Friday, 23 August 2013

NBN: Fibre v Copper and how the Liberals deliberately killed broadband in Aus

An optical fibre Broadband network is the best and cheapest solution for universal fixed-line access in Australia. Its speed comes from shining light down a glass cable. The speed comes from the speed of light. Light is changed into electronic signals & back again, whilst different equipment can be bolted onto each end of the cable to convert the light to and from the speed of that electronic equipment.

Fibre is still the best and cheapest solution for 21st century broadband. As new bolt on technology is developed it replaces the old bolt on technology. The network is upgradable, currently by 10,000 times, cheaply, quickly and easily, and with no disruption.

Because Fibre is glass sections fused (or 'welded') together, so there are no maintenance joints because the cable is one long continuous length from end to end between the few devices sharing & collecting connections.

Terminating the optic fibre at a node slows the speed down drastically, not because electrical signals don't travel quickly down copper, but because they fade so very fast. The node is a giant signal interchange akin to a 12 lane highway downgrading to a goat track.

A goat track that is old and 5 times more expensive to maintain. The maintenance is needed because of the many old, tired joints that need to be "oiled" regularly. The windy, small goat track is jammed with vehicles all the time and handling the traffic, especially getting on and merging into the "freeway" is constantly like the worst traffic jam you've ever seen: it slows everyone down incredibly.

The people who are being slowly sent the data through these outrageous traffic james are not happy. They will be the ones doing the bleating about the awful state of the "goat track" and that it will take tens of billions and yet more decades to correct a monumental, predictable and foreseeable disaster.

Deliberately putting the taxpayers of this country into $30 billion of debt to build the worlds' Greatest Permanent Traffic Jam, and knowing it can never pay its way, for the sake of a slogan "Cheaper, Sooner and Unprofitable", is the ultimate in cynical and manipulative political moves.

Australians have waited since 2002, when Telstra first got into financial trouble, for the Liberals to step up and provide a real broadband solution. Instead, the Coalition did nothing for years, then sold shareholder a commercial disaster, costing gullible investors $20-$40 billion in lost value: only fixed when Labor's NBN contracts were signed.

The Liberals did nothing about and cared nothing about broadband for over a decade. To now jump up and down about the direct consequences of their actions and inaction and somehow claim "we need broadband now!" is the ultimate in political hypocrisy.

Turnbull and his mates deliberately and knowingly created the current mess that Labor is fixing. Of course they want to nobble broadband in Australia and destroy the NBN, especially commercially.

That's why Turnbull and his cronies won't release any of their charges & assumptions, any of their financial forecasts or have their proposal scrutinised by independent experts. The only intent of the Turnbull Copper/Node Plan is to make losses that are unprecedented in Australian history and then turn around and blame Labor.

This is why Turnbull has only revealed 5 years of his 30-year financial forecasts: his Copper/Node Plan can only make a loss and it will be truly monumental.


  1. This. This is exactly what I've tried to tell the majority of voters who don't see what the big deal about broadband is, those who are oblivious to the substandard internet Australia has always had due to the greed of a few, and to those who are STUPID enough to believe a word of anything published by any company affiliated with News Corp.

    It doesn't take a Labor fanboy to dismiss the Coalition's solution as pure hogwash that will never work any better then our current network, all it takes is an industry expert who knows the technology and who doesn't give two fucks about politics.

    Now we wait for LNP Whiteknights to storm this page to regurgitate bullshit they never researched themselves and just heard from the media in defense of this dangerous plan.

    1. Phillip,

      eloquently put. Thanks.



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