NBN – Just say No!

NBN – Just say No!

I have never liked the idea of the proposed national broadband network.  The main problem with network connectivity is not data carriage, it’s that copyright laws kill any innovative uses that that connectivity might be put to.  They do this directly, by slitting the throat of any innovative use of content or connectivity, and indirectly by affecting network topologies (eg – high comparative capacity to download, v. low comparative capacity to upload).  Given the ideology embedded in the Copyright Act, we can be about 100% certain that the next Google will happen anywhere but Australia.

Without copyright reform[1] the NBN will just be a different form of cable television.  It is supremely depressing to hear pundits give as examples of the use of such a network the ability to download movies and television over it – especially since the obvious candidate to secure this, multichannelling of digital television, has been swept by the wayside by the previous government.   I frankly can’t think of a worse way to give a $40Bn subsidy to the entertainment industry.

[1] I’ve singled out copyright, but defamation and censorship also have extensive chilling effects on the use of network infrastructure and would also be good candidates for overhaul.


2 Responses to “NBN – Just say No!”

  1. 1 Chris Gilbey 8 April 2009 at 12:44 pm


    The copyright laws as currently constituted for an analogue world, can’t work in a digital one.

    The good news is, though, that where a vast majority of the population goes, so too should the laws follow…

  2. 2 brendanscott 9 April 2009 at 1:39 pm

    I am increasingly of the opinion that that is being optimistic.



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