The former UK penal colony of Australia is going to require each inmate to have a broadband connection.
Censorship happy government officials have drawn up a cunning plan which will require every Australian to have a broadband connection unless they specifically request otherwise.
It is a very strange system which can only have been dreamed up in one day by Australian Minister for Comedy Computer ideas Stephen Conroy.
Basically it means that everyone has to sign up and pay for broadband automatically. If they don’t want to pay up, or use broadband they would have to go through the process of opting out.
Opting out would typically mean going to a government office and filling in a form. The form would have to be countersigned by three living parents, sent in, sent back, queried, lost, found, subjected to public inquiry, lost again, and finally buried in soft peat for three months and recycled as firelighters.
Obviously with such a system, the take up rates for broadband would be quite high.
Needless to say, Conroy has given his thumbs up to the plan. After all anyone who things that bringing in a Chinese style censorship system into a Western Democracy is going to think that twisting people’s arms into broadband contracts is “pretty neat”.
At the moment it all looks a bit like a pre-election bribe. There is no indication who is going to build it and how much it is all going to cost. But it seems that Conroy cannot design a plan without an element of compulsion. We suspect if he bought a mate a pint he would demand that it was drunk using only the right hand while he watched.