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Australia Government Networking The Internet Politics

Aussie National Broadband Network Will Be Gigabit 258

Posted by timothy
from the and-with-filtering-much-less-clogged dept.
schmidty-au writes "NBN Co, the Australian Government company established to build Australia's national fibre-optic broadband network, announced today that, instead of the previously announced 100 Mbps network, it will provide 1 Gbps, within the existing AU$43 billion budget. Meanwhile, the Australian opposition, which has announced that it will scrap the network if it wins the 21 August election, and instead provide incentives to the private sector to improve the existing copper network, and to install wireless broadband (with promised peak speeds of 12 Mbps), does not understand or believe that this would be possible. The man who wants to be Australia's next Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, said today 'This idea that "hey presto" we are suddenly going to get 10 times the speed from something that isn't even built yet I find utterly implausible.'"
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Aussie National Broadband Network Will Be Gigabit

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  • by kernkopje (414100) on Friday August 13, 2010 @04:56AM (#33236646) Homepage
    The man who wants to be Australia's next Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, said today 'This idea that "hey presto" we are suddenly going to get 10 times the speed from something that isn't even built yet I find utterly implausible.'" "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." -- Arthur C. Clarke
    • by ta bu shi da yu (687699) on Friday August 13, 2010 @05:01AM (#33236674) Homepage

      Hey... you know, I could have said that about Tony Abbott.

      This idea that "hey presto" we are suddenly going to get an improved economy, less waste and an excellent immigration policy from someone we haven't elected yet I find utterly implausible [theage.com.au].

    • by vidnet (580068) on Friday August 13, 2010 @05:06AM (#33236704) Homepage

      to get 10 times the speed from something that isn't even built yet

      Well, it's much easier to upgrade a design plan than an existing infrastructure.

    • by sjwt (161428) on Friday August 13, 2010 @05:08AM (#33236716)

      Lets put this in its propper context..

      From the second linked artical [theage.com.au]
      "It's very hard to take seriously a government which suddenly pulls yet another technological rabbit out of a hat just because it's under enormous pressure in the closing stages of an election campaign," the Liberal leader told reporters in western Sydney.

      "This idea that 'hey presto' we are suddenly going to get 10 times the speed from something that isn't even built yet I find utterly implausible."

      • by delinear (991444) on Friday August 13, 2010 @06:11AM (#33236976)
        It seems he's only calling the leap from 100Mbps to 1Gbps implausible, rather than the plan to lay the 100Mbps infrastructure. I don't know what the cost differences are between 100Mbps and 1Gbps but I would have thought they'd be negligible compared to the cost of putting any infrastructure in place.
        • Pretty much. Although A$43b isn't a bad deal to fibre up the country.

        • So in terms of just building a big 'ole WAN, no probably not too much more. Enterprise grade gig equipment still carries a non-trivial price premium over 100mb, but it isn't near the cost that actually laying the fiber will be. However remember that's only half the battle. There are two very other important things when you are talking an ISP:

          1) Internal pipes. While you can, of course, oversubscribe lines and you'll do that, you cannot do it to an infinite fashion. What this means is if you have a switch fu

          • When your LAN has an entire country connected in it, it stops being local. Or if the entire world connected to it you'd still call it a LAN?

            And, no, you are quite wrong. The hard part is getting gigabit links to every home. The back end is easy.

            • by Firethorn (177587)

              And, no, you are quite wrong. The hard part is getting gigabit links to every home. The back end is easy.

              If you're running fiber; giving them a 'gigabit' fiber connection by using a gigabit switch rather than a 100mb switch is easy.

              The problem on the back end becomes provisioning. If your switch has internal gigabit switching and you have a hundred some odd houses plugged in there, but you only have a gigabit connection going back to a central switch, can you really say that the users have a 'gigabit connection to the internet'? They only get that gig if none of the other hundred or so people are using it at

            • Again it matters on what you can provide. If all links in the country are gig, then it is just a collection of little LANs. You have gig to the switch which has gig to its switch and that to its switch and so on. Ok, but that means at each level contention gets much, much worse until you are talking very slow speeds to people who aren't extremely local to you. You have to have bigger and bigger upstream connections to maintain that gig speed over a wider area.

              If you think that part is cheap, all it tells me

          • by ultranova (717540)

            What this means is if you have a switch full of people on gig, and you want them to see that gig a reasonable amount of time, you need to go 10gig for the uplink from that switch. Then that switch with all the 10gig ports is going to have to have something bigger up the chain, and currently there isn't anything on the ethernet standard.

            A possible solution is to not have "upstream", but use half the ports on a switch connect to people and the other half connect to other switches - in other words, have a mes

            • How's that work at the next level though? So let's say I have a 48 port switch. I connect 24 ports to people, then 24 ports back to my floor switch. Ok, what does that switch connect to the next switch with? If you said "24 ports" well then the switches aren't doing anything, other than acting as extenders, 24 in, 24 out, we are never connecting more people.

              That's the issue is that you have to interconnect these things for it to be any use. Many connections must aggregate at some location so they can trade

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by OeLeWaPpErKe (412765)

      You know, just one network engineer's opinion :

      While I agree that the price difference between 100 mbit and gigabit (both require a fiber network) is small, there is no way to build a nationwide network for a small US state for that budget. This network is not going to get built, no matter who gets elected. A national fiber network for australia with connections to even 10% of houses ... I seriously doubt it could be done with hundred times that budget.

      This is ignoring the obvious fact that the current inte

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        I'm sure that more major network links will be created over time. There's no reason why they shouldn't be.

        Your problem is that you feel that everything is hosted overseas. It's not. Not everything runs through the International links, unless you are some sort of stupid corporation that uses an MPLS network to route your traffic - hi EMC network admins! There are vast numbers of servers and Internet based services within Australia that are required or are extremely useful to Australian organizations. That is

      • by timeOday (582209)

        And frankly people who let their votes be decided by "we'll give you more free stuff" deserve exactly what they'll get.

        $43e9 AUS is not free. Also, I am not really clear on what's being proposed... the following quotes give me the impression they're upgrading the backbone, and perhaps to the home in major areas, but not taking on the last mile problem for all of Australia:

        the faster capability was already built into the equipment which the company was installing in homes and Mr Quigley said he decided to

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by mikkelm (1000451)

        "This network is not going to get built, no matter who gets elected. A national fiber network for australia with connections to even 10% of houses ... I seriously doubt it could be done with hundred times that budget."

        So you suggest that it would be unlikely to deploy GPON to about 800,000 households for $AUD 4.3 trillion, or approximately $AUD 5 million per household? You knowm just the opinion of one network engineer who has actually been involved in nationwide GPON deployments, the current assessment of

    • by redemtionboy (890616) on Friday August 13, 2010 @07:11AM (#33237166)
      Honestly it's just too much speed for Australia to handle. How can you expect the government to be able to censor these high speeds properly. We must protect our citizens from themselves!
    • The bigger magic still will be keeping out the porn and gory zombie games, as the aussie government seems hell-bent on doing. The great firewall of Australia has a better chance of coming about if they dig a big moat filled with burning gasoline, if you ask me!
    • by syousef (465911)

      The man who wants to be Australia's next Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, said today 'This idea that "hey presto" we are suddenly going to get 10 times the speed from something that isn't even built yet I find utterly implausible.'"

      "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." -- Arthur C. Clarke

      Our Australian politicians are all turnips who don't understand technology - syousef

  • by divide overflow (599608) on Friday August 13, 2010 @04:58AM (#33236654)

    The man who wants to be Australia's next Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, said today 'This idea that "hey presto" we are suddenly going to get 10 times the speed from something that isn't even built yet I find utterly implausible.'"

    Yeah, and computers will never get faster, cheaper or smaller. What a tool.

    • by beelsebob (529313)

      Yeah, and computers will never get faster, cheaper or smaller. What a tool.

      Consider that the average consumer doesn't actually see the progression of computer speed and he may look slightly less tool like.

      If all you do is use word, browse the web, check email etc, your computer has likely stayed the same effective speed for the past 15 years... The progression of things getting prettier/more complex/more intelligent is so gentle that most people don't ever notice.

      • by Haedrian (1676506)

        Uh what?

        All you have to do is grab a game which came out 15 years ago - lets say Doom 2 (which came out 17 years ago), and a game which came out lately - take your pick and compare the graphics. Or compare the (non-existant) physics with the physics of some modern FPS.

        Even if you ARE an 'average' consumer who just browses the web (those people exist?) - I'm pretty sure that even flash games have greatly improved.

        • by beelsebob (529313) on Friday August 13, 2010 @08:04AM (#33237422)

          All you have to do is grab a game which came out 15 years ago - lets say Doom 2 (which came out 17 years ago), and a game which came out lately - take your pick and compare the graphics. Or compare the (non-existant) physics with the physics of some modern FPS.

          The problem being that the average consumer sees that as "oh, it got a bit prettier" – they don't realise how many orders of magnitude more processing it requires to make it that much prettier.

    • by Thanshin (1188877)

      He doesn't need to speak the truth, just to convince the masses. For the masses, a reasoning like "OMG WTF! 10x is UNPOSSIBLE! BBQ!" does work.

      And now the extra piece of my mind that will get me flamed, as always:

      There's no point in you voting. Your vote won't change anything. Voting is not the way of having an effect in a democratic system.

      And now the bad analogy: To found a new religion you start by convincing other people a new god exists, not by convincing yourself and praying to it.

      • There's no point in you voting. Your vote won't change anything. Voting is not the way of having an effect in a democratic system.

        And now the bad analogy: To found a new religion you start by convincing other people a new god exists, not by convincing yourself and praying to it.

        Do you still hold that view if the voting machines aren't rigged? I live in the US and have been voting third party. I know I can't single-handedly change the outcome of the election. But if enough people voted third party it could actually change things. If the voting machines aren't rigged, which they are.

    • by bertok (226922) on Friday August 13, 2010 @05:18AM (#33236762)

      The man who wants to be Australia's next Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, said today 'This idea that "hey presto" we are suddenly going to get 10 times the speed from something that isn't even built yet I find utterly implausible.'"

      Yeah, and computers will never get faster, cheaper or smaller. What a tool.

      It's a particularly stupid statement since the technology selected for the NBN was designed to scale to 1Gbps with only a simple upgrade. Fibre is insanely high-bandwidth, the limitation is mostly around the cost of the transponders and the core network routers, which have to handle huge aggregate speeds. Speeds of 100Mbps are doable now, many Asian countries have already deployed networks that fast, so given the equivalent of Moore's law for networking, I'm not surprised they've changed their targeted initial speed to 1Gbps.

      • by loki_tiwaz (982852) on Friday August 13, 2010 @06:02AM (#33236950)

        i don't know how it wasn't obvious it could go to gigabit with very little tinkering. it's OPTICAL right?

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fiber-optic_communication#Bandwidth-distance_product [wikipedia.org]

        Through a combination of advances in dispersion management, wavelength-division multiplexing, and optical amplifiers, modern-day optical fibers can carry information at around 14 Terabits per second over 160 kilometers of fiber [4]. Engineers are always looking at current limitations in order to improve fiber-optic communication, and several of these restrictions are currently being researched

        14 terabits over 160km? does tony abbot's advisors do any research? presently, we have a copper network that can manage at best 24mbit at a max distance of 4km, at best. the NBN is an *optical* network, and is likely to be dispersed at network segments of less than 100km per run. lol. do i really need to point out the stupidity of saying it can't be gigabit? do i also need to point out the stupidity of saying a 100mbit network is not gonna be a piece of cake to roll out with optical in australian metro areas? what a retard.

        anyway, i'm voting for the sex party. you can bet they are all on for the NBN. super HD pr0n here we come :)

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by Ash Vince (602485)

          14 terabits over 160km? does tony abbot's advisors do any research?

          Sort of. His advisers went and asked Telestra what they thought.

    • by c0lo (1497653) on Friday August 13, 2010 @05:27AM (#33236812)
      No, he won't understand: according to him, he's not Bill Gates [zdnet.com.au]
    • by elrous0 (869638) *
      "Yeah, and we won't have flying cars and cities on the moon by 2010," says a guy from 1969 who everyone laughed at.
  • by MichaelSmith (789609) on Friday August 13, 2010 @04:58AM (#33236658) Homepage Journal

    Reorganise your spectrum so that you can deliver a gigabit per second over cellular protocols. Roll displaced services into cellular data. By all means pull fibre into the street, but then deploy microcells in high demand areas. The last step is always wireless anyway. In the future people won't install their own wifi if they can get a good service from a telco.

    • by c0lo (1497653)
      Before NBN Telstra Smart Communities: as I live in one, I can tell you that the insanity feeels soooo goooood (phone, public TV and Internet on a single cable). I can't wait the NBN roll-out, though, will sure drive Telstra to lower the prices.

      The last step is always wireless anyway

      No, not in my case. Home with structural cabling - data socket in each room. Yes, I do have a WiFi router, but only my laptop connects to it (rationale: when it comes to transfer files in my LAN, 1Gbps over CAT6 sure beats 50-120 Mbps - at peak - over WiFi).

    • by Matt_R (23461)

      Reorganise your spectrum so that you can deliver a gigabit per second over cellular protocols.

      No chance of that happening - as it is we've got people bitching about cell towers [smh.com.au].

      • Reorganise your spectrum so that you can deliver a gigabit per second over cellular protocols.

        No chance of that happening - as it is we've got people bitching about cell towers [smh.com.au].

        A cellular base station can be as small as the router hanging from the optus cable outside my house. There are plenty attached to traffic signal poles in the Melbourne CBD. Big, long range base stations are definitely on the way out in the city.

    • Sorry folks, but "insane" is expecting "wireless" (of any sort) to be able to compete over the long term against fibre.

      For a start, keep in mind that without fibre, all those "wireless" comms are going to hit a base station/cell-tower and go literally NOWHERE.

      Secondly, "wireless" is a shared-medium, you're limited by available spectrum as well as real-world (ie practical) simultaneous-use limits (eg # channels supported in each cell tower).

      Wireless is *ideal* for low-density/long-distance coverage techno
    • by Johnno74 (252399)

      I read somewhere the other day a response to just that suggestion - wish I could find the link for ya...

      But basically they said with the density of people in cities, to give everyone gigabit connections over a wireless link you'd need a tower in *every* block.

      • I read somewhere the other day a response to just that suggestion - wish I could find the link for ya...

        But basically they said with the density of people in cities, to give everyone gigabit connections over a wireless link you'd need a tower in *every* block.

        Easily. I fully expect to see cellular base stations on every power pole at some point. They will be inside large offices and on every floor of apartment buildings.

    • It is C = B*log2 (1+S/N).

      That would be Shanon's law. What it basically says is that the total amount of digital data you can get down a given channel is related to the bandwidth, in Hz of the channel, and the signal to noise ratio of that channel.

      Now in the wireless world, the SNR is something you have to count on being pretty low. There's interference of plenty of kinds, including just general thermal noise, which goes up as frequency does. Plus unless you want to expend tons of power blasting it out, ther

    • by dbIII (701233)

      Reorganise your spectrum so that you can deliver a gigabit per second over cellular protocols

      OK, done - so now the guy nearest the tower has the bandwidth, but how the hell is anyone else going to get it though with hardware we can imagine today?

  • Tony Abbott apparently doesn't understand a thing about modern networking. Today's optic fibers can support frightening data rates, the limiting factor currenly is what the hardware on both sides is capable of. With the speeds of the high end of the market recently increasing to 40G and 100G (from 1G and 10G) per channel I would not be surprised if that jump suddenly made 1G FTTH possible. Investing in copper technology now is outrageous and a waste of money. Utilizing it for the last mile while you're not
    • Tony Abbott apparently doesn't understand a thing about modern networking

      ahh, if it were only modern networking mr. Abbott didnt understand - the reality is that he, like his hero predecessor mr. Howard, and his predecessor's hero mr. Menzies, simply dont understand a world past about 1955.

       

  • Sex Party (Score:5, Interesting)

    by duk242 (1412949) on Friday August 13, 2010 @05:08AM (#33236720) Homepage
    There's always the Sex Party, they've got decent enough policies, no internet filtering, no internet spying, R Rating for games... What more could you want? http://www.sexparty.org.au/index.php/policies [sexparty.org.au]
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by qazadex (1378043)
      Why is Slashdot so pro Sex Party and not greens? They have around 15% of the primary vote, compared to the 1% or so of the Sex Party, and have very similar, left leaning policies. http://greens.org.au/policies [greens.org.au]
      • Why is Slashdot so pro Sex Party and not greens? They have around 15% of the primary vote, compared to the 1% or so of the Sex Party, and have very similar, left leaning policies.

        http://greens.org.au/policies [greens.org.au]

        Probably because its funny. The greens are pretty mundane sounding by comparison. In the senate I am going to put both ahead of labour and the libs.

        • Victorians: Vote [61] Stephen Conroy

          please - consider that the internet filter shenanigans has been an elaborate charade to woo that nufty 'family first' senator steven fielding, and as soon as he's gone, labor can drop the charade entirely.

          in that regard, if you must vote below the line, reserve the last couple o spots for family first.

          ( oh, and given there are 60 candidates for the senate in victoria, a 61 for anyone will render your vote null and void...)

          • Victorians: Vote [61] Stephen Conroy

            please - consider that the internet filter shenanigans has been an elaborate charade to woo that nufty 'family first' senator steven fielding, and as soon as he's gone, labor can drop the charade entirely.

            in that regard, if you must vote below the line, reserve the last couple o spots for family first.

            ( oh, and given there are 60 candidates for the senate in victoria, a 61 for anyone will render your vote null and void...)

            Believe me, Family First are going down too. I downloaded the CSV file for the senate in victoria and counted lines. Maybe I got it wrong. I will check. Thanks.

          • I agree, I have been saying that the whole thing is a "Yes Minister" episode since the first Conroy story appeared on slashdot. However I don't think Liberal and Labor will stop playing the game (that started with Howard in the late 90's) and if the libs get in then you will see them swap roles (again). It's simply a ruse by the two majors to keep nutjob independents chasing their own tail, neither party are serious about mandatory filters even though BOTH SIDES have put forward legislation advocating it, B
      • Well if the how-to-vote card volunteers at the by-election last year were any guide, sex sells. Smelly tree-huggers are no match for jail-bait in tight yellow t-shirts.

  • by kubitus (927806) on Friday August 13, 2010 @05:24AM (#33236794)
    they used the "Industry Standard" to last for decades. (TR)

    -

    I built in our Lab a 200 user multisegment LAN for $ 10.000, but for 600 nodes

    as we have more computers than staff!

    -

    It was called Ethernet! -

    Bob Metcalf - one of my heroes along with R.P. Stalman, R.Knuth, L. Thorvald and many many others including Richard P. Feynman.

    For keeping Ethernet free I forgive you many design errors at 3COM ;-)

    • Bob Metcalf - one of my heroes along with R.P. Stalman, R.Knuth, L. Thorvald and many many others including Richard P. Feynman.

      WTF? Knuth is a Republican? Nobody tells me anything anymore! I always thought he was a Democrat!

  • when they have to deal with download quotas?

  • NBN: Over 1000 Mega!
    Abbott: O RLY?
    NBN: YA RLY.
    Abbott: NO WAI
    NBN: WAI

  • ...the only connection OFF their little island will still only be carrier pigeons with Post-It notes. Enjoy your highspeed internet access! (To the rest of your little country.)

  • Stars and Stripes? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by MichaelSmith (789609) on Friday August 13, 2010 @07:13AM (#33237176) Homepage Journal

    Not sure why we have a picture of the US flag, in an article about Australian politics.

    Also I wonder why we aren't talking about Oracle taking google to court over patents in Java. Are the slashdot editors waiting to see if the topic goes away?

  • He finds it implausible because he's going to close our borders to the skilled immigrants required to build it.

  • But you can only browse government approved sites.
  • It can be done with that amount of money or even less if you can keep the pirates and looters
    from running off with the money.

    Now that is nary impossible, especially seeing how they control the government and the corporations.

    If this $43 billion was turned over to a Co-op with TRUE TRANSPARENCY it could be done
    by the ppl who actually want this system and only run it to the ppl that want it initially.

    If half the country wouldn't pay for it or use it, then why even install it to them initially.

    Good odds the si

  • Guess I'm the only Aussie nerd here who thinks this network is a joke.
    43 billion dollars in a country with a property pricing crises, water crises, not much (if any?) sustainable energy.

    Seriously, it's a joke (and I'm no liberal either)
    Fuck the NBN, more important things to worry about :/

  • by jonwil (467024) on Friday August 13, 2010 @07:30PM (#33247164)

    Tony abbots so-called "broadband plan" does NOTHING to address the market dominance of Telstra in so many areas of this country or the fact that so many areas of the country cant get ADSL at all because Telstra would rather push NextG than install more ADSL hardware (mostly because it has to allow other ISPs to provide service over the ADSL hardware but not over NextG wireless)

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