I’m at the Kickstart Forum for IT journalists on the Gold Coast this weekend talking to various companies and technology thought leaders on the direction of the industry.
For the forum’s opening keynote, opposition spokesperson and former Optus telecommunications executive Paul Fletcher described his concerns about the Australian government’s National Broadband Network.
Many of Paul’s objections to the project are based on the failure of former attempts to build telecommunications networks – citing Aussat, the NextGen fibre network, OneTel and international disappointments like WorldCom and Global Crossing.
The other main concern is that no-one will use it. He cites a Parliamentary committee that where eHealth providers said their service could be adequately provided by a 512Kbit connection, a tiny fraction of the 100Mbit speed promised by the NBN.
Previous failures aren’t a good indicator of the success or otherwise of the NBN, but what’s more important is what a poor job industry’s doing in explaining how high speed Internet can help their businesses.
The big challenge for NBN advocates who believe this project is the essential infrastructure of the 21st Century, is to articulate the benefits and potential. We’re not doing a very good job at the moment.
What’s your view on how high speed Internet can help your business or community?