nbn
Cloud Computing

Tony Simonsen (Australia) - Australia's NBN: Elevating the Cloud to New Heights

The evolution of ‘the cloud' has enabled us to shift and store data like never before, but the Federal Government's incoming AUD 35.9 bn National Broadband Network (NBN) will raise the bar even higher, enabling Australians to exchange and utilize data in unprecedented sizes and speeds.

The NBN is a national wholesale-only, open-access data network under development in Australia. Fibre broadband connections are sold to retail service providers (RSP), who then sell internet access and other services to consumers. As of September 2012, construction of the network had commenced and 24,000 customer services are active.

The acceleration of change is happening in blitzkrieg fashion and the leap in technology adoption in such a short space of time is staggering. In 2009 only 41.5% of businesses had a web presence, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics. The advent of the NBN into Australia will change all that, ensuring that as a nation, we are ahead of the curve in terms of online capability compared to most other countries in the world. The digital economy opportunities are poised to be disruptive and vast.

The transformative effects technology has had on our day-to-day tasks in the last few years have been profound. However, our current broadband is not up to the task of handling the amount of information we now use on a daily basis, especially when the cloud emerges that users can store data in any data center around the world and can access the data remotely through an internet connection.

The NBN will increase capabilities of the internet for all Australians, fuelling rapid and vast increases in content creation and consumption. The NBN will enable employees Australia-wide to utilize cloud-based content and services in innovative ways that will directly improve business efficiency and benefit the bottom line. It will also transform a raft of government, businesses and social exchanges. We will be able to download movies faster, have the same level of internet access from rural locations, and enhance healthcare in disruptive ways that will benefit both patients and medical practitioners.

Businesses will have access to a wider pool of employees and resources across Australia, which will provide them with the opportunity to set up satellite offices to utilize the emerging markets and regions of rural and regional Australia. This will help them reduce overhead costs and give them access to space and resources.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, there were over 12 million internet subscribers (excluding mobile handset subscribers) as of 30 June 2012, a 10% increase on the previous year. Also, the amount of data downloaded via the internet (excluding mobile handsets) in the three months ending 30 June 2012 was 414,537 TB, a 20% increase since December 2012. As the amount of content consumed increases, companies will have to reconsider their storage needs and whether it's time to look at third party alternatives. While the NBN is not slated to be complete until 2018, companies should consider this aspect of their operations now to future-proof their operations - after all, 90% of the world's data has been created in the last two years.

A new national high-speed infrastructure will accelerate the capabilities of ‘the cloud', increasing productivity and the ability to reach markets. But for the cloud to be truly effective it needs a faster internet. Enter the NBN.

 

By Tony Simonsen, Managing Director, Equinix Australia

 

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