Minister for Broadband Stephen Conroy yesterday delivered the exciting news that the government’s planned $4.7 billion broadband network would deliver speeds “up to 100 times faster than what is currently available”. Sounds great!
It will achieve this by running fibre-optic connections to the telecommunications pillar mushrooms on street corners then using VDSL (very fast digital something something else) to deliver speeds of up to 25Mbps to homes.
Call me a pedant if you must, but that’s not 100 times faster than what’s currently available. I may be decaf soy latte drinking inner city elite, but I get around 19Mbps using ADSL2 and living about a kilometre from my phone exchange. I’m no maths genius, but I’m pretty sure 25Mbps is not 100 times faster than 19Mpbs. In fact I’d say it something closer to 1.3 times faster.
But Senator Conroy’s calculation is based on the claim that “most broadband users currently receive only 256 kilobits per second”. Which is
- A lie – statistics more than a year old show two-thirds of broadband users on faster than 256Kbps and
- A damning criticism of how Conroy’s predecessors let Telstra and the rest of the internet industry deliberately retard broadband access and make obscene profits.
Seems like when it comes to technology, the new federal government is as pompous and incompetent as the last.