NBN versus Corona

It is 2010 and then shadow communications minister Malcom Turnbull is talking about the growing NBN. It was 10 years ago and the internet wasn’t very fast, ADSL was the average, you’d get speeds anywhere from 1.5 Mbps to 15 Mbps if you were living right next to the DSLAM. Netflix was only just starting to migrate from DVDs to streaming media and Youtube was doing mostly 480p or “SD” video.

“For most, if not all applications, much lower speeds are perfectly [fine],” he said. “If you could deliver nationwide 12Mbps at relatively modest cost compared to the NBN, what is the additional utility/value of going from 12 [Mpbs] to 100 [Mbps].”
“People in the industry will tell you that they cannot get people to pay a significant premium for an increase in speed. That is partly because, that for a residential user, there isn’t much, if anything, you can do with 100 [Mbps] that you can’t do with 12 [Mbps].”

Malcolm Turnbull, 2010

Eventually he got his way and crippled the original NBN, changing it from a full fibre deployment to the horrible shambles it is now. “Mixed Technology Mode” – it was supposed to be cheaper and faster by incorporating existing infrastructure into the deployment, HFC and old copper. Turns out it took longer and cost more than the original fibre only plan.

And now in the midst of a major pandemic and with people all being told to stay and work at home we find ourselves with an unfinished NBN that struggles to reach speeds over 20 Mbps at most locations. The rare few like myself live in one of the early deployment areas and we have fibre to the premises but one suburb over there are people there that can’t get above 2 Mbps because they are on the fibre to the node setup. Turns out relying on 50 year old copper is a major flaw in the plan.

So as the government, both federal and state, all tell us to work from home, and as they bring in the telehealth services, we put additional strain on an already strained network. The backhaul links that should have been designed to handle multiple gigabit connections are only designed to handle throughput from old copper so congestion is getting worse. Netflix and Alphabet have started to alter the default bitrate levels on their streaming platforms to ease the load as more people are working from home and trying to entertain the children.

It is at times like these that we see that cutting corners on critical infrastructure just to save a couple of bucks is ALWAYS going to bite you in the ass.

Australia, our ass has been bitten hard.

The Good that can come out of Corona

It may seem hard to consider it now but having the world on lockdown will hopefully lead to a lot of good things happening.

The first thing is a complete change in how we work. With so many people being forced to work from home and doing it successfully, the old reasons that companies had against people working from home are being decimated. IT departments have had to scramble to scale up their VPN deployments and laptops are scarce, the NBN is taking quite a beating, but otherwise everything else seems to be going well.

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  1. without previous instance; never before known or experienced; unexampled or unparalleled:an unprecedented event.

How many times have you heard the word “unprecedented” on the news recently? I am thinking of setting up a socially distant drinking game, everyone hangs out in their own lounge rooms, we have a video chat service, and then we fire up the news and do a shot every time someone says “unprecedented”.

I was just watching ABC News and in the last 15 minutes I would have sustained significant alcohol poisoning if I was playing.

Lankyland’s Response to Covid-19

There is no fucking response cause I refuse to spam all my friends and followers with details about how an abstract internet presence is combating something.

I have been getting non-stop emails from pretty much every place I have ever left my email address explaining how they are handling the Covid-19 crisis.


The upside is, I am getting to unsubscribe to a LOT of mailing lists that I never knew I was on.

But seriously, who the fuck cares about how various websites and online stores are responding to Covid-19? As long as I can email you and get a response I am not interested in your “community focused response” to a “critical health issue”. Just do your job and be happy that I am still a customer.

Learn to Drive!

One of the basic tenets of driving anywhere is to leave a suitable gap between you and the car in front so that if they stop suddenly you’ll have room to stop yourself. And when it rains, you increase that gap to account for the slippery conditions.

Unfortunately for myself today, I was leaving an extra large gap from the car in front of me but the dropkick behind me in the fancy Mercedes was not. Now I have to get my car fixed, the car I rely on daily to get to and from work, and my neck, shoulders, and back are sore as hell.

Water won’t cure Corona Virus

When I first started posting things on the internet I never thought I would have to make a post like this. With all the corona virus news out there and the fake news that is spreading like wildfire through social media and then being retold In Real Life, I am making this post now.

Drinking 8 or more litres of water a day will not cure corona virus.

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If you see something, say something

On my way home today I found that a truck had lost its load in the leften-most right turn lane off of a pretty major road in this area. I could see the truck driver and his mate standing in the middle of the road looking confused. I pulled over and called in to the Traffic Management Centre on a number that is advertised on basically every electronic road sign everywhere.

No one had thought to call it in yet, not even the idiot truck driver that had lost his load.

The TMC guy’s reaction…
Me: A truck has lost its load on this road
Him: Oooooh shi

So if you see something out there, say something.

I Choo Choo Choose Money

After leaving the glorious field of IT I fell into Hirail work.

What is Hirail?

I hear you ask

Hirail is adding train wheels to regular trucks and other civil construction vehicles so that they can run on train lines.

I got my start on the Northwest Metro line starting at Bella Vista station driving a flatbed crane truck. We were there to install the walkways all along the tunnel. We had to use the crane to unload the pieces, weighing up to 200kg each, onto the brackets that we’d installed on the wall of the tunnel.

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Grey Water

Droughts can really devastate the landscape with crops dying and bushfires getting out of control. My own backyard was suffering greatly too, I know it is nothing compared to entire regions losing their crops but I felt like I had to do something about it.

So I did.

Thanks to the convenient location of my laundry I was able to run the outlet hose through a window so that I could collect all the water. At first I bought a 60L bin reasoning that a 13kg washing machine would use roughly 13 litres per rinse cycle, with two rinses per wash.

I was very wrong.

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What the Oils?

In an ever increasingly poisonous world with nasty chemical cleaners I’ve been introduced to an alternative that is good for me.

I’ve “discovered” essential oils.

And no, I’ve not become a big hippy, well bigger than I was before, but I have been using Young Living’s Essential Oils cleaning range thanks to the missus getting into the business of selling them and educating others about them. So of course I have to blog about them.

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