Foreign news sites offer a wealth of information. And they are generally, as a rule, far more entertaining, relevant and intelligent than what is served up here locally.
Fitting the bill is a recent article in The Times of India titled ‘Even with 49Mbps, India to remain way behind in internet race’. India, behold, has an eagerly awaited and soon-to-be released broadband plan. From the article comes this the response to the plan:
India is eagerly awaiting the launch of Reliance Jio’s 4G connection, which promises to offer average internet speed of 49Mbps on the go. This is over 12 times faster than the current average of 4Mbps on the country’s 3G networks. In theory, Reliance Jio’s 4G network will offer maximum speed of 112Mbps.
Download speed of 49Mbps may seem astounding for those in India, but the country will still lag far behind the leaders in the global internet race.
South Korea, widely acknowledged as the most ‘connected’ nation in the world, already has the highest broadband internet speed of 53.3Mbps.
According to latest data compiled by analytics website Speedtest.net, the US town of Ephrata, Washington DC, enjoys average internet speed of 85.54Mbps.
Google Fiber, the internet titan’s pilot broadband internet project, promises maximum speed of 1Gbps (gigabits per second; 1gigabit = 1024 megabits) in the US. However, actual speed delivered in Kansas City under this project is 49.86Mbps.
In Hong Kong too, the peak speed is 65.1Mbps (the highest in the world).
Another operator offering 4G broadband in India is Bharti Airtel. The company’s network is currently available in cities like Pune, Kolkata and Bangalore, but it is not available on mobile phones. Airtel 4G offers average download speed of 40Mbps via USB dongles, with the theoretical highest speed claimed to be 100Mbps.
It is, therefore, obvious that India’s fastest consumer internet networks will not stand anywhere close to those in the developed markets and will even remain far behind upcoming networks in terms of pure download speeds.
However, India can still catch up with the leaders in the internet speed race. The government is working with Israel to develop 5G internet networks, which offer speed of 10Gbps. This technology is still in development across the world, with several companies claiming that it will be ready by 2020.
49 Mbps and it still isn’t considered good enough!
Meanwhile, in Australia, Tony Abbott says 25 Mbps NBN speeds are “more than enough”.
Much has been written about the Government’s broadband plan (or Fraudband as it is affectionately known) and its mountain of deserved criticism. We all know its inefficiencies, however, it now becomes embarrassing when the rest of the world wants to move further into the 21st Century and what the future offers whilst our government wants to slip further behind. It demonstrates, as we will see, that we have an out-of-touch government given the economic benefits of a fast broadband network. Consider, as an example, this article that tells us what’s happening in Europe and compare the economic ideology to that of our government’s:
Tomorrow’s digital services – from connected TV to cloud computing and e-Health – increasingly rely on fast, effective broadband connections. Such connections are becoming critical to our economy and, it is estimated that a 10% increase in broadband penetration brings up the GDP by 1-1.5% (my bold). The Digital Agenda for Europe (DAE), a flagship initiative of Europe 2020 strategy for a smart, sustainable and inclusive economy has set a goal is to make every European digital and ensure Europe’s competitiveness in the 21st century. Essential to this goal is fast connectivity and the DAE broadband targets:
- Basic broadband for all by 2013 (target met – satellite broadband is available to raise the coverage to 100% in every Member State);
- Next Generation Networks (NGN) (30 Mbps or more) for all by 2020;
- 50% of households having 100 Mbps subscriptions or higher.
The European Commission’s policy framework to achieve these targets encourages both private and public investment in fast and ultra-fast networks.
That article doesn’t come from an information technology website or a business website, it comes from the European Commission itself, which is the:
. . . driving force in proposing legislation (to Parliament and the Council), administering and implementing EU policies, enforcing EU law (jointly with the Court of Justice) and negotiating in the international arena.
And likewise the USA acknowledges that ‘broadband has become such a dynamic and valued treasure in today’s economy’. They join India and the European Union in recognising that it is futile to accept that 25 Mbps NBN speeds are “more than enough”. Especially considering that:
As broadband continues to evolve, our economy and marketplace will continue to evolve with more products and services than we’ve ever seen before. The increase in competition in the tech sector, acceptance of innovative ideas and methods, and need for speed will spur growth not only within the industry but with small businesses and our communities down the line.
Every country in the world, it seems, is developing or aspiring to develop a broadband network that provides the infrastructure to help keep them abreast with the technical and economic environment of today’s global village. Yet our prime minister insists on moving in the opposite direction. His attitude is as fundamentally archaic as the broadband technology he remonstrates is more than enough for us. Given his technological incompetence, or at least his inability to grasp the consequences of his incompetence, perhaps he’d be better suited to running a small nation like Tonga.
No, hang on, even Tonga has developed a better broadband plan. Embarrassing, isn’t it?
Surely there is someone within our government who has the guts to stand up and say, “Our technologically illiterate Prime Minister might think that 25 Mbps NBN speeds are good enough but the economic advantages of having a network of a world standard are too crucial to ignore. Stop focusing on cost and politics, and start focusing on opportunity and necessity.”