Fibre to the Home Council – Asia Pacific

By John Nixon 10/11/2010

I’m heading off soon to Phuket in Thailand to the General Meeting of the Asia-Pacific FTTH Council.

Why Phuket? I’m not complaining, it’s a neat place! I think the Board tries to regularly include member countries in their rotating meeting program. We will be meeting with local Thai engineers and exchanging experiences.

This time last year, we were honoured to host this mid-term meeting here in Auckland, New Zealand.

What will we talk about? This year I was elected as Vice-chair of the Technology and Architecture study group. Coincidentally, Richard Wade of Cisco in Wellington was elected Chair of the group. So we have a strong Kiwi presence there.

We are expected, with our many T&A committee members to undertake a “technical and/or network artichecture” study which will be beneficial to our member countries. The subject must be general and generic, no promotion of a member company’s specific products.

It’s not easy. I have my ideas, others have theirs.

I am pushing for the investigation into battery power backup of the essential home services during a power blackout. These essential services will include the fibre optics home equipment, commonly called the “ONT” or Optical Network Terminal. One single rechargeable battery could easily provide backup power for many home services: Intrusion and fire alarms, FTTH devices (ONT etc), Lifeline services, intercom and door latches etc.

One single battery is easily changed by the home-owner (you get plenty of warning before it fails), reduces the cost of recycling multiple batteries etc.

As simple as it sounds, there has been little or no study into this aspect of modern home wiring now that FTTH is coming.

To change the subject, I want to thank the several quite passionate commentators on my previous posts concerning a possible link between electro-magnetic radiation and cancer.

I can’t be totally anti-EMR as I have been a licenced “full priviledge” amateur radio station operator since I was a teenager in Sydney. I have built many transmitters and antennas, and talked to many people around the world over radio. More usefully, for some 30 years I have regularly (and from four different countries) participated in the daily maritime safety sessions on the 20 metre (14 MHz) band. Over that time we have communicated with thousands of yachts at sea and assisted efficiently with medical and other emergencies. We have helped save lives, helped locate and save distressed and damaged yachts, even helped recover stolen yachts.

A good “ham” or radio amateur station needs performant antennas perched as high as possible on a steel or aluminium tower. I have owned several and of course from time to time you have to clamber up them to install or repair an antenna. Today I received from a fellow radio friend the most amazing video of a guy climbing up a commercial radio tower in the U.S. that just dwarfs anything we have ever done in amateur radio.

Please have a look, it’s quite amazing! Don’t look down….

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