opticOne of the Government’s more contentious policies is the National Broadband Network or as the tattooed hipsters in North Fitzroy who have already had the luxury of having a free trial call it, the amazing NBN.

Now you have probably started to see those flash promotional commercials on TV spruiking the amazing benefits that this enormous white elephant will bring our nation.

If you haven’t, lets have a look at how amazing it’s going to be for us all… and how quickly they are going to roll this baby out.

WOW!  That looks practically amazing!  All those funky looking cartoon people look so happy and connected to things ‘n stuff.

Now no one will deny that it is an ambitious project, regardless of what you think of its merits, but there does need to be a plan for something so massive and that plan does or should be able to be met.  That’s kind of how managing projects work.  You plan, implement, and then deliver to that plan.

The only problem with the NBN is that Labor’s l’enfant terrible, Sen. Stephen Conroy, is involved in all stages of planning and implementation.  What could go wrong you ask?

Well, I’m glad that you asked.

rollout

The Australian Financial Review (AFR) reported that whilst everyone was screaming and ventilating about Sen. Conroy’s other policy responsibility, the proposed hyper regulation of the Australian media, the NBN Co. has very quietly rejigged its rollout targets.

While the NBN Co.’s latest rejig has reduced its rollout target by over 50%, what most people are blissfully unaware of is the fact that this is the second such reduction in the critical roll out of our amazing technological white elephant.

Initially the NBN Co. estimated that it would have passed over 1.2 million homes by June 30 of this year.

However that was reduced to just 300,000 homes earlier this year because of delays in negotiating with Telstra and apparent skills shortages in the IT sector to assist in the roll out. Not enough of those evil foreign bastards on 457 visas obviously.

Now however, that somewhat modest target has once again been downgraded by another 50% to a piddling 140,000 homes by June 30, 2013.

Dont worry, it gets even worse than that… Let’s look at what the AFR reported once they obtained some supposedly confidential information, which it seems was accidentally leaked by a seemingly incompetent ISP.

More recently, NBN Co figures circulated to internet service providers – and inadvertently made public by Victorian company DeVoteD on Friday – show that just 1411 existing homes had been passed with fibre during January and February, in addition to the 46,100 homes NBN Co said it passed by the end of 2012.

The progress so far means NBN Co must pass at least five times the number of homes it has built to since construction began in 2010 – within the next 3½ months.

So it seems that these fairly regular downgrading of roll out targets could have disastrous results for the overall completion of the project.

The ABC recently reported that a prominent senior engineering lecturer at RMIT University, Mark Gregory has grave predictions in the face of these latest recalculations.

“If we continue down the path that we are going with external contractors doing the rollout, we’d expect [the rollout] could take 5 to 10 years longer than predicted,” Dr Gregory said.

“We should expect it to cost anywhere between 50 to 100 per cent more than before.”

Fantastic!

So instead of a lazy $37 BILLION dollars, the NBN could cost Australians over $70 BILLION and not be finished until 2030, when most of us will be infirm and needing our daily medication to forget the irrepairable damage done to this country’s bottom line by a bunch of lousy union socialists, who in their infinite wisdom never bothered with a simple cost / benefit analysis for the country’s largest ever infrastructure project because they assumed they knew best and like you know, what could go wrong?

In place of this cost / benefit analysis, Sen. Conroy and the ALP used ideas and figures scribbled down on the back of a paper napkin that he and Kevin Rudd dreamed up as they flew to Canberra from Sydney as a business plan instead.

And we wonder why there’s no money left to spend on education, health and other critical projects.

As the French political philosopher Alexis de Tocqueville (1805-1859) said

In democracy we get the government we deserve

And unfortunately, I think we actually deserve the hapless idiots that are the ALP.