Australia’s Broadband offerings compared with other countries.
The objective of this post is to explain what I know about the broadband services from overseas and then to invite readers (in the comments section) to add their knowledge as well.
In 2011, my wife and I visited France and stayed in a small village outside of La Rochelle. It was a beautiful spot in the French countryside, with idyllic views and believe it or not –
1/ Wireless Broadband in Landrais. (40 Euros or $57.60 AUD per Month)
As part of the Gite hire, they included wireless broadband. Whilst we were having drinks around the pool on a Tuesday night, I asked them how much they paid.
The cost for their broadband was 40 Euros ($57.60) AUD a month and included all phone calls (yes international ones as well), unlimited downloads and was at a speed of 100 MBS
The wireless part was from their modem for guests. They were connected via fibre.
2/ Broadband in Paris. (40 Euros or $57.60 AUD per Month)
After our two weeks in Landrais we travelled from La Rochelle to the 9th Arrondisement in Paris, a short walk from the Gare Du Nord (the railway station where we caught the train back to London).
We stayed in an apartment which was 50 meters from the Metro and when we arrived we were met by the owners’ agent, and shown a computer which we had free access to and was connected at 100Mbps. It included all phone calls (yes international ones as well), unlimited downloads and was at a speed of 100 MBS
3/ Broadband in Germany. (50 Euros or $72 AUD per Month)
Waiting in the arrivals hall at Tullamarine for my wife to arrive home from Dubai earlier this month, I started a conversation with a young German lady (who spoke the most excellent English). It was 1.30am and the conversation turned to the differences between our two countries.
She said that Australia was very expensive compared to Europe. I could agree with that for all sorts of services, including the Gas, Electricity and also the groceries. She also mentioned the Internet and how slow and expensive it was.
In Germany she told me, she pays 50 Euros a month for Optic Fibre Broadband. It included all phone calls (yes international ones as well), unlimited downloads and was at a speed of 100 MBS
4/ Broadband in Slovakia. (15 Euros or $23.25 AUD per Month)
A friend and colleague who I worked with at LM Ericsson, who was born, worked, and escaped from Communist Czechoslovakia and accepted into Australia, is now allowed (since the fall of the Iron Curtain) to return to the land of his birth to visit his family.
Czechoslovakia has become two countries, the Czech and Slovak Republics, both of them had a copper telephone system and network which would have made the inventors of Telephony proud – if it were back in the late 19th century.
My friend’s sister lives in a block of flats. In Australia this is called a multiple dwelling unit, or MDU. The type of building Malcolm Turnbull is saying the NBN Co was having problems connecting to.
About five years ago, my Slovak friend told me that his sister has upgraded Ethernet wiring installed (Cat 5e). This is capable of transmitting Data at 1000 (1 GBs) MBS, but in her case connects to the newly connected fttp network, which the Slovak people have installed.
On Saturday night we had a get together and my Slovak friend was invited.
He told us that his sister still pays 15 Euros and the speed she enjoys is 116 MBS. It included all phone calls (yes international ones as well) and unlimited downloads.
My Australian Broadband Experience. ($110 per month)
When I first bought broadband it was from Optus. The deal was 20Gigs download limit, with payment for each meg over, all national telephone calls, and all calls to GSM mobiles. This was altered in 2011, to 500 Gigs download limit. The speed of the Optus HFC network never exceeded 2MBS. The price was $109 per month.
I moved from Optus to iinet earlier this year and back to copper. The deal I have is 200Gigs of download and all national and local calls. I have to pay for mobile calls from the landline but have a package with $168 of free calls through my mobile.
For this deal I pay $110 per month. The speed via the CNet internet download speed checker is 8.5MBS. Upload is less than 1MBS
As you can see the difference in the three offerings for broadband above is completely different than the Australian Experience. The Australian service offers less and costs substantially more. There are extra charges if you go over the limit for data download.
In effect, what has happened is this.
The last Labor Government wanted to bring the Australian telecommunications environment into the 21st Century. The Liberals want to keep Australia in the 19th Century.
The reason? I am not sure but the result is that Australians have to pay more for an inferior service.
Ask yourself this. If countries in Europe can provide a viable cheap and fast broadband, why can’t we in Australia? Why does Malcolm Turnbull want to keep copper in the network? When you can’t shine a light down it? Why are so many technical people and Telecommunications professionals so disillusioned by the stance of the Liberal government?
It’s because they know that there is another reason why the liberals don’t want an up to date service in Australia. It has to do with market control and money.
If you want to add your Broadband story below in the comments, then please feel free to do so. The objective of this post is to see the differences between Australia and overseas broadband offerings and pricing. I am sure if you participate we will see some interesting data come to hand.
Please note the comments are moderated.