commentary When a sudden rainstorm sweeps across a
parched land, the locals don't idly wonder why it happened or
question the will of the powers that be.
Instead, they dance around madly in the downpour, cheering and
blessing their good luck.
Suddenly, millions of Australians have access to broadband
speeds of up to 8Mbps or 20Mbps, where they were previously
artificially limited to 1.5Mbps. The up to 8Mbps speeds will also
be resold by other Internet service providers.
Now of course Telstra has had the capacity to sell the higher
speeds for some time -- since the opening years of this decade
when ADSL was first launched, according to its competitors.
Nobody can really say why the telco has held back.
Telstra itself has offered varying reasons over time such as
onerous government regulations and a lack of demand for higher
speeds, while rivals accuse the telco of trying to maintain
revenue from existing high-speed services typically charged in
the thousands of dollars per month.
But never mind that.
Just for this week, maybe it's a good time to take a step back
and look at how the availability of broadband in Australia has
improved recently. Let's count our blessings.
Telstra's announcement comes on the back of a wave of
bandwidth-related announcements that has seen Australia's largest
telcos start to offer higher broadband speeds.
There are now multiple fixed and wireless broadband networks
operating in metropolitan areas, and Telstra's Next G network and
the federal government's Broadband Connect funding package even
bring hope for better broadband to the bush.
But it's not just higher speeds that are coming -- it's lower
In a research note distributed yesterday, Ovum analyst David
Kennedy noted the "very real prospect" of an imminent price war
in broadband -- especially in the metro market.
All of this can only be good for customers parched by a
historical broadband drought Down Under.
Is Australia's broadband drought ending, or are
recent developments just a dribble of relief? Drop me a line
directly at email@example.com or post your comments below this article.