A welcome, a blog entry and our inaugural complaint

Welcome to the inaugural post for PC World's Broadband Blog. We’ll be taking a look the state of the broadband industry in Australia, innovative uses for broadband technology, how you can get the best out of your connection and why the hell that torrent won't get above 4Kbps.

Limited broadband: It’s un-Australian.

Am I the only one who is sick to death of the price and quality of broadband that Australians face? That’s a rhetorical question, obviously. Australia is one of the only markets that where there are download limits on broadband. In most other countries, the faster your connection speed, the more money you get charged. Usually these plans have no download limits.

Instead, Australia currently gets broadband at much slower speeds, with download limits, and all at much more expensive prices when compared to most overseas countries, particularly the US and most of Europe.

Yep, I’ve already heard all the excuses. One of the most common ones trotted out is that we have a large land mass with a small population and bigger distances between cities. According to the apologists, this makes it a difficult and expensive task to implement the infrastructure required to deliver appropriate broadband.

But does that really justify our mediocre broadband? I just don't buy the argument. It’s been said that the quality of life in Australia is higher than most other countries in the world and that’s largely true. However the quality of services (including broadband) is in many instances far less than other developed nations.

Why can most countries afford to provide unlimited Internet plans while Australian ISPs can't? Why can the likes of Canada and Sweden (the former with a slightly larger population and the latter with far less inhabitants) offer broadband that simply leaves ours for dead?

That poses the question: will the Australia government’s NBN (National Broadband Network) strategy fix things? Or are we in for more of the same? Is this a problem with infrastructure, competition or regulation? On the flipside, are there hidden broadband gems among the dross?

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Ross Catanzariti

Ross Catanzariti

PC World
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