Show Your Support for the Original NBN Vision

Just a short one for today.

I usually steer clear of writing about telco matters given my employment in the industry but I really think this is an important matter for all Australians to consider.

The new Coalition Government wants to change the scope of the NBN project to become a fibre to the node (FTTN) solution rather than the fibre to the home solution eventually locked in by the previous Labor Government (their original vision for which they had telcos submit tenders.was a FTTN solution). This is one amongst a number of policies that the new Government will implement under the belief they have a mandate from the recent election.

If you don’t agree with this then you should consider signing the petition urgung reconsideration of the FTTN NBN in favour of the original FTTH NBN which is technically superior solution and perhaps more worthwhile than carving up land to build new roads (improved telecommuniting, anyone?). I have seen with every increase in bandwidth from dialup, to ADSL (capped at 1.5Mbps then later 8Mbps) to ADSL2 (at 12Mbps) and ADSL2+ (24Mbps) as well as cable connections it enables new capabilities, services and experiences that were previously impractical or impossible to achieve.

Furthermore, a FTTH NBN has the ability to be upgraded “in place”. The fibre stays in the ground or in the air without needing replacement – all you need to do is change the network equipment on either end to enable faster speeds. Fibre uses light as its method of transmission instead of electricity in copper based solutions and a way to increase the speed on an existing circuit is to split light into various colours of light. In comparison, in order to get faster speeds on copper you need to keep moving the fibre to copper termination point closer and closer to homes in order to enable faster speeds (which can work out to be more expensive).

I really do think that the original vision for the NBN was perhaps one of the most important infrastructure projects for this generation and the next two generations. We need to look beyond the short term and, for those that don’t use the internet much, divest what we have to personally gain from this project (be it obvious or not). The NBN isn’t just about downloading movies faster – it can enable a whole new level of content generation and distribution for the masses and help us move well beyond the legacy infrastructure (not just copper but also traditional television and radio as examples). I could also see significant benefits for distance education making live attendance at lectures a reality and more elaborate projects involving rich media rather than the usual document deliverables.

Agian, some benefits are obvious but some won’t become apparent until the infrastructure has been built and at our disposal. As such, please consider signing the petition at to show your support for the original NBN without changes.

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