[LINK] A great leap backwards.

David Boxall linkdb at boxall.name
Fri Feb 10 07:02:49 AEDT 2017

> Australia's National Broadband Network is a landmark investment in the 
> nation's infrastructure. In was born in the depths of the Global 
> Financial Crisis of 2008: an antidote to the risks of worldwide 
> economic depression; a capital investment in long term public 
> infrastructure to underwrite prosperity and growth throughout the 21st 
> century, and illustrated as the digital-age equivalent of the 
> engineering ‘marvel’ of the 20th century, the Snowy Mountains Scheme.
> Most importantly, and going one better than the Snowy Scheme, the NBN 
> was headlined as an investment for all Australians individually, no 
> matter where they lived.
> Despite political division over its specifications, the project was 
> endorsed by Federal Parliament, and the NBN promoted as the most 
> advanced nationwide technological project in our history.
> So what has gone wrong?
> As connection to the NBN approaches for some residents in North 
> Queensland, many people who live only a short distance away from 
> National Highway One and the main national rail network, and who are a 
> short drive from nearby towns where they work and shop, have been 
> informed their NBN connections will be limited to a service delivered 
> via satellite.
> These are people living where residents have had access to 
> international telephone services for nearly 150 years!
> I'm referring specifically, for example, to my home region 
> encompassing long-established communities in the Kennedy Valley, parts 
> of the Murray Valley and places just north of Cardwell, whose 
> settlement began in Queen Victoria's reign over the British Empire.
> It's a shock for people whose homes and businesses are currently 
> connected directly to national landline broadband services, to be 
> informed that this access is to be discontinued, permanently, and that 
> it will be replaced by a service delivered only via satellite.
> While we might be remote from Canberra, we're directly connected 
> commercially and socially to a vast region of interconnected 
> communities that stretches from Cairns to Townsville and beyond. This 
> includes the Atherton Tableland and the communities of Port Douglas, 
> the Daintree and the Burdekin.
> Geographically, we live and work at the virtual centre of this vast 
> and interconnected north Queensland community, yet suddenly, the NBN 
> of the 21st century has rebranded us as ‘remote’! This 21st century 
> technological ‘advancement’ is inflicting communication uncertainty on 
> places that have enjoyed phone services to Melbourne, London, Paris 
> and New York since the 1870s.
> Why satellite NBN is not a ‘technological advance’ in north Queensland.
> * communication via satellites is especially unreliable during periods 
> of cloud cover and rain, and we live in Australia’s wet tropics across 
> the wettest region of the nation where annual rainfall is measured in 
> metres
> * the speeds of satellite internet services are inferior to NBN 
> landline services and the costs are far higher
> * these issues of poor reliability and inferior speed will 
> deliberately disadvantage our communities both commercial and socially
> * the NBN designers aree ‘choosing’ to make our communities ‘remote’ 
> for the first time in our history
> * our businesses will be disadvantaged against those we compete with 
> whether nationally or internationally
> * this business disadvantage will extend to timely access to market 
> alerts, sensitive information or warnings
> * our children will suffer the same inferior service disadvantages at 
> a time when government educational services are moving online at an 
> accelerating speedthe greater cost disadvantage of satellite internet 
> will impact more heavily because of the increasing use of, and need 
> for cloud computing
> * every satellite connection in currently networked internet service 
> areas will reduce the quality and capacity of services available to 
> Australians who are living in remote regions and genuinely need them
> * because an NBN city boardroom meeting has apparently categorised us 
> as ‘remote'!
> * in the Kennedy Valley for example, some 240 businesses and residents 
> being forced onto satellite NBN are in close proximity to fibre 
> internet access, reticulated electricity and a site available for 
> erection of a tower to disseminate wireless NBN.

David Boxall                    |  Any given program,
                                 |  when running correctly,
http://david.boxall.id.au       |  is obsolete.
                                 |       --Arthur C. Clarke

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