I know this is a long YouTube clip but definitely have a look at the first five minutes as ‘Four Corners’ has a look at the concept of NBN.
During my childhood Dial-up was the only type of connection to the Internet I had. I was not a huge Internet user; the only time I would go on was for school work as my parents would not allow me to partake in any social networking sites when they first came out. I did not feel it was a big deal back then nor did I know just how much the Internet or technology in general, would become part of our everyday lives. Interestingly, Felicity Sheppard mentions that “Little was known about the technology and even less about the possibilities it would bring to those in the years ahead – that we would shop from the comfort our lounge rooms, doctors would examine patients from miles away and information would be at our proverbial fingertips” (Sheppard, 2014).
Now living in my own place and going to University my usage of the Internet has jumped from only using it for work, to being my second life support. My experience with the Internet has generally been positive; however, it has its moments of suddenly going through a mental breakdown. This has happened a few times whilst Skyping friends in America or during a storm when our Internet provider was down, making it very difficult for me to finish an assessment (very inconvenient). The introduction of NBN and its benefits of speed would make my Internet life that much easier and does sound amazing.
Remote Access and Quality
There are remote areas still struggling with limited access to broadband services and the hope of NBN addressing this problem which is not necessarily true. The report ‘Towards the Socio-Economic Patterns of the National Broadband Network Rollout in Australia’ found remote areas to be last for the roll out and “by 2020 93% of Australia will be connected to fibre optic but only 7% will have access to NBN through wireless and satellite technologies” (Alizadeh, 2014). Whilst some areas of Australia are disadvantaged with broadband services, the most notable issue that is nationwide, is the quality of broadband services.
The figure below demonstrates this;
Figure one: Percentage of Australian premises in each fixed broadband availability and fixed broadband quality band
Home Access and Usage
Australia has started to catch up with the rest of the world with faster broadband, however for such a developed country we are still very low on the world rankings. ”Australia has jumped up the world rankings of average Internet connection speeds with a yearly increase of 39 per cent” (Karlovsky, 2014).
In my family home fast Internet is vital. With both my parents needing to have access to the Internet 24/7 for work and my brother needing the Internet for study and downloading new games for his PS3, having a slow connection is just impractical. With being able to access the Internet 24/7 my mother finds she spends more time working at home and often feels like she is always working and this was also found in the ‘The Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy’ (Australian Government, 2013).
Those who are users of broadband connection like my parents have been found to be higher users of the Internet. The figure from ‘Australian Communications and Media Authority’ demonstrates this.
The variety of techno gadgets within my household which access the Internet range from; iPhone and IPad to PS3 and laptop. Fast connection at home and the access to free Wi-Fi was important whilst I was travelling around Europe during my gap year and in America during my University break, this enabled me to contact my parents at the drop of a hat. At some points during the trips there were dips in the connections during a Skype session resulting in unattractive frozen expressions. These issues may dissipate with the introduction of quality fast broadband.
In the future the hope is to provide this vast broadband landscape with the fastest connection possible through the use of fibre optic cables. The way our Internet usage is conducted within the household will once again change. With this technological advancement will we become more disconnected from each other?
An example of how technology has changed our way of communicating is reflected in the way my roommates and I sometimes communicate via Facebook to each other whilst we are all sitting at the dining room table rather than choosing to speak verbally to each other. Is personal contact being lost in the way we communicate or is it just a new way of multi-tasking?
With the growth of faster and more accessible broadband connection brings about a brighter online future for us, we are already seeing these results, “By 2012-13, 7.3 million, or 83 per cent of Australian households had home access to the Internet. More than 77 per cent of all households had access via a broadband connection.
Faster connections helped to grow websites such as YouTube, hosting billions of videos including Psy’s Gangnam Style, which has been viewed almost 2 billion times” (Karlovsky, 2014).
Our experience with technology within our households varies within each home, however we all want the same thing, fast, cheaper and reliable connection. With the introduction of NBN the experience we take from this will depend on various factors. “Thus, the ambition to digitally connect and include all Australians does not just depend upon access to ‘fast broadband’ through the provision of fibre to homes but, critically, upon how this technology is perceived, adopted and experienced by householders” (Nansen, Arnold, Wilken & Gibbs, 2013).
There are still a vast population of people in the world without this connection; how long will it take for this to change? What will arise from this? What will be the future for our Internet usage? Think of the possibilities of a fully connected world!
If you guys want to learn more about the future of NBN have a look at this University website http://www.canberra.edu.au/faculties/arts-design/research/research-centres/news-and-media-research-centre/events/2012-nbn-symposium
Alizadeh, T, 2014, ‘Towards the Socio-Economic Patterns of The National Broadband Network rollout n Australia’, retrieved 22 August 2014, http://www.soacconference.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/Alizadeh-Movement.pdf
Australian Government, 2013, Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, ‘Benefits of High-speed Broadband for Australian households’, retrieved 23 August 2014, http://www.deloitte.com/assets/Dcom-Australia/Local%20Assets/Documents/Services/Corporate%20Finance/Access%20Economics/Deloitte_Benefits_of_High_Speed_Broadband_2013.pdf
Karlovsky, B, 2014. ‘Australia climbs average Internet connection speed world rankings’, ARN, retrieved 23 August 2014, http://www.arnnet.com.au/article/548714/australia_climbs_average_internet_connection_speed_world_rankings_/
Nansen, B, Arnold, M, Wilken, R & Gibbs, M. 2013, ‘High-speed Broadband and Household Media Ecologies: A Report on the Household Take-up and Adoption of the National Broadband Network in a First Release Site’, Broadbanding Brunswick, retrieved 23 August 2014, http://accan.org.au/files/Broadbanding_Brunswick.pdf
Sheppard, F, 2014. ‘A brief history of the Internet over the past 20 years and the role of the world wide web’. ABC news, retrieved 22 August 2014, http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-05-25/internet-changes-over-20-years/5470442