NBN was formed as an alternative to Telstra's unwillingness to cooperate to provide highspeed broadband to all of Australia. When the-then Prime Minister Kevin Rudd announced this, I applauded the proposal. Now I think otherwise.
First, it is unnecessary to provide high speed broadband to all over Australia. Remote areas are best served by upgrading existing copper lines to keep the cost down. Think: would rural Australia benefit from having a dual carriage expressway serving the town? Would the people be best served by high speed broadband or by having better school or better medical facilities?
What really takes the cake for governmental wisdom is the fact that Prime Minister Julia Gillard wants to make it compulsory for every household to sign up for NBN's broadband service. Yes, that's reported in the news today. If you don't sign up, you cannot subscribe to the telephone service.
Don't ask about the cost to subscribers yet; Julia is not saying, or does not know. As for the project cost, $43bil is just the indicative price. My bet is that it will be much more before we see the light at the end of the fibre optic.