With four days to go in our campaign to crowd-fund an independent study into Australia's national broadband network, the Vulture South team is taking heart from the Australian Cricket team's backs-to-the-wall fight in the first Ashes test.
Sure our top order may have wilted, but perhaps our last man in can make a brave stand that shows we never gave up and never will?
That's the plan, anyway. We were fortunate enough to be interviewed by Sky Business News last week (good luck getting the video to stop buffering and actually play) and hope for some more media appearances soon to spread the word.
One of the other things we've done is ask contributors why they felt it worth their time, energy, and perhaps even cash to participate.
Contributors seem to have shared our thirst for quality information. Here's what one had to say:
“... what I thought might come of the NBN study was basically some quality 'ammunition' to boost the lobby to retain the NBN after the election.”
We liked this message from a contributor very much:
“I put in a pledge for the survey because I would very much like to see some reality discussed in this context, however because of my position I can't really speak directly.”
That position? Let's just say the NBN is putting food on this person's table.
One contributor, who's also a prolific and very appreciated member of our forums, offered this timely analysis:
"The proposed study is a great idea. Before commenting on what I hoped the study would produce, I'd like to point out that the very fact that it is called for is a sad indictment on the management style of our current Prime Minister. Simple put, the study should have been the first thing undertaken by the government, before announcing the NBN.
(This is not the only example of seat of the pants management by him that has turned around to bite the government in the arse. But I digress...)
Now, as to what I hoped the study would produce, the most important would be demonstrable use cases that justify such a large expenditure with such a poor return on investment. Frankly, the only use cases that require really high bandwidth and really low latency that I can think of are:
Neither of these are essential social requirements, however. Not like, you know, hospitals and stuff.”
- Play on-demand video games over the internet (e.g. OnLive). Not practical now, but both proposed versions of the NBN should support that.
- On demand HD TV/movie channel subscriptions (e.g. from YouTube). This requires robust streaming capabilities, which both proposed versions of the NBN would provide.
Another contributor's reasons are as follows:
"I decided to pledge support for two main reasons. Keeping it short:
- Because this project (as with any project) needs a fairly clear scope and objectives at the outset, and:
- I believe it is important to demonstrate to both parties in parliament that there are many people who regard this as a very important issue. Given Australia's position in a rapidly developing region, investment in infrastructure is going to be an important component of our future prosperity.
On the second point, The Register has previously run at least one article about China's current fibre rollout. While it is possible to criticise the Chinese Government for many things, the State Council is fairly well stacked with economists, who would certainly understand the importance of communications infrastructure for economic development.”
This next contributor's now on our Christmas Card list, thanks to this missive:
“I pledged some money simply because it was a Register project that I could help out with, even if just a little bit. I'm from the U.S. and have no interest in the NBN project but I do place high value on The Register as a (possibly most) trusted source of general IT & Science/Tech info online. Keep up the good work!”
We'll try to. And who knows - one more push and maybe, just maybe, we'll get to our goal? ®