News from Australia

By John Nixon 23/02/2011 1


My sincere apologies for “going quiet” over the last weeks.

I’ve been in and out of medical facilities here in Australia with recurrent cancer, endless CT and PET scans, quite a worry!

Anyway from my observations over this period, the biggest issue in our field at the moment is Wireless versus FTTH.

Everybody is buying 3G capable devices: Iphones, Ipads, wireless dongles for their laptops etc.

I have three homes in three countries, and I had ADSL connections in all three. This meant I was paying around $60 a month in each place without downloading a single megabyte for months in two of the three places.

Now here in Australia, “mea culpa”, I have cancelled my ADSL contract and bought a Telstra 3G dongle. I pay uniquely for the amount of data downloaded, and it followed me right across Australia and back in the smallest of towns with excellent results.

I threw A$150 at the pre-paid SIM contract, and pay 1.47 cents (Aust) per Mb of data with an expiry of one year. This will work out a lot cheaper than any ADSL fixed monthly plan currently offered in Australia, because of my frequent absences.

Now Telstra has announced that they are ready to enable a 4G LTE network with faster wireless speeds. So who needs Fibre or FTTH?

Well I have waffled on already about the cost and finite availability of wireless spectrum. Wireless, be it 3G, 4G, LTE, WiMax etc just won’t hack it into the future. It will always be a very worthwhile complement to a point to point fibre connection.

But don’t take my word for it. Please let me guide you to a most precise run-down of the situation by my comrade in arms Paul Budde.

Why the US Broadband Plan will Fail” is a very clear and concise picture of the merits of wireless versus fibre in the USA, in Australia and elsewhere.

Good reading!


One Response to “News from Australia”

  • That’s an interesting story.

    It highlights a flaw in some of the thinking behind government-sponsored broadband networks which offer a one-size-fits-all approach. OK, there may be a couple of volume options, but there’s an assumption fibre to the premise will meet everyone’s needs, when in fact a sizable number of people will never use it.

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