30th October, 2011.
Since launching this site back in 2010, it has been essentially anonymous. For no particular reason, I had decided there was no need to identify myself as the author.
However, the internet being what it is, this decision has led to accusations of the site being part of an astroturfing campaign, written by someone on the payroll of NBN Co, the ALP or an associated entity. Astroturfing is the term given to “fake grass roots” campaigns. Common in the USA, they are (unfortunately) beginning to appear in Australia too.
With this in mind, I’ve now decided to identify myself and explain why I decided to put so much time into creating the NBN Myths site, although I’m sure anyone who has been closely following the debate had probably worked out who I was long ago, given my Twitter activity!
At this point you might be wondering why I’m so interested in the NBN, what motivated me to create the site, and also what qualifies me to make commentary on it.
I’ve always been a huge fan and user of technology. Since getting my first computer at the age of 12 (an Apple //c), I’ve advocated the adoption of technology at home, in schools and at workplaces. If the ‘perfect’ job hadn’t come along, there’s every chance I’d be employed in some high-technology field today.
Having witnessed the explosive growth of the internet since the early days, I can see the huge potential that a fast network such as the NBN will bring for Australia, and in particular to future generations. I do not want my children growing up in a country which has been left far behind by the developed World.
I’m also passionate about bridging the gap between city and regional areas of Australia. For too long, decent, affordable communication services have stopped at the edge of the cities. Despite living only twenty minutes away, people in my area pay double what a person in Penrith pays for their broadband service. Areas further out pay even more, and get even less. If we are serious about decentralisation in Australia, then people who live outside cities should not be penalised for that decision. The NBN will help to overcome this inequity.
I believe the NBN will make decentralisation far more viable, by ‘shrinking’ the distances of this vast country, particularly through improving education services and healthcare.
My final reason for creating the site is the huge volume of demonstrably false NBN information that has been promulgated by the Federal Opposition and certain sections of the media (primarily by a single media organisation, actually). The public is being grossly mislead by this false information, and I feel it needs to be corrected. It annoys me.
As such, the NBN Myths site is a grouping of referenced facts, with a bit of opinion thrown in. All too often the NBN “facts” of the opposition and one media outlet in particular, have been exposed as blatantly false. We are all entitled to our own opinion, but we are not entitled to our own facts. As such, this site will continue to refute the inaccuracies published about the NBN, with verifiable facts.
Now for the nitty gritty:
I have not received any payment or inducement whatsoever to create this site. I don’t put advertising on the site or receive any income from it whatsoever.
Neither myself nor (to the best of my knowledge) any of my friends or family have ever been in the paid or unpaid employ of NBN Co, any political party, the Federal Government or any of NBN Co’s suppliers, contractors or any associated company. I am not now, nor have I ever been, a member of any political party, nor do I personally know anyone who is. I do not own any shares in any company and to the best of my knowledge I don’t know anyone who owns any shares in any NBN-related company. I have been a financial member of the Firefighters’ Employees’ Union since 1993. I have never held an office at this or any other union/association. I am not, nor have I ever been, a member of any other union or employees’ association.