The failure of the NBN tender process is not unexpected, given the stringent requirements set. The aims for the new company appear to be more limited, but still may be beyond the technical capabilities of the technology and the management abilities of the government. This project is far larger and more complex than the many Defence Department projects which have recently failed due to poor management and overly ambitious technical requirements. As currently scoped the project would appear to have minimal chance of success.
However, developments with broadband technology, particularly wireless broadband, may make the system obsolete before it is built. This may save the government from embarrassment by allowing the new technology to meet many of the stated goals, without the planned system ever being built.
The new superfast network will:
* connect homes, schools and workplaces with optical fibre (fibre to the premises or 'FTTP'), providing broadband services to Australians in urban and regional towns with speeds of 100 megabits per second - 100 times faster than those currently used by most people—extending to towns with a population of around 1,000 or more people
* use next generation wireless and satellite technologies that will be able to deliver 12 megabits per second or more to people living in more remote parts of rural Australia
* provide fibre optic transmission links connecting cities, major regional centres and rural towns
* be Australia's first national wholesale-only, open access broadband network
* be built and operated on a commercial basis by a company established at arm's length from Government and involve private sector investment
* be expected to be rolled-out, simultaneously, in metropolitan, regional, and rural areas.
Every person and business in Australia, no-matter where they are located, will have access to affordable, fast broadband at their fingertips. ...
From: New National Broadband Network, Joint media release, PRIME MINISTER, TREASURER, MINISTER FOR FINANCE, MINISTER FOR BROADBAND, Document ID: 110063, 7 APRIL 2009