[clug] Light entertainment for this morning (NBN)

steve jenkin sjenkin at canb.auug.org.au
Mon Apr 13 04:22:59 GMT 2009

Paul Wayper wrote on 13/4/09 10:43 AM:

> <satire>
> 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.
> </satire>


> Have fun,
> Paul


What you consider satirical is actually well-held (& considered proven)
belief in certain quarters. Which unfortunately include too many people
who can write cheques, pass legislation or otherwise influence decisions :-(

In 1984 I administered the first public e-mail service in Australia for

There was a serious argument, not just from the Engineers but also the
Marketers, that there would *never* be any need or demand by the market
for more than 300baud: 30cps or ~360words/min - faster than you can read.

In the same fashion that 50baud Telex was as fast as ever needed for
business communication: 66.66 words/min - fast continuous typing.

1984 was the year that G3 fax exploded on the scene and within 5 years
Telex to First World countries was all but dead. Within a year or two,
OTC & Telstra were investing in G4 fax (over ISDN) and 'Teletex'
(2400-baud page-based Telex replacement). X.400 got a run too. So
successful were they, nobody has heard of them these days and they sank
without trace... Of course, 'The Internet' was repudiated, reviled and
mocked by these same experts...

These same 'Masters of Telecomms' had more than a dozen dial-up services
in just one section to the OTC public email - paying real money for
connect time & line rental to Telstra.

I was not thanked when pointing out we had permanent free circuits &
9600-baud modems to the exchanges - all they needed was two serial
multiplexers and the pay-back period was a month or less...

The heros who got that system installed were out manoeuvred by the X.25
crowd. A year later, real X.25 switches were installed in the offices
and another batch of Heros from Engineering Branch were born. PC's and
ethernet were rolled out sometime later and a real internal email system
deployed. Perhaps before O.T.C. lost the battle for sovereignty and were
swallowed by Telstra.

They also got Hawke/Keating to create Aussat for some $100M's with
promises of Rivers of Gold. Optus was given the duopoly Telco license on
the condition it take over those costly satellite services.

Into Current Time:

Turnbull is leading a 'push' (qv 'gang') that seems to be saying two things:

 - There is no demand because people aren't buying the service now
   (circular arg.) and
 - 100Mbps just has to cost 'heaps', which no sane user will pay
   (eg. it costs $50/mth for ~10Mbps on ADSL2, so 100Mbps will be $200)

You can't argue either case from current technology, pricing and usage.

There is also a sub-text that only services that can be profitable
immediately should be allowed or built with Public Funds...

Which is counter to a fundamental precept of Government: the provision
of Public Goods that enrich everyone, but which no person/group could
afford. It's called a Common-Wealth because that is what it creates.

How long ago did 50% of businesses get broadband?
When was the 1.5Mbps cap on ADSL speed removed?
Since when is any telecomms service 'cost-plus', not 'what the market
will bear'??

=> A reasonable guesstimate is that users double their access speed
   around every 2-3 years.
   If 1.5Mbps is the current median access speed, ADSL2+ tops out
   in about 5 years... Which means we're starting too late.

Circa 1987, it cost $8,000/yr for a 1200baud SYD-MEL leased line from
Telecom (now Telstra). This was a *huge* saving over X.25 - the
break-even was 3-4 hours use per week. Until AARNet, this link and other
dial-ups formed the backbone of ACSnet in Australia.

Turnbulls' thinking is classic 'hard nosed business thinking', the sort
taught to MBA's and that led directly to the on-going Global Financial
Crisis. It is patently faulty to everyone but MBA's, Consultants and
Merchant Bankers.

MBA's, according to Russell Ackoff in 1986 were inculcated with 3 things:

"The second was to give students principles that would demonstrate their
ability to withstand any amount of disconfirming evidence."

quoted in "MBA:Mostly Bloody Awful"

Some real cynicism:
 This is just another political football for Labor and the
conservatives. What they profess/argue is probably not what they
personally believe. Getting re-elected and into Power is all that matters...

Hope you aren't all depressed by this...
[Look forward to being disproved, too :-)]

Steve Jenkin, Info Tech, Systems and Design Specialist.
0412 786 915 (+61 412 786 915)
PO Box 48, Kippax ACT 2615, AUSTRALIA

sjenkin at canb.auug.org.au http://members.tip.net.au/~sjenkin

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