Monthly phone bill just arrived, and with it came a wee leaflet telling us a few home truths about the parlous state of our nation. Home truths like this one: "Australia is being left behind the world in high-speed broadband." Quelle horreur! No, really, says my leaflet, we are lagging, abysmally, in Broadband Penetration. I'm not entirely sure who is penetrating whom here, but I can see from the graph that, of thirty developed countries, Australia is only seventeenth in broadband penetration. Yes, we do happen to be out-penetrating Germany, Spain, Italy, Portugal, New Zealand, the Czech Republic, Ireland, Hungary, Poland, Turkey, the Slovac Republic, Mexico and Greece, but is that good enough? Is it really satisfactory to be less penetrative, broadband-wise, than that poky little Scandinavian backwater, Denmark?
No, it's not, says spokesactivist, Rupert Murdoch, for the Telstra Broadband Australia campaign; "In Australia we only have a couple of million people on broadband and they don't even get 1Mb. I think it's a disgrace."
Damn straight, Rupes. I used to think that keeping refugees imprisoned in the desert was a disgrace, and I suspected a spot of disgrace over in the indefinite and illegal detention of David Hicks department, and I had my suspicions about the disgraciousness of slurping up to the US in its invasions of Vietnam and Afghanistan and Iraq, but this is where real disgrace resides. I feel sullied just thinking about it. I will be joining what Telstra calls its grass-roots campaign (to demand that "government and regulators ... give Telstra a fair go") forthwith. Seventeenth, I tells you. It shames me as an Australian.