[LINK] The data drought

Tom Worthington tom.worthington at tomw.net.au
Mon Oct 5 11:08:20 AEDT 2015

On 04/10/15 14:37, David Boxall wrote:

> I get the distinct feeling the whole NBN thing is being played for
> political gain more than anything else. ...

Who is playing the NBN for political gain? There would not seem to be 
anything to gain for the incumbent government, whoever they are, to 
deliberately limit NBN service in remote areas. Or are you suggesting 
someone else is deliberately exaggerating the problem?

> "...drought is about a
> lack of data - internet speeds so slow it's impossible to do online
> banking or email a small photograph."

My understanding is that NBN interim satellite users are now limited to 
20 GB a a month, after which the service is shaped to 128 kbps, then 
further reduced by an unspecified amount for an unspecified level of use:

"If you exceed your Normal Data Allowance during a Billing Period, your 
Peak Information Rate will be reduced to 128/128 kbps for the remainder 
of that Billing Period. If you then increase your Excess Data Usage by 
placing a continuous load on the service, your Peak Information Rate 
will be progressively reduced. " From "SkyMesh NBN Interim Satellite 
Plans": https://www.skymesh.net.au/services/nbn/satellite/srss.php

The speed of 128 kbps should be more than enough for on-line banking and 
emailing small photos (half that, 64 kbps, would be sufficient).

I have a wireless modem with a 10GB a month allocation, which then gets 
"shaped". This is fine for on-line banking, large photographs, podcasts 
and low resolution video (as well as for tutoring and being a student of 
on-line university courses).

> "The new half-a-billion-dollar satellite was launched this morning, but
> due to months of testing will not be commercially available until mid-2016.

Yes, commissioning a satellite really is "rocket science": it is 
difficult and takes time.

> That being so, our only option is to make as much noise as possible.
> ...

Remote satellite users can never receive the same speed as city users. 
This is not a matter of politics, but of physics and geography.

That said, 128 kbps should be sufficient for applications such 
e-learning via Moodle. If not, there must be something seriously wrong 
with the way the courses have been designed.

Tom Worthington FACS CP, TomW Communications Pty Ltd. t: 0419496150
The Higher Education Whisperer http://blog.highereducationwhisperer.com/
PO Box 13, Belconnen ACT 2617, Australia  http://www.tomw.net.au
Liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards

Adjunct Senior Lecturer, Research School of Computer Science,
Australian National University http://cs.anu.edu.au/courses/COMP7310/

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