It seems a week can’t go by without some kind of controversy hitting the NBN. This time, a number of the larger states in Australia are complaining Tasmania’s regional population is going to get a better quality slice of the pie.
Luckily for Tasmanians, they live on a small island, making them an ideal test bed for the rollout. The state’s compact size will also mean a greater number of communities with populations of under 1000 residents will gain access to the Government’s planned 100Mbps NBN fibre connection.
But various Premiers (other than Tasmanian Premier, David Bartlett, funnily enough) have expressed concern at the apparent favouritism, demanding similar treatment in remote areas for their respective states.
Yes, larger states with far-flung remote communities, such as Queensland and South Australia, will have to make do with satellite connections that provide a “mere” 12Mbps.
I don’t know how many times the land mass of Tasmania will fit into Queensland, but I imagine “remote” Tasmania and “remote” Queensland are two entirely different concepts.
If the Premiers genuinely want the massive upgrade to Australia’s networks that the NBN plan aims to create, even in remote areas that have to “settle” for a 12Mbps, then surely they realise connecting the entirety of rural Australia with cables would be prohibitively expensive. And it does have to be tested somewhere.
It’s lucky for Tasmania that its rural areas are within a reasonable distance to gain the benefits of cable. But before launching into a Hamlet-style soliloquy on how unfair Rudd (and life in general) is, surely the other states can realise that, 100Mbps or 12Mpbs, this already-hugely expensive network is ultimately going to benefit everyone.
So, while Tasmania may well get special treatment in all this, the other Premiers should realise that everyone, whether connected by satellite or cable, is going to benefit from the NBN.