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Yesterday we went live with the NBN. Here’s how it went.

By Gungahlin Al 5 April 2013 87

Yesterday was the long-awaited connect to the National Broadband Network day. Yay!

After being involved for years in the community campaign to get Gungahlin’s parlous internet access upgraded, it was lovely to be able to see the end result.

We’ve been paying Telstra the same price as someone in Sydney pays for an ADSL2+ service running at 20Mbps, but getting only an 8Mbps service. Except what it really ran like was this (speedtest.net):

And that was at a good time, with low congestion.

Here’s the box that goes on the outside wall near the existing Telstra phone junction box. It’s much bigger than the phone line one because they need to wrap some spare fibre cable in there and it can’t be bent too tight—it is glass after all. I wanted the Telstra box removed but “laws” prevent them from removing this now redundant fixture… Le sigh…

And inside this cable is the actual fibre-optic “cable” that carries this incredibly fast bandwidth. What does this modern day miracle look like? This:

Yes—that’s it, nothing bigger than a human hair! To be handled with great care, because it could easily stick in you and break off, becoming extremely hard to dig out…

And this is what the internal NBN install looked like when finished. Top left is my modem/router/wireless unit relocated, then a fibre junction box, on the right is the power supply, including a battery backup so you can still call out in a blackout, and the bottom box is the Network Termination Unit—a box that converts the digital light signal into a digital electrical signal. So as you can guess, there’s a fair bit more in the way of “phantom” electricity consumption there, making us thankful for those solar panels on the roof and electricity bills that say “do not pay”.

CAT5 (blue) cable coming out of the NTU, into the router, and another out of the router, back into the wall and down to the garage to feed into a switch and patch panels that allow us to select which of the various data sockets around the house are live, depending on changing layouts and computer/TV/PVR/network drive/printer needs.

So the finished product is a bit ugly, but essentially tidy and stashed away behind stuff on the top shelf in the wardrobe, so no biggie. I’m showing you what’s involved though, so that you can plan for all the bits you have to include in your own install. This is not something you want on your loungeroom wall! And it’s a good idea to schedule a sparky for the same day to sort the home-side connection.

I’m yet to sort out the conversion of the voice landline to VOIP, but it’s been ordered, and will probably mean we have a phone base station plugged into the router too. But the old landline is history!

Oh—and what happened with the speed? This:

Yes that’s a big grin you can hear! Websites now snap onto the screen, scrolling through my Flickr photostream involves a couple of seconds per high resolution photo. Podcasts download in no time, even mobile devices using the wireless are responding snappily. No doubt we’ll get a better idea over time, but so far, so wonderful!

I can only hope now that the NBN roll-out continues, and the rest of Canberra and indeed Australia get to experience what really fast internet access is like. Meanwhile, if your area comes online, get in and get it—while the connection is free. Because later it will cost you to get the connection done. Ditto if you are a landlord—do it while it’s free.

There are more details about the install on my blog if you are interested.

What’s Your opinion?


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Yesterday we went live with the NBN. Here’s how it went.
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JC 7:35 pm 09 Apr 13

thatsnotme said :

justin heywood said :

I expect the naysayers have just given up, but tell yourself you’ve won the argument if you wish.

It does appear to me though that you and the other NBN boosters can’t talk about the NBN without making it political. So if it’s all just a tribal ‘my team’s better than your team’ argument, why bother pretending it’s anything else?

Hahaha, that’s hilarious. The entire NBN debate is political. Aside from commentators such as Alan Jones and his fellow luddites who are convinced that some magical form of wireless is on the horizon that will render the NBN’s FTTH model obsolete, there can really be no debate at a technological level. There’s nothing left to talk about aside from the politics of the thing.

Ahh that’s what I find quite funny. At last election the Libs were saying we don’t need an NBN as wireless is the saviour. Yeah right. Now they have back flipped and are saying we do need NBN (guess Labor were right, hey Tony), but only fibre to the node will do. Yes they are right it will do for today and the next few years, in which case the copper last mile will most certainly need to be replaced at greater cost again.

Now whilst Labor’s NBN model is certainly overkill for today, it is future proofing for a hell of a lot longer than fibre to the node, in fact the greatest cost of NBN is the fibre not the equipment, so really what is on either end can change keeping NBN current for many many years to come. However Tony with his copper last mile is screwed because no one is investing in making equipment to squeeze any more out of copper.

thatsnotme 6:31 pm 09 Apr 13

justin heywood said :

I expect the naysayers have just given up, but tell yourself you’ve won the argument if you wish.

It does appear to me though that you and the other NBN boosters can’t talk about the NBN without making it political. So if it’s all just a tribal ‘my team’s better than your team’ argument, why bother pretending it’s anything else?

Hahaha, that’s hilarious. The entire NBN debate is political. Aside from commentators such as Alan Jones and his fellow luddites who are convinced that some magical form of wireless is on the horizon that will render the NBN’s FTTH model obsolete, there can really be no debate at a technological level. There’s nothing left to talk about aside from the politics of the thing.

gungsuperstar 6:00 pm 09 Apr 13

justin heywood said :

gungsuperstar said :

Wow, this thread became eerily quiet… I guess that was to be expected when the Coalition’s alternative:

– is 80% of the cost for 25% of the speed
– doesn’t factor in the projected $1b a year that it will cost to maintain copper lines – that we already know are in worse shape than anyone realised.
– that will be obsolete by the time the project is completed – and will then require more digging and more expense to finish the job that Labor is already doing ie. laying fibre to the premises.

Where, oh where did the nay-sayers go?

I expect the naysayers have just given up, but tell yourself you’ve won the argument if you wish.

It does appear to me though that you and the other NBN boosters can’t talk about the NBN without making it political. So if it’s all just a tribal ‘my team’s better than your team’ argument, why bother pretending it’s anything else?

What a strange comment… doesn’t “the fraudband policy you have when you don’t believe in a broadband policy” now sit alongside the Coalitions “climate change policy you have when you don’t believe in Climate Change” as evidence that one side of politics is playing reactionary, negative politics on issues it doesn’t even believe in, while the other side of politics is trying to implement policy that it actually believes in for the betterment of the nation?

It is certainly not “my party is better than yours” to point out the ridiculousness of this dog’s arse of a policy after months of criticism of the Government’s policy.

chewy14 5:47 pm 09 Apr 13

justin heywood said :

gungsuperstar said :

Wow, this thread became eerily quiet… I guess that was to be expected when the Coalition’s alternative:

– is 80% of the cost for 25% of the speed
– doesn’t factor in the projected $1b a year that it will cost to maintain copper lines – that we already know are in worse shape than anyone realised.
– that will be obsolete by the time the project is completed – and will then require more digging and more expense to finish the job that Labor is already doing ie. laying fibre to the premises.

Where, oh where did the nay-sayers go?

I expect the naysayers have just given up, but tell yourself you’ve won the argument if you wish.

It does appear to me though that you and the other NBN boosters can’t talk about the NBN without making it political. So if it’s all just a tribal ‘my team’s better than your team’ argument, why bother pretending it’s anything else?

I couldnt give a flying f**k who’s in power but it seems that the politicians and in particular the Libs have been trying to make this a political issue and use it to push their own barrels.

It’s sad because this sort of national infrastructure should be the type of project that everyone can support.

justin heywood 5:42 pm 09 Apr 13

gungsuperstar said :

Wow, this thread became eerily quiet… I guess that was to be expected when the Coalition’s alternative:

– is 80% of the cost for 25% of the speed
– doesn’t factor in the projected $1b a year that it will cost to maintain copper lines – that we already know are in worse shape than anyone realised.
– that will be obsolete by the time the project is completed – and will then require more digging and more expense to finish the job that Labor is already doing ie. laying fibre to the premises.

Where, oh where did the nay-sayers go?

I expect the naysayers have just given up, but tell yourself you’ve won the argument if you wish.

It does appear to me though that you and the other NBN boosters can’t talk about the NBN without making it political. So if it’s all just a tribal ‘my team’s better than your team’ argument, why bother pretending it’s anything else?

rosscoact 5:41 pm 09 Apr 13

watto23 said :

gungsuperstar said :

justin heywood said :

Dilandach said :

…..Taxpayers don’t really have anything to do with NBN funding. It is users of the network who will pay to build it, whether they are taxpayers or not.

Crap like that just makes the rest of your argument look like…crap.

Instead of abusing those who disagree with you and making wishful claims about what will be happening in 2034, why don’t you stick to explaining the actual benefit, real or imagined, of the NBN to the nation?

Because it’s already been covered in these comments. Multiple times.

So now it’s not that the benefit hasn’t been explained. It’s just those with small minds who care only for their own self interest with their “I don’t need it so why should anyone else” attitude that can’t see the benefit.

Clearly those in this camp have never had to deal with barriers to health or education caused by distance and out-dated technology.

It’s worth noting that contractors working on the NBN rollout have been almost universal in their feedback that the copper network was in much worse shape than anyone realised, and is well beyond fixing an/or upgrading.

And to the previous poster who claimed that business can operate just fine on ADSL – 1) I haven’t seen business opposing the NBN, 2) the point was previously made that not all business in this country takes place in major cities with ready access to high speed internet.

Tell me. How will the dreams of Abbott and Rinehart to relocate 30% of you to regional Australia ever be realised if they don’t have internet fast enough and reliable enough to actually do their work?

Also don’t forget Abbott also said something about online education as well…..

that it’s evil?

gungsuperstar 5:22 pm 09 Apr 13

Wow, this thread became eerily quiet… I guess that was to be expected when the Coalition’s alternative:

– is 80% of the cost for 25% of the speed
– doesn’t factor in the projected $1b a year that it will cost to maintain copper lines – that we already know are in worse shape than anyone realised.
– that will be obsolete by the time the project is completed – and will then require more digging and more expense to finish the job that Labor is already doing ie. laying fibre to the premises.

Where, oh where did the nay-sayers go?

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