|Scooped by Robert Shaw|
Critics of the National Broadband Network (NBN) are striving to outdo each other in the lead-up to the federal election. As realisation sinks in that the Coalition’s “cheaper and built faster” argument won’t wash with Australians, critics are now jumping on every anti-NBN bandwagon rolling by, and some are resorting to FUD. On July 17, iTnews reported that NBN Co plans to reserve one of the four data ports on the Network Termination Devices (NTD) for government to provide unmetered health and education services into homes. The publication subsequently posted a clarification from NBN Co on July 18, which highlights that health and education services can be provided by any business, organisation or government that registers as an access seeker. The question is will government agencies register as access seekers to provide health and education services? Well, to put it simply, no. Government agencies are unlikely to register with NBN Co as access seekers because of the associated operating and compliance costs and legal obligations outlined in theTelecommunications Act 1997. Why would government agencies want to do this when the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) has already shown other government agencies the way forward? In return for access to the ABC’s iView online media library internet service providers (ISP) had to agree to not meter iView downloads. Future government agency services including health and education will add value to service provider offerings. Service providers that do not offer the full suite of government agency services will be tempting fate and may find themselves with few customers. A smart government would leverage its position by telling service providers to carry every government service with no download charge to customers or lose access to the lot – no ABC, no iView, no access to any government or government agency website and unfriendly visits from tax auditors annually. Click headline to read more--
Robert Shaw's insight:
Cheapest is rarely best, Australia really needs to view the NBN as a long term infrastructure investment, not a short term vote buying exercise.