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NBN - Connecting Australia

The National Broadband Network is one of Australia's newest and largest public infrastructure projects and is currently being "rolled out" into homes, businesses and schools.
by

Micah Gonzales

on 7 August 2013

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Transcript of NBN - Connecting Australia

The National Broadband Network *Connecting Australia*
The National Broadband Network, or NBN for short, is Australia's largest telecommunications project to date that will provide high-speed broadband to all Australian homes, businesses, schools and hospitals; rural and urban.
Beginning in 2012, the "roll out" is overseen by NBN Co and is a 10-year process that will cover up to about 13 million areas within Australia. Up to 93% of Australian homes will be connected with the optic fibre network and the remaining 7% with fixed wireless and satellite that will provide a speed of up to 12 megabits per second.
Generally, Australians use an ADSL connection that can, for the most part, reach a maximum speed of 5.8megabits/s. In the past, copper telecommunication networks have been used to provide internet access to Australians and it has worked for a considerable amount of time. But this is quickly becoming a dated method of connecting the country with the world and Australia is far behind the more advanced technologies around the world. It has come to the world's attention that Asia is growing and advancing rapidly in terms of economic and technological standing and Australia has recently become strongly connected with their regional neighbours. In order to fully grasp the social and economic opportunities that will follow this connection, Australia will need to catch up first to remain a viable asset to the global economy.
Such a huge project such as the NBN will greatly affect the way every Australian accesses the resources and information only available to us on the internet. Australians who are marked for a fixed wireless connection will be first on the list for the NBN roll out and construction for the optic fibres will be undergone or completed by mid-2015 in more than 3.5 million homes and businesses.
Although the people living in densely populated, urban areas will attain a faster connection with the broadband, those that will truly benefit from this advancement will be those in the remote, rural towns further away from the major cities.
Such settlements will be connected via fixed wireless or satellite. With the NBN connecting these towns, people will be able to access educational resources and health services that were once unavailable to them without the internet connection. For example, people who are unwell and unfit to travel long distances just to see a medical professional can receive "home-based monitoring" by qualified health professionals who may otherwise be unavailable to them. In relation to this, a quick and reliable connection can be used to provide training and information to health professionals and specialists in remote areas to ensure that their expertise is up to date as well as videoconferencing to assist medical specialists in the event of an emergency.
The final technology is and will be used for the most remote areas of Australia where both optic fibre and wireless is not an option. Homes and businesses marked for the NBN satellite broadband will be installed with a satellite dish and modem; the dish pointing towards the satellite. All information accessed on the satellite connection will be transmitted to the satellite, then to the earth station and then to your computer through the satellite.
The National Broadband Network is an ambitious project that has caused great controversy within both Parliament and the general public.
Personally, the NBN is a great advancement in technology that will affect every Australian citizen.

The National Broadband Network uses a mix of three technologies: optic fibre, fixed wireless & satellite.

Fibre optic cables are hair-like strands (usually plastic or glass) that have lights shone along the length of the strand. These lights are laser-generated and are picked up by a receiver at the end of the optic fibre. These fibres consist of three parts:
The core (the glass centre where the light travels)
The cladding (surrounds the core and reflects light back to the core)
The buffer coating (the protective plastic that keeps moisture and damage away)
The strands are then bundled together and then covered in what is called the jacket.
The light, when shone down the strand, reflects off of the sides of the fibre without being absorbed by anything along the way. This is called total internal reflection.
being a mixture of fibres; optics (currently being used in the NBN), ADSL, VDSL (very high bit-rate digital subscriber line, similar to ADSL only faster) and wireless technology.

In Australia, average connection speeds are below international standard with only 4% of the entire population with access to a connection 10Mb/s whereas, in comparison, South Korea reaches 49% of its population.
The South Korean government has developed e-health, e-learning and e-government services at the start of its broadband construction and has since identified where improvement is necessary. This may leave the country finishing its broadband upgrade sooner than the NBN is completely available.


Pros
Faster connection speed: With the NBN optic fibre technology, Australian premises will be able to access broadband speeds of up to one gigabit/s and those with fixed wireless or satellite technology will experience peak speeds of up to 12mb/s.
No installation cost: Overall, there is no real cost to connect your home to the NBN but there will be one to connect the building's existing phone lines and power supply.
Increase in productivity: Businesses will be able to work and communicate for longer periods of time.
Consistent speed: For all three technologies (optic, wireless & satellite), users will be able to experience steady speeds when using the NBN, unlike 3G or 4G wireless broadband.
Long-lasting: Water is ineffective against optic fibre cabling and it has been estimated that the technology can last up to 60 years with the price of maintenance and repair significantly less than for copper cables.

Cons
It is a long process: The NBN rollout will take 10 years to complete with about 13 million homes and businesses marked for the network. NBN Co. are in the second year of the rollout and already the project is experiencing problems with an estimated three-months delay in its goal to achieve 341,00 homes by June 30 this year. NBN Co. was aiming for 190,000 to 220,00 premises by that date.
If you choose NOT to be supplied with the NBN network, you may be in trouble because old copper telephone and internet lines will be deactivated once NBN fibre is installed (Not applicable to wireless or satellite recipients)
South Korea is a leader in technological advancement and internet connectivity with a broadband network that is renowned throughout the world. Most of the South Korean population has access to broadband internet with 37% of the entire population and 95% of homes connected to a broadband network. South Korea introduced its first high speed internet network in 1998 and has since been improving its networks to satisfy the citizens' demand for faster broadband. Mark Gregory, a lecturer in electrical and computer engineering from RMIT University in Melbourne has described South Korea's network as
Bibliography
http://www.nbn.gov.au/
http://www.nbnco.com.au/
http://www.nbn.gov.au/files/2011/05/2012_59017-NBNI-Fixed-Wireless-FACT-SHEET-WEB.pdf

http://www.nbn.gov.au/2012/04/27/why-do-we-need-a-national-broadband-network/
http://www.nbn.gov.au/2013/02/06/faster-broadband-for-regional-and-remote-australia/
http://www.nbn.gov.au/about-the-nbn/what-is-the-nbn/nbn-technologies/satellite/
http://www.nbn.gov.au/files/2011/06/Advancing-Australia-as-a-Digital-Economy-BOOK-WEB.pdf
http://www.gizmodo.com.au/2011/01/australias-fastest-average-broadband-speed-is-5-8mbps/
http://www.gizmodo.com.au/2013/01/which-country-has-the-fastest-internet-and-how-does-australia-compare/
http://www.nbn.gov.au/files/2011/05/2012_59009-Opportunities-of-the-NBN-FACT-SHEET-WEB.pdf
http://computer.howstuffworks.com/
http://www.computerworld.com.au/article/426682/nbn_vs_world_korean_experience/
http://paulwallbank.com/2012/02/08/abc-nightlife-explaining-the-national-broadband-network/
http://www.bit.com.au/Guide/312738
http://nbnmyths.wordpress.com/
http://www.budde.com.au/Research/Australia-Broadband-Market-Overview-Statistics-and-Forecasts.html
On the International Telecommunications Union's recent report of the ICT Development Index (global rank of a country's readiness, intensity and impact of ICT access and use), Australia ranked 21st in the world. In comparison, the top 3 IDI countries are South Korea, Denmark & Sweden. Each of these three countries share common, distinct characteristics that target the enhancement of digital technologies and to encourage their citizens' engagement with the online world.
One characteristic that the three countries share is that they all have a great number of internet users who have access to a high-speed connection and mobile wireless broadband.
In Australia, maximum ADSL speeds reach 5.8 megabits per second. In comparison, many cities in South Korea and Japan reach average connection speeds of more than 10mbps.

It has been stated that the network will provide peak speeds of up to 1Gb/s for those connected with the optic fibre system and 25Mb/s for satellite and fixed wireless users. This is a much better improvement than the current average speed of 4.7Mb/s. Australia has been noted as being far behind many countries like South Korea, Japan, Denmark and Switzerland in terms of broadband connectivity and use with it being 21st on the ICT Development Index. One thing that has pulled Australia down in the ranks is the amount of people with access to high-speed internet, or lack thereof. The National Broadband Network is designed to cater for every Australian, including those in rural or remote areas. In fact, they are the ones that will benefit the most from the infrastructure project. With a fast, reliable and available network at their disposal, Australian 'country-siders' can gain access to health services like professional health consultation and a means to communicate with a medical practitioner in the case of an emergency as well as online educational resources for students who are unable to access such information in their own local area. These are things that every Australian deserves to have and physical location should never be an issue that stops people from attaining good health and a fine education.
But that does not mean that those in the major cities will not benefit from the NBN themselves. As people become more reliant on technology and the internet, the demand for a faster connection is stronger than ever. A faster connection could easily satisfy Australia's need for speed and present greater opportunities for business. Companies can communicate with overseas divisions and industries via videoconferencing as well as attracting skilled workers who are currently on the other side of the world.
The National Broadband Network is a significant step for Australians, both rural and urban and will propel the country towards technological and economic success in the future.
**Watch Me**
Sunrise - Impact of the NBN

Fixed wireless works with the connection being sent through the air from a radio base station to an antenna that is generally attached to the exterior of the premises. As the name suggests, fixed wireless, although similar to a fixed broadband network, does not use cable to be transmitted through homes. This makes it more suitable for slightly less populated areas to connect to the internet but still unfit for overly remote settlements. For these places, the NBN will be connected via satellite.
Mike Quigley, NBN Co. Chief
Malcolm Turnbull
Shadow Minister for Communications
Full transcript