Stephen Conroy and Andrew Leigh in Gungahlin in April. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen
How many NBN Co and Telstra technicians does it take to connect your home to the national broadband network?
In my case, seven. And that's no joke. Well, actually, it is a joke. Except no one's laughing.
If hooking up to the network at this early stage of its construction was simply not an option - as is the case for the vast majority of the population - that would be frustrating.
Especially given the hype the federal government has been happy to create about its centrepiece infrastructure project.
But to be fortunate enough to live in a house in one of the few streets in one of the very few suburbs that can be connected, but then to be forced to wait three months to be hooked up, is its own special form of exasperation.
Not to mention concerning - given how many households requiring much more complicated installation work remain to be connected across Australia.
When I signed with Telstra to connect to the broadband network, Julia Gillard was prime minister and Senator Stephen Conroy was the minister in charge of posing next to big reels of bright green cable in the Gungahlin town centre.
That was back in mid-April. Three months and separate house calls by three different NBN Co technicians and three different Telstra technicians later and, while there was a white box with blinking lights screwed to my garage wall, still no broadband.
An email to my local member, Andrew Leigh, found a sympathetic ear. ''That sounds extremely frustrating,'' the Labor MP for Fraser replied. ''I know what it's like to be waiting around for a service that isn't delivered on time.''
So, it turns out, do a lot of other Canberrans. Subsequent questions to NBN Co reveal that if you live in the ACT and ring up and order a broadband network service today, the soonest you'll be able to be connected is 10 weeks.
NBN Co, to its credit, agrees that this is not nearly good enough, and assures us that it is taking steps to cut the backlog of 2000 booked installations.
Happily, broadband has finally been connected at our place. The problem was apparently ''gunk'' in the pipe from the street to the house. Now all that remains is to persuade my wife that faster download speeds will make up for all those lost hours spent waiting around for broadband network and Telstra techs.