High fibre diet

KLIA 1

Malaysia can do it. Why can’t we? © PJ Croft 2000, 2014

I forgot to mention – the NBN fibre runs right past my house! I can have fibre internet any time I like! It’s been there all the time, I just didn’t know because no-one said so.

That’s the outcome of that iiNet flyer I got last week inviting me to sign up. I went to their web site and it seems all I have to do is sign up. Free installation!

I can have 12Mb/s with a 20GB per month for $49.95, or 25Mb/s with 100GB per month for $64.95, right up to 100Mb/s and 500GB/month for $99.95.

I’ve got ADSL on my copper wire connection now, which in theory is 12Mb/s max, but all I can get is 1.3Mb/s. It’s adequate for most things, but I can’t watch Hi Def video clips on-line, and I see a lot available on the photographic and video sites I use. If I want them, I have to download them. A 100MB file takes around 5 mins to download.

I’ll start on the lowest plan, 25Mbits/s ( = 3MBytes/s) at first. That means that 100MB HD video file would download in 30 seconds, theoretically. I should easily be able to watch it live streaming too. All I have to do is pick up the phone.

Take that, Malcolm Turnbull! This is fibre-to-the-home, FTTH, which you are going to deny to most of the country. No-one would be able to get higher than 25Mb/s, which is the starting point for iiNet FTTH.

He is ordering the NBN Co to use Fibre To The Node, FTTN, which relies on your copper wires for the final link from some “node”, which could be up to 5Km away, for the final connection to your house. That was my problem at the old house in Trigg. I was 4.5Km from the nearest node, Hamersley exchange, and I could not get ADSL after 15 years of trying. Too much loss on the wires. If I couldn’t get even 1Mb/s on my copper wires, how are they going to offer 100Mb/s. Only by adding closer nodes.

If you saw the West Australian last week, they carried photos of several Telstra street pits which contain the phone wires and they are an utter shambles. Filled with water, mainly, but one had burnt wires from a lightning strike and never repaired. Others are corroded by water, or badly damaged by an untested plastic sealant that ended up corroding the wires.

The union has around 350 pictures like this of Telstra pits. Relying on these for 100Mb/s data is madness. They’ve got to be fixed first, and they’re not being fixed. Why? All the staff cuts in the past decade or more. Telstra has lost most of the experienced techs. When redundancies are offered, it’s the best ones who take them and leave. Like me!

Malcolm Turnbull, you’ll go down in history as the man who crippled Australia’s fibre optic network future.

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