So, I live in Australia.
I’m not going to bother with most of the election stuff, as it’d drive most people crazy.
I am going to talk about one thing though, the National Broadband Network.
I’m not going to do the usual, where people speak about all the things it will do for us.
Instead I’m going to talk about this things it’s replacing.
So anyway, in Australia we use copper cable to handle our telecommunication needs.
to begin with, we used it for things like Voice Communication, a fairly simple thing.
The problem is when we started doing more than such basic stuff, we didn’t improve the basic copper along with it.
We just kept on forcing it to do new things without even considering we might need to look after it, that we might need to do something in the future.
Back in the 90s, dialup was the thing, it allowed us to use our copper phone network to transmit and receive data.
This is more or less the point things started getting really messy.
The big issue for the average consumer was that the moment someone picked up the phone, the internet dropped out.
This was caused by using the same frequencies for both voice, and data.
It even got to the point people installed internet specific phone lines.
The next logical step of course was to allow us to use both voice and data at the same time.
This lead to all the various permutations of DSL.
The problem being that DSL still depends on the quality of the actual copper line itself.
In Australia, with our wonderful climate, with weather changing constantly, the copper is exposed to conditions it really can’t handle.
It starts to degrade to the point we can’t even deal with basic voice communication.
So when you start trying to use it to send data at high rates, it doesn’t function as well as it should.
When it rains people can lose their internet connections, nuts right?
Anyway, we’ve currently got ADSL2+ in play here.
Seems to do the job, except now we’re beginning to ask way more of it.
We’re now shifting to the stage of content on demand.
Listen to music from the internet.
Watch movies, from the internet.
Receive our programs, purely from the internet.
Basically everything coming in as we request it.
This means we need two things, high speed and good capacity.
These are two things that our current copper based network aren’t very good at any more.
We’re now introducing a new element, 4k television.
This is something we more or less need to send the data for over the internet.
And using our copper to do so isn’t looking very good.
Quite simply, we’re using a metal which degrades in electrical quality when exposed to the environment, to push ever more services through, and it’s not coping.
If you can pick up your phone handset, and you can hear noise on the line, you can probably realise why we need to finally replace things.
This is why I support the National Broadband Network that the Labor government chose to implement.
We need to get rid of the copper and replace it, all of it, scrap the lot.
The NBN is introducing fiber-optic cable, which being essentially glass (really bendy and twisty glass that you have to take a hammer to to really damage).
It handles the weather conditions in our country.
It is indefinitely upgrade-able as the technology matures.
The best thing about fiber-optic, it’s not copper.
To put it simply, with the new network, the only time your internet will go out, is when your power does.
Is that really so bad?