back to article Telstra's 'future of medical diagnosis' needs just 5Mbps

A couple of weeks ago, Telstra breathlessly announced “the future of medical diagnosis”, namely “haptically-enabled robotics” that mean ultrasound examinations can be conducted remotely, complete with force-feedback so that a sonographer can guide their instrument over a distant body's lumps and bumps. I've often heard it …

  1. gz3zbz

    It's not just the speed

    FTTP brings reliability as well as higher potential speeds. My main gripe with ADSL is not the speed - yes I'd love 100mbps - but it's the unreliability of the copper network. Every time it rains and the pits fill with water the reliability plummets. If I'm trying to work from home or download the latest software release, having the connection drop is, at the least inconvenient, and potentially costly. I'm sure a doctor who is working remotely would also not want the connection dropping out halfway through the procedure.

    Your train analogy also doesn't really fly. Miners build point-to-point rail lines between a mine and a port. Do you really think Netflix wants to build point-to-point networks to every one of their subscribers? And YouTube, Stan, Foxtel, and all of the other video providers? The internet is more like a road network, with users trying to get from one destination to any of thousands of other destinations. Road networks, electricity distribution, water, and sewage are all natural monopolies, and we should not be allowing commercial actors to benefit from these monopolies.

  2. TheGreatHeff

    Ignorance is bliss

    It isn't the speed of FTTP that is needed for home medical uses, it is the reliability. VDSL2, which is what FTTN uses, is a royal pain in the rear to make reliable, and is very sensitive to interference. FTTP is not.

    Before making stupid claims about speeds required, at least learn what you are talking about.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Simon, You are arguing that we should build the equivalent of gravel roads because it is marginally cheaper than a sealed bitumen road. You must know that these gravel roads will be paved over with bitumen in a few years time, thus almost doubling the cost of the build. Why not just build sealed roads in the first place?

    The cost of rolling out unreliable technology like VDSL, as well as DOCSIS 3.1 which does not scale at all well to handle many households, is simply money down the drain! It will be replaced by fibre, as only fibre is reliable and future-proof. So build the fibre now and save the money that would otherwise be wasted on inferior technology that cannot scale to meet our future needs.

    Simon, your arguments are made of straw, with cherry-picked data that does not include most of the many and growing use cases for a National Broadband Network.

    The Lib/Nat party are supposed to be the better fiscal managers, or so they keep saying. So why do they advocate throwing 60 billion dollars away? That is economic vandalism! The Lib/Nat's plan is clearly designed to make sure their buddies at Telstra remain incumbent, in a comfortable position with a stranglehold on the nation's broadband infrastructure. There will be an inquiry into the gross mishandling of this important national infrastructure project, but by then it will be too late to build the network Australia really needs.

    1. Diogenes

      But you get at least more roads for your money today...

      Niece in Wollongong final year of nursing, in the whole exchange not 1 free ADSL port,- getting FTTP in 4 years in no use to her today, She now has FTTN

      Students on Central Coast, again not a single port available , and Telstra simply could not add more DSLAMs as the building would have needed to be built and the power to the exchange upgraded. No use to students today to get FTTP sometime after the first 5 year plan was completed - They now have FTTN

  4. Knoydart

    Who else builds MTM?

    So Simon who else is building upgrading to the same mix of technology that Australia is trying to roll out? It appears not to be a popular choice unless you talk about the UK approach of doing very little in a coordinated nationwide approach.

    Me thinks it sounds like you sing from the same hymn sheet as Mr Lynch of Comms Day too on the FTTP build. Surely as technology journos, you should all be aiming for the best long term infrastructure for Australia, not just the gravel roads as the AC above me notes for a short term fix?

  5. Neoc

    Why should FTTP be mandated? Two words: "Telstra Copper". I'm on it, I live within 10Km of the GPO in a state capital, and every time it rains my phone line craps itself until I get a Telstra repairman to "fix" it.

  6. Daniel Voyce

    FTTN simply cant work!

    I watched a Telstra womble <airquotes>"fixing"</airquotes> a node the other week, he started off by removing the manhole cover, then to my complete astonishment untied and unwrapped 3 standard grey supermarket bags that were holding what I could only describe as the Kowloon Walled City expressed as a series of wires. He then proceeded to test some wires with a multimeter, got some black tape out, connected a few of them together, re-wrapped the Coles carrier bags around the kraken of wires and called the job in complete.

    This is what is running the future of broadband in Australia on 90% of the streets (you know - when it gets installed 5 years in the future), the suburb wasn't particularly old, definitely wasn't what you would call "Out in the sticks" (St Kilda East in Melbourne).

    No hope

  7. david 12

    Where's all the hate?

    Many years ago I'd get hate comments (and my post was deleted from Whirlpool) for suggesting that (1) the purpose of the NBN was going to be entertainment (2) The purpose of the NBN was not going to be "education", and (3) you weren't going to get high resolution radiography at home.

    Now what do we see? A half dozen posts and the same number of upvotes. Where's all the hate gone?

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