We hear so much praise about progress of the new broadband network being rolled out by the National Broadband Network (NBN). The problem is - there has been little progress. Apart from the acclaimed network in a part of Tasmania, few customers enjoy ultra-fast broadband anywhere else.
The Internet divide still exists between city and rural. Obviously the NBN will be laid out in city areas because this is where the greatest income will be obtained. As it now stands rural regions will not get faster Internet until way past 2020. Many people will be dead by then. How do we know if fiber optics will be superceded? Soon the ocean protection walls will be finished around Venice and there are cries that it is old technology and will not save the valuable city. Perhaps the same will be said about the NBN.
In the present economic climate where will be few businesses left in populated cities to enjoy the improved communication. Only if the mineral sector declines and the Aussie dollar drops in value will manufacturing and service sectors become profitable again. But a fall in mineral income will mean less tax to pay for the NBN.
The Internet may make unforeseeable changes. For example, Skype and Gmail have pushed the cost of international calls down to a few cents a minute. Telcos can no longer make a profit from providing the service. Internet operations first offered this in the early 2000s. it faded. Now it is back with a vengeance. If Internet operators can find a way past the mobile barriers put up by the telcos that will bankrupt these monster companies who overcharge for mobile calls.
There is no question that the NBN is monopolistic. It will be the only Internet provider. Smaller companies will be given piecemeal resale access. However, this will be on NBN terms. Talk is all about the benefits. If the Coalition wins the next election they could dismantle the whole operation.