How the Australian National Broadband Network is creating a digital divide in major cities

 In australia, digital
dubbo-digital-divide

Technology choices are now impacting where people live even in advanced countries like Australia. In Australia, they are in the middle of a rollout of the “National Broadband Network” (NBN).

This was an Australian Labor Party  pledge back in 2007 to provide 100MB/s fibre to the premise (FTTP) broadband to 93% of Australians, costing $A44Bn. The sorry saga is too much for a simple post, but in summaty but the Liberal Government when they came to power saw that the FTTP proposal could not be delivered for $A44BN so alternatives were sought including the slower fibre to the node (FTTN) where the “last mile” was delivered over existing (old) copper wire – resulting in 40MB max speeds.

Because part of the FTTP rollout was started, some cities have one street with fast internet, the other with slower, and more unreliable speeds. The ABC TV program “Four Corners” did a very good job of explaining where the NBN is now, and contrasted it with Dunedin in NZ where they have 1GB speeds to all homes. One key issue is there is a “digital divide” happening where home buyers are now asking if their home has NBN FFTP vs FTTN. How interesting that a technology decision can impact where we live.

Watch the part of the 4 Corners Report that deals with this divide here.

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Based in London, Practical Futurist and former Global Managing Partner at IBM, Andrew Grill is a popular and sought-after presenter and commentator on issues around digital disruption, workplace of the future and new technologies such as blockchain. Andrew is a multiple TEDx and International Keynote Speaker.