[LINK] Students not pro-NBN??

Jan Whitaker jwhit at janwhitaker.com
Wed Mar 30 10:44:09 AEDT 2011

[gee let's base public policy on 14-17 y.o. kids. 
Well, it may be just as good as some of the 
politicians involved, come to think of it. Naw, couldn't be.]

Students shrug off NBN as a 'waste'
Jewel Topsfield
March 30, 2011

"THE national broadband network may have secured 
the support of the independents and squeezed 
through Parliament but according to the next 
generation of internet users it's a waste of money.

Diamond Valley College, in Melbourne's 
north-east, was one of only two schools in 
Australia that made a submission to the federal 
inquiry into the role of the NBN.

The school surveyed 380 of its students and found 
they were prodigious internet users, with 99.5 
per cent of them on Facebook. But year 11 student 
Alex Klammer believes the $35.9 billion broadband network is a waste of money.

 government wants to speed up the internet 
but it's going to slow it down with all these 
firewalls and proxies to stop you getting on to 
certain websites,'' Alex said. ''It doesn't seem as if it would work.''

The federal government's proposed mandatory 
internet filter will stop blacklisted websites 
from being allowed past Australian internet service providers.

Alex and other students at Diamond Valley College 
were galvanised into making a submission to the 
inquiry after deciding that almost $40 billion 
was a fair chunk of change, and that the 
parliamentary committee holding the inquiry might 
be interested in how young people use the internet.

''We did a bit of research into it and it seemed 
like a good idea to have our say on it. We were 
the only school [students] to do it,'' Alex said.
[no, they weren't, if you take Alex's unedited comment]

The 214 submissions were dominated by local 
councils and universities. The Hutchins School in 
Tasmania was the only other school to 
participate, with a submission by its director of information services.

Diamond Valley College's submission included its 
survey, which also found 75 per cent of students 
in years 7 to 12 use the internet for chat sites 
and email, 88 per cent for music, 73 per cent for 
weather updates, 72 per cent for movies and 66 per cent for games.

Many students who attend the school live in 
Kinglake and other areas devastated on Black Saturday.

''Knowledge about community disasters like 
bushfires is also noted as a huge need 
approximately 90 per cent of all young people 
living in bushfire-prone areas want to use the 
internet to protect their future safety,'' the 
students said in their submission.

But despite the submission pointing out that 
speeding up communication would be a ''huge 
benefit in the future'', Alex was not the only 
Diamond Valley College student to question the value of the NBN.

''I personally think the money could be used for 
better things like hospitals,'' said year 9 
student Ashleigh Gentles, who helped write the 
submission. ''I feel the internet is sufficient for use now.''

The federal inquiry into the role and potential 
of the NBN is due to report in August."


Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
jwhit at janwhitaker.com
blog: http://janwhitaker.com/jansblog/
business: http://www.janwhitaker.com

Our truest response to the irrationality of the 
world is to paint or sing or write, for only in such response do we find truth.
~Madeline L'Engle, writer

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