[LINK] WiMAX v. satellite, with a little FTTH for seasoning

David Boxall david.boxall at hunterlink.net.au
Tue Jun 23 12:21:31 EST 2009

Greetings all,

There's an interesting thread on Whirlpool at the moment. Snippets:-

ISP Mike Parnell reports on a November 2008 meeting between DBCDE and 
some ISP's & WiMAX vendors:
> ... DBCDE had different views from the engineering fraternity present. 
> I quote from the unofficial notes compiled by and sanctioned by three 
> of the participants: It helps to explain the real government policies, 
> not the press releases.
> --------
> DBCDE advised
> 1. That they will not be considering subsidies to areas adequately 
> covered by commercial offerings. The definition of 'adequatedly 
> covered' is decided by ACMA.
> 2. That wireless systems would not be supported if 3G systems are 
> found to offer a metropolitan compatible service.
> 3. In the interim period whilst 3G offerings are evaluated, no 
> wireless systems will be subsidised.
> 4. ABG Funding in regional Australia will be limited to satellite systems.
> DBCDE expressed a resistance to consider subsidising wireless systems, 
> regardless of the agreed benefits to regional australia.
> DBCDE expressed a conviction that the NBN will have solved the problem 
> within 12 months. The question of "solved for whom?" was not addressed.
> Halenet and Shoalhaven Internet provided strong dissenting voices to 
> DBCDE's stand and emphasised their opinion that commonwealth funds 
> were being squandered on the satellite scheme, and further that DBCDE 
> was refusing to allocate funds to proven wimax technologies.
> The 3G systems were viewed by DBCDE as probable answers but others 
> described in different ways that such systems were mobile phone 
> systems with limited data capabilities. The two working ISP's 
> expressed a strong apprehension that the poorest countries like Sri 
> Lanka had pulled well away from Australia in wireless broadband 
> technology implementation.
> ... where the houses are less than 300 meters apart FTTH is the best 
> solution. It is also almost fault proof which means you can spoil your 
> customers with non internet support. It also allows for voice and 
> video which is also attractive to customers in TV blackspots (in hilly 
> areas). Wimax is the next most suitable, subject to spectrum 
> availability and satellite is a good solution to use to satisfy demand 
> as a short term solution. In each of these cases the installation is 
> the same cost, but the data limits are much greater on Fibre and 
> Wimax. Latency on my FTTH deployment is 2 – 3 ms Wimax is around 15 to 
> 30ms and sat is 800+ms. Which is the best solution?
> NPE hardware for FTTH is $500, Wimax is $1000 and sat is $1300
> Optical headend cost $45000 or per customer is $180, Wireless is 
> $70000+ per base station which can support upto 200 to 300 customers, 
> satellite ?
> Fibre install cost is between $5k to $50k per km
> Backhaul costs vary
> Hence why I believe based on experience that DBCDE should set a 
> technology neutral specification and let the market deliver the best 
> solutions for customers. Given the right market conditions providers 
> will take the risk and deploy. There is little if any risk on the Fed 
> government and customers get the best possible solution.

The thread is long, but worth following.

Quite apart from its other problems, on price alone, I don't see how any 
of BigPond's wireless offerings 
<http://www.bigpond.com/internet/plans/wireless/plans-and-offers/> could 
be considered "metro equivalent".

David Boxall | When a distinguished but elderly
| scientist states that something is
http://david.boxall.name | possible, he is almost certainly
| right. When he states that
| something is impossible, he is
| very probably wrong.
--Arthur C. Clarke

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