[LINK] Why the NBN business model is deeply flawed

TKoltai tomk at unwired.com.au
Thu Feb 16 12:58:56 AEDT 2012

> -----Original Message-----
> From: link-bounces at mailman.anu.edu.au 
> [mailto:link-bounces at mailman.anu.edu.au] On Behalf Of Karl Auer
> Sent: Thursday, 16 February 2012 11:43 AM
> To: link at mailman.anu.edu.au
> Subject: Re: [LINK] Why the NBN business model is deeply flawed
> 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.


Most of the older members of Link would remember the 500 ms delay on
international calls in the eighties.

But let us examine the edge.

In 1994 we (Ausnet) placed caches at the edge (Brisbane, Perth,
Adelaide, Melbourne, Hobart, Auckland, Canberra, Sydney and Darwin), of
the Ausnet 64 Kb link to Portland Oregon network and managed to convince
almost every Australian that the Ausnet Network was better than ...
In 1997, we did the same with OGN with the cache fed exclusively via
satellite and convinced almost every ISP to connect to our AUIX network
backed by a one Terabyte cache.

We achieved a 98% positive consumer result by using "tricky" diverse
routing algorithms depending on the packet type.

More recently, Facebook learnt the same lesson with the Zynga inspired
learning curve. Farmville taught Facebook about the need for CDN on the

Whatif the Satellites have built-in Storage capacity.
i.e.: Latency for the majority of the content is reduced to 170 ms.

In other words, the only painful experience will be Voice.

Therefore, on current utilisation curves, 95% of all traffic will not
notice the latency.

At the end of the day, 340 ms single satellite hop delay is an
acceptable delay for people used to Nextel (PTT) cell phone or CB radio
type communications.

Especially if the same communication is accompanied by high speed video,
graphs and PDF documents to confirm the veracity of the communications.

The old model of Voice, is almost disappearing in favour of Real time
written text enveloped with various multi-media communication forms.

It is this evolution of communication that is causing the carriers and
policy makers headaches as the models are altering faster than the three
year prediction revenue curves normally calculate for.

Therefore the real answer is a combination of Terrestrial wireless
(cellular or Wimax), Satelite Wireless, WiGig Public data showers and
WiFi in the Home.

I don't actually see a future for a cable connecting to any device that
I use...


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