Politicians hey? Gotta hate them – either persuasion. Most sensible people mark them as idiots and ignore them. Unfortunately that comes at some cost.
One of the things that politicians do is tell us constantly what a bad job the other side is doing and how their ideas are so much better than the other side.
On the most part it’s best to to take these claims with a grain of salt and, like I said before, ignore them. Unfortunately though, these people make decisions and when they make bad decisions based on ideology, the desire to attack the other side and the desire to appeal to their voter core, it’s time to get annoyed.
This is the case presently with the NBN. Labor announced it years ago and once Tony Abbott became opposition leader it was a case of, “let’s say everything Labor does is baaaad!”. As a strategy in opposition, this was great. It won him an election after all.
However, sometimes once you get into government, it’s time to stop the pantomime. Unfortunately they couldn’t do this in the case of the NBN, because their key demographic – the over 55s, saw the NBN as expensive and unnecessary. The web? It’s just a sideshow. An amusement. Not important at all.
Yeah right. There’s always going to be this kind of thinking. There were people who used to say that the car was a novelty that would never replace the horse.
The thing is that the internet is not a novelty, and that’s the problem. We all want prosperity. It’s a responsible governments’ job to lay the foundations of that prosperity.
The NBN is the infrastructure of the 21st century. It changes the way people do business. Distance shrinks. For example, the old way of face to face meetings was fly people from one capital city to another via the red eye flight. These days that kind of stuff is not necessary; you teleconference. Saves time and money; it’s a productivity improvement for business.
Now the thing about infrastructure is that you have to look forward. It’s no good to say, this is adequate for now. I’m thinking 2 lane highways here. Ten years after they are built they are congested. Yeah but they were fine when they went in.
The internet is the business battlefield of the 21st century. Every day new fortunes are created on the internet. New ideas hit us every day. It affects every aspect of our lives.
It is plain that a modern economy should invest in the very best quality of internet that it can; that a key feature of a country’s competitiveness in the 21st century will be the quality of its’ internet. Studies show that there is a strong correlation between GDP growth and internet speed.
In 2009, Australia was ranked 39th in the world for internet download speeds. It is now 59th. It may fall to 100th by 2020. If it does, I’m guessing that there are going to be some countries that we consider quite poor that are actually going to have faster broadband than us.
This is plain and simple economic vandalism. There will be countries that have lower standards of living than ours now that will leapfrog us if we are not careful.
For 20 years, Australia coasted along as China rose and had an insatiable appetite for our raw materials. Those days are over. Where is our plan B?
Part of the plan be should have been heavy investment in the technologies of the future. Time for a rethink on the NBN. No point in something that’s obsolete even before it’s finished.
For a more indepth view, read here – The NBN, Slow, Expensive and Obsolete.