Icy Internet Blast

It is absolutely freezing in Geelong this morning. As I took the photos in this article, weather.com.au says it was -0.1°C here. Given that it was 9am, it is likely to have been much colder than that during the night.

Here’s what my car and the front lawn next door looked like:

Having grown up in Ballarat, I’m not a stranger to the cold. I used to ride my bike to school in the snow, so I can handle it.

What can’t handle it, it seems, is my phone line and therefore my DSL connection. This morning, it was behaving in exactly the same way as I described in this article from 18 months ago, when significant rainfall was blowing the service away.

So rainfall blows services on a copper line away, and so does extreme cold.

From the photos, it doesn’t take a lot a ice to do it either.

The same copper Malcolm Turnbull says is “adequate” for our broadband future – using an FTTN architecture and VDSL distribution to give “up to about 80Mbps” to end users.

Motorola offers its T3 PowerBroadband solution to the hotel market, using VDSL on internal building wiring, of “up to about 75Mbps” over around 200m of copper line length.

Over internal copper building wiring that is likely to be in better condition than the copper wiring in the ground, and that has been in the ground since the middle of the last century.

So 200 metres to the nearest FTTN cabinet to get his promised speeds?

That is a lot shorter distance than Malcolm suggests, so a lot more of the FTTN cabinets dotted around the streets than he proposes, all over the country.

Optus estimated that 75,224 FTTN nodes would be required to cover Australia. So more than that if 200 metres is the 75Mbps boundary with VDSL.

And that 200 metres Motorola offers is with copper likely in far better condition.

Copper not blown away by rain and icy conditions. Rain and icy conditions that won’t affect fibre.

Yet another reason the Opposition scheme is not the right solution.