One of the issues being hotly debated over the Australian National Broadband Network is the digital divide that will be created by leaving out that last 10% of homes in Australia who wont be connected to the proposed Fibre to the Home network.

While it has been acknowledged that it will be expensive to deploy FTTH as population density decreases - particularly in rural areas - the government has failed to understand one very important aspect of rural Australia and that is community spirit.

Having been involved in the rollout of dialup internet to rural Western Australian back in the 90's, I gained an insight into the strength of local communities and how they can band together to deliver services which perhaps are not otherwise economical viable under normal commercial terms.

In the Cumbria country side of the United Kingdom, a small community of Alston is building their own FTTH network because its uneconomical for the larger carriers to deliver the services.


At 02 June, 2009 15:23 Anonymous said...

Hi Stephen,

I think you are correct. There is a precedent for this collaborative model of deploying projects in rural communities in Western Australia. Many small towns that were not connected to the integrated water supply layed pipe supplied by the water corporation. Trenches were dug by the local shire and the Water Corp provided the planning, engineering, training and supervision. The communities provided the labour.



At 18 June, 2009 01:35 José Antonio Galán Rincón said...

A more than welcome example to follow for the communities that can afford this kind of projects. Human resource is an important factor in the deployment, however, there are another elements to take account of; such as the costs of the network components itself and the technical guidance.


Post a Comment