Extending broadband to rural Queensland #bbfqld #bbfuture

In light of the comments that the Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, has made this morning about extending broadband services across regional Australia, and linking broadband with economic growth and equality, I would like to share a comment made on the Brisbane forum website:

Graham Storrs said:

I live in rural Queensland. When I moved here 2 years ago, I had no phone line. It took a year and a complaint to the ombusman to get a line installed – at a cost to me of thousands of dollars. There is no ADSL of course, I’m too far from an enabled exchange.

I can get wireless ‘broadband’ via Telstra’s NextG service (no other supplier covers my house – so I’m in a monopoly market here) but the signal is weak (even with an external antenna) and the bit-rate is extremely low – so low that I can’t listen to streaming audio or watch streamed video without it stuttering and pausing all the time. And it is expensive, of course, being Telstra. The best package I can afford has a 5Gb upload/download limit – not enough to use every day and still have any spare for listening to music or watching video (even if I could). So, for $80 a month, I get a very basic, very slow service, and no option to change supplier.

Oh, and forget about smartphones like the iPod. They just don’t work at such low signal strengths (although, thankfully, my Kindle does – most of the time.)

Most city-dwellers, certainly no politicians, have a clue how primitive things are out here. Whatever the ‘broadband future’ is for urban Australia, for much of rural Australia, it’s a joke.

I must admit that as a “city-dweller” I had no idea things were this bad in rural Queensland. I do believe that fast internet = better opportunities for education, connecting with others, and much, much more. I have no knowledge about the physical logistics of extending quality broadband to rural Australia, but I do hope we can do something to improve the situation.

One thought on “Extending broadband to rural Queensland #bbfqld #bbfuture”

  1. The rural communities are a perfect example of how high bandwidth networks can connect them and increase their influence in our modern democracy, but if that is to happen we need the upload speeds to be just as fast as the download. As that American fella, Jeffrey Cole, said – it is upload speed that is the democratic aspect of broadband – because that is what allows people to contribute, especially multimedia and video.

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