US slags us off over the NBN

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Explaining a few things you might not have known about the change

Lawrence Drayton from Asquith, NSW, is one of many Australians who is not happy with his NBN connection. Picture: James Croucher

AUSTRALIA’S “bungled” National Broadband Network has been skewered as a “cautionary tale” for other countries to take note of.

The New York Times has released an article titled: “How Australia bungled its $36 billion high-speed internet rollout”, talking about Australia’s terrible internet speeds and its “embarrassing No. 51” Akamai ranking, eight years after it embarked on an ambitious nationwide broadband rollout that will cost at least $AU49 billion.

“Australia, a wealthy nation with a widely envied quality of life, lags in one essential area of modern life: its internet speed,” the article states.

Despite the massive amount of money being pumped into the NBN, the article noted that internet speeds still lagged behind the US, most of western Europe, Japan and South Korea.

“More broadly, Australia risks being left behind at a time when countries like China and India are looking to nurture their own start-up cultures to match the success of Silicon Valley and keep their economies on the cutting edge,” the article notes.

But it doesn’t stop there.

“The story of Australia’s costly internet bungle illustrates the hazards of mingling telecommunication infrastructure with the impatience of modern politics,” it states.

“The government-led push to modernise its telecommunications system was unprecedented, experts say — and provides a cautionary tale for others who might like to try something similar.”

The article highlights that Australia was the first country where a national plan to cover every house or business was considered and this ambitious plan was hampered by changes in government and a slow rollout, partly because of negotiations with Telstra about the fibre installation.

Finally, it noted that while the NBN was originally envisioned as a high-speed fibre network, it was ultimately comprised by a decision to connect via existing copper wire, “basically the same technology used in the earliest days of the telephone”.

“The result, critics say, was slow speeds that still did not stop rising costs.”

News.com.au has previously highlighted problems with the NBN as more customers complain of not getting high enough speeds and problems with connecting.

Complains to the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman about the service doubled in the final half of last year.

NBN customers have been frustrated by slow speeds.

NBN customers have been frustrated by slow speeds.Source:The Australian

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