NBN – Fibre Up Your Node.


Malcom Turnbull is priapic. He may not be my first choice of dinner party guest* but as I’m sure his wife Lucy would tell you, the man knows how to mount an argument.  When Mal, the sultry silver fox did the much anticipated policy reveal last week I found myself quietly nodding along. Much of what was said reflected my thoughts on the matter. It may surprise you to hear that I occasionally ponder issues of national governance. It can be quite discombobulating. One moment I am happily contemplating Jermaine Clements “sugar lumps”, the next I thinking that delivering optical fibre to every Australian household is overkill. Wazz up wit dat?

The dog looks terrified.

The dog looks terrified.

What irritates me about the whole shebang is that the politicians can pretty much say what they like. Most punters have zero understanding of the issues and are unlikely to educate themselves on it. With good reason – this stuff is as dull as dog shite. Tony Abbott himself could only recently be arsed boning up on it. The large pharmaceutical companies should bottle NBN speak and sell it as a cure for insomnia.

Back when I had an impressive job title our Communications Analyst would rave about fibre to the node, fibre to the curb and the wireless spectrum etc. Eyes would glaze over. By contrast the team was all a lather when I spoke about large scale engineering construction projects in the mining industry. That stuff put the Fun in Funds Management back in 2006. Anyhow there’s one person in Australia who is completely across the NBN argument and he needs no introduction It’s Dadabulous!   I asked him about it last week and was delighted to receive a lecture. Dadab’s main thrust is summed up in bullet points below.

Optical fibre is beautiful.

Optical fibre is beautiful.

  • You all know that fibre optic cable can transmit more data  more efficiently than the network of gawd awful copper wires we currently have.
  • The future’s going to be one of virtual reality immersion so we need as much data as we can get.
  • The ALP plans to run this fancy schmancy fibre optic cable right into every household in Australia (well 93% thereof, the rest will have to suffer with wireless). This is known as “fibre to the premises” or in funkier circles,  “fibre to the curb”.
  • The Coalition want to run the fibre to a network of  boxes on street corners called “nodes”. The old fashioned copper wires will carry data to the households from there.
  • The ALP’s plan will deliver epic broadband. According to Dadab, every home will have enough grunt to download four lots of high resolution porn on big screens simultaneously. Whoa – Talk about megabytes. I know I’m excited.
  • Sadly as Dadab calls it, Labor are taking so freakin’ long to get the fibre down, it’ll be the end of the century before the roll out is complete. Frankly the human race  isn’t going to last that long. The inevitable zombie apocalypse will render our chunky broadband a useless monument to human frailty.
The zombie apocalypse will hit before we get the NBN.

The zombie apocalypse will hit before we get the NBN.

  • Also Dadab sees no logic in the role out process. In his view it should be delivered straight to the folk who’ll make good use of it, the business districts, hospitals, schools, universities and hard core deviants. Rather they are prioritizing towns like Armidale (which may well be home to hardcore deviants).
  • The Coalition’s broadband will not be as epic but it will be sufficient to meet the current needs of most households. On the plus side, the fibre will be delivered to sites where the demand justifies it –  business centres, industrial and commercial parks, schools, hospitals, medical centres and universities. (http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/political-news/coalitions-broadband-policy-at-a-glance-20130409-2hioq.html#ixzz2QVWIrqkj). It’ll also be dumped straight into new housing developments.
  • The Coalition are allowing households to opt for fibre to the premises but in keeping with all things coalition the user pays. In other words , you can have  fibre up your node and straight into your house as long as you fork out.

So far, so reasonable, Team Ab thinks. The issue becomes as tangled and frayed as the mess of copper wires itself when you try to predict the future. The broadband strength promised by the Coalition is enough for most homes given today’s technologies. Many tech heads argue that 10 years plus down the track, it wont be.  Broadband will become yet another rung on the ladder of inequality (if that metaphor makes sense).  The wealthy will fork out the $5K  for their fibre and  revel in Tony Stark-esque techno fabulousness whilst the huddled masses are left behind.

OK the suit is powered by an inbuilt nuclear reactor but he's certainly got fibre up his curb.

OK the suit is powered by an inbuilt nuclear reactor but he’s certainly got fibre up his curb.*

I’m ignoring the thorny issues of paying out F*&king Telstra, industry competition and costing because that would involve actual research. In the meantime please feel free to pick holes in the argument. I bet you wont though. As I said before nobody understands this stuff, except Dadabulous.

And for your viewing pleasure here’s Flight of the Conchords with Sugar Lumps. I’m sure you’ll agree that FOTC  are a worthy misuse of bandwidth. Dont know about you but I can handle 100 mbps of these funny honey bunnies.


Mumabulous out.

* As I’ve mentioned in a previous post (might have been Thinking Woman’s Crumpet Part 1)  my choice of dinner party guests would be Dr Karl and James May. The ensuing pissing competition as to who was cooler would be pure gold.

Well its my idea of a hoot.

Well its my idea of a hoot.

*Oh my- but that’s a tasty picy of RDJ. I think I need to go into rehab for crumpet addiction.

21 thoughts on “NBN – Fibre Up Your Node.

  1. Ooh, ISSUES Mumabulous, I likey! All interesting points. Thank you for this enlightening post.
    Flight of the Conchords are Gods to me.
    So is Malcolm Turnbull #justkiddingnohesnot

  2. Thank Dadab for the key points because, like Tony, I prefer to wait until the last minute to cram my head with details! Maybe the Coalition need the silver fox to lead the hunt.

  3. I think you’ve missed your calling as a marriage guidance counsellor. Not only do you speak with great love and respect about Dadab (admirable), you’ve now given me enough NBN-for-Dummies to engage with my own husband’s glaze-worthy rants on the topic!

  4. I was about to comment on the fibre optics thingos but after watching Germaine and Brett, can’t remember what I was going to say. I find them both gorgeous!!!

  5. wah wah wah, high speed internet, wah wah wah. I get lost in all the details and petty snippets. I spent 11 years in the US. There’s no doubt their internet there shits all over ours here. I think we need to look to the future for this. Once upon a time no one ever thought they could possibly need a hard drive bigger than 1 gig. Now 1 terabyte is barely enough. We absolutely need it. As to who pays for what, eh, we get no say in the matter really, so let those who HAVE to worry about all those details. -Aroha (#teamIBOT)

  6. Fibre optics – pretttttyyyy. RDJ – PRETTYYYYY. He can power up MY nuclear reactor any day. DAMN you Brenda. You’re making me speak Brenda. Anyway, I digress. Thank you for REAL edumacation. I agree with dadab. I think the rollout is ridiculous, and so unutterably slow that we’ll be using telekinesis and telepathy for our prime communication requirements before it reaches completion. Download four lots of high res ‘material’ simultaneously you say? Now that IS worth the wait.

    • If you want to download an anatomically correct Fass you need that much broadband – in fact he puts the broad in broadband. HONK!!!!!!!! Meanwhile can you believe that Dadab doesn’t want to see Iron Man 3?

  7. I have to say I’d take THOR any day over Iron Man – just sayin’!

    • The Aussie blogging community is clear on where I stand on this issue. No need to repeat my view. Meanwhile I don’t think I could convince Dadab to see Thor either.

  8. I do believe it crumpeting could be an addiction. I had so much fun wasting megawatsits looking at footy crumpet :p

  9. You should seriously write more political posts! So well written. I haven’t really been following this issue because it is too hard for me to understand. I want the fastest speeds but without the cost. I don’t trust the ALP to manage anything with any sort of financial efficiency. Why can’t the Coalition do the Labor project but just cut back the time and cost? Magic.

    Can’t wait to see Iron Man 3. Thor and the new Superman area also keenly anticipated in this house. Best thing about having a son! Hot, hot, hot superheroes!!!

    • I used to do this sort of thing for work (over six years ago now) but without smutty asides. I see that there’s a Cap America sequel coming out. You and Ned will be the first in line for that one 😉

  10. Dude thanks for this! I had no idea about any of it.
    My concern is how quick can I load blogs?

    • To be truthful – I only wrote it because I wanted to break the issue down to its simplest components so that I could get my head around it – and I wanted to make smutty comments about MalTurn.

  11. I love your work. Finally, I have at least some understanding of this issue. Please pass on my thanks to Dadabulous – if this topic arises during the course of some social or work type engagement, I now feel I may be in with at least a small chance of not appearing excessively ignorant. If there are any other topical issues which you would be happy to summarise in this manner, I would be most grateful. You may well become my most valued source of news and current affairs…. 🙂

  12. This is an awesome things. The issue is very interesting with this way of write ups. I love seeing an article in a serious issue but made with humor. It was easy to understand in this way.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s