[LINK] Please support the Broadband network

Jan Whitaker jwhit at janwhitaker.com
Wed Apr 8 18:46:07 AEST 2009

Dear Senator Fielding,

As a Victorian, I ask you to support the development of the National 
Broadband Network and not get in the way when the legislation is 
presented in the Senate soon. The country needs this development for 
productivity improvement and 21st century communication capability. 
It is the sort of development that neither Telstra nor any other 
individual telco will ever do on its own. This is a way to break the 
Telstra monopoly and DRIVE COSTS DOWN for consumers. Services will no 
longer be patchy and inconsistent. Consumers will have choice. Small 
businesses will be able to finally participate in online e-commerce reliably.

Those with technical knowledge with whom I communicate daily have 
informed me that restricted access to broadband now experienced in 
many areas of the state will no longer be a problem. Fibre optic 
connections can function across many kilometers between the 
house/school/small business and the collective node. You may be aware 
that one of the drawbacks in the current copper network is the need 
for the customer to live within a certain distance of the central 
office or DSLAM for the service to be possible with ADSL. Fibre 
removes that short distance limitation. We also have the problem of 
RIM and other installed copper connections that will be overcome by 
this new network.

It has also been mentioned in some reports that 'wireless' is an 
acceptable alternative. That is not true. There is no positive 
comparison of the two technologies. There are limits in wireless 
capacity due to the frequencies available that are far below that of 
fibre optics.

Fibre optics is also a proven technology. Glass as a transmission 
medium has been around for many years. I personally spliced a fibre 
optic cable at their early development stages in the 1980s.  Any 
advances can be achieved at the end equipment, with no need to 
replace the cabling itself

The network won't happen immediately. It will develop over time. The 
cost of the network provided by tax payers is NOT the full 
$42billion. That reporting in the media is just wrong and misleading. 
It is also a misrepresentation, as I heard you say, that the funds 
are just more 'debt'. Bonds are for capital investment. 
Communications systems of this type are public capital investments, 
like a road, a bridge, a train line, or a port, investments that 
governments are expected to provide.

Senator, please do not react in a kneejerk fashion without proper 
advice from those who understand and have the expertise. I suggest 
that the spokesman for the Opposition, your colleague Senator 
Minchin, is not that person. In his interview last night on Lateline 
he equated the network to a "phone company". That is the language of 
someone living in the 1980s. We are well past that. Unfortunately, 
Senator Minchin obviously is not.

Senator Fielding, please add a voice of support for this visionary, 
exciting, and greatly needed investment for all Australians.

Jan Whitaker
Berwick, Victoria
[address supplied in former communications]

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
jwhit at janwhitaker.com
blog: http://janwhitaker.com/jansblog/
business: http://www.janwhitaker.com

Our truest response to the irrationality of the world is to paint or 
sing or write, for only in such response do we find truth.
~Madeline L'Engle, writer

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