Tooran Alizadeh writes in The Conversation (5.6.17) that the highly politicised nature of the NBN has led to a lack of transparency that makes it even harder to fix the mess that has been made of this vital national infrastructure.
'Eight years into the Australian government’s National Broadband Network (NBN) project, the nation has an average internet speed – 50th in the global rankings – that lags well behind many advanced economy countries.
'Ongoing secrecy around the NBN, a project that’s likely to cost more than A$50 billion, makes it impossible for the public in most cases to know when and what quality service they will receive. Further, new research shows the NBN rollout was politically motivated and socioeconomically biased from the beginning.
'It is perhaps time to remind ourselves of the ups and downs of the project that was once announced as a dream national infrastructure project for the 21st century. This requires a ten-year journey back in time, before we can figure out what needs to be done next.
'... It is convenient to blame one political party for the state of chaos that the NBN is in right now. However, politicisation of the project has been part of the problem since day one.
'Instead, we call for telecommunication infrastructure to be considered for what it really is: the backbone of the fast-growing digital economy; the foundation for innovation in the age of smart cities and big data; and a key pillar of social equity and spatial justice.'