While many of us are going to wait quite a while longer for the NBN to roll up our streets, 400 Australian Defence Force sites have been tagged to get access to the “world class broadband network”. The sites will be upgraded so personnel serving on them will be able to access high-speed broadband to keep in touch with their families and friends all over Australia and the rest of the world.
NBNCo said on-base commercial assets such as cafeterias and shops will also reap the benefits of fast connectivity for conducting business.
While no-one can deny that providing our defence forces with strong connectivity is a good thing it’s hard to see this announcement as anything more than damage control after a week of bad press. From the Four Corners report early this week and the PM’s comments saying the company’s commercial viability is in serious doubt, the company has been in damage control mode, announcing g.fast – a FttC technology that can deliver gigabit speeds over copper – and now this upgrade for defence force personnel.
While all these things are good, I cannot help but feel the announcements are all about making sure the airwaves are wallpapering over the obvious cracks in NBN’s commercial and technical capabilities.