Health of NBN Australia

Health of NBN Australia

The health of NBN Australia will be a critical factor in determining Australia’s competiveness in the global economy as the International economy becomes ever more reliant upon information and data speeds.

As we move further into the twenty first century, businesses and individuals will come to expect high-speed internet performance that allows instant communication, video conferencing and the transference of large stacks of data in seconds. The establishment of the NBN recognised that Australia’s economic future would hinge upon the ability for all Australians to access high-speed broadband Internet. It was hoped that high speed Internet would deliver tangible benefits to the Australian people and Australian businesses.

Immediate benefits that were anticipated included:

  • Entertainment in the form of fast movie downloads at affordable prices – High definition movies to be provided on demand. Gamers would have access to faster and more lifelike games.
  • Telehealth – The introduction of the NBN offers great opportunities for health professionals to check in on patients in remote locations via Internet connections like Skype
  • Remote learning – Many remote (and not so remote) schools are severely handicapped by the lack of resources on the ground. Current Internet connection speeds in many areas make Internet learning impractical. Increased NBN speeds allow students to quickly and easily access subjects and content across vast distances.
  • Job flexibility – Video conferencing, fast connections, secure cloud services and innovative management may make working from home a reality for many professions.

All of these benefits are to be had with increased Internet Speed and the health of NBN Australia is critical in delivering these benefits to the Australian economy.

It is disturbing to find that recent reports place Australia a distant 44th internationally for overall Internet speed. Rather than improving compared to the rest of the world, Australia’s NBN health is falling behind. NBN Australia is now placed behind a number of other countries in the Asia-Pacific region, including South Korea, Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealand and Singapore.

Australia’s connectivity to high-speed broadband – broadband over 10 Mbps – has not picked up the pace, despite the ever-increasing NBN rollout. Only 14 per cent of the country is currently connected to high-speed internet and enjoying the benefits that the NBN can deliver.

At the time the report was released, it showed that a large proportion of Australians did not have sufficient Internet capability to access high definition video services offered by companies like Netflix. While many will see HD video streaming services as something of a luxury, when you consider that the same sort of Internet speeds are required to participate in many of the developing services that the information economy relies upon, it becomes apparent that the health of NBN Australia is deteriorating in real terms. While the report is a snapshot of a point in time, it does indicate that there is still much work to do to get NBN Australia up to speed

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