The Government and NBN is Limiting Australia’s Digital Capabilities

January 26, 2018

The Agriculture sector of Australia is a great source of income for the country. With 85,681 agricultural businesses, the gross value of agriculture in 2015-2016 increased to $58.1 billion, which was a tremendous increase from $3.7 billion of 2014–15. And for 2017, it has reached $63 Billion.

It would be a shame if something bad happens and affects the incoming income of farmers. But that is what exactly happened as told by a boutique producer in Gooda Creek Farm. Located outside Australia’s capital city of Canberra, this mushroom farm produces 2,000kg a week of shiitake mushrooms being delivered to local and Asian customers.

Ivy Liu, the owner of the farm, said she was not able to use the internet for two weeks, thus hindering her from sending invoices to her customers. And she is just one of the farmers who were affected by the internet drop. This is saddening since this is where they get their income for them to survive then an internet blackout will hinder it. What’s worse is that the government admitted that this is a common situation among farmers.

The expected to answer to this problem was the country’s $50 billion National Broadband Network (NBN). The networking giant should be able to help transform the country’s agriculture sector through the improvement of internet services that will help farmers connect to the global market. However, as expected, the effects are the opposite of the results promised. Sad to say,  the digital divide is getting thinner, but only thicker by the minute.

The reality in the country is that the government and the NBN have become the main reason for the digital limitations for Australia. The cost cuts by the government and the incompetent service the NBN, specifically the rollout, and technological downgrades.

“Digital agriculture really is the next revolution for farming,” said Mark Harvey-Sutton, manager of rural affairs at Australia’s National Farmers Federation.

“For many producers though, the NBN does not have the potential for digital agriculture – there is so much untapped potential across the sector.”