Australia currently only has capabilities of up to 8Mbits speeds in areas that have broadband enabled, those without broadband enabled areas (exchanges) are either left with dialup, or have a chance to get high speed wireless broadband - with a choice of 1 provider, or in rare cases, multiple providers, the 1 provider choice being Telstra, cunningly having areas where no competition exists enabled for high speed wireless.
Mane exchanges are left on RIMS, with limited port availability for ADSL, and ADSL2+ (DSLAM). Premium ADSL - speeds of up to 8mbits, from 1.5mbits were recently introduced mid to late last year, and prices are through the roof; let's look at my providers plan that I am on:
$99.95 per month
ADSL Plus Speeds (8mbits, 1.5mbits guaranteed)
40 Gbytes of bandwidth each month.
My ISP I am with is one of the few that only count downloads with the bandwidth, uploads are unmetered so I can only download 40Gb per month, where as I can upload 40Gb per month and more, some providers only allow you to download and upload a set amount (say 40Gb for the example) so I can download 40Gb, upload 40Gb. And other providers such as Telstra (with the exception of 1 plan) count both uploads and downloads in a shared pool (40gb for example) so I can upload say, 10Gb, and download 30Gb, and my bandwidth will be all used up.
Now on to the headlines, with the government in power at the moment, one of their election promises was to give Fibre to the Node high speed broadband, new technology in a old technology country. Such capabilities coming close are only ADSL2+ and cable (in city areas). And they've lived up to the promise, yet the ISP's such as Telstra and the Govt. never came to a decision and it was going nowhere, so the Govt. did one better.
Headline: Government to go it alone on FTTH NBN (NBN is national broadband network)
What does this give us?
- Fibre to the HOME.
- Speeds of UP TO 100MBit (unprecedented in residential areas).
However, only 90% of Australians will get it, with the other 10% being stuck on standard broadband, or ADSL2+ or in other areas, wireless, however the Govt. will upgrade these wireless areas and allow higher speed wireless or some crap like that. This was yesterday's news.
Todays news is that over 1,000 towns (1,033 to be exact) are left out of the FTTH NBN, these towns having less or exactly 1,000 population, Sky News saying 500,000 Aussies are left out of it. Source: http://www.skynews.com.au/politics/article.aspx?id=320011.
The whole overhaul of all this stuff comes to about $42 Billion, with the government funding a lot of it, and 51% being left to private investors such as Telstra, Optus, Internode (my ISP) and many other companies, with Telstras track record over here a lot of us are worried of how much a part the company will have in it, Telstra is basically running a monopoly, Telstra owns all of the exchanges and has ADSL2+ enabled in every broadband exchange and only recently being forced to flick the switch to turn it on (wheras they'd turn it on in select exchanges when a competitor would install their own DSLAM equipment). So we have a right to be worried.
The Liberal party will block the bill in the senate as they say there is no evidence it is commercially viable (but they don't say it's not viable from what I see) so it's a bit of a stalemate IMO.
I will keep this blog updated with the NBN news and such as headlines reach, feel free to comment on this and so on.