John Nixon

Cell phones, Electromagnetic Radiation and cancer - Light My Fibre

Nov 01, 2010

Oh my gosh! What a flurry of comments after my last post. Some clearly medically-trained people took me to task for suggesting that there MAY be a link between EMR and cancer. Then quite by chance, I opened my new issue (October 2010) of the Scientific American magazine, and read on page 77 an article entitled “Can you hear me now? Physics shows that cell phones cannot cause cancer”. So I thought “hey that’s nice to know, you have to believe Scientific American, so I won’t worry about that any more”…. Ah, but wait , there’s more! At the end of the printed article it says “Comment on this article: www.scientificamerican.com/oct2010” So, curious about what comments might have been made, I went and had a look. Please, please, if you are interested in this subject, go visit http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=can-you-hear-me-now, and scroll … Read More

Wireless versus Fibre - Light My Fibre

Oct 26, 2010

Just returned to Auckland from a month in Australia – part work, part holiday. My wife and I discovered Bill Peach Aircruising a few years back and just completed the Great Southern Air Cruise – Sydney to Perth and back, stopping at the most interesting and unusual places you can imagine. Like most of us, I go nuts if I can’t access the internet daily, my business is brisk and one needs to keep clients up to date. So I invested in a Telstra 3G USB transceiver on their prepaid basis. If you prepay around $40, the data rate drops to 2 cents a Mb, pretty cheap for what I usually do. I chose Telstra because they really do have the best network coverage in Australia. To join the Aircruise (and to visit family well North of Sydney) I … Read More

Auckland – Huawei Broadband Summit 2010 - Light My Fibre

Sep 17, 2010

I attended the Huawei Broadband Summit at Auckland Hilton Hotel today. To say it was impressive is a huge understatement. I never really took Huawei (at least here in New Zealand) seriously until now. New Zealand was one of the first countries to sign a Free Trade Agreement with China not so long ago. Prime Minister John Key visited China and raised the subject of the new Ultra Fast Broadband initiative with officials there. This may have just spawned the huge interest by Huawei that I witnessed today. The event spared no cost. The Auckland Hilton is a very exclusive hotel built out over the Auckland seafront on Princes Wharf, with the city’s Waitemata Harbour on three sides. The Huawei compere advised that they had only had the … Read More

Quigley’s big stand: the full speech - Light My Fibre

Aug 19, 2010

Mike Quigley had retired from an exemplary career in the telecoms field. He had succeeded in beating first Leukaemia, then a brain tumor years later and completed a 30 year brilliant career with Alcatel-Lucent in the US, France etc. Then he was coaxed back to lead the new NBN Co in Australia as their CEO. After accepting this challenging position, he immediately donated his first year’s  salary (A$1.5M) to medical research. Mike made an impelling and fascinating speech concerning the Australian NBN and NGN’s in general. I warmly recommend you read the transcript: Quigley wins over the true believers. Read More

FTTH Cost Benefit Analysis? - Light My Fibre

Aug 17, 2010

In both New Zealand and Australia there have been many calls for the publishing of an accurate cost/benefit analysis to justify the taxpayer investment in the UFB and NBN networks. If you read the New Zealand Herald, you may have seen an excellent article by Chris Barton a couple of days ago. Chris’ comments are equally applicable to both countries’ critics, and Chris has allowed me to reproduce his very logical piece, mainly for my overseas readers. The piece is subtitled “Those who call for a cost-benefit analysis of the plan  (UFB) don’t understand the Internet“. Commentators over the last few weeks have argued the government’s ultra fast broadband plan is crying out for “a rigorous cost/benefit analysis” that’s “nowhere to be found”. And that we should be concerned that Telecom might miss out on … Read More

Australia and New Zealand Cooperation – the ICN - Light My Fibre

Aug 11, 2010

I met today with Dr David Anderson, National Sector Manager, National Broadband Network at ICN or the Industry Capability Network from Australia, and his Kiwi colleague, Robert Murdoch, Manager, Australian ICN Relationships. The meeting was hosted by NZTE (New Zealand Trade and Enterprise), with my good friend John Houlker present. ICN is a free service funded by the Australian Government and is truly trans-Tasman, open reciprocally and also freely to New Zealand people and companies. ICN manages a huge database of some 40.000 companies and individuals based in either Australia or New Zealand with a description of their goods, services and skills. There is a “yellow pages” index and a search feature. The Australian NBN Company (National Broadband Network) does not deal directly with retail suppliers of goods or services destined for this network. Instead David Anderson and his staff … Read More

NBN – To Be or Not to Be // UFB -Steady as she goes - Light My Fibre

Aug 10, 2010

As we approach the Australian federal elections, the future of NBN (National Broadband Network) is on the chopping block. I follow passionately the current debate, because the outcome, whichever way it goes, will have major repercussions for Australia’s economy. I have written about this project several times in the past, and am a firm believer in the long-term benefits of the NBN. Yes the Labour party has accumulated many gaffes during its first mandate, but to kill the NBN (if the opposition wins the upcoming election) is pure folly. There are so many reactions in the press today, I have just selected a few for those who share the interest in this incredible project with me. I really recommend you check out: Where is … Read More

Why do we need a National Broadband Network? - Light My Fibre

Jul 31, 2010

A week or so ago I was having a quiet drink with several pilot buddies at the Southport Flying Club on the Gold Coast. One of my very long-term acquaintances (a retired heavy jet-jockey) asked me how my fibre-optics occupations were progressing. ’Fine’ I said, and tried to talk of some of my recent experiences. I was cut short, as he launched into a tirade against ’this bloody useless waste of taxpayers money’. ’What’s wrong with your broadband connection now, can’t you download movies fast enough’… etc etc. Whoa! I backed off and joined another group around the bar. Unfortunately I hear and read this all the time. I do my best to explain that copper has just about had it bandwidth-wise, and wireless won’t get us into the global network future. Only fibre has the almost limitless bandwidth capacity … Read More

FTTH Any News? - Light My Fibre

Jul 28, 2010

I’m back to New Zealand now from Australia. At least things are calm and quiet here, the Gillard versus Abbott debate ramps up over there. NBN is not the only election issue of course. But it is one of the three or four major issues. For those interested, I would recommend you read the following reports: http://www.itwire.com/opinion-and-analysis/beerfiles/40656-coalition-faces-massive-voter-backlash-over-nbn-scrap-plan http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/politics/coalition-must-get-online-on-broadband-20100726-10rvw.html Here we await the release of the list of Local Fibre Companies that will partner with Crown Fibre Holdings to start planning the national UFB network. Somebody mentioned October. Yawn. I truly prefer the laid-back lifestyle here in New Zealand, but why does everything take so long? The average workers’ wage differential between Australia and New Zealand just worstened again by another $40 pw. The difference is now colossal. What has this got to do with Fibre to the Home? … Read More

New Zealand: UFB – Australia: NBN - Light My Fibre

Jul 18, 2010

I’ve been at my home in Australia for a few weeks watching the political wrangling into the next Federal election on 21 August 2010. The National Broadband Network (NBN) is about number four on the list of important political issues. Tony Abbott has promised to scrap the NBN if the Liberal-Country Party coalition wins power. I am not normally a Labour supporter, having been my own boss since 1964. BUT in this case I would vote for Miss Gillard, just to keep the NBN alive! It is well advanced (far more than our UFB), with homes already connected to fibre in Tasmania, and many other areas to follow soon. There is a very strong and politically independent company (NBN Co) which has been formed and is functioning well. To scrap this would be … Read More