Australia. Yes, we do have a great country, but I feel like in some areas were are being ripped off. We have to pay more than double the amount for consumer goods than Americans do (in most cases), we have to travel further to reach overseas destinations AND our internet speed is one of the slowest in the world. 30th, in fact (http://www.gizmodo.com.au/2013/01/which-country-has-the-fastest-internet-and-how-does-australia-compare/). And we have to pay to have access to these slow speeds, whereas people in South Korea, which has one of the fastest access speeds in the world, have access to wi-fi for free! Is that really fair?
So the Australian government wants to introduce the National Broadband Network (NBN) which they claim will speed up our internet and give better access to people in rural areas in terms of work, study and health. The labour government has proposed to do this with the use of fibre optic cables. Then there is the coalition who plans to use the existing (are ageing) copper cables, which will only double the current internet speed, and if a household wants the fibre optic cables to have the faster internet, that’s an added cost. Have they not noticed the trends? Internet usage is rising, and it will continue to rise and yet again, Australia will be left behind. If the coalition gain power, they will have to update the NBN when the copper cables can no longer be used.
But there’s also another problem that comes with NBN. The government is trying to offer better access to internet to people living in rural areas, and people from lower income families. This was great when the 1:1 high school student laptop policy was booming and when the laptops were new, but what happens when they become old technology, and the government isn’t allocating funds to repair or replace them? Is there a point to giving high access internet speed, but people not being able to afford the technology to properly use it?
Could Australia take on South Korea’s approach, and provide free wi-fi to everyone, anywhere, and with the money saved on accessing internet, people can update their technology?