Costing a National Broadband Network

For a long time now the ALP has pushed their multi-billion dollar broadband network ever since it was announced by their previous leader, Kevin Rudd.

The $43bn investment seems pretty impressive, but if you look past the fortune cookie price tag, things just don’t add up.

After pondering how much value we’d get for it, I found some numbers to crunch:

Last I read, Australia had about 154,000,000km of copper wire.

This was from a Telstra Source in May, 2010.

The ALP has $43,000,000,000 outlined to spend in making 98% of Australia FTTN (Fibre To The Node); so this would mean that the projected cost is about 0.27c a meter to install; about $279 a kilometer.

But let’s look at the prices they are looking at. In 2007, Telstra was paying it contractors the below amounts to undertake the following services:

# Open trench and laying 100mm conduit – $80 per metre
# Boring 100mm conduit – $50 per metre
# Pits for hauling approx every couple of hundred metres & every change of direction – $250 – $700
# Fibre – $3 – $10 per metre
# Rod, rope & haul fibre approx $8 – $15 per metre
# Re-instatement of concrete/bitumen/pavers – $30 – $60 per m2

The cable alone costs $3,000-10,000 a kilometer.

Simple Question:
Does that seem like $279 a km to you?

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