Of the developed world, Australia boasts the rather poor statistic of having some of the worst internet speeds in comparison to the Asia’s and Americas, as clearly seen in many broadband indexing by country. This is something that has been debated and discussed in the Government, and by the public, for over a decade since the internet began to become integrated into society (see our previous article for more details!)
An issue that has faced Australia (that not many other areas of the developed world face) is that, although we are blessed with a democracy and a 1st world nation, our population to landmass is far less than most other places with higher population per square kilometre, or support from surrounding countries. Australia, being a single island nation, has none of that.
Along with a multitude of other issues surrounding the atrocious broadband speed that Australia has to offer, including using outdated copper wiring for the telephony network (of which broadband relies on) the plans for a national network across Australia was first proposed in 2003.
In 2005, Telstra decided to do their own upgrades to their system, however, it was put on hold due to the ACCC (Australian Competition and Consumer Commission) not allowing an exemption for third party access to the networks.
Since then, the NBN, or national broadband network, has been a subject of much political debate. Both major parties have promised to bring it to the country, yet it wasn’t until 2010 that the bill was passed through the senate.
What does the NBN mean for Webtron? It means that more customers can access the internet in areas that were once thought to be ‘black zones’ or ‘dead zones’ – where there was little to no mobile or internet connectivity. It also means increased speed and more opportunity for rich interactive online engagement such as video and applications running from websites.
However, the response to the NBN has been a mixed one. While a global broadband service is desperately needed, one right on the back of proposed censorship laws and it being owned by the government has raised many concerns. And although NBN Co had to sign the ‘freedom of information’ agreement before the legislation could be approved, skeptics still believe that this network could be taken advantage of and censored.
As of the 17th of December 2014, Telstra has sold 11 billion dollars worth of their old copper network to NBN.co, This has been met with mixed response – some happy about the deal, as it will increase the speed of the NBN rollout, but others unhappy, as the old copper network will remain in place. Fears that a hybird product will be slower than what was originally proposed.
Despite concerns, over 100,000 people have since joined the NBN and have reported positive feedback. As the saying goes, so far so good!
And when is the NBN going to reach you? Find out here!