"It doesn't matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn't matter how smart you are. If it doesn't agree with experiment, it's wrong." Richard P. Feynman

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Rudd - The Next Disaster

Kevin Rudd's National Broadband Network is headed for " a financial and logistical nightmare. The 43 billion dollar plan never had a proper business plan and is being implemented without the help of the predominant telecommunications company Telstra.
 Malcolm Colless of the Australian reports:
DESPITE the bravado from Communications Minister Stephen Conroy, it is clear the federal government must reshape its strategy for a national broadband superhighway if it wants to prevent this policy dream turning into a financial and logistical nightmare.

The government's $43 billion plan - which materialised out of thin air a year ago - to connect 90 per cent of Australian homes, schools and businesses (10 million premises) with super-fast fibre-optic cable within eight years was always unrealistic. For a start, meeting this target would require at least 5000 premises to be connected every day for the life of the project.
Criticism of the cost and scope of the scheme and the lack of any financial analysis behind it has been brushed aside by the Rudd government. But there are serious doubts about the nation's ability to provide the large pool of skilled labour required to meet the rollout timetable

The fibre is being rolled out already despite the lack of a final implementation plan and safety problems have already surfaced.
  At the same time, communications industry sources say there are mounting concerns about the way NBN Co is driving the rollout strategy, in particular that it is following a Scandinavian model that is unsuited to Australian conditions. They also say there are increasing tensions between the organisation's management and the government.

"We've reached a stage where something has to give," one senior bureaucrat told The Australian yesterday. "For example, while fibre is the way to go, is it logical to try to connect 90 per cent of the country with high-speed cable in the face of an anticipated boom in next generation wireless networks?"
The National Broadband network is a huge business undertaking and the Rudd Government has done none of the planning,market research and financial calculations which would be automatic in the private sector. This will turn out as badly as the insulation and schools building programs with the one saving grace for Rudd being that the wheels probably won't fall off before the election!

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