The IIA is a collection of 150 companies, all leaders in either online content, commerce or connectivity in Australia. For them to publicly endorse the NBN shows how important they believe the issue of superfast broadband is for the future of Australia. In their statement, which you can read below, they not only outline the benefits in a fairly simple matter, but explain the problem with solutions like wireless, which is a big part of the Liberals' policy.
While it's pretty late in the game for the IIA to be throwing their support for Labor's policy out there, it's interesting to know where the internet's industry body actually sits for this debate.
The key to Australia’s broadband future is speed. Speed, and capacity give us the ability to move vast amounts of information across networks. It’s not a ‘nice to have’, it’s an essential part of a modern economy.
In the past decade Australia’s internet use has grown by a staggering 12,000%. That rate is accelerating. Yet despite this, we are now ranked 50th in the world in terms of our average broadband speeds.
To meet our capacity needs we need to make the right infrastructure investments to promote competition and provide nation wide coverage. In Australia we have access to great technologies like wireless broadband that can deliver speeds of up to 10 Megabits a second – perfect for people on the move, and a way to access broadband almost anywhere.
Wireless relies on the availability of airwaves (spectrum) to carry the information – the more users sharing the same spectrum, the slower it gets. The only way to address this is with more transmission towers and base stations as demand grows.
In contrast, the National Broadband Network (NBN) optical fibre network will initially to deliver speeds of up to 1 Gigabit a second. That’s a thousand Megabits a second! It’s the fastest of all the options. It means a lot more people can do a lot more things at once, without slowing down the Net.
Optical fibre is easily and economically expanded. The initial costs seem high, but you only have to build it once. That’s why some of the fastest growing economies in the world like Japan, Korea, and Hong Kong and Singapore have chosen optical fibre technology for their broadband future – enabling greater competition, choice and innovation in providing broadband services and applications.
Faster broadband will revolutionise the way we communicate and will deliver real time access to a wide range of health, educational and aged care services in our big cities and across Australia.
It will help us get cars off the road, by enabling more people to work from home; better manage our household power use; open up new ways of doing business and the way we consume music and video offerings.
Regional Australia will benefit, bringing high value jobs for our kids, while the disadvantages of living out of cities will begin to disappear.
Just as electricity revolutionised society, so too will broadband. Fast, reliable, future-proof technology. Optical fibre based solutions like the NBN will mean a more stable and prosperous future for all Australians.
To read more about superfast broadband, please visit www.iia.net.au.