NBN co, or NBN or NBN co limited?  I prefer to call them NBN Co limited because they are definitely limited.  It was first introduced in 2009 as “National Broadband Network Company”, this was later changed to “NBN Co Limited” in October of the same year and then to “NBN Co”.

Now it’s dropped the “Co”– just like dropping the speed of our broadband connections. While they’re good at dropping their name and speed, it seems that one thing they are good at is inflating expenditures. The rebrandings have cost over a $1 million, when they could have jumped 99 Designs or asked a local primary school to do some drawings.

As of today, consumers are complaining about the slow internet connection provided by NBN. According to an interview by ABC News with Gavin Williams, Executive General Manager of NBN, the Sky Muster (NBN operated satellites) has massively improved, and they barely had a single network incident – which of course nobody ever believed.

In 2009, Australia’s broadband download speed was ranked as the 39th in the world. When the NBN project started, Australia is still on the ranking list but as the 59th placer. Ironically, the Coalitions NBN project’s pre-election goal is to provide fast broadband connection for Australia. The original plan was to use the FTTN for 71% of the consumers and on 2014, the plan changed to integrate HFC where possible. Both are outdated. HFC has been built since the early 1990’s. One the other hand, AT & T in America is switching from FTTN to FTTP to provide ultra-high speed connectivity while Australia is going back to ancient times to switch back to FTTN.

And there’s more. After spending millions of dollars for Optus’ hybrid-fibre coaxial (HFC) network, NBN’s leaked internal documents revealed that NBN had discovered the HFC network was degraded and not fit for purpose. So they thought of deploying fibre-to-the-distribution point (FTTdp) technology instead. And in an instant, millions of dollars have just been slashed away and wasted.  As a subcontractor working on this project, Digital Life Technologies has found it frustrating ramping up for projects, and performing the survey work, only to be forced into making workers roles redundant following the Optus HFC project being canned by the NBN.  While the NBN project has bought in many jobs, the little man continues to cop it with unreliable long term employment prospects due to project changes.

While there are many talented professional working on the project, the NBN has also drawn in a lot of undesirable and unsuitably skilled workers. Anyone who has googled the words Spatial Net and managed to paste this into their CV has ended up working as a fibre designer.  It also seems that anyone who can hold a screw driver has been either hired or subcontracted to provide installation services to connect customers to the NBN.  To keep up with the schedule, demand for installation resources is high, pulling in the dregs of the construction industry worker, and making life difficult for construction managers.

According to an interview with Bill Morrow, current NBN boss, by this year they will reach the halfway mark and by 2020, the project will cover over 40% of the homes that will have access to gigabit/sec. And if anybody falls out of the 40%, they will have a way they can get it but need to pay a little bit of incremental value. Morrow says that puts Australia in a ‘leadership position’, citing that the US does not have many homes that can offer gigabit/sec services nor does UK or Germany, and this makes Australia standout.

The NBN eh. It’s excellent.

If you would like to add any of the failings of NBN we’ve missed, please feel free to comment.