[LINK] NBN and Batteries

Ross Kelso kelso at internode.on.net
Mon Feb 28 22:37:11 AEDT 2011

On Wed, 23 Feb 2011 at 21:39:41 Bernard Robertson-Dunn wrote:

> This battery thing suggests to me that the original NBN solution didn't 
> think it all the way through.
> My view is that every solution creates new problems. In this case it 
> looks to me as though they (a range of people, not just the NBN) are 
> trying to modify the NBN to replicate the system being replaced, not 
> look at is as a new problem.
> The new problem is not "how do you keep the NBN up in times of power 
> loss in an emergency?" but it should be "how do you provide emergency 
> communications in times of power loss?" Just because the POTS could 
> still be used when power was lost, doesn't mean that the NBN should 
> provide the same solution.
> And when you analyse the problem it becomes clear that power can be lost 
> to a variety of systems (NBN, mobiles, TV, etc) and in a variety of 
> circumstances (bushfire, storm, flood, earthquake, cyclone).
> It would be nice to have a solution that covered the real problem, not 
> just part of it.
> But that would be a bit radical, especially when it comes to ICT.

One issue not fully appreciated by NBN Co is that they are intent on deploying 25% of the local network aerially, such that services downstream of that aerial cabling will inevitably be more vulnerable to loss of power due to bushfires, storms, cyclones, vehicle accidents, etc. arising from the very fact that the cabling is installed on electricity poles that have a habit of attracting such nasties.  Hence I would argue that end-users served by NBN aerial cabling should receive first priority in having NBN Co-supplied and maintained batteries.


Ross Kelso
Director - Australian Communications Consumer Action Network

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