By Jake Baldwin
April 2nd, 2013
My name is Jake Baldwin. I am a 19 year old first year University student studying a Bachelor of Communication, majoring in Film. Along with my day to day internet browsing I contribute to, and maintain a handful of media related projects that involve a large amount of bandwidth and download/upload speeds required for online video games, uploading data and digital purchases.
I spend a good 80% of my time connected to the internet – via desktop PC, laptop or smart phone – researching or organising new projects and coverage of upcoming events. Alongside my study I’m pursuing a career in the production of Live Streamed competitive video game content.
I very rarely get involved in politically charged arguments, but the implementation of a high speed network seems of absolute necessity to the career aspirations for myself and those around me.
I currently make do with a ADSL2+ line that has 5.5 megabit per second download and 0.7 megabit per second upload speeds. While yes, these speeds are bearable, they are far from ideal, especially considering States in the US are already having Gigabit speed lines (the likes of Google Fiber) installed in residential areas. Compared to the network at my University, where I can get up to 95 mbps download and 10mbps upload speeds, it’s a dismal number.
I know handfuls of people who have similar aspirations in online media creation and with these sort of speeds prevalent around the country it just isn’t possible. The NBN will simply offer more opportunities around the country for self-motivated content creators.
Even when it comes to my leisure time, access to a high speed network means I can fully enjoy the things I love: music streaming – a service that’s becoming more and more popular these days – online video games, uploading my own digital creations, or watching videos/video streams in high definition. They can all hindered by slow internet connections, so I’m sometimes left to choose to enjoy one or two at a time and even then at a lower quality.
My passion lies in Live Streaming (ie. twitch & justin.tv, ustream etc.) which has become prevalent it has become in delivering timely and high quality content. As opposed to the packaged method of delivery used by television, Live Streaming is as simple as switching on a PC at home, plugging in a microphone and a webcam, and going live.
After sampling many forms of delivering a show – pre-packaged recording, reading from scripts and speeches – I’ve found the demanding task of being an eloquent and consistently enthused unscripted live host to be the most thrilling form of content delivery.
While my home internet is far from sufficient to host my own video stream, I’ve been lucky enough to access fiber speeds like at University and the results are stunning. Streaming on these speeds is as smooth as you’d like at full 1080p HD and at 60 frames per second it looks glorious for the viewers. Even for special content such as mini-documentaries and high quality video coverage the times it takes to upload several hundred megabytes is outstanding, and makes it infinitely easier to share this content rather than waiting at the computer for 5 or 6 hours.
I’m looking to move into a place with access to Fiber sometime this year so I can begin to create this daily HD content, but until then I’m working on a very restrictive line, or, at best, using University internet during the low traffic hours of early morning and late afternoon. It’s not a desirable solution but it will have to work until the NBN is fully rolled out.
Jake Baldwin is a 19 year old University Student studying in Melbourne, Victoria. He spends the majority of his time online enjoying the company of others with gaming, or creating his next digital project.