back to article CSIRO scales 50 Mbps wireless broadband to 16 nodes

Australia's Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) has revealed that new trials of its Ngara wireless broadband system have scaled a single base station from six to 16 users. Speaking at the Physics in Industry Day hosted by the Australian Institute of Physics, Dr Iain Collings, Research Director …


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Not for me.

If I'm out and about then yes, this sounds perfect. But for the delivery to my home, I'll take cabled over wireless any day. Same inside my house - I have a locked-down wi-fi router for my mobile devices, but the rest of my IT equipment (fileserver, HTPC, main PC) is wired via Gb LAN - less chance of cross-talk with the neighbours.

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Disquiet over the NBN?

> But after hearing Collings speak for 45 minutes, it was hard to draw a conclusion other than that he feels disquiet that policy may not be resulting in the best-possible NBN.

The wireless technology is one of the minor reasons to raise questions about the NBN. I can give you some others:

* ACCC concerns with NBNCo's monopoly powers

* NBNCo's prediction in the corporate plan that 50% of premises with fibre will connect at 12/1Mbps

* Many small regional towns being forced onto wireless when they have ADSL now and the copper network will remain

* Failure of the roll out to focus on areas of need (e.g. housing developments built since the 1980s where RIMs, long cable lengths and/or 3G areas exist)

* Focus on overbuilding of areas that currently have cable with 100Mbps connections to eliminate competition


That's how technology development works!

Really? Some are all set to dump existing, mature and working wireless technologies that provides known capabilities right now using existing equipment, for an undeveloped, prototype system that would provide superior performance at some unknown point in the future?

I don't know how to break it to these people, but no one has been saying that the NBN being rolled out is the best and fastest network technology humans are ever going to develop. There is always going to be better and faster on the horizon, but anyone who has ever been a tech enthusiast could tell you, waiting for better and faster is a wait that never ends.

I just read the Ngara Final Report; interesting stuff, but even they acknowledge it isn't close to roll-out, and by the time Ngara is ready for wide deployment there will no doubt be something else on the horizon. Are we going to hold off on Ngara and wait?

You put the network in now, invest in the infrastructure roll-out and benefit from the improvements in connectivity now. Upgrade the network later when technology matures and the hardware cheaper and the infrastructure is already in place to make it easier.

It is not as if the NBN wireless network is a wasted white elephant anyway, it is a mobile LTE/4G network that is used by mobile phones.

Icon: Steam-powered pneumatic tubes is obviously the best information exchange technology available, so forget all this newfangled electro-magnetic rubbish. You cannot transmit chocolate across the EM spectrum, people! Plus, it is WAAAAY more romantic!

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