John Nixon

Google threatens to pull out of Australia - Light My Fibre

Apr 01, 2010

This story just came in on Australian IT News. In the past I have argued against net censorship here, and was ready to do so again. The story makes quite alarming reading: “Google threatens to close Pyrmont office in response to Conroy’s filter.” Internet search giant Google is planning to close down its Australian office in response to the Federal Government’s plans to filter the internet, according to an internal memo sighted by iTnews. According to the leaked memo, Google CEO Eric Schmidt [pictured] canvassed the option in discussions with the US State Department on how to take an appropriate international stance on censorship earlier this month. “We can’t be compromised by the Australian situation,” the memo reads. “We pulled out on the Chinese over their filter – it won’t go unnoticed if we remain in Australia.” Tensions … Read More

Pacific Fibre undersea cable connection - Light My Fibre

Mar 11, 2010

Lots of press here today in New Zealand on this project. I really have to take my hat off to the promoters and backers: all solid and proven business and technical people in this country. Only having a single undersea data cable to the outside world is like inviting Murphy to the ball. Without raising the question of monopoly pricing…. It is wonderfully timely and valid project. The Auckland-California link will pass many Pacific Island countries which may be interested in joining the party. Pacific Fibre have stated that they will offer connectivity to the island countries near the cable path. I wish the project well, and have offered my cooperative assistance, having worked in IT for years in New Caledonia, Vanuatu, Fiji, Tahiti…. and still maintain contacts there. Read More

FTTH, emerging from holiday lull - Light My Fibre

Feb 25, 2010

I’ve been at my Gold Coast (Australia) home for the last month, still watching closely what is happening in the area’s FTTH projects. The brief answer: NOT MUCH! Well at least visibly. Both Australia and New Zealand are still finding their way with their National Fibre-Optics networks; organising, hiring people, refining their business plans. During our traditional holiday time, the FTTH Council in Europe has held its annual conference. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting their current President Karel Helsen, who made the following remarks in the last day or so: The snow and recent freezing weather in northern Europe brought a substantial increase in teleworking — but not everyone enjoyed the same broadband speeds. In the Netherlands, for example, users accessed speeds typically double those available in the UK, which has gone from being … Read More

FTTH (Fibre to the Home), what’s happening? - Light My Fibre

Feb 09, 2010

Honestly the last few months have been void of interesting information in both Australia and New Zealand. Both NBN Co in Australia and Crown Fibre Holdings in NZ have been hiring people, getting themselves organised, but nothing much else to report. I just read this following interesting article… Otherwise not much else of note to pass on. I’m at my Gold Coast home right now, (yes I’m an Aussie by birth), and my ISP has just gunned me down by telling me that “OntheNet ADVISE THAT 100% OF PEAK QUOTA HAS BEEN EXCEEDED, RESULTING IN THIS SERVICE BEING SHAPED. **” So I’ve been hobbled to dial-up speeds until my next billing cycle, which is? Who knows, I have too many more important things to worry about… The sooner we get “pay as you use”, … Read More

Light My Room - Light My Fibre

Jan 30, 2010

I discovered a very interesting twist in transmitting high speed data over short distances. Currently we use WiFi or Bluetooth, both using radio wavelengths which can be subject to interference, hacking etc as they penetrate to some extent walls, doors, windows. Pennsylvania State University researchers have come up with a light-based system (infra-red) which can deliver beyond 1 Ghz of bandwidth. Light of course will stay inside a windowless room and systems in adjacent rooms could use the same wavelength without interference. LED lighting is becoming more and more popular and the researchers believe that this data transmission system could be incorporated into the room’s normal lighting. What it amounts to is pretty much the same as sending high speed data down a fibre optic cable, but spraying the transmissions into the air instead of … Read More

China and Free Internet Speech - Light My Fibre

Jan 24, 2010

I try to avoid politics here. We live in our own countries and we deserve (dit-on) the government we elect. But when we discuss the Internet and Next Generation Networks, we also need to discuss what goes over those networks around the world. One interesting article about the current Google versus China debate can be found at: I have visited China, like most of our readers I imagine, a few times in recent years. And of course I had a broadband internet connection in each of my hotel rooms there. But to my surprise, always so many of my regular web sites were “unavailable”. And I’m not talking about any site that could be considered politically sensitive, or of doubtful morals. Just so many sites, of different ilk were “unavailable” on the China … Read More

Visiting the satellites - Light My Fibre

Jan 02, 2010

Greetings from New Caledonia and a very Happy New Year to all our friends and readers. I thought that many of you would be interested to see a pictorial visit to the Verizon (USA) ’Super Headend’ where all the hundreds of television channels are brought together and dispatched out to their nearly 1 million Fios (FTTH) subscribers across the United States. Verizon's satellite head-end. Source: Engadget Yes, they use RF Overlay for their broadcast channels plus IPTV for their Video on Demand. Just before I left Auckland to spend the festive season with my family here in Noumea, I had the opportunity to be given a detailed tour of the SKY TV headquarters in Mt Wellington (an Auckland suburb). My enthusiastic and expert guide, Mr Wayne Tibby, took me through this quite gigantic place, which resembled closely the … Read More

Internet Censure — Big Brother in our neck of the woods? - Light My Fibre

Dec 17, 2009

A battle of words is raging in Australia over the Government’s decision to impose internet filtering, ie censure on the web sites we are allowed to visit. The right of free speech seems to be fragile under the present Minister Steve Conroy and his Labour majority. Here are some of the comments published yesterday and today: “Welcome to National Censorship Day” ’Conroy’s blind adherence to his net filtering plan will abandon net neutrality ideals and push ISPs down a slippery slope of unprecedented responsibility for a callously politicised Australian internet.’ ’Brave Labor MP rejects Conroy’s filter plan’ ’NSW Labor MP Penny Sharpe has slammed her Federal colleagues’ plan to censor the internet. Sharpe said the announcement was “a backward step” that, if adopted, would be “a triumph of fear and false promise [over] good sense” … Read More

Scientists squeeze more out of light - Light My Fibre

Dec 10, 2009

Scientists at the University of Adelaide, Australia, have put the squeeze on light. By discovering that light within optical fibers can be squeezed into much tighter spaces than was previously believed possible, the researchers at the University’s Institute for Photonics and Advanced Sensing (IPAS) have claimed a breakthrough that could change the world’s thinking on light’s capabilities, especially when it comes to its use in telecommunications, such as fiber-to-the-home (FTTH), computing and other light sources. To get light to travel along an optical fiber, it must concentrated, aimed and bounced along the inside walls of the fiber which acts like a pipe for light. But as the size of the fiber shrinks (in our never-ending quest for smaller, faster, better), the light becomes more and more confined too, until it reaches the ultimate limit — the point beyond which it … Read More