Friday, April 10, 2009

Australia's broadband plan

Although the target speed, of just 100Mbps, isn't state of the art (South Korea is shooting for 1Gbps within the same timeframe) overall I'm pleased the Minister for fast and filtered internet has announced what he has this week.

I had a chance to explain some of this from a technical standpoint on ABC Radio National here.

Incidentally, there's an RSS feed of my contributions here.

Perhaps it is 1Gbps but the filtering will slow it back to 1Mbps..

1 comment:

Christopher said...

Hi Pete,

I enjoyed your radio interview but, like other commentary, I think it had too much emphasis on the speed and not the implication of the role-out. I'd like to hear this debate shift toward what 100mbps *enables*. They'll always be faster speeds available - just as there are faster CPUs available than what you may find in a highly functional laptop. It is what you can do with that laptop and indeed what can you do with 100mbps that is significant.

100mbps could be entirely sufficient to serve as the "one pipe" to the household that you mentioned. I would be interested in learning how much of the 1gbps bandwidth to the South Korean homes will actually be consumed on average.

Looking at it another way, you can deliver full HD content (1080p) for less than 10mbps - one tenth of the proposed bandwidth. 1080i can go much further of course.

The 100mbps may also be an artificial limit. Fibre itself does not impose that constraint. Of course you have to pick a number that's relevant and then dimension the network to it. I think that 100mbps is a sufficient enabler.

I acknowledge that you touched on this lightly, but for me the most significant implication of the model proposed is removing Telstra's monopoly.

Removing Telstra's monopoly will improve Telstra and that will be good for the consumer.

I have no idea whether the government will be able to execute this ambitious and brave (definitely not conservative) plan. However I believe that the *bones* of the plan are set correctly.