The National Broadband Network (NBN) is a federal communication project set to provide Australia with high-speed internet connections. The fibre optic started functioning on April 4, 2013 after six years of development. Although the technology offers high speed and cheap internet connections, critics are against the launching, development and application of the project.
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For instance, they argue that the project is expected to last for 60 years, but will be obsolete in less than 20 years. In particular, the growth of the wireless broadband is laudable. Mobile broadband providers are competing with the fibre project in terms of speed, cost, and efficiency. In fact, critics state that the project will not meet its targets because mobile broadband connections are easy to install, apply, and maintain.
However, after the project started functioning, it gained popularity and attracted many subscribers. This phenomenon is an indication that the NBN project is likely to be an effective initiative. In addition, the project has offered cheap internet connection. It is also set to replace the landline connections for telephone communication.
The purpose of this paper is to discuss the state of internet connection in Australia after the implementation of the NBN. In addition, the paper will analyse two recent articles that present some strength and weaknesses of NBN and its future in the Australian communication industry.
How NBN compares with broadband wireless after the launching of the project
The installation of the NBN fibre cables was launched in 2006 as a method of providing efficient and reliable communication system. The project sought to ensure that every home enjoys fast internet connection. In addition, it seeks to replace landline wires with fibre optic technology.
However, the project has faced criticism from various individuals and institutions due to a number of reasons. First, critics argue that NBN will be an obsolete project by 2030 because it uses fibre optic technology. This technology is expected to be replaced by wireless broadband technologies.
Secondly, critics have outlined that fibre optics is also a form of fixed lines that should not be in use in the 21st century. Opponents consider that the project requires a lot of work and is prone to disruptions caused by interferences with the lines. In fact, according to the opponents, the future of internet connection throughout the world is wireless broadband.
Despite these criticisms, the NBN received popularity and increase of use in the first few days. As a matter of fact, the number of internet users increased significantly. Most of them reported that they enjoyed high speed associated with fibre optic technology. Moreover, users expect to reduce the amount of resources they spend on wireless connections. They also hope to reduce the risks associated with frequent disruptions with their internet connections, which is a common event in the use of mobile broadband technology.
Therefore, it is worth noting that the rejection of the project is a factor of national politics. For example, the Coalition took a hard line against the project in 2008 and vowed to reverse the separation of Telstra and NBN.
In addition, Nich Minchin, the spokesperson of the coalition in charge of communications, said that if they had won the elections, he would have halted the project and concentrate on mobile broadband technology. They believed that the project was a destruction of federal resources because it will be obsolete in the next few years.
Nevertheless, technologists and economists have attempted to review the project based on its comparisons with the existing technologies such as the wireless broadband. They compared the cost and efficiency of NBN with that of 14 other providers such as Telstra, iiNet, and Internode.
They report that NBN has a capacity to provide users with at least 10GB of data per month to an average home or business. In addition, it provides a minimum speed of 12Mbps for downloads and 1Mbps for uploads. The least amount of money a user can spend on NBN connection is $35. On the other hand, the mobile broadband connections can provide a minimum of 4GB at a cost of more than $49 per month for homes or small business. Moreover, the rate and frequency of disruption is high when using mobile broadband.
LeMay, R 2013, Dumb people can’t see wireless is NBN future: Alan Jones
In this article, LeMay analyses the comment by radio presenter and political analyst Alan Jones who criticised the NBN and fibre optic technology in general. The author quotes Jones’s argument that the wireless broadband is superior to the fibre optic and that it will last longer than the NBN. He refutes Jones’s claim by stating that his arguments are not scientific and his reporting does not show evidence of journalistic proficiency.
As such, Jones states that NBN will have to rely on wireless connection. He further highlights that within the next 30 years fibre technology will be an obsolete technology. Based on this observation, the author seeks to disagree with Jones for a number of reasons. For instance, he argues that the technology is one of the most effective ways of providing high-speed connection for internet services and telephone connection.
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According to him, scientific studies on the future of technologies indicate that fibre technology is the future of communication in the world. This means that NBN will remain a valid and useful project for a long time, in spite of the competition from wireless broadband. LeMay’s article attempts to show the weaknesses and poor reporting associated with Jones’s comments on the NBN.
Humphries, G, 2013, Pass or fail? Kiama mum grades the NBN
In this article, the author analyses how new users of NBN perceive the technology and its differences with the mobile broadband connections. He also presents the case of a family at Kiama, a town that was one of the first areas in the country to get an access to the technology.
Julie Lee, a mother of three children in Kiama, says that she is happy with the project because it has increased the speed of her access to the internet. She finds it easy to access the internet and support family tasks such as children’s studies and watching online videos. However, she also states that she is not aware whether her children can see any difference between the current connection and the previous broadband technology.
In this discussion, it is clear that opponents of NBN base their arguments on political issues instead of facts. In addition, the statement that fibre optic technology will be obsolete is unfounded and wrong. In spite of the criticism, millions of people have been connected to NBN and are finding it effective and easy to use. Therefore, NBN has started as a successful project, regardless of the criticism.
Humphries, G 2013, Pass or fail? Kiama mum grades the NBN. Web.
LeMay, R 2013, Dumb people can’t see wireless is NBN future: Alan Jones. Web.