Let's be clear about this
What seems to be so conveniently forgotten in all these arguments is that the NBN is NOT just about speed. Indeed, one of the biggest problems is that this has become the mantra by which it is judged. There is no doubt we are living with a telephone network that is at 2 minutes to midnight in terms of its useful life. And,
note my careful use of the word 'telephone' That's what the copper network was designed for, and by some marvellous and very clever technology, we have managed to overlay a data network on top of it. But, have no doubt - we are virtually at the end of technological development on copper as it exists in the telephone environment.
The NBN - itself an unfortunate choice of name, since it really is a National Communications Network - is designed to replace the dying copper network. It is a replacement program - replace the dying copper with fibre that will probably see three or four generations of use. To be effective and efficient, this needs to be done in a ubiquitous fashion. It will not be either effective nor efficient - and certainly will be far more costly - to do this in a piecemeal fashion. The value of the NBN comes from doing it once, and doing it with fibre. It is like taking the plunge to buy a new car when the old one is 20 years old. Sure, you can buy a new engine;
buy a new gearbox; buy new steering components because the old ones have worn out. You will keep it on the road, but at what price? And, when do you get to a point that it is more cost effective to buy a new one. Now that new one will almost certainly be 'faster' than the old - but was that really why you bought it? Probably not!
The lack of foresight; the petty politics and the sheer selfishness of the NBN detractors is staggering. This isn't about us - today's' generation. It is about tomorrow's, and the one after and the one after that. Our kids and grandkids will look back with despair if we don't do it - and Australia as a country will be so much the poorer as our Asian neighbours overtake us in the digital future.