NBN Co fudges numbers to expand rollout

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NBN Co fudges numbers to expand rollout
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Fixed wireless

NBN Co lists 33 wireless serving areas slated for fixed wireless service.

Of the 33 WSAs, 45 percent (n=15) remain on schedule and 36 percent (n=12) still have a service-ready schedule listed only as "TBA".

The remaining 18 percent (n=6) saw service-ready timetables slip. Four are in Tasmania (Herringback, Huonville, Deloraine and Westbury) and were pushed back by a month, from February to March 2013. Another tower for Motley in Queensland has slipped from April to May.

One slippage that will annoy some Tamworth residents is another delay to the proposed Moore Creek South site. Despite gaining council approval in late 2011, it has suffered repeated push backs, most recently from December 2012 to February 2013, according to Whirlpool posts, and now it isn't expected to be service-ready until May.

iTnews.com.au is seeking comment on what is behind delays at the site.

Methodology

This analysis is based on a fortnight-long investigation by iTnews.com.au of NBN Co's monthly ready for service rollout plan for February 2013 (pdf), compared to the previous month (pdf).

The document is published monthly for access seekers on the NBN. This is not the first time that consecutive months of data has been available - NBN Co has released the same data in the past but has removed each monthly report once new data has been made available.

iTnews' decision to run the numbers is a response to the increasingly fervent debate running around the National Broadband Network, which largely flies by without any statistics to support it.

For the purpose of the analysis, iTnews.com.au defined a slippage as any date pushed back into the following month or beyond. For example, a stage scheduled for February 2013 would be rescheduled for March 2013 or later.

Movement of service-ready dates within the same month — for example, February 2nd to February 15th — are considered to still be largely 'on schedule', for the purpose of this analysis, and have been recorded as such.

The service-ready plans also come with legal disclaimers that dates are "indicative" only and may change due to factors such as finalisation of "formal specifications".

Update, 2.44pm: NBN Co today told iTnews they would like more time to look at the numbers. We intend to publish the company's response.

5.35pm: Corrected percentage of WSAs that remain on schedule. The raw number (n=15) is still the same.

Do you know more? Email editors@itnews.com.au

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