[LINK] Wireless Internet Popular in Australia

Tom Worthington tom.worthington at tomw.net.au
Wed Sep 22 10:17:50 EST 2010

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 ...
> ... that's the single most annoying line of argument from the anti-NBN
> brigade ...

I am a member of the " mildly enthusiastic NBN brigade". In my view we 
will likely end up with widespread use of both fibre and wireless. These 
should be complementary, rather than competing.

However, wireless broadband is an alternative to fibre, for some people. 
As an example, my apartment came with a Transact fibre optic node in the 
basement: <http://www.tomw.net.au/2001/sa/bauhaus/>.

But after a few years, I cancelled my subscription to the Transact 
telephone, subscription TV and broadband. I have a mobile phone and 
wireless broadband to use when not at home and I found these were 
adequate for use at home. The only calls I got on the land line at home 
were from telemarketers and I used so little of the boradband capacity 
it was not worth the cost. I do use a fibre connection in my university 
office (the wireless doesn't work there due to all the equipment).

> wireless or mobile internet is slow, unreliable, and a shared-bandwidth
> medium that doesn't scale at all well ...

Mobile phones are of lower quality and less reliable than
fixed line phones, but mobile phones are still very popular. Most people
have a fixed phone and a mobile at home. I expect in the future many
will have a fibre broadband connection and several wireless services at 
home. But many people will make do with just the wireless. How many, I 
am not sure of.

The issue which I believe needs addressing is not what form of broadband 
to have, but how to use it for economic and social benefit. As an 
example of this I am talking about online education for green ICT at the 
World Computer Congress on Thursday: 

Tom Worthington FACS CP HLM, TomW Communications Pty Ltd. t: 0419496150
PO Box 13, Belconnen ACT 2617, Australia  http://www.tomw.net.au
Adjunct Senior Lecturer, School of Computer Science, The
Australian National University http://cs.anu.edu.au/courses/COMP7310/

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