marcus westbury

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How the #NBN has (actually) changed my life

May 13th, 2013 by marcus

NBN Fibre

It’s a quirk of fate and geography that our family home and my work at the Renew Australia office in the Melbourne suburb of Brunswick are both smack bang in the middle of one of the first mainland rollout zones for the Australia’s fibre-to-the-home National Broadband Network. We’ve now been on it for more than a year.

Recently, our family was asked by a PR company (long story!) whether we would be be happy to feature in a media event to showcase how the NBN was changing our life. It is and I was happy to talk about it. Apparently a prominent celebrity was going to come to our house with a gaggle of press types in tow and show us doing “typical” NBN-type things. Of course, because it was to be a staged media event the “typical” things they wanted us to do bore little if any relation to what we actually do with the network, and (as it transpired) the whole thing got cancelled at the last minute anyway.

Now i’m free of any obligation to say the right things about the NBN (having had a big insight into what the PR people thought the “right” things were) it did inspire me to reflect on how access to a 100 megabit NBN connection at home and work has actually changed the way we live and work and how it might continue to do so as the network evolves. I’d been meaning to post this for a while, but as i’m on holidays with time on my hands (and ironically on a dodgy wifi connection) I thought it might be timely to sit down and do it…

It has greatly improved my efficiency and my ability to move seamlessly between home and office

This is probably the biggest thing that has changed. I work from home a couple of days a week and from an NBN connected office in the same street. A lot of my life involves talking to people about Renew Newcastle and Renew Australia. I only realised this recently but my typical photo and animation heavy Renew presentation is currently in the order of just under a gigabyte (a random example of me delivering one is here). I customise it virtually every time I do it. Through the combination of a 100 megabit NBN connection at both home and at work and dropbox, I literally don’t even have to think about where I am, which device i’m editing it on or whether it’s up to date.

I can open it at home in the morning for half an hour, add or hide a few videos, tweak a few slides, hit save, take a few minute walk to the office and grab a coffee, faff about for a bit with my colleagues then sit down at the office and be 100% confident that the 700mb file is there on the desk for me to continue to work on it. Of course the same is true for word files, spreadsheets, or anything else but the seamlessness is much more noticeable for media heavy presentations. As a result of the NBN I communicate in words, pictures and videos much more than I ever did before because it is very easy to.

Outside of NBN land it’s a different story. It’s common that i’m asked after a conference presentation whether the hosts can have a copy of the presentation  – almost without exception once they realise that it’s 700mb they don’t bother. While I can move it between home and office while getting a coffee, most of the country lacks the infrastructure to simply download it and share it with their networks.

Which leads me to my second work-related observation…

It’s about connection quality not download speed

I spend an inordinate amount of time on the road visiting cities and communities across regional Australia. To be perfectly honest I actually hate it a lot of the time — I don’t much like flying, i’m no great fan of hotels, and I have young family i’d rather not be away from. A lot of what I do is training people up and talking about the Renew Newcastle/ Renew Australia model. To give you a simple example the last few weeks alone there have been stories in local papers from Ballarat, the Illawarra, Launceston, and Dubbo and that’s pretty typical of the interest from month to month. Most of these communities want or need me to go there but they often lack the resources to pay for it or I lack the time to do it or a bit of both.

Being on the NBN has allowed me and Renew Australia to dip our toe in the water of supporting these communities remotely. I’ve done presentations to Champions of the Bush from Broken Hill to Kalgoolie/Boulder and Geraldton in WA all online. Unfortunately, right now, the reality is that for most communities the bandwidth isn’t there at the other end … yet. As an organisation Renew Australia needs to invest in using the internet as the primary means of communicating and supporting these communities. To the extent that we’ve dabbled in it it has become obvious that somewhere between the live-in-HD world of the NBN and the sketchy satellite, DSL and dialup that are lot of these communities are on the technological advantage breaks down. I need to be able to connect with these communities at high speed and not simply get “fast downloads.” We’re not there yet.

Ironically communities with NBN connections may well be the best candidates for the kind of creative-industries-seeding local economic revitalisation strategies that Renew Australia promotes and pursue (see my Makers and Places argument here for a hint as to why). The real efficiencies to our organisation, the chance to spend more time with my family and even the potential to transform regional Australia through our work (and dozens of other strategies and models in other fields) are entirely dependent on it becoming a network and not a series of places that have access to great bandwidth trying to do business with places that don’t.

On a more personal note… 

Our media consumption habits have changed pretty dramatically — and no Australian company is catering to them yet

The DVD player was one of the first casualties — I think it’s in a cupboard somewhere but we have literally not watched a DVD in our house for more than a year. It’s a dead medium to us. Early in the piece we invested in an Set top box to go with our hi-def flat screen TV and prepared to take advantage of the bandwidth to watch HD streaming movies, video rentals on demand and the vast library of infinite entertainment that was suddenly available to watch.

Then we came to a stunning conclusion rather quickly… no one is actually even selling us anything useful in Australia. It may have changed in the last 12 months but when we last looked into it it became very obvious that all of the Australian streaming video services are, to put it bluntly, a complete and total joke. They either have a poor range of content, are overpriced, or come bundled with a whole bunch of junk we simply have no need for.

So, one of the perhaps more unlikely consequences of the NBN is that, for media consumption purposes, I live in America now. Through the wonders of Unblock.us and various VPN type technologies I also live in Canada, the UK and wherever else there are companies offering a respectable range of reasonably priced HD video download services, free broadcasts and other services. Technically, i’m sure i’m breaching some rules and regulations by bypassing geo-blocking but the reality is that it is becoming the norm not just for us but anyone trying to access high bandwidth video on demand.

On one level, through my own work and that of other businesses in my neighbourhood i’m aware that the NBN is seeding all sorts of start up enterprises, opening up all sorts of sunrise industries and possibilities. Yet  in terms of the goliaths of Australian media meeting my family’s practical media habits it seems like we have opened the floodgates to Amazon, Netflix, the BBC, CBC, PBS and dozens of other media providers and the Australian media industry has responded by a retreat into technological protectionism. Australian media is thinking small and local when the rest of the world and the nation itself is thinking and moving big. Real big. Real fast.

It’s about the network

The more I think about the NBN and how it’s working for us the more obvious it becomes that the value is in the network. I’m not going to weigh in here about the coalitions plans v the NBN Co plans but I am keen to observe that the value of the NBN grows with the number of people, places and communities that are connected to it. This is obvious in my work right now.

The difference in how I seamlessly move files between home and work and how hard I find it to just send them to anyone outside the local NBN bubble and back onto the regular internet is a microcosm for me of the efficiencies the NBN generates. I want and am starting to expect that frictionlessness in all manner of communications and connections to all different communities. With every connection the value of the network increases, with every community that comes online the costs of me working with them drops, the efficiencies of what we can do increases and the days I have to spend away from my family start to diminish. Indeed, a critical mass of customers will also go some way towards solving the lack of NBN specific content and services in Australia.

There are probably dozens of tangents I could go off on here: is the NBN better than wireless? (Yes, obviously – wifi is the bottleneck in our house now), Is it expensive? (No, i’m not paying much more than I was before and the service is infinitely better), What about the low take up rates? (Our house was in the “opt-in” phase where every property owner had to explicitly sign up to get it connected — we spend three f***ing months chasing our landlord to get him to sign the piece of paper so I can see why a lot of others didn’t bother) and chances are there are a few dozen obvious questions i’ve missed.

Anyhow, free of any PR obligation to talk up how we are supposed to use the NBN, that’s the reality so far of how we are actually using it (slightly dubious international geoblock busting and all). Should anyone does actually need, as the NBN publicists proposed, a photo-op of the kid watching a streaming HD video, dad uploading a home video and mum talking on skype — we do actually do all that stuff and yep, you can do it all at the same time — we’d still be happy to oblige. Thus far the reality is a lot more complex and interesting.

[Yep, I'm available to speak at events about life on the NBN for more info see here]

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194 responses so far ↓

  • 1 jennyeather May 13, 2013 at 12:57 pm

    RT @unsungsongs: How the #NBN has (actually) changed my life: A quirk of fate means our home & my work are both in the NBN test zone http:…

  • 2 Erinkyan May 13, 2013 at 12:58 pm

    RT @unsungsongs: How the #NBN has (actually) changed my life: A quirk of fate means our home & my work are both in the NBN test zone http:…

  • 3 franksting May 13, 2013 at 1:00 pm

    @unsungsongs interesting. I have a 100mb cable connection and I have similar experiences.

  • 4 franksting May 13, 2013 at 1:00 pm

    RT @unsungsongs: How the #NBN has (actually) changed my life: A quirk of fate means our home & my work are both in the NBN test zone http:…

  • 5 belindaleck May 13, 2013 at 1:01 pm

    RT @unsungsongs: How the #NBN has (actually) changed my life: A quirk of fate means our home & my work are both in the NBN test zone http:…

  • 6 chrisjrn May 13, 2013 at 1:02 pm

    That’s from @unsungsongs’ account of 12 months on the #NBN. What a fascinating read: http://t.co/IxURaca9fu #fraudband

  • 7 tnpf May 13, 2013 at 1:04 pm

    @unsungsongs Great to hear a first hand experience. Cloud file access is filtering into arch practice, #nbn would greatly improve this.

  • 8 iusebiro May 13, 2013 at 1:06 pm

    RT @unsungsongs: How the #NBN has (actually) changed my life: A quirk of fate means our home & my work are both in the NBN test zone http:…

  • 9 bjkraal May 13, 2013 at 1:09 pm

    RT @unsungsongs: How the #NBN has (actually) changed my life: A quirk of fate means our home & my work are both in the NBN test zone http:…

  • 10 witty_knitter May 13, 2013 at 1:09 pm

    RT @unsungsongs: How the #NBN has (actually) changed my life: A quirk of fate means our home & my work are both in the NBN test zone http:…

  • 11 theMickMorris May 13, 2013 at 1:10 pm

    RT @unsungsongs: How the #NBN has (actually) changed my life: A quirk of fate means our home & my work are both in the NBN test zone http:…

  • 12 NeophyteTarasia May 13, 2013 at 1:10 pm

    @chrisjrn @unsungsongs really interesting.

  • 13 grumpymojo May 13, 2013 at 1:10 pm

    RT @unsungsongs: How the #NBN has (actually) changed my life: A quirk of fate means our home & my work are both in the NBN test zone http:…

  • 14 grumpymojo May 13, 2013 at 1:11 pm

    @franksting @unsungsongs same here although upload speed is no where near the same

  • 15 EventualHorizon May 13, 2013 at 1:14 pm

    RT @unsungsongs: How the #NBN has (actually) changed my life: A quirk of fate means our home & my work are both in the NBN test zone http:…

  • 16 neerav May 13, 2013 at 1:14 pm

    RT @unsungsongs: How the #NBN has (actually) changed my life: A quirk of fate means our home & my work are both in the NBN test zone http:…

  • 17 adamson May 13, 2013 at 1:15 pm

    @unsungsongs @franksting good post. of course faster is always better. its more a q of what the country can afford versus private enterprise

  • 18 MilesNiddrie May 13, 2013 at 1:15 pm

    Hook me up soon please! I watch some of the World surfing tour online and being in a suburb with pretty average… http://t.co/awHk4nEpxI

  • 19 juhasaarinen May 13, 2013 at 1:15 pm

    RT @unsungsongs: How the #NBN has (actually) changed my life: A quirk of fate means our home & my work are both in the NBN test zone http:…

  • 20 andrew_85 May 13, 2013 at 1:16 pm

    RT @unsungsongs: How the #NBN has (actually) changed my life: A quirk of fate means our home & my work are both in the NBN test zone http:…

  • 21 scottsues May 13, 2013 at 1:17 pm

    RT @unsungsongs: How the #NBN has (actually) changed my life: A quirk of fate means our home & my work are both in the NBN test zone http:…

  • 22 ERIN May 13, 2013 at 1:22 pm

    An excellent insight into the realities of the NBN. I think you make a salient point about the value of the network being the network itself. We can see this principle playing out in social media all the time, the more people who join in, the more attractive and useful those avenues become (ok, maybe Facebook isn’t that “useful” but by comparison to say, G+, which is fairly sparsely used by comparison, you get my drift. If you want your connections/networks to see something you upload it to facebook before G+).

  • 23 Skigod May 13, 2013 at 1:22 pm

    An NBN user’s perspective http://t.co/ZwR39ALzvP… #nbn #broadband #auspol

  • 24 mckennadt May 13, 2013 at 1:23 pm

    RT @unsungsongs: How the #NBN has (actually) changed my life: A quirk of fate means our home & my work are both in the NBN test zone http:…

  • 25 bronwyn64 May 13, 2013 at 1:26 pm

    RT @unsungsongs: How the #NBN has (actually) changed my life: A quirk of fate means our home & my work are both in the NBN test zone http:…

  • 26 kcIMT122 May 13, 2013 at 1:30 pm

    RT @unsungsongs: How the #NBN has (actually) changed my life: A quirk of fate means our home & my work are both in the NBN test zone http:…

  • 27 grantyoung May 13, 2013 at 1:30 pm

    RT @unsungsongs: How the #NBN has (actually) changed my life: A quirk of fate means our home & my work are both in the NBN test zone http:…

  • 28 Leroy_Lynch May 13, 2013 at 1:31 pm

    RT @unsungsongs: How the #NBN has (actually) changed my life: A quirk of fate means our home & my work are both in the NBN test zone http:…

  • 29 LindaDrummond May 13, 2013 at 1:33 pm

    How the NBN has actually changed a user’s life. One year in. http://t.co/PNw5VtjWqo (so jealous, my suburb’s completion date? 2016…)

  • 30 ewster May 13, 2013 at 1:34 pm

    RT @LindaDrummond: How the NBN has actually changed a user’s life. One year in. http://t.co/PNw5VtjWqo (so jealous, my suburb’s completion …

  • 31 StewartWoods May 13, 2013 at 1:34 pm

    How the NBN changed my life http://t.co/m9Alr9S9C8

  • 32 The_Git May 13, 2013 at 1:37 pm

    RT @LindaDrummond: How the NBN has actually changed a user’s life. One year in. http://t.co/PNw5VtjWqo (so jealous, my suburb’s completion …

  • 33 lindathestar May 13, 2013 at 1:39 pm

    RT @unsungsongs: How the #NBN has (actually) changed my life: A quirk of fate means our home & my work are both in the NBN test zone http:…

  • 34 Dermott Banana May 13, 2013 at 1:42 pm

    Hi Marcus
    I’d be curious to hear your comments on the gap between how you’re “supposed to” use the NBN, and how you actually use it?
    Another post for another rainy day perhaps?
    Cheers
    - Dermott

  • 35 dialogCRM May 13, 2013 at 1:48 pm

    RT @unsungsongs: How the #NBN has (actually) changed my life: A quirk of fate means our home & my work are both in the NBN test zone http:…

  • 36 andrewdrayton May 13, 2013 at 1:49 pm

    RT @unsungsongs: How the #NBN has (actually) changed my life: A quirk of fate means our home & my work are both in the NBN test zone http:…

  • 37 andrewdrayton May 13, 2013 at 1:49 pm

    @unsungsongs I can’t wait to get the #NBN

  • 38 RJMajik May 13, 2013 at 1:50 pm

    @skigod @unsungsongs now that is a review that keeps it real but you’d expect no less from MW

  • 39 RJMajik May 13, 2013 at 1:56 pm

    RT @unsungsongs: How the #NBN has (actually) changed my life: A quirk of fate means our home & my work are both in the NBN test zone http:…

  • 40 simonhclark May 13, 2013 at 2:00 pm

    RT @unsungsongs: How the #NBN has (actually) changed my life: A quirk of fate means our home & my work are both in the NBN test zone http:…

  • 41 tironmanning May 13, 2013 at 2:01 pm

    RT @unsungsongs: How the #NBN has (actually) changed my life: A quirk of fate means our home & my work are both in the NBN test zone http:…

  • 42 paulwallbank May 13, 2013 at 2:08 pm

    @unsungsongs when did the NBN PR people do their media visit at your place? I tried to organise an NBN Brunswick business visit last month.

  • 43 paulwallbank May 13, 2013 at 2:08 pm

    RT @unsungsongs: How the #NBN has (actually) changed my life: A quirk of fate means our home & my work are both in the NBN test zone http:…

  • 44 Wolfie_Rankin May 13, 2013 at 2:08 pm

    RT @unsungsongs: How the #NBN has (actually) changed my life: A quirk of fate means our home & my work are both in the NBN test zone http:…

  • 45 lovelyjubblyoz May 13, 2013 at 2:08 pm

    “@randlight: http://t.co/MPze9iYE11
    Please retweet this- a true account of NBN” #auspol

  • 46 zackster May 13, 2013 at 2:10 pm

    RT @unsungsongs: How the #NBN has (actually) changed my life: A quirk of fate means our home & my work are both in the NBN test zone http:…

  • 47 Wersula May 13, 2013 at 2:17 pm

    RT @unsungsongs: How the #NBN has (actually) changed my life: A quirk of fate means our home & my work are both in the NBN test zone http:…

  • 48 cofiem May 13, 2013 at 2:22 pm

    RT @unsungsongs: How the #NBN has (actually) changed my life: A quirk of fate means our home & my work are both in the NBN test zone http:…

  • 49 CrownFibre May 13, 2013 at 2:22 pm

    “It has (actually) changed my life” – @unsungsongs, who has been using the Australian #NBN for 1 year: http://t.co/pQrlBIQVHH #UFB

  • 50 tim_bowden May 13, 2013 at 2:22 pm

    RT @Skigod: An NBN user’s perspective http://t.co/ZwR39ALzvP… #nbn #broadband #auspol

  • 51 halans May 13, 2013 at 2:22 pm

    RT @unsungsongs: How the #NBN has (actually) changed my life: A quirk of fate means our home & my work are both in the NBN test zone http:…

  • 52 slace May 13, 2013 at 2:25 pm

    RT @unsungsongs: How the #NBN has (actually) changed my life: A quirk of fate means our home & my work are both in the NBN test zone http:…

  • 53 flexnib May 13, 2013 at 2:26 pm

    RT @unsungsongs: How the #NBN has (actually) changed my life: A quirk of fate means our home & my work are both in the NBN test zone http:…

  • 54 BronwenZ May 13, 2013 at 2:32 pm

    RT @unsungsongs: How the #NBN has (actually) changed my life: A quirk of fate means our home & my work are both in the NBN test zone http:…

  • 55 AlltelAU May 13, 2013 at 2:34 pm

    RT @unsungsongs: How the #NBN has (actually) changed my life: A quirk of fate means our home & my work are both in the NBN test zone http:…

  • 56 CarlShortz May 13, 2013 at 2:37 pm

    RT @unsungsongs: How the #NBN has (actually) changed my life: A quirk of fate means our home & my work are both in the NBN test zone http:…

  • 57 samcrawfordarch May 13, 2013 at 2:53 pm

    RT @unsungsongs: How the #NBN has (actually) changed my life: A quirk of fate means our home & my work are both in the NBN test zone http:…

  • 58 MikeKellyMP May 13, 2013 at 3:01 pm

    RT @unsungsongs: How the #NBN has (actually) changed my life: A quirk of fate means our home & my work are both in the NBN test zone http:…

  • 59 ChrisWhite_9 May 13, 2013 at 3:02 pm

    RT @unsungsongs: How the #NBN has (actually) changed my life: A quirk of fate means our home & my work are both in the NBN test zone http:…

  • 60 geeksrulz May 13, 2013 at 3:02 pm

    RT @unsungsongs: How the #NBN has (actually) changed my life: A quirk of fate means our home & my work are both in the NBN test zone http:…

  • 61 dave_lang May 13, 2013 at 3:05 pm

    RT @unsungsongs: How the #NBN has (actually) changed my life: A quirk of fate means our home & my work are both in the NBN test zone http:…

  • 62 Wayne Mullen May 13, 2013 at 3:10 pm

    Very soon now it will become apparent that DVD, blue ray and a host of retail distribution modes will become obsolete. Like you, I’m now an “American” consumer of media, using Unblock to get access to Netflix and Hulu Plus and the BBC. Even Apple’s ITune’s business model will soon die – I’ve quickly shifted to “all you can eat + flat monthly fee” for the way I consume music and film. I have no idea about the rules you break by going around the Geoblock – but I’m PAYING for the privilege and the Content. Surely this is a better outcome than piracy.

  • 63 NickChampionMP May 13, 2013 at 3:10 pm

    RT @unsungsongs: How the #NBN has (actually) changed my life: A quirk of fate means our home & my work are both in the NBN test zone http:…

  • 64 bradsprigg May 13, 2013 at 3:11 pm

    RT @unsungsongs: How the #NBN has (actually) changed my life: A quirk of fate means our home & my work are both in the NBN test zone http:…

  • 65 BigRedRanter May 13, 2013 at 3:12 pm

    RT @unsungsongs: How the #NBN has (actually) changed my life: A quirk of fate means our home & my work are both in the NBN test zone http:…

  • 66 lavalounger May 13, 2013 at 3:12 pm

    RT @unsungsongs: How the #NBN has (actually) changed my life: A quirk of fate means our home & my work are both in the NBN test zone http:…

  • 67 AvJoe_RealDeal May 13, 2013 at 3:14 pm

    RT @unsungsongs: How the #NBN has (actually) changed my life: A quirk of fate means our home & my work are both in the NBN test zone http:…

  • 68 brotchie May 13, 2013 at 3:20 pm

    RT @unsungsongs: How the #NBN has (actually) changed my life: A quirk of fate means our home & my work are both in the NBN test zone http:…

  • 69 Mak404matt May 13, 2013 at 3:21 pm

    RT @unsungsongs: How the #NBN has (actually) changed my life: A quirk of fate means our home & my work are both in the NBN test zone http:…

  • 70 superted125 May 13, 2013 at 3:24 pm

    RT @unsungsongs: How the #NBN has (actually) changed my life: A quirk of fate means our home & my work are both in the NBN test zone http:…

  • 71 Atheist_IMAGINE May 13, 2013 at 3:24 pm

    RT @unsungsongs: How the #NBN has (actually) changed my life: A quirk of fate means our home & my work are both in the NBN test zone http:…

  • 72 Atheist_IMAGINE May 13, 2013 at 3:25 pm

    @unsungsongs @AvJoe_RealDeal Marcus great article, bravo.

  • 73 chookelini May 13, 2013 at 3:28 pm

    RT @unsungsongs: How the #NBN has (actually) changed my life: A quirk of fate means our home & my work are both in the NBN test zone http:…

  • 74 Kevin_Rennie May 13, 2013 at 3:42 pm

    RT @unsungsongs: How the #NBN has (actually) changed my life: A quirk of fate means our home & my work are both in the NBN test zone http:…

  • 75 ChillagoeFNQ May 13, 2013 at 3:47 pm

    RT @FionaLakeAus: Interesting; ‏@unsungsongs description of how the #NBN has changed his work & home life: http://t.co/szMuDfR79e @NBNCo

  • 76 sophblack May 13, 2013 at 3:47 pm

    Great practical post RT @unsungsongs: How the #NBN has (actually) changed my life: http://t.co/D82sfM2lh7

  • 77 MiA_Will May 13, 2013 at 3:50 pm

    How the #NBN has (actually) changed my life : @unsungsongs http://t.co/xFy6r0Ifv2

  • 78 otiose94 May 13, 2013 at 3:50 pm

    How the #NBN has (actually) changed my life http://t.co/3KtcaEzGnc #auspol

  • 79 GCobber99 May 13, 2013 at 3:52 pm

    Abbott want to repeal NBN for his dial up might as well be dial up same speed on upload this is why we need ALP NBN
    http://t.co/nI6EfewBCC

  • 80 DrAStephenson May 13, 2013 at 3:53 pm

    A testimonial of how the #NBN has changed the user’s life http://t.co/LSbINuebvO We need the #NBN, and we need it now!

  • 81 bordy_7 May 13, 2013 at 3:54 pm

    RT @unsungsongs: How the #NBN has (actually) changed my life: A quirk of fate means our home & my work are both in the NBN test zone http:…

  • 82 croakeyblog May 13, 2013 at 3:54 pm

    MT @unsungsongs: How the #NBN changed my life: http://t.co/oPP5Y5kzPu CC @NRHAlliance @ACHSM #ruralhealth #sdoh via @sophblack

  • 83 paddybts May 13, 2013 at 3:54 pm

    RT @sophblack: Great practical post RT @unsungsongs: How the #NBN has (actually) changed my life: http://t.co/D82sfM2lh7

  • 84 gourjess May 13, 2013 at 3:55 pm

    RT @mediahunter How the #NBN has (actually) changed my life http://t.co/XW1CV4lWCB by @unsungsongs

  • 85 _P_November May 13, 2013 at 3:56 pm

    A Must Read for the #nbn Curious. Thank you to our Labor Government for their vision. Currently Reading http://t.co/bnWyoNEOC8

  • 86 ipixel_au May 13, 2013 at 3:59 pm

    RT @unsungsongs: How the #NBN has (actually) changed my life: A quirk of fate means our home & my work are both in the NBN test zone http:…

  • 87 Ron Anderson May 13, 2013 at 4:13 pm

    Great article Marcus! Thanks for taking the time during your holidays to write and post it.
    I know what you mean about travel generally, hotel/motel rooms etc generally. It really can make it all a bit of a chore!

  • 88 SemiConscious76 May 13, 2013 at 4:32 pm

    @NBNCo #NBN #working #NotFRAUDBAND http://t.co/GGQqW1PLYC @TurnbullMalcolm @TonyAbbottMHR

  • 89 renbarau May 13, 2013 at 4:38 pm

    We need more stories like this: “How the NBN has changed my life”: http://t.co/ljrsZ38EEr …via @ValerioVeo

  • 90 arban70 May 13, 2013 at 4:38 pm

    RT @croakeyblog: MT @unsungsongs: How the #NBN changed my life: http://t.co/oPP5Y5kzPu CC @NRHAlliance @ACHSM #ruralhealth #sdoh via @soph…

  • 91 MikeKellyMP May 13, 2013 at 4:38 pm

    RT @croakeyblog: MT @unsungsongs: How the #NBN changed my life: http://t.co/oPP5Y5kzPu CC @NRHAlliance @ACHSM #ruralhealth #sdoh via @soph…

  • 92 ratkins May 13, 2013 at 4:41 pm

    RT @unsungsongs: How the #NBN has (actually) changed my life: A quirk of fate means our home & my work are both in the NBN test zone http:…

  • 93 Dan Mandaru May 13, 2013 at 4:51 pm

    Hi Marcus, i read this after seeing your linkedin update. I think your insights would be really interesting and valuable to a range of people across Telstra (particularly your comments on media consumption) and was wondering if you’d mind me sharing the link on our Yammer site (Yammer is for want of a better description, the social networking site we use) Thanks and hope all is well at home, cheers, Dan

  • 94 scottie2h May 13, 2013 at 4:52 pm

    RT @unsungsongs: How the #NBN has (actually) changed my life: A quirk of fate means our home & my work are both in the NBN test zone http:…

  • 95 iluvmypjs May 13, 2013 at 4:53 pm

    RT @unsungsongs: How the #NBN has (actually) changed my life: A quirk of fate means our home & my work are both in the NBN test zone http:…

  • 96 lenman74 May 13, 2013 at 5:03 pm

    RT @otiose94: How the #NBN has (actually) changed my life http://t.co/3KtcaEzGnc #auspol

  • 97 chriscmuir May 13, 2013 at 5:08 pm

    Reading: How the #NBN has (actually) changed my life http://t.co/C8ou8sKNDk

  • 98 howlingeverett May 13, 2013 at 5:10 pm

    Excellent article on tangible current use cases for the real #NBN http://t.co/K4xS0wcwq4

  • 99 adzlor May 13, 2013 at 5:13 pm

    RT @sophblack: Great practical post RT @unsungsongs: How the #NBN has (actually) changed my life: http://t.co/D82sfM2lh7

  • 100 ijiva May 13, 2013 at 5:20 pm

    RT @unsungsongs: How the #NBN has (actually) changed my life: A quirk of fate means our home & my work are both in the NBN test zone http:…

  • 101 thewebprincess May 13, 2013 at 5:56 pm

    RT @unsungsongs: How the #NBN has (actually) changed my life: A quirk of fate means our home & my work are both in the NBN test zone http:…

  • 102 unsungsongs May 13, 2013 at 6:04 pm

    1000s of views for my ‘life on the #NBN’ piece today. If i’d known I would have fixed all the typos first. http://t.co/AEOhOZ7n9C

  • 103 TheLunaticks May 13, 2013 at 6:05 pm

    RT @unsungsongs: 1000s of views for my ‘life on the #NBN’ piece today. If i’d known I would have fixed all the typos first. http://t.co/AEO…

  • 104 richardolsen May 13, 2013 at 6:21 pm

    RT @unsungsongs: How the #NBN has (actually) changed my life: A quirk of fate means our home & my work are both in the NBN test zone http:…

  • 105 simonwaight May 13, 2013 at 6:24 pm

    RT @unsungsongs: How the #NBN has (actually) changed my life: A quirk of fate means our home & my work are both in the NBN test zone http:…

  • 106 LivAnon May 13, 2013 at 6:29 pm

    RT @unsungsongs: How the #NBN has (actually) changed my life: A quirk of fate means our home & my work are both in the NBN test zone http:…

  • 107 thatritaperson May 13, 2013 at 6:41 pm

    RT @unsungsongs: How the #NBN has (actually) changed my life: A quirk of fate means our home & my work are both in the NBN test zone http:…

  • 108 Jupurrula May 13, 2013 at 6:42 pm

    RT @LindaDrummond: How the NBN has actually changed a user’s life. One year in. http://t.co/PNw5VtjWqo (so jealous, my suburb’s completion …

  • 109 Li_Ras May 13, 2013 at 6:42 pm

    @unsungsongs Yeah I read it a few hours ago, good post! Do you know many landlords resisting to approve the installation?

  • 110 Melissa_Moyle May 13, 2013 at 6:58 pm

    RT @unsungsongs: How the #NBN has (actually) changed my life: A quirk of fate means our home & my work are both in the NBN test zone http:…

  • 111 cbhorley May 13, 2013 at 7:07 pm

    RT @unsungsongs: How the #NBN has (actually) changed my life: A quirk of fate means our home & my work are both in the NBN test zone http:…

  • 112 Wolfie_Rankin May 13, 2013 at 7:48 pm

    @ManuelaDavo Could I point you to this site, I think a few good points were raised regarding Media in Oz and NBN http://t.co/P0h1xVqvX7

  • 113 SimonSheridan2 May 13, 2013 at 7:52 pm

    nice perspective on the difference a hundred megabit internet connection makes to some folk – http://t.co/7MBcBOdAKM

  • 114 Maybeee2011 May 13, 2013 at 8:14 pm

    RT @SpaceKidette: Insight into the realities of working and living with the NBN: http://t.co/OQloTJ1C4R Thanks Marcus! #auspol

  • 115 Fitzroyalty May 13, 2013 at 8:34 pm

    You make a great observation about how no content businesses in Australia are selling anything you want to buy, and how parochial and small minded they are when we now have a world of content to tempt us. I agree entirely.

    Consumers who pirate content are essentially a market correction. We’re fixing a failure in the market by pointing out where value is not being exploited. Unfortunately for them these companies are too stupid to change their business models.

    http://indolentdandy.net/fitzroyalty/2013/04/25/an-open-letter-to-sky-sports-from-an-australian-f1-fan/

  • 116 ellenforsyth May 13, 2013 at 8:39 pm

    How the #NBN has (actually) changed my life http://t.co/rbsTG044b7 via @zite – showing a helpful perspective

  • 117 matthewa5hton May 13, 2013 at 8:53 pm

    RT @unsungsongs: 1000s of views for my ‘life on the #NBN’ piece today. If i’d known I would have fixed all the typos first. http://t.co/AEO…

  • 118 Philip_Gomes May 13, 2013 at 9:01 pm

    How the #NBN has (actually) changed my life | marcus westbury http://t.co/BIyQkKGCMz << ain’t just about downloading GoT bootlegs.

  • 119 IlyaGridneff May 13, 2013 at 9:14 pm

    RT @unsungsongs: How the #NBN has (actually) changed my life: A quirk of fate means our home & my work are both in the NBN test zone http:…

  • 120 ManuelaDavo May 13, 2013 at 9:36 pm

    Worth reading MT “@Wolfie_Rankin: @ManuelaDavo I think a few good points were raised regarding Media in Oz and NBN http://t.co/8kg3JSE4wr”

  • 121 margokingston1 May 13, 2013 at 9:42 pm

    RT @unsungsongs: How the #NBN has (actually) changed my life: A quirk of fate means our home & my work are both in the NBN test zone http:…

  • 122 lifelessonsau May 13, 2013 at 9:42 pm

    RT @unsungsongs: How the #NBN has (actually) changed my life: A quirk of fate means our home & my work are both in the NBN test zone http:…

  • 123 CJisFINDINGit May 13, 2013 at 9:45 pm

    RT @unsungsongs: How the #NBN has (actually) changed my life: A quirk of fate means our home & my work are both in the NBN test zone http:…

  • 124 dream_tansy May 13, 2013 at 9:45 pm

    RT @unsungsongs: How the #NBN has (actually) changed my life: A quirk of fate means our home & my work are both in the NBN test zone http:…

  • 125 Plinyone May 13, 2013 at 9:46 pm

    RT @unsungsongs: How the #NBN has (actually) changed my life: A quirk of fate means our home & my work are both in the NBN test zone http:…

  • 126 GTRoberts May 13, 2013 at 10:03 pm

    RT @unsungsongs: How the #NBN has (actually) changed my life: A quirk of fate means our home & my work are both in the NBN test zone http:…

  • 127 Lisadownsouth May 13, 2013 at 10:04 pm

    RT @unsungsongs: How the #NBN has (actually) changed my life: A quirk of fate means our home & my work are both in the NBN test zone http:…

  • 128 DaveMcRae May 13, 2013 at 10:10 pm

    RT @unsungsongs: How the #NBN has (actually) changed my life: A quirk of fate means our home & my work are both in the NBN test zone http:…

  • 129 visivoz May 13, 2013 at 10:30 pm

    RT @unsungsongs: How the #NBN has (actually) changed my life: A quirk of fate means our home & my work are both in the NBN test zone http:…

  • 130 bompansero May 13, 2013 at 10:40 pm

    RT @unsungsongs: How the #NBN has (actually) changed my life: A quirk of fate means our home & my work are both in the NBN test zone http:…

  • 131 MaryKostakidis May 13, 2013 at 10:48 pm

    “1000s of views for my ‘life on the #NBN’ piece today. If i’d known I would have fixed all the typos first. http://t.co/Q5ZODsXYDs” worth it

  • 132 rights2know May 13, 2013 at 10:49 pm

    RT @MaryKostakidis: “1000s of views for my ‘life on the #NBN’ piece today. If i’d known I would have fixed all the typos first. http://t.co…

  • 133 shapednoise May 13, 2013 at 10:59 pm

    RT @MaryKostakidis: “1000s of views for my ‘life on the #NBN’ piece today. If i’d known I would have fixed all the typos first. http://t.co…

  • 134 langridgep May 13, 2013 at 11:01 pm

    Swoon… “@ellenforsyth: How the #NBN has (actually) changed my life http://t.co/b9ukbdDeAM via @zite – showing a helpful perspective”

  • 135 sophiemunns May 14, 2013 at 12:07 am

    RT @unsungsongs: How the #NBN has (actually) changed my life: A quirk of fate means our home & my work are both in the NBN test zone http:…

  • 136 TaodeHaas May 14, 2013 at 12:41 am

    RT @MaryKostakidis: “1000s of views for my ‘life on the #NBN’ piece today. If i’d known I would have fixed all the typos first. http://t.co…

  • 137 TaodeHaas May 14, 2013 at 12:42 am

    ‘The NBN has greatly improved my efficiency and my ability to move seamlessly between home and office’
    http://t.co/AUC1LWFslH

  • 138 IIreckon May 14, 2013 at 12:48 am

    Currently Reading http://t.co/jzCYELHLdO

  • 139 mcwhirter_scott May 14, 2013 at 5:33 am

    RT @unsungsongs: How the #NBN has (actually) changed my life: A quirk of fate means our home & my work are both in the NBN test zone http:…

  • 140 thevixter2 May 14, 2013 at 5:34 am

    RT @unsungsongs: How the #NBN has (actually) changed my life: A quirk of fate means our home & my work are both in the NBN test zone http:…

  • 141 Michael Topic May 14, 2013 at 5:58 am

    Back in 2003, I tried to interest people in Newcastle in the idea of running fibre down Hunter St, to renew the place and make it an attractive hub for online businesses (design, software, etc). Couldn’t even get arrested. I would be interested to know how you think NBN could transform places like Newcastle and what it would mean to the Renew model.

  • 142 catmiddleton May 14, 2013 at 6:31 am

    RT @unsungsongs: How the #NBN has (actually) changed my life: A quirk of fate means our home & my work are both in the NBN test zone http:…

  • 143 MsLods May 14, 2013 at 6:53 am

    How the #NBN has (actually) changed my life: http://t.co/69lreIlclp new post from @unsungsongs “… the value is in the network.”

  • 144 MariaMatthews5 May 14, 2013 at 8:47 am

    RT @unsungsongs: How the #NBN has (actually) changed my life: A quirk of fate means our home & my work are both in the NBN test zone http:…

  • 145 growthwise May 14, 2013 at 9:01 am

    How the #NBN has (actually) changed my life via @unsungsongs http://t.co/qHqAcKp9Kx

  • 146 Deena Bennett May 14, 2013 at 9:31 am

    “So, one of the perhaps more unlikely consequences of the NBN is that, for media consumption purposes, I live in America now. I also live in Canada, the UK and wherever else there are companies offering a respectable range of reasonably priced HD video download services”
    Sorry to state the obvious, but surely this is the reason that the “Fibre to Node” is championed by the Coaltion. They are looking after all of their mates with their vested interests. Have no fear, Australia will remain in the 1980′s for another decade, just where little Johnny Howard wanted her to be.

  • 147 marcus May 14, 2013 at 10:23 am

    To answer a few specific questions/ comments:

    Dermott: It’s sort of covered above but i really think the PR people just wanted us to show how fast it was to do things people were already familiar with: skype, uploading a video, downloading stuff fast. The stuff i actually benefit from doesn’t really lend itself to that kind of photo-op and of course the fact that most of the interesting content comes from the grey-area of geoblock filtering doesn’t help show it off.

    Dan: by all means share with your colleagues at Telstra or anywhere ese.

    Fitzroyalty: I think i agree with you in a lot of circumstances. I have been paying for content but not local providers who are simply not offering it for sale in many cases — it is very frustrating. It has to change (and it will) but it’s very obvious that the NBN will break a lot of business models.

    Michael Topic: There actually already is fibre running down most of HUnter Street (through Ipera) but it’s a commercial grade service and out of the price range of many small businesses. We do actually connect the Renew Newcastle wifi service (and indirectly many of our projects) to it already.

  • 148 GeoDemocritus May 14, 2013 at 10:28 am

    @unsungsongs What’s the implications for SAMSUNG 5G 1Gbs wireless by 2020 for #NBN ? #FTTP redundant? #AusPol http://t.co/A8Q9FCkpT5

  • 149 Monsta_AU May 14, 2013 at 10:29 am

    @GeoDemocritus @unsungsongs There is NO implication. 64 antennas required for this means it’s a non-starter. Samsung entertaining themselves

  • 150 tserong May 14, 2013 at 10:53 am

    RT @unsungsongs: 12 months on: How life and work on the #NBN is changing my life… [in case you missed it yesterday!] http://t.co/AEOhOZ7n…

  • 151 paulhagon May 14, 2013 at 10:53 am

    RT @warrencheetham: How the #NBN has (actually) changed my life by @unsungsongs http://t.co/nUuEDZsX51

  • 152 deanhargreaves May 14, 2013 at 11:53 am

    RT @malbooth: How the #NBN has (actually) changed my life http://t.co/pLCzUXcpqw via @zite

  • 153 laura_miles May 14, 2013 at 12:26 pm

    Read this: MT @unsungsongs How the #NBN has (actually) changed my life http://t.co/eBywQ4Ztz2

  • 154 SimonFitz May 14, 2013 at 12:54 pm

    Currently Reading: ‘How the #NBN has (actually) changed my life’ by @unsungsongs http://t.co/5gpNCIba1G > it’s the network stupid

  • 155 ShockFest May 14, 2013 at 1:31 pm

    Want to know about a life WITH the NBN… here’s what it can do. http://t.co/oSCzgwTky2

  • 156 vk6hgr May 14, 2013 at 1:55 pm

    RT @unsungsongs: How the #NBN has (actually) changed my life: A quirk of fate means our home & my work are both in the NBN test zone http:…

  • 157 jchyip May 14, 2013 at 3:30 pm

    RT @unsungsongs: How the #NBN has (actually) changed my life: A quirk of fate means our home & my work are both in the NBN test zone http:…

  • 158 imprecise_matt May 14, 2013 at 3:47 pm

    RT @unsungsongs: How the #NBN has (actually) changed my life: A quirk of fate means our home & my work are both in the NBN test zone http:…

  • 159 virtualwolf May 14, 2013 at 3:48 pm

    RT @unsungsongs: How the #NBN has (actually) changed my life: A quirk of fate means our home & my work are both in the NBN test zone http:…

  • 160 lachlanhardy May 14, 2013 at 3:57 pm

    RT @unsungsongs: How the #NBN has (actually) changed my life: A quirk of fate means our home & my work are both in the NBN test zone http:…

  • 161 jamesriggall May 14, 2013 at 4:00 pm

    RT @unsungsongs: How the #NBN has (actually) changed my life: A quirk of fate means our home & my work are both in the NBN test zone http:…

  • 162 s_molam May 14, 2013 at 4:05 pm

    RT @unsungsongs: How the #NBN has (actually) changed my life: A quirk of fate means our home & my work are both in the NBN test zone http:…

  • 163 LemonpiB May 14, 2013 at 5:00 pm

    RT @unsungsongs: How the #NBN has (actually) changed my life: A quirk of fate means our home & my work are both in the NBN test zone http:…

  • 164 GeorginaSiddall May 14, 2013 at 5:21 pm

    Marcus Westbury on NBN’s impact on work & play @unsungsongs http://t.co/MQVPGFUrod”

  • 165 Taco_Lad May 14, 2013 at 5:57 pm

    RT @unsungsongs: 12 months on: How life and work on the #NBN is changing my life… [in case you missed it yesterday!] http://t.co/AEOhOZ7n…

  • 166 skuunk May 14, 2013 at 6:22 pm

    http://t.co/VlvSMIUETv I can’t wait!

  • 167 ashleybartlett May 14, 2013 at 7:46 pm

    RT @unsungsongs: How the #NBN has (actually) changed my life: A quirk of fate means our home & my work are both in the NBN test zone http:…

  • 168 Krazystof_H May 14, 2013 at 10:36 pm

    RT @unsungsongs: How the #NBN has (actually) changed my life: A quirk of fate means our home & my work are both in the NBN test zone http:…

  • 169 NathanaelB May 14, 2013 at 10:45 pm

    “How the NBN has (actually) changed my life” http://t.co/6JUotJ8PrT Good for someone such as myself who thought the NBN was no big deal.

  • 170 SallyRMelb May 14, 2013 at 10:54 pm

    RT @NathanaelB: “How the NBN has (actually) changed my life” http://t.co/6JUotJ8PrT Good for someone such as myself who thought the NBN was…

  • 171 rkd993 May 14, 2013 at 10:58 pm

    RT @NathanaelB: “How the NBN has (actually) changed my life” http://t.co/6JUotJ8PrT Good for someone such as myself who thought the NBN was…

  • 172 RogueLabor May 14, 2013 at 11:10 pm

    RT @NathanaelB: “How the NBN has (actually) changed my life” http://t.co/6JUotJ8PrT Good for someone such as myself who thought the NBN was…

  • 173 BigPowie May 14, 2013 at 11:16 pm

    RT @NathanaelB: “How the NBN has (actually) changed my life” http://t.co/6JUotJ8PrT Good for someone such as myself who thought the NBN was…

  • 174 lor_ain_e May 14, 2013 at 11:36 pm

    RT @NathanaelB: “How the NBN has (actually) changed my life” http://t.co/6JUotJ8PrT Good for someone such as myself who thought the NBN was…

  • 175 a_acko May 14, 2013 at 11:59 pm

    RT @NathanaelB: “How the NBN has (actually) changed my life” http://t.co/6JUotJ8PrT Good for someone such as myself who thought the NBN was…

  • 176 jnoordy May 15, 2013 at 12:25 am

    RT @NathanaelB: “How the NBN has (actually) changed my life” http://t.co/6JUotJ8PrT Good for someone such as myself who thought the NBN was…

  • 177 _jort May 15, 2013 at 3:43 am

    RT @unsungsongs: How the #NBN has (actually) changed my life: A quirk of fate means our home & my work are both in the NBN test zone http:…

  • 178 Luke__Cameron May 15, 2013 at 1:53 pm

    An interesting article on the benefits of the #NBN. Can not wait for the rollout in #Dubbo! Say no to the #Fraudband http://t.co/6vMp9cbiuq

  • 179 blogkamp May 15, 2013 at 4:50 pm

    A true story about how Australia’s national broadband network #NBN can change lives, by @unsungsongs @RenewAustralia http://t.co/r511XsH4EU

  • 180 Fibre4All May 15, 2013 at 4:53 pm

    RT @blogkamp: A true story about how Australia’s national broadband network #NBN can change lives, by @unsungsongs @RenewAustralia http://t…

  • 181 Matt May 15, 2013 at 9:40 pm

    Hi Marcus, an interesting read. Can’t wait really. I’m a bit behind, I only recently got ‘mac’d’ and ‘app’d’ and yeh it changed the way I deal with data. Can see know how the whole thing would flow if i had the upped bandwidth. Good analysis and am now wondering how to sell movies they the nbn!
    Actually I’m interested in the renew Australia concept. I’m interested to know how it works and how it could key into my existing client base. As an architect I think there’s a lot of synergies and wonder if you have a chance to discuss.
    Cheers matt

  • 182 mclawyer May 16, 2013 at 3:00 am

    Good perspective on the effects of digital conectivity on place – How the #NBN has (actually) changed my life http://t.co/XealSpBewl

  • [...] i posted my life-on-the-NBN review a few days ago I’ve been a little inundated with responses. It was a bit of an afterthought [...]

  • 184 10rdBen May 16, 2013 at 3:15 pm

    I missed this earlier, but this piece on how the NBN has *actually* altered @unsungsongs life & work habits is gr8 http://t.co/j2OYROomUG

  • 185 unsungsongs May 16, 2013 at 3:16 pm

    RT @10rdBen: I missed this earlier, but this piece on how the NBN has *actually* altered @unsungsongs life & work habits is gr8 http://t.co…

  • 186 sarahjansencom May 16, 2013 at 3:19 pm

    RT @10rdBen: I missed this earlier, but this piece on how the NBN has *actually* altered @unsungsongs life & work habits is gr8 http://t.co…

  • 187 TheotherMCG May 16, 2013 at 3:52 pm

    The NBN has unanticipated impacts for work and home for @unsungsongs http://t.co/8Vqa5f9omh

  • 188 IPAAVic May 17, 2013 at 2:29 pm

    Great post from Marcus Westbury “How the NBN has (actually) changed my life” http://t.co/WICjqhfiwJ

  • 189 andrewdrayton May 18, 2013 at 9:29 am

    @unsungsongs in @newcastleherald today, or http://t.co/sIx91WvF60 or original article http://t.co/CwSYa7csdq #NBN

  • 190 unsungsongs May 18, 2013 at 9:29 am

    RT @andrewdrayton: @unsungsongs in @newcastleherald today, or http://t.co/sIx91WvF60 or original article http://t.co/CwSYa7csdq #NBN

  • 191 sillyworks May 18, 2013 at 9:30 am

    RT @andrewdrayton: @unsungsongs in @newcastleherald today, or http://t.co/sIx91WvF60 or original article http://t.co/CwSYa7csdq #NBN

  • 192 abissicus May 18, 2013 at 3:30 pm

    Marcus Westbury tells us how the NBN has changed his life. http://t.co/0mJbz09uMZ

  • 193 Andrew Jul 9, 2013 at 6:14 am

    I think you are being a little uncharitable to Australian media. True there is no equivalent to Netflix, but are you really telling us that you watch no catch up TV over NBN? I also live in Brunswick, and our household watches almost all of our TV time shifted through Australian catch up services such as iView

    The other surprising thing about the NBN is how little it has improved access to utility computing, such as cloud storage. These are even more concentrated in the US.

    I think it is a bit of a fantasy to imagine that an Australian competitor to Netflix could emerge when, presumably, 90% of the business is about negotiating deals with giant publishers. On the other hand, making IT infrastructure virtual could help a lot of us working and playing on the web.

    An example: why bother with Time Machine for your Apple laptop? Fire or theft or lightning strike will most likely take both the laptop and the external drive sitting next to it. At home or work your ISP could be backing up your laptop off site at comparable speed, and being in Australia the traffic would not cross any expensive network connections so it could be unmetered. That would be a great competitive advantage to any US company

  • 194 Matthew Aug 25, 2013 at 7:45 pm

    recommend getting out there and advertising the benefits to the nation. I have done my part by creating the website:

    http://savethenbn.com/

    feel free to use it as a resource, more then a 5 min read but it goes quite in depth. To all the activists the economic and political pages will be of most interest to you.