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Tesla coil making lots of sparks

We’re in 2016 and the Australian Liberal Government is heading to the next election desperately trying to convince Australians that we don’t need a National Broadband Network (NBN) based on Fibre-to-the-Premises.

But what if we lived 100 years ago in 1916 and the great Australian election issue was about building a National Electricity Network (NEN) based on Electricity-to-the-Home (ETTH)?

Imagine how Malcolm Turnbull and the Liberal Party would have tried to persuade Australians from the early 20th century to reject universal access to mains electricity in favour of a “Multi-Technology Mix”.

His speeches might have sounded like this:

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News Corp CEO Rupert Murdoch on Sky News, stating that the NBN is a ridiculous idea

Our director previously wrote a letter to News Corp CEO Rupert Murdoch asking him to clarify his position on the Australian NBN. Sadly, these letters received no response. We have also published other posts sharing our view of News Corp’s influence on the NBN.

Recently, Mr Murdoch gave an interview to Sky News, which is part-owned by News Corporation, in which he revealed some of his views on Australia’s biggest public infrastructure project

Click ‘more’ to read the transcript and our comments.
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Earlier today, NBN Co appointed one of the most senior executives of media organisation News Corp Australia to be its new chief financial officer. Stephen Rue will commence work from the 1st of July.

Rupert Murdoch & News Corp have often been accused of having influenced the Liberal Government’s decision to scrap the previous Fibre-to-the-Premises NBN design and replace it with an inferior design based on acquiring and reusing old copper phone lines owned by Telstra, as well as the existing Hybrid Fibre-Coaxial networks owned by Telstra and Optus.

News Corp and Telstra are joint owners of Foxtel, which uses the Telstra HFC network to provide Cable TV to Australian subscribers who live in cabled areas.
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Last Wednesday 9th April, Malcolm Turnbull, Communications Minister and Liberal Member for the Federal seat of Wentworth, ordered NBN Co to cease their deployment of a National Broadband Network based primarily on a Fibre-to-the-Premises architecture and instead switch to their preferred “Optimised Multi-technology Mix” architecture.

Under this plan, only a minority of premises will be connected by Fibre and the rest of the country will have to use existing copper telephone cable infrastructure, HFC Pay TV networks, 4G cellular networks and satellite internet depending on what is available at a customer’s location.

See Delimiter:

Along with the vast majority of the Australian IT industry, we consider Malcolm Turnbull’s 44.1 Billion dollar plan to be highly wasteful, inferior and woefully inadequate to meet Australia’s current and future needs.

We see this decision not being made as the result of an objective assessment performed by qualified telecommunications experts, but rather to spite the previous ALP government who launched the NBN. That is, rejecting policies simply because they came from their opposition. The Liberal party may have had valid grounds to change the management of NBN Co and its tender processes, but certainly not the technology choices.

Last Friday 11th April, Canberra Times cartoonist David Pope published a brilliant cartoon about Turnbull’s decision:
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Media Statement
22 November 2013

Supporters of a Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) broadband plan will deliver a 270,000 strong petition to the office of Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

The petition, which calls on the Federal Government to scrap its Fibre-to-the-Node (FTTN) model, is the largest ever hosted by petition platform change.org in Australia.

Started on the weekend of the Federal election by Queensland student Nick Paine, the petition led to the creation of Fibre-to-the-Premises supporter groups across Australia.

Wentworth residents Vladimir Lasky and Matt Taylor, members of the NBN supporter group, will deliver the petition to the Edgecliff office of Malcolm Turnbull on Tuesday morning 26th November at 11AM.

“We’re sending a strong message to Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull that he needs to start listening to the Australian people”, said Vladimir.

“The 270,000 signatures on the change.org petition shows there is overwhelming support for the Fibre-to-the-Premises model.”

“The NBN is the most critical infrastructure project in Australia right now, and it needs to be built right to unlock the growth of Australia’s Information economy, education and R&D capabilities”.

“Fibre-to-the-Node will turn Australia into a telecommunications backwater and make it a much less attractive place for business. The presence of large ugly cabinets littering our streets will be a lingering monument to our folly of accepting this inferior architecture”.

“Fibre-to-the-Premises critics have called it the Rolls-Royce solution, but Australians would choose the Rolls-Royce over the Red Rattler any day. If Estonia, South Africa and other less wealthy countries can afford to implement Fibre-to-the-Premises, why can’t we?”

Today’s delivery is just one of dozens taking place in marginal seats around the country.

Petition starter Nick Paine said he was delighted to see his campaign picked up by so many passionate supporters around Australia.

“When I started the petition on change.org I thought I might get a few thousand signatures,” said Nick.

“To see it take off in this fashion shows there’s a real depth of feeling about this issue in the community and Mr Turnbull would do well to take heed of that sentiment.”

Media contacts:

Vladimir Lasky
nbnpetition@nullremotelaboratory.com

NBN National Day of Action -Tuesday 26th November 2013

NBN National Day of Action -Tuesday 26th November 2013

 

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When Australian PM Tony Abbott was recently interviewed by the Washington Post and asked about the NBN, he called the former Labor Government’s plan to extend fibre optic cable to every household “wacko”.

Our Director of R&D, Vladimir Lasky, has written a letter to the Prime Minister to explain why he is mistaken and why the deployment of a Fibre-to-the-Premises NBN is crucial in securing Australia’s future:

Dear Mr Abbott,

My name is Vladimir Lasky. I am a resident of Wentworth – Communication Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s seat.

I am a Computer Systems Engineer by profession and run RemoteLaboratory.com – an IT business that develops technology to allow University students and researchers to conduct science and engineering experiments by remote control over the Internet – a key application enabled by the NBN.

I and others in my field consider the deployment of a Fibre-to-the-Premises NBN to be the most universally beneficial infrastructure project in Australia’s history – a key requirement to enable the growth of Australia’s Information economy, education and R&D.

Recently, you gave an interview to the Washington Post where you were quoted as saying that the idea of extending fibre to every home was “wacko”.

With all due respect Mr Abbot, you are mistaken in your belief.

I may have agreed that Labor’s management of the NBN was wacko, but not the goal itself of nationwide Fibre-to-the-Premises which is very sensible.

It is easy to confuse the cost of construction with the cost of ownership. You surely are a long-term thinker and it is the latter that matters most.

Yes, Fibre-to-the-Node might be slightly cheaper and definitely faster to build than than Fibre-to-the-Home, but the maintenance costs for the old copper and nodes will be absolutely horrendous, making it the far more expensive solution long-term.

The narrow-gauge copper wire that we use for our telephones was specified only for voice communication with 1920’s technology. It was never specified for carrying high frequency signals required for high speed broadband. Furthermore, it has been in the ground for many decades and has decayed. Many people complain of unreliable, poor performing Internet due to the copper being corroded or water entering the ducts whenever it rains.

Furthermore, it will be almost impossible to increase the speed of Fibre-to-the-Node connections, except by building more nodes closer to each client. This would cost a fortune, use lots of electricity and create a maintenance nightmare. Having fibre all the way avoids these problems.

As you are a pious man, I wish to quote the Parable of the The Wise and Foolish Builders from the New Testament (Matthew 7:24-27):

“Everyone therefore who hears these words of mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man, who built his house on a rock. The rain came down, the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat on that house; and it didn’t fall, for it was founded on the rock. Everyone who hears these words of mine, and doesn’t do them will be like a foolish man, who built his house on the sand. The rain came down, the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat on that house; and it fell—and great was its fall.”

The Wise builder builds Fibre-to-the-Home – the resilient optical fibre is like the rock which will remain strong and reliable during the rain and floods and handle all the weight placed on placed on it.

The Foolish builder builds Fibre-to-the-Node – the mixture of optical fibre and old copper is like the weak sand foundation which gets easily eroded by the rain and floods, and everything that rests on it falls over.

Please let Malcolm Turnbull be the Wise builder.

Be remembered as the man who thinks of the big picture and is not just opposed to the good idea of Fibre-to-the-Premises because it came from the incompetent former Labor government who were not able to execute it.

Be remembered as the man who adopted the good idea and made it actually happen.

Vladimir Lasky
Director of R&D
RemoteLaboratory.com

Note: this was originally posted on our Facebook page, located here:

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Back in September 2013, our Director of R&D Vladimir Lasky wrote to his local Member of Parliament, Malcolm Turnbull, who had just been appointed Communications Minister following the Australian Federal Election.

In this letter, Vladimir outlines the business case that makes a Fibre-to-the-Premises NBN superior to a Fibre-to-the-Node NBN:

Dear Malcolm,

This is Vlad, Wentworth resident and former member of Vaucluse Young Liberals.

First of all, congratulations on your successful re-election to Wentworth!

I am also a Computer Systems Engineer and run RemoteLaboratory.com – a tech business which develops technology to allow University students and researchers to conduct science and engineering experiments by remote control over the Internet – a key application enabled by the National Broadband Network.

I and other people in the industry maintain that Fibre-to-the-Premises is the only suitable design for the NBN that is both economically viable and provides sufficient capabilities.

Here are my reasons:

1. Telstra, being the owner of the old copper cable, and a public company that must maximise the interests of its shareholders, will demand as much money as it can get from the government to purchase their old copper cable.

They hold the cards and will price it as high as they can to provide the minimum discount that will still make it look more affordable to the government than FTTP.

2. In many places, the copper cable has been in the ground for many decades. The weather-proofing has gone and the copper has started to corrode. Today, people often report that their ADSL Internet slows down or drops out whenever it rains. A lot of money will need to be spent to repair the old copper cable.

3. As you know, the cables are unshielded, so there is a lot of cross-talk – part of your signal is picked up by your neighbours’ cables and you will pick up theirs. As more people get connected, your line will get noisier and your speed will be lowered. Vectoring will help reduce cross-talk, but it is complex and has its own constraints.

4. Our copper cable that we have in the ground was never intended for transmitting data – only baseband voice signals. The conductors have a small diameter so the high frequency signals used to transmit data drop off in strength very rapidly – smaller that what has been used in the UK and Germany, which you have cited as examples of successful FTTN.

This means that in order to get speeds anywhere near what is being promised, many nodes will have to be installed within a few hundred metres of every connected office or home. These nodes are large, expensive, consume electricity and will require ongoing maintenance.

I consider you to be a financially astute person, and the Liberal Party capable of seeing the big picture by considering ongoing and opportunity costs, and not simply basing things on short-term cash-flow concerns.

There is no purpose in needlessly wasting Australian taxpayers’ money to prolong the life of a run-down, obsolete network and fill Telstra’s coffers, when our country has the means to do it properly.

It would eventually have to be replaced with FTTP anyway and it would be even harder to find the money then. We can get it right the first time.

Vladimir Lasky
Director of R&D
RemoteLaboratory.com

Note: this was originally posted on our facebook page located here:

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RemoteLaboratory.com strongly supports the deployment of a Fibre-to-the-Premises National Broadband Network in Australia – a prerequisite to enable the growth of Australia’s Information economy, education and R&D capabilities.

Here are our current popular posts concerning the NBN:

Letter from our Director of R&D Vladimir Lasky to Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull explaining why a Fibre-to-the-Premises NBN is more economically sound than a Fibre-to-the-Node NBN:

https://remotelaboratory.com/archives/why-a-fttp-nbn-makes-better-business-sense-than-a-fttn-nbn/

Letter from our Director of R&D Vladimir Lasky to Prime Minister Tony Abbott, explaining why extending fibre-optic cable all the way to customers’ homes is not “wacko”:

https://remotelaboratory.com/archives/extending-optical-fibre-every-australian-home-wacko/

Letter from our Director of R&D Vladimir Lasky to News Corp Executive Chairman Rupert Murdoch, requesting clarification on his and News Corp’s view of the NBN and a response to suggestions in the media that they are unfairly influencing the government’s NBN policy:

https://remotelaboratory.com/archives/news-corp-australian-nbn/

Why advances in wireless communications will NOT make fibre-optic networks like the NBN unnecessary:

https://remotelaboratory.com/archives/will-advanced-wireless-networks-make-fibre-optic-networks-like-australian-nbn-unnecessary/

Summary of Internode founder Simon Hackett’s proposal to simply and lower the cost of building the Australian National Broadband Network (NBN). Simon was recently appointed by Malcolm Turnbull as a non-executive director of the NBN Co board. His proposal is titled “NBN Fibre on a Copper Budget”

https://remotelaboratory.com/archives/founder-australian-isp-internode-simon-hackett-creates-proposal-lower-cost-building-australian-national-broadband-network-nbn/

How the small rural community of Olds in Alberta, Canada built a Fibre-To-The-Premises (FTTP) Gigabit broadband network, despite many obstacles. Something that should inspire everyone not to give up:

https://remotelaboratory.com/archives/small-rural-community-of-olds-in-alberta-canada-builds-fibre-to-the-premises-fttp-gigabit-broadband-network-despite-obstacles/

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News Corp and the Australian NBN

by admin on November 15, 2013 13:08 pm · Leave a comment

in Articles

In the Australian media, there have been frequent suggestions that Rupert Murdoch and News Corporation have been unfairly influencing the Government’s policy on the National Broadband Network to suit their commercial interests.

Our Director of R&D, Vladimir Lasky, has written a letter to News Corporation Executive Chairman Rupert Murdoch to clarify his and News Corp’s positions on the NBN:

Rupert Murdoch
Executive Chairman
News Corporation
1211 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10036 USA

Re: News Corp and Australian Government Policy on the NBN

Dear Mr Murdoch,

My name is Vladimir Lasky. I am a Computer Systems Engineer by profession and run RemoteLaboratory.com – a Sydney-based IT business that develops technology to allow University students and researchers to conduct science and engineering experiments by remote control over the Internet – a key application enabled by the Australian National Broadband Network (NBN).

I and others in my field consider the deployment of a Fibre-to-the-Premises NBN to be the most universally beneficial infrastructure project in Australia’s history – a key requirement to enable the growth of Australia’s Information economy, education and R&D.

It is has been widely suggested in the Australian media and blogosphere that you and/or News Corporation have been lobbying our government to prevent the deployment of a Fibre-to-the-Premises NBN, where optical fibres are extended all the way to each user’s home or business.

The reason put forward is that the higher bandwidth offered by a Fibre-to-the-Premises architecture, compared with the alternative Fibre-to-the-Node architecture, poses a threat to your and/or News Corporation’s Australian commercial interests by making it easier for Australian customers to obtain content such as TV shows and movies at a lower cost compared to if they had to pay for content through local providers that you and/or News Corporation have a financial interest in.

This suggestion causes many of us here very deep concern as it makes us believe that our future as a country is being compromised for the sake of selfish commercial interests.

I thought it would be appropriate to ask you the following questions directly so you can clear things up and share your point of view:

1. Given that the Australian NBN is planned to be built using either a Fibre-to-the-Node or a Fibre-to-the-Premises architecture, do you and/or News Corporation have a preference for either of these architectures and if so, which is it?

2. If you or News Corporation have a preference, has this been communicated to any members of the current government by you or any representatives of News Corporation? If so, what are the names of the News Corporation representatives and which members of the government did they communicate their preference to?

3. If the Australian government deploys the NBN using a Fibre-to-the-Premises architecture, will any politicians, or the government as a whole, have any reason to fear that this will result in less favourable media coverage from News Corporation-owned publications compared to if the government deploys the NBN using a Fibre-to-the-Node architecture?

4. If the Australian government deploys the NBN using a Fibre-to-the-Premises architecture, will News Corporation act to reduce or restrict the availability of American content to Australian customers, e.g. by refusing to allow distribution within Australia or by raising prices to Australian customers, compared to if the government deploys the NBN using a Fibre-to-the-Node architecture?

I really appreciate you taking the time to read and respond to my letter.

Vladimir Lasky
Director of R&D
RemoteLaboratory.com

Note: this was originally posted on our facebook page, located here:

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