June 19th, 2011 by fastmikey
At the end of May, the announcement that people suffering from slow internet across Godzone had been waiting for was finally made – the successful tenderers for the Government’s UFB scheme were announced.
Wait – U-F-What? UFB stands for Ultra Fast Broadband. This is a forward looking initiative that New Zealand is undertaking, similar to many other countries around the world, to ensure that New Zealand homes, schools, and businesses have access to high speed internet to make sure that we’re ready for what future developments hold.
The reason for this is simple – the way the vast majority of people get connected to the outside world today, the good old phone line, is based around technology that dates back to Grahame Bell. While comparatively recent innovations like ADSL have allowed extra life to be stretched from the existing archaic networks, the inherent limitations of a copper wire network ensure that there’s only so much that can be done to eke out more speed – and most solutions mean that speed is good for receiving, not for sending.
UFB promises to change all that. By running fibre optic cable to your front door, all the limitations of the old copper network will be taken away. Fibre optic cabling is what the backbone of the internet operates on, and the solutions are designed to ensure that everyone gets the same high speed connection, taking away the limitation of how close you are to the telephone exchange. Speeds will start from connections that are twice as fast as present ADSL connections, with speeds 10 times as fast also to be available.
So watch for the cable guy to come visit your street in the coming years – and get ready to be sped away by UFB!
Posted in General musings, Technology overview | No Comments »
June 5th, 2011 by bigjim
There is a term in IT research circles called “crossing the chasm”. This is where new technologies move from only being used by early adopters to being more widely used by “early majority pragmatists”. Once the chasm is crossed, mainstream adoption then follows.
A technology trend in this space is that of “cutting the cable”. In countries like the United States, people are choosing to cancel their cable TV subscriptions and instead get all their TV and radio content from free-to-air and internet-based sources. Whether renting or buying shows from iTunes or Amazon or using free sites like Hulu.com, people can watch most of their cable programming but for cheaper (and often more flexibly) via other means. While it will be a while before such a trend takes off in New Zealand – thanks to both the state of our broadband and the lack of content partnerships and licensing deals down here in the Antipodes – there are some interesting ramifications for Catholics. As a niche market, it is rare for Catholic content to feature on the secular networks, save for beatifications and papal elections. And while some are able to tune in EWTN, what about the rest of us?
Luckily, the internet is loaded with fantastic free Catholic content that you can download and enjoy at your leisure. Internationally, sites like SQPN and MyCatholicVoice have great lists of excellent Catholic content. If radio is more your thing, then the local The 15th Station produce free audio downloads on discussing the news, catechesis, and a recently launched show featuring weekly interviews with Bishop Patrick Dunn.
So, while you may not cut the cable quite yet, there’s nothing to stop you checking these out and maybe replacing some of the content from TV and radio with something a little more…fulfilling.
Posted in Link commentary, Podcasts, Technology overview | No Comments »