[LINK] Wireless Internet Popular in Australia

Richard Chirgwin rchirgwin at ozemail.com.au
Tue Sep 21 15:45:56 EST 2010

  On 21/09/10 3:03 PM, Stilgherrian wrote:
> On 21/09/2010, at 2:17 PM, Craig Sanders wrote:
>> On Tue, Sep 21, 2010 at 09:22:37AM +1000, Tom Worthington wrote:
>>> However, popularity of wireless raises questions as to the need
>>> for and viability of the fixed fibre optic National Broadband
>>> Network. Other statistics:
>> no it doesn't. no more than the popularity of motorbikes raises
>> questions as to the need for and viability of cars.
>> they're different tools that suit different uses and different needs.
>> there is some small amount of application crossover but they're not
>> substitutes for one another.
>> that's the single most annoying line of argument from the anti-NBN
>> brigade - that wireless internet is or can be a substitute for fixed
>> line internet. there is an adamant refusal to acknowledge the facts
>> about it because it's the basis for their demand to drop the NBN and go
>> with wireless instead.
> This is also the most frustrating thing about the debate for me too.
> Whether we spend a lot now to build for the future, or watch our purse strings and do something more modest for the moment is something we can rationally discuss.
> Whether we use public money to provide a system to some areas which would not otherwise be commercially viable, or change the mix of public versus private funding for telcos, or leave things to the market etc etc are all valid political arguments, though of course subject to biases in people's thinking cause by pre-conceived political notions of How Things Should Be. But at least they're valid *political* discussions.
> But the way in which technologies, fibre versus wireless, have been turned into political banners is... not just weird... totally counter-productive.
> And whichever policy we're looking at, the issues of avoiding waste and corruption, and maintaining transparency, are really the same.
> Sigh.
> I find mindless political tribalism so tedious...
> Stil
Not all the tribalism is mindless. Some of it is worse: a cynical 
attempt at coercion-by-exclusion. "If you are a true conservative you 
believe X / if you are a true progressive you believe Y"; or on the 
other hand, a cynical denigration-by-membership: "If you believe X you 
are a traitor to the cause".

There is, now that I think of it, another reasoning behind the Magic 
Wireless Fairy promotional cant: one subscription per user. Wireless 
isn't just more expensive (per byte) than fixed; it also has a larger 
total available market than fixed. That's definitely a good reason to 
keep up the lobbying pressure to drop the NBN.


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