Follow up (Part A) to Downloaded vs Streamed where we look into another big reason why Australian internet is so expensive beyond the lack of economies of scale. Many thanks to Alex Garner for the detailed feedback.
This is Pragmatic Follow-Up Part A for Episode 24, Downloaded vs Streamed. I had some feedback from Alex Garner, who was talking about one of the issues of living in an isolated location like Australia, is that all of the internet that we get is via a series of undersea cables, which, you know, I was aware of that, of that but one of the things that he's given me in his feedback email is actually a list of the transfer the data transfer rates of all of these cables which is actually fascinating something that i hadn't looked into previously so if you're looking at the total number and there's quite a long list here of of the transfer rates looking at around about 70 terabytes per second thank you you for doing the math for me. But that's divided by 16.5 million households, but that doesn't count mobile use or business use, which is, you know, are going to be a significant component of that. And that gives an average of just four meg per second. So why this matters is that our internet in Australia is therefore needs to subsidize the fact, or rather needs to account for the cost of being able to get all of that information, the majority of which is not stored within the confines of the Australian continent. Now that raises another interesting set of issues, not just the distance between towns and the cost per user from a point of view of economies of scale or rather the lack of economies of scale, which is one of the reasons that makes our internet access more expensive. So the general approach, if companies are serious about getting streaming to work in an Australian context, then the right answer is to have a set of mirrored servers here in Australia that will periodically update with all of the relevant data from their sister sites over in, well, either Europe or the US, presumably, or Asia. And that stored local copy, therefore, would be a part of a content delivery network. And that CDN in Australia, therefore, if I were to log into Apple and download a movie, it would download from the Apple iTunes server as opposed to the one in North Carolina. Hence that would make more sense. Of course there's no way that an internet service provider could possibly account for that and assuming that everyone would do that therefore they have to spread that burden across everybody. So streaming versus downloading in Australia has a very different spin on it than in North America for cost reasons. I did sort of talk about that during the episode but I thought that it was some really good feedback from Alex Garno going into some of the details and thank you very much for that feedback. Thank you.