Filter is Dead, Long Live the Filter

The Filter Is Dead – Long Live the Filter

So the big news out today in the world of technology is that Australia will now roll out (over the next three years anyway) a National Fibre to the Home broadband network. By the next election the government will have been five years into the process, with three years of the eight years development plan left to go. Telstra’s deal with the government to sell key cable infrastructure to the NBN company rolling out the network can continue to it’s next phase and key black spots where broadband is scant, such as the marginal seats and those of the key independents (come on, we all know these will be the first to get green lighted at the next role out announcement) will see men digging pits and laying thin blue piping into the ground.

But what about the filter?

Remember, the mandatory internet filter that was planned to save our kids from nasty net predators and then remove refused classification content from our beloved internet pipes. This was the stumbling block I choked on every time I got excited about a 100 megabit internet connection coming into homes around the country. I am all for $43 billion punted on the project, but I am being selfish. I just know that many other voters out there will struggle to get value from it, at least for the next twenty years. Minister Conroy planned the filter, he sold it to us and swore that it was the best thing for Australia to have, but in the end he did not get the support of others in Canberra, nor the people of Australia (if you believe what you read on Twitter).

Don’t get me wrong. Minister Conroy knows technology, in the limited time I have spent with him it’s clear he understands technology. Which is why I was always so confused about his filter project. It did not make sense to force us all into a system that was never going to be able to do what it was designed to do.

Well my fellow Australians, the filter is dead.

The Greens have said they would support the broadband, but not the filter. The Coalition will not support the filter, and so that means that the only party wanting the filter is Labour. Not enough I’m afraid.

So we get the best broadband network in the world, filter free. Yippee!

Tony Windsor summed it up well. ‘You do it once, you do it right and you do it fibre’ and the fact Mr Windsor mentioned this as a key area of his decision shows how much the world has changed in the last five years.

We have now reached the point where a government is formed based on their plan for broadband. If I said that to you five years ago you would tell me to go back to tinkering with my gadget.

So the good news is, we will have a national fibre to the home network built. And the best part is that there will be no one in Canberra deciding what web pages we can and cannot look at.

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