"Wireless Internet is the future" my arse

Posted: Wed, 13 July 2011 | permalink | 4 Comments

Here in Australia we’re building out a giant, nationwide fiber network (with degraded service to the few parts of the country that aren’t heavily populated – like, nearly all of it), known as the “National Broadband Network”.

Many critics of the planned network are saying that it’s technology is outdated, and that the future of last-mile Internet access is wireless; that by the time the network is completed, we’ll have no need for fibre optic cable to the home, and we’ll all just use some magical wireless network for all our Internetting needs.

Well, right at this moment, I’m sitting in the middle of Australia’s largest city, with full bars of coverage being reported by my phone, and getting ping times of over 3 minutes (you heard that right; my record so far is ping reporting time=194001 ms for a reply) and no ability to usefully access the Internet.

If wireless is the future, I hope it’s a long way away. To misquote a great man, “I WANT MY ADSL BACK YOU SON OF A BITCH!”


From: Elessar
2011-07-13 19:41

You are right. Wireless is a poor man technology, functionally inferior to wires, that should only be used when wiring is not an option.

I use to say that I use wired wifi at home: like wifi, but easier to configure, with greater bandwidth and much more secure.

From: Luke Yelavich
2011-07-14 08:42

Hear hear! I currently reside in a block of appartments in Sydney’s inner west, and find myself surrounded by wireless access points, including my own. In recent times, the 2.4gHz band has started to become congested, to the point where I am having to check for free channels, to move my wireless AP to. As time progresses and more people get online etc, the 2.4gHz band is likely to become much more congested. Its also worth noting that my dual band wireless AP is the only 5gHz device I can see in my immediate area.

Wireless, yeah right.

From: Matt Palmer
2011-07-14 08:54

Elessar: “wired wifi”… nice. I’ll bet people get confused when they ask for your SSID and you hand them a blue cable.

Luke: I differentiate between last-mile WAN (the immediate topic of my rant) and LAN (wifi) technologies; your point about wireless congestion applies to the WAN technologies out there – I suspect that could well be my problem. A technology that works well when there’s just a few users that need the service (because they lack any other viable alternative) doesn’t necessarily work real well when everyone needs to use it.

On the subject of the 802.11 channel space issue, I’ll bet someone on the 802.11 committee uttered words to the effect of “13 channels ought to be enough for anybody!”

From: Leon Brooks
2011-07-29 14:14

Optus will sell you a “wirelees” phone (which runs on the older (2G) GSM network) able to make untimed calls to any Australian land-line for 30c ($50 worth of calls included in the $35 monthly fee), however the lass pointing this out to me (in their new shop-front in Albany) also pointed out that Optus-based Mobile Internet “won’t work” at my house (in the suburb of Lockyer) as there are too many Optus customers resident in that area.

In point of fact, my Mobile Internet stick is Virgin (who, like Dodo, Amaysim, Exetel & everyone else except Telstra, uses Optus coverage since Telstra bought Vodafone (who’d already bought Three) & swapped 1/5 of VF’s towers across to T) & works fine in the area (& out along South Western Highway past Walpole eastwards, up Albany Highway as far as Williams northwards, not even to Manypeaks eastwards).

I’d rung Optus recently to enquire about an Optus land-line here, & (speaking with a bloke in Melbourne) only the larger towns (Ballarat etc) have Optus land-lines, so likely years before Albany does, however the NBN should push Optus DSLAMs into Albany’s exchanges maybe even this year.

In short, YMMV.

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