight of hand:

  • Labor were guilty of ‘hold back’ in offering 100Mbps as their top offer. I speak from personal experience, having been a CFO for a medical device company, in saying that electronics manufacturing costs for Fibre Modems designed to operate at different speeds would be almost identical between a 100Mbps device and a 1,000 Mbps device. Cost differences consumers experience in shops are in the main artificial and determined by marketers who charge more money for perceived value which need not have any relation to cost. The only valid cost drivers are Intellectual Property and alternate technologies. For a country the size of Australia 1,000 Mbps should have been set as a minimum spec (it is in Googles Fibre roll out in the US). The actual fibre is capable of speeds that universities are experimenting with of up to 10,000,000,000,000 Mbps and it is only the device on either end of the fibre that controls the speed.
  • The Coalition were well aware that Fibre ultimately will deliver many times the speed of the Coalition NBN and that the Coalition NBN offers no upload guarantee (which I will come back to), however Labor created that opportunity through a market offering that was holding too much back for the future for artificial marketing reasons.

Labor NBN Speed Lift

So 10 days after the announcement of the Coalition NBN on April 19th 2013 the NBN Co announced that from December 2013, it would add higher speed offerings to its range of:

  • 1,000 Mbps Download   400 Mbps Upload
  •    500 Mbps Download    200 Mbps Upload
  •    250 Mbps Download    100 Mbps Upload

Now the public could get a glimpse into the true potential of the NBN and would not be fooled by sleight of hand comparisons claiming close to equivalence.

Funnily enough Labor did for a time plan a 1,000 Mbps service as announced in August 2010.

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/taxpayers-to-pay-no-more-for-nbn-with-even-faster-download-speeds-labor/story-fn59niix-1225904313190

Somewhere between 2010 and 2013 they pulled back from offering better than 100 Mbps to the public at this stage of the NBN rollout.

Coalition FTTN NBN

So let’s look at the Coalition NBN policy in some detail.

The Coalition NBN takes Fibre To The Node (FTTN). From there the Coalition propose to instruct NBN Co to provide a solution that uses the existing copper lines from the Nodes every few blocks in to the premises in the area covered by that node. The Coalition have proposed that NBN Co offer a minimum download speed of 25 Mbps to 100 Mbps by the end of 2016, and 50 Mbps to 100 Mbps by the end of 2019 when the rollout would be planned for completion.

The Coalition claim a budget for their NBN of $29 Billion.

The core technology that has been discussed for use from the node to the premises is VDSL. There are all kinds of VDSL options, and it is true that some are delivering speeds up to the speeds targeted by the Coalition.

Sadly VDSL like any DSL based technology using copper wires gets much slower when it is travelling more than about 800 metres from the node, unlike Fibre. DSL technologies are also subject to a variety of factors that can impede speed and in a copper network at the end of its life many of those factors are likely to be present. Some can be rain affected, and I have been a victim of that frustrating situation in a business paying a premium for a BDSL service on copper.

Most of Australia gets its internet on ADSL or ADSL2/2+ today. Any user of this technology can tell you that the variability in speed is huge. We wont know how variable it would continue to be when matched with a cable service at the node, but there is good reason to be sceptical about claims of achieving a minimum 25 Mbps and particularly at peak times. It is easy for the Coalition to posit an untested demand upon NBN Co to deliver a minimum 25Mbps for a budget of $29 Billion, but we have no idea what can actually be delivered and how much NBN Co will have to over-engineer a solution on copper to make it viable and reliable.

Upload Speeds

A massive issue with the Coalition NBN plan is that they are studiously avoiding any mention of upload speeds. Download speeds are important for downloading content from the internet, such as movies, music, and youtube clips.

Upload speeds are tested by the sending of data heavy content up to the internet. For Video Bloggers who publish video content and then need to upload it to Youtube using current technology can take hours. That is an issue of significant inconvenience and inefficiency.

More importantly though is Australia’s ability to interact with the world using technologies like Skype. As an executive doing business in international companies and often skyping at all hours of the day including the wee hours of the morning, and late at night from a home office the ability to join a teleconference or video conference is important.

For a teleconference the sound and video you generate from your PC needs to be uploaded to the internet to send to the other parties. For even a voice call to be practical and not to descend into a farce as they so often do when involving Australians a good reliable upload channel is necessary, for video even more so. You don’t need the 400 Mbps that NBN Co can now offer under labor as an upload speed for Skype, in fact the 5Mbps upload speed in Labor’s 25Mbps download package if consistently delivered will handle it with ease.

The Reality of Family Demands on a Household Internet Connection

As anyone knows who has attempted Skype Sound or Video Calls, the key to effectiveness is consistency.

The reality in every family household nowdays is something like this:

  • One or two adults doing: some extra work from home, Facebooking, Youtubing, or watching movies.
  • Two to three children: Gaming (which also sends data back up the pipe), Youtube (very possibly uploading very heavy video content in uncompressed formats), and Facebooking (again often uploading content), or watching movies

If anyone in that typical household is trying to conduct a Skype video call on a Coalition NBN they will fail to get reliable video, so will switch off video. Chances are they may also get breakups on the voice signal and particularly their’s to the other party.

The Labor NBN at the 25/5 level gives a service that would be adequate for the typical family. If Skype Video Calls were a regular part of either adult’s life, the 250/100 service would provide a service more than adequate for the family as a whole.

The Coalition’s proposal just does not cut it in the family scenario, and particularly given no minimum upload speed, and even more so where multiple people are uploading at once.

Content Creation

We live in a world where the internet puts the ability to interact with the world in the hands of the individual. No longer is it just publishers and broadcasters who create content. Individuals create content and it is often very heavy content by volume of data.

Furthermore ‘The Cloud’ is now becoming the standard for where both business and individuals store their data, their systems, and their multimedia. Storing it in the cloud also means uploading it to the cloud simply and efficiently.

The reality is that the Labor NBN is giving Australians the tools we need as a country physically remote from the rest of the world to compete, to deliver, and to innovate.

The Coalition NBN restricts us, keeps us even from meeting today’s demands, and makes our nation an embarrassment among developed countries with no reliable upload solution.

Rupert Murdoch, News Corporation & Foxtel

I have been among those who look at Rupert Murdoch’s actions and his interests and see him using his newspapers and influence to attack the Labor NBN, and conclude that his position is a commercial one. I look at the Coalition policy and I see one that is far more favourable to Murdoch’s interests in Foxtel.

Here are some undeniable facts:

  • Murdoch’s papers have been extremely critical of the Labor NBN to the point of bias.
  • Murdoch’s papers have shown undisguised extreme bias against Kevin Rudd
  • Murdoch’s papers have been strongly pro-Abbott and the Coalition while much of the country wonder how Abbott can be offered as a Prime Minister candidate and his personal approval rating is negative.
  • Murdoch (a US Citizen) has taken such a strong interest in influencing the Australian Federal Election that he has personally dispatched Col Allan, a man known throughout News Corp as a flamethrower to “provide extra editorial leadership” just as the election campaign starts in earnest.

Murdoch clearly wants a coalition government and the Coalition NBN policy.

Since reports in Social Media and then the Sydney Morning Herald have called Murdoch on his bias in his papers and drawn links to his commercial interests in the sector through Foxtel, Murdoch and the Coalition have argued that Foxtel is actually better off with the Labor NBN, because the Coalition NBN will supposedly deliver an NBN that can expand access to Foxtel Content sooner. It was a clever response, but it actually draws the eye away from Murdoch’s real interests.

The Coalition ideology is that the government has no place getting involved in commerce. It’s the same ideology behind the sell-off and privatisation of so many government services and assets and through the insertion of the profit motive has resulted in increased costs for consumers. A ‘for profit’ entity will try and maximise sales. They may drive costs down harder than government, but that in no way is guaranteed to flow through to the consumer.

The ideology says that competition is what keeps the commercial participants honest. That may once have been true, but that is not a truth in many sectors with the dominance of global players like News Corporation, Microsoft, Apple, and many more who have the resources to buy anything that gets in their way.

Murdoch’s track record is one of an acquisitive strategist. He is a wily fox, and it is ironic that the Fox network was one named before he acquired it but which is so fitting for his personal style. Murdoch’s record is of domination and achievement of monopolistic or duopolistic positions. He had achieved that with Foxtel in Australia.

Murdoch’s problem with the Labor NBN is that the Labor government took the time to create through NBN Co a very fulsome product offering that genuinely opens up every Australian household to better access to content, and which gives far more players than the usual two in a duopoly access to becoming a player in creating offerings to the public.

The extent to which NBN Co has paved the way for Foxtel’s competitors is very well articulated in the NBN Co’s presentation here.

http://www.nbnco.com.au/assets/documents/the-changing-landscape-of-media-and-multicast.pdf

With their multicast facility NBN Co are providing first class dedicated infrastructure to Foxtel’s IPTV competitors which makes it dramatically easier for them to compete. Until now IPTV competition has generally been delivered on PCs and has not been well integrated into the lounge room. NBN Co makes it plain that their ‘Multicast’ product will bring that integration, and the kind of assured quality that only a purpose designed product delivered by Fibre can assure.

How the Coalition NBN Policy Affects Murdoch

The Coalition NBN Policy creates a vacuum. The Coalition NBN is built to the Node and then relies on the decades old copper that Telstra described some years ago as being “five minutes to midnight” to carry the signal from the node to the premises.

I believe the flaws in that solution have been clearly articulated above.

The Coalition have articulated that there will be those who will need or want fibre to the premises and they have indicated if you want it you can pay the capital cost of the connection.

What has not been discussed properly is that the Coalition are reopening negotiations with Telstra and Foxtel and Optus around Telstra’s Copper and  the uses allowed on the Foxtel & Optus Hybrid Fibre Coaxial (HFC) networks.

When you combine the renegotiation opportunities with the vacuum created by the removal of Labor’s Fibre to the Premises this where Murdoch’s real interest lies. Murdoch is a deal doer, a strategist, and will use the Coalition’s reopening of the whole realm for renegotiation to position Foxtel as a major player in content and fibre delivery.

Murdoch, Abbott, and Turnbull may well be able to put their hands on their hearts and say they have not discussed Foxtel’s interest in the NBN. For people in these position’s plausible deniability is important. What I would lay money has been discussed is Murdoch’s dislike for government’s role in the market, and a call for the Coalition to get out of the way and let the commercial interests negotiate a market solution.

Murdoch knows he has the capital, the influence and the organisational capability to resecure a dominant position for Foxtel once the Coalition sets the ball rolling on an FTTN NBN and with the opportunity to renegotiate the environment.

A further point worth watching is Murdoch’s Connection on the inside at NBN Co. The recently appointed Non-Executive Chair of the NBN Co Board is Ms Siobhan McKenna who is Managing Partner and Director of Illyria Pty Ltd Lachlan Murdoch’s media investment company. Ms McKenna had been a Non-Executive Director for NBN Co since 5th August 2009. Lachlan Murdoch now days it seems, to some degree runs his own race separate from his father though he is on the board of News Corporation. I draw no conclusions about the connection, but it is one worth noting and especially now Ms McKenna is Chair of NBN Co.

Which NBN Does Australia Want?

It is interesting to look at the Google Fibre solution in the US. Google are offering only one core speed offering 1,000 Mbps up and down. As a side offer Google have one artificially restricted product which after a $300 installation fee is free and offers 5 MBPS download and 1 MBPS upload.

For $70 per month core Google Fibre users get  1,000 Mbps service and 1 Terabyte of storage in the Cloud. For another $50 they also get a 200 HD Channel TV package with Netflix On Demand content.

It is unfortunate that Labor did not recognise that creating ‘the appearance’ of constraints on the NBN was unnecessary. Fibre has so much potential now and in the future, and to put in place equipment that artificially constrains most users to less than 10% of the real capacity today is such a shame.

Google is showing the world Conscious business culture. When there are no physical barriers, we should stop designing them in to create marketing tiers that have little relationship to cost of delivery.

Labor in Australia at least had a vision of a future with fibre in every home. Anyone making pronouncements, like Tony Abbott has, that any more than 25 Mbps is unnecessary does not understand our changing world or technology. Labor at least have had the foresight to see that Internet access with high speed download and upload is essential to our future and has created a model by which it will be delivered in a way that keeps interests like Murdoch from getting commercial control in a monopoly or duopoly.

The Coalition offer you a different kind of NBN. They well understand that the VDSL from the node in reality is not going to cut it. Their real intention is to let Murdoch, Telstra and Optus battle it out and cut new commercial arrangements to fill the vacuum the Coalition propose to create between the node and the premises. Its hard to predict an outcome from the outside looking in, except that Rupert Murdoch will be very clear where he wants to end up, and it wont be as a bit player among many competitors. That’s never been his style.

My vote will go to the Greens who support the continuation of the NBN Co’s current policy.

Ura P Auckland
Company Director, Corporate Advisor
Advocate for Conscious Governance & Conscious Business Culture
GAICD, FCPA
www.authegrity.com

Searching for truth amid the lies and avoiding the derogatory label ‘Conspiracy Theorist’

INSTITUTIONAL LIES & MANIPULATION

Have you ever seen evidence of lies or manipulations from a politician, people in government, or covert government agencies? Well, there are a great many on public record. Here are a few:

In the case of Watergate two ‘real journalists’ in Woodward & Bernstein brought the story to the people. Sadly the mainstream media now very rarely exhibits real journalism or a search for truth. However the world’s people through the internet and social media have found ways to share information on a massive scale. In this environment the people are more and more calling the government and corporations on their spin, lies and manipulation.

It is reaching a stage where large parts of the population are now more informed and where their consciousness in exactly the way Malcolm Gladwell describes in his book ‘Blink’, can spot the lies intuitively and they start digging for the inevitable inconsistencies in the ‘official story’.

Orwell on Political Language
Those who ‘spin for a living’ don’t like this trend. So they use a term to describe those who can spot their lies. The term is ‘Conspiracy Theorist’. And they use a related term to label any challenges to ‘official stories’. That term is ‘Conspiracy Theory’.

The connotation is a negative one, and the terms have almost invariably been used to paint pictures of paranoid delusional agoraphobic crazy people, who think everyone is out to get them.

Sadly there are parts of the community who are over-zealous in the extent to which they imply actions by those who create the spin, and sometimes their over-zealousness goes way too far. In this over-zealousness they have done those who create the spin a huge service because it has made it very easy to create the stereotype and have people believe in it.

Thus the conscious people who see through the lies in the spin find themselves reluctant to do anything that might get them labelled as a ‘Conspiracy-Nutter’.

I awoke this morning to see a link on Facebook to a NY Times article on some research into ‘Why Rational People Buy Into Conspiracy Theories’.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/26/magazine/why-rational-people-buy-into-conspiracy-theories.html?smid=tw-share&_r=0

Like much mainstream media material the article clearly argues a slant and starts with the premise that conspiracy theories are ‘crazy’. It then offers all kinds of psychological analysis to understand why rational people believe in conspiracy theories.

I’d like to add another reason. Because there are still too many people in public office who lie, and to a conscious person who understands that, it stands out a mile away.

A SEARCH FOR TRUTH

For those who have recognised that lies are being used to manipulate us, it is easy to become so passionate about defeating the lies, that we ‘take a position’.

The effect of ‘taking a position’ is that our argument gets put in a box and labelled. Sometimes as a conspiracy theorist, and sometimes as an ‘anti-xxxxx person’.

When we become known for delivering credible research, verifiable facts, and taking a balanced position, people listen. Its about credibility.

Many people have forgotten or were never trained in critical thinking skills. I know people who believe everything they read in the mainstream newspapers including the most blatantly biased regurgitated media releases of vested interests.

When we demonstrate critical thinking skills, when we are careful with the materials we share to ensure they have the credibility we wish to have ourselves, then we stand out, we awaken questioning of the lies in others, and we remain a credible and trusted source that is listened to, not dismissed.

COMING FROM THE HEART

The other element of building credibility in the spreading of truth is to come from a place of heart.

It is easy to get angry over being lied to or manipulated. But our best work as writers does not come from a place of anger. Anger will say whatever it needs to in order to feel better. The ‘writing piece’ from that place serves the anger, but does not reach the reader.

I have learned that my best writing comes from a place of calm, a place of heart, where I am reflective, and where I am coming from a place of stepping outside of the problem. From this place I see more clearly, I find deeper wisdom, I can step outside the illusion that the creators of spin have generated as a distraction, and see the real issues over which there can be no debate, which is why the spin doctors were seeking to avoid them.

What serves all of humanity is conscious conversations searching for truth and truly facing the issues in this world that need attention. Illusion has no place in a world serious about addressing its problems.

Ura P Auckland
Conscious Commerce & Conscious Governance
Advocate & Advisor
www.authegrity.com
Related blog : 'Ure on life and soul'

Ayurveda a wise, ancient and very conscious science

Over the last several years I had the good fortune to be exposed to the wise and ancient science of Ayurveda through my former partner studying to become an Ayuveda Practitioner. As well as regular downloads on what she was learning, and the experience of living an Ayurveda lifestyle, I had the great fortune to meet the Vaidya (Ayurveda Physician) she was studying under,  an internationally recognised Professor. The health and vitality of her Vaidya was an incredible testament to the value of living an Ayurveda lifestyle. The Vaidya is a private man, and all I wish to say is that the relationship between his age and his vitality was staggering and had a huge impact on me, and my understanding of how profoundly powerful Ayurveda is in actually creating positive health.

AYURVEDA IN SIMPLE TERMS

So for those who haven’t been exposed to Ayurveda, here comes a quick synopsis.

Ayurveda dates back to 3,500BC from a time when ancient civilisations were demonstrating levels of knowledge and wisdom far greater than many intervening periods.

The term literally means ‘Science of Life’. Ayurveda

Ayurveda approaches health and medicine with an extraordinarily thorough analysis of an individual’s health, and provides a prescription for lifestyle, body, mind, and spirit that is tailored to creating optimal health, and which includes suggested diet, use of herbs, and suggested activities including physical and spiritual. It is also flexible enough to accommodate the needs of the individuals life and their preferences and can be adjusted so that the prescriptions are such that the person can master the regime.

Ayurveda teaches that all disease comes from an imbalance between the body, the mind, and the spirit. When all are in balance the individual is protected by a strong net of bodily systems which act like a suit of armour. When the system is out of balance there are chinks in the armour and the individual is more exposed to disease.

Ayurveda works proactively to create wellness and balance that helps prevent disease. In a new patient it acts to restore balance, and in a sick patient it acts with greater urgency and more drastic measures to restore balance while working hand in hand with modern medicine as necessary to determine what other interventions might be appropriate if the body cant be brought back into balance quickly enough relative to the severity of the condition.

THE ROLES OF AYURVEDA AND WESTERN MEDICINE

Western medicine has achieved remarkable things in many areas, and there are many passionate clinicians and scientists who have created extraordinary results for western medicine. Ayurveda practitioners in general see themselves as partners with western medicine Doctors.

When a patient has allowed their body to reach a stage of severe imbalance and disease, while Ayurveda can play a powerful role in reinstating the bodily systems that can support a recovery, very often conditions are too severe to rely on such a path alone, and drugs or surgery may be necessary to bring a situation back within control so as to avert death or serious long term damage.

The real strength of Ayurveda is a source of extraordinary health and longevity, and as an eliminator of disease. As well as creating wellness Ayurveda also includes detoxing processes designed to remove toxins that accelerate ageing and disease.

AYURVEDA & LONGEVITY

A core focus of Ayurveda is longevity. When the body gets a diet with all of the appropriate nutrients, herb supplements that enhance longevity and remove toxins, and is supported by a physical and spiritual lifestyle that enhances balance it is capable of lifespans rarely seen in the west, and with a much stronger quality of life. I have seen this first hand.

The following paper ‘Brain Enhancing Ingredients from Āyurvedic Medicine: Quintessential Example of Bacopa monniera, a Narrative Review’ by Hemant K. Singh provides an excellent outline of Ayurveda, and at section 2.1 explains that Ayurveda looks to an expected longevity of 116 years.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3635207/

SCIENTIFIC LITERATURE

Many in the western world look to science to validate the value of an area of medicine or a treatment. There is some very sound evidence in the scientific literature for Ayurveda, but sadly not as much as there should be due to ignorance and bias.

Having worked as a CFO/COO for 7 years in Medical Diagnostics, 5 years in Medical Devices, and for 4 years in Water Science I have a great respect for the value of the scientific method, but balanced by an understanding of its limitations the way it is applied in our western world. Here are some of the reasons why science should not be treated as a single point of truth:

a)      Most scientific research is funded either fully or in part by commercial parties whose products are part of the study. That relationship taints the value of a great many studies and potentially impacts study design, sample selection, treatment of outliers, and exclusion of competing technologies.

b)      Most science is oriented towards technologies backed by substantial enterprises who have influence such as major drug companies. Such influencers can have a very strong role in shutting down lines of research that could impact the business of the influencer, who may suddenly feel less inclined to pay for a new building wing.

c)       Many scientists build themselves into a defender of a position, and their science can be  based on defending a position more than seeking truth.

d)      A great many senior academics have consulting contracts with commercial partners, and those contracts hamper their independence even among the most well intentioned, and on the other end of the scale can completely preclude independence.

For another perspective on the problems in science, and the story of a man who has made it his life’s work trying to identify the issues in how scientific studies are approached, this is an excellent article that can be very helpful in appreciating that science needs to be reviewed with an understanding of context, and not accepted as a single point of truth.
http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2010/11/lies-damned-lies-and-medical-science/308269/2/

Science is not an efficient market, it cant be assumed that if there is a promising field that is good for the world that Science will necessarily do the work to validate it. In fact vested interests can ensure the opposite is true.

However, I dont wish to argue that science does not have value. It does, but the context in the industry and field of endeavour needs to be understood. In the Water industry which in most countries is a service and a cost management, ‘not for profit’ model I have seen far less disfunction in the science. In the field of Medicine its very different because of the profit motives, and the need for certain players to protect their positions.

So understanding that science comes with certain limitations, and needs to be understood in context, lets look at the status of the scientific literature on Ayurveda. The west is only in the beginnings of recognising the immense wisdom in Ayurveda, so the studies are limited, and indeed recognise that more research is called for in the west in a science that shows promise.

Following are a number of studies that demonstrate the value of Ayurveda and which support a positive call for more research with an expectation for positive results:

a)      A review of Ayurveda by the Ohio State University Centre for Integrative Medicine on the health promotion, and disease prevention and treatment:

b)      A literature review by Oregon Health and Science University on Ayurveda in treating Diabetes:

c)       A review by Abstyr University in Seattle of a Pharmacologist Practitioners perspective on Ayurvedic herbalism and the role it can play:

d)      A literature review by the Department of Epidemiology & Health Promotion at the NYU College of Dentistry criticises the 45 clinical trials reviewed involving comparison of Ayurveda diagnostic criteria with others for rarely using more than 2 of the 23 Ayurvedic diagnostic criteria, and calls for more fulsome studies.

That there are not hundreds of positive studies on a 5.5 thousand year old well documented science in Ayuveda speaks to the insular attitudes of Western Science and Medicine, and the fact that science in the west follows the money trail of drugs and surgical intervention.

It is to be hoped that in spite of the monied interests that control science in the west, that the pure scientists with a genuine desire to validate science that can help humanity will hear the calls to more properly document the immense benefits of Ayurveda that are apparent to anyone who properly investigates it.

Ura P Auckland
Advocate and Advisor : Conscious Commerce & Conscious Governance
www.authegrity.com
The best years of my working life....so far

Boat People are a gift and I am grateful as I am for all signs

I give thanks today for an interaction that called me to reflect more deeply on my position on so called Boat People. It isn’t that I have till now lacked a position, I have been very clear that I don’t agree with exporting them to asylum camps, and that we have a duty of care to treat any person with dignity and fairness.

boat-people-cartoon1Yet clearly politicians on both sides struggle with producing working outcomes when they become the person responsible for dealing with the issue. Why is that?

The more life I live, the more wisdom I see in an authentic approach to life, and I don’t just mean in my personal life. I have proven the principles very soundly in my personal life, and they have brought me great peace and happiness. But they apply equally in every aspect of life and the worlds most genuinely sustainably successful people live these principles. An authentic approach to life, to business, and to governance, brings results.

As an individual when I am presented with someone who triggers me, I have learned that those situations are my learning opportunity. If I look at what is coming up for me, if I am in a triggered space, then my experience tells me that I have something in my outlook or beliefs or energy that needs adjusting, so that I can then approach the situation in a way that honours me and the other person.

I argue that the Boat People are that lesson for those of us in the west.

The words of our politicians, and their results are hollow, because they are not recognising that the Boat People are a truth that needs to be spoken.

None of our politicians and very few in the electorate are truly looking within to ask “What am I being shown in this situation?” They are the individual who is denying the problem, the inner voice, the nudge from the universe.

It is very clear. The ‘Boat People’ far from a big problem are an infinitesimally small window into how bad life is in other parts of this planet, and that is both a big problem, and a planetary embarrassment.

As an individual when I am presented with a triggering, when I look within, and then with courage speak my truth about what can sometimes be a seemingly insurmountable problem in my life, my experience is that I am shown a path to the solution. When I voice the truth and get to the heart of the problem, creative solutions arise. If I refuse to speak the truth I will never find real solutions, how can it be otherwise?

It is time for our political leaders to start having these real conversations, to acknowledge what the ‘Boat People’ are saying on behalf of the millions of people enduring what they are running from.

Solutions begin with admitting the problem. Those who run from the problem are asking the universe for ever bigger signs of what is wrong. In life as an individual I have always regretted insisting on bigger more dramatic signs that a problem needs addressing, that usually has created a far more painful transition through recognition to solution.

So I say thank you ‘Boat People’, I am ready to own the truth about our world with you as my sign. I prefer you as my sign than the increase in terrorists, or war-lords that will come if I continue to ignore you.

My values are probably a little different to many in mainstream society, as I come from a framework that acknowledges each of our sovereign rights as a soul that has landed on a vast planet in a particular place, and on a moral level has no obligation to accept others imposition of restrictions over me so long as I remain self-sufficient and respectful of the sovereign rights of all other sovereign beings.

My values say that as a sovereign being I have a right to much more freedom of movement around our planet.

Who am I to judge that another man or woman should not come to the shores I was born upon? Who am I to judge whether their country serves their life?  Who am I to judge that they must stay in their country because it is at peace, when it is drought stricken, poor, and offers them no hope of a fruitful life? Who am I to say its OK to leave millions of people scrambling to survive in an existence I would not swap with them? How would I want to be treated if suddenly my country became a place my soul could no longer bear to be?

I look at every one of us on this planet as a soul to be honoured and deserving of respect. Equally though, while personal sovereignty proclaims my right to freedom, the contract of sovereignty is also to do no harm and not to impose upon another unnecessarily.

I do believe that an immigrant coming to this country should be expected to be in service, to earn their food, earn their shelter, and to integrate as a functioning member of the community adding value to the country they wish to call home, but I am glad to help them make that transition from what they have stepped out of into this productive space.

In my opinion, Australia’s problem as with most political issues is that it operates at the symptom level and refuses to go deep and truly understand. “We have a Boat Person” they say, “Where shall we park the boat person?” We allocate extraordinary amounts of money on sticking the boat person on an island out of sight.

We need to begin with the truth. If we actually begin speaking the truth I see a path to some pretty extraordinary solutions for our world. The truth is that we have seeds, we have water, we have human capacity, and we have manufacturing capacity. There is hardly a problem we cannot solve if we will speak the truth.

The challenge is that the truth will uncover the real illusions in our world. The politicians don’t want to admit that economics, global credit and the money supply are the greatest illusion in the history of the world. Poverty can be eliminated in a five minute meeting with an agreement to eliminate or reset the money system. Poverty is a game of monopoly that is near the end where only the banker and one player have any money, and its as artificial as the rules of Monopoly, and we are seeing it in Greece, in Spain. Norway on the other hand did speak some truth re the banking  system and did something of reset starting a fresh game again.

Speak the truth and not only can the apparent problems be solved, my experience has shown me that the problems were an illusion waiting to be disolved by the truth.

Ura P Auckland
Advocate & Advisor – Conscious Commerce & Conscious Governance
Authegrity Pty Ltd
The best years of my working life....so far

Spotlighting the obfuscations of NBN Co and the Labor and Liberal Parties

It really bothers me when people who have no real vision or true commitment to the needs of the people they are in place to serve are put in charge of important things.

It bothers me even more when they then start obfuscating the truth to hide how these important things have been handled because they dont think the people are entitled to the truth.

obfuscation

The National Broadband Network is a critical piece of infrastructure for Australia and is a tool that truly can enable our productivity as a nation in ways we are yet to imagine, just as the internet has.

Sadly there is a great deal of obfusaction going on around it!

Let me explain the case for obfusaction against the parties involved.

FIBRE OPTIC TECHNOLOGY

Fibre Optic technology to the home was an inspired investment. Fibre is a technology with a huge capacity. The throughput is enormous and the potential for future speed lifts is unimaginable relative to today’s speeds and capacities.

The fibre is effectively a data pipe that has incredible capacity to carry data at phenomenal speeds using light. It cooperates very well with very high speed equipment that sends and receives data, and it will be able to continue to work with much cleverer boxes that will be connected to it in the future and handle speeds we haven’t even dreamed of yet.

UNDERSTANDING SPEEDS
The NBN company is building the fibre pipes and for now is connecting equipment that could have been set to transmit at 1,000 Mbps (Megabits per second).

So how does that compare to current market offerings?

  • At our place, we currently have ‘Telstra Cable’. Below is a chart of 3 speed tests done over the last 6 months. Our cable service averaged 19.89 Mbps and ranged between 30.14 and 9.87.

Speed Test

  • The most common technology is ADSL. Speeds on ADSL range from 1 to 2 Mbps in areas far from the exchange and using older ADSL up to 20 Mbps using ADSL2+ in areas close to the exchange.

So the NBN and Fibre with the technology NBN Co has selected can run to 1,000 Mbps. This means it is potentially :

  • 33 to 100 times faster than Telstra Cable
  • 500 to 1000 times faster than ADSL
  • 50 times faster than the top end of ADSL2+

So any current user should through the NBN have had a potentially serious uplift in performance. More than that, the potential of fibre from the home to the internet is many times the 1,000 Mbps claimed for the NBN once some of the more leading edge transmission technologies are bolted on the end of the fibre.

There are technologies in development that in labs are delivering performance of 1Pbps or 1,000,000,000 Mbps, such as this one in Japan:
http://www.abc.net.au/technology/articles/2012/09/26/3598036.htm

So I hope this helps paint the picture of the relative speeds and potential of fibre versus the current technologies.

THE NBN CO OFFER UNDER THE LABOR PARTY

So now we have an understanding of what the NBN could have delivered. Lets examine the first set of offers from Telstra on the NBN.

  • S-SMALL Bundle              – The small offer is 5GB’s of data at 12 Mbps for $80/month
  • M-MEDIUM Bundle        – The medium offer is 200GBs of data at 12 Mbps for $100/month
  • L-LARGE Bundle              – The large offer is 500GBs of data at 12 Mbps for $130/month
  • On any of the packages the 12 Mbps standard speed can be upgraded to 25Mbps for $5/month
  • On any of the packages the 12 Mbps standard speed can be upgraded to 100Mbps for $20/month

So on a platform that has been built to offer 1,000 Mbps the top offer coming to the public in residences is 100 Mbps (10% of its out of the gate capacity), and those on a budget will be offered 12 Mbps (1.2% of its out of the gate capacity) no better than ADSL2+.

By comparison Google is getting into the Fibre business in the US and is offering the whole 1,000 Mbps that NBN Co could be offering Australia.
https://fiber.google.com/about/

BUSINESS AND MARKETING

So why would NBN Co hobble this 37 Billion dollar investment that is supposed to be a strategic advantage for our country?

Sadly this is how business people have been trained to think:

  • “Give the customer a little more than they have had, get them to upgrade, and hold back features and capacity to talk the consumer into the next upgrade and contract.”
  • “Set the lower offer so it is unattractive so that more people want to accept a middle or top offer”

These are the ways of working of the decision makers who have decided to offer Australia 1.2% to 10% of what has been invested in on our behalf.

THE LIBERAL PARTY POLICY

The Liberal Party under Tony Abbott are arguing they are the responsible party who will stop waste and mismanagement are focused on selling a 17 Billion dollar saving and taking away the fibre connection between the residence and the Node/Exchange, and they propose using the existing copper network to connect homes to the Fibre Network and promise they can still deliver 25Mbps (the middle speed in the NBN Co product offer) .

Are you offended yet? That’s right, because NBN Co have hobbled what is offered through the product offer to 1.2%, 2.5%, and 10%, it doesn’t seem so bad when the Liberal Party take away the supposed ‘top speed’ of 100Mbps. The average internet user understands none of this and will trust the Liberal Party when they say ‘This is the responsible course of action’.

What the Liberal Party are taking away is access to any of the ‘Real Capacity Today’ of 1,000 Mbps or the incredible future capacity when we bolt on new boxes of 1,000,000,000 Mbps or more.

Copper will always limit the ability to get any of the real performance out of the Fibre Network.

THE OBFUSCATION OF THE TRUTH

NBN Co’s and Labor’s marketing sleight of hand has created a false sense of what the NBN is.

This obfuscation of what the NBN actually is plays right into the hands of the Liberal’s cost saving focus to say ‘well we aren’t losing much’.

The truth is that Labor’s 37 Billion dollar investment is an investment. It is being marketed to Australia in a way that lacks integrity, unlike the Google Offer to US residents which gives them 100% of 1,000 Mbps. However it does give us fibre to every home so that when the right marketing offer finally comes we can get the full 1,000 Mbps of today’s commercially available boxes, and in the future can use the 1,000,000,000 Mbps or more that the technologies in development can send down the fibre network.

Under the Liberal Policy the fibre network will never give us speeds much more than most of us are already getting from Cable and ADSL2. The only value we get from the Fibre network is that it will handle volume (quantities of data) much better than today’s national network. That is a partial benefit, but the speed component of the investment is totally lost to the residential market, while business can afford to invest in getting their own fibre connection from the premises to the node.

TECHNOLOGY MANUFACTURING

Australia has been badly let down by the people involved in pulling together the NBN. Those on the inside will argue that the 12, 25 and 100Mbps equipment is all that can be afforded by the nation. That is totally false.

Having spent five years as a CFO in a Medical Device company I learned a great deal about electronics manufacture.  The truth is the difference in cost between a 12 Mbps transmission technology printed circuit board and a 1,000 Mbps board is cents if anything.

It comes back to marketing. Modem companies price faster modems at much higher prices even though there is no real difference in cost.

The only possible real difference in cost is intellectual property and the potential reliance on a patent that might be needed in a 1,000 Mbps board. That is a matter of negotiation.

Australia is a nicely defined market with clear borders. The reality is that a good and experienced negotiator would have negotiated the manufacture and delivery of a 1,000 Mbps fibre modem for every home. The scale of the deal would have got the attention of multiple technology providers and it could easily have been pulled off, as it has been by Google. In a ‘Whole of Country Deal’ Australia should never have accepted any supplier’s argument that we should pay more for a 1,000 Mbps fibre modem than a 100Mbps version unless there was a royalty on IP, which still on this scale should not have been an issue.

WHERE TO FROM HERE

So the most important thing for Australia’s future is that the Liberal Party in this web of lies and obfuscation don’t get away with selling a ‘20 Billion dollar almost total waste’ as a better option than a ’37 billion dollar significant investment’ that sets Australia up to access a network 40 times faster than what the Liberals are offering and which can handle whatever future technology can send down the fibre.

Send the Liberal Party the message that their cynical political positioning is not in our country’s interest, and that they need to step away from changing the plan unless it is to deliver what the Fibre can really deliver, namely 1,000 Mbps.

Ura P Auckland
Conscious Commerce & Conscious Governance
Advocate and Advisor
Managing Director
www.authegrity.com
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