The Australian government, in partnership with a few private enterprises, is spending $43 billion dollars on installing Fibre to the Premise (FTTP) to the majority of Australian houses with the aim of almost everyone having high speed Internet access within a few years (called the National Broadband Network or NBN). Australia covers a vast area of land with population clusters scattered on occasion in remote areas. For these sparsely populated and outlying areas some form of wireless Internet access will be available. Certainly an ambitious project however there is a real case of short-sightedness in extensive FTTP; people are increasingly becoming more mobile and are wanting less fixed Online access (i.e. people want Wireless Online access).
The latest Nielsen Communication Trends illustrates the shift from fixed-line to mobile access in the U.S.A.
‘The cut-throat telecommunications landscape continues to evolve, with consumers simultaneously deepening their commitment to wireless services and responding to higher-value bundles from their wireline cable or telecom provider.’
‘… Similarly, cord-cutting households will continue to grow in numbers as consumers find wireless cellular service meeting their needs, further pressuring the telecommunications landline business.’
‘… As a result of these trends, traditional wireline telephony has ceased to offer high-profits reliably for telecommunication companies.’
So, is the NBN redundant before it even starts? Well, certainly wider access to the Internet must be encouraged and faster networks are necessary to support IPTV, increasing Online video demands and the like. A Fibre ‘backbone’ also supports many of the various Smart infrastructure (e.g. Smart-Grid) requirements. But Fibre to every home? I cannot understand how wide scale and very expensive FTTP is viable in Australia due to its small population and vast land area. We (Australia) should be looking at complimenting a Fibre ‘backbone’ with high-speed wireless so that people can be mobile, just like they want to be (and are increasingly starting to do). Hey, why not spend a few million dollars on Wireless technology innovation and license (sell) the resulting technology to other countries/technology manufacturers as well as use it is Australia?
Here is the latest NBN news from around the Web: