There has always been a battle between Sydney and Melbourne over which city is the best. It is a longing to be seen as the capital of the country despite the nation having built an official capital in Canberra, ironically, midway between Sydney and Melbourne.
Sydneysiders think little of claims by Melbourne. A recent world survey put Sydney at ninth as the world's most attractive cities. Melbourne didn't rank in the ten. The problem was that the researchers only knew of Sydney as an Australian city. This says a lot about how outsiders view Australia.
Most capitals have the highest population of any other city in a country. Sydney clearly has the highest population. Though many Australian companies choose Melbourne as their base, overseas businesses go to Sydney. Furthermore, Sydney is the main distribution point for Australian news to the world.
Thankfully, tourists from other countries do not come to Australia to experience city life. They get that at home. They spread themselves broadly across the country in choice of vacation destinations. There is not much doubt that tourists enter the country through Sydney. This does give a "tourist dollar" advantage to the city. The Gold Coast, Great Barrier Reef and Melbourne would be fly-on destinations for most visitors.
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 How do we know if fiber optics will be superceded?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.