[LINK] Study casts doubt on claims for broadband

Kim Holburn kim at holburn.net
Tue Nov 30 09:58:56 AEDT 2010

On 2010/Nov/29, at 4:18 PM, David Boxall wrote:

> Another one for the NBN-knockers:
> <http://www.smh.com.au/technology/technology-news/study-casts-doubt-on-claims-for-broadband-20101128-18cfg.html>
> Study casts doubt on claims for broadband
> November 29, 2010

> Released in London before the vote today

What a coincidence!

> on legislation paving the way 
> for the NBN, the study found that the evidence to support claims made 
> for fibre-to-the-home networks was ''surprisingly weak'' and cited 
> Australia as a key example.


> ''All else equal, faster is better,'' noted the study, prepared by the 
> British telecommunications consultant Robert Kenny and Charles Kenny 
> from the US Centre for Global Development. ''But faster technologies 
> don't always triumph; think of passenger hovercraft, maglev trains, and 
> supersonic airliners.
> Advertisement: Story continues below
> ''Concorde (if it hadn't retired) would still be the fastest passenger 
> aircraft today, having first flown in 1969. It turned out that the 
> incremental benefits of speed to most customers were not worth the extra 
> cost.''

Let's see, comparing an aeroplane that is a one-off, slightly faster than normal aeroplanes, hugely expensive, is not suitable for most routes because it creates explosive sonic booms and clearly economically unsuccessful against normal aeroplanes -

and relating that to comparing fibre to copper, fibre which is massively faster than copper, massively cheaper and more reliable and so much faster it can bring in completely different kinds of services.  

Two or three orders of magnitude faster is not an incremental advance.  The internet doesn't have a discontinuity like the sound barrier.  Is there any place that has put in fibre but turned it off?  In general, they've put in more fibre.

It's like that old speech of Bill Gates at COMDEX comparing the computer industry with the auto industry: "If GM had kept up with technology like the computer industry has, we would all be driving twenty-five dollar cars that got 1000 miles to the gallon." 

Kim Holburn
IT Network & Security Consultant
T: +61 2 61402408  M: +61 404072753
mailto:kim at holburn.net  aim://kimholburn
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