NBN goes mythbusters

I got PR-spruiked a new infographic which purports to debunk “the biggest NBN myths”. The infographic is quite a pretty thing, but takes some scrolling patience: In essence it says:

  • The NBN is not actually being built using tax-payer money.
  • Speed is good and we need as much of it as we can get.
  • Mobile is really not a viable option.
  • More than 60 other countries are also rolling out a Fibre to the Premise (FTTP) network.

Interestingly, this comes from BroadbandPlanFinder who are presenting it because they,

see the NBN as the greatest infrastructure project ever to be built in Australia and we are really excited to see it roll out across the country. We realise just how many incredible benefits everyday people from all over the country will gain from access to high speed broadband and we thought it was about time to put to rest all the misinformation being spread across the internet about what a disaster it will be.

The cynic in me can’t help but question such a level of corporate altruism, but I can’t see what they’ve got to gain and some research does seem to back up their claims. As a source of information on the benefits of the NBN, I probably prefer NBN Myths which covers the same ground with less glitz and more detail.

The sad thing about all this is that high-speed internet has become a political football. While I’m fairly agnostic on the means, I’m not at all uncertain about the ends: In my view, it really takes some effort to deny that high-speed Internet is a good thing. Once you have speed it is very hard to go backwards. Having recently been forced to move from high-speed cable to a lower speed ADSL connection I can’t express the frustration that creates for me. If you assume that we will continue to need ever faster internet connections, and I do, then the only question is what’s the most effective way of delivering them. And surely that’s a technical and economic question, not a political one. To the horrible extent that it has become a political football, though, it’s good to have as much light and factual information shed on the issue as possible.

It’s also saddening that in all the NBN ‘debate’ there’s no discussion of the fact that we are paying a fortune for internet access of any sort in Australia. Maybe we need an infographic…

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