The National Broadband Network (NBN) is intended to deliver a new digital future for Australia and provide a huge amount of economic opportunities for businesses across the country. The NBN is a national wholesale-only, open-access data network which is currently under development. But a raft of issues still remain unresolved with regard to its efficacy.
Firstly, the rollout of this network has already been delayed. The testing of copper-based technologies such as VDSL has negatively influenced the schedule related to this project. Political reshuffling has also had a significant impact on the advancement of the program.
Additionally, as was perhaps predictable, ever since the NBN has been announced, political in-fighting and bickering has been commonplace. As soon as the government released the Senate Select Committee on the National Broadband Network, the opposition responded strongly to it, questioning the accuracy and reliability of the report which was first made available in December 2013.
Regardless of these issues, there are unquestionably potential benefits of the NBN as and when it is implemented. It will potentially improve Internet performance in Australia, which will lead to better engagement, collaboration and performance for businesses all over Australia. Research indicates that it should particularly benefit SMEs. Additionally, the speedy Internet connections that the NBN promises will open up new markets for Australian businesses and boost productivity and flexible working.
According to promises made by the government, all Australians can expect to be able to acquire download speeds of up to 25 megabits per second on the National Broadband Network (NBN) by the time it has been implemented and bedded in for a few years.
Australia is currently ranked thirtieth in the State of the Internet survey by Akamai Technologies, which ranks the nation’s Internet speed as inferior to most comparable nations including the United Kingdom, United States, Japan, Switzerland, Germany and France. According to this study, the world’s fastest Internet connections can be found in South Korea, with the average connection in the East Asian nation four times the speed of those found in Australia.
But there are alternatives to the NBN, and thus the policy has experienced significant opposition. The government has been accused of doing things backward; creating a technical plan before figuring out its benefits and how it is to be utilised. Additionally, the NBN scheme has failed to address socio-economic issues, and there are concerns among everyday Australians that it is to be privatised rather than publicly owned.
Updating the existing copper-based Internet network in Australia would seem to be essential, but the plans to do so remain contentious and a political hot potato.
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