Universal access and broadband

April 13, 2009 — 5 Comments

We haven’t heard farmers complain for a while. Like clockwork though:

ABC: Rural areas ‘need broadband the most’

The Central Darling Shire Council’s general manager, Tim Hazel, says it is not fair Wilcannia will miss out on the Federal Government’s National Broadband Network.

The federal Minister for Communication, Stephen Conroy, says the $43 billion network will benefit regional communities but has admitted the scheme will only be available to towns with a population of 1,000 or more people.

Mr Hazel says smaller rural communities should be offered the same services as cities and larger rural centres.

“The smaller and more rural and remote towns probably need these types of services even more than our city counterparts or our regional counterparts,” he said.

Actually, why should they be offered the same services?

If you choose to live in the middle of no where, should you really expect that you’ll get all the same services as someone in a city with millions of people get?

Lets be clear on one point though: they’re not getting it because they don’t vote Labor (mostly.) Broadband went out to small communities under Howard because most of the regional/ remote seats were Liberal or National Party seats; it was always seen as helping keep the voters on side.

I do remember under Broadband Connect 1 a community of 50 people getting ADSL for example (Malloy Island, near Augusta WA).

And that might be the better solution here, a new Broadband Connect scheme that subsidizes regional connections in areas not covered under NBN. The Government could then cap the cost so the spend is the same as City areas;

Consider that under BC1, the subsidy was around $1200-$2500 per connection. NBN is slated at around $5k per connection. Rudd could say private operators get $5k/ connection if they provide access to areas not covered by NBN at a certain min spec (say 50mbps instead of 100mbps.)

The bigger question though comes back to whether we treat highspeed access as a social right for all like we consider a telephone connection.

That’s a political call more than anything.

5 responses to Universal access and broadband

  1. You wrote a lot I didn't agree with. Let me start at the end. You wrote: “The bigger question though comes back to whether we treat highspeed access as a social right for all like we consider a telephone connection.” Isn't this more a social equity, or even a social justice decision. In the end politicians make it, but it should have nothing to do with politics. Many have no choice on where they live. And I don't think we should be asking people to sell up and move to a bedsit in an unaffordable city. In health we can run high speed access to our health services and hospitals for electronic patient management, viewing of xrays and other scans by specialists, allow video consultations with psychiatrists and perhaps with a dedicated line perhaps robotic surgey without the specialist leaving the comfort of their own surgery. With high speed access it will also allow services to locate in these rural areas and provide a service to customers anywhere in the world. That has to be a good thing – Robbo

  2. I don't think broadband access should be considered a social right.

    There have always been folks who, as you have said, choose to live in the middle of nowhere.

    In the middle of nowhere service sucks. Some people even like it that way =)

    If you want internet access you just have to find a way to get it. It does exist with services such as wireless broadband and last mile solutions.

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  4. Ya it's true about the Universal access Broadband Details I am using the Broadband In my Laptop in universally all are liking the Wireless Broadband,,In the site ip-details it's possible to check the connection speed very very fast

  5. Ya it's true about the Universal access Broadband Details I am using the Broadband In my Laptop in universally all are liking the Wireless Broadband,,In the site ip-details it's possible to check the connection speed very very fast

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