I was born in Stockholm, Sweden and lived there until I moved to Australia in 2003. Coming to Australia was like travelling back in time in regards to the “internet” used in Australia. Ads on TV still compared “broadband” to dial-up, a concept I couldn’t believe anyone was still using.
Going from Napster (it feels like a long time ago now, doesn’t it..?) on 10 Mb/s in my bedroom to Australia where the most used site on the web was the Commonwealth Bank of Australia’s NetBank which doesn’t allow you to use the ‘back’ button for ‘security reasons’ and looks like it has been designed by the guy who invented Lego was nothing short of a shock .
Kevin Rudd’s national internet infrastructure project
Finally, as a positive spin to the global financial crisis, the Australian government has decided it is time for Australia to see the light and to upgrade the national internet infrastructure to a decent standard. For a thorough analysis on this see BuddeComms analysis of the situation.
What outcomes can we expect of the infrastructure investment?
The Swedish investments in solid internet infrastructure have resulted in many fantastic internet solutions including Skype, Spotify and Pirate Bay. A successful delivery of this massive project (AUD 43 Billion) will put Australia on the map as forward thinking and potentially open up new sources of export now that resources seems to be of everyone’s mind for a bit….
I really hope that Rudd’s project will increase the Internet awareness in Australia which may result in
- more cross-border collaboration (via applications like WebEx and video conferencing via Skype),
- more efficient corporate infrastructure (using offsite storage and cloud based applications like Salesforce , the Google suite of corporate tools and DropBox)
- Better use of outsourcing of non-core tasks (RentACoder , Amazon Mechanical Turk )
When I was working with Navigator Project Finance we needed a new website. As a solution we hired a Mexican Developer in Sinaloa, Mexico through GetAFreelancer.com at the cost of US 300 using OpenSource Joomla compared to our best Sydney quote of AUD 12,000 (~USD 10,000) using a very second rate in-house CMS.
Most people found that very strange but what is really so different with a consultant in Mexico compared to someone at the other side of your own home town. Most tasks can be done with no face-to-face interaction.
How does Internet Infrastructure impact Corality?
At Corality we are constantly evaluation ways of working more efficient with clients all over the world. Only this week I have been liasing with clients in Kuwait, Saudi, Holland, United Kingdom and Australia (Sydney, Perth and Adelaide).
Out of these clients I have only met two face to face. Sure, for certain tasks one has to be in on site but 95% of all project related work can be performed from our Sydney offices. We are currently experimenting WebEx-based long-distance training catering for the US and Africa in particular.
Working with a global client base
With such a wide-spread client base I welcome all new solutions that can improve long-distance collaboration. We have over the years tested many tools including
- Blackberries (of course)
- Skype (voice, chat and video)
- WebEx (with great success)
- Remote Desktop (can’t live without it)
- VPN (useful but dull)
and more recently
- Google spreadsheets (very exciting!)
- LinkedIn (fantastic networking tool but unfortunately underrated by many professionals)
- Twitter (I still don’t get it..).
So, let’s just hope this project gets delivered sooner rather than later. No one would be happier than I too see some serious speed in our Internet infrastructure.