Whoops, NBN might not be feasible. The devil is in the detail

April 9, 2009 — 1 Comment

Steve Murphy in the Business Spectator:

The 21st Century infrastructure equivalent of the Snowy Hydro is what K-Rudd says of his new Broadband plan, but will we end up flushing as much money down the fibre optic drain as we do water down the Hydro.

The problem is we don?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢t know and the Government can?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢t tell us with any degree of precision because it is yet to conduct a feasibility study. That?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢s right, K-Rudd and the team don?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢t know if what they?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢ve announced is feasible.

I did some digging, the Government doesn’t use the words feasibility study…but it’s an accurate description. Point one of the NBN rollout (source)

Commence an implementation study to determine the operating arrangements, detailed network design, ways to attract private sector investment

but wait, there’s more:

The preliminary estimate is that the enhanced NBN network will cost up to $43 billion…

The Government’s objective is to achieve 90 per cent coverage of the FTTP network, and remaining coverage to be delivered through wireless and satellite technologies, within this funding envelope. Initial advice to the Government is that this objective is achievable, but this estimate will be subject to an implementation study.