Why Jake’s impatient for the NBN

Jake Baldwin

Jake Baldwin

By Jake Baldwin
April 2nd, 2013

My name is Jake Baldwin. I am a 19 year old first year University student studying a Bachelor of Communication, majoring in Film. Along with my day to day internet browsing I contribute to, and maintain a handful of media related projects that involve a large amount of bandwidth and download/upload speeds required for online video games, uploading data and digital purchases.

I spend a good 80% of my time connected to the internet – via desktop PC, laptop or smart phone – researching or organising new projects and coverage of upcoming events. Alongside my study I’m pursuing a career in the production of Live Streamed competitive video game content.

I very rarely get involved in politically charged arguments, but the implementation of a high speed network seems of absolute necessity to the career aspirations for myself and those around me.

I currently make do with a ADSL2+ line that has 5.5 megabit per second download and 0.7 megabit per second upload speeds. While yes, these speeds are bearable, they are far from ideal, especially considering States in the US are already having Gigabit speed lines (the likes of Google Fiber) installed in residential areas. Compared to the network at my University, where I can get up to 95 mbps download and 10mbps upload speeds, it’s a dismal number.

I know handfuls of people who have similar aspirations in online media creation and with these sort of speeds prevalent around the country it just isn’t possible. The NBN will simply offer more opportunities around the country for self-motivated content creators.

Even when it comes to my leisure time, access to a high speed network means I can fully enjoy the things I love: music streaming – a service that’s becoming more and more popular these days – online video games, uploading my own digital creations, or watching videos/video streams in high definition. They can all hindered by slow internet connections, so I’m sometimes left to choose to enjoy one or two at a time and even then at a lower quality.

My passion lies in Live Streaming (ie. twitch & justin.tv, ustream etc.) which has become prevalent it has become in delivering timely and high quality content. As opposed to the packaged method of delivery used by television, Live Streaming is as simple as switching on a PC at home, plugging in a microphone and a webcam, and going live.

After sampling many forms of delivering a show – pre-packaged recording, reading from scripts and speeches – I’ve found the demanding task of being an eloquent and consistently enthused unscripted live host to be the most thrilling form of content delivery.

While my home internet is far from sufficient to host my own video stream, I’ve been lucky enough to access fiber speeds like at University and the results are stunning. Streaming on these speeds is as smooth as you’d like at full 1080p HD and at 60 frames per second it looks glorious for the viewers. Even for special content such as mini-documentaries and high quality video coverage the times it takes to upload several hundred megabytes is outstanding, and makes it infinitely easier to share this content rather than waiting at the computer for 5 or 6 hours.

I’m looking to move into a place with access to Fiber sometime this year so I can begin to create this daily HD content, but until then I’m working on a very restrictive line, or, at best, using University internet during the low traffic hours of early morning and late afternoon. It’s not a desirable solution but it will have to work until the NBN is fully rolled out.

Jake Baldwin is a 19 year old University Student studying in Melbourne, Victoria. He spends the majority of his time online enjoying the company of others with gaming, or creating his next digital project.


Read More:

Why Murdoch’s media is gunning for your NBN

Jack McCaw’s NBN story


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  1. J.Fraser says

    Hello Jake,

    I am older than you (that will suffice) and I am currently getting 11.08 Mbps download and .86 Mbps upload on ADSL2 and I hate it .

    So I understand where you are coming from.

    At every opportunity in the MSM I put this into every “Comment” :

    “If I could have the NBN today I would have paid for it yesterday”

    Young people today can either become political or sit back and watch “Slick” Abbott destroy the NBN or sell it to Murdoch.

    You will be doing yourself a favour if you and your friends get into “Comments” in the MSM and push back against “Slick” Abbott and Murdoch.

  2. LindaDom says

    jake, good on you for posting your article, agree with JF even as much as reading MSM annoys the hell out of me these days, I too have become a serial comments writer.
    if Abbott gets in say goodbye to the NBN and high speed.
    I live in remote Vic and I can’t even get ADSL, totally reliant on wifi or landline. And even though I will only end up with tower the improvements will be phenomenal, I can’t wait and would like to set up a business.
    At least my nearby towns will have the NBN fibre which will be amazing for health and educational services, not to mention business and the farming communities.
    So mobilise your mates and get proactive, spread the message that we deserve the NBN.
    We don’t deserve Abbott.

  3. Good to see this style of story in favour of the NBN and highlighting the need outside of Government. Benefits to Government organisations (education, science, medical, aviation, shipping etc…) should be beyond obvious even to the LNP.

    The boon to small business that an effective and competitive (by world standards not commercial standards) NBN can provide is potentially incalculable. Combine that with allowing more businesses (small and large) to have remote staff working for them from home office setups the benefits just keep growing.

    Just imagine if 1 in every 100 workers could work from home 1 day a month eliminating how many cars per month not going to the CBD, then expand on that to 1 in 50 per week. It is great for the suburbs (localised shopping), city and environment on the whole. That alone would ease how much pressure on overcrowded infrastructure in the CBD’s of most cities and towns across the country. (<- actually that is a question for someone with more education than me) In your case Jake, that means that your home setup would be your entertainment, your passion, and potentially your work.

    Yes the NBN will cost a lot of money, so what. The demand is growing now, a lot of tax payers want it now, those that don't want it will most likely still use it when its here for the exact purpose it is being introduced for. By the way its Tax Payers money, and if there was ever a time to borrow to speed this up then now would be the time. (you know that AAA rating the country has, use it!) So we need the LNP to understand that it needs to not only be continued but fast tracked. (assuming that the ALP will not survive past Sep)

    Two of the many arguments that come up appear to be related to the tech and labor. Yes the tech may change in the future, with fibre it already has. Original capacity was increased 100 fold when multiple spectrums/frequencies were used – I don't remember the exact citation as I read this years ago in reference to the Google Boys. Perhaps they (techs) will find ways to increase it further. On the flip side wireless has known limitations (delivery and hardware) that will not so easily be over come (if ever). So todays tech will be the back bone of tomorrows enhancement.

    The labor argument I just find beyond frustrating. Yes the physical aspect of laying fibre takes an amazing amount of labor resources to do. Oh no, lets all close our eyes and pretend its too hard to fix. (seems to be a government type of response) I don't know the exact specifics but perhaps some of the hundreds of thousands of unemployed and UNDERemployed (you know, an available labor force, a percentage of that being people who want to work and learn) could be trained, paired with experienced workers and be rolling this NBN out in a quarter of the time. At the end of the roll out these new skilled workers may move into some of the modern job opportunities presented by the NBN. This win-win solution may not fit with MSM or Government objectives though as there is little fear involved.

    So to reiterate what LindaDom and J.Fraser have said above, share your story, tell your mates and highlight to them why you and the rest of Australia actually need the NBN whether they can see it yet or not.

    Thats my 5 cents…

    P.S. Does any historian know of any arguments about similar infrastructure investments in the past ? (phone lines, power lines, sewage lines)

  4. Not completing the NBN and reducing it to a second hand NO Coalition solution is putting this country back into the technological stone age with the resultant negative effects on our economic performance in the future.
    And people want the NO Coalition as their government? Surely we are not so Luddite in our thinking?

  5. Geoffrey P says

    Good on you Jake and I am sure you speak for many people. At the risk of being political here, the answer is simple, this NBN will be the greatest wealth producer in Australias history but it will step on many existing toes which have enormous political sway (Murdoch, Fairfax, IPA, etc). The only solution is to vote for a political party that supports the NBN and organise your friends and their friends and their friends via Social Media to do the same. There is less than 6 months to a Federal Election and despite some Political parties producing other policy that you don’t like, the NBN must come above this because of the future wealth it will generate for Australia. Creating this wealth will go a long way to solving many other issues.

  6. Thank you for the article. Currently the government is investing quite a bit to roll out fiber to the home (FTTH). Of course big content creators and consumers such as yourself would support such moves, that is entirely logical. Interestingly more mobiles/tablets are sold than PC’s these days. These mobile things don’t connect to fibre. Their speed is limited by the amount of wireless bandwidth. So even if you have NBN to your house, if you consume (or create) content via a mobile device, and many people do, most of that fibre-bandwith will not be used!
    With how the market is moving, to mobile content creation and consumption, is FTTH the best way to invest billions. Would fibre to the node (FTTN) be better with improved telephony wireless leveraging that FTTN backbone?
    There is no doubting those in rural areas don’t have the speeds of the big cities, and there is no doubt improvements in information delivery will benefit some sectors. However whether the NBN in its current form is the best way to deliver improvements is a question I think is still open to meaningful debate.

  7. What people fail to understand about ADSL is it is limited by the physical line speed of copper. You can do all the compression you like but copper chokes. Rated throughput is theoretical.Ever moved video around a fiber network using a burst technology like ATM? Its like comparing a watering can to a fire hydrant.

  8. Nostradamus says

    There is a proven technological speed up, the name of which I forget, which at least doubles speed of download and upload through using more than one copy wire connection and suitable software. That presumably is part of Turnbull’s answer to the all fibre-to-the home except in the bush NBN program.

    It is worth considering how it is that at Jake’s university (and some other place he doesn’t identify) can give him 95 mbs download speeds etc. without, presumably NBN having reached it. Unless one is a one-eyed enthusiast, with or without self-interested motivation, the preliminary question ought to have been one about costs and benefits even allowing for a margin of sheer optimism because – surely – bright people will do marvellously productive things if they don’t have to wait on copper wire or wireless speeds, and even allowing for the fact that interest rates are now historically low which couldn’t have been foreseen.

    Are intelligent enthusiasts not capable of seeing that there might be much more cost-effective, and quicker ways, of getting whatever benefits high speed broadband will provide for the economy? Extending their intelligent thought beyond their own narrow enthusiasms can they not see that requiring the tiny minority who will, in the foreseeable future take full advantage of NBN type speeds, to locate their business within an area which is served by it might be good for most of us? And even managed to think that there is a prima facie case against the current NBN plan because (a) it was decided on by politicians for purely political reasons without any economic or technological assessment, (b) it was decided on without any publishable cost-benefit analysis (not even with wildly optimistic assumptions) because an election promise to do something for one tenth the cost had blown up in their faces.

    I would/will certainly grab the chance for NBN connection as soon as it is available but that doesn’t make the Rudd-Conroy decision a good one, and that will be true even if by happy chance some unforeseen use by some now unknown person in some unlikely part of this country turns out to be a major bonanza yielding taxes and jobs.

    Turnbull actually has runs on the board as a businessman and promoter of Internet based tech companies. And he is not going to want to have to defend himself against those who point out (truthfully or not) what might-have-been if a Coalition government doesn’t provide a good alternative to the full NBN program.

  9. Curmdgeon says

    It will be great if a clever little nerd, without being a Bill Gates, nonetheless uses his endless hours before a screen to devise ways of beaming high definition porn to me in my nursing home even when my palsied fingers can no longer type. However, maybe he could learn from my old self the technical but really common sense idea of opportunity cost. Now that the AFR has just reported (so Radio National tells me) that the NBN is going to cost double what was projected it really would be a good idea to turn the little brain to learning something about finance and economics.

  10. Jake, nice article. The comments I see here are common and show quite a few misconceptions. The AARNet connection you experience at uni is pretty awesome. At UNE we have colleges – each college room has a network connection of 1gigabit – that is 1,000 mbit. They pay a nominal fee, and have largely unfettered access (no, no torrenting possible) – so they come out EXPECTING that kind of speed.
    Right now, I have 100/40mbit, and I am discovering new and fascinating things to do/create with it. You will do far more than me, I am sure.