NBN: It’s alright I guess.

Internet in the home has been a very fast moving development in our modern world, growing fast and faster as the technologies that allow us to access the Internet develop. At first it was a luxury, with that dial-up tone that we have grown to despise telling the anyone around that “Hey, look over here. I have the internet!”.

It seems like quite a stretch then, that we have moved from the Internet being a noisy novelty to it becoming something we depend on. The Internet today is its own little ecosystem with online only stores (ASOS), entertainment (Netflix original series, YouTube), work (Paid tweeters) and news (Vice News).

So if everything we could ever need is online we will obviously need some super fast and reliably broadband Internet to help us look up the days news while watching a web-series and purchasing that cute new top that will look great on your Instagram when you’re at that concert you bought tickets for online last week. Enter stage right, the National Broadband Network.



The National Broadband Network was once a beautiful beast, connecting magic cables to every house in the country that made the Internet basically as fast as light. Okay, maybe not that fast. That doesn’t matter though – The point is, government changed and now those magic cables are going to a node, and from there they are operating just like our normal internet. Below is a graphic that gives you some quick little details, but there is a whole lot more info over at http://howfastisthenbn.com.au/

From the website howfastisthenbn.com.au

From the website

One of the biggest issues with the NBN at the moment, if you ignore my personal distaste for the LNP’s changes to the NBN, is that not very many people are actually connected. Anywhere that really could benefit from this new national network is yet to even have work begin. The networks promotions are all about how we can all utilize the new service, connecting to work overseas, doctors in different states and schools in different cities to help us make the most of our lives with the help of the Internet. The issue with this is how the National Broadband Network is actually initialised across the country and unsurprisingly it seems to be based on population.

This troubles me, and feels like almost a slap in the face to the whole idea of connecting “everyone”. Surely if your goal is to connect everyone, you’d working on finally getting those with little to no connection to the internet on the grid, not improving the already reasonable access to the internet that those in capital cities and large regional centres have access to.

A common sight of many checking their addresses on the NBN Website

A common sight of many checking their addresses on the NBN Website

A perfect example of this is the map showing current rollouts, and planned rollouts of the broadband network, which very conveniently do not show any plan to start building anywhere near my home-town of Bega on the NSW Far South Coast. Along with this, the NBN wont provide much in the way of helping phone carriers create better service, meaning if you want decent reception and data speeds in the Bega Valley, you better be with Telstra. I’m with Virgin Mobile, and last time I visited data was slow in town and signal in the surrounding areas was patchy if it was even available.

Rollout Map http://www.nbnco.com.au/ Credit NBNco and Google.

Rollout Map http://www.nbnco.com.au/
Credit NBNco and Google. Modified

Lets pretend for a moment then shall we that the National Broadband Network is actually in place in my home. What would the average family use it for?

I got in contact with a few members of my family, and first asked what they thought of the Internet at home. The overall impression was that it’s not very good, but I got a very eloquent response from my sister….


I guess now the question is, why is it so poo-emoji?

Basically, at the moment the Internet is slow, and in a house like ours, wifi has trouble reaching past the lounge room. It’s also unreliable, cutting out reasonably often (It’s almost like the Freedom@UOW Network!) and can sometimes be a hassle to get up and running again.

These are some of the things that the National Broadband Network tells us it will be able to fix, making the internet faster and more reliable, meaning people like my father have a safer connection for business traffic, and that the rest of the family I guess it means that they can check their emails more efficiently and download movies or stream TV faster. So that’s cool too. Whenever the NBN actually gets to my house. I can’t help but think that this should be their tag line…

The NBN: When it happens, it’ll be out of date again.


One comment

  1. It is pretty interesting that your field of comparison for your home internet access is to the Freedom@UOW network. I mean, the problems exist for both systems – dropouts and disconnects. I can’t help but wonder if that’s actually a very telling example, where they both present you with systems straining to deal with the demands put on them.

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