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Notes for submission to wireless inquiry

draft 0.1 unstable

Feel free to edit, change, modify or remove any part of this draft. Please track changes in bold type so we know what is different.

Wireless broadband community groups in Australia represent a situation
in which consumers, rather than service providers or producers, have
responded to needs. In this respect it is a unique development.

There is a lack of low-cost, quality broadband in Australia. This is
evident by the dearth of game servers in Australia. Internet Service
Providers provide games servers to customers as a service, not as a
an ongoing paying concern in their own right. To enhance their service,
games servers are not limited to customers of the ISP, but any Internet user in
Australia or overseas. Because of the high cost of the bandwidth the game servers consume, ISPs are unable to ensure a ready supply of servers able to meet demand during peak times. Games servers using a wireless connection would
resolve this problem. Game servers are just one example of where ISPs offer local services to entice customers to use their services instead of using remote services, which due to the current state of the internet market in Australia, is very expensive compared to other countries.

Melbourne Wireless's primary function is to supplement a commercial Internet service, not replace it. It is not the Internet streamed over wireless
connections. Discussions have revolved around the idea that commercial
Internet services could one day be tapped into a wireless community-based
network, but Melbourne Wireless recognises that this is not currently possible under existing Communications legislation.

Current Communication legislation is a grey area. Are community groups required to have a carriers licence if data is shared at no cost? Can community
networks share cached data? Existing Communication laws regarding data carriage do not clearly, define the status of data transfers in wireless environments, particularly peer-to-peer and open (omnidirectional) access.

Local government's are interested in providing for future
community bandwidth requirements. Melbourne Wireless has been approached by a local government body asking about considerations in planning for "wiring"
new housing developments. Sharing physical space in a conduit is not an
option as questions arise over who will own the conduit, who has right of
access, who owns the physical wired infrastructure, who pays for
maintenance and repairs. A wireless solution would bypass this in a
cost-effective and communally responsible manner.

2.4GHz is public spectrum. Commercial entities cannot argue that the
open status of 2.4GHz is disruptive to commercial integrity. Commercial
applications should be confined to commercial bandwidth.
Telecommunications carriers *will not* be using 802.11b technology for
last-mile access because of its insecure nature. 2.4GHz has been set aside by the entire world as an ISM band. As long as this is so, there will always be a high noise level in this area due to other uses that include cordless phones, microwave ovens, TV range extenders, wireless cameras, wireless microphones etc etc etc If the ISM spectrum is used for commercial uses, then certain service levels have to be met - due to the nature of ISM, there is no guarentee that a certain appliance will not be made deaf because of another wireless device in close proximity, therefore rendering it useless. This also means that the owner of the now useless equipment has no legal recourse against the other operator unless the class license for that particular part of the spectrum has been voilated (ie too much power output etc)

Melbourne Wireless recognises that piracy will be an issue as it is on the Internet. However, ''' Melbourne Wireless believes that having an open, publicially accessible network that can be monitored by anyone - by anyone we
could mean a person walking the street with a laptop and a network card -
will act as a deterrent rather than a driving force behind piracy.

Community-based wireless networks will be good for competition. It will
also assist Internet service providers by cutting down on data costs if
bandwidth is shared between commercial and non-commercial networks.

802.11 technology is in its infancy. No one at this stage can say
where it is going or what will be possible in a few years' time. At the
moment, even community wireless is beyond the reach and technical
capabilities of the layman. It is mainly confined to hobbyists who build
what they need themselves and apply it to real-world situations. It is
amateur hacking for non-commercial applications.

There's heaps more, but I'm tired. Let's start and play e-mail tag with
something that may begin to look like a draft and then wiki it on the
WGPublicRelations page, throwing it open to feedback from the great
- Barry


The use of gaming probably isn't strong enough as an argument. Gaming is probably not something that the government would be interested in (unless it's somehow good for the economy).


Actually, gaming is becoming VERY good for our economy. We've had major foreign companies buy out local games companies, several games produced here have been world-class, and Melbourne in particular is acquiring an extremely strong rep as a location with some very good world-class talent.

'''Gaming IS an excellent economic incentive to push broadband growth.
However, I also think that the govt is not sufficiently technologically educated to see this, so unless we can produce a lot of figures to back this up (I'll try but we only have a few more days left) I think we should mention gaming only as an aspect of broadband, not a major aspect.''' GOD DAMMIT can someone make this paragraph bold too. argh. Dwayne

I think we need to emphasise more on the fact that current providers don't give us the freedom that we need. If I want the freedom to download as much data as I want at an affordable price, then that means I must forfeit the right to run a server and have the freedom to serve whatever content that I shall desire. Sure ISPs will give you a ~10meg for a website on their servers, but that is restricted again not only by space but because you can't host dynamic content. Therefore Australians need broadband so that they can share vast quantaties of information with each other and so they have an equal playing ground with the rest of the world to learn technology and to contribute to it's evolution.

As for pirated content you are going to have to include more reasons as to why anyone being able to connect to the network can help prevent piracy. Anyone can connect to the Internet and this alone does nothing.
- Lunn

A huge point should make note of occurances in the US and elsewhere where hot spots can be created for public benefit by tacking wireless onto an internet connection, something which is not currently legal in Australia. DrewUlricksen

Not to mention it's against the policy of most ISP's in the US, and the fact that Australian ISP's have to pay to get data in and out of the US, US providers don't pay for traffic in or out of Australia... Also the little fact about 3Gig limits, who in their right mind would share a connection that is likely to cost the individual 10+ cents per meg in excess charges... And now with Optus headed down the same path as Telstra, even if it were legal, it's not feasable to do so...

Another strong point is to show the wide availability of wireless nets appearing in the USA. (Australia is seen as a laggard and this affects our productivity, jobs, etc) Multiple competing carrier-class organisations delivering commercial services as well as individuals organising community networks. FedGov will be big on the wireless cause if rural/regional comms can be enhanced. Bringing fast internet connectivity to community through existing ISPs/Carriers is the easiest if a business model can be invented. This may involve govt subsidy to commercial orgs facilitating interconnection.

The other main point to RAM $HOME is the cost of moving information around Oz. Wired broadband connections in the UK and US do not have usage allocations or speed limits. Telstra poisons the entire internet food chain here by bit charging for everything. Other countries are adopting broadband quicker than Oz, and I feel this is the main reason. If we are stuck with a monopoly carrier that insists on this rapacious behaviour then the community should be given every opportunity to bypass them for internet and telecommunications services. Bray

Public input for the inquiry is a key factor as this is the party that is most
likely to be affected. If communities groups and hobbyists alike can't move
around with such freedom, then what hope does a commerical base businesses have? Things need to be clear, a clear Black and White represent on how things are to be done, what can be done, and who can do it, is diffently needed.

Confusion and Uncertainty are the main factors to why Australia lags behind in the Technology Community. We have always had the information second hand when it comes to technology, restrictions are put in place to protect certain things, what they are is anyone's guess. All these restrictions have done is merely choke and strangle the Communications, Computer industry's in Australia.

Having our chance to speak on what is better for us, at least gives the Government a chance to see how not only the public & commerical groups can benefit but Australia as a whole. Restrictions don't necessarily need to be removed for the sake of stopping a certain group, perhaps they need to relax restrictions, by merely moving them around a little to try and cater for the greater benefit of the masses.

Yes true you can't please everyone, but surely it is better to please the majority then the minority???

Placing commerical operators and commerical applications onto a commerical band is probally a keystone here. Having products that are 802.11b standard these days on our shelves and not being able to use them to the best effect is probally a minor draw back for some.

A clear cut definition a simple YES or No as to whether a wireless link is under the same effect for the Communications restrictions in regards to data traffic for the internet as a normal "Wired" network user is.

You'll find that if the government has to make a decision that they are unsure of the more likely they will be to do nothing. The most effective way I can see around this is to educate them as if they wanted to use wireless networks and treat them as a ordinary person off the street that wanted to know about wireless networks etc.

Education is always a better solution for any questions that could arise.
- Glen Brunning

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Version 1 (current) modified Tue, 03 Jul 2007 23:12:20 +1000 by gummAY
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