What is your view on the NBN? Do you see it as helpful for your area? How might we use it to pursue New England development?
In a comment, David Carse from Waterfall Way Designs put up a pretty good summary of the benefits as he saw them. He also provided a link through to a post, What does NBN mean for your business?, explaining the benefits to his clients.
Postscript two: Issues Summary
While this post will remain open for comment, I now want to draw together some threads, adding from my own experience in running a business out of Armidale and as a consultant. As I did in the first post, Frustrations over the NBN discussion, I am using Armidale as an example because I know it quite well and because the city itself already has better than average internet connections.
As a starting comment, if you listen to the discussions on NBN, you will generally find:
- A focus on the ordinary consumer. In fact, from a New England perspective, it is the business applications that are most critical since these provide jobs.
- An often implicit assumption or myopia that regional areas don't actually need fast connections because the type of business that demands them is not to be found there.
- As a consultant, David finds existing connections mean that both video conferencing and VOIP (voice over internet protocol) are patchy and somewhat unreliable. This would fit with my recent experience with in-house video conferencing linking a Sydney head office with regional branches in Dubbo, Coffs and Tamworth. The links were jerky and kept falling over.
- Both UNE and its students say that the existing system does not allow the University to provide the type of interactive teaching experience that distance students need.
We live in a distributed, data intense world. From my own experience, the types of applications that are constrained even in a place like Armidale include:
- Collaborative software development in a distributed environment.
- Bandwith intensive visual applications - games, development of other entertainment, certain types of courseware.
- Bandwith intensive data process and distributing applications.
- Collaborative distributed team working involving combined forms of media.
- Use of cloud computing.
- E-commerce or retailing activities requiring certain real time delivery, again where the traffic volume and speed passes a certain point.
Armidale has lost a fair number of start-up businesses over the last twenty years because of locational issues. Had they not moved, or survived and stayed in Armidale, the city would have been a lot larger. Poor communications was only one factor, but an important one. In one year, my own business spent $46,000 on domestic air travel.
I will leave this post here, although comments are still open.