The National Broadband Network (NBN)
is the subject of much controversy here in Australia. Great idea but too late. When it was first mooted the iPad and other devices which rely on mobile broadband access hadn't come onto the market. The growth in iPads, iPhones and other smartphones and tablets has been so enormous - and so fast - that it's clear wireless communication is the way of the future. In a couple of years mobile devices will be outselling traditional desktops and laptops in the consumer market.
We don't need fixed broadband to our homes, particularly when we, the homeowners and taxpayers, will have to pay for our telecoms to be rewired to cope with the installation.
The NBN won't be dirt cheap to use, either. And those of us who use mobile devices on the run will still have to pay for a wireless account to access our devices away from home. Wouldn't it be better to have one service, wireless, that users could hook into at home and while they're out and about?
And what happens when we have natural disasters like the floods in Queensland last week? Look at the damage - infrastructure for power and water has been destroyed. In some places it will take in excess of three months to even get the power connected to houses again. If you had traditional broadband such as the NBN, you wouldn't have a connection right now. It would be washed away.
But... wireless technology has brought the floods and the victims' plight to the world. People were taking footage on their smartphones and uploading it, using wireless technology. They were letting people know they were safe, using their smart phones to call family or post on Facebook.
If the wireless technology is available, let's improve the service, make it strong and stable without dropouts, and replace the NBN idea with something people actually want and will use. Oh, and use the money that would have been spent digging up footpaths and gardens for the NBN to help the flood victims in Queensland.
I tried wireless technology in its earlier days in Australia, using the Unwired system around ten years ago. I found it absolutely awful; the signal strength just wasn't there and I can vouch for the robust build of its modems as mine was thrown against the wall more than once when I was thoroughly frustrated with it constantly dropping out. Since then I understand Unwired has improved its product and service (it needed to!). I chose Unwired because I could, in theory, use it at my home office and at my clients'.
If you're with me on No NBN, speak up! Write to the Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Media, Senator Stephen Conroy, at firstname.lastname@example.org