The Liberal Government's "faster, cheaper" National Broadband Network is facing significant delays and budget blowouts, according to a leaked progress report obtained by Fairfax Media. The internal documents reveal that the project has fallen two-thirds short of its benchmark construction timetable with connection costs leaping by 23 per cent. Nice slogan, though.
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An NBN internal progress report has revealed that the project has fallen roughly two-thirds short of its benchmark construction timetable. As reported by SMH:
The "final design" process for connections - needed before construction can start - is running far behind schedule, according to the February 19 report. While 1,402,909 premises should have been approved at the date of the report, the figure was sitting at 662,665 - 740,000 fewer than planned. The snapshot says NBN Co has achieved 29,005 fibre-to-the-node "construction completions", while noting its internally budgeted target for this period was more than three times this at 94,273.
It was revealed in the internal report that 59 per cent of delays — 38,537 premises — come from power approvals and construction caused by electricity companies. 30 per cent of delays have arisen from shortages in materials, and 11 per cent are from completion reviews.
For its part, NBN has rejected the above claims while refusing to be drawn into the details of its own internal progress report, which was marked "commercial in confidence" and "for official use only".
“nbn reject claims that the company is at risk of not meeting its targets, nbn has met or exceeded every key target for six quarters in a row,” the company said in a statement. “The company’s management has proven repeatedly that it can effectively monitor risks and manage those risks.
"The company is on track to meet or exceed its full year targets of 2.6 million homes Ready For Service, approximately one million homes using the network, and more than $300 million in revenue.”
However, the company also acknowledged that the construction project is "incredibly complex" and "unlike any infrastructure build anywhere in the world." To us, this sounds like a "shit happens" admission. You can see a list of every suburb that will be receiving the NBN in 2016 here.