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Transparency Required For $37 Billion Aussie Broadband Deal

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the if-not-free-markets-at-least-a-bit-of-sunshine dept.

Australia 62

destinyland writes "Freedom of Information Laws have been successfully extended to Australia's $37.5 billion broadband internet project — a 100 mbps fiber network covering 94% of the Australian population. The massive National Broadband Network had originally been classified as exempt from Australia's Freedom of Information laws, which Australia's goverment argued would impose 'a competitive disadvantage' on its operating company. The Opposition and Green parties pointed out that freedom of information was essential, since the NBN Company would be operating as an internet monopoly."

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Knowing the Australian government... (3, Insightful)

Cant use a slash wtf (1973166) | more than 3 years ago | (#35309892)

...they will manage to stuff up at some stage. I have no doubts that this will exceed the $37.5 billion allocated. Seriously, when was the last an Australian government (state or federal) has managed to maintain their promises on costs of any project.

Re:Knowing the Australian government... (0)

loving_weiners (2001248) | more than 3 years ago | (#35310098)

fuckall hell and burn you wanker!!!!!!!!!

Re:Knowing the Australian government... (1)

Dan541 (1032000) | more than 3 years ago | (#35310448)

Our government is also very pro-censorship. Nothing good can come of this monopoly.

Re:Knowing the Australian government... (1)

rtb61 (674572) | more than 3 years ago | (#35312048)

The cost of implementation will be driven by how rapidly it is down and where the initial infrastructure is implemented are focused.

Focusing on high revenue areas in the early stages will return income into the development and help pay for it.

So the cost will largely be driven by take up of the service, now as the incumbent telco is scrapping it's copper, take up is guaranteed.

Benefit of fibre optic services is it will continue to provide high bandwidth communications in the even of major failures in satellite communications which are statistically inevitable.

Useless posturing by the conservatives. (4, Insightful)

sg_oneill (159032) | more than 3 years ago | (#35309904)

Bah. The opposition have been running a ridiculous scare campaign to try and convince people that its a terrible idea and instead the government should be rolling out 4G wireless as the new "next generation" broadband.

Never mind that 4G is slower than the current ADSL2+ network.

And the bit about a monopoly is ridiculous. The current copper network is owned as a monopoly by Telstra who are proving to be deeply anti-competitive compared to when it was government owned . If your going to do a monopoly, let the govt run it so that it wont have an anti-competitive profit motive. Then let the commercials offer alternatives. This is the current plan.

The conservatives would block their own assholes if they believed labor had invented them.

Re:Useless posturing by the conservatives. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35309950)

What is worse is, five to ten years down the line, the Liberals (the current opposition) are going to sell off the NBN so they can give tax breaks to the wealthy and then when they lose the next election, complain that Labor can't even keep their budget balanced (even though it was the Liberals who sold off a profitable or at least in the black government holdings and spent all the profits)...

Re:Useless posturing by the conservatives. (4, Insightful)

thegarbz (1787294) | more than 3 years ago | (#35309952)

What the government fails to realise is that this only becomes a monopoly when privatised. Most government run utilities are in essence a monopoly and as long as the liberal government doesn't in the future turn around and privatise the national broadband network it won't be a monopoly but a utility.

Re:Useless posturing by the conservatives. (4, Interesting)

mjwx (966435) | more than 3 years ago | (#35310162)

What the government fails to realise is that this only becomes a monopoly when privatised. Most government run utilities are in essence a monopoly and as long as the liberal government doesn't in the future turn around and privatise the national broadband network it won't be a monopoly but a utility.

Its been in the NBN plan from the start that NBNco would be privatised a number of years after completion to recoup the costs (pay off the govt bonds being used to build it). It's about the only part of the NBN plan I disagree with.

OP is right, this is a scare campaign run by Abbott and Turnbull (why did Peter quit, I always like the idea of saying that Abbott and Costello ran the country). They know the NBN is popular and have no reasonable alternative.

Re:Useless posturing by the conservatives. (1)

((hristopher _-*-_-* (956823) | more than 3 years ago | (#35310252)

Government/Opposition supporters.

The original Fan Boy War.

Re:Useless posturing by the conservatives. (1)

mjwx (966435) | more than 3 years ago | (#35311064)

Government/Opposition supporters.

The original Fan Boy War.

For the record, I voted Green/Independent.

Not that I disagree with you, you raise a good point, the most tragic Apple fanboy could not raise the level of hell as an angry life long Liberal/Labor supporter.

In a 2 party system I have to pick which party I hate the least, but in Oz I can at least pick an third party/individual that will occasionally slap the major party and say "dont do that again".

Re:Useless posturing by the conservatives. (1)

Errol backfiring (1280012) | more than 3 years ago | (#35312586)

Can somebody please explain the pros of privatising? To me, it is like selling your apple tree that you've protected all of your life to the first bystander who happens to have a lot of apples: you always loose.

Re:Useless posturing by the conservatives. (1)

SleazyRidr (1563649) | more than 3 years ago | (#35312924)

No, you pretty much get the idea.

Re:Useless posturing by the conservatives. (1)

s73v3r (963317) | more than 3 years ago | (#35314086)

You get a short term boost in revenue. That's about it. Also, some ideologically pure sense of government not interfering with business. But as far as useful things go, nothing.

Re:Useless posturing by the conservatives. (1)

thegarbz (1787294) | more than 3 years ago | (#35331592)

Summarised best by a coworker of mine, it's a way of the government selling you something that you already bought. :-)

Re:Useless posturing by the conservatives. (1)

kestasjk (933987) | more than 3 years ago | (#35310410)

What the government fails to realise is that this only becomes a monopoly when privatised. Most government run utilities are in essence a monopoly and as long as the liberal government doesn't in the future turn around and privatise the national broadband network it won't be a monopoly but a utility.

  • The government is planning to privatize NBNCo; one of the main arguments its proponents bring up is that it will make so much money that the taxpayer will profit (we'll see)
  • "Most government run utilities are in essence a monopoly" followed by "as long as it doesn't get privatized it won't be a monopoly but a utility" doesn't make much sense.
  • Whether you class a utility as a monopoly, your definitions for either or those terms, doesn't really matter: In Australia and elsewhere utilities are getting split up, sold off, made to compete with each other, and the results for the consumer have been positive (a few years ago we could only use Telstra here, now we have loads of decent choices). It seems like we're only just getting away from Telstra and the NBN seems like a huge leap in the wrong direction

Re:Useless posturing by the conservatives. (1)

Dodgy G33za (1669772) | more than 3 years ago | (#35310498)

Didn't work so well for Australia's airports though did it? And we are only getting away from Telstra being a monopoly by a Telstra specific legislation, which surely is the antithesis of capitalism?

Re:Useless posturing by the conservatives. (1)

thegarbz (1787294) | more than 3 years ago | (#35331684)

we have loads of decent choices now, after years of suffering which started with the privatisation, after years of telstra the now private entity dedicated to shareholder returns rather than service getting belted repeatedly by the ACCC. Before the privatisation I had 10mbit cable fully unlimited. I didn't need choice. It was only post privatisation when the 3gb cap (first in the world mind you) was introduced as the only option with the lovely cent/mb over charge, it was only then that we in general craved some competition.

Agovernment run utility is a utility for a reason, it isn't run for profit at the expense of service, and I haven't witnessed a privatisation that has been of benefit to consumers thus far

Re:Useless posturing by the conservatives. (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 3 years ago | (#35310472)

Most government run utilities are in essence a monopoly and as long as the liberal government doesn't in the future turn around and privatise the national broadband network it won't be a monopoly but a utility.

What?
Utilities are, by definition, services that are best provided by monopolies.

Re:Useless posturing by the conservatives. (1)

ytaews (1837554) | more than 3 years ago | (#35312052)

It's still a monopoly, but I would rather have a monopoly that is accountable to its customers (through elections) as opposed to its shareholders.

Re:Useless posturing by the conservatives. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35310030)

That might be true, but as an Australian, I STILL want the information to be revealed. The information is currently so limited that the entire network might be routed through Echelon, and we would have n

Re:Useless posturing by the conservatives. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35310074)

Last I recall they have no policy to implement an NBN of any sort fibre, wireless 4G or any other sort of G for that matter. They're just using wireless 4G argument to twist public perception into believing that the current NBN policy is bad, sadly most people are not intelligent enough to see it for what it is.

Re:Useless posturing by the conservatives. (2)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 3 years ago | (#35310260)

Their arguments may be ridiculous, but transparency is still a good thing. Such a high budget makes it very credible that some people will try to divert some percents in their pockets. Security through obscurity doesn't work, neither does honesty through secrecy.

Re:Useless posturing by the conservatives. (2)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 3 years ago | (#35311134)

Still, don't you think it's suspicious that they tried to exempt such a huge spending project from FOI? I get real uneasy when projects start breaking from basic principles of good governance. Even if I like the reason for the project's being, that's no excuse for breaking from a fundamentally important principle.

Of course transparency is needed.... (4, Funny)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 3 years ago | (#35309922)

...without transparency, how are the lasers going to shine over the optical fiber?

Re:Of course transparency is needed.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35310116)

dude, newer hered off dark fibre?

Re:Of course transparency is needed.... (1)

Danieljury3 (1809634) | more than 3 years ago | (#35310390)

...without transparency, how are the lasers going to shine over the optical fiber?

We could try replacing the photons with electrons and the optical fiber with non-transparent copper wire.

Australia Inc (0)

wasabu (1502975) | more than 3 years ago | (#35309942)

The Australian Government is now fully engaged in the Fascist Business Model like the USA, hence the contempt for people policies. The Commonwealth of Australia is a US Securities Exchange listed company, prospectus n all. Look it up.

In two minds about transparency (3, Interesting)

thegarbz (1787294) | more than 3 years ago | (#35309976)

One the one side transparency should be part of every major infrastructure project. It provides a way to judge the government on how well it's doing spending money rather than squandering it on red tape and poorly worded contracts. Knowing this government it will cost more than the $37bn they projected.

On the other hand the whole quest for transparency is coming from the opposition as they are desperately looking for any excuse to try and sink this project. Their vision of the future is some magical wireless that apparently will break the laws of physics or something and will provide this speed to all Australians without infrastructure costs. Oh and rather than a government funded project they will achieve this simply handing billions to Telstra our biggest government funded monopoly, and also the ISP with the poorest pricing models in the country. This is also disappointing as the opposition communications minister is the only one really qualified for the title, but he also seems to be in magical wireless land.

If the opposition manage to sink this project as a result of somehow convincing the greens and independents that it is not worthwhile as a result of this information, I'm going to be pissed.

Re:In two minds about transparency (1)

mjwx (966435) | more than 3 years ago | (#35310178)

Knowing this government it will cost more than the $37bn they projected.

based on...

Bad media reports of the insulation fiasco. Hate to break it to you mate but those were overblown.

The NBN is slated to cost the government less then 25 Bn (over 13 Bn is from private sources) now that they've got access to Telstra's pits and ducts. That was the real cost of the NBN, not the glass, not the routers but the fact they had to dig up almost every street in the country to get it in there. With the Telstra deal, that is no longer a big issue

Re:In two minds about transparency (1)

((hristopher _-*-_-* (956823) | more than 3 years ago | (#35310256)

Yeah, when people die due to shoddy due diligence on the behalf of the government, it's just so meh these days.

Re:In two minds about transparency (1)

captain random (992611) | more than 3 years ago | (#35314082)

That's a little disingenuous mate; when most people mention the insulation program, they are simply repeating the Liberal line that the whole thing was a fiasco. Which it wasn't. Some dodgy operators spoiled it for everyone (and perhaps the government could have taken a little more care vetting operators somehow), but overall the program was a success.

When you talk to just about anyone in Australia, and they immediately bring up one of the following, you may as well just walk away (or face the urge to throw yourself from the nearest window):

  • The government is incompetent because the insulation program was a farce (it wasn't).
  • The government is incompetent because the Building the Education Revolution (BER) program was a farce and a waste of money (something like a 3% complaint rate, I believe).
  • The government is illegitimate and we should have another election.
  • They call Julia Joolya or JuLiar (name-calling; it's practically a hallmark).

You can guess they get almost all their talking points from The Australian (a Murdoch rag) or AM talkback radio. For the record, I'm a Greens voter; I don't actually like Labor, but I think they're a damn sight better than the Liberals, and I'd rather have a government that (supposedly) aims for services and social mobility.

Re:In two minds about transparency (1)

thegarbz (1787294) | more than 3 years ago | (#35310382)

based on...

... Government.

Actually scratch that. Just call it a major project. The problem with most of these large projects is the engineering costs are a race to the bottom. Even without the government red tape you'll end up with the contractor either going bankrupt or over budget.

Re:In two minds about transparency (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35310424)

> to cost the government less then 25 Bn

Less THAN. THAN. You are comparing two values, so use THAN.

Re:In two minds about transparency (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35310444)

i suppose you don't mind if the NBN ends up costing $94 billion, reaches only 80% of metropolitan areas, and results in consumers paying roughly $20/month more for 8mbps connections (not unlimited mind you).

one of the things that has been hidden is what the effective cost will be.
sure it 'sounds' like it'll be cheap once everyone has 100mbps connections.
but considering all the content people actually want will be coming from the USA, prepare to pay a premium on international costs.
in addition with what info we've got already the NBN Co hasn't stated what they'll be charging in a per mb/gb basis of usage
from what can be gathered the only way the NBN Co will be cheap is if it's the _only_ provider
that means surrendering all existing copper, cable, and satellite networks

regardless of which politcal party is in power, it has always been planned that the NBN Co will be privatised.

while it all sounds like scare-mongering, it's all well and good to want 'nice things', but what's actual scary is everything skipping past all pitfalls so we can have 'nice things'.

but i suppose that's part of the whole 'i want it now' generation

Re:In two minds about transparency (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35314280)

ever heard of akamai?

A government-sponsored "commercial" venture? (1)

Troll-Under-D'Bridge (1782952) | more than 3 years ago | (#35309980)

Being at home above the equator, I'm confused by the article [zdnet.com.au] 's reference to "material relating to confidential commercial information". Supposedly, such information could and should be protected from disclosure.

But why does the government need to have trade secrets along with the usual military and diplomatic embargo on information? Dictators and their cronies might think it's okay to run a government for profit, but my understanding of democratic government is that, at best, it shouldn't lose money ("balanced budget"). Fees are charged for paperwork and the like so the government can pay its employees or buy the raw materials it needs to render its services.

Re:A government-sponsored "commercial" venture? (4, Interesting)

williamhb (758070) | more than 3 years ago | (#35310192)

But why does the government need to have trade secrets along with the usual military and diplomatic embargo on information?

Because it's an investment that they are determined is a good idea, but it's very hard to prove there will be enough of an economic return. Open up the accounts and they'll get assaulted from all sides -- the Liberal party complaining about the debt burden, the Telcos complaining about unfair competition, etc etc. Realistically, the NBN is being funded in the hope that having a western English-speaking country with almost universal fast broadband access, companies will choose to deploy here first, found the company here, and turn technology from a big net import to a big net export as things deployed here first get re-exported around the world. As a technologist, I think it's a good bet, but it is one that is darned hard to prove in a business case -- expose it and the polticial flak from taking a punt with $40bn will sink the project and condemn Australia to continue importing most of its technology. At the moment, even most things that are invented here are incorporated in the US because that's the market the founders want to build a business in -- 10 times the size of Australia and with comparable infrastructure. So even if we invent it, it usually still ends up as a foreign company selling technology to Australia, and a balance of trade problem, as the US-incorporated company does the bulk of its hiring in the US. We need to change that, and making it attractive to found the next generation of technology companies here -- making Australia the first market a founding start-up will target, and consequently where they will incorporate -- is a good way to start.

In short, my opinion is that it's a great bet because even if worst comes to worst, you still end up with a useful utility. But if the bet pays off, you get both a useful utility and growth and diversification in the economy. But you'd never get that past an opposition politician or a businessman with a vested interest in it failing.

Opposition and Green parties scare mongers ! (4, Insightful)

johnjones (14274) | more than 3 years ago | (#35310048)

Seriously

they are trying to derail the NBN and trust me this is the ONLY way australia is not going to be a backwater in 5 year (more than it is now)

they are nuts first they claim that wireless is speedier than fibre
(what do they think forms the uplinks from the base stations....)

then they claim its not value for money
(frankly the amount of bandwidth in australia is worth 100 billion but they wont see that as they dont depend on the internet for anything since right now it's so slow)

if you want to know what a society can do with lots of bandwidth go to sweden

australia needs something like NBN FAST and the politicians should stop playing games !!!!

regards

John Jones

Re: Opposition and Green parties scare mongers ! (1)

Dodgy G33za (1669772) | more than 3 years ago | (#35310514)

Actually someone should point the house on the hill to redtube in high definition. THEN they will understand why we need the speed.

Re: Opposition and Green parties scare mongers ! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35310618)

The NBN will probably be a reason why Australia is still a backwater. The current government will allow costs to blow out giving contract to union buddies. A few people will probably die during the installation of the system. The resulting system will be so costly the ever increasingly taxed aussie will not be able to get on board and get stuck with underperforming wireless internet from vodaphone or optus. The slow take up will bankrupt the scheme.

The opposition are opposing this because they are sick of the current government overspending on pipe dreams, wasting moneys on ill thought out vote buying handouts then implementing a draft of new taxes to make up for the lack of financial planning for these pipedreams

Re: Opposition and Green parties scare mongers ! (4, Interesting)

OzTech (524154) | more than 3 years ago | (#35310670)

With respect. You are a numb-but, otherwise known as a "muppet".

If you haven't realised or woken up to the fact that the NBN is really a smoke-screen thrown up the the Grubber-mint as a back-door way to totally control Internet access within our country, I suggest that you scour the fine pages on Slashdot and just take a quick look at what has occured recently in other counties where the Grubbermint has had absolutely no control over the pipe leading into their fine land to inform the general population.

In case you are to think to understand, the NBN is Labors back-door mechanisim to control the flow of information in and out of this place because they didn't get it past the general population when they used the old American trick of Motherhood and Apple-Pie when wrapped into the blanket of kiddie-porn and terrorism the way the Yanks seem to continually do.

Make no bones about it. The NBN has nothing to do with access. It is about "control" at any and all costs. With a Grubbermint as the Naitional ISP and ultimately controlling the pipes, what more or less would.could you expect?

Re: Opposition and Green parties scare mongers ! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35326498)

Sir, I suspect that your tin-foil hat may need some adjustment.

Re: Opposition and Green parties scare mongers ! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35310694)

try telling Alan Jones and Ross Greenwood (conservative radio commentators - both pro business) about the differences. Its almost as if they have shares in wireless communication companies they flog that line so much

Re: Opposition and Green parties scare mongers ! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35321130)

I can't really just pop over to Sweden. So why don't you spell it out for me. What has Sweden got that was supposedly the result of fast universal broadband.

Re: Opposition and Green parties scare mongers ! (1)

uninformedLuddite (1334899) | more than 3 years ago | (#35326512)

fast streaming video of Inga

wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35310154)

It's actually a 1 Gbps FTTH network to 93% of the population, fixed wireless a further to 4% of the population and satellite to the rest. Perhaps the opposition could use FOI laws to get there facts correct.

Evil *and* stupid (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35310254)

> since the NBN Company would be operating as an internet monopoly

This is the single worst possible way to provide I service.

The Oz Government is both stupid and evil.

I say evil because I bet the fact that the money all comes from tax so this is a State owned company will play no small part in the Australian Governments deep packet inspection monitoring. If they tried to impose that on a private commerical company, they'd be fought tooth and nail, because of the costs and because it discourages customers. If they impose it on a State owned company... who's going to argue. The company doesn't mind, because it knows it will always be bailed out with tax money if things go pear shaped (otherwise the State looks bloody idiotic for spending 37.5 billion on a failure) and maybe now it will be tax payers money now which installs the hardware.

The stated reasons for the effort to avoid FOI do not add up - not given that other State owned companies are under FOI. There's a good reason and there's a real reason. I bet the Government would love it if this company could secretly act upon State imposed monitoring requirements. Then they could monitor everything they'd like - *no one would know*.

WHY is one group of people taking money from everyone and then using it to place them under survelliance?

Oz is now well and truly off my list of places to live.

Re:Evil *and* stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35315478)

If you'd done even a little bit of research, you'd know that NBN doesn't provide IP-level services (or, indeed services to consumers at all). They're at the wrong level in the OSI model to do any filtering.

No ROI has been done for this network.... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35310482)

The issue isn't with the NBN being awesome and cool, it's about ROI, and the fact that their is none. Having 1GBps network to the middle of nowhere isn't going to do any good. If it was commercially viable, a private company would have already done it, and the labor party has already been buying votes by promising regional towns first roll out of the NBN, where there is absolutly no ROI or economies of scale.

I would support the NBN if it only applied to major population centers only, ie, capital cities. Improve regional with wireless, not rewiring every street where the ROI will be next to nothing. Even in the capital cities it will be next to nothing, there is not going to be any huge increase to Australia's economy with the NBN, we're not going to become a hosting/cloud hub of the world simply due to latency. We'll create a super fast network for services in Australia only, a country of 22 million with a network which will never have any good ROI for the public money spent. The reason these sort of networks work so well in South Korea / Japan / Singapore is because they are small land masses with very high density populations. Australia has the land mass of the USA with a 20th of the population.

Re:No ROI has been done for this network.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35310556)

What kind of Liberal Party written dribble is this crap? You are a fucking idiot in simply spewing the same crap Abbott is

Re:No ROI has been done for this network.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35310634)

No i'm not, please explain how this network will improve Australia's economy? Where is the ROI .. there is none. Hells yes I would love a 1Gbps network connection to my home, but it is not economically feasible in Aus. Do the capital cities only, and then i'd agree with it, rather than Julia Gillard promicing regional towns, where there is no economical benifit, the initial deployments to win their votes.

Re:No ROI has been done for this network.... (1)

captain random (992611) | more than 3 years ago | (#35315562)

Good god, what a load of ignorant rubbish - governments are SUPPOSED to do it where it's not viable for private companies to do so!

Young people leave rural areas all the time because of limited employment opportunities. Putting high-speed links out there means you can move (or start) many types of tech-supported industries that otherwise wouldn't be able to exist outside of the city.

You know all that overcrowding the anti-boat-people brigade keep whining about? Well this is part of the reason for overcrowding. Because we keep trying to fit more and more people into the existing cities. Nobody wants to live out of the city because they can't get these sort of services.

Isn't 100mbps too slow by the time of completition (2)

nomaddamon (1783058) | more than 3 years ago | (#35310654)

The project will likely take 5 or more years to complete.
I remember having 4mbps/512kbps ADSL line 5 years ago and there is no way i would call that "usable" today.

I've had 150mbps/100mbps cable for a year now, this seems fine at the moment but in 5 years? considering how technology keeps on advancing and using up more-and-more bandwidth i really doubt there will be that many users for 100mbps net in 5 years.

In my opinion they should take the money, invest it in backbone networks and let local telco's compete on rented cables (take Stockholm for example, similar scenario resulted in 4$/mo 100mbps net for the whole city 2 years ago)

Re:Isn't 100mbps too slow by the time of completit (1)

Cimexus (1355033) | more than 3 years ago | (#35310998)

Thing is, you're one of the VERY lucky ones. I would kill for your speeds. I live 3 km from the CBD of Canberra and the fastest speed I can obtain, via any means, is ~6Mbit (downstream). Relatives of mine in Brisbane are in a similar situation: they live in a central, relatively affluent suburb, but due to their distance from the exchange get poor speeds. 6Mbit is by no means 'terrible' - it's fine for gaming and everyday usage. But more will be needed in the very near future (and I'd love faster upload speeds than the 1 Mbit I get now ... uploading a roll of photos to Flickr takes hours!)

Virtually anywhere that doesn't have cable (i.e. everywhere other than select areas of Syd/Mel/Bris) or isn't very close to the exchange has rubbish speeds. Can't wait for faster speeds to be available. Frankly I don't care if it's the NBN or a private company or aliens from outer space that provide it, I just want it :P

Re:Isn't 100mbps too slow by the time of completit (1)

ian_from_brisbane (596121) | more than 3 years ago | (#35311264)

I want someone to come along and kill the bandwidth caps in this country... The 'unlimited' we have now is pure B.S. marketing that ends up getting shaped like a 300 baud modem. I just came back from a 2-week trip to Korea where I downloaded 850 gigs in that short time.

Re:Isn't 100mbps too slow by the time of completit (1)

Cimexus (1355033) | more than 3 years ago | (#35313706)

Thing is, Korea is a country where most content people demand is hosted domestically. ISPs can reach a much larger percentage of the demanded hosts without crossing to transit or peering networks. Australia OTOH is a very unusual beast in the world of provisioning internet: it's English-speaking, but far from where most English speaking content is hosted (North America, and to a lesser extent the UK). Something like 90% of traffic is international. Few other countries on earth have that pattern of demand (NZ and South Africa do, and they are capped worse than we are). But for places like Japan, Korea, or even the US for that matter, international traffic demand for residential ISPs is pretty low.

Given that reserving capacity on undersea cables is relatively expensive for ISPs, it is unlikely that Australia will see an end to data caps in the near term. It really is in a rather unique situation of being physically large, far from everywhere (particularly from where the content is we want is hosted), and having a low population.

That is not to excuse the situation though - I agree it'd be nice to get rid of the caps. And I think we are moving in that direction fairly quickly. We now have 1GB+ plans available (and some genuinely unlimited plans such as TPGs, although only available in certain areas). So the situation is MUCH better than it was even a year or two ago. I can easily see unlimited or multi-terabyte-cap plans becoming the norm within the next 5-10 years.

Although frankly, 95% of users won't really notice. The proportion of customers that consume more than even 100GB/month is tiny. Hell, I live on the Internet 24/7 and I only use ~30GB/month (although I do use a fair chunk of my ISPs unmetered content, so if you included that it'd be more like 50-60GB). The thing that will really change this is widespread adoption of IPTV (which I feel is going to happen) ... although ISPs that offer it now count IPTV as unmetered traffic anyway so it's a moot point...

100mbps was way too slow fifteen years ago! (0)

Smurf (7981) | more than 3 years ago | (#35312116)

100 mbps was WAY too slow even for the early years of the Internet! In the late nineties most of the people getting online had at least a 56 kbps modem, that is 560,000 times faster than 100 mbps.

Now, 100 Mbps, that's a different story. Most people have internet access in the vicinities of 10 Mbps, so most people would consider 100 Mbps very fast now, but I agree that our perception will likely be very different in just a few years..

This seems (1)

ThatsNotPudding (1045640) | more than 3 years ago | (#35311004)

completely at odds with every other facet of an increasingly authoritarian Austrailian government. I've been meaning to look into why the land down under has taken this sudden lurch to the hard right; does it all go back to the Bali bombing? Then again, why should I assume Austrailia would be free of the same, hate-mongering, ignorant contagion that is afflicting the US.

Fiber networks are important in Australia (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35312084)

Optics don't short out under water.

Don't be rediculous. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35313086)

Don't be rediculous. It's allus then.

Big media in Australia wants the NBN dead (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35334654)

The Opposition is playing kow-tow to big media interests. They want to derail the debate on broadband using whatever lies and misinformation necessary to convince the public to drop support for it. The Murdochs and Packers know all too well that if the NBN was to become a reality, then TV and their media companies would be first to take a huge hit.
Already they have been running articles in their respective outlets attempting to bash the debate around the NBN. We have Macolm Turbull who seems to think that the internet can be routed over 4G wireless. Of course, the pollies and gThe quality of debate in the mass media is being stymied.

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