What will the NBN do for me?

The government has released a business plan for the National Broadband Network (NBN), which outlines some of the services the NBN Co expects will be offered once high-speed broadband is available throughout the country.

In the early years of the NBN, the government expects take-up will mainly be driven by price, as few applications will exist to take advantage of the high speeds offered by fibre optic technology, However, as more people migrate to the NBN from older infrastructure, more uses for the high speeds will be developed and a fibre optic connection will become more appealing.

Internet TV

Internet Protocol TV (IPTV) is already available over ADSL2+ connections from iiNet, TPG and Internode but the government believes the NBN will unleash the full potential of this technology.

Once households can access a basic package of high-speed broadband and voice services, ISPs will be able to move onto entertainment packages.

Television channels will be streamed to broadband subscribers in real time, with customers able to bundle all three services – TV, broadband and voice – into one plan.

Video on Demand (VoD) will also be a popular application, the NBN Co believes. Instead of waiting until a movie is broadcast on pay TV or free-to-air TV, or renting a DVD, customers will be able to order and watch films or TV on demand.

3D TV and Ultra-HD TV

In the medium term (five to 10 years), customers will expect to see these TV shows and movies in 3D format, which will require speeds of around 100Mbps, according to the NBN Co. In the next ten years, we will all be watching ultra high-definition TV (4320p, over four times better than our current high-definition standard of 1020p). This will require speeds of 250Mbps.

Remote Computing

A high speed internet connection of 250Mbps will be fast enough for remote computing (also referred to as 'the Cloud'). Instead of using the processing power and memory of your home computer or gaming console, fibre optic subscribers could harness the power of remote servers.

Instead of buying a console, gaming would be entirely online, as would be other applications that would normally be installed on a computer.

It's certainly not a full list of all the services we can expect over the next few years, but it does offer a fascinating glimpse into the living rooms of the future.