Malcolm Turnbull's NBN hit by delays, blown-out budget

Malcolm Turnbull
Malcolm Turnbull Chris Ison

IT WAS meant to be faster, cheaper, and available sooner, but the no-frills National Broadband Network devised by Malcolm Turnbull is tumbling behind schedule, according to the NBN's own assessments.

Fairfax is reporting the NBN is falling behind in two-thirds of the timeframes set for it to be installed on time.

When the report was published on February 19, there should have been 1.4 million premises with the NBN installed, instead it sat at 662,665 or less than half.

NBN Co had the budget to install fibre-to-the-node "construction completions" in 94,000 places. Instead it had achieved 29,005.

Fairfax reports that while the now Prime Minister fought for the cut-price plan at the 2013 election, including the shift from Labor's proposal to run the fibre optic cable to homes, and instead run them to nearby "nodes", which would then link to a neighbourhood by copper wire.

This change has now bogged down as NBN Co struggles to negotiate with power companies on how best to supply electricity to these nodes - the Labor plan did not require electricity in the same way.

Mr Turnbull also claimed the $44.9 billion Labor NBN was too expensive.

The later version was to cost $29.5 billion, but this has now blown out to close to twice that price.

In a media statement released on Monday, NBN Co said it "will not be drawn on alleged internal documents".

"We report quarterly and our results are audited," the statement read.

"This is an incredible complex project unlike any infrastructure build anywhere in the world."

"We're now tracking over 10,000 new activations a week. By the end of this financial year we're on track for nearly one in four homes to be able to order an nbn service and by June of 2018 this is set to grow to three in four."

Topics:  broadband editors picks internet nbn

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