Linked by Jordan Spencer Cunningham on Mon 27th Apr 2009 21:36 UTC
Internet & Networking Earlier this month, Australian Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, gave the go-ahead on a vast project that will establish a national high-speed network providing 90% of homes and businesses in Australia with fiber-optic 100Mbps Internet, courtesy of the government; the last 10% will be covered with a 12Mbps connection via wireless and satellite. Not only will a vast amount of taxpayers be guaranteed an Internet connection, but this will also provide 37,000 jobs at the apex of construction, a plus in these troubling times. Now CSIRO has jumped on the bandwagon with ideas of how to provide the last 10% (and anyone else who wants a wireless option) with a solid wireless Internet connection with speeds eventually reaching 100Mbps versus the government's proposed 12Mbps. They'll be utilizing the analog TV infrastructure for widespread wireless, which is obviously largely in place already. All in all, both networks most likely won't be available to any of the public for at least five years.
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Meanwhile in the US...
by ssa2204 on Mon 27th Apr 2009 22:32 UTC
ssa2204
Member since:
2006-04-22

We are still stuck at slow 6Mbps, with promises of faster speeds. Oh, did I mention that with faster speeds we can get our Internet disconnected ever quicker now, what with the caps all the cable operators use.

And I should add that my local government's whole plan for providing Internet was using some unknown company to do a wireless system, to which they are now battling in court as to who pays for the removal of the APs for the failed project. The wireless speeds would have been capped at 2-3Mpbs. Uggh.

I truly envy the Australians.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by garf
by garf on Mon 27th Apr 2009 22:52 UTC
garf
Member since:
2009-01-02

Haha don't envy us too much...

I voted for the government, and truely hope this goes ahead, but it is costing a lot of money, and will have a hard time getting through the senate. And will take 8 years to complete. But currently, our broadband is stuffed by a dominant telco, who owns most of the infrastructure, and makes it difficuilt for any other companies to building their own DSLAMS.

But fiber to the home is truely the only way to go (a heap of other people seem to think wireless will be good enough... pfft... you can never beat a cable, or fibre in this case). But it's not here yet, and we'll still have to wait and suffer a while longer.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Comment by garf
by Phase Angle on Mon 27th Apr 2009 23:25 UTC in reply to "Comment by garf"
Phase Angle Member since:
2006-06-28

"and makes it difficuilt for any other companies to building their own DSLAMS."

Translation => other companies don't want to spend the money that Telstra spends

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by garf
by wakeupneo on Thu 30th Apr 2009 06:02 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by garf"
wakeupneo Member since:
2005-07-06

Translation => other companies don't want to spend the money that Telstra spends


All of this has less to do with money and more to do with breaking the virtual monopoly Telstra have had on the infrastructure in this country for the last 50 years. According to a recent poll, Telstra is the most hated company in Aus ...daylight second...and for good reason.

iiNet were the first to deploy DSLAM's, despite Telstra doing everything they could to slow them down by not allowing access to the exchanges. But the result of their persistance and investment is that I and most of the people I know have been using ADSL2+ on their network for several years now....long before Telstra started offering it.

Our country cousins however have had to wait for Telstra to get off their lazy asses to provide even basic services. Many are still waiting.

Bring on more competition!

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by garf
by ssa2204 on Tue 28th Apr 2009 00:44 UTC in reply to "Comment by garf"
ssa2204 Member since:
2006-04-22

Look at this way, there is the possibility in 8 years you will have fiber to the home. Here, in 8 years most of us will have had our internet cut because of "excessive usage" lol.

The joke of our system as recently shown at Ars with Time Warner is that these companies are hardly paying that much in expenses to get their internet access, they just know since they have a monopoly they can do whatever the f**k they want. Who are we to complain, for most of us it is either cable or nothing.

Quite simply they are too cheap to invest in the infrastructure to support their customer base, so their model is to basically threaten and cut the top 1000 users. The future simply does not look good for us, and each year we get behind more and more other nations. Japan and Korea have long since surpassed not only the speeds but the price! Right now I pay $60 for 3Mbps, to which I have to watch out for using the service I pay for, otherwise I could end up doing dial in (no DSL, no Fiber, no Wifi alternatives).

Reply Score: 3

RE: Comment by garf
by kaiwai on Tue 28th Apr 2009 01:18 UTC in reply to "Comment by garf"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

Haha don't envy us too much...

I voted for the government, and truely hope this goes ahead, but it is costing a lot of money, and will have a hard time getting through the senate. And will take 8 years to complete. But currently, our broadband is stuffed by a dominant telco, who owns most of the infrastructure, and makes it difficuilt for any other companies to building their own DSLAMS.

But fiber to the home is truely the only way to go (a heap of other people seem to think wireless will be good enough... pfft... you can never beat a cable, or fibre in this case). But it's not here yet, and we'll still have to wait and suffer a while longer.


1) New Zealand apparently has a similar scheme that is being looked at - personally the problem is that with a single fibre network there is almost an assurance that massive oversight and regulation will have to be used to ensure that customers don't get shafted.

I'm wondering whether the better solution would be for the government to offer interest free loans, a payback period of inflation plus 2 and streamlined resource management act which would allow the two line operators, TelstraClear and Telecom to upgrade their work. For me - 100mb would be nice but I'd still be happy with 25mps given that even if there are massive improvements in speed in Australia and New Zealand it will be only as fast as the amount of international bandwidth on offer.

2) I wasn't on board with the 'bonus' scheme of Kevin Rudd (or as one paper called him, "Kevin Rude" ;) ) because it would have been better focused on infrastructure spending such as public transport, maybe 'debt reduction tax credit' to encourage the reduction in debt (well, more like 'transferring' it to the public sector buts a different matter altogether) etc. If there is money going to be spent off the back of borrowing it should be focused on long term beneficial investments rather than short term attempts to kick the economy along.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by garf
by haydenm on Tue 28th Apr 2009 03:11 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by garf"
haydenm Member since:
2006-10-29

Gen Y live on(in?) the internet, Gen X need jobs.

This is a win/win situation for Rudd. Whether or not it actually bares any fruit is irrelevent, he is hoping to bag himself an I.T. industry of votes.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by garf
by kaiwai on Tue 28th Apr 2009 13:19 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by garf"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

Gen Y live on(in?) the internet, Gen X need jobs.

This is a win/win situation for Rudd. Whether or not it actually bares any fruit is irrelevent, he is hoping to bag himself an I.T. industry of votes.


Its interesting to see Australia because most of the IT people I know tend to be libertarian and view this as little more than tax payer subsidised access to porn.

One suggestion was that the government should lay down the pipes and then let the different carriers to thread their cables through the pipes. The most expensive part of laying a network isn't the cable but all the work of digging up the pavement/road, laying down the pipe, then threading it through.

I'd sooner see something like that then seeing billions of dollars being thrown at potentially a massive white elephant. I can understand the political motivation to 'win votes' but at the same time I do think that these so-called 'big ticket' investments are going to become things that tax payers will later regret. NZ being a prime example of government investments that turned into white elephants - the gasification plant and aluminium smelter being two examples of 'stimulus' under Muldoon ('Think Big' Projects - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Think_Big ) which almost bankrupted New Zealand in the process.

Edited 2009-04-28 13:26 UTC

Reply Score: 3

Cost ???
by cade on Tue 28th Apr 2009 05:10 UTC
cade
Member since:
2009-02-28

I have wondered what the monthly rate will be for access to this new network.

One article, i.e.

http://www.livenews.com.au/most-read/broadband-network-could-cost-2...

hypothesizes a $200 per month fee.

Even if this is extreme, then even $100 per month is still hard to gulp especially when many people are happy (or forced ?) to pay about $50 per month for their Internet connection.


The potential to have fast Internet access is a good idea but then again not everybody may need the fastest Internet and these people are probably happy with current Internet speeds.

e.g. If the Internet is just used like a newspaper, then you don't need lightning-fast Internet.


Even if your Internet experience takes a second or two longer, so what ?

Note that as we progress and become more of an on-demand society, people's patience start to deteriorate.

e.g. Remember upgrading from dial-up to broadband Internet. Many people, after sampling broadband for a while, would never have felt going back to dial-up Internet. This is rightly-so since the technological change was significant. However, upgrading within broadband technologies may not be as extreme (in Internet experience at least) and you'd wonder about the "bang-per-buck" value when going to the upgraded network.



Then again, a much quicker connection may be required to offset any slow-down of Internet speed due to Rudd's Internet filter.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Cost ???
by adkilla on Tue 28th Apr 2009 07:23 UTC in reply to "Cost ???"
adkilla Member since:
2005-07-07

Maybe it'll have subsidies from taxes, like other infrastructure (e.g. roads, bridges).

With corporations only interested on maximizing profits on with little infrastructure investments, this seems like a better win for the people. This would most certainly benefit education and collaboration.

-Ad

Reply Score: 1

AUSTRALIA
by Ford Prefect on Tue 28th Apr 2009 10:04 UTC
Ford Prefect
Member since:
2006-01-16

It is named "Australia", not "Austrailia".

Reply Score: 3

RE: AUSTRALIA
by weildish on Tue 28th Apr 2009 15:01 UTC in reply to "AUSTRALIA"
weildish Member since:
2008-12-06

You got me. I could have sworn I made sure to write "Australia" as I knew I had the bad habit of adding the 'i' in the middle, but obviously I didn't. Apologies.

Reply Score: 2

USA disconnecting high end users
by urkrobshaw on Tue 28th Apr 2009 10:45 UTC
urkrobshaw
Member since:
2009-02-01

Not sure what the USA threshold is for being served a "stop leeching" notice/disconnection, but you'd be hard pressed if you moved to Australia.

Most of our "affordable" plans (less than $80/month) come with a 40-60gb per month cap. Hit the limit, and you're shaped to 64kbps for the rest of your billing month.

A scarily high proportion of "mum & dads" who didn't know any better at the time, are on 500mb per month caps, with huge excess usage fees of up to $150/GB. They are stuck on 2 year contracts. It would suck to be a first time internet user on broadband with a 2 year contract, with less than 1 CD's worth of data available to you for the entire month.

They can't youtube, hulu, upload home video's etc without selling their newborn to the largest ISP in the country. It wasn't uncommon to hear about $30,000 bills for a single months internet access when these plans were first introduced.

Speed might be a good thing in future, but can you imagine a 100mbit fibre connection, with a 500mb/month limit?

Be very very grateful that your 200gb/month puts you in the top 1000 user range ;)

Reply Score: 2

kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

Not sure what the USA threshold is for being served a "stop leeching" notice/disconnection, but you'd be hard pressed if you moved to Australia.

Most of our "affordable" plans (less than $80/month) come with a 40-60gb per month cap. Hit the limit, and you're shaped to 64kbps for the rest of your billing month.

A scarily high proportion of "mum & dads" who didn't know any better at the time, are on 500mb per month caps, with huge excess usage fees of up to $150/GB. They are stuck on 2 year contracts. It would suck to be a first time internet user on broadband with a 2 year contract, with less than 1 CD's worth of data available to you for the entire month.

They can't youtube, hulu, upload home video's etc without selling their newborn to the largest ISP in the country. It wasn't uncommon to hear about $30,000 bills for a single months internet access when these plans were first introduced.

Speed might be a good thing in future, but can you imagine a 100mbit fibre connection, with a 500mb/month limit?

Be very very grateful that your 200gb/month puts you in the top 1000 user range ;)


That reminds of when I worked at an ISP - a lady rang up trying to work out how on earth she accrued a huge bill on her internet account given she had only downloaded a few things along with her son. It was later found (through some checking on her computer (asking her to describe each icon)) that her son had been using P2P and had left the application open. The net result was that people were pull files down off the computer like crazy.

The company decided to cut the bill in half and she paid it back gradually - but we told her that she needed to get savvy on what her son was doing on the computer.

Reply Score: 2

Population density
by usr0 on Tue 28th Apr 2009 17:58 UTC
usr0
Member since:
2006-10-27

Well 90% of the population are living on 1% of Australia's area. And the remaining 10% are spread over the remaining 99% of the area. Not exact but something like this...

Reply Score: 1

Potentially useless broadband network
by 3rdalbum on Wed 29th Apr 2009 10:23 UTC
3rdalbum
Member since:
2008-05-26

This new broadband network is potentially useless.

On the surface of it, you'll get incredibly fast downloads. But if the compulsory internet filtering/censorship plan goes ahead, we'll be paying through the nose for all the extra computers the ISPs will need to implement the filtering, AND we'll see no real-world increase in bitrates from our current broadband.

That's right: The new fibre-optic broadband network will only mask one of the effects of the censorship that will be imposed. Anyone planning on moving to Australia to take advantage of ultra-fast Bittorrent downloads will have a rude shock too as all Bittorrent traffic will be filtered OUT.

Until Kevin Rudd comes on the TV and tells us that the Conroy's Folly plan is dead, we should all be skeptical of this new network.

Reply Score: 2