Blah. Liberals, You Disgust Me

So after reading up about the Coalition’s supposed “alternative” broadband “policy”, I feel rather angry and annoyed that they think they know what is best for those in regional areas and the economy. I hope no one is going to be voting for the coalition.

Read here:

I just felt that I should address some points, just in case people were thinking that the Coalition’s scheme was sounding good. Don’t forget that they are spending far less money and therefore the service will be of a far reduced quality.

Sure it’s cheaper but it’s only delivering a minimum of 12Mbps to 97% of households, some city folk getting 100Mbps HFC, ADSL2+ and the rest sitting on below average satellite. With 90% coverage by 2016. Considering that the NBN will be nearly build by then covering 93% of the population with 100Mbps fibre (yes please!) and the rest with 12Mbps wireless and satellite. They haven’t really specified who will get what. What happens in the future when we need faster speeds that copper simply just can’t deliver? Copper at it’s current technology tops out at 40Mbps and that decreases the further you move away from the exchange. The NBN starts at 100Mbps and it’s easy to go up from there and speeds won’t degrade with distance.

The Coalition also haven’t addressed the problem of equity. I’m assuming here that the majority of city users will be able to access 100Mbps HFC and users here in Mudgee will be stuck on 24Mbps max. When online services standardise, it will be at the faster rate of 100Mbps leaving those on the lower speeds behind. City people don’t understand rural people. We need a widespread distribution of a high speed fibre network that can be continually upgrade in the future.

$2.75 billion for an open access, fibre-optic backhaul network that will provide competition to Telstra’s existing services, with further expected private sector investment of $750 million

This will be interesting to see how this goes, I suspect that without structural separation of Telstra (which the Coalition does not support), it will still be able to use its monopoly in areas where it has the backhaul capacity. It was the damn Coalition who sold Telstra off in the first place, this is basically all their fault. Sure they got money from its sale but look at the amount of money that is required now to fix this problem and the years of delay. This will also be delivered in 2017 when most of us would have had 100Mbps fibre under the NBN. What is the point?

$1 billion for a wireless network that will address broadband problems in outer metropolitan Australia

We all know that wireless has problems in particular congestion and the fact that the more people who connect to a tower, the slower the speeds. This isn’t an issue in regional areas where the population density is low but in the city like the western suburbs of Sydney, this could result in a pathetic and slow service. Just ask uses of Optus’ 3G network in the city. I remember speeds topping out at 5KB/s when I was up in St Leonards. Admittedly, one would hope that the network they intend to deploy is a 4G standard but this won’t happen until 2016! The NBN would nearly be done by then!

$1 billion for regional wireless networks

This I don’t so much disagree with, admittedly, wireless is the solution for the last mile where rolling out fibre in impractical. Wireless should be the solution deployed to households like mine, 20km from the nearest major ADSL enabled exchange. Even upgrading my exchange, it still wouldn’t cover the number of people that a wireless station would. Or at the speeds given the fact that ADSL drops off significantly after 5km.

$750 million for fixed broadband optimisation to address areas serviced by telephone exchanges where Australians cannot currently get sufficient broadband speeds over Telstra’s copper network

This is me 🙂 I don’t get ADSL because Telstra haven’t upgraded my exchange. Even if this might allow to get broadband sooner, I would rather have a wireless connection due to the fact that my distance from the exchange would limit my speeds a fair bit.

Funding for satellite services to cover the small proportion of Australians who won’t be able to access fixed or wireless broadband

I wouldn’t wish this upon anyone. I currently use a satellite service and it’s a shocking, shocking experience. Never would I want to wish this service upon any internet user unless there is no other choice. Even the NBN approach is far better as they intend to build and launch their own satellites instead of some dodgy Thai owned ones that aren’t that reliable.

Existing NBN policy to be cancelled, NBN Co to be wound up and assets sold to the private sector

Abbot keeps going on about the “wasteful spending”. Is this not a waste in the end?

Don’t forget that the NBN is designed to replace the copper hopefully offering Voice, IP, and TV over the one line. This should also deal with TV blackspots and provide far cheaper voice calls (we all know how cheap VoIP calls are).

Any economics student can tell you that you need to invest in long term infrastructure projects like this to solve some of the problems of the capacity constraints in the Australian economy. NBN would allow many services and areas to be opened up. It’s just like investing in roads, rails and ports. Just like we had to invest in the 20th century in copper. Copper has reached its limits. Ask anyone on a Telstra RIM or pair gain about how great copper is. Businesses are more and more reliant on the internet. Don’t the Liberals support small business?

We need 21st century fibre optic speeds to keep “moving forward”.

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