That’s what Managing Director of Australian Telecommunications Users Group (ATUG), Rosemary Sinclair argued in her round up the issues behind both the Government and Opposition’s competing broadband policies at the Connecting Up Non Profit Technology Conference last Monday.
Neither the government nor the opposition’s broadband policies seem perfect, instead they merely look like a good place to start the public debate.
To further the debate beyond the interests of the big businesses who stand to make a lot of money over broadband, Rosemary says it’s helpful to point to the different supply models adopted by other countries to achieve broadband that is faster and cheaper than ours.
The whole structure of the market is changing. But the big old carriers ‘don’t get it’.
Voice phone calls, especially fixed land line phone rentals have traditionally been the Telcos’ favorite cash cow but Australians have taken on less profitable mobile phones in a big way.
Also VoIP (internet phones) is catching on, which means even less money for the Telcos.
The network is changing in its nature and the customer or consumer is becoming much more powerful in terms of the applications and services.
Broadband is making a huge difference to the market. It’s not the users who want more speed on their broadband; it’s the new applications being released every day that need more broadband speed.
Rosemary stressed that 3G or NextG is not in the play. Sure, broader coverage but not the sort of speeds you would get from fixed line broadband. It’s slower and right now the prices for these in Australia are woeful.
And DSL (Digital Subscriber Line eg Big Pond, Optus copper cable) gets slower the further you get from the phone exchange, so we have no choice but to plan our way into a fibre future.
ATUG is an independent, self-funded organisation which has been representing the interests of users (mostly business) of telecommunications to regulators, governments and industry since 1981.