Simply Brilliant, Vincent.
Vincent O’Donnell writes: Re. "The broadband battle: what will they really deliver?" (yesterday, item 4). Two centuries ago, railway engineers chose broad gauge and iron rails rather than wooden rails and narrow gauge that were then the norm, as they planned the expansion of railways from haulage in mines and collieries to a national communication network.
Certainly, wooden rails were cheaper and narrow gauge easier to construct and allowed the speed of a galloping horse, but they had vision. Engineer George Stephenson signalled his vision when he named his locomotive The Rocket.
And the railways drove the development of hitherto unforeseen technologies: the electric telegraph -- the first commercial use of electricity; the anomalous behaviour of long telegraph cables, especially undersea cables, led to recognition of capacitance, inductance and resistance as electronic factors; also the observation of photoconductive effects, and the recognition of semi-conductivity, the basis of the transistor and the solid state laser.
We face on 21 August the choice between iron rails and wooden rails in broadband policy.
Every fibre optic cable is a parallel universe of radio communication spectrum, multiplying, many times over, the natural spectrum that is hugely congested. Once installed, fibre is cheap to run, cheap to maintain and hugely reliable, with bandwidth and data speeds far beyond WiFi and satellite services.
There are good reasons to punish the Labor Party for aspects of its stewardship of the nation, but to favour the Coalition and its wooden rails broad band proposal, is to punish the nation, not just the Labor Party, and deny our children a place at the technological table of the 22nd century.