You may have noticed that we here at b2c seem to rather like social media. It seems we’re rather permanently plugged in, in one way or another. For instance, three out of five of our main crew have iPhones. Personally, although I have internet access at, uni and work where I spend some sixty hours a week, and a home where I spend the rest of my time, I also have a prepaid mobile modem for those rare times in-between where I seemingly must be online.
But how good is this access? Well to be blunt, its closer to Kenya’s than Korea’s.
That’s according to a new report by Oxford Uni, the Uni of Oviedo and Cisco systems,. The report – accessible here via Oxford Uni – is rather bleak reading.
Essentially they rate broadband connectivity, and give it a quality score. These are roughly divided into five categories, in descending order: Ready for tomorrow, Comfortably enjoying today’s applications, Meeting needs of today’s applications, Below today’s applications threshold, and Leapfrog Opportunity.
Australia is 32nd, ‘Meeting needs of today’s applications’. There are (at rough count, off the top of my head, not researched) almost 10 countries ahead of us which have a lower per capita income, such as Bulgaria and Romania. Distance is an issue, our infrastructure is necessarily more expensive than most countries on the list. However we over 10 places behind Russia, which faces similar problems, and as this outage in Darwin early this year showed, our infrastructure is hopelessly outdated and unreliable.
As we become more reliant on internet connectivity in every field of society, and this connectivity often demands ever more bandwidth in order to keep up with developments, as it stands, Australia risks being left behind – a fate we cannot afford.