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Internet Politics

There is much confusion in Australia between the fundamental differences between WIFI and NBN ( Fiber ).  The Government’s dumbed down view for us is is that they are one and the same thing.

There is an opportunity for Australians is to distinguish these two types of communication and to obtain the benefits or otherwise of each method, especially for business.   But of course, most people are not interested in learning about packet switch networks.  Nevertheless, we all tend to get a bit upset when our mobile phones drop out and faxes no longer work.  Sadly, all too often pointing out the obvious in the face of widespread trumpiness, comes with considerable personal risk and requires  courage by those that know better.  Gently then perhaps, we persist.

At the least, referring to WiFi and NBN interchangeably supports simplified policies and is like saying that bicycles and aeroplanes are the same because they are both transports.  There is an obvious huge difference between a bike and a plane and of course both have their understood different uses.  It is indeed unfortunate that this similar huge difference between Wireless and Fiber is not understood by most.  Eyes glaze over.

While it is understood that planes cost more than bikes, it seems to me that most are not aware that Fiber NBN is also much cheaper than WiFi and getting cheaper by the day.  For example, Fiber plans in Tasmania are now currently available at around $30 a month with no lock in contracts and include free phone and netlike downloads.

To put it briefly, WifI is radio in the same way CB radio is useful, but not so useful when there are too many on the same channel at the same time.  WifI degrades in the same way; when too many are using it in your area at the same time, the internet speed will decrease, as everyone has to share the same radio station.  This also presents security issues as hackers can all too often easily listen in with public available free software and retrieve unsuspecting and less savvy users passwords etc.

As WiFi bandwidth becomes more and more overloaded, the current simple government plan is to introduce new radio frequencies and get everyone to buy new routers to use these new  frequencies.  3G, 4G 5G etc etc.  There is no end to these costly and temporary  “upgrades”.

Fiber to the computer on the other hand runs on many different lines ( at 85% the speed of light ) without the need to buy new routers for everyone, even when more lines are added to the network.  Computers these days come ( with ethernet slots that attach directly to the fiber NBN ) ready to run at very high speeds without addition hardware.  These fiver cables are also much more secure from hackers listening in, of course.  Fiber is already available to the computer in much of Tasmania at speeds up to 1,000 mega bits a seconds.  Sydney on the other hand, is mostly on WiFi running on a good day at 1 mega bits.

Adding more and more WiFi towers to improve access to the internet is like adding more cars to roads in Hobart to improve the transport situation.  Nuts.

The current government plan will require 75,000 new mobile towers to be built.  Like all things computer, internet traffic is growing and the need for speed will increase significantly in the near future.  Out of desperation with the poor speeds of Wireless, more and more people are now paying to have an installer to run the fiber to their premises.  So all these new mobile towers will be a gigantic waste of money.  On the other hand, Fiber comes at a fraction of that cost providing for a much faster more reliable internet and increased security.  Luckily, the government can print more money to build all these new mobile towers.


© 2018, James Harry Burton. All rights reserved.