Natives Happy In Squalor: Coonan

Communications Minister Helen Coonan says most Australians are happy with the speed of their broadband connections.

And why shouldn’t they be? The fact that the rest of the world lives in brick houses with air conditioning has never worried Congolese Pygmies. Why should the fact that our broadband service is the worst in the developed world worry us?

I recommend you all start to pay your taxes in grain or livestock, to reflect the government’s admission that we are now a third-world country.

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16 Comments on “Natives Happy In Squalor: Coonan”

  1. Saltation Says:

    >The fact that the rest of the world lives in brick houses with air conditioning has never worried Congolese Pygmies.

    or the English, for that matter

  2. hc Says:

    Speeds seem OK in capital cities.

  3. yobbo Says:

    They seem ok to someone who has never experienced anything better Harry, which is the point of the post.

    Australia’s broadband is much faster than dialup, and a house made of sticks is more sturdy than a house made of straw. Wee wee wee.

    And the other point is we pay about 3x the price for the same equivalent service that other countries do. They get a 2mbit connection for the price we pay for 512k.

    And by “capital cities” I assume you mean Melbourne and Sydney, because it’s not fine anywhere else. (unless you live within 5km of the CBD)

  4. Orpheus Says:

    I have a 5Mbit connection with iinet, it’s nice. I agree though, the state of broadband in Australia is crap in general. Nothing will get better while the government owns part of Telstra, though.

  5. Mr Z Says:

    Well, she says we’re happy with the speed and I’m not too fussed with that, but it’s the price that I pay that shits me. And that’s the crucial thing – if we’re connecting at sub-European/US speeds, we should be paying sub-European/US prices.

  6. yobbo Says:

    Telstra artificially limits the speed of ADSL broadband in Australia to 1.5Mbit/second. This is the minimum speed allowed in Canada for a company to legally market their service as “Broadband Internet”.

    The majority of broadband users in Australia connect at speeds that would be illegally slow under Canadian law.

  7. yobbo Says:

    By the way the primary reason Telstra restricts the speed to 1.5Mbits is so it can charge ridiculously high prices for its own high-speed data services.

  8. whyisitso Says:

    I don’t blame Telstra management for abandoning its fibre-to-the-node investment. Its first duty is to its shareholders and spending 4 billion of their money to build an asset that its competitors can access for less than its true cost is simply not a good investment.

    The problem goes back to the initial privatisation of Telstra, and the same principle applies to the privatisation of any natural monopoly. To hive off a business to private shareholders and then control its prices isn’t privatisation. It’s called having two bob each way.

    I believe that all businesses should be privately run – governments are notoriously unable to run them.

    But physical infrastructure is something different. Governments must build and maintain infrastructure like water, copper wire phone grids, power and gas grids, major airports, major roads etc that cannot logically be subject to competition. However aspects of provision of services needing these infrastructures that can be provided competitively should be privatised. The government should have retained the fixed line telephone infrastructure when Telstra was privatised, so that the various telecommunications companies can provide services by paying rental to the government for access to the grid. Similarly it should be a government function to set up the fibre-to-node network and charge usages to Telstra, Optus etc.

    With respect to free-to-air TV and radio licences, my understanding is that the physical limitations on the number of licences has faded off completely in recent times, so there’s no call for the government to control entry to these services any more. The Packers and the Stokeses etc should now sink or swim against virtually unlimited competition

  9. yobbo Says:

    I agree with you on both counts whyisitso. I’m not really having a go at Telstra necessarily here, just the government’s attitude that because “most people are happy” there’s no problem.

    Most people are only happy because they don’t know how poorly our service compares to the rest of the world.

  10. Andjam Says:

    If I were a cynic, I’d say that letting Australians have sub-standard broadband is a very cheap and easy way to discourage Australians from watching internet pr0n.

  11. Orpheus Says:

    As opposed to the insanely expensive and difficult way that the ALP is proposing?

  12. yobbo Says:

    I still manage to watch lots of it. The trick is to download it overnight while you sleep.

  13. Sam Says:

    Sam said,

    August 23, 2006 at 7:30 pm

    hey guys,

    I am writting my HSC english essay on Sam’s rant about Qantas. It’s absolute gold!

    I was wondering if anyone would be able to help me locate a copy. I’ve spent heaps of time searching the net for it, but it seems to be unavaliable on the old websit and i can’t find it anywhere.

    If anyone has saved a copy of this, or knows where to access this I would greatly appreciate you dropping me a line.

    My email is

    thanks in advance guys!

  14. sam Says:

    thanks for your reply sam,

    unfortunatly the link does not work, and i still can’t find the article anywhere in order to access a cached version of it. any tips as to how to find it?

    thanks again!

  15. yobbo Says:

    I googled for “Qantas Yobbo Shit” and found it. It may have expired since then though, I don’t know.

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