[clug] Light entertainment for this morning (NBN)

Paul Wayper paulway at mabula.net
Mon Apr 13 00:43:55 GMT 2009

Hash: SHA1

Karun Dambiec wrote:
| On Thu, 9 Apr 2009 10:14:55 am grail at velocitynet.com.au wrote:
|>> The man is a professional troll (I can't believe he's really that
|>> ignorant and stupid - he must be doing it for the page views/letters to
|>> the editor)
|> Do you have any reason to believe that the $43Bn that Rudd has promised
|> will be spent on anything other than a white elephant?
| I dont see any real need for Australia to build a 100mbps  broadband network,
| as I cannot see how this will allow Australia to keep ahead of the rest of the
| world. As having faster broadband does not mean better productivity, research,
| etc.


Indeed.  Why don't we all go back to dial-up, since no-one really needs to use
the internet for anything but email and those that do should jolly well wait.
~ I can't conceive of any use for internet connections faster than dial-up.


100Mbps to 90% of households would make a IPTV business possible.  Cable TV
without the expensive specific infrastructure.  VOD companies would be
possible.  Not only that, but it would be possible to set up a company to
serve such content in Australia without selling all of your relatives into
slavery.  Up-and-coming media companies and independent artists could market
directly to the consumer rather than having to sell their souls to the media
distribution companies.

As for research, consider the situation with the Parkes Radio Telescope.  They
used to get a grad student to drive up from Melbourne every weekend with a
station-wagon full of tapes to get the data back to Melbourne.  Now they just
hook into the fiber running straight past the telescope and send the data live
back to Melbourne.  Less storage, faster transmission, less chance of
something getting lost, and better integration into other observatories.  The
NBN would allow every research lab to be a part of a gigantic distributed
supercomputer, or get data directly from the source rather than having to go
through intermediaries, and so forth.

Infrastructure investment drives this kind of lateral thinking; keeping the
old technology also keeps the old business models and favours the established

| I do see the need for improving the speeds and connectivity options. Afar
| better option would have been to improve Australia's train system such as high
| speed trains, and more research and development incentives.

I totally agree that the government should also be investing in non-road
infrastructure.  It's good to see Canberra Airport also pushing to get a
high-speed rail link to Sydney.  As a comparison, when the Confederation
Bridge (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Confederation_bridge) was built between
Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, the PEI nay-sayers claimed that local
businesses would lose out to mainlanders and that criminals would come across
the bridge.  What they saw instead was an increase in tourism and a marked
increase in mainlanders coming across to PEI for a weekend or even a night.
There's always more opportunities that people don't forsee when connecting
things, and in my view those almost always outbalance the negatives (although
there are always downsides).

Have fun,

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