There is a petition that has almost 250,000 signatures, urging the coalition government to reconsider their plans for the national broadband network here.
For those that haven’t seen this yet, please sign.
It’s not a political thing, but building for the future.
“But Josh, Why do we need crazy fast internet? I can get pictures of Cats and the footy scores fine already!” Yes, arbitrary voice that I used as a shill, this is true, however there are many reasons to go with the premium model of internet infrastructure, such as:
1) Fibre to the home (FTTH) will ensure Australia does not need to upgrade as soon as it’s finished. Fibre to the Node is already outdated in the UK and parts of the USA that use it.
2) Cloud computing. Uploads under the FTTH plan are much faster (minimum of 20 times, potentially up to a thousand times, depending on developments in the area) than FTTN. This means that cloud computing will be much more useable. Say you’re running high intensity simulations to aid in refining treatments for leukemia, with FTTH you can outsource the computing power to people at home, where those who want to can download a program letting the research centre use their unused processing power. This saves the researcher buying time on a mainframe and decreases the time needed to process vast volumes of data.
3) We can sell it. Even if we take the worst case estimates of the coalition, $90 billion is peanuts to be a world leader. So it costs us $90 billion. We then have expertise in sending data across large tracts of desert, jungle, mountains, etc. We can then go to Texas and sell the tech for a billion dollars or so. Then on to New Zealand. Then to the Middle East, Russia, and so forth. The potential return is massive. FTTN is old tech that nations will not bother investing in.
4) It will not outdate quickly. Fibre technology has been shown to carry petabit (one million gigabits) level speeds (source:http://www.abc.net.au/technology/articles/2012/09/26/3598036.htm), there just needs to be updated exchanges, which will improve as technology develops. Australia can lead this technology with the innovations it makes putting this system into effect.
5) A WiFi based system is not practical. The bands needed will be exhausted quickly and insecure. It’d be like you bank shouting your details from a rooftop in central Melbourne, then saying “No, it’s OK, I spoke it in French”.
6) It’ll make Australia matter internationally. Currently, nothing we do or make can really be considered undisputedly the best in the world.This can be.
7) Our researchers and developers are brilliant. WiFi, the photocopier, ultrasound, blackbox flight recorders, pacemakers and much more were invented (wholely or partially) in Australia. They can continue to innovate when developing this system.
8) It’s the only thing promised to rural Australia in this election, as rail, road and assorted other infrastructure are being scrapped.
9) Jobs. Loads more jobs. Sure there might be one young lad digging on your footpath while three old blokes watch (Council jobs are still council jobs after all) , but they’re earning their pay and not on the dole.
10) Opportunities. Instead of buying a home PC, why not get a satellite system using remote processing power? Why not have fashion guru’s commenting on your ensemble live via streaming? Why not show a doctor a rash on your baby via HD web cam instead of bundling them up and waiting in a crowded room with a ten year old copy of “New Idea”? All these ideas will be exploitable by new businesses.
Well, that’s my ten. If you’ve read this far, I hope you’ll understand why I believe in this. If you disagree, that’s fine. I’m sure you have your reasons.
Now that I’ve wasted your time, have a chuckle at this: http://youtu.be/bpo8RDyOEWY Riccardo Patrese (former F1 driver) takes his wife for a hotlap in a civic, filming it without her knowledge.