[LINK] Why the NBN business model is deeply flawed

Karl Auer kauer at biplane.com.au
Thu Feb 16 11:42:32 AEDT 2012

On Thu, 2012-02-16 at 10:45 +1100, TKoltai wrote:
> Recent trials - Satellite to Mobile have exceeded 40 Mbps suggesting
> that adding more satellites and less fibre may be a better long term
> vision, especially for outlying areas.

Unless these are in very low orbits - i.e., LEO satellites and lots of
them - it's not the bandwidth, it's the latency. Fine for dumb
consumer-type activities like streaming video, but a killer for any kind
of producer role, and for any kind of interactive activity.

A geostationary satellite has to sit some 35000km above the earth.
That's 70,000km one way, and a 140,000km round trip. Light travels at
300,000 km/s, give or take, so there's 480ms delay right there - nearly
half a second. And you get that regardless of how near or how far away
the other party is.

Comparing terrestrial fibre with satellite on bandwidth alone is a
fundamental mistake, and using satellite *instead* of fibre is insane
unless there are very, very serious difficulties with getting fibre in.

I'm not saying you are making that mistake, but rural Australia should
be under absolutely no illusions about satellite. It's "better than
nothing", but that's about it.

Satellite is a very, very poor cousin to fibre for most of the putative
benefits the NBN is supposed to bring.

Regards, K.

Karl Auer (kauer at biplane.com.au)

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