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This is what the future looks like. NBN cable going down Flemington Road

By johnboy 17 November 2011 69

cable laying

Gungahlin Al has spotted this cable being laid alongside Flemington Road and has confirmed with the workers that it is indeed for the NBN.

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69 Responses to
This is what the future looks like. NBN cable going down Flemington Road
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milkman 7:27 am 21 Nov 11

Fibre to the node would be a better solution, I reckon. Then people can choose whether to connect using existing copper or upgrade (at their own expense) to fibre. Far cheaper, and allows more flexibility.

thatsnotme 11:24 pm 20 Nov 11

2604 said :

So, why not just fund or subsidise wireless and satellite to those few remote users, and let the rest of the population get its broadband through cable, DSL and wireless services provided by the private sector? Much less duplication, and much lower cost to the taxpayer, while ensuring those folks in remote areas get their broadband.

Essentially, because when it comes to the NBN, the city is funding the bush. The reason that we can provide services that are guaranteed to lose money in the bush, is because there will also be services that will make money in the city.

As for the private sector funding any type of decent infrastructure, I’d ask why they haven’t done it already? The private sector has a pretty dismal record here…Telstra have the only really decent wireless network in the country, and if you live in parts of Sydney or Melbourne, you may be able to connect to overpriced Telstra or Optus cable. DSL technology isn’t going to move forward – it’s essentially reached its peak. That’s mainly due to the fact that Telstra isn’t going to spend the money to bring its aging copper network up to scratch – this is the company that was happy to put people on RIMs and pair gain connections, which effectively limited many people to ADSL1 speeds or worse, and still plagues many to this day. Hence, Gunghalin is one of the phase two releases sites.

Let’s look at what’s being duplicated too. In many parts of the country, the copper network is pretty much at the end of its life. Telstra has reduced its spending on maintenance, to the extent that it took me almost two years after moving into this house, to get faults that rendered my ADSL connection almost unusable repaired.

2604 said :

Look, no-one is disputing the technical advantages of cable or its performance advantage vis-a-vis wireless or other existing technologies such as ADSL. The issue is cost. The benefit of those advantages needs to reflect the $36bn of expenditure, which has an opportunity cost in areas (such as adding medicines to the PBS) whose benefits are much more tangible. Most large workplaces already have sufficiently fast internet for nearly all purposes, including videoconferencing. And existing speeds for ADSL and wireless are probably sufficient to meet the needs of 80-90% of users.

What, so someone not needing to travel to speak to a doctor isn’t a tangible benefit? Attending a class remotely? Working from outside the office (whether that office is local, or on the other side of the country)?

And why are we talking about existing speeds here? The fact is, that without a change to technology, those existing speeds are also the maximum speeds that people can achieve. So what happens in a few years time when those speeds aren’t sufficient any longer, because data needs have increased? Even if your own habits don’t change, the world will change around you and what you do today will undoubtedly use more data in the future than it does now. Think of it like inflation – you get the same stuff, but it costs more. As your pay packet (hopefully!) increases to match inflation, your data access needs to do the same.

2604 said :

The issue is that tax cuts would benefit everyone. Not everyone needs “a good wireless data plan”, ie one which exceeds the capabilities of current technologies. The NBN will only benefit the proportion of the population whose needs are not being met by existing and future wireless and ADSL technologies.

I sure as hell don’t consider a ‘good’ wireless data plan to be one that exceeds the capabilities of current technology. I consider that plan to be, right now, imaginary. As it stands right now, Telstra’s 4G mobile data plan will give me 15GB a month, for $80. They claim, that as long as you’re within 5km of a capital city CBD, or 3km of a regional CBD, that I can expect my performance to be somewhere between 2Mbit/s and 40Mbit/s. If I’m outside of those areas, I can expect that those numbers will decrease. That’s quite a spread really, and in practice, that 40Mbit/s top speed would be almost impossible to achieve. I’d be impressed if you could reliably get a 1/3 of that speed.

Compare that to one of Internode’s NBN plans, where $75 would get me 30GB of data, on a 100Mbit connection. Or 300GB of data on a 50Mbit connection.

I think you’re being short sighted. The NBN isn’t just about infrastructure that will make things better today. Once in place, I fully expect it will have the life of the copper network – the money spent today, will benefit us for decades to come. Where would we be if at the time the copper network was planned, we decided that there was probably something better around the corner, so we really should hold off for a cheaper option?

thatsnotme 10:40 pm 20 Nov 11

justin heywood said :

Yep, I understand your point as well, and we shall see. I’m no tech-head but I am continually astounded by the pace of new technology, but who knows? I hope the RiotAct. is still going in 10 years, so the winning side of the argument can resurrect this thread.

Fingers crossed! Who knows, in 10 years time, we may be able to catch up in the RA’s video conferenced debate forum. I’ll join from my fibre connected home, while you’re free to join over your wireless connection – whereupon I shall win by default, once someone in your area initiates a large download, and your connection drops out.

(I jest, I jest!)

justin heywood 9:30 pm 20 Nov 11

thatsnotme said :

Ok, I take your point. Let me modify my statement to say that any type of wireless solution that is capable of servicing the broadband needs that already exist (ie, both mobile users, and home users) does not yet exist. I believe it would take a number of years before the technology to service our current needs exists, and by the time it is developed, our needs would have expanded and it would face the same shortfalls that wireless faces today.

Basing the NBN on fibre technology is not a bet that wireless, or some other technology, will never take a leap forward and be able to service demand. It is however an acknowledgment that today, fiber is the best connection we have available, and is likely to be the best available for many years yet. I believe that using wireless as the delivery method in the hopes that at some stage in the future, it will have developed to a point where it’s actually a suitable technology, is a far bigger gamble.

Yep, I understand your point as well, and we shall see. I’m no tech-head but I am continually astounded by the pace of new technology, but who knows? I hope the RiotAct. is still going in 10 years, so the winning side of the argument can resurrect this thread.

thatsnotme 6:57 pm 20 Nov 11

justin heywood said :

thatsnotme said :

…I just get so frustrated at the idea that there’s some magical wireless solution just around the corner now, that will give everyone all the bandwidth they need, while somehow avoiding all of the limitations inherent in a wireless connection. It just won’t happen.

It is a dangerous thing to claim that any technology ‘wont happen’, even more dangerous to make a strong bet that it won’t, as we are with the NBN. For example:

1. We will never make a 32 bit operating system.” — Bill Gates

2. There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home.” — Ken Olson, president, chairman and founder of Digital Equipment Corp. (DEC), maker of big business mainframe computers, arguing against the PC in 1977.

3.There is practically no chance communications space satellites will be used to provide better telephone, telegraph, television, or radio service inside the United States.” — T. Craven, FCC Commissioner, in 1961 (the first commercial communications satellite went into service in 1965).

4. There is not the slightest indication that nuclear energy will ever be obtainable. It would mean that the atom would have to be shattered at will.” — Albert Einstein, 1932

Innovation usually follows demand. Where is the demand in computing? It’s for mobility. (Yes I know certain industry sectors will benefot from cable, but the NBN is about running fibre for domestic use – a huge overkill).

Ok, I take your point. Let me modify my statement to say that any type of wireless solution that is capable of servicing the broadband needs that already exist (ie, both mobile users, and home users) does not yet exist. I believe it would take a number of years before the technology to service our current needs exists, and by the time it is developed, our needs would have expanded and it would face the same shortfalls that wireless faces today.

Basing the NBN on fibre technology is not a bet that wireless, or some other technology, will never take a leap forward and be able to service demand. It is however an acknowledgment that today, fiber is the best connection we have available, and is likely to be the best available for many years yet. I believe that using wireless as the delivery method in the hopes that at some stage in the future, it will have developed to a point where it’s actually a suitable technology, is a far bigger gamble.

phototext 2:59 pm 20 Nov 11

#58.

“But these very same people claim that wireless technology is stuck in its present state of development, and that wireless technology has advanced as far as it will ever go.”

At what point in my post did I say that wireless technology has advanced as far as it will ever go?

It is not what I said nor what I think.

Disinformation 12:30 am 20 Nov 11

Lazy I said :

For those championing wireless and it’s amazing future developments, have a quick skim of this:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wavelength-division_multiplexing

This isn’t some fanciful “In the future…” “Just around the corner” crap, this is happening right now with off the shelf hardware.
.

It was actually happening a long time ago. I assisted in the installation of the first wavelength division multiplier in Australia using Cisco gear between CSIRO in Limestone Avenue to the ANU. The laser from the gbics was so powerful it required six spacers of free air attenuation before it wouldn’t overload the other end. The coarse unit was only good for twelve frequencies though, using different frequency gbics and prisms to refract each beam off the common fiber. We used to joke it was the only Cisco gear that would survive a lightning strike as the CWDMU had no electronics in it. The second demo was used between two Telstra buildings. This would have been at least nine years ago and maybe ten. Things have quite advanced since then too. The 144 frequency electronic units were in development at that time so they’re way ahead by now.

2604 11:56 pm 19 Nov 11

thatsnotme said :

Think about the benefits to someone in those remote areas though. Instead of having to travel hundreds of kilometers (several hundred kilometers for some) to see a doctor, for some stuff you could do it via a video link. Children in those areas, instead of only knowing their classmate’s voices via a radio, will be able to see their faces, as they participate in a video classroom.

Now for many of these people, the government has already decided that FTTH isn’t feasible – it’s not like every residence in the country is getting fibre rolled up to the front door. Wireless and satelite services will be what the most remote users connect to.

So, why not just fund or subsidise wireless and satellite to those few remote users, and let the rest of the population get its broadband through cable, DSL and wireless services provided by the private sector? Much less duplication, and much lower cost to the taxpayer, while ensuring those folks in remote areas get their broadband.

thatsnotme said :

And still, we get back to the whole ‘just let me connect to a decent wireless connection’ argument. You want a wireless data connection that’s a fast and reliable as fibre? Sure, let me just construct a base station in your backyard then. Or, I could just have a fibre connection into your home, which you hook up your wireless router to, and have all the wireless bandwidth you need. The plus will be, that when you are actually away from home, when you need wireless data, you’ll only be competing for that data with other remote users.

Look, no-one is disputing the technical advantages of cable or its performance advantage vis-a-vis wireless or other existing technologies such as ADSL. The issue is cost. The benefit of those advantages needs to reflect the $36bn of expenditure, which has an opportunity cost in areas (such as adding medicines to the PBS) whose benefits are much more tangible. Most large workplaces already have sufficiently fast internet for nearly all purposes, including videoconferencing. And existing speeds for ADSL and wireless are probably sufficient to meet the needs of 80-90% of users.

thatsnotme said :

By the way…you do understand that the 36 billion isn’t being spent all at once, right? That cost is spread over 10 years or so? So your tax cuts would be worth maybe a couple hundred bucks a year. Now go and compare the cost of a good wireless data plan, with a similar NBN plan, and let me know if that couple of hundred bucks is enough.

The issue is that tax cuts would benefit everyone. Not everyone needs “a good wireless data plan”, ie one which exceeds the capabilities of current technologies. The NBN will only benefit the proportion of the population whose needs are not being met by existing and future wireless and ADSL technologies.

justin heywood 10:52 pm 19 Nov 11

thatsnotme said :

…I just get so frustrated at the idea that there’s some magical wireless solution just around the corner now, that will give everyone all the bandwidth they need, while somehow avoiding all of the limitations inherent in a wireless connection. It just won’t happen.

It is a dangerous thing to claim that any technology ‘wont happen’, even more dangerous to make a strong bet that it won’t, as we are with the NBN. For example:

1. We will never make a 32 bit operating system.” — Bill Gates

2. There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home.” — Ken Olson, president, chairman and founder of Digital Equipment Corp. (DEC), maker of big business mainframe computers, arguing against the PC in 1977.

3.There is practically no chance communications space satellites will be used to provide better telephone, telegraph, television, or radio service inside the United States.” — T. Craven, FCC Commissioner, in 1961 (the first commercial communications satellite went into service in 1965).

4. There is not the slightest indication that nuclear energy will ever be obtainable. It would mean that the atom would have to be shattered at will.” — Albert Einstein, 1932

Innovation usually follows demand. Where is the demand in computing? It’s for mobility. (Yes I know certain industry sectors will benefot from cable, but the NBN is about running fibre for domestic use – a huge overkill).

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