[LINK] The data drought

Tom Worthington tom.worthington at tomw.net.au
Wed Oct 7 10:24:37 AEDT 2015

On 05/10/15 23:17, Karl Auer wrote:

> By providing a substandard service to as much of the country as
> possible, they keep the embarrassing cost blowouts down ...

I thought the original idea of the NBN was to cross-subsidize
regional users with revenue from the city.

> ... a deliberate exercise in lowering expectations. ...

It is a very clumsy way to go about "shaping" expectations. Far better
ways to adjust use, to meet capacity could be found.

I have suggested using mobile learning applications over the NBN
Satellite as a way to eke out the bandwidth. I expect the Government
will latch on to this idea and realize it is better to tell
rural constituents that their kids will get the latest in m-learning
technology, rather than admit they have to use cut down applications due
to a third rate Internet service.

> Your personal requirements are of very little relevance. ...

To quote George Bernard Shaw: “... my rank is the highest known ... I am
a free citizen ...” (Arms and the Man, Act III).

My trading off the speed and capacity for the flexibility of wireless
access is what most people are choosing.

> I want to work on remote servers and enjoy the odd online game, so
> latency is critical to me and satellite access is useless ...

I don't think computer games are an essential service worth increasing
the total cost of the NBN many times to provide.

> People's requirements are not geographically defined, so why do so
> many people think it makes sense to provide service quality based on
>  geography?

Service cost is determined partly by geography. The cost of servicing
widely separated customers is very high, as  Richard Chirgwin discussed
in "How much would it cost to connect NBN fibre to rural Australia?",
ABC Technology and Games, 31 Jan 2013:

> And REGARDLESS of its capacity, it can delivery NOTHING of value to
> people needing to use low-latency applications ...

I think most people in remote parts of Australia would be willing to
forgo being able to play computer games if they could get services such
as on-line education to work well.

> ... why should remote users be limited to satellite service?

It is prohibitively expensive to run fiber to remote locations.

> ... Want to fly a super-computer-backed jet fighter simulation over a
> satellite link? ...

I have not had the need to learn to fly a jet fighter. While I had to
stand in occasionally for my F/A-18 fighter pilot boss at Defence HQ, I
only had to fly his desk, not his aircraft.

At the moment I am studying on-line for a Masters of Education,
specializing in Distance Education. For this I need a moderate
amount of on-line access, about the same as for the average school
student. A satellite link would be fine for this.

> Why is it so hard for people to see that data networks are the new
> roads ...

Remote parts of Australia have only dirt roads, or at best a thin strip
of bitumen. We can't afford to build six lane concrete freeways out into
the middle of nowhere. For the same reason they are not going to get
fiber to the home.

> We can run fibre to every corner of this country. Yes, it will cost
> a bit...

A bit? It would cost an astronomical amount to connect the last few
tens of thousands of homes with fibre, thus the need for an astronomical 
solution: a satellite. ;-)

> ... American cast-off jet fighters are a great investment ...

No, Australia is buying the latest American jet fighters. The last time
Australia tried to buy second hand US aircraft and refit them to save
money, it did not work. NZ ended up buying the bits of the
failed project:

Australia doesn't just buy military equipment from the USA, our new
Landing Helicopter Dock ships are from Spain and our helicopter training
ship is being made in Vietnam:

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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