Mistakes in NBN rollout

PRIORITISING connections in regional Tasmanian towns and trumpeting an unrealistic end date have proven two major mistakes of the state's National Broadband Network rollout, says the man now tasked with completing the project.

In Tasmania to address a sold-out technology conference, NBN Co chief executive Bill Morrow reaffirmed an oft-stated pledge to finish the rollout as quickly and cheaply as possible.

Mr Morrow, who took over the role early last year, said initially focusing rollout efforts in regional centres like Scottsdale and George Town was wrong.

"Starting the rollout in the more difficult places first has caused the bulk of consumer-based problems Tasmania has seen to date," Mr Morrow said.

"We should have started with major metropolitan places to learn from and perfect what we were doing, instead of burning through taxpayer dollars."

Late last year, NBN Co promised all Tasmanians would be connected to the network by 2020, having earlier promised to finish the build by the end of 2015.

Mr Morrow said regional variables involved in laying fibre-to-the-premises across Tasmania were intense.

He was confident shifting to slower fibre-to-the-node connections would largely solve the problem.

"By far the biggest strain on connection wait times is the laborious, complex and resource-demanding process of connecting cabling from the footpath to the home with FTTP," he said.

Mr Morrow said the company and its delivery partners had worked hard to reduce the wait time from five weeks to three.

''Using mixed technologies will help us accelerate things even further,'' he said.

Mr Morrow was quick to allay concerns over significantly slower speeds mixed NBN technologies would provide.

"Everybody will have broadband connections with minimum speeds that exceed most household requirements," he said.

"I don't think it will create any issue of the haves and the have-nots beyond bragging rights among neighbours."

Mr Morrow promised to revert to full-fibre connections if future speed requirements demanded or maintaining the copper network proved too expensive.

The state's peak information technology group, highly critical of slow rollout progress and delays in securing connections to date, has vowed to be more supportive of the project.