[LINK] NBN to cost 24 times South Korea's faster network, says research body

Paul Brooks pbrooks-link at layer10.com.au
Fri Feb 11 09:24:54 AEDT 2011

On 11/02/2011 9:05 AM, Marghanita da Cruz wrote:
> Paul Brooks wrote:
> <snip>
>>> It seems to me that the trade off we have with our dismal excuses of best-efforts
>>> no QoS consumer broadband is price and ubiquity. I do wonder whether the lack of
>>> support for transient customers will become a problem.
>> Sorry, I can't see how these two are linked. You still have ubiquity, its just that a
>> section of the path understands QoS - and there shouldn't be a cost issue.
>> Can you explain what you mean by a transient customer, and what the problem you are
>> concerned about with them?
> <snip>
> I was just curious that the congestion/contention argument seems to be assumed for
> wireless but overlooke for fibre.

The issue is that contention on a mobile wireless air segment is completely
uncontrolled - the carrier has no control and no influence over the number of people
and devices that any basestation might have to serve, as people move in and out of the
coverage area, but however many there are, and however hard they all suck on the
data-pipe, there is only a fixed amount of spectrum and data capacity to serve them
all with. This unknowable demand can change up or down on timescales of less than an
hour - so congestion/contention is a frequent problem.

On the fibre, the operator knows and can control how many devices it is serving
(maximum of 32 legs from the splitter) and the maximum demand from each one, courtesy
of the provisioning system and the bandwidth plans signed up for in advance by the
customers. The demand is knowable, and changes on timescales of weeks and months as
people move house and upgrade/downgrade/churn their fixed broadband service - so its
much easier to plan in advance for, and congestion/contention should not occur.

> The transience issue also applies to wireless. The distinction between Stationary
> (at time of use, but device can be relocated) and Mobile rather than Fixed (which is
> what the NBN is implementing) and mobile would be more practical.

The NBN is covering the fixed service for sure. Transient/itinerant/mobile use can be
covered by one or more enterprising service providers dotting wireless basestations
around on the end of NBN tails - NBN isn't supposed or intended to be providing all
the answers for everyone, just enough of the answer to stimulate others to leverage it
and extend it.


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