Today I want to talk about surfin’.
Image Courtesy of monkeyc
No, not that surfin’ – the other one!
For some people, one of the first considerations when moving to a new home, let alone to a new country, is “can I get an Internet connection?” – so I thought this may be of interest to you.
There is a bit of a political debate going on at present about Australia’s plans for high speed broadband. Prime Minister Kevin Rudd was in Tasmania earlier this month to promote the launch of the project which is being rolled out there first.
Back in the UK I had an Internet connection with a company called firenet.co.uk which cost me £22.95 per month. Here, I use a company called TPG and it costs me $49.95 per month. I am convinced my connection speed here is much faster than I used to get back in England. What I currently get from TPG is about 2.5 Mb per second on what they call ADSL2.
Mind you, that wasn’t available when we first got here back in November 2007. I did have to wait until April for our area to get hooked up. So before that happened I had to use dial up. That was slow. Very slow. So it probably does very much depend on where you are in Australia.
Having said that, Kevin Rudd has claimed we have slower broadband connections here in Australia than anywhere else in the western world. So he has given the green light to a project to install high speed broadband, the Rolls-Royce of Internet connections, throughout Australia.
Apparently, 1.5 Mb per second is the average broadband connection speed here, and 12 Mb per second the average in the rest of the western world. But high speed broadband will offer connection speeds of up to 100 Mb per second, and this project aims to deliver that to 90% of Australian homes. With those sort of speeds, a standard definition film could be downloaded in eight minutes instead of about an hour.
So what is the debate? Kevin Rudd says the project, called the National Broadband Network, will cost around $43 billion (gulp) to complete the work and customers will probably have to pay around $100 a month for the service. His opponents say it will cost much more than that resulting in $200 month charges which customers would not be prepared to pay.
Either way it’s not worth getting excited about yet. The whole project is going to take eight years or so to complete. But if you have heard those claims that Australia’s broadband connections are the worst in the western world, I shouldn’t worry too much. I use the Internet a lot and and I am more than happy with my broadband connection. Your Facebook will live on.
But do remember, Australia is famous for a different kind of surfing.