YOUTH VOICE: The National Broadband Network and Regional Australia

Posted on July 27, 2010 by


Mr Abbott, do you know what the National Broadband Network (NBN) will achieve for Australians?

I’m sure by now that most of you know what the NBN is. For those that don’t, the NBN is a government-funded organization that aims to upgrade the communication network in Australia. If elected, a Liberal government would abandon the NBN project. But does Mr Abbott understand what he is abandoning?

The NBN has already been successfully implemented in Tasmania. Residents now enjoy a reliable service, quick internet speeds, and have the potential to reap the benefits of pay TV and digital television. The new network is a huge contribution to former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s legacy, which seeks to distribute fibre optic cable to most homes in Australia. Each cable will have the potential to ensure fast internet speeds, improved voice and data quality, free television, pay television, and a reliable service that will last a lifetime.

The network as it stands is in an appalling state. Currently the network runs through copper wires. Communication companies seeking to maximize profits and minimize costs use cheap techniques to ‘bandage’ the network. This unreliable maintenance of the network is costing millions of dollars. The current copper network is subject to damage from rain, line length, human activity and previous human activities. Rural customers are subject to the same line rental rates and in some cases more expensive rates than urban customers. Yet rural customers have to deal with the pain of transmission problems which are created because of the large distances that the copper cable must travel to rural towns and farms. Other phone problems that occur in regional Australia are caused by lightning strikes, damage by rain, damage by farm animals, and damage by other rodents such as ants and mice.

The new optic fibre network will not be subject to such threats, ensuring a reliable communication service for the citizens of Australia, both urban and rural. The communication network will not only improve internet speeds and voice quality but it has the potential to ensure better and quicker warning systems for flood and fires. Is this not a price that Australia should pay to ensure the safety of the public?

The Liberal government if elected will undoubtedly veto such a project. But do they understand what they are destroying. If the liberal government is elected, the axing of the NBN will minimize jobs, a reliable communication network, and the chance for rural students and families to enjoy the benefits of a reliable communication service.

Yes, it will cost the nation to develop such a network. But this project will employ thousands of Australians and in the future it has the potential to save the country millions of dollars. The new fibre network will ensure a more reliable and better network for all Australia. Let’s “move Australia forward” in the communication industry.

Galvin Dunlop is studying politics as part of a Bachelor of Arts at Latrobe University, Albury-Wodonga campus. He works in the telecommunications industry and is also working as a tutor in local high schools.

The views in this story are those of the author and not necessarily those of Our Voice: Politics Albury-Wodonga.