ACT senator and former shadow Minister for ICT Kate Lundy told ZDNet.com.au last month in a video interview that a project as large as the National Broadband Network was bound to see schedule slippage.
"I think [delays are] almost inevitable given the complexity and size of the project," she said.
The government released a tender last month for the roll-out in Tasmania and said that work could begin this month, although there had been hopes it would have begun in July. The advisor for the implementation study has also only just been chosen — a consortium of McKinsey and KPMG — which puts pressure on the deadline for completion of the study.
Lundy believed the government would do its utmost to stop the national roll-out from dragging on for a decade or more. "The government, I don't think, put out their time frame lightly," she said. Complications in parliament caused by the opposition hadn't helped with the time frame, she said. She believed it shouldn't complain about the time the government was taking to get things done while constantly calling for things that would slow the building of the network.
One of the things the opposition has sought has been an economic benefits analysis of the broadband network. "If we waited to fill in all those details it would be another five years," Lundy said. She agreed that building a network without such an analysis was a leap of faith. "But it's a leap of faith I'm prepared to make," she said.
Lundy said she supports Communications Minister Stephen Conroy in all his endeavours, yet she has also been carrying out work for the industry on the side. She is the force behind popular online forums on policy called Public Sphere. The next one will be held 28 August in Wollongong.
In the video, she talks about these forums, the Future Directions paper which Senator Conroy released last month, as well as whether she'd like to be in Conroy's shoes.