Stop Press: CSIRO Develops New Broadband

It looks like Labor will lose the election. One thing is of great concern to me. That is the loss of the new national broadband network. Tony Abbot believes that private enterprise will fill the gap and make the leap. Without new technology this will not happen, particularly as Telecom still controls the copper wire network. The recent American CEO of Telecom did have one thing right about the Australian communication market - one company is shackled to the government but it still controls the whole market. Literally, when Telstra sneezes all the minor telcos don't just get a cold: they get the flu.

Ironically, a public company holds the one and only key to Australia's hope of catching up to the rest of the developed world. CSIRO has developed a way of high-speed computer data transmission in the 6 gigabite range. It is not only superior to existing Wifi, developed in Australia, it is 99.9 per cent loss free, that is, it doesn't lose anything to a cable connection. 4G is a toddler in comparison. CSIRO is looking to link up with private investors.

Importantly, in regard to broadband, CSIRO has made a submission to the NBN Senate Select Committee saying testing has confirmed potential to deliver a 100Mbps service in remote regions of Australia at a pittance of the cost of other technologies. Work is already being done on a microwave 10Gbps 50 kilometre test. At the moment the target is provision of service to remote regions, but it could become a front line system.

It is ironic in the past how new concepts have arisen to fulfill human need when required. In this instance, though, the advance has happened too late to be incorporated into the NBN as launched. Senators were informed late in the decision-making process and were really thrown off guard by the information. Patents have only just been filed. Senators virtually guaranteed government funding if private sector funding is not secured.

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