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Jun 11

NBN, bandwidth and the cloud

I was just watching the WWDC Keynote and it struck me the velocity at which things are moving onto the cloud. OS X Lion is only going to be available on the App Store and not on an optical disc. Music collections are moving all online. Apart from heavy duty office applications, everything’s pretty much on the cloud these days. Heck, I even work for a SaaS provider. In a few years, we’ll be storing and accessing everything online. (There’s some discomfort over centralizing data with a corporation – and all the perceived privacy and security that come along with that – but when you think about it, there are also privacy and security benefits that come with it too. If you lose or break your computer, you don’t have to lose your data… who really backs up religiously? And the risk that a cloud provider’s data center is going to get hacked in a way that your data will be comprised is a fair rarer event that your laptop getting stolen. All this discomfort will pass as people start figuring out all the benefits that the cloud brings.)

Anyway, the thing is that cloud requires bandwidth. Lots of it. And that brings me to the main point I want to make – cloud computing is one of the key reasons why bandwidth is such a crucial part of ensuring that Australia remains competitive in the world. As expensive as NBN is to put in place, the cost of not doing it, or slapping on a half-assed bandaid solution like the one the coalition proposed during the last election, is insanely myopic. It’s not about something facetious, like letting people watch more YouTube videos online (as I remember one sceptical politician pointing out). Bandwidth in Australia is still expensive, and a lot of plans are capped. In California, I pay $30 a month (or actually $15, since I split with my flatmate) for a true 2 MBps connection (that’s megabytes, not megabits), with no caps or overage fees. My connection allows me to run Backblaze, which I use to backup my entire computer onto the cloud (all 300+ gigs of data) and the bandwidth costs me next-to-nothing. Try doing that in Australia.

  12:17am  •  Internet  •   •  Tweet This  •  Add a comment

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