What is so special about fibre optic 100mbps broadband internet?

With the current Federal Government’s proposed $43 billion National Broadband Network now being rolled out in Tasmania, and the fibre-to-the-home trial in Point Cook, Victoria, some people will be wondering what the big deal is about. Australians already have fast broadband with ADSL2+ and cable connections offering up to 24mbps and 30mbps respectively, so what does this supposed ultra quick 100mbps fibre broadband provide us with that the others don’t?

In this information age, much of our lives are being lived on the internet. A super-fast broadband connection offers access to video calls, internet television, the downloading of music and songs, online gaming, streaming video, chat rooms and more. A 100mbps broadband connection allows a family or business to do all of these simultaneously.

With a 100mbps broadband connection you could have five computers in your house on an internal Wi-Fi signal, with one computer watching ABC iView television, another playing online multiplayer video games like World of Warcraft, one watching YouTube video clips, another doing peer-to-peer file sharing of movies or music, and still one more making a video call to a relative overseas.

The ultra-quick connection means you can all be online on the same connection concurrently, and you’ll never have to wait for a website or video to load up again. Everyone around you will have instantaneous online interaction.

With recent news in the media focussed on the impending federal election and the Coalition’s plan to scrap the proposed National Broadband Network if put into power, Australia’s dream of an ultra-quick broadband service hangs in the balance.

Some pundits believe this decision could have grave consequences for Australia’s future in the global community. A Fibre-to-the-Home Council report on the global ranking of FTTH-connected broadband countries showed South Korea to have the most developed network, the USA and China to be in the mid-range of countries, East European country Bulgaria ranked at No.23, while Australia didn’t even make the list.

Higher internet speeds for homes, hospitals, businesses and schools is now seen as integral to modern survival, equal to the need for utilities like electricity, gas and water.