Not bike related, but this resolution to a problem by the feds just makes me worry in general about the people we DO trust to introduce legislation for us and solve problems. Battle lines drawn over broadband THE Federal Government is planning a multimillion-dollar campaign to convince voters that broadband in regional Australia is not the disgrace that media mogul Rupert Murdoch says it is. The campaign is expected to begin within months as the Government seeks to improve its standing ahead of the election later this year. The plans come as Telstra continues its own war against the Government over regulation, with a political campaign aimed at highlighting the nation's lack of broadband investment. Telstra's public policy chief, Phil Burgess, has said Telstra will canvass its 1.65 million shareholders to increase pressure on the Government. Telstra has had the Liberal Party's pollster, Textor/Crosby, on its payroll for more than six months and last month sent pamphlets to 100,000 new shareholders urging them to "make a difference". A spokeswoman for the Communications Minister, Helen Coonan, said yesterday the Government expected to spend up to $5 million on the campaign, including advertising. "It is aimed at Australians in regional and remote areas," she said. About 90 per cent of households have access to broadband at speeds faster than 256 kilobits per second, according to KPMG. But only 40 per cent have access at speeds faster than 2 megabits per second. The slower speeds add more than five hours to the time it takes to download a standard TV-quality movie. Australia's average broadband speed is just over 1 megabit per second, ranking it 25th among OECD countries, according to a report from the Committee for Economic Development of Australia. Sweden tops the list with an average speed of more than 8 megabits per second. In November, Mr Murdoch called Australia's broadband speeds "a disgrace" and urged the Government to invest up to $12 billion to improve infrastructure. Media proprietor James Packer has also said the Government should invest more in broadband. Dr Burgess said last month that surveys by Crosby/Textor and others of shareholders' attitudes to regulation had shown broadband was a big issue. Telstra plans to take "Al Gore-type slide shows" around the country and set up an ambassador program where employees meet shareholders. But a Liberal Party backbencher, Cameron Thompson, said: "Having them parade around the country with some kind of slide show is like a wolf running a PR campaign around at grandma's house. "People are relying on government regulation to give some surety in a market where basic services need to be provided." But let me summarise for you: - Australia is coming 25th in the world's "Who has the bestest and fastest broadband" competition. - Problems include coverage and speed. - an estimated $12 billion would be well spent upgrading the infrastructure, as online markets, trading and entertainment increase exponentially. - the government's solution to this, is to INSTEAD spend $5 million on an advertising campaign: telling people that there isn't actually a problem. ... that's the solution? To tell people that everything is cool the way it is? Now it's not like we don't have the service at all. It's there etc. But we will continue to fall behind the rest of the world if the most powerful form of communication we have, is neglected like this. Blows my mind. /rant.