I’m a huge proponent of the original labour plan, the liberals seemed to have a objectionist mindset when it came to NBN and refused to enter into discussions (although to be fair I think both sides are guilty of that position from time to time).
Even within the current framework that we have been stuck with I think there are ways to do things better. Broadband choice being one of the big ones, give the whole community the option to upgrade before installation. Surely the costs would be much much cheaper (per premises) and by offering it upfront there is no (or at least far less) overbuilding and waste of resources. Hell I can see a scenario where the local council considers paying (or subsidising) the upgrade costs as a means to attract more people into their community (even if it’s ultimately a cost in your rates).
When it comes to ‘Netflix Tax’ I think it does warrant some discussion and I see two view points. Either:
A) End users consume “stuff”, if the infrastructure needs to be better to cater to that stuff this is then a cost that is borne by the infrastructure provider and in turn passed onto the consumers. The down side is that it drives UP the cost of service for everyone.
B) If we look at it from the other side and say where a content providers traffic accounts for more than xx% of the global requirements they are required to pay $X / month to help sustain the network on which they rely. Of course this just drives UP the cost per month for each user.
In short, Option A, increase the base cost to everyone to ensure all traffic works is likely the fairest and easiest option. Distribute the costs so low end plans are not impacted and the high end/high speed plans take the brunt of the cost (on the wild assumption that they are likely the users anyway). On that side I’d like to see that even now with cheaper basic plans be offered at very low cost for basic needs (think Granmas online shopping), although mobile broadband mostly covers this today.
In either case the hard part is how to distribute that money back to the infrastructure provider(s) in a way than ensures they actually invest it back into making the network better (rather than just pocketing the profit in the short term while letting the network degrade then crying poor when it needs to be upgraded cough Telstra cough).
Sure I’m advocating for a price increase, but I do see value in a quality network, especially when it’s become so ingrained in our everyday lives.