Byte Me Article 173 – Fast internet an essential service

Fast Internet an Essential Service

The cost of the NBN roll out has started to go beyond projections – surprise, surprise!  Has any major project (especially a government run project) ever come in under a cost projection?  There are a larger number of remote users opting for connection to the NBN than originally planned.  Again this should be no surprise – people are adopting technology faster.  There are more devices now because of iPads, tablets & smart phones that are easier to drive and there is more need for the Internet – of course more users are going to want to jump on board (whether they are in remote areas or not).

This increase in projected costs as well as the latest muting’s about cutting government spending has seeded a few suggestions about a ‘user pays’ scheme to be more closely looked at.  Do I think Internet access be a case of user pays – absolutely not!  Fast & reliable Internet access should be under the category of essential services in Australia.  We are after all, the one country so if you live in a remote area then Internet access should be the same as electricity – essential.

2014-05-10 Byte Me Article 173 - NBN

If it became a case of user pays then people in remote locations would be faced with massive costs to connect to a satellite.  People are adopting the NBN at a greater rate because in some cases it is Government policy that we have to be connected in the first place.  As an example, try visiting Brisbane and not ending up with a road toll debt – and try paying this without an Internet connection!

If you live in a remote area then you are already paying more for food, fuel and freight plus you need to use more fuel because of the distances.  Do we want anyone to stay on our farms and provide services in remote towns or do we want more crowding in South East Queensland?  So our Treasurer will say that things are tough and balancing our budget has become the current God, so where do we get the extra money from?  Does charity not start at home?  Why is Australia responsible for giving foreign aid when things are so bad at home?  Do we really need to look like great blokes on a world stage while we lack essential services of our own?

The fibre to the premise, should have been proceeded with because it is a proper solution and more satellites are needed to better cover remote areas that currently only receive a ‘weak’ wireless signal and are therefore not eligible for NBN satellite.  Why do we get a half-baked solution in a country that should be progressing at a far faster rate that it currently is! 

Future Byte Me topics can be emailed to [email protected] and Bruce is contactable at Kerr Solutions, 205 Musgrave Street or on 49 222 400.

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