Aug 28, 2014

Govt modelling says NBN is just fine — as long as you don’t want to use the internet much

The government's estimations of the download speeds we'll need in the future are laughable -- and alarming.

Stilgherrian — Technology writer and broadcaster


Technology writer and broadcaster

What, exactly, is the purpose of the National Broadband Network in relation to the following words? Enable. Suffice. Support. Demand. Need. Desire. Encourage. Surpass. Lead. Follow. Enhance. Boost. Revolutionise. Now keep those words in mind as you read the report “Domestic bandwidth requirements in Australia: A forecast for the period 2013-2023” from researchers at Communications Chambers, the modelling that underpins the government’s NBN cost-benefit analysis.

The modelling reckons that a decade from now, the median Australian household will be demanding internet download speeds of a mere 15 Mbps. Only households in the top 5% of internet usage will demand “43 Mbps or more”. That’s achievable with the latest copper-based technologies — provided everything works as advertised, and the “or more” bit isn’t too more-ish. And that means they’ll all be happy with Malcolm Turnbull’s Internet of Every Technology that’s Not Fibre to the Premises because that’s Labor and Wrong (IoETtNFttPbtLaW).

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25 thoughts on “Govt modelling says NBN is just fine — as long as you don’t want to use the internet much

  1. bruce harris

    Yes. The whole issue of growth of demand studiously ignored in the fatuous whiteboard model presented by Turnbull.
    He went down considerably in my estimation after that stunt.

  2. Tom Gwynn-JOnes

    A government report coming out in support of government policy. Who’d have thunk it…

  3. Trog Sorrenson

    Turnbull may be smart, and he may be the best the Coalition have got on climate change, but he was stitched up by Abbott on this Communications portfolio, and now he is trying to stitch up the nation with his spin on the NBN.

  4. Nici

    We’re planning to get my late father-in-law’s home-made black and white TV working again. It seems timely. He worked on a wireless telephone system in the 1960s that was never implemented. Not much has changed.

  5. Patrick

    Any estimate of future internet bandwidth requirements that does not look like an exponential curve is a joke.

  6. Bob's Uncle

    Turnbull is no fool – he knows that technology is cyclical.

    By 2023, all the cool kids will be back to using their 33.3kb modems to dial into their AOL accounts.

  7. wayne robinson

    I’m currently getting an average of 50 Mbps through cable broadband. The App I use to measure my download speed claims that Telstra has an average of over 300 Mbps (I wonder who’s getting the speed?). 50 Mbps is too slow (let alone 14 Mbps) even though I rarely stream video.

  8. Ulor Boxo

    Is it not the nature of conservative political parties to look backwards?

    If God had intended us to use fibre optics He would never have given us the telephone!

  9. bjb

    Had a read of the “Domestic Bandwidth Requirements in Australia” report and can say it’s a complete waste of time. They focus very much on download bandwidth, and even then they make some heroic assumptions about future video compression. Their stated 1.5Mbps upload speed required (referencing the requirements Skype recommend) for HD video calls, although theoretically available, will likely be out of reach for most using FTTN.

  10. Duncan Gilbey

    What a let-down that blow-hard Turnbull is.

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