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NBN Delays: Process or Technology?

This week, with the Coalition’s broadband policy just around the corner, NBNCo’s rollout seems fraught with delays.

Mind you, it wouldn’t be the first government sponsored initiative to run behind schedule. Yet, in this week’s CrossTalk podcast, Liberal MP Paul Fletcher asks whether the NBNCo management team really understands its own business.

That would seem to imply he thinks the whole project is being mismanaged. Would that go away if there was a change in government?

Well, the coalition will be pushing for fibre to the node, a technically inferior alternative that does, at least, negate the need to connect-up the customer’s premises. But is that the real issue? If Fletcher thinks NBNCo is mismanaged, does it matter what technology they deploy? The issue of governance remains.

We’ll also hear from Mark Gregory, senior engineering lecturer at RMIT University. He is concerned that, under the current approach, the NBN could be delayed as much as 10 years and costs could double – but he’s not a fan of the coalition’s alternative.

His preference is that we maintain the fibre to the premises approach, but we resolve the operational issues that are slowing the progress. In fact, he doesn’t understand why the coalition wouldn’t promise to deliver on the NBN’s technology but manage it in a more expedient manner. Surely that would be a vote winner all round?

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