Depending on who you listen to the NBN is either a mess cobbled together by former PM Kevin Rudd on the back of an envelope or a brilliant Labor initiative ruined by ham-fisted changes made under the Liberals.
The reality is that, right now, it doesn’t matter who thought of it and who’s been tinkering around the edges. What does matter is that the NBN is here and it needs to start delivering promised services.
The world is increasingly dependent on the internet and the time for political point-scoring has long passed.
Too many businesses and individuals have been let down by poor service, dodgy connections and sluggish speeds.
This week Telstra has offered to compensate about 42,000 customers after failing to provide them with the speeds they were promised.
The move comes after an investigation by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) found customers were not receiving the top speed of their plan, or even the maximum speed of a lesser plan.
The ACCC concluded those top speeds “could not be achieved in real-world conditions” due to the limitations of customers’ fibre to the node and fibre to the building internet connections.
According to Telstra group executive, consumer and small business Vicki Brady it is not possible to accurately determine what speed the NBN could deliver to a customer before connection, which rather begs the question ‘how are customers ever going to get accurate information before they sign on the dotted line and commit to a plan?’
With the increasing amount of business done via cloud technology and the explosion in streaming services, internet demand is simply going to keep growing.
Australia faces the challenge of huge geographical distances and scattered, uneven populations, but these issues are not new. The tyranny of distance has long plagued this nation’s infrastructure builders.
The NBN is now critical for the future of this nation. The world is too reliant on the internet for the development of Australia’s broadband network to be left languishing while the project is treated as a political football.
No one cares who thought of it or who implemented it. NBN users simply want a reliable, fast and reasonably priced service. They just want honesty about what is actually being provided.