Australia’s disastrous roll-out of the high speed National Broadband Network (NBN) has continued to make global headlines in the last 24 hours – including coverage in the New York Times – and for all the wrong reasons.
According to this story on TechGuide, not only does Australia rank well behind the US, Western Europe, Japan and Korea but we also “embarrassingly” fall below countries such as Thailand and Kenya, ranking number 51 on the Akamai ranking of internet speeds. And perhaps most disparagingly, this is despite a $50 billion investment over the last 8 years.
So why have we become the laughing stock of the world – and as the TechGuide writer so aptly put it, a ‘technology backwater’ despite boasting a rich resources market and enviable lifestyle?
What should have been a consistent roll-out of the latest and greatest technology has been chopped and changed more times than one can recall.
The original plans for Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) have been replaced with a mish mash of Fibre to the Node (FTTN) or Fibre to the Curb (FTTC) coupled with existing copper wire infrastructure – and in some areas, now reportedly wireless connections via dedicated NBN towers.
One Australian NBN provider, Telstra has even been forced to start offering existing NBN customers their money back due to unacceptably slow speeds as reported below on Channel 10’s The Project.
So what impact will these continued NBN issues have on small businesses trying to effectively operate in the digital age, and will Australians ultimately get the high speed internet speeds originally promised? Only time will tell.
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