How much internet did you use 5 years ago - when Facebook had just 100 million worldwide users (it now has around 1.1 billion)? And before the existence of:
How much internet did you use 10 years ago - before the existence of:
and when Skype was just starting up.
Before Smartphones and Tablet devices were invented?
In either 2008 or 2003, could you have predicted the massive increase
in your own internet usage, and in usage around the world? You probably
would have thought today's usage would never happen, or would be in
some far off distant future. Yet it was within a decade.
How much internet will we be using in another 5, or 10 years?
There has been an enormous increase in fixed line broadband use in the
past few years, and despite the massive rise in smartphones, far less of
an increase in mobile wireless internet use:
(graph is taken from this ABS information).
Australia needs a world-class broadband network. Sure, it will cost a
lot. But Australia has a lot of catching up to do: it lags a long way
behind many other nations in terms of its broadband capability, and
average internet speeds.
And whilst it will cost a lot, it will
achieve a lot of financial benefit to the nation, for instance with far
better internet access for rural and remote areas (connecting
businesses, schools and households with metro areas, and overseas),
better capability for e-health (so you can attend a checkup without even
leaving home - especially great for the elderly and for rural Aussies),
almost unlimited capacity for technological innovation (just look at
how much we've achieved in the past 10 years!), as well as a myriad of
benefits we can't even conceive yet. Could you have even conceived the
concept of Facebook, or YouTube, or Skype, before they existed?
The experts agree that the original NBN plan (where Fibre was connected
directly to the Home/Premises, aka FTTP) was far superior to the policy
proposed by the new Government (where Fibre is connected to Nodes on
your street, and then copper wire takes it to peoples Home/Premise aka
FTTN), under Minister Malcolm Turnbull and PM Tony Abbott.
If you are interested, check out this article from The Conversation. And check out this, for an infographic comparison.
And now, after all the talk about costs, and finishing dates, and
whether there is a difference between the old plan and the new plan,
there has been a Strategic Review, which has not found particularly good
things for either plan. Both will actually be more expensive, and take
longer to complete.
However, the new Government was elected,
promising to deliver broadband that was "sooner, cheaper and more
affordable", and that households would still get a good deal. Well,
that's not entirely true:
The sooner and cheaper deal has now been shown to be false, a "broken promise". Not sooner. Not cheaper.
And as for more affordable, well, many experts say that we will simply
need to upgrade the proposed FTTN (Turnbull/Abbott policy) to the
original FTTP (Labor policy) in around 2025 anyway.
So if we
are going to spend $41 billion on the FTTN policy now, and then spend
tens of billions more in around 15 years time, is it actually more
To end this semi-rant, I'll quote the words of an expert of this field:
"It's not too late for Malcolm Turnbull to do the right thing – and not
just the cheapest thing – for Australia. First, he'll have to accept
the Strategic Review's damning indictment of Coalition NBN policy – and
its suggestion that it will cost just $800m more per year to build a
network that will last 100 years, not five." - David Braue.
Do we want the
much faster, much better option, that will take longer now and cost more
in the short term; or do we want the cheaper, worse option, that won't
last nearly as long, and that will need replacing within just 10-15
years? More than 270,000 people agree with Option A.