NBN – Proceed at One Quarter Impulse, Ensign

Well, after 17 days in political limbo (and a period in which it could be argued that Australia saw more prosperity without an active government) it seems that Labor has scraped in. Some people are thrilled, others disappointed and some are still crying out for another vote. Whatever your point of view, this certainly is a unique time in Australia’s political history.

One of the key selling points of the election was around broadband and it was something that weighed in the deliberations of the three independent MPs. I think the coalition were banking on the whole “wireless is better than wired” argument (which was nonsense in the first place at least in the present) and a lower spend to woo the public. I don’t know who was advising Tony Abbott on this point but they are definitely from another dimension. There’s also a big difference between theoretical wireless speeds and actual wireless speeds.

Generally, you lose half of the speed over wireless systems before you factor in the resource contention of multiple devices. I would have been seriously concerned with the actual speeds achievable by a national wireless solution for as little as they were prepared to stump up. For a wireless solution to work the up front investment needs to be solid, the architecture robust enough to handle demand and it must be scalable. You just cannot afford to cut corners because, if you do, it will be blatantly obvious.

At any rate, it seems that the NBN will continue as planned but I wouldn’t be surprised if it is subjected to more scrutiny and analysis to tighten things up. Unscrupulous spending in this next parliament will be hard to push through as the crossbench will definitely be looking hard at the numbers as will the coalition. It is for this reason I think we’ll see the NBN roll out take longer than planned as spending will be closely monitored as will its planning and deployment processes.

Let’s see how they get in the next three years – I would be pleasantly surprised if the NBN has reached the capital cities by that time.

1 comment

  1. I think that the point is that it won’t necessarily have to reach the capital cities i.e. the focus is on the bush as it should be. We need to get people working outside the urban sprawl and NBN is the key.

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