2013 Australian Federal Election Rant

Dave rants about the 2013 Australian federal election this weekend, September 7th.
It’s all about the National Broadband Network, how bat shit crazy Tony Abbot’s policies are, how the Senate might be the only hope for the future of the country, and how Wikileaks will throw a spanner in the works.
Check your Senate voting preferences

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  1. Aus. is light years ahead of us here in California. Back in 1996 The city did a beautiful job of repaving our streets. Four months later the local cable company tore it up to lay fiber. They’re threatening to actually hook it up to someting now after only 17 years! How do I know? Because they have been canvassing the neighborhood trying to get people to pay for it first!

    What could be more embarrasing? We were supposed to be the epicenter of this stuff.

    • Sounds similar to the broadband battle we have here in the States extend the life of copper or bite the bullet and install a fiber to the premise network. Your upload comment really struck home as most company’s see broadband as just another way to deliver passive content rather than allowing citizens to more fully participate by originating their own material. That is why I prefer the term first-mile instead of last-mile. The notion of first-mile elevates the importance of end-users to enhance the value of the Internet as opposed to being dumb consumers of Internet stuff.

      Cost is certainly a concern, but so are the benefits of a purpose built broadband infrastructure. I’m not familiar with Australian technology history but during the 1930’s here in the US electricity and telephone networks were vastly expanded to connect almost everyone. If we could do that 80 years ago all that is missing today is the political will to do the same for broadband.

      Not to get down into too much detail but I’d love to see a regulated wholesale first-mile fiber network deployed, allowing multiple third parties to offer Internet and TV services. The problem we have here in the US is at most locations there is very little if any first-mile competition.

      I’ll get off my soapbox now.

  2. If big ears gets to power we’re fucked!

  3. Don’t know why you are only getting 25 Mbits in Oz. VDSL2 aka Fibre to the cabinet is capable of 100Mbits down and up.
    Even our (the Irish) almost bankrupt ex state owned phone company is capable of providing it with 70 down and 20 up!. Of course the local cable company have no problems offering 150 to the home and can offer faster if required.

  4. Hey, I live in downtown San Jose, California, the heart of Silicon Valley and I get a solid 6Mbps download on my DSL but only if AT&T has recently fed the hamsters in the hamster wheel powering the system.

    • The solution to your slow internet is obvious – feed the hampsters more, and upgrade the wheels. Just think, Monsanto can provide the exclusive contract for the GMO food, and Lockheed Martin can provide the high tech hampster wheels derived from their latest defence technology.
      Everyone wins.

  5. I tried to get a WiFi MESH network setup in my district. The problem was the pole rental we’d have to pay to National Grid and Verizon.

  6. Hi! Being a Brazillian I do not understand many of your political references, but some of of your points are Universal I say (the choose of the lesser evil is a common base in any election, in any country, in any age of Human History).

    Anyway, refereing to the Broad Band Internet, I have to say that Iused cooper and now I use fiber, and yes it is much better. But it is not a paradise also.

    I have used fiber internet by some time thru the Cable television (very common in São Paulo), and one problem is the stability of the download/upload speed.

    The TV companies place a lot of people in the Fiber Infrastructure and this causes an very variable speed in usage. Recently the goverment place a law that the internet providers must ensure a minimum speed for download and upload. But as any law the key point is how to ensure its implementation.

    The company used to sell a speed but in the contract they place a clausule to say that they do not ensure the speed all the time (figures).

    Today you can enter in a program were you offer your house as monitor center that registers the internet speed and passed it to the regulatory entity. (I am not part of this program)

    Anyway better than cooper, fiber is for sure.

    Out of Scope, I always look at the shine metal shelves in your laboratory. I am building my own. Do you know if they are still available for sell? Can you provide a link for the store 😀 many thanks

  7. Hi,

    speaking “for” Germany – in the “newly-formed German states” (after the Berlin wall was torn down) fiber to the home was installed in nearly every building there.

    Problem: The Hardware was too expensive and no isp offered internet over fiber there. The german telecom only used thin wires for the phone infrastructure so that often not even isdn (digital telephone network) was available, 56k was the highest data rate you could get. I don’t know the situation right now but this was the state 2 years ago.

    At my place I’m happy with 14 Mbit/s down and 2 up, in the suburbs. In the rural area you’re lucky to even get DSL – and also LTE isn’t quite available in these areas. Our government is always talking about the “bandwidth initiative” here – but the definition of this seems to be that 384 kbit/s (the lowest data rate of dsl here) is enough.

    So from my point of view you’re complaining on quite high niveau…

  8. Good luck with this, it’s really a shame that such a developed country still has slow and expensive connections.

    For 15$ you get 100/100 no limits connection over here in Lithuania.

  9. Over here in the UK my phone an broad band BT infinity costs me around £35.00p per month no limits, + 3 women nagging on the phone every day , and believe there is cheapers deals too.

  10. Nice points, but you could use without saying the word “retarded”

  11. It sounds like the same BS we have here in Los Angeles. Back in 1998, during the golden age of laying down fiber, Pac Bell layed down fiber to our node. They promised us that we would be upgraded to the prem when the technology got better. Pac Bell got gobbled up by AT&T. Now, my connection is capped to 6 mbps download (which is more like 5) and 386 kps upload (it takes days to upload my HD videos to youtube). A technician came out and showed me that my connection was capable of 28 mbps download with 5 mbps upload. He said that corporate doesn’t want anyone to have a higher speed in our area. They want us to upgrade to Uverse, but the engineer for our area said that they would put us on an all copper connection to the home office because they are trying to discontinue the old fiber lines. Their newest solution is to discontinue landlines by 2020 and replace everyone’s connection with a cellular modem. I already have problems trying to get cellular service because at times, the cell towers are oversaturated.

  12. And when you have a decent internet link, you have rules applying on it 😉 Idiot rules, of course !


    It took 5 to 10 years for stupid american rules/methods (macdo, ogm, pesticid, acta, …) to spread worldwide. Say no (again).

  13. Teeny Tiny Vanuatu:5092 kbps. Australia:4665kbps

  14. It seems the bat shit crazy guy won. Are you going to emigrate?

  15. Dave. Your reasoning about electing smaller party is probably ill-informed.

    Here is an fantastic video explaining the precise mechanics/mathematics of voting.

    The Problems with First Past the Post Voting Explained

    Follow-up videos:
    The Alternative Vote Explained

    Mixed-Member Proportional Representation Explained

    Gerrymandering Explained

  16. My apologies…
    The video of interest is
    The Problems with First Past the Post Voting Explained

    however, it seems that the comment interface decided to link to the last link in the post.

    Oh well…

  17. Me:141026.0 Kbps

  18. I wholly agree with your sentiments. Fibre to the home is the only answer to upgrading the communications infrastructure. At least I know that I voted properly and filled out from 1 to 110 on the senate paper.
    All the government appears to care about is just their short term in power and never look towards the future for the common good.
    They’ll be sorry when the revolution comes… 😉

  19. A reason why ‘A’DSL or lower lines :

    making internet access rapid in both upload/download to everyone raise a big problem !
    Anyone can become a valuable internet origin (contain provider).

    And this is the exact opposite interest of governement and big youtube/google providers.

    Gov preferes 10 organizations to deal with instead of million of small sites

    Google & others wants to sell the slow access and the fast access from datacenters. And collect again and again personnal data on those few services

    It is not tomorrow everyone will become a containt provider 😉


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