[LINK] How far the fibre?
rchirgwin at ozemail.com.au
Sun Jul 1 18:39:38 EST 2007
In another thread, Karl wrote:
> Well, duh. Why should people face that choice? Run fibre. Everywhere.
Were I of a more incendiary personality, this may have signalled a
flamewar. Instead, I did some research... and because this next bit is
relevant, I kept it.
>> Yes, you get delay -
>> but it is at least a backfill for places that simply can't get any other
> Such places are very very few. If there's a road, there should be fibre.
> If there's power or rail, there DEFINITELY should be fibre.
...So like I said, I did some research. Looking at WA, there are places
whose distance to the nearest telephone exchange is measured in
*hundreds* of kilometres - but people live there. I won't put a warranty
on my calculation, but the distances involved look like around 500 km -
Paris to London, then turn around and come back, and do it while pulling
an optical fibre through extremely inhospitable country, so as to
connect communities which would fit inside a respectable city hotel and
still leave room for the APEC summit...
And leave lots of electronics in places that electronics don't
particularly suit, and unlike the run across the Nullabour, do it in
places where we don't even have transport stops to provide a semblance
of civilisation for the techs that have to go out and fix things when
the cables get rat-bitten or whatever (yes, it happens).
I don't think it will ever happen. Moreover, someone is going to have to
answer the question "what's the distance limit to public funding for
The problem is, in an air-travel and 4WD age, people really do
under-estimate the scale of Australia. We forget that some people take
longer to get to Perth by the best route available than you or I could
fly to London.
So the fibre's going to stop somewhere. Who gets to decide where? Who
gets to choose the rollout schedule? Who decides that some place on the
edge of the Simpson Desert just isn't worth the effort? Or is the
sponsorship of "fibre everywhere" vision limited to "enough fibre to
satisfy the agitators, who will then be too busy with Bittorrent to
worry about some dump on the east edge of the Simpson Desert?"
(And I guess there's a charge of, if not racism, at least indifference,
that all participants in this debate, myself included, must at least
answer: because of course the most remote places that nobody much cares
about aren't full of urban whitefellas, are they?).
More information about the Link