Delivering a nationwide broadband network was always going to require a pretty penny. That doesn't mean you can't look for ways to save money — or speed the process up — without affecting the network itself. Turns out former NBN CEO Mike Quigley, before his departure, had successfully trialled improvements that could have seen fibre rollouts complete in a third of the time and at half the cost.
According to a story by The Age's David Braue, various proposed improvements to NBN Co's rollout strategy were tested earlier this year on the suburb of Melton in Victoria, about 45km north-west of Melbourne.
Thanks to a combination of "thinner and lighter cables, visiting premises only once and better managing contractor relationships", it was predicted that the rollout would be completed in a little over 100 days — 70 per cent less than the average. It's mentioned that the changes also brought significant cost savings as well, in the area of 50 per cent.
The rollout serviced almost 2500 premises, including "old and new buildings" and "rocky areas considered challenging" and while all the tweaks may not have been applicable everywhere, it sounds like substantial steps were being made to deliver the NBN's former incarnation as quickly and cheaply as possible (the good kind of cheap too).