Seoul, Singapore anybody?

By John Nixon 19/05/2010 2

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:

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 actually install the FTTH networks.
Australia has just quite radically modified its requested migrant skill base to encourage suitably trained people to its shores. See:

Australian NBN = Political football

It’s quite amazing to witness the huge debate going on in Australia over the NBN, versus the almost total lack of public debate and critiques over the UFB here in New Zealand.
There is a Federal Election coming up in Australia before the end of the year, and the Aussie Nats (Liberal coalition) have threatened to kill the NBN totally if they gain power. This is dumb and could turn badly against them in light of the recent poll in Australia on the public’s perception of the value of NBN. See:
I grew up in Sydney in the middle of the Great Snowy Mountains Scheme, the biggest infrastructure project ever undertaken in the history of the country. This has been (arguably) a great success, generating hydro power and irrigating massive areas of inland pasture. Only the NBN project exceeds the Snowy Mountains Scheme in cost and (perhaps) audacity.
It IS essential, if Australia (and New Zealand) are to stay up there amongst the successful developed countries. A modern communications network is inevitable, and without a doubt, this has to be a fibre optics-based network.

Free WiFi hither and yon

I was in Melbourne recently with a colleague from Germany, visiting two of Australia’s biggest Telco/communications companies. We made presentations and responded to queries all day, but were TOTALLY UNABLE to either plug in or WiFi capture any of their company internet facilities. They did exist but were totally locked down to staff-only access. Apologies all around, but we had no access all day to our offices and email.
We left there, pretty frustrated and with a late Friday afternoon thirst, headed down to the Casino precinct. The very first bar I entered responded ’yes, we have free WiFi, come in and sit down’…
A couple of good Aussie Pinot Grigios later (why can’t they just say Gris like us) we had caught up with our professional and personal correspondence.
When I was last in Europe I caught the fast train (Thalys TGV) from Paris to Aachen. Before boarding I noticed a fibreglass dome on the roof of one of the carriages and thought ’that is either satellite TV OR Internet’…
Well it turned out that I had FREE broadband internet access for the three hour trip, plus free food and grog served twice during the trip by very convivial staff.
Now I see that the Sydney Ferry services are offering free WiFi on their runs.
Many people commute by ferry in Sydney. I’m sure they will enjoy this new service.
Let’s hope that the free WiFi access becomes more and more prevalent as we travel away from our home and office installations.

Hope to see you in Seoul or Singapore!

2 Responses to “Seoul, Singapore anybody?”

  • Gotta agree on the free wifi stuff John – last year I took an overnight bus journey across part of Turkey. About two hours in and unable to sleep I looked across the aisle and saw a woman surfing the web on her laptop. I pulled out my iPhone and was able to connect to the web via the free wifi connection on the bus. It made that trip bearable! Apparently Wellington mayoral candidate Jack Yan has vowed to blanket Wellington in free wifi and Hamilton is considering a similar council-led plan so maybe there’s new life in municipal wifi ventures? Safe travels…