[LINK] Wireless Internet Popular in Australia

Richard Chirgwin rchirgwin at ozemail.com.au
Tue Sep 21 18:23:39 EST 2010

  On 21/09/10 5:54 PM, Fernando Cassia wrote:
> On Mon, Sep 20, 2010 at 8:29 PM, Richard Chirgwin 
> <rchirgwin at ozemail.com.au <mailto:rchirgwin at ozemail.com.au>> wrote:
>       However, popularity of
>     > wireless raises questions as to the need for and viability of
>     the fixed
>     > fibre optic National Broadband Network. Other statistics:
> Different things, different uses.
> I am not in Australia, but here at the other side of the globe, 
> there´s no such thing as fully "flat rate" 3G ... all mobile providers 
> include a data transfer quota in each plan, with the difference that 
> when the transfer limit is reached, some operators cut service (you 
> need to "recharge" or add more credits to your mdoem), while other 
> providers automatically slow down to GPRS/EDGE speed.
> Wireless will *never* be a direct competitor to fibre or even HFC, in 
> high-density cities, you´d need an awful lot of short-power antennas 
> and ground stations (a couple per block at least, I guess) if you want 
> to replace all fixed broadband with wireless.
> RF has limited bandwidth, and it´s shared among all users within the 
> same geographical spot. With fibre (or anything "wire-based", if there 
> isn´t enough bandwidth, you lay out a second wire or fibre running in 
> parallel to the first one).
> And then, there´s overlap. The only reason I have a pay-as-you-go 
> wireless USB modem (3G) is as a backup for the times when my fixed 
> broadband stops working.
> Just my $0.02
> FC

The reason that it's such a debate in Australia is that, even though 
these things are all known, the NBN has become a political badge. Roughly:

Want fibre = ALP supporter
Wireless is sufficient = Liberal Party supporter

This gets pumped along with "Wireless is getting better all the time, 
who knows where it will be in ten years?"-type statements. (Correct 
answer: still behind fibre, because fibre research will also continue, 
but who cares?).

It gets further pumped along by statements from "business leaders" (eg: 
Graeme Wood, Wotif, today anyhow) taking the "fast broadband is not for 
consumers" line. It's unimaginative in the extreme - Wood, for example, 
merely listed today's apps and said "so what's the point of just doing 
this stuff faster?" without any consideration of whether new 
applications might arise.



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