Why Tech Types Should Care About Australia’s Election – NBN at Risk

Australia’s NBN (National Broadband Network) has been one of the most interesting (and promising) approaches to the legacy infrastructure problem plaguing telcos worldwide.   In a nutshell, the NBN project took over incumbent Telstra’s copper last mile network and was/is set to replace it wholesale with fiber.  It was/is a fascinating and promising experiment that could serve as a model (and prod) elsewhere.

Unfortunately, the likely winner (Abbot) is opposed to NBN.  From what I can gather on the Interwebs, he may have softened that stance somewhat.  But he still seems to want to do some sort of limited fiber-to-the-curb build instead of just ripping the band-aid off and getting the whole thing done right.  Even if the project goes ahead unchanged, an Abbot win will delay things as the spoils are re-distributed.  Sad to see that happen.  Also not great for potential equipment suppliers.

As an aside, this election has worrying echoes of Gore/Bush (at least when seen from afar).  Abbot seems to be winning more out of electoral ennui vs any fundamental rightward realignment.  Lets hope that works out better for Australia than it did for the USA….

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