Oh you want your house connected to the NBN?
For lack of a better term, when it comes to the NBN, I find myself a sceptic. Tales and grand fables of its promise and fast speed internet seem like the things of dreams- and a very, very, very distance possibility. So I find it hard to get myself interested in its promises.
My family and I, as Telstra would probably describe, live in a not so ideal spot. We are nestled into the Illawarra Escarpment in Woonona, a damn hard hill climb and even harder to manage and update infrastructure. Years ago, during the months of incessant torrential downpours, the copper cables to our internet fizzled out spectacularly. Internet connection was spotty, and a rare day we got a strong connection. Many times it was ‘fixed’ only for it to fizzle out once more. One day, by some divine miracle, Telstra actually fixed it and we had normal internet again. Normal for us, still not being ideal, as my mother pointed out, we live the furthest distance from the nearest exchange point in Corrimal- Wifi and all things internet are never quite what they should be in our household. Adequate, sufficient, but never satisfied. We are not in the worst spot in the Illawarra by far, and definitely not the best. We find ourselves always on the live of mediocrity while other speed ahead, literally. Let’s consider the visualisation of it.
Purple is you’re good to go, Brown is you’ll be getting it shortly, and Green is you have a long wait ahead of you. And even longer if you live in Mildura it seems. Basically, It will be a long time until the National Broadband Network is actually national.
Discussing our past, present and future woes of the internet with my mother, we considered the logistics of the NBN rollut, weighed out with the promises it held. She for one, did not hold my scepticism and does believe one day we will be connected, but not a day anytime soon. She is itching for faster internet, with many people telling her first hand it’s incredible speed and opportunities. She mentioned she is not at all surprised by the pace or stalls the NBN rollout has faced, or the expanding cost of installation (increasing by 36.6 per cent to $56 billion up from the $41 billion previously forecast. via SMH).
What many people are failing to realise, myself included, is the incedible cost- financially and physically- to overhaul Australia’s entire internet networks. It is an enornmous amount of infrastructure that needs to be implemented, and geographically a large distance to cover as she described. The logistic of how is forgotten, and just ‘why’ or ‘when’ are in the forefront of our eyes. Mum even considered, should the government be expected to pay for all of it? Should it be a balance of tax payer funds and government funding to keep the ball rolling? Seems only fair, it is a service almost every Australian will use.
I find myself unable to share my mother’s passive anticipation of the NBN and all that it holds, probably becayse of the sheer unreality of it all. There have been whispers and quiet movement of the NBN for years now, and it is hard to consider a future with it when it hardly seems like I will be seeing it anytime soon. Australia has been noted as being at the short end of the internet speed stick for so long, I feel like I have just come to accept it. Our evolution of internet expectation, from dial up to now, makes us forget evolution from beyond the present and out of our periphery. We are so excited and complacent by the progress we have made up until this point, we forget how much more else there is to have.
Lacey, S. and Ramli, D. (2015) NBN will have to raise $26.5b to fund costs of national broadband network. Available at: http://www.smh.com.au/business/the-economy/nbn-set-to-announce-cost-blowout-20150823-gj5ze3