Well bad luck. You are.
US firm Space Systems/Loral has won the $620 million contract for two satellites to provide high-speed broadband to areas in remote Australia.
But read on and we see how this $620,000,000 will actually be spent.
NBN Co is the federal government-owned enterprise charged with rolling out fibre optic cable broadband to 93 per cent of Australia’s 13 million homes, schools and businesses by 2021.
OK. So we have 93% of 13 million premises or 12,090,000 premises.
Fixed wireless technology will provide high-speed internet to four per cent of premises and the remaining three per cent will be supplied by satellite technology to remote areas.
Got that? Just 3% of 12,090,000 premises will be supplied by these two satellites worth $620,000,000. So we’re talking $620,000,000 to connect 362,700-odd premises.
That works out at almost $1710 per premises. And that’s not much bang for OUR buck. The cost benefit simply isn’t there.
Now I’m not saying people in remote areas shouldn’t have internet. They already do anyway, however. For example, the School of the Air has been supplanted by lessons delivered via the internet… via satellite no less.
But why is the government picking winners and losers rather than the market? I can understand when it comes to kids’ education, but when it’s just for the internet in general… nup.
The government doesn’t pay for my internet connection and it probably doesn’t pay for yours, so why should it pay for anyone else’s? This is the antithesis to a healthy free market.
And especially, why should it pay a whopping $1700 of our tax dollars for each internet connection for a select few?
Also, with this $620,000,000 contract signed, even if a new government backs out of the over-priced, obsolete and unnecessary NBN, the contract with that satellite mob will still either have to be honoured or heavy exit penalty fees will have to be paid.
Considering this government won’t last, and a new government won’t continue with the NBN, essentially Gillard just threw away $620,000,000 today.