Could widespread availability of broadband become an election issue?

Nicola forwarded me a link to this news article up on the ninemsn site where Kim Beazley downplays the (apparent) success of the T3 float on the stock exchange, instead raising the issue of broadband speeds (and availability?) here in Australia.

The opposition leader is probably walking a fine line here since so many Australians have invested in Telstra but after being without broadband for a little over a month I agree that this is a serious issue. I think that there are actually two tightly related issues here.

  • What is broadband? (ISDN, ADSL, ADSL2, Satellite, Cable?)
  • Where should broadband be guaranteed available?

At the moment Telstra has to be able to provide ISDN to 64Kbps, but I am starting to think that we need national infrastructure that can gaurantee broadband at a higher rate, say 1500/128 or 1500/256 (up/down). A lot of people are getting the run around when it comes to the provision of broadband and as time goes by it can have an impact on their ability to choose where they want to live and what kind of jobs they can have. For example – you can’t really work from home unless you have some kind of access to broadband.

I really home that the provision of broadband and the erradicaion of broadband blackspots becomes an election issue. How well the government responds might colour how people feel about the sale of Telstra.


6 thoughts on “Could widespread availability of broadband become an election issue?

  1. Bronwen

    I def think broadband coverage is really important…if i didn’t have it..i wouldn’t be able to work from home 😦
    I have friends only an hour outside of capital city that can’t get any coverage…what a pain for them..they’re willing to pay for’s just not available.

  2. Wes MacDonald

    I think you should probably go wireless, I was on 2Mbps 802.11b connection from a radio on top of my 60 ft. tv tower here to an ISP less than 10kms away, we did not have DSL or Cable out here in the sticks and Canada charges a fee for satellite usage (too slow anyways).

    Just this past summer I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to switch to cable and now I get 10Mbps….the cable provider here is looking at providing VOIP service in the future.

    Something to think about.

  3. Mitch Denny

    Hi Wes,

    We are getting a nextG wireless service here soon, but the problem is the download limits are probably going to be too low, or rather the price for downloading 20 gigs of data too high.

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