Sunday, 5 April 2009

BroadbandNow: Lights on, but nobody's home

Recently, I made a personal commitment to blog regularly. As nothing really happens on a Sunday, I thought I would have a look at the Australian Government's broadband portal. After stumbling upon Telstra's criticism of the previous government for excluding the major telco from the information on, I thought I would try it out.

It seems is no longer available - it says that access is restricted, even though the Regional Entry Point still says it is the place to check the availability of broadband.

So I thought I would give the government a break and see if there was a new consumer site for checking broadband availability. Maybe the website was simply out of date. I found the Broadband Service Locator here.

I entered my address (in the Gungahlin region) and found that Telstra was not listed as a provider (even though I subscribe to BigPond). Naturally(!), cable Internet access is not available in this area. The Broadband Service Locator suggests that the only available ADSL 2+ services in my area are from iiNet or NetSpace. When I used NetSpace's locator service, ADSL 2+ is not available.

It seems that the only ADSL 2+ services (according to the government's locator) are Telstra (not mentioned) and iiNet. It was an interesting exercise, and if I wasn't travelling for an extended period later in the year, I may have changed providers (I dislike being locked into a contract).

Nonetheless, the exercise proves a point from an earlier post - side issues are affecting the government's ability to focus on the demand-side issues concerning broadband access and take-up. The lights are on, but nobody's home!

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