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Australia's Great Linux-Based Satellite Network

timothy posted more than 10 years ago | from the that's-not-a-network-that's-a-network dept.

Wireless Networking 170

yBshy4 writes "This article may interest the Slashdot folk. LinuxWorld Australia is reporting on Australia's largest satellite network, covering some 800,000 square kilometres, or most of the state of New South Wales, has gone live. The network consists of 75 Linux-based satellite routers that provide Wi-Fi (802.11b) connectivity to country towns that are unable to get DSL. The routers are engineered by Ursys and run Debian providing gateway services such as DNS and mail. According to the article, Ursys chose Debian 'because of its packaging support, which facilitates the ability to push updates to the routers remotely.' Ursys tried to use Windows but it was 'too unstable.' Hopefully this is an important step to providing better Internet access to regional areas across Australia. Anyone know of similar Internet access projects around the world?"

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fp (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8723091)

First poast! I proclaim this conformity factory closed!

Debian versus gentoo flameware in (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8723093)

5.... 4.... 3.... 2....

DATE ME PLEASE (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8723098)

Hello, would any females or post-op transexuals consider dating me? Please reply to this post.

Also, if you feel any empathy for this geek's plight, please do not mod this post down. Thank you.

TO MODERATOR: HEARTLESS BASTARD (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8723106)

Would -you- date me??

Debian versus gentoo flamewar in (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8723103)

5...4...3...2...

800,000 square kilometres?! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8723104)

...that's almost enough to blanket uranus.

Re:800,000 square kilometres?! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8723111)

I dunno. I've got a really big anus.

Re:800,000 square kilometres?! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8723127)

Are you Bob Goatse?

Re:800,000 square kilometres?! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8723140)

I'm any debian user. One step away from an ibook and a pink ipod.

obligatory (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8723105)

But does it run linux?

My wallet just shriveled. (3, Interesting)

irokitt (663593) | more than 10 years ago | (#8723107)

"$3500 per month for 1GB per month"
Now surely that's in Australian currency, but that still sounds expensive to me.

Re:My wallet just shriveled. (3, Informative)

qtothemax (766603) | more than 10 years ago | (#8723147)

$3,500au=$2,658.50us or 2,171.13 euros. Pretty pricy

Re:My wallet just shriveled. (1)

Sevn (12012) | more than 10 years ago | (#8723155)

At least it's cheaper and faster than DSL. It probably pings better too.

Re:My wallet just shriveled. (3, Informative)

pe1chl (90186) | more than 10 years ago | (#8723269)

Depends on what DSL you have, and what you call "better".

Here in the Netherlands, standard DSL service via the ex-state-monopoly DSL provider pings at about 10ms nationally and 160ms to the USA (west coast).

This is not bad and completely unachievable via satellite, because of laws of physics.

For any geostationary satellite solution you need to add 260ms for one-way and double that for two-way solutions, plus any delays incurred by time-division multiplexing (if applicable).
That is a huge increase compared to the above numbers.

The only satellite solution that can be faster is a LEO constellation.

Re:My wallet just shriveled. (1)

Sevn (12012) | more than 10 years ago | (#8723357)

1) I was being completely scarcastic referencing the silly high prices for DSL here in the USA and the crappy ping times they provide. I can understand how I was misunderstood.

2) The article refers to satellite WAP access with b speed wireless. Not actual satellites.

Re:My wallet just shriveled. (2, Informative)

mcbridematt (544099) | more than 10 years ago | (#8723221)

Very true. Australian bandwidth stinks. Sure, the Southern Cross Cable [southerncrosscables.com] linking Oceania with the U.S is pretty phat, but it's costs are too big. ISP's here tend to run transparent proxies (I have a ADSL ISP blacklist of ISP's I won't go with for that reason. At least my dialup ISP, iPrimus [iprimus.com.au] isn't stupid enough) in order to keep costs down. Well, instead of trying to cut costs on the ISP side, why don't they try to make Australian->US bandwidth less expensive?

It's probably cheaper to dump a server in a US colo [theplanet.com] facility overall than dump it in a Australian colo [host1.com.au] and watch yourself get Slashed/Farked no matter what your primary demographic for your website is :(

Re:My wallet just shriveled. (4, Interesting)

obeythefist (719316) | more than 10 years ago | (#8723250)

Hello, welcome to the internet.

The reason US traffic (and most internet) costs are so high for Australian users, besides Telstra of course, is that US companies expect Australia to bear the cost of both incoming and outgoing traffic to the USA. This is standard US policy.

Thanks for coming along, we hope you enjoy your stay here. Unless you aren't american.

Re:My wallet just shriveled. (5, Informative)

Jack Porter (310054) | more than 10 years ago | (#8723295)

Yeah, that policy sure seems to be affecting the 50Mbps internet connection I have at my apartment here in Seoul, South Korea.

I have no bandwidth limits and it costs me about $US30 a month. There is a transproxy in the middle for HTTP, but I can still BitTorrent at 500KB-1MB/second. And for HTTP stuff that hits the transproxy cache, I regularly get 4-5 MegaBYTES a second.

I'm an Australian who's been living in the US and now Korea. The price of wholesale bandwidth in the Australia is insane and has barely decreased in the 5 years since I left...

Re:My wallet just shriveled. (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8723532)

Or, in other words, we have a nice duopoly (Optus and Telstra, with Telstra doing most of the running these days, it would appear), where the incentive is to keep prices nice and high to have a nice high revenue stream. The barrier to entry is high -- have you tried running an undersea cable across the Pacific lately? -- so the risk of competition undercutting the prices is fairly low.

As you can see [whirlpool.net.au] , Telstra recently dropped its retail pricing rates below its wholesale pricing levels. This caused a major ruckus in the telecommunications industry, and a competition notice from the ACCC. As far as I can tell, Telstra does the bare minimum it can to keep the ACCC off its back, whilst slugging Australian users as much as it can get away with.

Case in point: one big problem with Bigpond (aka Bigpong in some circles), and the reason I would never take up an account with them, is that you are charged for both download AND upload traffic. This has resulted in more than a few stories of thousand dollar plus (including at least one in the multiples of thousand dollars) bills in a month from P2P traffic (amongst other things).

Telstra. "This is your monopoly calling." *spit*

Re:My wallet just shriveled. (2, Insightful)

rokzy (687636) | more than 10 years ago | (#8723149)

plus 1GB is an annoying amount of data.

far too much for "just emailing the family".

far too little for downloads.

Re:My wallet just shriveled. (1)

Sevn (12012) | more than 10 years ago | (#8723180)

For 200 bucks you can get an apacer 1gig ht202 thumbdrive and fill it up with shit and freaking mail it to your family members, then keep mailing it back and forth.

Re:My wallet just shriveled. (2, Insightful)

ender81b (520454) | more than 10 years ago | (#8723287)

Indeed, i've found (working at an isp) that 99.5% of people with broadband use less than 500 meg a month. Ah well, they got to make their money somehow.

Re:My wallet just shriveled. (1)

fake_name (245088) | more than 10 years ago | (#8723472)

...but enough to allow a remote community to access the internet for moderate email and web access, considering the only other choices are an ISDN line (hideously enxpensive to install, considering the distances involved to the end users) or a modem at 9600 baud (which is all a lot of the rural lines can handle; some won't even go above 2400)

Besides which, it's likely that the data is billed as .35c/MB. A few years back I worked in satellite networking, and that is how all the providers charges for data. .35c/MB == $3500/GB, because they use 1000 instead of 1024 as when converting. (that includes the bytes->kB->MB conversions)

Re:My wallet just shriveled. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8723151)

Now surely that's in Australian currency, but that still sounds expensive to me.

At current rates that translates into a generous US$2,658.59 per month.

Re:My wallet just shriveled. (1)

ZzzzSleep (606571) | more than 10 years ago | (#8723163)

Quoth irokitt:
"$3500 per month for 1GB per month" Now surely that's in Australian currency, but that still sounds expensive to me.
Even for Australian currency ($1 AUD ~= $0.75 USD), that's bloody expensive.
Considering that most broadband plans here cost between $50 and $100 dollars a month, this is very, very pricey.

Re:My wallet just shriveled. (3, Informative)

Agent Orange (34692) | more than 10 years ago | (#8723169)

It is very expensive, no matter what currency it's in. Standard cable/broadband connections cost somewhere between $40-80/month, with transfer caps of 500MB - a couple GB/month. Plus there's all the usual jockeying with numbers, rolling over bandwidth and the games you'd expect. But this is a satellite-based service, so you're paying for the infrastructure.

Looks like they're using ISDN for upstream and satellite for downstream - did I read this right?

It's a shame they can't leverage the bandwidth of AARNET, which has fibre running right down the newell highway (N-S in country NSW). This is academic stuff and I wouldn't expect that the economics would add up in country NSW for commerical ventures - just not enough people care about the internet there.

Re:My wallet just shriveled. (4, Interesting)

Some Guy in Canada (758074) | more than 10 years ago | (#8723313)

It's a shame they can't leverage the bandwidth of AARNET, which has fibre running right down the newell highway (N-S in country NSW). This is academic stuff and I wouldn't expect that the economics would add up in country NSW for commerical ventures - just not enough people care about the internet there.
That's a similar problem with getting commercial providers to bring internet out to the many rural areas of my province (Alberta, Canada). But the government is currently installing a massive fibre network to all schools and gov't offices (even the tiny hicktowns), and when it's done commercial ISPs will be able to hook in. Already there are companies preparing to use this to offer dsl/cable in small towns.

HEH. THAT'S NOT YOUR ONLY THING THAT'S SHRIVELED! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8723216)

Re:My wallet just shriveled. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8723260)

Yes, it's at least as expensive as GPRS (~2.1e/MB).

Re:My wallet just shriveled. (4, Informative)

gassendi (93677) | more than 10 years ago | (#8723296)

I think it's just badly written. My take on it is that it's bandwidth not download limits. So it's probably 1 gigabit connection. The article says "can be shared between 12 to 20 people for "normal" Web access". I suppose 1/20th of a gigabit connection is "normal" access.

Also if you look at http://www.nswnet.net/rurallink/costs/
you'll see they quote AUD$189.00 for a 1GB download limited connection.

Re:My wallet just shriveled. (1)

Sevn (12012) | more than 10 years ago | (#8723370)

Other than overlooking that b speed wireless can only do 11Mbps. Divided by 8, that's around t1 speed or the 1.5MBish neck of the woods.

Australia is useless when it comes to Internet (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8723297)

I moved to Australia 2 months ago, and New South Wales is pretty much useless when it comes to internet, DSL is expensive as hell, and you probably end up with a 200MB download limit per month. If you are really lucky, pay lots of $$$ and signs up for 12 months, then you might get 1 GB per month.. thats about what Im used to downlading i one night on my ADSL line back home..

Re:Australia is useless when it comes to Internet (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8723378)

Errr, I'm on 1500/256 ADSL and I get 16GB/month download allowance (which is MORE than I'll ever need) and I pay $89/month, oh, and it's a month-to-month contract. Where did you get your information from? Even with other ISPs like TPG you can get a flat-rate 512/128 connection for less than what I pay. Where abouts in America are you from?

Re:Australia is useless when it comes to Internet (2, Informative)

dojobi (700658) | more than 10 years ago | (#8723486)

I don't know which ISP you're with, but I'm on 1500/256 for AU$80. After you hit your 10GB limit, you're just bandwidth shaped to 72kb/s rather than charged per MB. I lived in Boston last year and this was pretty comparable to what I was paying there.

This is who I'm with - iinet [iinet.net.au]

Re:My wallet just shriveled. (2, Insightful)

Gern0t (760527) | more than 10 years ago | (#8723350)

But the article says:

"The satellite data service costs $3500 per month for 1GB per month and can be shared between 12 to 20 people for "normal" Web access."

3500/20 = 175 AUDs = 120 USD. This figure still looks expensive for just 1 GB traffic. But maybe an upgrade might be not to expensive.

All in all

"The Rural Link network is intended for country community groups, health facilities and council and community technology centres ..."

So it's not sold to the individual consumer but to public/private organizations. Of courese prices differ in this market segment.

Linux on the routers (4, Funny)

frs_rbl (615298) | more than 10 years ago | (#8723109)

Wake me up when Linux is running on the satellites

Re:Linux on the routers (3, Funny)

pe1chl (90186) | more than 10 years ago | (#8723156)

You mean the Toshiba satellites?

Re:Linux on the routers (1)

frs_rbl (615298) | more than 10 years ago | (#8723179)

You mean the Toshiba satellites?

Confusing is the least I can say about this article ;-)

Re:Linux on the routers (1)

Avlimator (593407) | more than 10 years ago | (#8723198)

Yes it's rather misleading. They use Linux to run the servers, woohoo.

Taco buttfucks CowboyNeal in (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8723113)

5...4...3...2....

Damn (5, Funny)

TechnologyX (743745) | more than 10 years ago | (#8723117)

"Ursys tried to use Windows but it was 'too unstable.'"
Good thing, that would have been one big ass Clippy to deal with.

Re:Damn (2, Funny)

ideatrack (702667) | more than 10 years ago | (#8723137)

I can imagine the issues they were having:

"I'm sorry, Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that".

*Frantically hits the escape key*.

Re:Damn (3, Funny)

TechnologyX (743745) | more than 10 years ago | (#8723225)

"I see you are trying to link to a $20,000,000 satellite, would you like help with that?"
*Yes I would*
Windows has encountered a problem and needs to shutdown
Any work not saved may be lost. We are sorry for any inconvenience

Re:Damn (1)

LanceUppercut (766964) | more than 10 years ago | (#8723487)

It doesn't take a genius to understand that they did not try to use Windows. This remark was included simply because remarks like that are required in any article representing Linux in positive light. They were either asked to say that "Windows was too unstable" or did that on their own accord. It doesn't really matter.

$3500/GB? (0, Redundant)

gid13 (620803) | more than 10 years ago | (#8723120)

Yeep. Seems a little pricey to me.

Re:$3500/GB? (2, Funny)

goon america (536413) | more than 10 years ago | (#8723275)

1 USD == 1.31639 AUD

It's a veritable bargain at $2,658.79 US!

Re:$3500/GB? (1)

ttys00 (235472) | more than 10 years ago | (#8723505)

Bandwidth in Australia is very expensive compared to the US regardless of how you get it. Its still billed by the meg in a lot of places.

I have dedicated servers colocated in New Jersey and in Sydney. In the US I pay $2.00US/gb for bandwidth, in Australia I pay $0.09cAU/mb ($0.06US/mb) which is $60US/gb.

Broadband in Australia (5, Informative)

Neo-Rio-101 (700494) | more than 10 years ago | (#8723123)

For sure, outback australia has some real problems getting internet access. Everyone has moaned to Telstra for ages about this, so it's good to see soemthing get done about it.

Australia likes the idea of wireless.... or at least we don't want to have to look at masses of wires all over our skyline.

There was a broadband cable rollout some years back, and a lot of residents complained that the extra overhead cable would wreck their view and lower their houses values due to the nasty look of an extra cable floating above them. Several local councils petitioned to have the cables dug underground, but after a feasibility test was done, putting the cables underground was found to be too expensive.... so the phone company did nothing in those areas. Now the local governments that protested the cable roll-out are all stuck using dial-up modems.

Re:Broadband in Australia (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8723262)

There was a broadband cable rollout some years back, and a lot of residents complained that the extra overhead cable would wreck their view and lower their houses values due to the nasty look of an extra cable floating above them.

The Australian Federal Goverment decided not to step in to force Telstra to share it's cable with Optus. So Optus ran their own cable right next to the Telstra cable. Our street has two overhead cables.

And now roughly 80% of Australians have coverage twice, whilst the remaing 20% are stuck with satellite coverage.

The sparsly populated areas are just too expensive to cable. This is why Wireless is so attractive for regional areas.

Re:Broadband in Australia (1)

narkotix (576944) | more than 10 years ago | (#8723266)

Well they did drop the price of adsl ports by 40% today. Thats a significant step for internet access in oz!

Windows to unstable ? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8723124)

What did he try ?, Windows 95 ?

I think that the decision was made with the wallet as usal and not because of the qualities of Linux.

Re:Windows to unstable ? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8723131)

Naw. It was probably made because windows is shit.

Darl rubs his hands together (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8723132)

Someone else for SCO to sue

Linuxworld's advertising (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8723136)

What I learned from linuxworld.com.au:
Windows Server offers a saving of 11%-22% over Linux in 4 out of 5 workload scenarios.

Re:Linuxworld's advertising (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8723160)

What I learned from linuxworld.com.au: Windows Server offers a saving of 11%-22% over Linux in 4 out of 5 workload scenarios.

Yeah, you think they could choose their sponsors a bit more carefully.

Re:Linuxworld's advertising (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8723316)

>>What I learned from linuxworld.com.au: Windows >>Server offers a saving of 11%-22% over Linux in 4 >>out of 5 workload scenarios.
>Yeah, you think they could choose their sponsors a >bit more carefully.
See as the article says that they tried Windows first but it wasn't stable enough so they switched to Linux, maybe it is Microsoft, who should be a bit more careful about choosing who to sponsor!

This would be nice in the great plains (3, Interesting)

Quebst (263980) | more than 10 years ago | (#8723145)

I have heard of this also happening in parts of South America and, I think, Africa. But this leads to another question.

Is this sort of access going to be used in the US? I live in a rural area, and I cannot live on a farm and have DSL or cable. The only access I could use outside of town is DirectTV's access, which is very expensive. I even live in a populated area compared to Alaska, Wyoming, or Montana for example. Anyone know of a similar idea being done in the states? I for one would move and sign up.

As far as this being used in South America, I find it ironic they have wi-fi access but lack much more important technologies, such as better roads or medicine. Of course, the information and education provided by such access may lead to better conditions. This is a huge experiment in putting the cart before the horse.

Re:This would be nice in the great plains (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8723181)

If you live on the farm, you should be chewing cud...not browsing :-)

Re:This would be nice in the great plains (1)

Quebst (263980) | more than 10 years ago | (#8723334)

You chew cud once and you're labeled for life.

Re:This would be nice in the great plains (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8723276)

As far as this being used in South America, I find it ironic they have wi-fi access but lack much more important technologies, such as better roads or medicine

Computers are cheap, last for years and run on solar. Supplies of medicine and quality roads are more difficult and labour-intensive to maintain and install.

Re:This would be nice in the great plains (1)

Quebst (263980) | more than 10 years ago | (#8723348)

Very well put AC. Imagine making that statement 20 or even 10 years ago. It would have been laughed at. Of course, today we live in a world of $400 emachines and $150 xbox's. Still, it makes you wonder where the money comes from, and if it is from government if it is a sound investment or a political move.

scott richter's personal e-mail address (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8723154)

scottrichter422@yahoo.com yeah
scottrichter422@yahoo.com scott
scottrichter422@yahoo.com richter's
scottrichter422@yahoo.com personal
scottrichter422@yahoo.com e-mail

FUCK OFF RICHTER AND ALL YOUR COHORTS!*!

Re:scott richter's personal e-mail address (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8723497)

What's a "cohort"?

From someone who actually supports these things... (5, Informative)

arduous (91558) | more than 10 years ago | (#8723173)

As an IT consultant (and formerly an ISP guy) I am doing the end-customer support and installations for one of these POP's on the VIC/NSW border.

The Ursys guys run their own internal APT repository that all the BusiBox's update from (Yes, the BusiBox's are just normal rackmount PC's), allowing then to easy automate updates.

Their "web interface" is just a custom version of webmin.

I have no idea what the $3500/month for 1GB is about. I dont deal with the billing side at all.

But the service appears to work well. I am looking forward to see how much range we can get out here with the 802.11b gear, as ADSL is unlikely to come to most of these towns for many years.

Satellite/Wireless in France (1)

pjnetsolutions (720292) | more than 10 years ago | (#8723265)

I know of one group up and running with satellite/wireless in rural southern france! There is no info on their website as yet though. I also know of someone else setting up a satellite/wireless solution in rural Italian locations in the next few months.

http://www.cyberporte.com (French)
http://www.cyberporte.co.uk (English)

Re:From someone who actually supports these things (1)

irokitt (663593) | more than 10 years ago | (#8723301)

I know that in rural Iowa and similar locations in the US, enterprising communities set up multiple homes using 802.11b and antennae, so that farms that are even as much as 5 kilometers apart can share a single "broadband" (I hate that term) line.

true but unpopular perspective from the IT world.. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8723307)

Join sacred Jihad against slashdot's editors. Join anti-slash [anti-slash.org] .

Re:From someone who actually supports these things (3, Interesting)

fake_name (245088) | more than 10 years ago | (#8723453)

.35c/MB seems to be Telstra's default cost for data. This figure includes both transport of the data, as well as providing the data; some satellite network providers will give much cheaper transfer rates but you need to somehow supply the data to their uplink for them, meaning you need to pay extra for an internet link. (assuming you want the remote sites to have internet access)

Holy shit! I just killed K5! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8723186)

I'm sorry, I didn't mean to. It's pretty damn easy to do too.

Re:Holy shit! I just killed K5! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8723203)

Hi Vladinator! Thanks for all your K5 troll accounts you blithering tard!

Too bad Teledesic didn't get to launch (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8723188)

If Teledesic had been able to get to launch, Bill Gates, Craig McCaw, and some Saudi dude would be able to provide broadband to the Earth, and thus owned a global backbone. Low-Earth Orbiting Satellites would have been nice except for completely confusing astronomers. Put Al Gore in there somewhere to make it official. Anyone actually know why Teledesic didn't get off the ground?

Re:Too bad Teledesic didn't get to launch (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8723386)

Is that a problem, anyway?

Smelly Linux Hippies (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8723193)

Open source and GPL in general are an easy model to adopt when banding together to protest the unethical practices of Microsoft, but why give software away for free ALWAYS and FOREVER? Maybe you are a follower? Maybe you want to grow a long beard and be dirty? Does it REALLY make sense?

Housing before Satellite ! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8723197)

There are a lot of problems in Australia, including housing shortages due to recent price increases in property (which will be nothing compared to what happens when the Australian property bubble bursts, but I digress), and major health problems in the highly populated refugee areas. Add to this the problems with the Australian economy (in its prime area, agriculture), and the fact that an increasing number of fixed assets in Australia are no longer owned by Australians, but rather by Japanese/Taiwanese/Malaysian/Thai businesses, and you have an inkling into the major mess that is modern-day Australia. Shouldn't the Australian government be dealing with these problems before setting up satellite networks?

Re:Housing before Satellite ! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8723235)

Here's your justification, you lousy piece of troll shit. My DSL connection at home sucks, and that's where the beta server is running. I gave out the site to 125 people who emailed me asked me for the site, so that it didn't die. Now you've decided to be a fucking flaming asshole and post the site everywhere, causing signifacnt problems with my DSL at home because you're a piece of shit with nothing better to do.

I've wasted 5 hours this morning deleting your trolls and in the meantime have gotten NO other work done because of you. I'm trying to do something nice for MacSlash community and upgrade our server so it's better. You insist on wasting my time with this shit, and keeping me from being able to work on the new server.

I've worked on this site for over 3 years without every making a penny off of it because I like the interaction with other Mac users. You've just spoiled that. I now dread loading the site every morning because of trolls like you. I spend most of my time now dealing with your petty bullshit instead making this a better place. And I'm about ready to just shut the whole damn thing down instead of dealing with you anymore.

So there's you're fucking justification. Now stop posting the address of the new site.
-- Ben Stanfield
Executive Editor @ MacSlash

Re:Housing before Satellite ! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8723267)

????What the hell is this?

Re:Housing before Satellite ! (1)

camzacid (734051) | more than 10 years ago | (#8723321)

well i disagree yes the housing is costly if u want to live in the yuppy city burbs but what about Tasmania's 16K house's. A friend of mine with the first home owners grant bought a house in the wimerra for just 6K and he poket'd the rest though its only a hour drive to swan hill. I live top of VIC and i get cable (Not DS fucking L) and its about AUD 35.00 for 350mg dam steep when comparing to the US market

Re:Housing before Satellite ! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8723346)

Jesus, who the hell modded that insightful!? Even my granny would recognise that for the troll it is!

Does Australia have a Universal Access Fund? (3, Interesting)

JohnA (131062) | more than 10 years ago | (#8723200)

Here in the states, every telecom subscriber is required to pay into the Universal Access Fund, which provided subsidies for those living outside of an economically viable service area to receive POTS.

This seems like a perfect application of said UAF funds...,

Re:Does Australia have a Universal Access Fund? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8723229)

Here in the states, every telecom subscriber is required to pay into the Universal Access Fund, which provided subsidies for those living outside of an economically viable service area to receive POTS.

We don't want any of that socialist crap. If it's not economically viable, it's not economically viable. The gubment should force telecoms to subsidize people for choosing to be hermits.

Re:Does Australia have a Universal Access Fund? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8723323)

The Universal Service Agreement with this is part of, only covers voice calls and modem speeds upto 28kbps (??) and until a couple of years ago only covered 9600 bps.


Australia Communication Authority - [aca.gov.au]
Universal Service Obligation


Looking at the scheme more cynically, it is designed to provide Flo average citizen from Wagga Wagga with the impression that the government is protecting her from the Big Bad Telco's (Telstra is 51% owned by the Federal Government). Its primary aim is to cover the un-timed local calls. Calls that cost Telstra virtually nothing, and are quite profitable due to the high flag fall charge.

Re:Does Australia have a Universal Access Fund? (1)

inf0stud (313976) | more than 10 years ago | (#8723444)

Look here, most people in Wagga Wagga have xDSL. Perhaps you're thinking of Wagga in Western Australia.

Re:Does Australia have a Universal Access Fund? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8723338)

Not quite - we have a government-owned (well, 51% government owned, and only till the damn fools convice us to let them sell the rest of it too) telecom. The idea is that there are regulations in force making sure telstra (aforementioned telecom) maintains a certain degree of service to remote areas of australia, but in practise (and especially since the sale of 49% of telstra to the public), service to remote rural areas is average at best.

Before I get tarred and brushed as one of those 'dirty socialists' by some tobacco chewin' sister rootin' george dubya voter, I should mention that I have no problems with economic competition or capitalism for that matter - but I do believe that government-run organizations - with their loyalties to the government and people in general, as opposed to their shareholders - should supply basic utilities - water, electricity, gas and telecommunications. The reasoning behind this is obvious when you look at how telstra is beginning to operate - anyone who thinks that our (hopefully not) soon to be ex-government owned telecom will bother doing squat to expand its services outside of metropolitan areas after the sale of the remaining gov't owned 51% of stock is a damn fool.

Sorry about the political rant, but I've been seeing more and more of them on slashdot lately, and, as they say, evil begats more evil :(

-d

Now, even the (0, Offtopic)

Phidoux (705500) | more than 10 years ago | (#8723213)

roos can do the single-handed surfing thing.

Wonderful Bruce!

Has this been approved by SCO? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8723232)

If someone forgot to get the needed IP licences for Linux, the Australian data infrastructure will eventually be SCO's property.

Re:Has this been approved by SCO? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8723257)

I agree. All of these teabaggers who get away without paying should be ashamed of themselves. Unfortunately, they'll probably never pay. Lunix users are widely known for their stealing of Windows so this is par for the course.

Re:Has this been approved by SCO? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8723442)

Flame bait.

MS ads on Linux world (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8723239)

Interesting to see Micro Softies advertising on the Linuxworld.com.au site.

By the way I hope that the $3500 is a misprint maybe $35.00 would be a little more reasonable?

But what about the hidden costs of Linux? (0, Offtopic)

Channard (693317) | more than 10 years ago | (#8723258)

I mean, if Oz is going Linux, it's not going to be cheap. Just think how much it'll cost to buy all those kangaroos extra-large pocket protectors.

DSL in rural Australia (1)

hugzz (712021) | more than 10 years ago | (#8723373)

And here I am, 15km (10miles or so) out from Brisbane City (in Queensland, Australia), and I can not get cable or adsl :( and i *really* dont want satelite

MS ads (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8723389)

I found rather disturbing to see in a Linux
oriented site the Microsoft ads both at the
top (Flash animation) of the page and on the
right (animated gif) saying explicitly that
Windows Server TCO is cheaper than Linux, and
pointing to the infamous FUD spreading "Get
the facts" page.

[tin foil hat]

After some minutes and reloading the page
multiple times the same ads are still here;
could they be delivered (both by doubleclick)
on purpose to articles that Microsoft finds
unfriendly?

[/tin foil hat]

Mountain-areas (1)

l0wland (463243) | more than 10 years ago | (#8723394)

When I am on a skiing-holiday in Austria, I mostly stay in small villages somewhere far down the valley. If I am lucky, those towns only have a crappy expensive ISDN-connection. It would be awesome if I could just use my laptop with WiFi-card in my chalet or hotel, en put my skiing-pictures online, check my email or find out the weatherconditions for the next day.

Will the solution mentioned in the article also work in an area with high mountains and deep valleys, where there's only a few small villages with a small number of inhabitants?

Re:Mountain-areas (1)

l0wland (463243) | more than 10 years ago | (#8723407)

In case one gets confused: I am talking about Austria and NOT Australia. There are no kangaroos in Austria.

How do I get on?? (-1, Offtopic)

madcow15 (512585) | more than 10 years ago | (#8723396)

I'm a RMIT student in Melbourne and use a SuSE based notebook at school. How do I go about accessing this Linux based Wi FI network so that I don't have to reformat my notebook to crappy old XP???? It would be nice to use a Linux based network that has the stability of Linux

Re:How do I get on?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8723460)

use linux wrappers n a decent card for your notebook. It doesnt matter how u access it wether its linux or windows as the client machine.

Re:How do I get on?? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8723533)

It doesnt matter how u access it wether its linux or windows as the client machine.

Yes it does. A Windows machine will seamlessly integrate into the network, whereas a Linux machine will suffer from remote exploits, SSH vulnerabilities, kernel panics, and the like. And don't say this isn't true. All the Linux distros have numerous daemons running in the background. Most Linux users will never realize this.

All Over Northern Canada (3, Interesting)

hibachi (162898) | more than 10 years ago | (#8723496)

The company I work for, SSI Micro, [ssimicro.com] has provided full-mesh frame relay and Internet services over satellite throughout northern Canada, well into the high arctic, since early 2000. We continue to expand the number of communities we service across the north all the time. The Outback almost sounds like a walk in the park by comparison - assuming you don't mind snakes. We also recently deployed a six site satellite network in Zambia to provide Internet services to an international development organisation there. Certainly each of these remote regions provide their own set of challenges.

In addition to dial-up, we have always used wireless technologies as a last mile solution. We used 802.11 for many years in those applications, and continue to do so. Currently we are also working with Inukshuk [inukshuk.ca] to roll out MCS wireless services, as mentioned in an earlier Slashdot story, [slashdot.org] and it is simply an amazing technology. The broadband picture keeps getting better and better up here all the time.

Satellite is definitely here to stay. It is going to be a long time before every nook and cranny of this world is wired, and frankly, I hope it never is.

Kansas.net (1)

grioghar (228683) | more than 10 years ago | (#8723524)

I work for one of the most intelligent people I know. Jim built his wireless network up from the ground by ordering $5,000 radios, ripping them apart with screwdrivers and plyers, and really learning how to get the job done.

I don't get told a lot about our network, but we have a combination of 802.11b and g from my understanding, running across links of up to 13 miles.

For the controlling servers, my understanding is that we're running a mostly Linux layout, but that's speculation as I've currently got just a sales job signing up new customers.

We service a coverage aread of 100+ square miles, and short of lightning strikes, it's a pretty reliable service.

Just thought I'd promote one for the home team. =)

Is it really all that expensive? (1)

oddbudman (599695) | more than 10 years ago | (#8723536)

Is it really as bad as all you people say it is?

Sure 3.5k aus is a bit, but the internet has a whole lot more to offer than .avi .mp3 .torrent
In rural Australia there are many farms. With the internet automation of farming procedures could be achieved.Ie Feeding stations, gates, harvesting....


Surely this would lower the cost of farming and make it worthwile.

Our local wireless project went tits up (5, Interesting)

Linker3000 (626634) | more than 10 years ago | (#8723537)

A company proposed an 802.11a wireless broadband network sharing a 2Mb leased line for our '6 village' area on the South Coast of the UK. We're not a million miles from civilisation (nearest big town is about 6 miles), but we're 'rural' and so our phone exchanges were not likely to be broadband enabled for a short while.

Monthly charges were about the same as POTS-based broadband, plus the client kit costs, but I felt that since there were quite a few small businesses in the area POTS broadband would happen eventually and so I stuck to my single channel ISDN.

At a kick-off meeting for the network, I raised concerns about the likelihood of POTS-based broadband coming to the area and diluting the wireless user base (it needed to maintain a certain number of subscribers to pay for the kit maintenance costs, power and also keep up the rental on the leased line), but was dismissed by those excited (IMHO) by the technology aspects of the system and perhaps the thrill of having a funny-shaped antenna on their roof!

Guess what, the company providing the infrastructure went bust before the roll-out was complete. I understand some of the kit may have been taken by creditors and so the system's now not intact and no buyer for the network installation could be found because many of those approached (about 10) realised that there was a local phone exchange likely to be broadband enabled 'sometime'. The final (post-going-bust) nail in the coffin was that broadband came to the area in December 2003 (2 months after the wireless provider went bust) via the local phone exchange.

The Australian solution looks like the right thing for the right demographics, the solution proposed in our area seemed to be pandering to the impatient and the technophiles, and not well thought out business-wise.
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