To nbn or not to nbn…

dial up

Image: citethisforme

I can remember that real feeling of achievement in the 90s of getting past the quirky and unforgettable ringing tones of the dial up network and actually getting online in the first try. I can remember watching paint dry too as the pages would load one line at a time or I regretted deciding to go to another site and inflicting the same slow load up process on myself. I can also remember days where it worked perfectly fine . The more people who joined the online world, the better the connections became and we reached the hay day of broadband where everything was going so well. Those who have experienced online services in that era will be disrupted and flummoxed with the process we are currently going through of rolling out the fibre connections.

In many ways we are back to the 90s. We don’t have enough people connected, we are still rolling out cables and connections and we are running mixed wires and hardware. Telecommunications people will start gathering data and start noticing what we need in real terms and make adjustments. Until now it has been a best guess I would imagine.

We need to do our homework. We need to be aware of what we need and what suits us. It is called the National Broadband Network and so it is for us to work out as a nation what best suits us and to work towards that.

Some of that is being aware of what plan you need, what access you need , what devices you have and then how you intend to use the service. Some have mobile internet access, others adsl2 and others cable. Some a mix. Some are just going on and off the internet. Some are consuming vast quantities of video and sound streaming. Others are playing about on social networks and then there are those who want to do a bit of this and a bit of that. There are then big , and important uses for medicine, industry , farming, business and so on. We are not all the same and how we use the net is not the same.

You need to look at what you have and what you do with it. How much mobile usage do you need. Do you need significant data as well as talk and text? Do you want to stream videos? Music? Are you using big databases? Are you using a smart TV?Your isp account page will have all that data for you. What do you use in a day? What do you use in a month? How much data do you need for your biggest usage in a month?

Small internet users can probably manage on a mobile plan by using their phone as a hotspot or using a mifi. I am currently running of my mobile phone hotspot. It works well. I need more data than on a mobile plan , though.

Copper wires are going to go. Landline phones are going to go. Have you got security devices for yourself and home connected to your landline? You will need to ensure those devices can move to a fibre network smoothly. Once the nbn is in your area then you have 18 months before the copper wire is disconnected.

You need to have conversations with your isp about the best plan for you. You may not want a bundle with sport and Fetch TV. You may not want movie streaming. You might want a lot of bandwidth and speed for gaming. That’s actually better on a cable network. You won’t need the highest speeds if you are not doing video and audio streaming. I don’t use the net for entertainment and so I don’t need the fastest speed on the best plan. The isps have been coming out with a better range of bundles. We all have different needs and they are starting to work out what we need because they can see our usage and they can talk to us. The feedback loop is alive and well.

For a while it will be a problem. Until they get more fibre connections going then it will be like dial up. If you are on a fibre connection with gamers and video streamers then there will be good and bad connection times. It would affect places where people go for holidays. The locals will start having internet problems as soon as the gamers and streamers arrive on holidays to chew up all the bandwidth.

For a while , until we are connected and we are running the right hardware for what we want to do , there will be issues. We shall keep talking to each other. The data will keep coming in and our telecommunications people will work magic and we’ll be back into sound connections. Until then we have to own the problems and share information.

Look upon it as a continuous improvement learning model where we are all responsible for how quickly and efficiently we can get our high speed services up and running. Our area has had local meetings so information can be shared. That’s a good idea , especially for people with medical issues which require reliable connections. I am looking forward to being connected on Monday and learning all about it. I have sorted out my needs with my isp, I have sound equipment and I like an adventure.

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