Tuesday, March 12, 2013


Since we're talking about the NBN OH GOD PLEASE MAKE IT STOP the next time you decide to make a serious business decision based on a Business Spectator story, take a look at this story first.

Don't want to? OK, here are the high points: instead of the NBN, build fibre to the street, and do the rest with WiFi.

“WiFi is getting to the point where it could be used for the last bit of the network that connects households and businesses to the fibre. This is what should be the focus of an "open and transparent debate”.

Did I already yell “please make it stop”? Yeah, no need to repeat that bit.

The short version.

  1. WiFi hotspots are shared: securing an individual's traffic is not trivial.
  2. WiFi hotspots are shared: one user can swamp the network.
  3. WiFi hotspots suffer interference from other WiFi hotspots – they use shared, unmanaged spectrum.

Read on:

“The NBN fibre could be brought to smaller neighbourhoods and then connected to each home and business using new powerful WiFi options, specifically little things called "picocells”.”

A picocell isn't a WiFi hotspot (PLEASE MAKE IT STOP!), it's a little mobile phone base station designed to connect to the fixed network and eliminate in-building cellular blackspots. That is: if there's a blackspot inside (say) a shopping centre, Telstra or Optus or Vodafone might decide it's worth bringing in a picocell so people can still use their smartphones.

It's got nothing to do with providing last mile wireless access.

Now, if you have the IQ of a fence-post and spare cash, go out and spend a couple of billion on a WiFi last-mile network, on the advice of Business Spectator, and go broke. I'll be laughing in the wind-up proceedings.

1 comment:

Alex Martin said...

NBN Fibre Broadband is way better than other source of Internet connection.