FIBRE-TO-THE-HOME is supposed to let you do pretty much anything. Anything except look into it. Side-on is okay, but peering down a live optical fibre cable is like staring into a tiny, focused sun. A lot of light bores straight into your eyeball. Definitely not a good look.
Staring at fibre is what consultants McKinsey and Co and accountants KPMG have been doing for the last several months. The federal government paid them around $25 million; broadband minister Stephen Conroy got a 534-page Implementation Study. Value for money? That depends on what you were looking for.
In April last year, prime minister Kevin Rudd, finance minister Lindsay Tanner and Senator Conroy announced that the plan they took to the 2007 election for a fibre-to-the-node national broadband network, or NBN, was being superseded by a much more ambitious plan.