Caught in a web

WAITING for pages to download and photographs to upload has been driving Woodgate resident Judy Pippen to distraction.

The Creative Regions director, who works from home, spends large chunks of her days just waiting for her broadband internet connection to work.

“We’re hanging out for high-speed broadband here,” Dr Pippen said.

“My partner and I spend a lot of time waiting for something to happen when we are using the internet — it can take up to half an hour to upload a photograph.”

As Labor and the Coalition battle for supremacy over whose broadband plan is better for the Australian public, Dr Pippen said she had no real preference in policy — she just wanted a better service.

“You have no idea how bad it is until you are overseas in the back blocks of Bali and their internet speeds are faster than we get at home,” she said.

Monto News and Travel Agency owner John MacElroy was also hanging out for faster internet.

“High-speed internet is not going to make or break us,” he said.

“But I’d like to see the more far-flung parts of the shire with internet so that I could send brochures out to the remote farming areas and they could open them up easily and order what they wanted.”

Mr MacElroy said he was not sure which party’s policy he supported as it was not clear how fast the high-speed broadband would be in Monto.

Bundaberg West resident Christine Hamilton said she felt there was a lot of room for improvement in the speed of the internet.

“I’ve just moved up to ADSL+2 and, when I did that, I found out that not all places in Bundaberg could even get that. I think there is a lot of room for improvement,” she said.

Greg Whymark, CQUniversity’s acting dean of the School of Information and Communication Technology, said most homes were connected to internet at speeds between 256kbps and 1.5mbps.

“It will mean a great deal to business. There are a lot more things we all need to download on the net and some of those forms and things are essential,” he said.

Mr Whymark said speeds on wireless and satellite connections would be slower than those using a fibre optic cable.

For those concerned about how fast their internet would be under the new policies, Mr Whymark had one suggestion.

“Question your local member. Push them for specific information for your area. In the coming years we are all going to be relying on the internet a lot more,” he said.

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