How to Invest Outside the Government-Controlled System

Discussion in 'General Precious Metals Discussion' started by Yippe-Ki-Ya, Aug 9, 2012.

  1. Big A.D.

    Big A.D. Well-Known Member Silver Stacker

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    But remember that the NBN is structured as a private company that happens to be owned by the government. They're not actually public servants and if they bugger something up they can be fired just like they would be in the private sector.
     
  2. bordsilver

    bordsilver Well-Known Member Silver Stacker

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    Sorry I thought you were inferring "therefore it should have been done" rather than it simply being history.
     
  3. Big A.D.

    Big A.D. Well-Known Member Silver Stacker

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    Both of the two big telecommunications projects that were paid for by the government - the Overland Telegraph in the 19th century and the copper (CAN) telephone network post-WWII - were opposed by people who thought they were unnecessary and too expensive.

    Both of them ultimately turned out to be enormously successful and useful.

    Funnily enough, the only other major IT build was in the 90s when Telstra and Optus both independently laid hybrid fiber-coaxial networks. They never managed to extend them outside of high density metropolitan centres because going further out wasn't profitable enough for them. They also managed to duplicate large sections of those networks because they didn't want to share each other's infrastructure, meaning that twice as much money was spent building two of the same thing.
     
  4. radiobirdman

    radiobirdman Active Member Silver Stacker

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    Big Ad can you explain why people that live in the country out of town wont be getting the NBN
    after all wasnt that the whole plan so there would be no difference between city and country
     
  5. Big A.D.

    Big A.D. Well-Known Member Silver Stacker

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    You guys are getting either wireless or satellite with a minimum speed of 12Mbit/s.
     
  6. bordsilver

    bordsilver Well-Known Member Silver Stacker

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    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  7. radiobirdman

    radiobirdman Active Member Silver Stacker

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    I hope so telstra tells me we will have the same crappy adsl that we have now
     
  8. Big A.D.

    Big A.D. Well-Known Member Silver Stacker

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    If you're not in the 93% of people who'll be getting fiber, you'll be in the 4% who are getting fixed wireless at 12Mbit/s sometime before 2015 or you'll be in the 3% who are getting satellite at 6Mbit/s now and 12Mbit/s after 2015 when a pair of Ka band satellites are launched into space.

    The NBN was delayed while NBNCo and Telstra finalised a deal for Telstra to shut down the copper network and give NBNCo access to their pits. You might ultimately end up with fiber.
     
  9. Dogmatix

    Dogmatix Active Member

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    I'm being a bit of a troll by cherry-picking this to respond to - but in this case the NBN is a Govt sponsored monopoly and jobs for mates.

    That's even worse than privatising Telstra.
     
  10. Dogmatix

    Dogmatix Active Member

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    Whilst this comment was a bit off-topic, i appreciate it, thanks.

    You're correct that they do .go for best 'bang for buck'
     
  11. Dogmatix

    Dogmatix Active Member

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    (a comment from pg4, but worth re-mentioning as I think bordsilver makes a good point)

    Question: So if our current wireless broadband networks are not good enough for rural areas, why is that so?

    I would argue that it is because it is not cost-effective. Ie, there is not enough demand for it to become a worthwhile private sector investment. So either not enough people want it, or the people that do want it aren't willing to pay a price that makes it worthwhile to provide such a service.

    Do people in metro areas have problems with getting fast internet speeds? I don't personally, and I expect most metro areas don't either. But people in metro areas can have a new fibre network, fine, I won't argue against that specific investment, particularly if it is to replace the old copper network.

    Question 2: When rolling out copper phone networks to a large portion of rural Australia, if reliable mobile networks were available instead, do you think most people would have bothered to spend the money laying those cables?

    I would argue no.

    So why roll out fibre everywhere? Why not roll out some fibre to replace Telstra's copper network in the metro areas and provide people in rural areas with tax subsidies for their broadband if they want it so much?

    What's next, train networks to every town in Australia? If metro areas get them, why not? Who cares if it puts us in debt. Hell, while we're at it we can upgrade their airports and introduce a new airline to provide subsidised flights... it's only fair. (obviously i'm being facetious but if money is no object, then why worry about value return on investment at all).
     
  12. bordsilver

    bordsilver Well-Known Member Silver Stacker

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    While we're doing highlights of the best olympic moments, also from page 4:
     
  13. Big A.D.

    Big A.D. Well-Known Member Silver Stacker

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    You are correct: it isn't cost effective for private operators to do it. Public operators don't mind using the more profitable metro users to offset the more expensive rural users, but private operators would rather just stick to the profitable metro areas (like they did with the HFC networks).

    That's actually another issue: the copper network is getting very old and is starting to break down. Literally. Wires are corroding and snapping. See this link: http://delimiter.com.au/2012/05/01/worst-of-the-worst-photos-of-australias-copper-network/

    The last government tried the subsidy thing and it didn't work.

    We've tried all sorts of clever schemes to improve access and speed and none of them have worked well because at the end of the day, you really just need to go ahead and build a better network.
     
  14. Dogmatix

    Dogmatix Active Member

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    Why didn't the subsidies work?

    Could it be that high-speed broadband just isn't that important to rural areas?

    Would I be right if I summed up one difference in our viewpoints to be that you think the Govt should provide high-speed broadband to rural areas, at the expense of the metro areas - whereas I think that the Govt should provide basic infrastructure upgrades where it is practical and consitutes value for money? Or is that a cop-out

    I don't quite get this idea of always catering to the lowest denominator. I am not against welfare and basic support, but we're talking 'high-speed' internet here.

    What need does high-speed internet fulfil?
     
  15. Big A.D.

    Big A.D. Well-Known Member Silver Stacker

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    The private companies that were contracted to provide the subsidized services couldn't reach a large number of people and make an acceptable profit at the same time, even with the government paying the bill on behalf of the users.

    Telstra is forced to provide basic services through the Universal Service Obligation, but they do it grudgingly and aren't in any kind of hurry to improve the level of service because they're a private company now and it isn't profitable for them.

    High speed internet is probably even more important for rural and regional areas because it links isolated people to the rest of the country and the rest of the world. In a lot of cases, we rely on those people for our food and having good communications between us and our sources of food is quite important (and perhaps if some lonely, isolated, depressed farmers out there can have proper teleconferences with metal health workers then maybe they won't keep suicide at the high rates they are currently. They're certainly not getting the services they need at the moment).

    I also think the government should provide basic infrastructure - for everyone - but the definition of "basic" has changed very quickly from 56k dial-up to 100Mbit and up optical fiber.
     
  16. Dogmatix

    Dogmatix Active Member

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    So if they can't even make it profitable with Govt money added - it is essentially a huge sinkhole for money.

    In less than 50 years, how did we go from having no internet whatsoever, to requiring not only internet but high-speed internet for essential living? At this rate we won't even be able to go camping without internet.

    I understand what it is like to live in a rural setting - I grew up in one myself. But I don't think video conferencing for rural areas is worth $20billion or so, when it could be done for less, with wifi instead of fibre. Besides, at a lower bandwidth you just have a more pixelated conference, it's not so bad. Unfortunately their bit torrent might suffer a bit and they won't all be able to play WoW - they might have to move to the city to be addicted to online gaming.

    Why can't the Govt build wifi infrastructure for rural areas instead?

    I don't get why our Govt thinks it is a good idea to emulate the infrastructure of countries with significantly greater population density per landmass (all of them).

    From my own experience, people in the city do move to the country, and people from the country do move to the city. If they get lonely and don't like it in the country, they can move to the city. No-one is forced to stay.
     
  17. CriticalSilver

    CriticalSilver New Member Silver Stacker

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    This whole argument is, imo, just a misunderstanding on what value is being created. There are some who talk about the benevolence of a government and the value They create for the unfortunate individual who has to live without 100Mbps internet access, while others are talking about the stupidity of government trying to create this sort of value.

    Yesterday's Age newspaper had an insightful report on the nature of government and its engagement with multinational corporate security firms in relation to a next-generation physical surveillance system that collates and analyses captured data through central processing systems for directing local law enforcement agencies.
    Embedded within this article was a link to the House of Representatives Joint Parliamentary Committee on Intelligence and Security Inquiry into potential reforms of National Security Legislation --> http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary...atives_Committees?url=pjcis/nsl2012/index.htm

    Where this discussion paper outlines the importance of data retention of personal transactions and places the NBN in that context --> http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary...pjcis/nsl2012/additional/discussion paper.pdf

    Could it be that in our naivety we are missing the real purpose of the NBN and the value being created for the state and corporate interests? Could it be that Australia is under intense pressure from the USA to participate in its historically unequalled citizen surveillance program and that as a "true friend of the United States", Gillard et al. are acquiescing to this pressure and importing the only apparent export from the USA, technologies of terror?

    Apply Occam's Razor and see if all these seemingly unrelated but continuous transgressions on our liberties lead to a benevolent government working to improve your quality of life, or a fascist group that is intent on nullifying your privacy for their benefit.
     
  18. Dogmatix

    Dogmatix Active Member

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    I considered this but didn't post about it as I didn't want to derail my discussion with Big A.D.

    There are a great many potential uses for very high speed internet that is standard across an entire country.

    - mass data collection or filtering, as you say Gino. They need higher speeds to make it viable
    - 2-way broadcasting. TV stations can get accurate, real-time ratings
    - work-from-home opportunities, including video conferencing, remote login, etc, beyond current capability
    - monitoring of citizens...who knows what the possibilities are with video surveillance
    - forced cloud computing perhaps...you have to login remotely?

    There is a lot of potential, some is pie-in-the-sky stuff, some is realistic.
     
  19. Big A.D.

    Big A.D. Well-Known Member Silver Stacker

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    Sorry, missed some posts.

    The same way we usually take up superior technologies.

    Go back a generation or two and the telephone was a new technology for the household. Go back another generation and electricity was an amazing new invention. The last house I lived in still had the structure of the backyard dunny (tastefully converted into a small garden shed). Tell people today that indoor toilets aren't an essential requirement for a house and they'll look at you like you've got a screw loose.

    They are indeed using fixed wireless and satellite connections for the really remote areas which represents about 7% of all the connections in the country. A lot of those areas are stuck on very expensive satellite now (like Telstra's bargain 512/128 2GB plan for only $250/month) and they'll all be getting bumped up to 12 Mbit/s which you actually do useful things with.

    They could probably spend double the cost of the NBN laying fiber to every single house in the whole country but the 7% WiFi/Sat mix is about where the point of diminishing returns kicks in.

    It's just one of the things you have to do to provide services to the people in a big country. We spend a lot of money every year funding the Royal Flying Doctor Service among lots of other things too.
     
  20. bordsilver

    bordsilver Well-Known Member Silver Stacker

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    And they could easily spend half by increasing the WiFi/Sat mix.

    We currently have two internet accounts and spend less than $350 per year. Do I really want >$5,000 capex so that I (and 93% of Australians) can then have the opportunity to spend >$600/yr OPEX? Not really. What right does Conroy have to force me to indulge in his fantasies?
     

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