Poll: Which broadband plan is better? NBN or NBC?

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ELECTION 2010: Since we like gauging opinion, we want to ask what you think about the recent policy announcement from the Liberal Party about their broadband plan.

So we have decided to compare the two plans from the Coalition and the Labor parties, and you can decide which you like by voting on our little poll at the end.

Coalition

Like previously mentioned all over the web, the Coalition plans to ditch the National Broadband Network, and will deliver a new high speed broadband network using existing technologies and at a cheaper price of $6 billion.

While it will be regulated by the ACCC and the private sector will be investing in the new network – which will be covering 97 percent of the country (the rest using satellite services), it will have speeds between 12Mbps (which is half what the ADSL2 offers) and 100Mbps; along with an additional $2 billion for improving regional and metropolitan wireless networks and $750 million to improve DSL services.

Also to be established will be a National Broadband Commission (NBC) to implement the plans, and publish a detailed database.

Liberal’s communications spokesman Tony Smith has said that it will be faster and affordable.

“The Coalition will deliver the new platform and structure to unleash competition and drive private sector deployment of faster broadband across a range of technologies,” Smith said.

The plan is also been touted to bring more competition within the broadband market. It is expected to be completed in 2016.

Labor

As stated when Kevin Rudd was Prime Minister, the plan will see 100Mbps speed via fibre-optic cable, which can support longer distances and low loss in the bandwidth. It will also cover 93 percent of the nation, unlike the 97 percent, and will have a higher cost – of $43 billion. The rest will be covered by next generation wireless services and Satellite technologies.

For Labor’s plan, the network will be a “Fibre to the Home” network. For those who are not technical, Wikipedia defines it as:

FTTH – Fiber-to-the-home – fiber reaches the boundary of the living space, such as a box on the outside wall of a home.

Author’s Note: That effectively means that the cable is connected to your home, not at a exchange where the rest of the connection to your home is using the copper network.

The NBN, however, is being built by a Government-owned company called NBN Co (being 51 percent owned by the government and 49 percent by the private sector), with the exception of the ACT and Tasmania, which will be built by TransACT and the Tasmanian Government respectively.

“We will deliver better broadband in a responsible, affordable way that delivers direct government intervention where necessary, modest investment where appropriate [and] importantly in ways that drives competition,” Senator Stephen Conroy said today in response to the Government’s plan.

The NBN has one thing over the NBC – it has already started. Parts of Tasmania have been switched on, while the mainland’s construction will start in the second-half of the year. It already have the backing of many ISPs, with iiNet, Internode and Primus already signed on to the NBN in Tasmania, while Telstra have signed a non-binding agreement with NBN Co that will see the company utilising the network.

It will be completed in 2018, and then Labor will start selling it off to the private sector – similar to Telstra’s privatisation.

Let’s vote!

Well, now you have seen a glimpse at what the parties are offering in terms of our broadband future. However, we want to know what you think – especially because we would like to use this statistic when talking about this on the TECHGEEK Podcast (released every Saturday/Sunday).

So cast your vote with the poll on your left, and let the final days of the election begin!

Image Credits: Kainet/Flickr

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