M I K E R U D D B I L L P U T T . C O MM M I K E R U D D B I L L P U T T . C O MM M I K E R U D D B I L L P U T T . C O MM M I K E R U D D
Dick's Toolbox r
Oh, the NBN..
..and seems to work reasonably well. Better than Mr Turnbull’s alternative.
The real benefit, apart from PayTV, was the fact that the network was capable of providing 100 Mb/s internet services from day one when the planets were aligned, though the more users that were added to your hub meant that speeds declined as it is a shared service. But with the latest DOCSIS 3.1 technology, which is now available and tested in Australia, 1Gbp/s will be attainable. When is the interesting question?
The other minor bit of fun about PayTVwas that Optus and Telstra/Foxtel were bidding for the same content at much the same time. The American content providers, some of the sharpest in the world, recognised a golden opportunity locking Australians into world record cost contracts.
But I, as usual, wander.
There are only three components of the internet that we care about: speed, data and reliability. Given there is nothing faster than the speed of light fibre optic cable is technically the best option if you want speed and therefore the ability to download – and upload – lots of data. You just have to get the optic cable to the premises which is expensive given the two options; digging trenches or renting Telstra’s ducts, pipes and pits.
Fibre is intrinsically reliable unless a contractor digs it up. The technical term for this is Backhoe Fade.
And the lucky million or so users who got fibre are not complaining at all. Not unlike new customers where a quarter of all customers are very disgruntled.
Mr Turnbull’s Fibre to the Node is a very second rate option. All it does is break the exchange into smaller components and move them closer to the customer. And the Node boxes aren’t always going to be small as all will have to be powered and many will have to contain batteries for fail-safe 48 volt power so the phones still work. Does that fix your copper connection to the node or to your house? Absolutely not. It was a solution that Telstra floated as a $15 billion proposition to the government many years ago as a way of preserving its near monopoly. There was some mischief in the idea in that it actually cut off most of its competitor’s customer access as well.
What about wireless? I mean we get excellent data speeds out and into our mobiles phones don’t we? Well yes and no. There are a couple of drawbacks the first being that they amount of useable spectrum is relatively limited and much of it spoken for by hundreds of useful and needed services. And the amount of data that you put through a mobiles base station is shared and limited by the number of antenna and directionality and the overlap with other base stations. The number of high speed data channels is limited per base station and the service degrades with the number of users. You have to put more and more mobiles cells in if you want coverage and speed. The capacity of radio technologies is limited by available spectrum and the cost of spectrum will determine the economics of wireless systems
One new slice of spectrum is being touted for 5G is very high frequencies – millimetre wave radio at 25Ghz+. Capable of carrying much more data than the lower frequencies now used. Having been part of a study of this spectrum someone’s mischievous advice to management (was that me?) was that you had better sell a chainsaw with each service if it was going to be deployed in the bush. Easily upset by foliage, highly directional and didn’t like the rain.
As for the NBN business model? Its silliness will keep for another day.
So remember, if you want good throughput insist on plenty of fibre.
M I K E R U D D B I L L P U T T . C O MM M I K E R U D D B I L L P U T T . C O MM M I K E R U D D B I L L P U T T . C O MM M I K E R U D D