catallaxy files

catallaxy in technical exile

'Muni' broadband for Australia?

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As the year draws to a close, it’s the season for journalists and pundits to give their wrap-up of the year that’s been and speculate on the year ahead. In the former category, is David Marr’s “Year of Living Dangerously”, a 4853 word retelling of the years events, to which I’ll admit to only going as far as the second page. On the other hand, IDC’s top predictions for the Australian telco market in 2006 fits onto a single page press release and gets to the point pretty quickly.

Most of the IDC predictions are fairly uncontroversial – content will finally start to take off, and the growing wireless Internet market will become a major battleground not only amongst service providers, but also between competing technology solutions.

The one prediction I really would take issue with is the rise of “muni” broadband. Local councils will probably continue to be involved in lobbying for broadband ,assisting with demand aggregation and encouraging infrastructure providers to deploy broadband within greenfield and older areas. However I can’t see council provided broadband taking off in a big way in Australia.

Metro areas are (probably) going to be served by one of the top tier ISPs, who are currently rolling out ADSL2+ networks over Telstra copper. In regional and rural areas, Commonwealth government subsidy schemes such as HiBIS are providing incentives for alternate technology providers, particularly wireless and satellite, to service those areas outside of the reach of fixed broadband solutions. There really isn’t any reason for most local councils to provide broadband infrastructure to anyone other than their own offices, so this is one IDC prediction I won’t be counting on for 2006.

Still – crystal ball gazing is fun, so I will throw it over to Catallaxy readers to make their own technology or telco prediction for 2006.

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Written by Admin

December 20, 2005 at 6:40 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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