[LINK] Does the NBN need overhead cabling? [Was: Aerial vs underground Cabling]

Ross Kelso kelso at internode.on.net
Fri Mar 11 13:34:54 AEDT 2011

At 16:31 5/3/2011, David Boxall wrote (Link Digest, Vol 220, Issue 16, Msg 3):

On 5/03/2011 12:20 PM, Jan Whitaker wrote:
> ...
> Environmental risks are real.
> ...
We can't guard against all possibilities. The Christchurch earthquake, 
for example, is said to be a 1 in 5,000 year event. We simply couldn't 
afford to build for such a remote possibility, even if it's possible to 
do so. In the end, we just have to acccept that sometimes things will fail.

> However we CAN guard against well-known likelihoods such as the damaging effects (on electricity
 poles and lines) of vehicle collisions, storm-driven debris and bush fires, let alone the adverse effects
 of ongoing pole-route realignment.

At 08:56 6/3/2011, David Boxall wrote (Link Digest, Vol 220, Issue 16, Msg 10):
> On 5/03/2011 1:15 PM, Richard Chirgwin wrote:
>> ...
>> It's only fair to mention that NBN Co does not intend to use overhead
>> cable more than it absolutely must.
>> ...
> How much it "absolutely must" depends on what it's doing.

> The NBN Co Corporate Plan states that one-quarter of the fibre local access network is to be aerial.
For further detail (apart from going to the Corporate Plan itself) look at the second paragraph of
the FAQ section of http://www.noaerialnbn.org which more or less is a verbatim summary of the Plan
regarding aerial/overhead construction.

> If it's 
> building something that will be flogged off to the highest bidder when 
> finished, then it needs overhead cabling to maximise the number of 
> connected (or potentially connected) premises in the time available.

> Indeed, that's exactly what happened!  The Tasmanian roll-out (remember the media shot of Julia
 pushing the red button?) was obviously staged to reach an operational milestone to coincide with the
 last federal election, and to mention another example, the then marginal seat of Herbert was blessed
with rapid roll-out of aerial fibre in Mundingburra (Townsville) - BUT Gillard failed to gain the seat
AND then along came cyclone Yasi, blowing over the electricity poles!

> If 
> it's building national infrastructure, then I guess it needs about as 
> much overhead cabling as there is in the current copper network.

> I totally disagree.  The Minister originally justified the NBN deploying as much overhead cable as
Telstra currently does for the PSTN, BUT is this the proper way to build national infrastructure - why repeat the past? 
 As it is so eloquently stated :) on the home page of http://www.noaerialnbn.org , "How can we honestly
 say to our children that this quarter of the NBN constitutes an investment in their future?" and "Why knowingly build
 second-rate infrastructure"?

To vary the adage attributed to Tony Windsor MP, "You do it once, you do it right, you do it fibre BUT you
install in underground"!


Ross Kelso
Director, Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN)

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