Posted January 05, 2019 14:39:55The NBN is the next big project that will take us into the 21st century.
It’s going to be the fastest and most reliable telecommunications system in the world, with fibre optic cables that can deliver high-speed internet access at speeds up to 250Mbps.
But while the NBN is one of the biggest public infrastructure projects in the history of the world (it was launched by the Abbott Government in 2013), there are only a handful of people working on the project.
There are about 20 people working in the NBN Engineering and Technology group, with only two of them being Australians, who are responsible for the construction of the network and the maintenance and upkeep of it.
The team has also been tasked with helping manage and upgrade the ageing network.
But, even as the network is being built and built, there are still a lot of unanswered questions.
Why is the NBN undergoing so much cost-cutting?
Why hasn’t the government invested in the infrastructure?
What’s the difference between fibre optics and fibre to the node (FTTN)?
Why are the fibre to copper lines in Victoria and Queensland being replaced?
What do you think will happen to the NBN when the government changes the NBN?
I’m on a two-week break, so I’m not going to answer all of these questions, but I will try to give a short, easy-to-digest rundown of what we know about the NBN.
First, what is the network?
The NBN has been in the planning stages for a while.
In 2018, the NBN Co was planning to spend $30 billion on the network.
It had been earmarked for the first phase, but by 2019, the federal government announced that it would spend $52 billion to build the network, a massive sum in its day.
That money was supposed to be used to pay for the upgrades to the network’s infrastructure, but it was never spent.
What’s wrong with the network now?
In the year and a half since the government announced the NBN’s spending, the costs have continued to rise.
In 2019, NBN Co estimated the cost of the upgrade to the existing network would be about $100 billion.
And this figure is on top of the $600 billion that the government is planning to pay to the private sector to upgrade the network over the next five years.
But the upgrade is far from being completed.
There’s been some talk that the NBN will be completed by 2025, but this has yet to happen.
How long is the upgrade expected to take?
The upgrade to fibre to a node (FttN) technology has been around for at least a decade.
FttNs are similar to copper wires that are attached to poles and cables.
It is the first technology that has been able to replace fibre to analogue (FTAD) cables.
It can offer significantly faster speeds than copper wire, but the copper wire cables are not as strong.
FTTN technology is a hybrid of fibre to fibre and fibre optics, and can provide speeds of up to 300Mbps.
When is the rollout due to start?
In 2020, the government said the upgrade would begin in 2019.
So how much money is being spent on the upgrade now?NBN Co estimates the upgrade will cost $2.5 billion to $3 billion.
That figure does not include the $10 billion it is spending on the FttN upgrades to improve the network infrastructure.
This figure includes the cost to fix the network in 2020, which is due to be paid off in 2023.
Why did the government delay the upgrade?
Nathaniel Rees-Mogg, the head of the Infrastructure Australia, has been the NBN Infrastructure Delivery Group leader since June 2019.
He is responsible for overseeing the upgrade.
He’s been overseeing the rollout of the NBN since the Government of Australia was elected in 2017.
During his time at Infrastructure Australia he was also responsible for planning the rollout and maintenance of the ageing infrastructure.
He said he had a strong understanding of how the network should be maintained, and he believed that upgrading the network would provide a long-term benefit.
Why hasn, or hasn’t, the cost been put on the NBN costings?
When the Coalition was elected, NBN was due to begin construction in 2021.
NBN has been operating on a budget of $37.6 billion.NBN’s costings were expected to be published by the end of 2021.
The cost of that project has yet, but NBN Co said it was still a matter of some debate.
Is there any way to save the NBN at this stage?NCTCo estimates that the upgrade costs will cost about $5 billion in the next three years.
For a system that is about to be fully completed, this is not a big sum.
However, if the government were to take the necessary