Tuesday, 3 December 2013

The REAL need for NBNCo and Fibre To The Home. Is all lost for people who really need FTTH? The National Party's enthusiasm for internet equity has evaporated.

Picture from here

A plea from my Facebook friend

I am a Pensioner confined to my home with a debilitating muscular disease and I NEED access to the world through my computer and TV! The only way I can get this with any real benefit is through FTTH Broadband! -- http://www.avaaz.org/en/petition/Malcolm_Turnbull_MP_Minister_for_Communications_in_the_Australian_Governme_Roll_out_FTTH_so_people_can_watch_4K_TV/?fbdm

At first glance the slogan on this ad - Bringing broadband to life - seems to refer to the quality of the broadbard that NBNCo plans to deliver.  I'm sure that this the intention.  However, let's turn it on its head.  Let it read Bringing broadband to ... life.

NBN is important to people who are not geeks, not cheap film seekers, not internet speed hogs.  There are people who need NBNCo because of their health: their physical health needs; their mental health needs; to get clear and swift diagnoses; to access 21st Century health care while living in isolated and rural areas.  

Such needs are too important to be politicised.

As a postscript, I recall when I lived in a very remote area of north-west Queensland, the National Party was giving priority to computer and internet access for people in rural areas.  Local National Party activists were campaigning.  I have seen television news stories on the benefits of NBNCo to rural businesses, to education and health services in rural Australia.  

In the 21st Century, I have not heard a word from the National Party in support of NBNCo and its access to high-speed broadband.  It seems that the enthusiasm of the early 1980s for equity in access to the internet for people in rural and remote areas has evaporated.  There seems to be only one explanation - partisan politics.  The NBNCo and its project for Fibre To The Home - not Fibre To The Node - has disappeared into a political abyss instead of being held up as a recognition of social equity.

Turnbull to defy Senate order to produce NBN report

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