All content contained within should be restricted to those over-age. Occasionally, suicide and self-harm are mentioned and readers should take care to ensure they are in a safe place - emotionally and physically - before reading. Comments are welcome.

Monday, February 27, 2012

The problem with the NBN

The National Broadband Network.  Everyone who owns a computer, or has operated a computer, has an opinion.  The problem with the NBN as policy in the political sense is that every idiot that fits the aforementioned descriptions, thinks that their opinion is one coming from a place of "knowledge".


I just read a comment on a blog that pissed all over the NBN, and stated that the NDIS (National Disability Insurance Scheme) is far more important.  It made me think for a wee moment...  My eldest has Aspergers, and my youngest is still iffy on that front;  I have a physical disability, my two kids inherited my physical disability genes, so while it's only mildly affecting them at the moment, this will worsen as they get older; I have a mental illness; everyone has asthma (my husbands is very severe), as well as sleep apnoea; and then we all have allergies too, and various other "things" going on...  The NDIS is a great idea, and it will benefit this family.

The problem with the NDIS is that, well, for starters, it's not been put on the cards yet in any "real" way... it's still just a "yeah, we'll do it, sometime" thing.  By the time it gets up and going (assuming it doesn't get canned first), it'll be that done over by special interest groups, that it'll be fucked anyway.  So while it will benefit us, I'm not expecting it to benefit us much.  Actually, I probably shouldn't even expect that it will benefit us at all just yet...

The NBN on the other hand - it is very much needed for the good of the majority of Australians.  City dwellers may not see the urgent need, however I'm guessing that they can see specialists face to face without it costing them travel and motels in order to get there.  There is a specialist (the only one in Australia) that I would love to have my son's see so that we can halt the progress of their "disability" as much as possible - but he's in Sydney, I'm in Queensland, and it's just not going to happen.  Not unless we get an NBN anyway...

There are a lot of good reasons to have an NBN, and it would take me all night to list them all, but for now, I just want to explain why people with no clue should just shut up about it.

They should shut up about it, because they have no clue.  They think they have a clue, because they own a computer, or know how to operate one, but they really don't.  Or they think they have a clue because Tony Abbott, clueless extraordinaire, gets on television and lies his arse off.  Here are some of his biggest doozies...

#  Wireless is awesome for rural and remote Australia, as it will offer enough bandwidth and speed to do what is required.

ROFL.  The biggest failure of wireless is surprisingly not that people often think they have "wireless" when really they have Wifi connected to a router, connected to (usually) ADSL.  No, the biggest failure of wireless technology is that it is finite.  There is a finite bandwidth with wireless, so the more people using it, the less bandwidth there is to go around, and the slower and slower connections get.  It's also terribly unreliable, particularly in bad weather.

#  The market will supply as consumers demand.

This can be summed up with a quick - doesn't seem to be doing us much good so far, does it?  The market is demanding it, but as there is little profit in putting the infrastructure into rural and remote Australia, the telecommunications companies are never going to adequately provide it.  I live in a country town and have ADSL2.  Five minutes away, a friend is on dial up.  Yep, dial up.  Oh, and while wireless is fine if you're standing smack bang in the centre of town, she can't get it where she lives.  She has no internet.  She also has a daughter with Autism, and could benefit greatly from all manner of internet related things.  The market doesn't give a shit about her, and never will.

#  Current fibre optic networks in the cities, along with ADSL and wireless for the rest of Australia, is "enough".  We don't "need" anything else.

Sure.  Today (well, no not really, but what the hell - you either live in the bush and know what I'm talking about, or you don't).  But not tomorrow.

The world is changing.  Technology is growing.  In other countries, there has long been a push for all communications to go through fibre optic networks.  In the not so distant future, Australia is going to need fibre optic, and it makes sense to start preparing for that now, rather than later.  We moved on from telegraphs, and we moved on from switchboards.  We moved on from the old dial up at 52kbps.  And quite frankly, the copper is going to need replacing eventually (or even soon) - why not do it all at once, do it properly with fibre optic, and save ourselves in the long run?

Oh, and plus???  ADSL2 is already becoming too slow for a lot of households - especially those where someone is working, and someone else is streaming video, and someone else is chatting on Skype.  Thankfully, for now, the television doesn't go through the internet... oh wait... yes it does!!!

We moved on from the caves, and we'll continue to move on, whether the government likes it or not.  The only question is - are we going to leave regional and rural Australia to fend for themselves, or are we going to include them, given that they pay their taxes too?

Feel free to leave argumentative comments below.  I'm more than happy to have my husband answer them ;-)

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