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The Ruddnet impact on TransACT?

By johnboy - 8 April 2009 59

The Liberal’s Senator Humphries is up in arms that Kevin Rudd is proposing to create a new Telstra just to deliver high speed internet direct to every home.

The problem? Canberra’s own TransACT is also going to be made redundant.

Apparently TransACT are right now in the middle of rolling out more fibre (but only to the node), which is going to look a little silly if this new thing arrives.

However I do love Gary taking a swing at a government assuming the risk of running a data network when he was part of the Carnell Government which kicked off the TransACT data network. Surely they’re just scaling that good idea up?

TransACT in turn have expressed disappointment, and a hope they can still be part of the new plans.

What’s Your opinion?


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The Ruddnet impact on TransACT?
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Grrrr 2:38 pm 20 Apr 09

taninaus said :

The problem is they did the central suburbs and then gave up laying fibre to the house.

Actually, TransACT laid Fibre to their Nodes. (From there, it’s a VDSL tail the last couple of hundred metres to your house – it was Phase One of their rollout.)

The problem is that not only did they only do a few suburbs with it, but as I mentioned in my first discussion, they failed to offer market-leading speeds or pricing.

taninaus said :

when I moved south in 01 they had started piggy backing on Telstra copper lines with FTTN in Monash – so I get phone and internet but no cable speed or TV as an option.

Not FTTN, it’s good old ADSL. IE, TransACT’s DSLAMs are located in Telstra’s exchanges. They called it Phase Two.

peterh – aah, you’re a Mac Salesman. I understand!

Ari 6:25 pm 16 Apr 09

peterh said :

what impact does dark have over normal fibre?

Dark fibre IS normal fibre. It’s just not lit up.

peterh 5:48 pm 16 Apr 09

I remember when the aranda pilot was established, we sold many apple systems into the pilot program, and it was a roaring success from our perspective. as the other suburbs came on line, it seemed to go backwards. then longreach took up some slack, but it isn’t a transact product, and now we have TWB, bigpond and orion wireless fighting to get in too. 21mb t/fer on wireless is pretty good. and the NBN won’t impact the wireless market, which is where my clients seem to be focusing. I thought that dark fibre was laid throughout the ACT, but I am not sure. what impact does dark have over normal fibre?

taninaus 5:32 pm 16 Apr 09

Clown Killer said :

We’ve been using TransACT for phone, internet and TV for about five years

The problem is they did the central suburbs and then gave up laying fibre to the house. I was in Wanniassa 10 years ago with a promise they would lay fibre to the house by ’98, then suddenly they stopped, when I moved south in 01 they had started piggy backing on Telstra copper lines with FTTN in Monash – so I get phone and internet but no cable speed or TV as an option.

I have no sympathy for Transact, they had a captured market 10 years ago and decided not to exploit that by laying fibre – business decision or not they can’t winge now!

peterh 4:57 pm 16 Apr 09

grrrr, there are plenty of people who cannot. The problem that we currently have is that the technology on offer to many families is not the best for their needs, the greatest form of bloatware currently residing on most pc’s starts with a “W” – I would advocate that they go to linux – open suse if i could, but there are legacy products that don’t currently work in that environment, including edu packages that some kids are using at home.

BTW, i am currently running my production system, an imac 24, with parallels, open suse, winxp, vista, and it resides on leopard, but I still am running on copper, so the node by the linkage on a bdsl connection +-4m/4m.

Grrrr 4:19 pm 16 Apr 09

peterh said :

my pc at home is a duron 850, with 384 mb ram. can it do high speed? with a gigabit ethernet card?

Yes. Yes. Pretty sure I had a P90 with 48M of RAM that could do it (provided I used a PCI rather than ISA card .. and even in Windows.) Even a decade old PC has a much more powerful CPU than a new home router and can therefore send and receive network traffic faster.

Also, what Johnboy said.

If someone can pay ~$100/month for 100mbit internet with a generous download quota, they can spend another $600 on a brand new PC. I’m sorry if you can’t afford that, peterh, but plenty of people currently pay more for less. (Hell, it’s cheaper than TransACT 30/10 FTTH.)

johnboy 1:12 pm 14 Apr 09

Because we should never build roads taking faster traffic than your steam powered tricycle?

And yes, on the network level your old duron will happily do much higher speeds, at least if you put a linux disty on it.

You’re basically arguing to cripple the whole world to compensate for your own inadequacies.

I think you’ll find we’re going to proceed without you.

peterh 12:57 pm 14 Apr 09

Grrrr said :

peterh said :

The problem is that the equipment that you can buy at harveys, ht, dick smith etc, may not support the higher speeds. they might just be an adequate connectivity device.

Just thought I’d point out some real numbers on this: http://www.smallnetbuilder.com/component/option,com_chart/Itemid,189/

It’s a chart of throughput of routers – some new, and some more than a few years old. You’ll notice a number of devices (including current popular models like Apple’s Airport Extreme) doing over 100mbit. Lots doing over 50mbit, and almost all of them going faster than TransACT’s 30mbit.

You can see for yourself that any current-gen router (especially if it’s got GigE ports) will be fine for 100mbit.

(Time to take this to Whirlpool, perhaps?)

my pc at home is a duron 850, with 384 mb ram. can it do high speed? with a gigabit ethernet card? the connection is fast, the bottleneck is the pc.

How many people out in the market have a fast computer? how many cannot afford a new computer?

The hardware of the router / modem isn’t the only SPOF. the hardware behind the router – your pc is another. if the router I have isn’t current gen, I won’t have FTTN high speeds. I won’t have 10/1000, I won’t have a fast connection. I mentioned that the wealthy will have access to FTTN, not rich, but able to upgrade the current pc, how many users still have xp running on a very old box?

the problem that i can see is that the current mindset is geared toward making the internet faster. what about making subsidies available to making the equipment more affordable? takeup initially won’t be high. people will only upgrade when they feel that they absolutely need to.

Grrrr 11:35 am 14 Apr 09

peterh said :

The problem is that the equipment that you can buy at harveys, ht, dick smith etc, may not support the higher speeds. they might just be an adequate connectivity device.

Just thought I’d point out some real numbers on this: http://www.smallnetbuilder.com/component/option,com_chart/Itemid,189/

It’s a chart of throughput of routers – some new, and some more than a few years old. You’ll notice a number of devices (including current popular models like Apple’s Airport Extreme) doing over 100mbit. Lots doing over 50mbit, and almost all of them going faster than TransACT’s 30mbit.

You can see for yourself that any current-gen router (especially if it’s got GigE ports) will be fine for 100mbit.

(Time to take this to Whirlpool, perhaps?)

el 11:36 am 11 Apr 09

Peter, why would the hardware/OS type matter any more than it does now (ie absolutely not at all unless you need ‘tech support’ from useless ISP drones reading from a ‘how to reboot Microsoft Windows and power cycle your comms gear’ answer card)? You’d be struggling to find a PC that doesn’t have a 100MB NIC *today*, let alone in 5-10 years when Ruddnet is meant to be built.

Fibre -> building -> media converter -> ethernet cable to PC doesn’t really seem any more complicated than Copper -> building -> linefilter, DSL Modem -> ethernet cable to PC.

johnboy 9:50 am 11 Apr 09

Not to mention that gigabit ethernet’s been cheap and common for some time now.

Grrrr 6:15 pm 09 Apr 09

Minor correction: Franklin = all FTTH. Half of Forde is FTTH.

Grrrr 6:12 pm 09 Apr 09

peterh said :

I have plenty of networking clue, thanks.
I also am interested in which boxes you are talking about, what is the min spec that you feel will be adequate to take advantage of the new FTTN speeds? will it be better off running vista or linux?

So, I tell you that any PC made in the last few years can push 100mbit throughput .. Then you say you have lots of clue, and proceed to ask “What spec is required, and which OS should it run?” 1) Duh! 2) It’s IP over Ethernet, it doesn’t care which OS you run.

RuddNet isn’t magical future technology stuff. You want to know how it will work? Go over to Forde this weekend and knock on the door of a current user of TransACT (Forde = all FTTH) and they’ll show you. RuddNet won’t be much different.

Get it into your head that whether the FTTH network is delivered to CPE as plain routed IP, or tunneled in PPPoE or similar, performance is not an issue. Unless some very bizarre and unlikely design decisions are made, it will work like other FTTH systems worldwide: Whatever device the RuddNetCo supply will give the customer Ethernet @ 100mbit, or Gig – rate limited to 100mbit. The average user, regardless of their OS will plug-in their PC (or router), perhaps configure PPPoE or similar for auth, and off they go.

TransACT will go direct? They already do, through their ISP Grapevine. Getting rid of the other ISPs on TransACT (who provide a better service) wouldn’t be clever.

peterh 4:52 pm 09 Apr 09

I have plenty of networking clue, thanks.
I also am interested in which boxes you are talking about, what is the min spec that you feel will be adequate to take advantage of the new FTTN speeds? will it be better off running vista or linux? the avg home user has no clue about the technology, they are purely point and click. what sort of box will they need for a decent connection? will a user that has a mac suffer from the use of a 3rd party device to allow connection?

The problem is, until the rudd govt releases the specs for the network, we won’t know. traditional FTTN networks were proposed by the NBN respondents, but the govt decided that they weren’t adequate. when the network is opened, which connection to fibre will be available?
and re the comment about 10/100, why not gigabit? would that increase the speed of the service, or will it be capped to cover the other essential services on the pipe, voip, vpn etc?

there is a new telco in town. they are being very quiet. They are used to doing this kind of rollout in the US – and have several large networks in place there already. how long until they fire up and start selling comms and carriage? I will give you a hint re the name: starts with a V…

I do not believe that the ruddnet network will be the only one. i would expect the creation of many new networks, built by organisations that have come from the international markets – where the bandwidth we have been dreaming about is slow in comparison… and we will have competition for our networks.

TransACT isn’t dead, yet. we may see the disappearance of the isp / wholesale system, but TransACT will go direct to the masses…

Grrrr 3:27 pm 09 Apr 09

peterh said :

I don’t think we will see the benefits in the short term. it may aid in bringing the pricing down, but, until the technology can support the speeds discussed, ruddnet won’t be of benefit to most of the population – it will take at least 3 or 4 technology refreshes to allow average users to see the benefits. it will most likely be utilised by corporate or wealthy users.

Rubbish. Plug RuddNet straight into any PC made in the last few years and you’ll instantly be able to take full advantage of the speed offered. You badly need some networking clue.

Grrrr 3:24 pm 09 Apr 09

peterh said :

step back a sec from the view of the carrier. who, at the time in australia was manufacturing devices that could recognise the higher speeds in an ADSL connection? not the carriers, they had the bandwidth, but the endpoint device. I am referring to the modems, switches and routers that were adsl compliant. what was their rating for speed?

cabling can be rated for larger speeds, but if the transceiver isn’t, then the speed you experience won’t be as high as the cable’s rated speed.

Everything was capable of full speed.

Copper pair cabling is not rated for any speed (IE bits/sec.) It’s the protocol that you pass over it that determines the speed.

As one of the first people in Aus to trial ADSL2+ when iiNet switched it on at the Civic and Deakin DSLAMs a little over 4 years ago, I can promise you that I was running a modem capable of talking ADSL2+ (IE syncing at up to 24mbit) and capable of routing 24mbit/sec of traffic between the DSL and 100mbit Ethernet interfaces. (However, to be picky; no-one manufactures DSL hardware in Australia, it’s all made in China/Taiwan.)

Before that, my ADSL1 device was capable of 8mbit, even though my service was limited to a slower speed.

peterh said :

Just because a router has a 100Mbps Ethernet switch doesn’t mean the connection will be at 100mbs. A current NAT router chip can’t handle that throughput as it only been designed for ADSL2+ speeds of up to 24Mbps.

I will assume you’re talking about an ADSL router: One PSTN (ADSL) interface, and 1 LAN interface (possibly in the form of a 4-port switch.) You are wrong – the routing engine is usually capable of routing at more than 24mbit. The line speed of the DSL is the limitation.

Let’s pretend you were talking about an ethernet router. TransACT VDSL (Phase 1) still only offer 8mbit/sec as their fastest consumer connection. Even the crappiest of “Cable modem routers” (IE with Ethernet as it’s WAN interface) have been capable of routing more than 10mbit/sec for a long time.

FTTH will probably be presented as 100mbit Ethernet to the customer. The conversion from optical to electrical will not slow anything down – it’s a simple conversion, done by a telco-owned box on your wall. You either plug that straight into the back of your PC, which has a 100mbit ethernet port capable of working at full speed.. or into a router which has Ethernet for a WAN port. (Of course, you’d purchase one capable of routing 100mbit/sec.)

VDSL has always been capable of offering speeds much faster than TransACT offer. The end-user equipment (CPE), the shelfs in the street cabinets, the backhaul gear. In your words; the transceiver has always been capable of higher speeds than TransACT supply. Note that the supplied speed is performed by limiting (IE lowering) the sync speed on the DSL interface.

dalryk: RuddNet might be the same or similar technologies as TransACT FTTH – but it’s won’t be run by TransACT, and that’s a GREAT thing.

hax: International connections are constantly being upgraded. (International is sometimes cheaper than domestic transit links per megabit!) The duopoly of Reach(Telstra)/SXC(Optus) will soon get competition in the form of the PIPE Guam link which should further lower prices on International.

peterh 2:18 pm 09 Apr 09

dalryk said :

I don’t understand – the general consensus seems to be that TransACT are overpriced and poorly run, and generally a bad thing. But Ruddnet, which will be the EXACT SAME THING, just for the whole country, is somehow a good thing?

I don’t think we will see the benefits in the short term. it may aid in bringing the pricing down, but, until the technology can support the speeds discussed, ruddnet won’t be of benefit to most of the population – it will take at least 3 or 4 technology refreshes to allow average users to see the benefits. it will most likely be utilised by corporate or wealthy users.

dalryk 1:17 pm 09 Apr 09

I don’t understand – the general consensus seems to be that TransACT are overpriced and poorly run, and generally a bad thing. But Ruddnet, which will be the EXACT SAME THING, just for the whole country, is somehow a good thing?

hax 1:05 pm 09 Apr 09

Technology will get better, and the speed of light isn’t getting any faster.

I’m looking forward to the benefit of other people’s connections being up to speed.. There’s no point having an awesome connection, if you’re downloading from elsewhere with slow connections in between.

(maybe they could upgrade out international connection too?)

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