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back to article The Register's NBN study: a good start, let's ramp it up

It was nice to start today with more than $5,000 pledged on Pozible for The Register's NBN study – but we're still $94k-plus shy of the target, and our intent is serious. The main reason we decided to try to crowd-fund a study is simple: with enough money, it can be completely removed from any partisan considerations. With money …

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Anonymous Coward

Yes it does deserve a response, I'll try one.

"For example: if my nieces and nephews don't need to live in Sydney, can they move to and raise their families in Coonabarabran without 'missing out' on jobs or having a 'second class life'. If so it creates less pressure for housing in Sydney and a more vibrant and diverse Australia."

OK let's look at this. If the NBN extends to all of the country then your nieces and nephews can move to the country and they will, while at home, be able to pretend they are in a city. They will be technically able (I say this because content providers may not support a level playing field) to access the same shows and entertainment options. Jobs are a different matter. There will always be classes of jobs that will not be available unless you can be physically present. There will also always be employers who expect a physical presence. The NBN will not change this. If you are fortunate enough to secure employment that allows you to work remotely then here's where the NBN becomes an enabler.

Medical. Despite all the rhetoric, you won't find specialist treatment online anytime soon. It'll take a generation at least. Maybe your grand-nieces and nephews would see the benefit. Until then, find a good local doctor and make sure you're not too far from a hospital.

Final comment. If you want a vibrant and diverse Australia then you should be moving to the cities. Small towns and regional centers breed cultural conformity not diversity. History shows us that cultural progress happens when you get large numbers of people together, not when you move them apart. Now you may be thinking that the 'togetherness' can happen online and that's a plus for an NBN. It doesn't work like that. People being exposed to different modes of thinking (whether they want to or not) is what drives culture. Online, people tend to gravitate towards sites and people who think the same as they do.

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Re: Yes it does deserve a response, I'll try one.

It would also enable cultural changes to occur allowing employers to accept remote workers more broadly.

Not disagreeing with you, just saying that you maybe aren't disagreeing with the quoted comment, either.

The biggest benefit I see is that companies can depend on Aussie consumers having access to a speedy connection of known reliability. "Internet of things" starts to happen. "aaS" offerings abound. I keep imagining PXE booted zero clients being offered over IPv6 as a natural progression of Chrome OS, or something. The idea is to ask, "What services become feasible, and how will that impact Australia?" I think that's a difficult question to answer. If pushed through, though, NBN makes Australia a most interesting experiment.

FWIW, you might be right about the medicine. I'm thinking it will be "revolutionized" by personalization by computers crunching massive amounts of data and scientists looking to ask the right questions of the datasets, rather than doctors. That won't require massive bandwidth to the end user.

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Why I'm not donating

Firstly, before I donate to something, I like to know what is going to be done with my money. The questions are vague. It's implied that economic modelling will be done, but not it's not specified what will be modelled and what techniques will be used. You could answer the question in any number of ways. It's like asking an essay question without specifying the word count.

Secondly, I can pretty well guess what the results will be, since I read international studies with similar goals around the time the NBN was first proposed. When you try to do a cost benefit analysis of broadband, the concrete benefits are small, and the far-future benefits are ill defined, so the error bars are large. There are inconvenient facts the study could point out, like the relationship between price and penetration and the effect of poor penetration on social benefits. But the ABS has had data on that since the NBN was proposed, so surely any political impact of such data has already run its course.

Thirdly, I'm pretty convinced that neither the broadband policy of Liberal nor Labor will lead to collapse and downfall of Australian society and industry. They differ in scale, not direction. The same cannot be said with such confidence about other causes that I might be willing to donate to.

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Stop

Linky link

Shouldn't this article have one? I don't see a link to the Pozible page for the study.

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re: Linky link

Thank you for drawing this to my attention. I've added the link to the article, and here it is: http://www.pozible.com/project/26539/

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Nope, not me

"what broadband does Australia need? This doesn't define the technology, but the requirements"

I don't care to differentiate between "technology vs requirement", I *do* care about the fact that this question is completely wrong. Australia is stuck in a loop - there is not enough bandwidth so nothing local is created which requires large bandwidth... so there is no need for large bandwidth.

Ask rather what on-line services and product Australia needs now and in the next 10+ years, and *then* tell me the bandwidth requirements to make that happen. Don't put the cart before the horse, El Reg.

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Anonymous Coward

whinging aussies

Man, Australians now seem to whinge more than the 'whinging poms' of the days of old. How about either support the project, or choose not to and shut up?

I for one understand why the question is open, and would like to see this go ahead (And have put my money where my mouth is). If you want to narrow the question down or have input, put $100 on the table and it can happen.

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The network is the computer?

I think I recent trend is towards smaller, less powerful, cheaper devices with all the processing taking place at a data center.

Of course how far you can go with this is limited by latency. Currently having my email application (Gmail) managed in some data center is fine, as this doesn't require fast responses, but good luck on trying to do the same with a FPS game.

What I never see in discussions about the NBN is what the goals are on lag?

Fatter pipes may be less important than less laggy pipes.

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