Wednesday, 28 February 2018 01:32

Greens keep pressure on govt over NBN, Internet speeds

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Greens keep pressure on govt over NBN, Internet speeds Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The Australian Greens have labelled a report into the future of the national broadband network, which found Australia’s Internet needs over the decade would conveniently peak below the 50Mbps threshold the NBN Co is claiming to provide, as “sloppy, unfounded and deliberately vague”.

Greens’ NBN spokesperson Senator Jordon Steele-John said the speeds noted in the report were already below international standards, and would cement Australia’s position as a second-rate digital player globally.

“Connecting to the Turnbull Government’s mixed technology mongrel national broadband network has overwhelmingly been a negative experience – in terms of cost, connectivity and speed – for individuals and businesses,” he said in a statement issued on Tuesday.

“What this report suggests, almost comically, is that the requirements of Australian internet users will plateau at or near current speeds over the next decade, with an average peak requirement of 49mb/s conveniently peaking just under the 50Mbps promise of this government.

“Furthermore, there is no historical data on Australia’s bandwidth requirements and therefore no real accurate predictions on what might be needed into the future; 24-hour trends are not reliable data sets for a decade-long prediction.”

According to Senator Steele-John, the report fails to acknowledge, in basing its predictions on current uptake, “the extremely cost-prohibitive nature of the speed packages offered by the NBN and their ability to actually achieve those claimed speeds”.

The Senator claimed Australians were fed up with the NBN compromise and “want access to a network that meets our current and future digital needs”.

“The Australian Greens will continue to champion that right,” he said.

“This government’s legacy will be knowingly botching Australia’s largest infrastructure project and setting Australia back decades in terms of digital capabilities.”

"Their unrelenting pursuit of the unfair and unreliable Multi Technology Mix shows that they just don’t have what it takes to lead Australia into the digital future," the Senator said.

Just last month, Senator Steele-John said the Coalition Government's response to the NBN Joint Standing Committee report showed how "clueless and careless" it is about the need for a proper broadband network which can be used for business, study, work and everyday tasks.

The response was released two weeks prior to that and in it the government dismissed the panel's findings, reiterating that it would stick to its existing policy for rolling out the remainder of the network.


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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham - retired in 2020. He is a veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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