Chinese Technology Company Huawei Banned From Bidding in NBN

Australia, long known for its shoddy internet and cordial relations with post-capitalist reform China, has been undertaking a National Broadband Network plan in the last few years. This plan, aiming to patch up Australia’s reputation as the only first world country with second-rate telecommunications services, has been open to bidders vying for the contract.

Chinese technology company Huawei, founded by an ex-engineer from the People’s Liberation Army of the same country, has recently been banned from bidding for the contract. The reason? Intelligence operatives had given “strong advice” against it.

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So what’s going on here? What purpose would having Huawei secure the contract serve? Would there be special systems designed into the networks to provide PRC hackers with easy methods of getting into networks? Or is it that Huawei has operatives inside it that seek to learn more about the structure of the Australian networks? Or is this just all blown out of proportion?

This event really highlights the strange relationship of the government of the People’s Republic of China and the corporations that originate from there. Is capitalism really the ideology of the day in China or is something more sinister afoot?

About Author

James Osgerby

James Osgerby

James is an occasional author for WordMean. He also often sets the direction for the stories behind the scenes. Writing for WordMean, Osgerby generally focuses on his passions for the humanities - sociology, political science, history, religious studies, geography, psychology, and anthropology. He enjoys heavy metal and is currently studying computer science.

  • Fosale

    Huawei make great products – cheap but great (the shit stuff is just get-what-you-pay-for) and so I think Huawei were going to be offering Australian consumers CHEAPER products/service than what the government wants to rip us off with

    When/IF the NBN is ever completed, then it will be even-more-so out of date, yet still marketed as the fastest thing ever and we will still pay up for an out of date waste of money product that ultimately WE ALREADY PAID FOR IN THE FIRST PLACE

  • shayneo

    Yeah I’m sus on this. Intelligence agencies are paranoid to the extent that you’d get committed for it, if joe citizen exhibited the same sort of paranoia. See: The loopy “terrorist network” arrests of Kiwi activists a few years back when they decided a non-violent activist camping expidition was a “terrorist training camp” and arrested a good 70+ activists with such fun search warrants as searching for “Trowsers” when they kicked in the door of a 70yo retired activist. The judge threw it almost entirely out except for a few firearms charges of some Maori who had some unlicenced guns for pig hunting. Previously these guys had arrested an Algerian guy on account of information passed to them by the totally ratshit crazy larouche cult. This “strong advice” was probably from some x-file watching crank at ASIO who just had a bit of a wierd feeling about china.

  • Feurian

    One thing I don’t agree with in this article, Australia being well known for its shoddy internet and being the “only 1st world country with second rate telecommunications” etc. I’ve traveled extensively and not once has someone discussed Australian internet or telephony with me as something it is “well known for”.

    The few times I’ve discussed our internet or telephony, the other “first world” people it’s been discussed with think we have great services available, they just believe we pay too much for it. That said, some justified the extra cost with the greater distances of unpopulated land that communications lines must cross etc. They don’t think of us as being bad for anything except mobile coverage, and even then many of those people hadn’t been to Aus since the 90’s.

    In the USA, whilst some major cities have extensively good internet at affordable prices, most urban areas do not and rural areas are far worst off, with many still on dialup or ADSL 1 (as with some Australian rural areas). In fact, the overall average speed for internet connectivity in the USA hovered between 6 and 7mbps last year, in comparison with Australias being being between 4 and 5. Average peak speeds were around the same between both (20mbps). As for Europe, most of Europe is between 4 and 5mbps. The global average is only 2.8mbps so we are well above that and roughly around the same as all other 1st world countries. The only places with considerably higher averages are small Asian countries with dense population, high GDP and far less area to cover, thus far less expense involved.

    I get annoyed with how many people in Australia think of our comms infrastructure as poor and not matching up to the US etc. Really?? Do you know that we had 3G services for most of the population for a decade before the US? That we had high speed cable internet available in many areas far earlier than many US cities? I have lived in a smaller city about 40 minutes from Brisbane most of my life. When the internet first came out I had dial up, for maybe 4 years? Then Optus cable rolled down my street, and I had something like 2 – 5 mbps on the cable service, then shortly after 10, then 20. When I permanently left Australia for work in 2011 I had 100mbps cable broadband.

    I now live in the UK, much smaller country, far more people, etc. I live about the same distance from a major city as I did in Australia, in a smaller city roughly the size of the one I came from (at least in population). I now have 15mbps ADSL and am limited to that. There are no cable options and whilst the UK now has FttN (or FttC as they call it), I cannot benefit from that. In my opinion Australia is ahead. Also, mobile phone reception. So close to a major city, I loose signal all the time, indoor signal is very poor in most areas, often find myself on 2G, and I’m with one of the two biggest networks with the most coverage. Another issue I never had in Australia.

    So yes, some of Australia has bad internet, mostly hard to reach, expensive to cable rural areas. Far less of Australia is populated and I’m sure if it were we’d have better coverage to those areas. I for one am proud of Australian telecommunications, we’ve had our stuff ups and such, but we do well for such a new nation with such a small population and such a vast area to cover!