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NBN National Broadband Network
The first 91 posts were moved from the cost of living" thread

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Originally Posted by Fangoriously View Post

You really don't get the benefits of having more capacity in the telecommunications network, do you. Like at all. Despite several people patiently explaining to you the benefits of such a system, including people who work in the IT industry.

It's more than just faster porn and music downloads - it means that you can process, send and access data across the nation. Yes, that means faster porn and music downloads - it also means faster access to information, development of regional hubs into telecommunication centres, remote access and work-from-home for the IT...

fuck it, what's the point explaining it? You're never going to change your opinion on anything ever.

the thread is about the cost of living you goose and a debate about what is a need and a luxury and what isn't.

Is spending $40bn on faster and more capacity IT really necessary?.......fuck no. it's no different to buying another plasma TV or a nintendo Wii at the household level. I find it interesting that you bemoan consumerism at the household level, but yet you are happy for government to spend outrageous money on the equivalent of a 'new toy' at the national level. It won't make a scrap of difference to people's everyday lives

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Originally Posted by didjeridude View Post

Coz like mega multinational companies such as BHP and Rio tinto would never think of operating machinery from remote locations would they? Nah, they just want to download porn and music.

Data intensive corporations like big IT firms, banks, consulting and insurance companies and the like would never think about transferring huge amounts of data from servers in Sydney to every other capital city in the country. Nah, they just want to download porn and music.
.

i worked for one of australias largest companies.........it was never an issue. thanks
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Originally Posted by buffed View Post

the thread is about the cost of living you goose and a debate about what is a need and a luxury and what isn't.

Is spending $40bn on faster and more capacity IT really necessary?.......fuck no. it's no different to buying another plasma TV or a nintendo Wii at the household level. I find it interesting that you bemoan consumerism at the household level, but yet you are happy for government to spend outrageous money on the equivalent of a 'new toy' at the national level. It won't make a scrap of difference to people's everyday lives

I didn't bring up the NBN anywhere. I responded to YOUR post. I also haven't bemoaned consumerism anywhere at any stage, so nice one.

It's not a 'new toy' - like I just said, like others have said it provides a very real benefit to the IT and the services sector, which is fucking large.

You aren't in the IT industry. I've explained the benefits that the NBN will bring - as have several others. Do you understand what those benefits are?

If you can articulate what the benefits are - not the cost, but the benefits - then we can have a discussion around the NBN. Could you do that for me?
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this thread is about the drivers of our ever increasing baseline expectations about what an adequate standard of living is. My contention is that the computer age has only intensified consumer appetite for better, faster, easier. The NBN is an example of further ratcheting up of those expectations to a new baseline. If i can't download my music at 1gb per second, im living in a third world country
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I would agree with that, that our standards rise as new technology is made available to the wider society.

This also relates to cost of living, though - we can probably keep our cost of living lower if we don't adjust to the new standard (a standard that is not just generated internally, but also by the standards of living in other nations in comparison).

The NBN does ratchet up the expectations, but it's not just about downloading music, though it does serve that function. It also does help business achieve things faster and increases productivity. If I could wave a magic wand and do it for a dollar, would you support it then?
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Think of the difference to peak-hour if a large segment of the population were able to telecommute and work at home at least part of the time.

Imagine working out onsite and being able to download aps or data from an off-site server as needed, quickly and reliably rather than having to have it couriered over.

If you can't think of ways that more bandwidth benefits the productivity of Australian businesses or people, you clearly have rocks in your head.
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Quote:

Originally Posted by Fangoriously View Post

I would agree with that, that our standards rise as new technology is made available to the wider society.

This also relates to cost of living, though - we can probably keep our cost of living lower if we don't adjust to the new standard (a standard that is not just generated internally, but also by the standards of living in other nations in comparison).

The NBN does ratchet up the expectations, but it's not just about downloading music, though it does serve that function. It also does help business achieve things faster and increases productivity. If I could wave a magic wand and do it for a dollar, would you support it then?

yes, but that's the point, it's doesn't cost a dollar. It's about cost benefit and priority of spending. $40bn is a lot of money for social infrastructure that quite frankly, on the basis of the discussion of this thread, this country doesn't need. Consumerism is not simply about cars, TV's and houses. Those items have been around for a long time and haven't particularly changed all that much and i would argue not changed our lives all that much in the last 30 years. What has changed is computers and if you look at the steepest chage to our standard of living, it has been most rapid since the onset of computers...........it's what has driven people's insatiable appetite for faster, better, higher over the last 30 years IMO
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Originally Posted by crabman View Post

OH NOES! I just put my AU income in their calculator and it reckons JuLiar would steal an extra three bucks from me every year to make the commies happy.

If I put in my individual income it says an extra $253 per year (which I'm fine with)
If I put in my combined income with partner it says an extra $3 per year (which I'm even more fine with but makes me question why the mr was having such a big cry the other night)

So which is it?
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Originally Posted by buffed View Post

i worked for one of australias largest companies.........it was never an issue. thanks


You don't need much bandwidth when you work in the mail room buffed.
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Can we please ignore the NBN trolling from the predictable few?

We're all agreed it's beneficial for business and the economy.
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Originally Posted by nrjize View Post

Can we please ignore the NBN trolling from the predictable few?

That's not how shit works in here ay .
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The NBN will of course be beneficial.
But does it pass a cost-benefit analysis? I'm not convinced.
I dont know if there are that many individuals or businesses that are severely restricted by the current speeds available now.
Private investment would come in as people demand it and obviously speeds have increased without government intervention from when I had the 56k dial up back at school.
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It's not just about speed - the current copper network is FUCKED - it is truly ancient in parts and needs replacing.

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Can someone please link davoz the cost benefit analysis article that explains it in simple terms? Am on mobile at the moment.
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funny that those on here who bemoan the fact that our standard of living is too high don't see the irony of spending $40bn on faster internet to basically incrementally increase our standard of living.
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The full benefits aren't even in the minds of the greatest thinkers atm... In time innovation will occur and the NBN will facilitate that.
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Quote:

Originally Posted by buffed View Post

this thread is about the drivers of our ever increasing baseline expectations about what an adequate standard of living is. My contention is that the computer age has only intensified consumer appetite for better, faster, easier. The NBN is an example of further ratcheting up of those expectations to a new baseline. If i can't download my music at 1gb per second, im living in a third world country

I reckon increases in real wages leading to more discretionary income, easier access to credit/lay away, and the reduction in costs in what used to be luxury items has far more to do with the expectations of better, faster, cheaper. No doubt technology plays its part, but people still work the same hours, maybe more, than what they did 30 years ago.

Delays in marriage, mortgages, and kids (fewer as well) might have a bit to do with it as well.
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Originally Posted by big eddie View Post

It's not just about speed - the current copper network is FUCKED - it is truly ancient in parts and needs replacing.

It rained last night - dsl sync rate dropped 4.5Mbit

yay copper network!

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Originally Posted by buffed View Post

yes, but that's the point, it's doesn't cost a dollar. It's about cost benefit and priority of spending. $40bn is a lot of money for social infrastructure that quite frankly, on the basis of the discussion of this thread, this country doesn't need. Consumerism is not simply about cars, TV's and houses. Those items have been around for a long time and haven't particularly changed all that much and i would argue not changed our lives all that much in the last 30 years. What has changed is computers and if you look at the steepest chage to our standard of living, it has been most rapid since the onset of computers...........it's what has driven people's insatiable appetite for faster, better, higher over the last 30 years IMO

So you can see some benefits to the technology, but you don't think $40 billion is the right price for it?

If that's your position, then at least there is a possibility of some sort of dialogue.

All we now need to examine is whether creating the NBN will add more than $40 billion (plus whatever carrying costs around the interest on that debt as well, of course) to Australia.

The link below gives a rough indication of a 7% return on the investment. Whilst I'd like to see it broken down further, a 7% return to the Australian population means that we're going to see this pay off in what, a decade and a half? That's not so bad.
http://nbnmyths.wordpress.com/how-are-we-paying-for-it/

So I guess we can see that you now a) understand that there is a benefit and b) can see that there is a return on the investment which means that c) it isn't a drain on the Australian economy and is something that small business (such as yourself) can take advantage of.

Viewed in purely those terms, what are your objections to the NBN?
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Your calculation of how long the NBN will take to "pay off" is flawed. You've mentioned interest on the debt but what about opportunity cost, time value of money, etc?

It will take a lot longer than a decade and a half to pay. A lot, lot longer.
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I thought the accepted cost of the NBN is 40 billion and change? I'm working off that figure. If we're talking opportunity cost in terms of repayment, then we should really be including the benefits to the technology sector as a whole - yes, there is a cost in terms of engineers to build the thing, but then we should include the opportunity benefits as well.

Those are still unknown, but are relevant.

Do you work in the ICT industry? Can you articulate any of the benefits?
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yep, this is communications infrastructure. Any talk about costs should include benefits to society.

How long did it take to pay for the Snowy Mountain Scheme, or Highway 1, the Sydney Harbour Bridge, the electricity network etc? Why should it matter, all these things have intangible public benefit.

If people are too stupid to realize the benefits of having gigabit Internet to their front door, then so be it. Other more enlightened individuals can get on with using the service.

I'm currently scp'ing a compressed VM image to a company in Singapore. It's going to take most of the day with my ADSL2+ and this is urgent for them. They won't be able to do anything about it until tomorrow. With fibre, I could have had it there before they arrived for work this morning.
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Quote:

Originally Posted by Fangoriously View Post

I thought the accepted cost of the NBN is 40 billion and change? I'm working off that figure. If we're talking opportunity cost in terms of repayment, then we should really be including the benefits to the technology sector as a whole - yes, there is a cost in terms of engineers to build the thing, but then we should include the opportunity benefits as well.

Those are still unknown, but are relevant.

Do you work in the ICT industry? Can you articulate any of the benefits?

It's social infrastructure.........there will be minimal if any 'return' The taxpayer will have ended up bearing the cost of the NBN.

I just don't think the expense is warranted. That $27bn could go into a multitude of other infrastructure initiatives which would provide much more tangible benefit to the economy and our society IMO
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Originally Posted by dbb618 View Post

^

I'm currently scp'ing a compressed VM image to a company in Singapore. It's going to take most of the day with my ADSL2+ and this is urgent for them. They won't be able to do anything about it until tomorrow. With fibre, I could have had it there before they arrived for work this morning.

wow......one whole day?
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^buffed's theory of business..."it can wait till tomorrow"
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wow......one whole day?

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Quote:

Originally Posted by buffed View Post

It's social infrastructure.........there will be minimal if any 'return' The taxpayer will have ended up bearing the cost of the NBN.

I just don't think the expense is warranted. That $27bn could go into a multitude of other infrastructure initiatives which would provide much more tangible benefit to the economy and our society IMO


Society will get the money back when it is privatised.
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wow......one whole day?

Yeah, who cares if an entire sites employees aren't able to work for an entire day potentially risking penalty clauses on contracts, or if they are paying staff for the entire day without them actually doing productive work? Why would any business owner be concerned about the opportunity cost of not being able to do new business while the system is upgraded, or potentially having to pay out large amounts of after hours support costs to their IT support/vendor?

Didn't you say you'd started your own business? I thought you'd left the public service work ethos behind when you became a small business owner.
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Quote:

Originally Posted by buffed View Post

It's social infrastructure.........there will be minimal if any 'return' The taxpayer will have ended up bearing the cost of the NBN.

I just don't think the expense is warranted. That $27bn could go into a multitude of other infrastructure initiatives which would provide much more tangible benefit to the economy and our society IMO

Well no, there will be a return. Faster and better ICT communication is how you do business these days. Even if it is just 'music and porn' and it really, really isn't - then the cost benefit is valid.

What projects would you rather see the $27 billion spent on that will provide better benefits to the community at large? How else would you address ICT infrastructure issues across Australia.

What tangible benefits do you want to see in the economy and our society that the this cash can go towards?
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Buffed imagine a retailer that does about 15-20% of their $100M turnover a year online.

They sure as hell would antsy if their online systems were down for a day. I probably would be too if I was losing $40,000 - $50,000 a day in revenue. Especially as those shoppers largely would buy from one of their competitors whenever that happened.

I can think of plenty of other business' like stockbrokers that would be even more strongly affected by a day without a web presence due to unplanned maintenance too.
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Quote:

Originally Posted by Fangoriously View Post

Well no, there will be a return. Faster and better ICT communication is how you do business these days. Even if it is just 'music and porn' and it really, really isn't - then the cost benefit is valid.

What projects would you rather see the $27 billion spent on that will provide better benefits to the community at large? How else would you address ICT infrastructure issues across Australia.

What tangible benefits do you want to see in the economy and our society that the this cash can go towards?

better roads (particularly for sydney), convention centre for sydney, intermodal terminals, decentralisation of government jobs/departments........i could go on forever.
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Originally Posted by Griggle View Post

Yeah, who cares if an entire sites employees aren't able to work for an entire day potentially risking penalty clauses on contracts, or if they are paying staff for the entire day without them actually doing productive work? Why would any business owner be concerned about the opportunity cost of not being able to do new business while the system is upgraded, or potentially having to pay out large amounts of after hours support costs to their IT support/vendor?

Didn't you say you'd started your own business? I thought you'd left the public service work ethos behind when you became a small business owner.

If they are mission critical systems in Singapore then they shouldn't be reliant on a tech in Australia to reinstate/upgrade them. It is a known quantity that it is going to take x amount of time to send a file given current internet speeds and as such this should be mitigated. If a company is finding itself in this position then they have far more pressing issues than the speed of their internet connection.
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better roads (particularly for sydney), convention centre for sydney, intermodal terminals, decentralisation of government jobs/departments........i could go on forever.

It's interesting you mention decentralisation of government department - how do you think that will happen with out decent ICT infrastructure to alternative locations?

Not to mention, we can reduce the need for roads in Sydney if we relocate jobs to other areas, such as in cheaper locations in the back of NSW or Queensland.

Essentially, the NBN will reduce the demand for a lot of the things you just mentioned allow some of the others to actually occur easily.

Why are you opposing this again?
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It's interesting you mention decentralisation of government department - how do you think that will happen with out decent ICT infrastructure to alternative locations?

Not to mention, we can reduce the need for roads in Sydney if we relocate jobs to other areas, such as in cheaper locations in the back of NSW or Queensland.

Essentially, the NBN will reduce the demand for a lot of the things you just mentioned allow some of the others to actually occur easily.

Why are you opposing this again?

we already have decent ICT in these locations...........i'm not talking about goondiwindi, i'm talking about wollongong, gosford, orange etc where there is already substantial infrastructure in place. taking jobs to the 'back' of NSW and queensland is silly.

the NBN doesn't reduce the demand for the transportation of goods............better roads are essential.
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Originally Posted by Fangoriously

Why are you opposing this again?

Because it's a labor initiative. That's why. Case closed. Can we all move on now?
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No, that's not true. Wollongong, Gosford and Orange, along with Gladstone, Broome and other mining towns will require better and upgraded ICT infrastructure to cope with the influx of people and industry moving there. Orange is going to be opening a goldmine soon, they will require more ICT infrastructure to help develop the site, along with more traditional infrastructure as well.

Taking service jobs to those areas where the cost of land is heaps lower and wages are lower isn't silly, it's what things like the NBN is designed to take advantage of.

If you can move a call centre out to Booligal instead of downtown Melbourne or Sydney and still retain the same level of service, then it's a savvy move. It is why ICT providers have looked in to doing it in the past.

The NBN doesn't reduce the demand for the transportation of goods entirely, it's true - however if you move people from Sydney to elsewhere, then you reduce demand on Sydney's already suffering infrastructure.

I will agree that we should decentralise government jobs out of some of the major hubs, too. This will require extensive ICT infrastructure - I work for several service providers that have provided services to the government. If we could piss off data centres to the back of beyond while still retaining service levels, then it would be done in a heart beat. We would achieve that with the NBN.
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............better roads are essential.

no, better transport is essential.

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well done sofu, perhaps your most offensive post yet!

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Because it's a labor initiative. That's why. Case closed. Can we all move on now?

No, thanks - I'm taking a long while to get there, but there is a point to all of this.
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wollongong and gosford are not mining towns.

orange already has a significant hospital operating there and a major university in bathurst, both of which are operating fine under existing ICT infrastructure. the cadia mine is orange is exapading and doesn't need the NBN in order to expand. none of these cities need the NBN in order to take a larger share of government departments or jobs. In fact wollongong has excess capacity due to the closure or scaling back of the port kembla steelworks over the last few years.

the whole point of decentralisation is to make existing regional centres stronger, not turning towns of 1,000 people into towns of 2,000 people.

you need to think things through.......your just stabbing at things now
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no, better transport is essential.

yeah sure, but most goods are moved by road, not rail or air
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yeah sure, but most goods are moved by road, not rail or air

there's no legitimate reason for most goods moving between intermodal sites can't be moved by rail instead of road. the only reason i can come up with is that the truckies movement is too strong and any government is too focused on the next election to separate intermodal freight and passenger lines and expand facilities.

The offshoot to this is the higher feasibility for a HSR network between Bris-Syd-Melb (which is a pipedream).

my major beef with the Carbon Tax and linked ETS is that carbon created from road freight is not counted, but rail is currently. This should have been the catalyst for more work do be done with rail freight.

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Originally Posted by Tristan View Post

well done sofu, perhaps your most offensive post yet!

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Originally Posted by buffed View Post

wollongong and gosford are not mining towns.

orange already has a significant hospital operating there and a major university in bathurst, both of which are operating fine under existing ICT infrastructure. the cadia mine is orange is exapading and doesn't need the NBN in order to expand. none of these cities need the NBN in order to take a larger share of government departments or jobs. In fact wollongong has excess capacity due to the closure or scaling back of the port kembla steelworks over the last few years.

the whole point of decentralisation is to make existing regional centres stronger, not turning towns of 1,000 people into towns of 2,000 people.

you need to think things through.......your just stabbing at things now

I'm not stabbing at anything and I've thought about this a lot. Keep it civil, you were doing well up until then.

Orange certainly does need expanded infrastructure, as the Cadia mine is expanding and will use a lot of infrastructure as it does so.

If you're going to move a larger share of government jobs, you will need much more ICT infrastructure than is currently in place. You can't move large departments with thousands of people in to regional hubs without an upgrade. You certainly can't move parts of the larger federal departments there at all.

You probably can't or shouldn't upgrade tiny towns with government jobs, I'd agree with that - however you can and should move call centers or other telecommunication-heavy to areas with cheap land and lower wage costs.

I'm not making any of this up and this is only stuff that is specific to NSW - Western Australia and Queensland are going to require it as well.

I'd also like to see capacity studies for Wollongong that shows it is under-supplied with ICT infrastructure. I haven't been able to find much, though admittedly I haven't looked very hard.

Virtually no where has a genuine excess, it is used up so fast.
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i'm not just talking ICT..........you don't make decisions like that solely based on ICT. You look at labour resources, housing, shopping, education, transport, community facilities etc. That's why you strengthen places like Wollongong, Gosford, Orange, Albury etc. which already have strong social and economic infrastructure.

wollongong has excess employment capacity..........a huge percentage of those living in wollongong commute to sydney for work as do those on the central coast.

and i'm not talking about moving whole departments necessarily, but particular sections within agencies. Such as department of lands bathurst office or workcover authority in gosford.
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I would agree with some of that, of course you're going to look at where you locate things holistically - one of the things you have to consider in a modern economy is that there is sufficient ICT bandwidth to accommodate who you move there as well.

I would certainly disagree that Albury has sufficient ICT bandwidth. I know the plural of anecdote isn't data, but there have been several businesses that I've dealt with out there that have bemoaned the lack of hosted solutions available at speed in the area.

Excess employment capacity in Wollongong doesn't translate to excess ICT capacity. Yes, you need people to do the work, but you also need the ability for them to work on something. Even moving sections of agencies would require that, regardless.

If you have areas that already have strong labour resources, housing, cheap wages, transport etc and the only thing that is missing is ICT support, wouldn't you be willing to provide it? Same as if you have an area that has strong ICT components and you're lacking road transport.

There are plenty of regional places through Australia that are only missing the ICT part in order to develop even further. Like it or not, we're a post-industrial services economy, where we aren't a primary producer. Services, more than ever, now needs ICT support.
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all of those cities i mentioned have more than enough ICT capacity to accommodate significatly more employment now.

1,000 people in orange is effectively a 10,000m2 office building.
3,000 people in gosford is 30,000m2
5,000 people in wollongong is 50,000m2

all of these locations could accommodate that without NBN and a lot more.
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Originally Posted by Sherbos View Post

If they are mission critical systems in Singapore then they shouldn't be reliant on a tech in Australia to reinstate/upgrade them. It is a known quantity that it is going to take x amount of time to send a file given current internet speeds and as such this should be mitigated. If a company is finding itself in this position then they have far more pressing issues than the speed of their internet connection.

So what if it isn't planned maintenance but an unplanned stoppage and their vendor needs to upload them a patch, hotfix or even send them an entire copy of their software to get their system up and running again?

The idea that all companies even profitable ones follow best practices for IT maintenance is cute but that's the exception not the rule in my experience.

As an example I've done work for textile companies with operations overseas and / or regional areas with machines running on DOS, Windows 95 or NT 4 - the looms typically cost between $50,000 and $250,000 to replace with ones using modern operating systems so it's a major capital expense to upgrade a factory of 10 - 20 looms - and often you'll get different versions of looms at the same site as the looms were purchased in separate batches.

Most of these company's have no IT staff whatsoever and often maintenance will involve downloading ISO's of software or OS's or downloading copies of their 3rd party software and/or patches for it from either their head office or the vendor.

These companies rely on IT contractors for their service and maintenance, have regular stoppages due to their poor support / aging IT infrastructure, lose money whenever they have long stoppages, yet often are quite profitable even taking stoppages into account. They just don't have the couple of million bucks needed to upgrade to newer looms, can't afford onsite IT support etc.

They would massively benefit from increased bandwidth to reduce stoppage times or to allow their IT support to use remote access to maintain their equipment for them. Often with regional businesses this simply isn't possible due to them being on mobile broadband or dial-up.
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Quote:

Originally Posted by Griggle View Post

So what if it isn't planned maintenance but an unplanned stoppage and their vendor needs to upload them a patch, hotfix or even send them an entire copy of their software to get their system up and running again?

The idea that all companies even profitable ones follow best practices for IT maintenance is cute but that's the exception not the rule in my experience.

As an example I've done work for textile companies with operations overseas and / or regional areas with machines running on DOS, Windows 95 or NT 4 - the looms typically cost between $50,000 and $250,000 to replace with ones using modern operating systems so it's a major capital expense to upgrade a factory of 10 - 20 looms - and often you'll get different versions of looms at the same site as the looms were purchased in separate batches.

Most of these company's have no IT staff whatsoever and often maintenance will involve downloading ISO's of software or OS's or downloading copies of their 3rd party software and/or patches for it from either their head office or the vendor.

These companies rely on IT contractors for their service and maintenance, have regular stoppages due to their poor support / aging IT infrastructure, lose money whenever they have long stoppages, yet often are quite profitable even taking stoppages into account. They just don't have the couple of million bucks needed to upgrade to newer looms, can't afford onsite IT support etc.

They would massively benefit from increased bandwidth to reduce stoppage times or to allow their IT support to use remote access to maintain their equipment for them. Often with regional businesses this simply isn't possible due to them being on mobile broadband or dial-up.

I completely agree that most companies don't follow best practices for IT maintenance. However if a system is mission critical, meaning if it goes down the core function of the business is not possible and/or will result in significant loss of income or goodwill, then it is basic business sense to ensure you have some form of timely recovery.

Obviously in the situations that you mention the downtime doesn't have a significant impact on business or the the profit lost from downtime is not worth the cost of upgrading machinery. If it did I can guarantee you they would be coming up with other options.

Don't get me wrong, I am not arguing against the NBN. As someone who works in the industry I am all for it. What worries me a little is people expecting a fast internet connection to solve basic planning/organisational problems.
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Quote:

Originally Posted by Griggle View Post

As an example I've done work for textile companies with operations overseas and / or regional areas with machines running on DOS, Windows 95 or NT 4 - the looms typically cost between $50,000 and $250,000 to replace with ones using modern operating systems so it's a major capital expense to upgrade a factory of 10 - 20 looms - and often you'll get different versions of looms at the same site as the looms were purchased in separate batches.

.

a textile business would have IT a fair way down the list in terms of it's operational priority.
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