Unfortunately, during the period 2009-2013 the NBN rollout became a political football, resulting in an environment where NBN (formerly NBN Co) experienced many constraints and constant diversions of management time and energy into non-productive activity. Under enormous political pressure NBN had to balance its plan between what is technically required to deliver a first-class infrastructure, on the one hand, and delivering as much as possible before the September 2013 election on the other.
After the election the new government had to further revise the rollout projections downward.
As promised, it will honour existing contracts that have been signed under the current government; and it has instructed NBN Co to come up with a plan that will see as much as possible from the original NBN plan salvaged, based on a more agnostic deployment of technologies.
There are many unusual' reasons why the rollout has seen so many delays the negotiations with Telstra and Telstra's asbestos scare are among the most notable ones. The question is whether these were simply one-offs and NBN Co should therefore be able to catch up; the foreshadowed review will reveal if that is possible or if the problem is more structural.
The next step after that is for RSPs to sign up customers for their broadband, service uptake among some the first sites is already climbing to 50%-60%.