Should you believe the NBN hype?

Recently there has been a lot of buzz about the NBN (possibly due to its delayed rollout) and the impact it will have once it’s rolled out across Australia.For those that are unaware the National broadband network (NBN) is a government initiative that aims to “enable access to fast, reliable and affordable phone and internet services, from a range of providers and close the digital divide by providing access to a minimum level of broadband services to homes and businesses across Australia. Due to the nature and size of our country, we plan to use a mix of technologies to deliver the NBN, using the best fit solution for each area.”(NBN Co, 2014)

NBN Co claims that its “Fast broadband has the potential to fuel growth and drive improvements to local economies, businesses and homes, bringing new opportunities to the whole country.” but is it really that different to broadband?

Well if you were asking me personally I would answer yes as my Internet speeds have more than doubled since the installation of NBN in my home but as 20 year old student I’m on they internet quite often so obviously I would notice the difference but what about someone from a different generation, someone who just uses the Internet for 10-15 minutes a day to check your emails or buy something on eBay how would it much of an impact does faster Internet make on their internet browsing habits. Well I spoke to my grandparents and here is what they had to say.

NEC-TechPlans-2012-bd0976fe-e324-45be-a7f6-c038568dc7c9-0-367x275

My grandparents have had an Internet connection for around 15 years starting with dial-up then changing to broadband when it became available here which they used until late last year when they upgraded to NBN. When asked about the differences between the 3 different services they said “The difference from our original dial-up to the broadband connection was massive but I haven’t even noticed a difference between the broadband and the NBN we have now I just expected it to make more of a difference”.

The features that came with NBN bundle were what they was really impressed with a free wireless modem and a T-Box. The Wi-Fi made such a difference to them because now they have a tablet and a laptop in addition to the home computer and can access the Internet from anywhere in the house with ease. The T-Box because it allows them to easily keep track of their programs and watch them whenever they want and for the Bigpond movies service. So the freebies that came with the NBN made more of an impact on them than the actual NBN. I found this quite strange until I thought about it. The majority of people don’t need a better connection to do what they do on the internet.

“A lot of the – there’s no real nice way to say this – a lot of the nerds and geeks are excited, but the majority of people just don’t care,” says Armidale local Dave Martin, 29 (Business Insider, 2013).

Australia’s internet continues to lag behind the rest of the world but just as Dave said most people just don’t care. Living in a semi-rural area such as Jamberoo the general consensus seems to be a similar response as Dave’s. People don’t seem to get why the NBN is important and they don’t really have a reason to find out. I believe the problem lies in where the NBN has been implemented first, rural areas.

Sure installing NBN in rural areas is important to our national infrastructure and has caused economic growth in areas such as Bathurst but would it not have been better to roll it out in metropolitan areas where people who need good internet have been forced to move to get a decent connection in the past? Anyway the NBN will (hopefully) continue to spread thoughout Australia allowing more and more people to give it a go and if they are anything like me they’ll love it.

References

“Learn more about the NBN”, NBN co, viewed on 23/8/2014

http://www.nbnco.com.au/about-the-nbn.html#.U_m14kgWVvE

Collins B, 2013, “ELECTION 2013: Here’s What People In The First City To Get The NBN Actually Think Of It”, Business Insider viewed 24/8/2014

http://www.businessinsider.com.au/election-2013-heres-what-people-in-the-first-city-to-get-the-nbn-actually-think-of-it-2013-8

LeMay R, 2013, “NBN? No big deal, says Armidale”, Delimiter, viewed 24/8/2014

http://delimiter.com.au/2013/09/02/nbn-big-deal-says-armidale/

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One thought on “Should you believe the NBN hype?

  1. Interesting post Brendan, I agree with your point that many Australians seem quite disinterested in the NBN rollout however I think it may be through lack of understanding. I think a lot of people may just hear about it through the media but not actually know what it is until they get notified it is in there area. Personally I hadn’t done any research on the NBN until I read your post and little did I know construction has begun in my area (Wollongong) yipee!

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