blog The general public might have been blinded by the incredibly inept self-exploding Labor political machine yesterday in all its glory, but the real story from the day’s events for the technology sector was the news that NBN Co is significantly behind — three months behind — in its fibre network rollout effort. The news came as somewhat of a shock, given the company had up until only recently been assuring everyone that everything was on track. Telco analyst Paul Budde writes on his blog today (we recommend you click here for the full post) that the move comes with consequences for the company. Some sample paragraphs:
“What … is at stake here is the credibility of NBN Co and of its leadership. You expect from a professional organisation such as NBN Co that on short term roll out plans they should be able to get it right. Adjusting such a short term plans twice within a year does question the capability of the organisation to proper plan and execute the roll out. It doesn’t really matter what the reason is, labour shortage, vendors issue, environmental issues and so on they are all well known within the context of a short term plan.
The damage is predominantly on the political side as this confirms what the Opposition has been saying all the time, that NBN Co will not be able to deliver on its promises and that its management has serious problems. There is no longer any doubt that, in the case of an election win by the Opposition, the position of Mike Quigley is untenable and that some very serious changes will have to be made to the company.”
I am planning to post some detailed thoughts on this issue possibly early next week, but suffice it to say that I agree with Budde. I sat through an extensive press conference with NBN Co chief executive Mike Quigley only a month ago, and at that stage there was literally no mention of the possibility of delays. A month later, the company appears to have suddenly realised that it’s three months behind schedule. Quigley brushed this credibility issue off yesterday when I questioned him in depth about it, but to my mind this situation goes to the heart of the issue of governance and project management at NBN Co. Like Budde, I believe the NBN is overall a very positive project and the right model, but also like Budde, I am starting to lose faith in the way the project is being run and starting to question its honesty and transparency.
You see what has happened here? My view on things is gradually changing as more evidence comes to light. That’s a little thing I like to call rational thinking.
Image credit: NBN Co