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Size really does matter

30/01/2014

abigaustralia
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The wireless only mob are at it again in regards to the NBN. Their latest claim is based on a story from South Korea. South Korea are planning to set up a 5G network of towers right across their nation. The claim is 5G will be able to download 800mb/s of data in one second. It also clearly shows that 4G technology is already obsolete. This is the same technology that only went live about 18 months ago.
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Meanwhile, fiber optic speeds have gone much much further with speed. BT in the UK have achieved 180,000mb/s. And it can achieve this on existing fiber optic cable. They claim they can transfer upto 44HD movies in one second. A HD movie is 4Gb. So in one second it can send 176GB of data and it can do this on a link that was over 400km long.
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And yet the wireless clan are adamant that wireless is the only way. The funny part there is to achieve fast wireless speeds, you NEED a much faster fiber optic network. They claim that wireless can be achieved for far cheaper than optic fiber, despite the fact that fiber is faster, more reliable, and cheaper for consumers. Wireless uses far more electricity, which if not generated from renewable sources, means much more emissions. Optic fiber uses much less electricity.
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But the biggest falsehood conducted by the wireless lobby and the coalition is this method would be cheaper. They once again refer to the cost of the South Korean project. 900 million UK pounds is $1.7bn Australian dollars. Look how cheap this is they claim! Much cheaper than the $43 billion for the fiber network. I struggle to stop laughing when I hear these claims.
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The landmass of South Korea is 100,210 km squared. It is in fact smaller than Tasmania. For $1.7bn dollars you get to cover less land than the size of Tasmania. Australia on the other hand is just a tad bigger. Australia’s landmass is 7,692,024 km squared. Or about 77 times the size of South Korea. A wireless tower covers a distinct range. That is towers in Australia wont cover more range than ones in South Korea.
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So lets do some arithmetic here. Lets say we want to cover 100% of Australia (yes I know we have a lot of desert, but just go with me here). To do that, the cost of a 5G tower network in Australia will cost about $131 billion dollars. Now lets say we only want to cover 50% of Australia. This will be most (but not all) of Queensland, bugger all of the Northern Territory and Western Australia, most of New South Wales and most of Victoria. Maybe only half of Tasmania and South Australia. Even at 50%, the cost to put in a 5G network would be $76 billion dollars.
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Lets say we don’t give a rats arse about the regions. That we only care about a network that covers 20% of Australia. This will STILL be close to $30 billion. And if it takes South Korea 7 years to deploy their network in 100,000km squared, its going to take a hell of a lot longer in Australia, even at 20%.
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In fact, I predict that by the time South Korea has gone commercial with its proposed 5G network, 6G will be out and they will no doubt then need to change their entire network for that. Lets say 6G will be out in 2030 and 7G in 2040. Lets also say for arguments sake that 6G will be 10 times faster than 5G and 7G 10 times faster than 6G and so on. This means 5G will do 800mb/s, 6G will achieve 8000mb/s and 7G will achieve 80,000mb/s. This will STILL be less than half the speed that fiber optic can do NOW. God knows what speeds will be possible under fiber in 2040.
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But it is not just about speed here. Its reliability. Ease of access. Ability to transfer data over longer distance and of course the ability to provide this to as many Australians as possible, not just those in the cities.
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The number of times I have heard Malcolm Turnbull try and compare the NBN in Australia with either just one state of the USA or New Zealand or even the UK shows to all that he does not really care about this project at all. Comparing the cost of the NBN with the cost of fiber rollout in the UK is nothing more than an outright lie if he does not multiple that cost by the size of the area needed to be covered in this country. You can fit 8 UKs easily into Australia and still have room to spare. Yet he compares the cost as if both Australia and UK are of the same size.
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So yes people. Size really does matter.
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A. Ghebranious January 2014

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