[image title=”australia_population_density” size=”thumbnail” id=”325″ align=”right” linkto=”https://irrationale2.files.wordpress.com/2008/08/australia_population_density.jpg” ]Australia is the “Land Of The Wide Open Spaces”. Because of the sheer distances involved, it costs an arm, leg, six puppies and your first three children per kilometer to lay cable anywhere. God’s Own Earth Mate might have almost the same amount of land-mass as the USA does, but our national population is on par with that of the state of Texas. We’re spread out, and we love it that way. The USAians by comparison are squished up close, so over there the costs of running the cable infrastructure makes more sense. There’s more customers per square mile across the entire USA that here, by a factor of twenty or more. Extrapolate that, and that means (roughly) that every kilometer of copper or fibre laid down costs we Aussie customers twenty times as much.
“But I live in a city, they live in cities too!” Sure you do. Sure they do. But we city dwellers have always subsidised our rural cobbers with their telephone service. It was that way back when what is now Telstra was part of the Federal Government’s Post Master General, so it’s been kept that way (much to the current Telstra’s constant grumbling). More than half of your phone bill goes towards the personnel and equipment that keeps our country unified over stupendously long distances, by running copper and fibre out to the ten percent of the nation’s peoples that don’t live in cities and major centres. They want the internet too!