The online news site stuff recently had an interesting article detailing some of New Zealanders online actions and behaviours. It makes for interesting reading and is worthy of reflecting on. The article is at this URL – http://www.stuff.co.nz/technology/digital-living/7808200/2-5-million-Kiwis-using-mobile-Internet
Here are the salient points:
- Number of mobile internet users is >2.5 million. This is linked with the increase in smart phones
- Average fixed line user used 16GB per month
- The data caps offered by ISP are increasing
- 50+GB data cap on fixed lines increased by 800%
- No data cap increased by 270%
Telecom is offering 150GB per month for $99 in its make your own package site (http://www.telecom.co.nz/packages/packages/plansandpricing/createyourown/) Orcon has unlimited data ++ for the same cost (http://www.orcon.net.nz/external/genius/indexsep12.php?gbuseage=unlimited) and Telstra clear is offering 100GB naked broadband for $105 per month (http://www.telstraclear.co.nz/residential/homeplan/internet/naked-broadband.cfm)
To require this much bandwidth the use of the internet is changing. Its no longer just about looking stuff up and searching. This is now about watching, listening, talking, interacting, playing, sharing, doing and possibly creating too. It more than facebook, though with over 1 billion people globally on facebook (http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10838506) that is undoubtedly part of it.
The main NZ broadcasters like TVNZ and TV3 and others are hosting on demand sites (http://tvnz.co.nz/video, http://ondemand.four.co.nz/tabid/57/default.aspx, http://ondemand.tv3.co.nz/) the way we access entertainment is consuming part of this increase in capacity. Access and capacity, linked with reducing prices (but we still have a long way to go on the price to be comparable with much of the world)are changing how we relax and are entertained.
The questions for me are when are we going to see changes in school that will enable our students to leverage the full media capacity of the internet – bandwidth, cost and capacity are becoming less of a bottle neck and linked to this is how are we going to support our students in making the right decisions regarding when, how where and why to access materials and the ethical issues that surround the availability of media on the web.
It is sad to think that a high school I worked with recently in the Pacific has a data cap of 30GB per month (smaller than Telecoms smallest offering) and this costs them over 10x’s the cost of telecoms 50GB plan ($75 per month).