Senior Citizens Centre
58 Macalister Street
9.00 am – 11.00 am Monday
The ones Apple make.
Learn how to:
Cost is $8 + gold coin for use of the NBN The NBN is the telephone communications system of the 21st century. By communications I mean that we can use it to have our computers/mobile phones/tablets connect to the internet: in other words the big wide world out there. The NBN became necessary because the old copper cable cannot handle the modern demand for capacity and speed needed by modern technology. Additionally the copper cable is old (nearly 100 years in some places) and if it gets wet, corrodes and stops working; an important consideration in cyclone area such as ours. It is expensive to maintain or replace! So in the two thousand noughties the commonwealth government bit the bullet and decided to move to a much more modern system: replace the copper cable with fibre optics that has massive capacity and speed and once installed is much cheaper to maintain. Unfortunately politicians
are essentially stupid (my opinion) and interfered with what the professionals designed. So they changed what started out as a very good system for all and will last for the next 100 years to
something that is much more short term and restricted. This is because there are many professional who believe that using fibre is the only way to move forward into the future and many who don’t. There are many arguments for and against but most of them boil down to cost. By cost I mean the short term cost of actually building the NBN with little regard for how long it is likely to satisfy the demands of modern society, and what those long term costs will be. What the above means for us here in Mackay (and other parts of Australia) is some have been lucky and got the ‘good system’ and others the ‘patchwork quilt’ with its many inherent problems. The NBN and U3a Mackay members in 2019 by
now most Mackay citizens have had some experience with the NBN; some good, some bad. Those members who live south of the river and east of the highway plus Ooralea have been lucky in the NBN rollout lotto; they got fibre-to-the premises (FTTP). Most others got fibre-to-the node (FTTN). FTTN means that there is a big green box on the footpath somewhere near where you live which the fibre goes to. From
there they use the old existing copper cable, with all its inherent problems, e.g. the further away
from you the green box is the slower your connection. Another system that many who live on the fringe of the built up areas have is wireless or FTTW. FTTW use large poles or towers similar to the mobile phone system. In fact it uses the same technology as the mobile system. The only difference is NBN fixes the maximum number of people connecting to each ‘cell’ so they can ‘hopefully’ guarantee speed. From my observations at technology courses and listening to the complaints from members about the NBN
or their Telcos, such as Telstra, Optus or Vodafone, it seems most have issues with the NBN. Also for those who find the politicians’ attitude to the complaints many members have with this modern technology is basically “To bad, so sad” and is thus useless my best advice is if you have a complaint with any of the above and you are not getting satisfaction in your dealings ring the TIO What is the TIO? That’s the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman. It is an agency of the commonwealth government
that the Telcos hate because they have to fix your problem and if they take too long it costs them lots of money that they have to pay to the TIO. The number is 1800 062 058.
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