With the debate about the National Broadband Network well underway, some of the dismissals of why a population would need higher broadband speeds (or as Kevin Rudd so quaintly called it at the Tasmanian Community Cabinet meeting, “Bandspeed“) — often bounce around somewhere between the ridiculous and the incredulous.

It’s not only the economic and social value of bringing higher speeds to market at a decent price point that gets the sceptical treatment by those essentially not across the policy brief, but also scepticism aimed at the rhetoric the government has been deploying over the NBN that it is has the importance and consequences of a key essential service akin to roads, power and water, and should be treated as thus.

Of particular interest to this point is the idea that I’ve heard floated around on broadband subsidies for low income households being a possibility further down the track, and how that would fit into the wider policy mix that seems to be falling under the broad banner of the Education Revolution.

Yesterday the ABS released an interesting set of data on sporting, cultural and technological activity undertaken by 5 to 14 year olds over the past 12 months, broken down into a number of demographic cross-tabs.

Within this ABS release is some pretty interesting data on internet use by kids that’s worth looking at and keeping in one’s thought orbit when it comes to some of the issues surrounding the NBN.

Read more here at Crikey’s Pollytics blog.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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