One thing that strikes me in the debate about the National Broadband Network (NBN) is that many of the opponents refuse to apply logic & rational thought to their arguments. These range from the misguided to the outright insane. So here’s a few.
THE NBN IS A LABOR PLOT TO MONITOR THE INTERNET
It seems some wires got crossed here & the tin foil hats squarely put on. Yes, the Australian Labor Party (ALP) did want to set up a filter, & Sen. Stephen Conroy has copped massive amounts of flack for attempting to bring this in. Unfortunately for the conspiracy theorists, the idea the NBN has been set up to monitor what people do is just insane, especially since Conroy has already canned the filter policy.
Rating: 9 Derps
FIBRE OPTICS WILL BE SUPERSEDED BY THE TIME THE NBN IS FINISHED
This argument is so out of touch with reality that these people are orbiting alpha centauri. NTT has demonstrated petabit per second (Pbps) fibre optics recently, & this is far from the highest speed possible. Then there’s the universities working on increasing fibre speeds by 2000 times. The future of fibre optics is looking great, meanwhile the future of copper is uncertain at best, doomed at worst.
Rating: 7 Derps
Â 4G IS BETTER THAN FIBRE OPTICS
Woah, hold on there little. Yes, I like 4G, it’s fast, it’s versatile, but I’ll never claim it’s better than fibre. Drop outs, inconsistent speed/connection, & flaky coverage are the major factors stopping 4G from being a suitable solution for even moderately dense populations. Add to this that the bandwidth is shared using time slice allocation, so if there’s only a few people on the network it’s fast, but once the subscriber numbers grow, it falls over the same as 3G.
Rating: 3 Derps
FTTN IS CHEAPER THAN FTTH
This one is straight out of the Malcolm Turnbull () book of lies. FTTN, in Australia, will cost far more than elsewhere. With low population densities, even in our biggest cities, the number of cabinets required to deliver the 80Mbps to 90% of users that Turnbull has promised would far outweigh the slight increase in cost to use GPON OLTs. Add to this that BIS Shrapnel has estimated the savings from decommissioning the copper network at around $600m. On savings alone the NBN is a smart idea.
Rating: 6 Derps
BRITISH TELECOM DEPLOYED FTTN, SO SHOULD WE
This one is a doozie, not only is the British Telecom (BT) FTTN deployment a failure, they are now deploying FTTH after being slammed by the House of Lords. Honestly, there are far better examples of national broadband networks from other countries. Both France & Germany are deploying FTTH networks, after having already deployed a FTTN network a decade ago. The ONLY providers “upgrading” their network to FTTN are US providers who, let’s face it, are notorious for oversubscribing, under investing, & generally screwing over their customers.
Rating: 10 Derps
AUSTRALIA WON’T NEED ANYTHING FASTER THAN FTTN
Having already written an article showing the state of broadband use in Australia, I’m well versed on the current requirements & what the future holds. The short answer is: no, we will need faster broadband, & soon. The long answer is that our data use over fixed line services is growing at an exponential rate, there have been dips, but they don’t last long. Meanwhile wireless data requirements are growing at a slow linear rate, nowhere near as fast as the number of wireless connections. From this, we can say that within the next 5 years the data requirements of the average user will surpass the bandwidth capacity of FTTN systems. Sure, xDSL may get faster, but nowhere near as fast as fibre. Essentially, investment in slower broadband is a waste of money.
Rating: 4 Derps
WE DON’T USE FIBRE IN OFFICES, WHY USE IT ON THE STREET
An argument can’t be more wrong than this one. Firstly, in large offices (think, whole buildings), floors are generally interconnected by fibre optics, the building will more than likely use an Active Optical Network (AON) connection for internet access, if not two, and Cat5/6 is limited to 100M cable length. This argument is one of those born from a lack of knowledge & a whole heap of fear, uncertainty, & doubt (FUD), being spread by those who oppose the NBN. Comparing internal building cabling with a street network is like comparing a driveway to a freeway, but do similar things (provide a surface for a car to drive on), but you wouldn’t apply the Â same mentality to designing major infrastructure as you would for a driveway.
Rating: 10 Derps
CONCLUSIONS OF ILLUSIONS
With the Liberal-National Party’s (LNP) position deteriorating, & the only people cheerleading said position consultants hired by the LNP, it seems Turnbull has resorted to attacking the people who actually understand communications infrastructure & the requirements of home & business users alike. This seems to be the only position the LNP have these days with policy taking a back seat to smear & slander. Those who idolise Turnbull as some sort of progressive need look no further than his views on tech writers to see that he is just another LNP MP that is willing to ignore reality to have Abbott elected as PM. The longer arguments such as those I have detailed are spread by Turnbull & his ilk, the more people will tune out.
We’re past the stage of arguing what technology is best, with IT&T consultants, CEOs, professionals, & writers all agreeing that the age old IT mantra of “Do it once, do it with fibre”. My only hope is that people like Turnbull drop the bullshit, stop the attacks on those who understand technology, & come clean on his lack of a costed policy.