John Nixon

Another gratuitous knock at SKY TV - Light My Fibre

Jul 05, 2010

The tall poppy syndrome is seemingly alive and well in New Zealand. I was surprised to read the following headline today: ’Sky’s hold on TV content worries telcos’ The full article can be found at: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/technology/news/article.cfm?c_id=5&objectid=10654879&ref=newsl_morningnewsdirect_J20080513_133717_5781_6889_875540616 The author falls into the trap of deducing that TV must be distributed as IP packets over a fibre network. This is not true and a far better, simpler and cheaper way of distributing TV, including Freeview and SKY is by using Video overlay or a third ITU standard wavelength (1550 nm) on the single fibre to the home. SKY has tendered for and paid a lot of money for the rights to distribute much of their programming. Their satellite delivery (DTH or direct to home) has brought TV to many remote homes and areas that would otherwise not receive terrestrial TV broadcasts. Read More

The UFB last 20 km. - Light My Fibre

Jul 05, 2010

I’ve recently had multiple requests from housing estate developers as to what, how, when and where the planned UFB will affect their projects. Understandably it’s costly and wasteful to install copper phone lines and television distribution systems if the planned fibre can carry the voice, data and video (which it can very easily). The UFB data released so far from MED and CFH (Crown Fibre Holdings) makes little mention of how subscribers will be connected to the fibre backbone. My emailed enquiries to people who should know remain unanswered. We have a very interesting Google group around the world linking many people involved with next generation fibre networks and Fibre to the Home. People like Paul Budde and Benoit Felten, (the instigator) regularly exchange information via this group. Paul set me straight with the following information: ’ The model … Read More

The Korean ‘net: not what you’d expect - Light My Fibre

Jun 09, 2010

More and more, reliable and fast broadband access becomes a must for the traveler. A week in South Korea, then a week in Japan should have proven a pleasure as we all know that these two countries have the highest densities of fibre broadband delivery in the world. The Ramada Gangnam Hotel in Seoul provided free broadband access, my only problem getting connected was power adaptors. I travel with three that cover most countries, but somehow Murphy got involved with earthed and earth-less wall sockets, necessitating trips to reception to find a solution. But once connected surprise! No blazing fast speeds here! As slow as a wet weekend! And Korea seems to have copied China’s vetting of the net, as several quite innocuous sites were just impossible to access. Anything at all in New Zealand was ’hurry up and wait’, … Read More

FTTH Conferences – a brilliant route to synergies - Light My Fibre

Jun 03, 2010

Recently, I attended the FTTH Council Asia-Pacific 2010 Conference in Seoul, Korea. This event was held over the last few days in the gigantic COEX Convention Centre in downtown Seoul. Attendees were naturally a bit on edge over the escalating tensions between North and South following the torpedoing of a South Korean patrol boat and the loss of 46 mariners’ lives. The conference and trade show for my part were extremely successful. I helped out on the BKtel stand with my friend and colleague Siegbert Mundinger who manages sales at their German headquarters. I was expecting most attendees to be from Asia, so I was surprised to have so many Australians and New Zealanders call by the booth. On both sides of us were French companies displaying impressive equipment and solutions for trenching and laying/pulling fibre. I finally met up … Read More

Senate Report: don’t do NBN - Light My Fibre

May 20, 2010

Quote: “Considering that the Senate Select Committee on the National Broadband Network is chaired by a Liberal senator, it’s not surprising that its latest report’s first recommendation is that “The government abandon the National Broadband Network project”. But since the government was unlikely to listen to that, it also proceeded to present a list of alternate recommendations.” Unquote Ther are times that I gnash my teeth and want to have politicians submit to an IQ test before getting elected. I put a lot of (unpaid) time into providing the Australian Senate select committee, at their invitation, with carefully considered, technically accurate responses to their concerns. Polite thank yous came back, but in the end, it was a political decision, not a technical or commercial one that ruled. Labour launches the NBN. The Liberals MUST be against. Simply because … Read More

Seoul, Singapore anybody? - Light My Fibre

May 19, 2010

A quiet moment before setting off to the FTTH Asia-Pacific Council Conference in Seoul, then the CommunicAsia Conference in Singapore. In Seoul I will be making a presentation titled ’Satellite TV over Fibre’, about the recent advances in RF Overlay, transmitting just about any TV broadcast program on the 1550 nm ITU standard wavelength, including analogue, digital and satellite transmissions from 50 Mhz up to 5.4Ghz without any carrier or modulation conversion. For the conference program, see: http://www.ftthcap-seoul2010.org/eng_welcome.html I just noticed that Crown Fibre Holdings (New Zealand’s NBN Co) has officially joined the FTTH Council. I do hope they will be joining us in Seoul and that the FTTH Council can assist in any way with the UFB (ultra-fast broadband) project here. Skills Shortage in Australia and New Zealand I’ve mentioned before the need for technically trained people to … Read More

Vodafone and the UFB project? - Light My Fibre

May 10, 2010

Vodafone has formed an alliance with Canadian company Axia NetMedia to bid for New Zealand’s planned ultrafast broadband project. Who would have thought? I was betting on the power companies with their nation-wide coverage of power lines and ducts. Or Telecom New Zealand et al. But Vodafone? They are a huge force, so their bid should not be taken lightly. But I seriously doubt that CFH (Crown Fibre Holdings) will embrace their proposal, as the NZ Govt are trying to keep the network open and independant, away from the corporate giants. Extracts from the news item: “If Axia and Vodafone were successful bidders, a new company would be created to build network assets and Vodafone would take a stake in this company. By partnering with Vodafone, Axia would not be able to present itself … Read More

25 Mbps, Zero cost per month? - Light My Fibre

May 03, 2010

I have to plead guilty of not updating my blog often enough. There was recently a very quiet FTTH period, now things are starting to kick in, lots happening. I just returned from Sydney and Melbourne following extremely interesting business discussions around the NBN project there. In both New Zealand and Australia I am promoting the principle of Video Overlay, or the ’third wavelength’ on Fibre to the Home (FTTH) networks. Why? Simply because the conversion of current broadcast television channels (and digital radio) to IPTV for distribution over the NBN and UFB networks is fraught with potential cost and problems. Video overlay, or the use of a ’third wavelength’ on the fibre link is an ITU standard, and is used in many developed countries already. It offloads potentially several Giga bits per second … Read More

Australian Senate Submission on Video overlay technology for NBN - Light My Fibre

Apr 12, 2010

As a FTTH Council designated specialist, I received a request from the Australian Senate to comment on the advantages of using Video (aka RF) Overlay in part or all of the Australian National Broadband Network. The contents of the submission were to be kept totally confidential until it was confirmed as accepted for publication by the Senate Committee. This morning I received the following letter from them, advising that in fact the submission was accepted and released to the media. The paper can be accessed via the link in their letter, then selecting the submission from Optical Network Engineering (right next to Paul Budde). THE SENATE SELECT COMMITTEE ON THE NATIONAL BROADBAND NETWORK 12 April 2010 Dear Mr Nixon Progress of the proposed National Broadband Network The Senate Select Committee on the National Broadband … Read More