Faster porn for farmers

It’s a few months before the next federal election and suddenly everyone’s interested in broadband. Today the government announced a policy, of sorts, which may or may not amount to giving Telstra the ability to charge competitors whatever it wants to access the network, once built.

Telstra’s plan only provides access in five capital cities, in other words, where it is profitable. The opposition noted the glaring absence of any help for everyone else. “Australia deserves better than John Howard’s patchwork quilt network that will deliver genuine fast broadband to five cities and a sub-second class service to the rest,” said Labor’s communications spokesman Stephen Conroy. And the Agrarian Socialist Collective Party, sorry, the Nationals, also cottoned on to this disparity, as reported in the Financial Review:

Nationals MPs are concerned, however, that the funds will not go far enough to service remote areas, leaving some country customers lagging others.
“You’re still going to have the haves and have-nots,” one person familiar with the proposals said.

None of the reports, however, explained how the national interest is served by making city dwellers pay twice – through their taxes and higher prices – to subsidise the price and availability of rural broadband.

One can only assume it is part of an as-yet-unannounced, multi-pronged strategy to help reduce rural suicide rates by giving farmers faster access to pornography.

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