Where Australia’s Internet Users and the National Broadband Network Converge

Just a span of ten years seems enough for the Australian telecommunications industry to take the next step into the virtual evolution of mobile and broadband technology. As of 2011, the government and its allies in the industry have already begun their arduous and complicated work into building a National Broadband Network (NBN). This initiative aims to improve the country’s telecoms and IT infrastructure through the use of new technologies, such as Fiber-to-the-Premises (FTTP), to replace old networks made of copper-core cables. Based on its timetable, this long-term venture finishes by 2021, or earlier if possible.Introducing the National Broadband NetworkAs early as 2002, the Broadband Advisory Group (BAG) already proclaimed that broadband technologies would serve as the “roads and railways of the 21st century” leading to social and economic benefits for the education sector, for advancing research, for delivery of health care services, and for the expansion of major industries in Australia. This observation paved the way for the government to push for an overhaul of the country’s telecoms infrastructure. Despite several attempts at forming a cohesive group between the government and the business sector, they all failed. Finally, the Prime Minister formed a public company in August 2009 and had it trademarked as NBN Co. Limited. This company must work in partnership with the private sector during the planning, construction, and operation of the proposed national network.NBN as a Wholesale Broadband Distributor and a Private BusinessActually, NBN wasn’t designed for free-for-all broadband access. Rather, this infrastructure shall be managed by the NBN Co. for five years after completion before it’s converted into a privately held company. The company is expected to offer broadband wholesale through network operators, retail distributors, and broadband service providers. Whether or not this company achieves huge returns on investments made by the government and private investors isn’t the top priority. Although financial projections have indicated that the project would have an Internal Rate of Return (IRR) of 7.0%, which was too low by industry standards, the general prediction is that the company should pick up its pace in a few years and become viable as a business entity. As the project’s timetable approaches the year 2033, the company should have recovered its initial expenses through gradual revenue growth and delivered profitable returns to its private and public investors.FTTP as Primary Broadband Connection to Homes and BuildingsAs mentioned before in this article, the inter-organizational initiative to build a National Broadband Network seeks to replace old copper networks with Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH) connections that consist of fiber-optic cables that are directly attached to each home and hearth in Australia. Also called Fiber-to-the-Buildings (FTTB), this new method of connecting Internet users to a faster and more reliable broadband network should raise bandwidth speeds up to triple play service levels. This kind of high-speed Internet allows parallel transmissions of video streams, VoIP calls, online gaming, and large packet deliveries without experiencing delays or data corruption problems.NBN and Australia’s Major Broadband Service ProvidersSoon the three-year roll-out for the project’s basic network infrastructure, including digging and cabling, must come to an end by 2013, and the construction of the main networks for the National Broadband Network begins. As early as now, many broadband providers in Australia have already rolled out their own NBN-oriented service plans with monthly rates.

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