Australia doesn’t have excessively poor broadband.
By comparison, our quotas and limits protect the networks from being run to the bone by abusive users.
Unfortunately, in the USA things during “Peak” time are known to be pretty packed out on Cable networks, that speed limits apply to services.
In the US for example, a DSL connection might be provisioned at 768k / 256k. In Australia, we get 1536 / 256k. So we certainly do better than the US. In fact, I’ve known people in the US to not get near the speed on offer during peak times due to peak time congestion, a problem ISPs all over the US will be constantly fighting to solve.
In Australia, we don’t have unlimited. Anyone who tells you they are giving you unlimited is generally lying to you. For it to be unlimited, at say, 8Mbps, they would need to have 8Mbps of bandwidth available from their Telstra AGVC, and 8Mbps of bandwidth available in their own network, and 8Mbps of bandwidth available to its connections to the internet.
Realistically, they might say its Unlimited, but, it’s basically Unlimited Dial Up. The speeds are shaped after you have enjoyed broadband speeds for about a week, and then you are on dial up for the rest of the month. Expensive Dial Up :).
Our quota system protects us from the problems that happen on REAL unlimited networks, where everyone is wanting everything, but the networks just can’t cope, and to cope, the upgrades are either add more cables, or increase capacity on existing cables. Expensive tasks for minimal gain (management of peak time).
Better ideas are to limit the usage available on a connection to manage the available bandwidth more.
I doubt we’ll see a trend to increase Unlimited plans, or even any mass marketing of a truly unlimited plan, simply due to the dangers such marketing would pose to networks.
Anyway, back to where I was, the statistics on the OECD report shows us as ranking 9th for broadband.
The result can almost certainly be attributed to higher ADSL2+ take up, and to some extent, Telstra’s release of 8Mbps ports, and to another extent, Telstra’s price drops associated with the ADSL ports.
We don’t have poor services, but they aren’t free of problems. Fixing the problems are in fixing the pricing issues that plague industry. These include to my knowledge, backhaul into and out of regional areas, and backhaul into and out of international waters. Increase COMPETITION on these so the PRICES drop, and our OECD ranking can only rise due to value pricing.
Then, worry later when we start to slide down a bit as to whether we go with FTTN, FTTH, or Laser. We can almost certainly get by with ADSL2+ and WiMAX.
So, why bother supporting Labor’s plan to give Telstra a monopoly? Better to support the Coalition’s plan to just create policies and let the market work it out for themselves (and help in regional areas where required).
No point holding the hands of those that don’t need help.