Victoria + Education = 4 megabits

I received this local government newsletter today. It had all the usual, nurses magically appeared out of nowhere to aid the sick, millions and billions funded into research projects, some elderlies got an award, roads getting widened (again) and school facilities upgraded. It’s lifespan is usually from the mailbox to the recycling bin, but this caught my eye.

Victoria government school receives internet funding

$89.3 million dollars from hard-working tax payers, and what do students get? A lousy 4 megabit internet connection. Some mobile phones have higher data rates than 4 megabits.

There are about 1606 schools in the state of Victoria. If the money is spread evenly, each school receives about $55,604 to provide its students with internet access. I pay about $780 a year for a 10 megabit cable connection with a monthly download limit of 60GB. If the government funded me, In one year, I could afford 71 simultaneous cable connections resulting in a 710 megabit connection with a 4TB monthly download allowance. Spread over 2 years, I could afford 35 connections resulting in a 355 megabit connection with 2TB monthly download allowance.

You can see where I’m going with this. I’ve had first hand experience with internet in Victorian government schools. It really sucks. I don’t know where they get the idea of “collaboration” from, but you were banned from accessing any external emails or any communication networks. Good luck even trying to collaborate with another school, let alone the world.

7 insightful thoughts

  1. we here in India get paltry speeds in kilobits per second…right now my net speed is 10 KB/s=80kbps…even if the customers are ready to pay for more…there isn’t a higher speed available. It’s a real sad joke situation.

  2. They’re fibre optic lines which means they can up the speed by a lot (I don’t understand why they don’t already). That also explains why it’s expensive.

  3. Well in New Zealand the fastest speed you can get is 3Mb/s secound, so count your self lucky. I have a 2.5 Mb connection with a 20GB limit, they count upload AND downlaod in the 20GB limit. After I reach my limit I get slowed down to 56k, but at least I dont have to pay extra. This costs me $60 a month.

  4. I agree… 4Mbit/s DEFINITELY sucks and will be totally overloaded in no time by students. On the other hand, it’s better than 1.5MBit/s, which is probably all that’s available to many schools in regional areas. And I suppose the advantage of fibre is it has virtually unlimited capacity over the pipe itself, so to upgrade the speed all they’d need to do would be to adjust a setting at the head end.

    But yeah, 4Mbit/s is way too slow for multiple users, especially as online video is booming right now.

  5. @Dan Warne: Online video is an interesting point. I’m sure there are a lot of educational material on YouTube! 🙂

  6. We had the same problem in Austria at our school, we had 2 MBit for about 1,500 people that was insane, especially cause our school was an IT school. I had at that time the same speed and I’m living on the countryside.
    It was way to slow, but I think now they have upgraded the speed.

  7. What an ass. In my lousy ass country we get about 256kbs package, but the speed is really 96 or something like that. In 2006, 4mbps was lousy? When I saw this article I thought you were complaining how fast it was. Count your fucking blessings, moron.

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