[LINK] National Broadband Network - except it's not national.

Michael Skeggs mike@bystander.net mskeggs at gmail.com
Tue May 11 09:58:44 AEST 2010

On 11 May 2010 09:32, Tom Worthington <tom.worthington at tomw.net.au> wrote:
> David Boxall wrote:
>> On 7/05/2010 10:31 AM, Tom Worthington wrote:
>>> ...
>>> If the primary way to access the Internet is from a wireless mobile
>>> device, then most of the need for fibre to the home disappears.
>>> ...
>> That's a big if. ...
> Wireless mobile is becomming mainstream. Smart phones are getting
> cheaper and more common. Netbooks are now under $500 and a crop of
> cheaper iPad inspired tablet computers is on the way.

I keep hearing this from NBN opponents "What about advances in
wireless that will make fibre obsolete".
As Dacid, Richard and Stil pointed out, wireless will always have
bandwidth limitations based on interference and spectrum limitations.
Fibre allows x(big number)Gbps, and if you want to double it you can
light a fibre right next to it, and repeat as many times as you like.
Wireless will allow x(not as big a number)Gbps but with no possibility
of scaling up once the spectrum in a given area is saturated.
So wireless is acceptable in lightly populated areas, but not a high
bandwidth solution in metro.
As a mobile wireless user that has an Optus HSDPA data card and a
Vodafone iPhone, I can assure you that mobile wireless in the greater
Sydney metro area is far from ready for prime time. I would say it is
approaching the service performance of a 256kbps ADSL link, allowing
for the drop outs, poor signal areas and other unexplained service
interruptions (based primarily on regular train travel west or north
from Central).
Wireless is a poor alternative to fibre for fixed applications.
Whether the default NBN install is to throw a wifi router on the end
of the fibre and then deploy set-top boxes,  smart power meters etc.
that communicate over that channel is neither here nor there, as far
as I can see.
Michael Skeggs

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