Despite NBN Rollout, Digital Divide Widening in Australia
The digital divide is what needed to be destroyed, but it seems that the National Broadband Network (NBN) is just contributing in widening the gap with its current rollout project. According to the latest Australian Digital Inclusion Index, the digital divide has become wider and wider, placing a huge gap between the richer and poorer due to the widening gap in affordability.
The new report that came from Telstra and researchers at RMIT, Swinburne University, and Roy Morgan Research revealed the overall digital inclusion score—access and digital ability—of the Land Down Under, saying it grew two points in FY17 to 56.5. However, for residents who live in the lowest income households, which is below $35,000 per year, belong to the inclusion of 41.1, which is 27 points lower compared to the people who live in the highest income households, which is above $150,000.
Things are somewhat looking good with the first mentioned metrics, which is used to know the country’s overall digital inclusion score since it has been improving since 2014. However, aside from the first two, there is one metric that is falling behind and has been causing a stir in the community. The third metric, known as affordability, has been going down despite a small increase over the same period as access and digital ability.
To break it down, prices have been dropping since 2014. And within the four-year period, there has been a price drop in per megabyte in every year. With the growing demand for bandwidth and wages, Aussies are now paying more for less in internet services, jumping from 1% in 2014 to 1.19% in 2017.
Since Aussies are having a hard time accessing the internet through their desktops or laptops, there are a number of users who opted to use their mobile devices instead. With the growing cost of per gigabyte of mobile connections, households are now having the lower digital inclusion of an overall score of 42.3, which is below the national average.
Despite the mission of connecting the whole country through the power the internet, the NBN seems to just take cash from their users, especially now that there are plans of having an NBN Tax that will be shouldered by their users of a certain bracket. And along with the NBN’s mediocre service, more and more users will just get frustrated with what they are experiencing until an unknown period of time.