Wrong: NBN Co rejects News Ltd wireless science


news NBN Co’s chief technology officer has published an article strongly rejecting a claim by News Ltd publications last week that recent scientific breakthroughs in the area of wireless science could make the predominantly fibre-based National Broadband Project irrelevant.

Last week it was revealed that researchers at various universities in Israel and the US had made a scientific breakthrough in the transmission of data wirelessly through a technique known as “orbital angular momentum” (OAM), which allows them to transmit data at a distance of one metre at speeds of 2.5 terabits per second — far exceeding currently wireless broadband speeds.

Consequently, News Ltd website News.com.au contacted NBN Co asking the company whether it would implement the technology in its own network. In addition, News Ltd website The Punch also carried an article by the same writer, Claire Connelly, arguing that the Federal Government wasn’t looking far enough ahead with its NBN project.

” … the government is lying to us. Well, they could be,” wrote Connelly. “NBN Co needs to stop being so afraid of its own shadow. Telecommunications will evolve and if we don’t evolve with it we risk being left behind – again.”

The comments echo similar comments made in a masthead editorial published by the Financial Review last week, in which the newspaper claimed that there was “a real risk” that the NBN’s fibre infrastructure might be overtaken by technical breakthroughs in areas such as “wireless technology”. “One such breakthrough on the technological horizon is Data In Data Out wireless technology, which promises wireless speeds up to 1000 times faster than those offered today,” the newspaper claimed.

Connelly’s comments are also similar to comments made by radio commentator Alan Jones in May 2011, when the 2GB presenter claimed a new data speed record set by scientists in Germany might affect the NBN. At the time, Jones claimed that the technology could deliver speeds up to 2.6 million times that of the NBN. Connelly is also a regular guest on 2GB’s ‘Wake up Australia’ program, according to her LinkedIn profile.

However, in a lengthy response published on NBN Co’s blog, NBN Co chief technology officer Gary McLaren rejected the claims that the wireless breakthroughs made last week — or any other recent breakthroughs — posed a threat to the NBN. “Science is thrilling and we are all beneficiaries of advances in technology,” he wrote. “But breathless headlines that suggest each latest technological breakthrough in communications is going to make the NBN redundant are extremely wide of the mark.”

McLaren said that in the eyes of The Punch, the wireless breakthrough last week was “evidence that by pressing ahead with the NBN in its present form, Australia was “naive, underprepared and under-committed”.

“In fact, it proves the exact opposite.” he added. “The media report omitted a key detail: that the total length over which the researchers were able to transmit the data was a grand total of one metre. As Australian Popular Science noted dryly, that makes “the achievement somewhat lacklustre from a practicality perspective”. In the context of an island continent 7.6 million square kilometers in size, I’d say that’s putting it mildly.”

McLaren said this fact did not diminish the importance of the scientific breakthroughs made.

“However, new communications technologies are often conceived in labs many years in advance of being commercialised,” he said. “They also requires widespread acceptance from equipment manufacturers and network operators before any commercially available services can be contemplated. These technologies are barely off the drawing board. None of them has widespread acceptance. There are no equipment manufacturing deals. There is no device ecosystem that telecommunications companies could use. In short, they pose no threat to the NBN.”

McLaren pointed out that fibre-optic technology was first commercialised in the 1970’s, and had since that time remained “unbeaten” as the fastest commercially available technology to connect homes and businesses across a country to the Internet. He pointed out that the only limitation on the NBN’s actual speeds, given that the fibre cables carried data at the speed of light, was the ability of the terminating equipment at either end of the cable to interpret the data.

In this context, the NBN would initially deliver speeds up to 1Gbps, he said, but the underlying technology was capable of much more. “The real danger for the Australia would be to do as our critics suggest, which is to delay universal broadband adoption until the next big thing in technology comes along. That’d be like sticking with a horse and buggy while the rest of the world is driving motor cars on the off-chance that the car yard might one day stock Jetsons space cars,” McLaren wrote.

Over the past several years, there have been a number of misleading articles published by various local newspapers about the NBN. In December, the Australian Press Council expressed concern about the Daily Telegraph’s coverage of the Federal Government’s National Broadband Network project, backing a local critic’s complaint that three articles in a short period of time had contained “inaccurate or misleading assertions” about the NBN. Similarly, in March this year, another News Ltd publication, The Australian, published a correction to a story after it inaccurately alleged that a school in South Australia would have to pay $200,000 to connect to the NBN; in fact, the school will receive NBN access as part of the normal rollout.

The continuing focus by segments of Australia’s media on scientific breakthroughs in the area of broadband technology, especially in the area of wireless, continues to baffle me, given how far away these new scientific theories are from becoming commercial technology. In this context, McLaren’s comments represent a good, solid dose of common sense. NBN Co needs to do more to continue to combat the technological misconceptions promulgated by some segments of the media.


  1. I got the point in the article where you say news.com.au and stopped reading. Of course they are going to be wrong. Specially in their tech section. They don’t know what they are talking about ever.

    • Who knows, maybe next week they will find you can point the flashy lights from two optical NICs at each other from 1m and still get a link. All that redundant fibre in the ground, what a waste!

      • Here’s an idea. RIP the copper out. Flood the ducts with silver spray paint and shine a dirty big spotlight down it, it’d be shared capacity, but what a fat pipe ;)

  2. I saw “News Ltd” and “science” in the headline and immediately incremented my “utter bullshit from Murdoch” counter. It’s an optimisation I’ve been using for many years now and it hasn’t failed me yet.

  3. So… you expected NBN to admit anything different?

    Wake up!

    NBN_Co = Telstra mkII

    if (propaganda eq threatened) { denyanythingelseworks;}

    • Did you read the piece from NBNCo? In particular the bit where the reader is reminded that the multi-Terabit transfer rate occurs over a distance of *one* metre?

      That transfer rate does NOT exist in any shipping *product* today, and likely will not exist in a shipping product for at least 10 years.

      • Did you read the actual article which talks about this being the proof test and that the theory can be apllied to ALL communications (ADSL and wireless!!) This could mean that poor old copper wire could be capable of gigabyte speeds in the coming few years http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-18551284
        That fact is Fibre will be faster then anything else (until we work out some type of worm hole) but The question is will the other technologies be able to supply the required bandwidth at the consumer level. The answer to this is and will always be YES. Technology in all three areas continues to grow at a greater rate then the requirements of the users. If you look at it from this prospective the NBN is irrelevant. I just fixed my Parents Wireless connection at home now which means their limiting factor at the moment is their PCs and they are only 4 or so years old! Note I said wireless! Three PCs on the network all pulling down enough data to cause processor issues! on a wireless network. Their Speed is still not excessive but the Backbone is the most important part of the equation! anything over 8mbps at the moment is irrelevant to more then 95% of consumers! (in fact anything over 4mbps is)

        • 95%? Did you know 99% of users enjoy making up statistics that sound right in their head?

        • “Did you read the actual article which talks about this being the proof test and that the theory can be apllied to ALL communications (ADSL and wireless!!)”

          Nope. Post a link please. The one you supplied mentions nothing of the sort however if what you are claiming is true then guess what it would also apply to fibre. Verdict: Copper and wireless lose again. Fibre remains king.

          “That fact is Fibre will be faster then anything else (until we work out some type of worm hole) but The question is will the other technologies be able to supply the required bandwidth at the consumer level. The answer to this is and will always be YES.”

          (LOL, always with the “buts”.) The REAL question is can you do it as efficiently as fibre and can you guarantee it’ll happen?

          “Technology in all three areas continues to grow at a greater rate then the requirements of the users.”

          False. If that were true my ADSL2+ connection would not be limited to ~13/1mbps in 2012.

          “If you look at it from this prospective the NBN is irrelevant.”


          “I just fixed my Parents Wireless connection at home now which means their limiting factor at the moment is their PCs”

          The limiting factor always has and always will be the network that PC is connected to, that is of course until the majority of the network is capable of faster speeds that the NBN will apply and supply CONSISTENTLY.

          “Three PCs on the network all pulling down enough data to cause processor issues!”

          This sentence alone proves you do not know what you are talking about.

          “anything over 8mbps at the moment is irrelevant to more then 95% of consumers! (in fact anything over 4mbps is)”


        • “I just fixed my Parents Wireless connection at home now which means their limiting factor at the moment is their PCs and they are only 4 or so years old! Note I said wireless! Three PCs on the network all pulling down enough data to cause processor issues! on a wireless network”

          Sorry, this is priceless. So the processorts can handle 600-1000Mb from their hard drives, mine is three years old and handle 9Gb from the SSD and still is idling and your parents computers of a similar age cannot handle 40Mb peak? Give me a break, even my little atom notebook can read at 300Mb wirelessly from my NAS.

        • My P166 laptop used to have CPU issues downloading with wireless. That was with a 802.11b card and transfer speed was just over 300KB/sec. (At my uni downloading off the AARNET mirror, around 2004) I think PCMCIA was quite CPU intensive.

          I doubt it’s a CPU issue in your case, it would be a HDD issue at most. CPUs can transfer at gigabytes per second. HDDs are still slower than gigabit ethernet, but anything wireless is still nowhere near gigabit in the real world. (Oh, there’s some in theory up there, but practically they don’t work that fast)

          • Ben a P166 is nearly 20 years old. I’d say you got a good run out of it by still using it in 2004

            “HDDs are still slower than gigabit ethernet” Only just, some modern drives hit 100MBs and above now (1Gb) and SSD start from about 2.5Gb up to over 10Gb

          • A 1Gbps connection is no where near the speed of a 7200RPM HDD.

            Even the IDE ones will easily do 50meg a second data transfer sustained, most of the time the IDE/SATA bus doesn’t move the data fast enough for the HDDs to get up to full speed anyway you need raid setups to make them work at their top speeds.

            a 1Gbps is only 10meg a second data transfer it’s nothing major really, you get 1Gbps WiFi now, so will easily keep up with a 1Gbps fiber connection anyway.

          • I think you need to work on your maths skills a little there… 1Gbps = 1 gigabit per second / 8 (8 bits to a byte) = 128 megabytes per second = 128MBps. 100Mbps is close to 10MBps, but not 1Gbps.

          • I don’t believe, someone may correct me here, that these bits are included in speed measurements.

            So, the actual speed may be slower than listed, but they ARE measured in 8 bit bytes.

          • Honestly, I could be wrong about broadband.. But in the dial-up days it was, to my understanding, 10 bits to a byte. The extra 2 were for error correction. The start and stop bits are still needed, but doesn’t have to be for every 8 bits.

            I would think having 2 extra bits for every 8 would make a difference, ie. 1 GigaBit per second would be 128 MegaBytes per second without a start and stop. So we loose 28 MegaBytes a second, which is alot.

          • Don’t forget too, we’re actually talking about, I believe this started that way anyway, transfer speed on physical media. The start and stop bits aren’t needed there. Error correction is provided by separate bytes recorded in a sector on HDD/SSD’s.

            Again, you may be right about broadband and stop/start bits, but I believe the speed that is “measured” as such, like if I go to speedtest and show a measured speed of 1.56mbps (which I’m getting right now) is the relative speed, not the adjusted speed with 10 bits.

            I think it’s a little like Mebibytes and Megabytes. We KNOW a mebibyte is 1024Kb and a kibibyte is 1024 bytes, but in consumer land these are and have always been treated as megabytes and kilobytes, even though a megabyte is 1000kb. It’s a little misleading to label a HDD 500Gigabytes, when it is, in fact, 500gibibytes. But it’s done anyway. Same with transfer speeds. We don’t take into account the start/stop bits.

          • @Ian – no start and stop bits as such on Gbit Ethernet, but coincidentally when it runs on fibre, each 8 bits is encoded into a 10 bit word (Google 8b10 encoding for gory detail). It didn’t have to be that way – 10Gbit ethernet uses 64b66 encoding, so it’s got much lower overheads.

            The thing to remember for Ethernet is that the speed as quoted is the real, usable speed – so for 1000BASE-SX fibre gigabit Ethernet, the raw bit rate is actually 1.25Gbit/sec to get 1Gbit/sec of usable bandwidth. At work we have seen up to 110MB/sec on gigabit links between fast servers without trying too hard.

            For 1-8Gbit/sec fibre channel, on the other hand, it uses 8b10 encoding, but the named speed is the raw bit rate, so you have to divide the speed by 10 to get the number of bytes per second. If only that were the worst part of that protocol…

          • You forget that your Gigabits per secod are a layer 2 speed, and the Giga/Megabytes per second speeds are layer 7. Overheads between layers 2 and 7 means that the ratio is about 10:1 rather than the 8:1 bites per byte. These overheads also vary depending on protocols used.

            Divide by ten gives the best ESTIMATION.

        • Chris,

          your going to get repeatedly shot down for this, and have been a couple of times allready, but a couple of things that make your stance wrong.

          First, ANY wireless solution is tied to the speed of the network once it leaves that wireless connection. So you speak to the wireless tower, it then transmits your request along FIBRE lines to get an answer, then drags that answer back along FIBRE lines before re-transmitted the answer wirelessly to your PC.

          Thats wireless internet, and the fact that the vast majority of the time your data is moving through FIBRE is enough to make the wireless connection no faster at best. If you add in the extra data that has to be added for security (that WEP/WPA/WPA2 thingy on your modem settings) then there’s extra data with every packet of information, which means it has to be slower.

          If you’re talking about wireless networking speeds, then the debate is pointless – it has nothing to do with the NBN. NBN wireless v fibre is about how internet information gets into and out of hour house, not what happens once it gets there.

          As for nobody needing more than 4Mps… Well, I have ADSL2+ and as soon as a second person does anything online, my connection slows right down. If I’m gaming, that means lag. If I’m streaming video to my TV, that means buffering. Both of which are signs that I need more speed.

          • “As for nobody needing more than 4Mps”

            hmmm, maybe he was referring to upload speeds. 25/5mbps and higher plans for everyone! Well everyone except that 13% that are happy with 12/1mbps. lol. Looks like the NBN will save the day here yet again!

          • 25Mbps/5Mbps

            Is some what slower than a full HSDPA connection in speeds 21Mbps down/11.2Mbps up

          • @Zag,

            “Is some what slower than a full HSDPA connection in speeds 21Mbps down/11.2Mbps up”

            Ever gotten that on HSDPA?

            No, didn’t think so….moving on

        • @Chris

          You’ve already been shot down, but I’ll just add my 2 cents. Here’s a quote from your linked article:

          “For situations that require high capacity… over relatively short distances of less than 1km, this approach could be appealing. Of course, there are also opportunities for long-distance satellite-to-satellite communications in space, where turbulence is not an issue.”

          For situations UNDER 1km……

          Moving on please….

          • I am not sure Australia’s environment would be ideal anyway. Being a hot country there is alot of air turbulence at low levels. I can see the air shimmering at a couple of hundred metres in summer. That’s the sort of thing that would really cut down the effective range.

        • Replying to Chris Schneider

          I have several PCs at home, which all connect at 1000mb/sec without suffering your claimed “processor issues”. I suspect you are just wrong about this.

          The rest of your opinions read like a LNP press release (your use of “could mean” and “theory”).

          The one (unintentional) good point though, nearly every advance in data transmission can be applied to fiber.

        • I do honestly love arguments that “want their cake and eat it”

          On one hand the person will be arguing that the cost is a waste because something potentially faster has been discovered and close in the horizon on one paragraph. Hence making the whole practice a waste of money.

          And yet on the same post argues the lack of need for the same network because “we don’t need the speed”. So which one is it? You don’t like it because its not fast enough? or Because its too expensive and we don’t need it right now?

          And also another caveat if people are saying the project is already expensive as is and we should wait for the next big thing why would the next upcoming “game breaker” technology be cheaper? If history has shown us anything new technologies will almost always be expensive especially for early adopters. By their line of “cost” argument the latest, fastest technology would not only be unfeasible because it can be superceded its also will always be “too expensive” because previously existing technologies will be cheaper.

        • @Chris Schneider said:
          “Did you read the actual article which talks about this being the proof test and that the theory can be apllied to ALL communications (ADSL and wireless!!)”

          well, I did read this bit from the paper referenced in the BBC news article:
          “Our experimental findings that EM OAM can be used for increasing radio transmission capacity without increasing bandwidth is likely to open up new perspectives on wireless communications and radio-based science.”

          _Wireless communication_. _Radio-based science_. Unless you think that ADSL signals move down some kind of waveguide, I’m not sure how you imagine ADSL will benefit.

        • Copper is already capable of 10gigabit speeds. There are 10-gigabit copper connection standards, and funnily enough they support a maximum cable length of only be a few metres, on very-high-quality multi-pair cables.

          As has been said a million times before, your plain old phoneline is currently offering broadband about as fast as it can. Any future speed gains will be small. The laws of physics dictate this. You could move the DSLAM closer to your house and switch to VDSL2, of course – IE, FTTN…. or do the smart thing and just run fibre all the way to your house! FTTH is here today and will not be obsolete in a decade.

    • hi Nobby6,

      your comments would appear to be irrational — and we don’t tolerate that on Delimiter. Please address the facts rather than making broad motherhood statements. Delimiter is an evidence-based forum.



  4. [censored by Renai for legal reasons]

    In the end we all chose our sources. Fortunately I chose Delimiter, I just wish the journos and the rest of Australia did with tech stories as well.

      • The main article covers 101.7 Terabits p/sec over a SINGLE core of standard fibre, the brief mention at the end of 7core fibre reaching over 100 terabits was a different team.

  5. Wow. If, and i quote from the article, “the Federal Government wasn’t looking far enough ahead with its NBN project” then what the hell is LNP doing? Oh thats right, looking for votes.

    • Unrelated personal attacks against reporters, or anyone for that matter, are certainly not warranted.

      Having said that, the reporter in question, Clare Connelly, has directly attempted to incorrectly discredit the capacity of experts in the technology industry to design and implement a technological project.

      Therefore, I believe that, in this case, comments directly related to the discrediting of the reporter’s capacity to report on a technological topic are quite warranted and are, in fact, key to sticking to the issues at hand.

      Any alternate reasoning is welcome.

      • Sorry; I will tolerate any and all discussion of the issues, but any attempts to investigate Claire’s background personally will not be tolerated on Delimiter. You are all able to criticise her writing; but not her background.

        It should be obvious why this needs to be the case. In any case, I will tolerate no breaches of this rule.

        • “It should be obvious why this needs to be the case.”


          “any attempts to investigate Claire’s background personally will not be tolerated on Delimiter”

          A very fair call and ultimately, your site, your rules.

          “You are all able to criticise her writing; but not her background.”

          Comments directly criticising a reporter’s writing must include a reference to the original article in order to allow fair and objective assessment of such writing – much like your own excellent articles, of which we are thankful.

          Had the comment by another contributor, which was justifiably removed, focussed on the inaccuracies of the article, rather than on the reporter themselves, would the comment have remained?

          Note that by highlighting inaccuracies in an article (which is written by a person, rather than a machine), the inaccuracy of the person who wrote the article is also highlighted as a consequence.

          This opens up a very grey area, but one where clarification, based on your rules, is essential and would be appreciated.

          • hey Geoff,

            the line is where people start extrapolating from people’s work to their general competency, particularly where it includes commentary on their personal work history etc. Specific examples are fine; generalising is not.


          • I wholeheartedly agree that generalisations are counterproductive, and in fact, can be quite destructive, to detailed discussions.

            Thanks Renai, your clarification is much appreciated by all, I’m sure.

          • I’ll apologise, I started it. Issue my apologies to Claire, I should have thought first and acted second not the other way around.

            My sincerest apologies to everyone offended and the following aftermath I started.

            Master T.

          • What is this? The anti-internet? :)
            This is what comment streams should be like. Thanks for doing the right thing and owning up to your actions (whatever they were).

            Renai – thanks for creating and maintaining this environment! People behave better when they have rules and guidance (and acknowledgement of good behavior, which is why I’m writing this .. )

          • Cheers. I think often it’s enough for commenters to know that ‘someone’ is watching — and they can’t get aay with whatever they want ;)

        • Libel Caz, Libel – Renai can get sued over comments you make – look up the Zgeek legal battles over comments posted in their forum by users for more info.

          • Actually, it’s all defamation in Australia, no differentiation between libel/slander/anything. All it takes is to potentially damage reputation and be published to a third party.

  6. If we tax fixed sufficiently then research investment in wireless will inevitably make it a more cost effective option. $23 dollars per megabit sufficient?

    • Wow, with those prices every 4G tower could rake in nearly a $1000 a month. Telstra would be rolling in dough at $1mil a year from it’s 4G rollout.

    • How does a tax on fixed do anything about wireless!! They are unrelated technologies!!

      Further, if we tax fixed on one hand, and give the money back to customers, how will that have any effect on fixed since people will just use the extra money to buy that!


  7. “The continuing focus by segments of Australia’s media on scientific breakthroughs in the area of broadband technology, especially in the area of wireless, continues to baffle me, given how far away these new scientific theories are from becoming commercial technology”

    Their focus doesn’t baffle me at all. Their aim isn’t to present legitimate technologies alternatives to the NBN, it is to find something that sounds plausible enough to the typical clueless punter so they can continue to push their anti-government agenda.

  8. Can someone, anyone at all, please explain to these people that THE PROBLEM WITH WIRELESS IS NOT SPEED IT IS CAPACITY!!!!

    For the love of God, can people not get it through their skulls that shared spectrum is shared spectrum?

    • The problem with wireless IS speed. It’s also:
      1) Capacity
      2) Latency
      3) Price
      4) Geographic location
      5) Reliability

      Probably could throw a few others in there too.

      • There are articles published like this in New Scientist on a monthly basis and have done for years, virtually nothing makes it past these bleeding edge tech demos to be a product and the lead time on them is 10-20 years. There will be more of these coming up regularly as the elections approach.

        • Not necessarily Noddy. Not all that long ago (3-4 years) there was an Israeli company that managed to cram 1 Tb of information onto a single 5 1/4″ disc. They managed to make a breakthrough that allowed them to stack 40 or so layers rather than just 2 as was the accepted norm.

          One significant part of their breakthrough was that they used blue laser technology to read (and write) the data, and it was a relatively simple firmware upgrade to allow those multiple layers to be used in the real world on existing blu ray players. The demo at the time used a playstation 3 from memory.

          Anyhow, while 1Tb on a disc doesnt have all that many practical applications at the moment (my god, think of the write times…), it didnt take long before you started seeing blu ray discs that, rather than be stuck with a 25 gig capacity, had 50 gig, or 75 gig…

          They used the method of adding mutliple layers to do an incremental increase in the blu ray capacity. Real world application of a theoretical breakthrough. Much like how a tweak in red lasers meant an increase from CD capacity to DVD capacity (allbeit volume instead of layers), this tweak increases blu ray capacity.

          I had plenty of debates with a friend over this. He couldnt get past 1Tb capacity, I couldnt get through that the method worked at incremental levels up to 1Tb – Imagine a minidisk with a 100Gb capacity though…

          End result is that while we dont see that 1Tb capacity, we HAVE seen the tech be used sooner rather than later. Most just dont realise it, because it HAS been an incremental increase. Beauty is that because of this, blue lasers (why its called blu ray) should survive for a good number of decades to come.

          Please dont ask for a link to support this, I would have no idea where to find it…

          • Bluray: first demo 1996, product release 2006.
            1TB Bluray, first demo 2008, Sony started development to make it a commercial product in 2010.
            They expect maybe something in 2014, no progress reported. If it’s like Bluray the full release was 3 years after initial release of the product. Getting very near 10 years there, if it happens.

          • You miss the point. Originally, blu ray had a 2 layer limit of data like every other laser disc – CD’s and DVD’s. Because of the 1Tb breakthrough, thats changed, and now we’re seeing 2 or 3 times the capacity through a limited rollout of those extra layers. Capacity needs have meant a few games and movies want that extra capacity, so we see them used. Not often, but used nonetheless.

            Even though its only 50 gig or 75 gig, its still the same method to add those extra layers as the 1 Tb method. Just not taken to that 1 Tb exreme yet – 4 or 6 layers instead of the full 40 layers. A partial rollout, but a rollout nonetheless.

            1Tb blu ray in 2008, practical application of the breakthrough in 2010. Normally, yes there is a fair turnaround before you see the practical applications (and as a general rule, I fully agree), but in this case there was an early application that took the idea at least a little distance.

            If we dont see the 1Tb versions until 2014, or 2018, then that could be as much about there being no practical market or reason as delays in tooling up the manufacturing process. But the idea behind it has allready hit the commercial scene.

            Once you have that full process though, imagine a minidisc being capable of holding 100 gig of data… For me, THAT is enough of an excuse to roll it out sooner rather than later. If Sony, as the owner of minidisc technology realises that, and applies it to the next generation of PSP’s, it could/should/would be a portable media breakthrough.

          • I didn’t miss it at all.
            Your post was in reply to my assertion that from first demo to comercial product was 10-20 years.
            You gave an example of bluray 1TB to dispute this.
            “1Tb blu ray in 2008”
            “practical application of the breakthrough in 2010”
            This is incorrect, as I pointed out, Sony has begun to develop the product in 2010, there is no product yet.
            They expect maybe they could do an initial release in 2014.
            “But the idea behind it has allready hit the commercial scene.”
            No it hasn’t, it is still in development at Sony and at the university that demostrated it.

            If there is a commercial product using this technology post it.

          • You state there is no product, try http://nikonekoya.com/a-v-electronics/recording/blu-ray/100gb-bd-re-xl.html – didnt take much of a google search to find it either. Thats the 100Gb version, the 50Gb version starts at around $3.50 a pop.

            The breakthrough wasnt the 1Tb maximum, it was being able to burn and read more than two layers, and doing so with existing technology. The 1Tb capacity was just the end result of that breakthrough, and yes, THAT aspect will take time to get to, for a few reasons. But the ability to burn and read more than two layers is the important part.

            If you want to debate still, how do you get 100 Gb onto a blu ray disc if you arent burning more than two layers? The discs cant hold more data per sq inch, THATS been shown.

          • They are 100G and 123.55 dollars. Show me 1TB. They have been able to burn more than two layers on disks for years. Even HD DVD could do it. 1TB is a who different ball game. At the moment it takes a 100watt laser to do it. They have a ways to go before it’s commercial product.

            Your assertion was that there were 1TB blurays available now. There aren’t and I said so. There is a lot of different between 4 layers, that they have been doing for years and 40 layers.

          • All this talk of physical discs is “fascinating” however I do wonder exactly how relevant they will be 5-10 years time with the NBN. Even today when I buy a DVD or BR I just load it on my HTPC and chuck it in the closet never to be seen again.

          • The discussion wasn’t about the discs as such, but how long lab experiments take to reach market. The example used was 1TB Bluray, first anounced in 2008. The assertion was that it was available in 2010. It isn’t and is at minimum two years off if they solve the problems and go to market immediately.
            The point being how long would it take the 2.5TB wireless to get to market. I was saying 10-20 years if at all like most things.

          • No, I didnt say there were 1Tb discs now, I said the technology that made it possible was in use in other ways. The practical application of that isnt as a 1Tb disc, its as a 50 gig or 100 gig disc.

            If you want to get stuck on something that has nothing to do with the point I’m making, its clear you didnt understand the point I was making.

          • Come on Noddy and GongGav. We’re doing NBN debate here.

            We get there’s technological advancements. We get that they’re incremental, not necessarily revolutionary (or god forbid “resolutionary” *shudders*). We get that research and consumer product are different.

            Doesn’t change the fact that this article is NOT going to affect the NBN significantly, as the author would have us believe. This is ultimately the point.

      • Actually the funny thing is, it will probably pan out, but not as a wireless technology, but a fibre one. It uses very high frequencies/light. It is atmosphericly very sensitive and only works currently in a controlled environment. Fibre is a controlled environment.

  9. This solves all our problems, all we need to do is build one of these transmitters every 1 metre :)
    It’s very exciting to hear about these new technologies in the making of, but still a long long way off from commercialising. I can imagine it being fantastic inside a building, like a hospital or what have you.

  10. IIRC, that breakthrough required very tightly controlled ambient conditions to keep the complex beam stable and coherent, AND it was a highly directional beam.

    Add in that one whole metre of transmission distance, and you ain’t got much technology to bank on in the foreseeable future.

    Then compare and contrast to the proven, affordable, immediately available technology that is modern fibre optic cable, with its vastly greater data capacity and general reliability than any wireless system could deliver…

    Not much left to debate.

  11. The article states that light signals were used. Doesn’t that mean that this will only allow line-of-sight data transfer, regardless of how much the distance capability of this technology is improved?

  12. If only the media turned their ‘war on the internets’ towards Liberal Policy. They’d have a field day.

    This hard-on for tackling the NBN with pseduo-facts is entertaining, but seldom matches what is actually happening. I’d love to see Mr Turnbull answer the FTTN upgrade to FTTH pricing model.

    Because that is on the table, right? Beuller?

      • Sorry Geno, where’s Mr Turnbull’s actual answer to the question of FTTN to FTTH migration?

        [insert the sound of crickets, here]

        Here’s the reality. There is no plan, to the best of my knowledge, beyond (partly) funding Telstra to overbuild the NBN with FTTN, that has been publicly announced and documented in Policy. An obscene waste of resources, if ever there was.

        Try again.

    • I agree; the general media is swift to attack the NBN, it doesn’t give Liberal policy and statements the same amount of scrutiny and perceptive questions they should receive.

  13. What are we paying Telstra for duck and piping access when we could just run the fiber through microwormholes such waste and short sighted thinking is unforgivable.

    • Great for latency too, especially if the theory one time displacement within worm holes works. We could receive the data before we even ask for it.

  14. This wireless vs fibre debate does my damn head in.

    Why do we need oil supertankers when ants can carry so much weight?

    Why do we use phones when lab results have demonstrated we all have latent psychic abilities?

    • It’s really only those who vehemently oppose the NBN who refuse to see fixed and wireless as complementary.

      I think the majority of Aussies can see the benefits all round in having both (actually I think those who oppose the NBN can too, but they just cant bring themselves or aren’t allowed to admit it).

      • Indeed Alex. However I find it rather funny that they jump on these tech stories as “proof” of why the NBN is not needed, one minute they are telling us more speed is not needed and they next they are endorsing a technology that does 2.5tbps lol.

        • +1 Hubert.

          Had a very similar correspondence with a “usual suspect” not so long ago… who in one breath claimed we do not need FttP speeds such as 100mbps because there aren’t apps and no guarantees apps will ever be available. Then he claimed that fibre isn’t future proof anyway because “something better WILL be invented” which we should use?

          So no NBN because there aren’t apps being invented and let’s wait for “something” better than fibre (theoretically 26tbps) which will be invented…???

          That’s today’s contradiction(s), which leads me to post one of my favs from old Bob…

          “I haven’t heard the opposition put forward a single solitary piece of technology, and yet they think we should wait for some sort of science fiction fantasy to jump out from behind a bush and provide a service,” Mr Katter said. “Well, too bad for you. We’ve got an offer on the table and we’re going to take it.”

          Lol, even Bob can see it :/

          • Katter is awesome. When even he says something like that you should realise just how utterly inadequate your “broadband” plan is. Of course the coalition clowns are completely oblivious to any criticism, they don’t even need a broadband plan according to some, they believe they will win the next election regardless and without anything concrete also having backed themselves into the FttN patchwork corner it would be hard to admit an error here.

            Anyway Alex that theoretical 26tbps that fibre can do is certainly interesting. I was thinking does this mean any speed NBNco offers below that magic 26tbps number is an “artificial limit” now? Where is the line drawn? I guess that is the benefit of fibre the limits are virtual and can be raised (and/or lowered) at any time. Other technologies such as copper and wireless have real limitations that cannot be overcome with a flick of a switch. Fibre wins again.

          • It is an artificial limitation, however it isn’t NBNCos limitation, it is the customer (not wanting to spend a hundred thousand dollars on a state of the art router that can transmit/receive 26 tb/s. Let alone invest in the datacentre at their home that needs that bandwidth.

            (lets face it, no one needs 26 terrabits/s right now! – 50 years time? Don’t quote me on it!)

  15. NBN opponents criticise the NBN for being more than we need, then criticise it for being too slow. If this is not evidence of bad faith, not to mention poor credibility, nothing is.

    Why do people keep writing this stuff, presumably intending it to be believed? Are they taking their wages from Rupert on false pretences? Who else would employ journalists who propagate this tripe?

    It would be interesting to interview some of these writers of fiction as see if they are prepared to stand by their stories? A mini Media Watch? Renai?

  16. “NBN Co needs to do more to continue to combat the technological misconceptions promulgated by some segments of the media.” The comments to the Punch version of the NBN’s response show that no amount of “doing more” will convince the neo con armchair experts that the NBN is the only way to go. So many comments deny the undeniable and refuse to listen to reason. They are al “experts”.

    Why is it that other policies and practices (e.g., brain surgery, birthing practices, the laws of physics etc.,) are debated at such length by as many people (including journalists)unqualified to do so?

    • They may be “experts” Richard, but we as the public have the choice and the RIGHT in a Democratic nation to TELL them they are bollocking about.


      Pro-NBN NEEDS to focus it’s PR. THAT is the problem here. The media focus the anti-NBN FUD and there’s no focussed way to debunk the FUD because the media are against pro-NBN in general. My purpose is to make a public group that makes noise and can.

      • Of course they have the right to talk nonsense and others have the right to argue otherwise. But when the same nonsense gets re-cycled for months on end, especially when the NBN techos have responded with facts and informed comment, it become a bit futile to counsel NBNCo to keep doing it.

        At least until the NBN trucks roll down a street near these deniers.

      • Put my signature on last night. Should be easy to guess who I am with the massive numbers. Posting out to facebook to the computer literate friends and work mates. Shame there is a limit, I just started C

        • Cheers Noddy.

          I’ve yet to give a big push out yet to the petition, cause I don’t know if it’s too complex/not succinct enough. I’m toying whether to start a Facebook page….problem is, there’s ALREADY nearly a half dozen NBN pages. This is the problem, there’s too many small sites and they need to be aggregated. This is what my plan is. Hopefully.

          I’ve also got to get onto Twitter…..I just really don’t mesh well with the idea of short “responses”….as people probably know to their detriment here at Delimiter XD. The issues are just often very complex and I struggle with short and sharp sometimes. Still, at least on Twitter I and the group can interact direct with MT and associates. Not that they’ll listen, but it makes it more public at least.

  17. Not wanting to be arrogant, but I saw this article several days ago….and my BS meter for the anti-NBN argument got maxed out just THINKING about who’d pick it up, so never bothered to make any comment on it when I found it.

    This is just another anti-NBN argument with no current real-world justification- while we Pro-NBNers are supposed to justify the real-world NOW, even though it’ll be 10 years before everyone has the NBN….

    Nice pick Renai, but same old same old….

  18. This scientific research using ” (OAM) to transmit data at 2.5 terabits per second over one metre”
    was using laser beams NOT Radio waves (WiFi etc).
    Bo Thide’s experiment using Radio Waves (Wifi frequency) to show OAM is controversial and much debated.
    This transmission relys on a highly directional beam ( ie needs a fixed point-to-point connection).
    This mean’s that it can’t be used with mobile devices and thus would have no practical use for mobile phones and the like.

    Using OAM with light beams down a fibre optical cable would be interesting, but i don’t know how the optical cable would affect the vortex.

    • @Carl ” i don’t know how the optical cable would affect the vortex.”

      Don’t mess with the Vortex. If we destabilise the Vortex, we’re all doomed!

      The critics of the NBN are a weird bunch, one minute it’s “We don’t need it, nobody else in the world is doing this, what a waste of money!”

      The next time they criticise – it’s … “…we risk being left behind – again.”

  19. I can stand within one metre of my phone tower and get speeds of up to 2.5 terabits per second? Fantastic!

    Oh, wait…

  20. ” … the government is lying to us. Well, they could be,” wrote Connelly. “NBN Co needs to stop being so afraid of its own shadow. Telecommunications will evolve and if we don’t evolve with it we risk being left behind – again.”

    *Groan* … and I say this even as an NBN sceptic.

    Good headline by the way Renai.

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