[LINK] Beyond this project [WAS: Battery back-up mandatory for NBN?]

David Boxall david.boxall at hunterlink.net.au
Sun Nov 7 09:38:31 AEDT 2010

On 6/11/2010 5:56 PM, Michael Skeggs mike at bystander.net wrote:
> David and Tom wrote:
>>> It will still be handy to have a high speed fibre connection for
>>> watching TV at home, or for business. But the major use of the fibre
>>> will be backhaul for the wireless network. ...
>> I doubt that the bandwidth of mobile devices will ever develop to the
>> point that they become the major load on the NBN. The killer application
>> is probably something none of us has yet imagined, but interference-free
>> video and audio is one obvious possibility.
> Tom has written these sentiments before. I think the model he
> envisions is closest to ubiquitous wi-fi (or successor? WIMAX?) with
> the bulk of actual devices connected wirelessly to a local device
> connected by fibre. This is fine, it allows for lots and lots of
> bandwidth to be available, and it will be needed,. but avoids the
> technical limitations of using wireless for the last mile (instead of
> in the home/office).
> Wireless is not suitable for high bandwidth applications over any
> great distance, or where there is a large population attempting to use
> it simultaneously.
> If anything, this is more grist for the mill that we should grab the
> TV spectrum being freed up to take some pressure off the overcrowded
> wifi band.
> ...
I reckon we need to grind this wireless thing a bit finer. Let's start 
with mobile and fixed.

Where the NBN first connects via fixed wireless (or satellite), the 
popular assumption seems to be that fibre will _never_ be connected. 
That isn't how I understand the NBN project, but is the implication of 
politicians and the media. It seems to me that fibre should eventually 
go wherever we currently have copper (then beyond). A timetable for that 
eventuality is indispensable. It must also be made clear under what 
circumstances fixed wireless or satellite will be considered a permanent 
fix (if at all).

For mobile wireless, I guess the distinction should be based on user 
density. In areas of higher density, the network needs capacity to deal 
with greater numbers, but shorter distances. That implies current 
WiFi/MiMax frequencies. In more remote areas, user numbers would be 
lower, but distances greater and terrain more problematic. That might be 
a good use for freed-up TV frequencies. What's needed for mobile 
wireless is targets for the proportion of the landmass covered (if not 
100%, why not?), at what speeds and by when. In emergencies, the 
capacity to transmit GPS coordinates and other text from an ordinary 
portable device (as distinct from satellite) could save lives at very 
low bandwidth.

David Boxall                         | ignorance more frequently
                                     | begets confidence than does
http://david.boxall.id.au            | knowledge
                                     | --Charles Darwin (introduction
                                     |  to 'The Descent of Man' 1871)

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