By Stephen Neate
April 14, 2013
We are living on acreage and there is nature all around, made more alive and real by the fact that it never seems to stop raining. It is so green and alive we can smell and hear life all around us. The stage is set for some spiritual epiphany about Gaia, although all I can think of are concepts that appear to exist more in science fiction than my immediate surrounds.
In another life I am sure I would have become an engineer or inventor, or perhaps that may come some time in the future. Either way, I believe the trick in life is to keep learning. Challenge your gray matter wherever possible, assume there is always someone smarter and more knowledgeable on any given topic than you, and just keep thinking. That – and a wish to be a Jedi in the future – is probably why I write software, enjoy coding and am passionate about this collection of computers tied together called the internet.
This internet thingy and the proposal of National Broadband Networks in Australia by differing political parties has been on my mind a lot over the past few months. The recent piss-weak proposal by the LNP has galvanised me into unexpected action. This is the second article about it I have written in a week. Normally my interaction online is very limited – hell I don’t even bother with microphones when gaming (I also swear too much and apparently some take offence, bless their fucking little souls.)
Anyway, the point of this article is to say: The Australia of the near future that I want to live in needs the most state of the art top shelf broadband network ever invented.
I do a have few reasons why, but before getting into them I’d would like to explain a couple of tech points.
ALP = FTTH style NBN
LNP = FTTN style NBN
NBN – The ‘National Broadband Network’ for all intents and purposes means the internet for most people. It’s not actually, it is akin to saying that road outside your house is actually your work place. Unless you actually work on the road, that road merely provides a simple method for you to get from home to your work. The NBN is exactly the same. It allows your data request to go out and fetch information (email, movie, web page…) from a computer that is also connected to the NBN, as clearly all the information available to you is not residing in your house.
FTTN – Fibre to the node, a simple termination point of high speed fibre to a node near your premises. (home or business).
FTTH / FTTP – Fibre to the house or Fibre to the premises. As simple as it sounds – fibre running from the central exchange directly to the premises.
Copper – In relation to talks about the NBN this is the road outside your house. It is a seriously inferior product to Fibre Optics when talking about communication. It has worked well for countries all over the world, but just as we no longer use steam trains, the tech has advanced.
Nodes – Essentially they are the train stations for the NBN when switching between a 10 carriage train of bandwidth/speed down to the passenger car delivery to your house. These are an essential aspect of the fibre to the node NLP option and only allow high speeds to a premises when they are within a few kilometres to the premises. In other words we need a fracking truck load of them across the country (60,000+) that all require service, maintenance and enough power to probably run some of our smaller cities.
Fibre Optics – The so called new kid on the block, and I say ‘so called’ as it appears that researchers at Corning Glass found out how to make it commercially in 1970. More on Corning Glass shortly. Put simply this is undoubtedly the future of our tech, leaving copper so far behind as to appear stone-aged. Read the rest of this entry »