I am, BTW, referring to where my mum lives, about 6 blocks from a major regional exchange. When she talks to businesses/universities/political-groups from the cities (which they invariably are) they always tell her to check something on the internet or send an email and when she informs them that there is no usable internet for many people where she is the response ranges from flabbergasted to incredulous. City people just can't get their heads around the idea that everyone in Australia (barring a few shacks out on the Nullabor) doesn't have the same access as Sydney and surrounds. (They don't say the 'NSW Government' stands for 'Newcastle-Sydney-Wollongong Government' just to be cute!).
While I did get mum hooked to the Optus wireless network, it is so over-subscribed that generally even a graphic-light page, like, say 'www.gov.au' front page, can't download properly at the speeds she gets. As for trying to get to the regional fire-alert pages which the TV and radio keep directing her to, forget it! She is seriously clocking connection speeds from the days of acoustic couplers! I was getting orders of magnitude better connectivity from regional Chinese cities back in '99 when I was contracting over there.
Mum was trying to do a correspondence post-grad course via UNE, mainly to keep her brain from turning to mush and hence keep herself out of the aged care system, but unlike 10 years ago when she aced a BA at the same institute, the whole system is too internet-reliant to use without a home connection (she has tried the local public library PCs with no usable success too - the machines are too out-of-date and unmaintained to support modern web standards in any usable way). She is often meeting much younger locals also trying to do correspondence courses to get themselves out of whatever rut they have fallen into and finding themselves in the same situation.
Just to re-iterate, this isn't some little bunch of beach shacks down the coast - it is a major regional center with a population in the several tens of thousands (not counting satellite communities). It is officially still 3 years off NBN rollout, which in real terms means she might see an internet connection by the turn of the decade.
Problem is simple: Exchanges are long-ago full. Telcos won't add new kit because NBN is 'coming soon' (nee. several years away). Regional Australians hung out to dry, too bad so sad.
And anyone suggesting fibre-to-the-node would have rolled out any differently can go stick their head up a political lobbyist's arse and shake vigorously!
Off to find a fire extinguisher to put myself out now.