Early last week, Internet Australia’s Chief Executive sparked further debate on the future of the nation’s broadband connectivity.
Internet Australia, the not-for-profit peak body representing all Australian internet users, had earlier called for an urgent re-assessment of the model currently being used for the National Broadband Network (NBN) rollout.
On Monday, Laurie Patton sounded an even clearer warning and the group has launched a campaign to urge the Turnbull Government to dump its copper-based broadband strategy
“It’s time to ditch the copper-based internet network and go with fibre or we will be left behind,” Mr. Patton stated in Sydney Morning Herald commentary.
“We are supposed to become an innovation nation, but we are already significantly constrained without competitive broadband.”
His comments and the campaign come in the wake of a recent Akamai report stating Australia is now ranked 48th in the world for average connection speed; another two places lower than in Akamai’s previous report.
Internet Australia says copper’s maximum speed is limited, upgrading and maintenance is costly and copper-based services will be superseded entirely in 10 to 15 years.
“How can we become a leading player in a digitally enabled global world if we don’t build a 21st century broadband network?” said Mr. Patton.
Mr. Patton says it’s not too late for a major change in tack – but it will need to happen very soon. He pointed out massive projects such as the Snowy Mountains Scheme were a success as they were planned for the future, not to electoral cycles.
On ABC’s Q&A last week, the ALP’s Ed Husic ( Member for Chifley), also called for a change.
“Well, we’re going to have an ideas boom after we get through the buffering basically,” he said with his tongue firmly placed in his cheek; but continued on a more serious note.
” We need the NBN and we need to get it fixed way better than what we are having at the moment, double the cost, not meeting the targets and people being left behind as we see other countries catapult ahead of us on broadband speed.”
While the NBN is not turning out as hoped, other services are launching to step in and meet the needs of the many Australians with little hope of ever seeing it; or the speeds and level of service they require. Lightning Broadband is preparing to roll out across Australia; offering blistering fast speeds on both upload and download using fibre and fibre/wireless technology.
While you’re here, try our internet speed check.