Thursday, 18 February 2010

Not-so-happy reaction to NBN in Mt Isa

Conroy digs himself a hole in outback | The Australian

While the rollout of the NBN on the Australian mainland is great national news, it seems that not everybody is happy about it. Never mind that Australia is already well behind most of the OECD in broadband connectivity. Surely the magnitude of this investment is begging for an educational program to promote the use of higher bandwidth?

The problem stems from the centrally-controlled and disengaged manner in which the NBN is being rolled out - another major program dominated by political and business elites. Nonetheless, to catch up on the opportunities lost by successive governments since the Net became widely available in 1992, there is little option but to get the infrastructure out as soon as possible.

Missing from the multi-billion dollar investment strategy is any attempt to educate potential users about the benefits of the NBN's capability. Users must be involved in the process if there is to be any national improvement in the lack of online skills which are surely the product of more than a decade of neglect.

The trouble with centrally-controlled approaches to network technologies is that the human element of the network is not viewed as an integral part of connectivity - which is ultimately the reason for the investment in the first place.

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