Australia the wireless economy, in the making at least

Monday, 7 September, 2009

In terms of telephone usage Australia is well on the way to becoming a “wireless economy” with the number of mobile phones in use now outstripping land, or fixed, line phones.

For the first time this year, the communications giant Telstra has had more mobile phone subscribers than fixed-line subscribers. Mobile phones now outnumber fixed lines by more than two-to-one. There are 105 mobiles for every 100 people, making Australia one of the most saturated markets in the world behind South Korea, with 114 mobile phones for every 100 people.

To be a true wireless economy though we still need decent wireless internet access but with the best such deals currently comprising a 10Gb data access package costing about A$130 per month, and that’s if you’re in an area with respectable coverage, there is definitely some way to go in that regard.

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How Open Is the International Internet?

Monday, 12 May, 2008

How Open Is the International Internet?

The term “international internet” seems like until an oxymoron until you realise just how many “filters” there are blocking access to websites all over the world.

Ok, we know certain countries block access to a lot of outside websites, but the web may not as world wide as we think it to be.

What surprises me the most isn’t that filtering exists, but how many countries do it. Certainly, government-sponsored filtering isn’t new; many public libraries and schools have done it for years in the United States, and hate speech is filtered in several European countries. But what is new is how much is filtered and how, sometimes, it is disguised: Some countries return a facsimile of an IE error page instead of showing that a site has been deliberately blocked. Others tamper with their domain-name servers to introduce errors when searching for particular sites.

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