NBN has been forced to defend itself after Fairfax Media reported on a "damning internal progress report" revealing the failures of the national broadband network.
The confidential report, according to Fairfax, "sets out a litany of problems in delivering the Coalition's supposedly more budget-friendly fibre-to-the-node (FTTN) model".
The network is two-thirds behind schedule, with only 662,665 of the desired 1.4 million premises approved for connections, while NBN has achieved just 29,005 fibre-to-the-node "construction completions". Its internally budgeted target for this period was 94,273.
The report notes a rise in cost per connection of design and construction, up to $1366 compared with the target price of $1114 – a 23 per cent increase.
According to Fairfax, the massive $46 million public infrastructure project drifted off course while under the Communications portfolio of Malcom Turnbull, before his ascent to Prime Minister.
"By the company's own assessment, the giant infrastructure project has fallen two-thirds short of its benchmark construction timetable. Connection costs to each house or business are also blowing out. The model had been marketed to voters as superior to Labor's NBN because it was 'Fast. Affordable. Sooner'," according to Fairfax.
An NBN spokesperson has hit back at the Fairfax report and defended the "incredibly complex project".
"NBN rejects claims that the company is at risk of not meeting its targets, NBN has met or exceeded every key target for six quarters in a row.
"The company is on track to meet or exceed its full year targets of 2.6 million homes Ready For Service, approximately one million homes using the network, and more than $300 million in revenue."
"The company’s management has proven repeatedly that it can effectively monitor risks and manage those risks."
"We will not be drawn on alleged internal documents, we report quarterly and our results are audited. This is an incredibly complex project unlike any infrastructure build anywhere in the world," said the spokesperson.