Why Isn’t Australia’s Digital Speed Gap Closed Yet?
Although a consumer can compare broadband options to find the best available service, Australia faces a number of unique challenges when it comes to bringing the country’s high-speed broadband up to the modern standard. One of the largest obstacles to high speed Internet in the country is its relatively large population, requiring a much more involved and lengthy implementation stage than other nations with less overall demand for the service.
Another disadvantage faced by Australian broadband integration efforts is the distribution of its population. The country is comprised chiefly of extremely populous cities dotting the coasts and mainland along with much less densely populated rural areas, unlike world leaders such as Hong Kong and Japan, whose concentrated populations make for quick and comprehensive installation of advanced broadband infrastructure. As a result, Australia lags significantly behind in the world rankings.
How Big is the Gap?
With high-speed Internet representing the most important service of the new millennium, staying on pace with the global standard is essential to a country’s relevance on the world stage. Alarmingly, Australian average connection speeds stall at just over 10Mbps while the average worldwide is creeping closer to the 25Mbps mark as of early 2015. In a staggering contrast, Japan and Hong Kong both boast average speeds of over 50Mpbs due to the advantages they enjoy.
In an effort to close the widening gap between Australia’s high speed Internet capabilities and the global standard, a government initiative known as the NBN, or National Broadband Network, is set to roll out over the next few years. The NBN as proposed will introduce widespread use of fibre-optic connections to replace the copper-based wiring common in Australian broadband systems, which loses signal quality as users are located further away from the central service hub and is generally limited in the maximum speeds it can provide.
This new delivery system will create the fastest possible connection, with potential speeds up to 100Mbps, and is expected to be the solution the country needs to close the broadband speed gap for good. It is also expected to virtually eliminate outdated connection types such as dial-up by providing affordable and reliable access to high-speed Internet nationwide.
While Australia’s broadband Internet solutions may be lacking compared to some of the leading countries, the future of Australia’s broadband networks is bright thanks to the NBN. By introducing the latest technology and bringing the country’s access levels to a par with its neighbours, the NBN will push Australia forward into a connected tomorrow.
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