[LINK] Labor commits to $4.5b high-speed Internet network

Roger Clarke Roger.Clarke at xamax.com.au
Mon Mar 26 12:26:27 AEST 2007

Costello's conjuring versus Rudd's bad policy
Date: March 26 2007
The Sydney Morning Herald
Ross Gittins

[Generally a decent read, culminating  in ...]

The notion that there's a tearing urgency to spread broadband to the 
far corners of this sparsely populated continent is an unexamined 
proposition being pushed by vested interests in the media industry 
and tech-head enthusiasts.

It's not clear we'd miss much by being a late-adopter of broadband 
along with that other laggard, the United States. The certain 
applications of high-speed broadband are faster downloading of movies 
and more playing of video games.

That is, the only certain beneficiary is the entertainment industry 
(hence the urgings from media proprietors). All the happy hype about 
e-education and e-health is pie in the sky. It will materialise one 
day - but by then broadband will have spread without taxpayer subsidy.

So there's not likely to be a lot of productivity enhancement 
involved. Nor is it clear there's much to be gained economically from 
the taxpayer expense of ensuring every distant country town has 
high-speed broadband.

Pandering to the punters' double impatience - their impatience to 
soon be able to download things faster - shouldn't be confused with 
progress or genuine productivity.

Roger Clarke                  http://www.anu.edu.au/people/Roger.Clarke/
Xamax Consultancy Pty Ltd      78 Sidaway St, Chapman ACT 2611 AUSTRALIA
                    Tel: +61 2 6288 1472, and 6288 6916
mailto:Roger.Clarke at xamax.com.au                http://www.xamax.com.au/

Visiting Professor in Info Science & Eng  Australian National University
Visiting Professor in the eCommerce Program      University of Hong Kong
Visiting Professor in the Cyberspace Law & Policy Centre      Uni of NSW

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