How Fibre Networks Can Increase Speed Really Quickly

Tony Abbott has said he thinks it is "hugely implausible" that the speeds on the National Broadband Network could easily increase by a factor of 10 to the 1 gigabit per second maximum speed now being claimed by the NBN. For his benefit (and the benefit of confused voters), we're here to explain in simple terms why such a scenario is plausible, even though it doesn't necessarily mean you'll get that speed directly into your house.

Picture by NBN Co

The National Broadband Network plan is based around a fibre-optic network. Simply put, this uses fibre-optic cables to transmit data in the form of light waves, rather than the copper cabling which currently connects your telephone line (and ADSL service) to the nearest telephone exchange.

Fibre has two big advantages over copper. Firstly, it experiences much lower levels of data loss and interference than copper cables, which makes it much more suitable for use over long distances. Fibre is already one of the main technologies used for backhaul (transmitting information across the network between exchanges; see our previous explanation of why backhaul matters),

The second advantage of fibre (and the one which particularly matters here) is that it can transmit data much faster than alternative technologies. To put the current Australian argument into perspective, fibre optic networks can theoretically run at up to 14 terabits per second (that's 14000 gigabits, or 14000 times faster than the newly-claimed maximum speed). While that requires very careful construction, building a network that runs at 1 gigabits per second (Gbps) isn't particularly difficult or expensive.

While fibre has huge theoretical speeds, in practice the speed is largely determined by another element: the equipment in the exchanges connected to the fibre cabling at either end. Unsurprisingly, getting higher speeds requires more complex and more expensive equipment at the exchange level. However, that equipment can be replaced or upgraded to allow higher speeds without requiring the fibre itself to be altered. Determining network speed thus becomes a trade-off between speed and the cost of equipment — which is why the NBN originally set itself a goal of delivering 100 megabits per second (Mbps) to end users.

As with most areas of technology, however, equipment gets more efficient and cheaper over time, making it feasible to deliver higher speeds as the network is built and evolves. Planning for the NBN has been going on for more than a year, so the increase in speed is not that surprising or remarkable, especially given the much higher speeds fibre networks can actually handle. It might well be debatable whether the announcement of that speed increase is a matter of political expediency, but the physics and engineering are well-established and tested.

It's worth remembering that 1Gbps is a maximum potential speed. The actual speed experienced by the user will be affected by numerous other factors, including the rate at which data is being transmitted from a given site or application, and the speed of networking equipment at the customer end. For instance, if you've got a high-speed connection but an old slow wireless router, your maximum speed will be dictated by the router. If you're accessing an overseas web site, the number of other customers using the same ISP as you also trying to access overseas sites will be a constraint.

However, those same variables also apply to any other kind of Internet connection you can think of, whether that's ADSL or wireless or cable. It's also important to remember that while most of us think of the Internet in terms of browsing web sites (and downloading torrents), it can also be used to transmit other data using other protocols, some of which can be much more efficient than those current applications.

New use cases also continue to emerge. A decade ago, few people would have imagined that video content could be routinely served onto sites; today, that's the rather mundane reality of YouTube. Video on demand services are already being promoted by ISPs, but those would be much more accessible on a high-speed network.

While the NBN has promoted 'fibre to the premises', this doesn't actually mean a single unique fibre connected directly to your home for your exclusive use. The NBN uses a network infrastructure known as GPON (gigabit passive optical networking), which uses one fibre to deliver to a group of locations and only splits it close to the premises. This is much cheaper and easier to maintain than a direct fibre connection to every location.

In the case of the NBN, each fibre will serve 32 households. Even if all 32 are connected simultaneously, however, NBN Co calculates that users will get a typical maximum speed of 78Mbps. (In the case of larger premises such as hospitals and universities, the NBN will offer direct fibre connections for better speed.)

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Comments

    Steven Con-Boy a.k.a. 'The Cable Guy' needs to be staight up to the people of Australia on the NBN a.k.a 'No Brians Needed".

    Sure fiber is faster but it does not give us the freedom of wireless wich is approaching 42Mbps this year.

    If gamers or internationa content junkies think its going to make any differance in downoad speeds on long haul Submarine cable to the states; well think again, the NBN does not go to America or Europe, so its Aussi or Tassi generated traffic that will only seem faster.

    Has anyone got a quote on terminating fiber into the home? if you live in an older home 20 years plus, minumum 1200 for one termination point and for multiple drops as much as 3-4000 per home.

    The Libs plan may not look good on paper, but can deliver greater services in the form of expanding our 3G and 4G footprints, not to mention save billions.

      Not to make this a political discussion but wireless technologies have been proven over an over as unreliable.
      Just think of your 3G connection on your phone and your wifi.

      There are dropouts and slower speeds due to interference.

      Physical is the way to go, and even tho expensive it is the only way to really future proof.

      What do they use in other "real" 1st world countries?

      Fibre.

      I tend to agree. While the NBN may seem like a great idea, and it would certainly be a good step for the future, the coalition plan seems somewhat more plausible. We need to find a happy medium.

      Let's face it, high speeds are not really required direct to homes. We need much more stable speeds. If we could get a guaranteed minimum 12mbps download speed, that would be great. It just seems that the government's plan is a bit of a wild dream. Rural communities want decent internet speeds now, not superfast speeds in 10yrs. If the NBN was feasible and quick to set up then it would be perfect but for now, how about we slow down the fibre rollout, and supplement it with wireless systems which are still going to be required whether we get FttH or not.

        "Let’s face it, high speeds are not really required direct to homes"

        What? According to your limited technical knowledge and imagination?

        I work with guys in London and want to share desktops, files and video in real time.

        If you have high speed direct to the home you don't need to travel in to work. So we don't need to build more roads or train lines.

      There are a few things wrong with your argument James. While you may be right in that there are slower speeds between Australia and the US/Europe you are missing the whole point of the NBN in the first place.

      It is meant for telecommunication and industrial benefits we as a people have never seen before. It will change how transactions are processed, how we communicate, how our appliances are run and will in the end save a huge amount of money and be a massive boost to our economy.

      And secondly, your argument that they want those speeds in rural areas now is correct but its so ridiculous how you came to your answer. If this is the technology that will be used in the future why not lay out the cable today so we can reep the benefits! Waiting another 10 years is only going to worsen the problem of our insufficient infrastructure. They will eventually need this technology so its better to implement it now and not be left behind the rest of the world!

      sorry james, but gamers aren't that concened about 'download' speeds. it is usually ping (or latency) which is off most concern & pings on 3g wireless networks are never very good.

      OK James, lets break this down"

      "Sure fiber is faster but it does not give us the freedom of wireless wich is approaching 42Mbps this year"

      First of all, 42Mbps is a theoretical maximum speed of these technologies. Typical real world speeds of most wireless services (3g, NextG, ETC) are typically between 0.5 and 5Mbps. Faster technologies (like wimax and LTE) Require users to have fixed antennas for them to get the speeds you are quoting (and these technologies allow only a small amount of users on the tower before speeds dramatically drop). This extremely large variance of speed is by no means reliable. The fact is, no one will ever be able to create a reliable wireless internet service that will meet real world needs (especially in a city)

      "If gamers or internationa content junkies think its going to make any differance in downoad speeds on long haul Submarine cable to the states; well think again, the NBN does not go to America or Europe, so its Aussi or Tassi generated traffic that will only seem faster."

      Geez, where do I start. First of all, this service is not just for "content junkies" (which I'll get to in a min). The NBN is so much more than a way to move torrents around the net.
      The NBN is a way of allowing Australian Businesses to compete in the global online commerce market (which is HUGE btw and is only getting bigger), it also improves the way that many other services run both in the private and public sector. The reason why many large businesses are as successful as they are is because they rely on massive (and private) networks to move their data around. If small business could have those same tools at completive prices, you really don't have to imagine the major benefit that has because we have seen it in countries that have better internet than us

      Second of all for all you file-sharers, good news. With current broadband technologies you can expect to be able to download your warez on average somewhere between 150 and 500KB/s) This is a reasonable transfer and depends on many seeds to accomplish. With NBN, the average upload speed for each user is between 300 and 500KB/s (currently it is between 15 and 60KB/s) so our reliance on overseas users is greatly diminished. But I envision a future where file sharing is going to become unnecessary. Services Like HULU and Netflix in the USA already exist. These services offer users the ability to watch their tv and movies on the internet for a flat monthly fee (about a ten'er a piece). Catalogues are massive currently listing thousands of shows and movies (many in HD). Foxtel, has announced in the last few days their intention to expand their already reasonable line-up of online shows, not to mention the catch-up services that are offered by the major networks.

      And lastly, online gamers rejoice. Fibre not only has more bandwidth than existing copper networks but because it does not suffer the same transmission error problems that DSL does, latency will improve for many (e.g the ones that complain) users. So yes, optical networks do improve your online experience especially when playing locally.

      "Has anyone got a quote on terminating fiber into the home? if you live in an older home 20 years plus, minumum 1200 for one termination point and for multiple drops as much as 3-4000 per home."

      Then its a good thing that NBNco and the government thought about this then isnt it. You are correct when you say that users who want to have the full 100Mbps experience will need to ensure that their home is wired up with cat5e or cat6 in order to take advantage of these speeds. But if you dont want to, no problem. NBNco contractors will connect your existing copper wiring that you use for your phone to a VDSL port on the termination equipment. What does this mean? Well, it means that you essentially have a DSLAM on the side of your home. Now that your exchange equipment is located well less than 100 meters from your modem, your sync speed will be a guaranteed 24Mbps no matter how far from the exchange you are. Don't want broadband? No worries. NBNco will connect that same wiring to a legacy PSTN port on the side of your house and you will not notice the difference

      The Libs plan may not look good on paper, but can deliver greater services in the form of expanding our 3G and 4G footprints, not to mention save billions.

      Yes, we'll save a bob or 2, but at what cost? No matter how much you shine it, 3G/4G wireless technologies are still turds when it comes to reliably providing end users with services. Unless someone can magically change some of those pesky laws of physics (and yes, it would have to be magic. Science has now way of changing reality) then the simple matter of fact is that fibre will always be the Fararri Enzo to wireless' Reliant Robin.

      We have enough international cables, I wrote up a report on them here:
      http://forums.whirlpool.net.au/forum-replies.cfm?t=1511009&p=1

      For those that don't want to look at that, typical usage situations will see people hitting 102Mbps on average.

      Seriously, on one of those cables we could run all our internet traffic. People overestimate how many people are ever online at once.

      We are a tiny country by global standards, 22 million people, we don't have the population to have several million downloading at once.

    3G network is already saturated in inner Metro, and it used to fly. Now with a bunch of people using it (read iPhone), its slow and patchy, how many people could get 1Mbs in the CBD? How reliably? Wireless could be used to supplement fixed but not really replace it. What was response from Telcos to reduce data charges on your iPhone? Use your home fixed line for downloading videos / songs / large files.
    But what if you only have wireless, which is the Coalition's plan for the 35% outside of close metro (not even all metro). There's a reason its cheaper, its doesn't give as much to a lot of people. The "I'm all right I'm in an established metro suburb" mentality doesn't help those that aren't. Governments are meant to serve its people, not corporations.

      Scott, you are correct on the local benefitts, download speeds for Aussie and Tassi generated traffic will have a huge increase, but leats be real and honest, the bult of traffic for content in comming from the states, music, video then there is the Gamers.

      Most Aussie corpoarates with multilple office laocations already have direct optical WANs, many of them are running all VOIP interoffice traffic.
      They also already 100MbP IP connections.

      I think the point that I am trying to make is let the Telco`s and ISP`s develop and deliver it where it is needed.

    I do agree it would be nice to see the cost in terms of what the average user will pay. That cost however will likely be determined by your reseller, in other words your commercial provider. NBN Co. will only be wholesaling, if we understand the proposed structure correctly, to existing and any future competitors in the retail field.

    From the point of view of government agencies, educational institutions and other public services, and major corporate buyers (aside from the telcos themselves) this will assist them in terms of access, cost and delivery. For very large users the patchwork of networks still have substantial costs and connectivity issues, especially when it comes to remote and rural service delivery.

    For the average user unable to get decent ADSL services, as far as Wireless goes, it works well in areas where the coverage/user ratio is balanced. In urban and inner-city areas, where there are large numbers of users, and a lot of electronic interference (from other sources), the number of towers (and places to put them) becomes a serious bottle neck. This is why older direct transmission signal services, such as microwave are still used for major facilities such as hospitals, and major users to over-come the current bottle-necks.

    Increasing wireless usage in city areas where the aging copper infrastructure is saturated, has in many cases already hit the saturation wall. The infrastructure in these areas, wired or not, isn't going to improve without substantial investment in the core infrastructure. Sadly we've not seen effective delivery yet by either past governments or current providers, with both the regulatory and infrastructure woes holding consumers to ransom.

    In urban, and outer-urban areas, many now contend with the reality that infrastructure simply does not cut it. The copper backbone in these areas owned Telstra admits is unable to deliver. The danger of taking a patchwork approach (especially if uncoordinated by any future governments) is that many Australians will either be stranded in a copper back-water or wireless black-spot.

    How much more can this ageing technology be augmented?

    Both parties need to address many issues.

    There is a real concern in the industry (apart from Telstra who can bet both ways), that unless both sides of politics provide a truly competitive wholesale environment (that isn't simply controlled wholesale & retail by one-company again) Australian's will be still paying a premium for some of the slowest and poorest quality broadband services in the OECD.

    Fibre. Fibre fibre fibre fibre.

    3G/4G is like using batteries and generators instead of building an electricity grid.

    Once we're all online with fibre, it'll stand the test of time for affordability and usability.

    Labor is under fire for botching it or wasting money. GOOD! The more transparency and scrutiny the better. FORCE them to be more efficient, strategic and smart about how they roll this network out.

    But ditching it? Now that's just plain STUPID. The Liberals have got the wrong idea.

      Actually, that's a bad analogy. Generating you power on site (despite the setup costs and noise) is typically more efficient and cost effective (cents per KW/h) than getting your power off the grid. The grid has the benifit of convenience.

      You should try something like

      "3G/4G in terms of usability are about as useful to end users as a chocolate teacup"

      or

      "Fibre networks are the Fararri Enzo to Wireless' Reliant Robin"

      or

      "Shut up! You don't know what your talking about! Wireless SUCKS!! viva la fibre!"

      not only in city areas, where i am 3g was the only option for a while and as soon as the 10 or so houses i can see from my back yard got hooked up it dropped in speed very quickly. sure it can hit the imaginary 45 meg or whatever, but this is then reduced very quickly by the amount of users that are using the same frequencies. they never mention that each tower also has a maximum bandwidth that it can send/receive wirelessly and it's way below what is required to serve even a hundred moderate internet users

    The NBN sounds great in theory, but the idea of it being government run worries me - all I can see is massive rip-offs (like other nationally funded schemes) and in the end, the taxpayers foot the bill.

    Maybe more incentive should be given for ISP's to install/upgrade their current equipment - as well as funding more exchanges (both in metro areas and out bush where they're desperately needed), thus giving more access to ADSL full speed and ADSL 2+ to a greater percentage of Australians.

    We also need to upgrade our lines running from Australia to other countries, as there are already problems with congestion with our current system, let alone when we're running 10 or 20 times the bandwidth.

      As we've noted here before, a big issue for ISPs who want to upgrade equipment is that Telstra can make it difficult to access exchanges -- so difficult in fact that Telstra recently got fined $18 million (some four years after the offences). This is to my mind the biggest issue with the Coalition proposal -- it doesn't want to change the Telstra regulatory regime at all, so it's hard to see how it expects competition to flourish under those circumstances.

        It's a shame that when Telstra was sold off that the government didn't keep ownership of the infrastructure - we'd already be enjoying better broadband if, as Angus pointed out, Telstra wasn't being anti competitive (which I'm sure is the opposite of what we were lead to believe when Telstra was sold off).

        Wouldn't it be amazing if we could have a telecommunications/technology ministerial portfolio run by people who actually understand the needs and can coherently put into place action to achieve said needs? People who have worked in/for the industry they would essentially be managing would be a nice change from some guy/girl who was handed a portfolio because they know more than the others in the room. Just because I know more about giving open heart surgery than my dog doesn't make me an open heart surgeon...

        Agreed.

        The Coalition needs to do more than invest $6 Billion dollars then simply hand it all over to Telstra (whose own investors today showed how unimpressed they've become with it's performance).

        It would be disappointing if it's all set-up again to favour one private company, who then has free reign once more to undermine in real competition in the broadband retail market; by dictating the prices, therefore effectively who is allowed to compete? That's not a policy I thought would be supported by the party that says supports real business choice for consumers and free-market economics.

        Why not hold Telstra to the same account, and make them separate still, but provide us with a wholesale market to profit all Australians and hopefully self-fund future infrastructure upgrades?

        The regulatory regime of our communications industry is in as much *need* of serious attention as the infrastructure. Will Abbot simply promise to provide some new infrastructure, while avoiding addressing the other half of the job?

        Is giving us a truly competitive wholesale broadband marketplace simply being put into the too hard pile by the Coalition once again?

      If it makes you feel any better. The Government is not running it. A company called NBNco is.

      The government is simply paying for it (as well as owning it)

      Its also important to remember that someone always has to foot the bill when it comes to these things. Companies simply don't give away their products. And yes its true that you get to choose what products you buy. But when it comes to this type of product, treating it like a pair of sunglasses is not fair on other consumers.

      Imagine being charged 200 bucks for a nice new pair of sunglasses when your in the city. But imagine being charged 20,000 dollars for those same sunglasses in the country. The government can use its massive buying power to ensure that remote regional centres (or ever people who are just that one street too far out of town for that matter) don't get screwed by a faceless conglomerate.

      In this country, the government has always gotten the ball running when it came to national infrastructure. Its the way it has always been and unless we have some kind of massive population boom (say 10 times the population size we have now) we are not going to have a consumer base that looks attractive to companies that want to invest in us.

      Our biggest asset (small population) is our greatest weakness in the global market (profit per unit).

    If you would like to understand the benefits of a fibre infrastructure upgrade/overhaul, consider South Korea as an example.
    In the late 90s the Korean government began large spending on improving data infrastructure to allow all Koreans access to high-speed internet (DSL minimum). By 2003, over 26 million Koreans were connected to DSL internet or higher (up to 100Mbps). In comparison, Australia didn't even have DSL to personal customers at that time.

    Compare the GDP per capita of the country as it was in 2002 which was US $500mil , to today which is US $1 trillion. This is almost directly comparable to Australia, however Australia has been involved in the largest mining boom in history.

    Korea have enjoyed the emergence of an ICT boom, shifting their focus from manufacturing to research and development in the fields of science and engineering. They are currently in the process of upgrading their entire broadband infrastructure to 1Gbps over fibre by 2012.

    It is quite interesting that a country who was recognised as "third world" in the 1980s is now a first world powerhouse, leading the way in their uptake of communication infrastructure.

      Korea's an interesting example of broadband success, but the claim we didn't have DSL for individuals in 2003 is wrong.

    First Broadband

    In 2000, the first consumer ADSL services were made available via Telstra Bigpond, at speeds of 256/64 kbit/s (downstream/upstream), 512/128 kbit/s, and 1500/256 kbit/s. Telstra chose to artificially limit all ADSL speeds to a maximum of 1500/256 kbit/s. As ADSL required access to the telephone exchange and the copper line — which only Telstra had — this allowed Telstra to be dominant due to the expense of roll-out for other companies and Telstra's established customer base. -directly quoted from wikipedia.

    Only found this site today but i can sea a lot of very well thought out ideas. We need as much bandwidth as we can get. The billion dollar businesses of the future rely on it. Plenty of youngsters out there who have ideas or modern incarnation of old ideas such as facebook.

    The future has been digital since mid 90's. Its time we rolled out what we need high speed fibre. If the cost blows out well so be it. If it can be scaled as high as 14000 GB/sec then it will have plenty of lifespan.

    its a bit hard to compare Australia to south Korea. Look at the size and population difference in the countries. South Korea's land mass is approximately 100,032 square kilometres, Australia 7,686,850 sq km
    Population 2008 australia-21,431,800 south Korea 48,607,000
    The cable job is a lot easier to them than us

    Fibre = Good!
    $43,000,000,000 Price tag for tax payers = NOT GOOD!

    It's going to cost around $4,000 per person in Australia to install this network and we are going to have to pay again to use it... NO THANKS!

    Telco's should be doing this and will be it much more cost effective... I do not trust Labor any more with money (I voted for them in 07 but NEVER again, what a mistake that was!)

    I simply do not trust we will get value for money and in the end we will pay more than we should have, they simply don't know the value of money and this is what has lost them my vote and the vote against them building the NBN...

    I agree we need a Fibre network in Australia I just don't want Labor building it or being in control in any way!

      It's not going to cost people in Australia anything since your taxes are already paid.

      If you consider spending 1% of our budget on NBN a waste, then I won't be able to convince you otherwise.

      I personally think 1% of our budget for 100MB-1GB to everyone, is a steal.

    people who discount or discredit the nbn network know nothing about the technology and the benifits not just to the economy it will bring, or have any clear idea of planning for the future.

    i run a small IT business and it is plain as day to me that straight away it will revolutionise the online backup services. currently most businesses can't afford online backup or even have the speed capable of doing it. this means that many businesses aren't backing their data offsite, or forget to take their crappy usb hard drives or tapes home. 100mb speeds would allow an online backup service to thrive. did you know 80% of business that lose data go bankrupt within 6months.

    the nbn will also revolutionise the paperless office platform that hospitals are moving to and also allow the backup and protection of that critical sensitive data in a new and significantly robust way. this network will significantly improve the sharing of data between hospitals.

    the nbn won't just revolutionise communication in australia, it will pave a clear way to move forward for the future.

    this is my generation. i am 34yrs old and to be honest i'm sick to death of the political lies and the transparency of all politicians on either side. i remember when you could stand up for something, when being honest and truthfull meant something. these days you can't even demonstrate in groups without the possibility of jail time. i'm sick to death of the politicians over 50 who lie, cheat and steal our votes for their own political gain. to me all you guys stand for is greed.

    I am waiting for the day when people stop advertising for peoples votes and start earning the right to receive them.

    i support the nbn. i will vote green in the senate to keep as much honesty in politics as i can and i will put the two major parties last.

    You may call me a lunatic or you may just dismiss what i say. but i believe oneo day once we are all down trodden enough we will all stand up for something decent.ick to death of conservative i'm prepared to say to me this nbn is the election issue. i don't really care. but tony abbot i refuse to let this country vote in a backwards tehcnologically uneducated party.

    i will not vote in a goverment that has no idea about the technology of the nbn and ruins "our" future.

    jimmy james, read my post above and please post your comments, I agree 100% we need a fiber NBN but the costs involved are simply too high and I do not trust labor being involved with building it… it’s that simple… Voting for the greens is your choice, I don’t agree with some of their policies but some are good as with any party… Vote for the greens at the end of the day goes to Labor basically any way so you’re going to have 3 years of what we’ve just gone through and a worst off country yet again… Why don’t people learn!

      Jonathan, a vote for the Greens is not a vote for Labor if you control your preferences, which is what Jimmy is doing. He stated he's putting the big two last, so his vote will truly reflect what he wants to say.

        Hi Tom

        I respect that, all I'm saying is the Greens and labour have made deals behind closed doors we are not aware of and I do not trust either party.

          If we're not aware of these deals, how do you know about them?

        Looking back at my previouls comments I still think they are inline with the truth...
        Green got a seat and has sided with labour
        Independent (ex green) got a seat and have also sided with Labour.

        Conclusion.... Voting for the greens was in fact a vote for a Labour government!

        I really would have loved to be proven wrong but unfortunately it looks like my suspicions were correct.

      1% of our budget is too high for sometihng over half our population uses on a daily basis?

      More people use the internet daily than roads...

        Hi Duideka

        Yes 1% of our budget is too much due to us NOT having the money any longer thanks to the current government!

        It we had the money in the bank and were not having to pay it over again in interest charges it might be another story $4,000 per connection seems a little high to me then I have to pay again to use it? NO THANKS!

        I would support a plan to roll it out in dense areas like major cities as that would be allot more economically responsible then ensuring remote area's wireless technologies are improved.

        In regards to preference votes, I understand what you are saying, point of the matter is the Greens and Labour have made commitments together they are not sharing with the people, who knows what they are, voting for them will only give them what is just about ultimate power in our parliament if Libs/labour are as close as it seems from the polls.

        With the comments about the NBNCo, I still to not trust them as labour still has too much say in the matter and I do not trust that coatings will be done correctly once the project is on a larger scale as any other labour project there is always cost blowouts!

        Can I think of any one better to be consulting with... YES I can, South Korea, they are the leaders with the technology and have been doing it for many many years and would have the most experience.. much more than any one in Australia would have. South Korea’s approach would be as I’ve stated, roll it out to major cities to get the mass population, Australia is far to large to roll out fibre for 100’s of KM to service a single house (how much would have connecting to costing the average tax payer and is it worth the cost?

      Oh and also Labor are technically not running the NBN. NBNco are.

      NBNco is made up of people who seriously know their stuff, no technology company in the world has a better line-up of profesionalls.

      People who ran Vodafone, Optus, Qwest, Hutchinson - loads more.

    Hay Angus

    The reason to me seems obvious, neither Labour nor Greens has released much if not any details on why the greens is teaming up with Labour, there simply HAS to be some kind of deal in place we are currently not aware of... seems shady to me...
    http://www.thepunch.com.au/articles/preference-deal-paints-the-greens-as-a-pack-of-frauds/

      I don't personally find that argument very convincing. Every party does preference deals. I think the assumption that there must be a hidden agenda -- rather than the fairly obvious reality that the Greens find more to agree with in a Labor platform than a Coalition one -- is more a reflection of your own views of the party (to which you're absolutely entitled) than a reasonable conclusion based on evidence. But I'll decide how I vote based on my views, and you'll decide based on yours.

      Re the Punch thing: if hypocrisy made parties a fraud, every party standing would be fraudulent.

        Hi Angus
        Understand what you are saying but to me it still seems that when Bob Brown himself admits the deal was done in a ‘policy free way’ (in he’s words) and neither party has discussed the reasons and are keeping it very quiet this to me rings a bell and I think what might be happening is they might have agreed behind doors to push the ETS if they get back into power but do not want to mention it during the campaign as many Australians are not looking forward to the inevitable further cost of living increases on top of the ones we have been through of recent. Labour has also been way to quiet about any questions and lack of detail has also been suspicious to me after it was BOTH Gillard and Rudd that said/agreed it was/is “the greatest moral, economic and social challenge of our time” and action needed to be taken right away yet Gillard does not seem to be doing much about it at all.. This is one of the reasons why I believe there is something shady going on behind closed doors and a vote for the greens is essentially a vote for Gillard as we have not been told under what grounds the agreement was made and what their plans are if they end up working together..etc.etc

        All the best and happy voting all :-)
        I'm sure we're all looking forward to the adds stopping!

    I couldn't help but notice that a logarithmic y axis might have been a better choice, more perspective, and if the x axis also were then those 15km would be visible.

    This is what I was referring to in one of my posts above:
    http://theaustralian.coredata.com.au/electorate/moreton

    The seat of Moreton (QLD), currently has 43.4% votes to Lib, 36.2% to Labour and 13.9% to Greens... Guess who's won the seat? Labour! why because of the preferred votes from the greens...

    People simply do not understand preferred votes and how they apply, it should not be mandatory to do preferred votes and if it is it should be clearly explained over and over on TV/Radio so people actually understand what it means as the majority of people do not understand and simply 'copy' the forms they are given out on the day which is just CRAZY!

    The current system is complex and the every day person does not understand how it works which needs to be addressed...

      How do you know people don't understand? And on a very simplistic reading, more people voted for left-leaning than right-leaning, and a left-leaning candidate got in.

        "How do you know people don’t understand" The reason I say this is during the process we are going through and chatting to people from work, customers and friends when the topic comes up it would seem allot of people I've spoken to about it did not understand how the counting is done and allot through that preference only came into play if there was a tie between two parties!

        For example if the Libs got 46% and Labour got 32% and 'others' 22%, it would seem ALOT of people think the Libs would have won up front which is not the case with our system...

        This is why I say it's important for people to understand what they are doing and not just simply 'copy' the form they are given out on the day as allot of people seem to be doing from the election results we are seeing as well as people we speak to, they grab a party's form on the day and copy it as it tells them to know understanding what they are actually doing!

        I just think it's scary and WRONG! If people do not understand the process they should not be able to vote until they do, I also do not believe in forced voting either as it avoids 'some' of these issues when people just grab the first form or the person that 'looks' the best of has a nice looking person handing out the how to vote cards on the day... I just think it's wrong and there is room for improvement!

        Cheers
        Jonatha

    What a great system we have, Labour got in even though the majority of voters said they wanted a liberal government... Ow yes, smell that is the smell of a well oiled democratic system we have!

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