The Register is tired of Australia's broadband debate. As we explained yesterday, we're sick of the tribalism, parochialism and politicking.
We think Australia should be tired too, and want to do something about it.
Our something is an attempt to crowdfund an independent study into three big NBN questions that have gone unanswered for too long.
When we say “an independent study”, we mean it.
We've approached two leading independent analyst firms – IBRS and Market Clarity – and asked them to send us proposals about how they'd approach a study.
Both have submitted proposals of a quality they'd be proud to offer any client, because they involve hundreds of hours' work and very rigorous consideration of the issues.
That rigour comes at the price of $250,000.
That's our stretch goal. If we hit $100,000 we'll immediately commission a study into our first question: what broadband does Australia need?
If we hit $170,000 we'll get to work on question two: what's the best technology to deliver the broadband Australia needs.
Once we reach $250,000, it's go time on the last question: What will be the entrepreneurial response to universal broadband.
We know $250,000 is a lot of money. But we also think it's a tiny investment when compared to the scale of the investment Australia is making in the NBN.
We're not optimistic Australians will rise to this challenge. We're having a go anyway.
We're going down the crowdfunding path because we can't do a study at the required depth without disrupting our everyday business. Crowdfunding is also a nice litmus test: we feel that if we can't raise our target, that's an eloquent statement in and of itself about the state of debate and Australians' willingness to appraise themselves of information about the NBN.
If we are funded, your contribution will land in a bank account operated by The Reg's UK-based accounts team, who operate with exceptional levels of care and probity. Long story short: your cash will be safe with us and we'll publish a full budget and accounts for the project.
The rest of the details about the campaign are here, on Pozzible, a site we've chosen because it offers the chance to contribute in Australian dollars.
What are you waiting for? Our Pozible page is here.
So get clicking. And spread the word.
We'll publish regular updates about the project's progress, let you know how other media covers it and more in coming weeks. Stay tuned! ®