[LINK] Points, lines & curves

Tom Koltai tomk at unwired.com.au
Sun Feb 13 17:16:30 AEDT 2011

> -----Original Message-----
> From: link-bounces at mailman.anu.edu.au 
> [mailto:link-bounces at mailman.anu.edu.au] On Behalf Of David Boxall
> Sent: Sunday, 13 February 2011 2:24 PM
> To: link at mailman.anu.edu.au
> Subject: Re: [LINK] Points, lines & curves
> On 13/02/2011 10:55 AM, Jan Whitaker wrote:
> > ...
> > We've had a bit of exploration on link about the value of 
> redundancy, 
> >
> Should we have kept the overland telegraph as a backup to telephones? 
> Change is scary, but can we stop it?
> >

Well actually, we did. For about a hundred years or so...

The Telegram service sent their last Telegram in 1983.
The physical O/T line was only decommissioned in 1975.

Also there was more than one overland Telegraph line...


Overland Telegraph Line track (OTL). This rough and eroded track weaves
between countless rusting steel poles that mark the route of the
telegraph wire that once linked Thursday Island with Brisbane. Between
1885 and 1887, despite forbidding terrain and the constant threat of
attack from hostile aboriginals, the line construction gangs gradually
extended the wire over 600km from Fairview Station near Laura right up
the middle of the peninsula to Paterson Telegraph Station on Peak Point,
10 km west of the tip of Cape York. A submarine cable was laid to
Thursday Island and the line, built at a cost of over 30,000 pounds,
became operational in August 1887.

The OTL served as a tenuous link with the outside world for Cape York
residents for almost 60 years until it gained new importance in 1942 as
a vital communications link in our WWII defences. The last Morse-code
message was tapped down the line in June 1964 and until the new
microwave towers were erected and it was decommissioned in 1987, the OTL
served as the Cape's local telephone line. 

Redundancy is good.
Whilst TCP normally routes around problems, all of us are aware of the
problems with Optus fibre [Australia wide] in the nineties when a
backhoe dug up some fibre near the Blacktown exchange.

A little copper redundancy for a hundred years or so would not hurt.
(And it would sure help competitive pricing.)

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