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HS2 or gigabit internet?

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Should we fund HS2 or free gigabit internet connections to every household and business in the UK
HS2
12%
 12%  [ 1 ]
Free gigabit internet connections
62%
 62%  [ 5 ]
Something else
25%
 25%  [ 2 ]
Total Votes : 8

PDR
1376750.  Sat Mar 13, 2021 4:25 am Reply with quote

barbados wrote:
PDR wrote:
Very little of the HS2 money has been spent - as far as I can establish we have spent around 15Bn of a projected 80-110Bn and some of that is recoverable (eg selling the land.

"Because we've already spent 15Bn" is rather a weak argument to spend over 70Bn on something we no longer need.

PDR

So why spend it on free internet for all, when there are more deserving things to spend it on?


The government's role in infrastructure is facilitation. To get to where we need to be in this brave new world REQUIRES better internet provision so that people can work from home. It's becoming a major inclusivity blocker. The market has not provided this - quite the reverse. The market has cherry-picked the most profitable options and told the rest they can go fuck themselves. So this is where the Government needs to step in and create a new service quality baseline by providing this basic provision. I suggest making it "free" (ie funded from central taxation) because that's probably the only way to ensure it doesn't become a new kind of poverty that excludes whole sectors of the population.

PDR

 
barbados
1376751.  Sat Mar 13, 2021 4:33 am Reply with quote

Excuse the hyperbole, but this year teachers are not getting a pay rise, in order to replace your aging and decrepit body, there is a REQUIREMENT to ensure that the teaching profession is suitably funded in order for us to yadda brave new blah blah yadda yadda, and so on and so forth

 
Brock
1376752.  Sat Mar 13, 2021 4:50 am Reply with quote

PDR wrote:
If Tony Seba and Adam Dorr are right we won't be forced into inconvenient and pandemic-promoting public transport solutions for energy/environmental reasons and the lack of "tidal flows" of people going to work will make them inefficient as solutions anyway. So we would be able to revert to personal transport as our primary means of mobility for our more sporadic travel needs.


For most of my life the environmental lobby has been opposing road-building and promoting the use of public transport instead. Now that the Government has largely stopped building roads and decided to put money into building railways instead, they're opposing that and (if the above is true) saying we should go back to private transport instead. Seems as though you can't win either way...

 
PDR
1376757.  Sat Mar 13, 2021 5:23 am Reply with quote

It just means that you have to be prepared to monitor the context in which you live and to review and adapt your plans hen changes in that context obsolete those plans. Some years ago I replaced my petrol/lpg car with a (very expensive) modern diesel, even though it more expensive to run and maintain, because at the time it was the Right Thing To Do for The Environment. Fast& forward three years and that same car became a virtual pariah because we started recognising that particulate emissions were more important than greenhouse (co2) emissions. I can't afford to replace that car yet, so I live with that decision. But my next car won't be another diesel (and probably not even infernal combustion).

The people who told me to buy diesel weren't wrong at that time, and the people who told me not to buy diesel a few years later weren't wrong either. The context changed, so the decision parameters changed and it gave a different answer. Seba and Dorr are suggesting that the move away from infernal combust means moving to centralised energy generation, and if we want to use renewable/carbob-neutral generation then that will change the decision parameters in a way which (when combined with a paradigm shift in working patterns) could produce just such a change in the relative merits of mass transport vs individual transport.

It's not a matter of winning or losing. It's just that it would be stupid to expect something that looked like the best solution at a moment in time to remain still be the right solution several decades later.

PDR

 
PDR
1376762.  Sat Mar 13, 2021 5:36 am Reply with quote

barbados wrote:
Excuse the hyperbole, but this year teachers are not getting a pay rise


Oh didums! Nor am I. Nor are lots of other people. Lots of others are losing their jobs, where teachers have plenty of job security. It's also irrelevant to the point (being a revenue rather than capital spend).

This is clearly a fatuous argument, so I presume you are conceding the point.

PDR

 
Celebaelin
1376767.  Sat Mar 13, 2021 5:49 am Reply with quote

Whilst access to the internet is a concern and in some cases is already a new kind of self-perpetuating poverty trap the whole anti-HS2 argument as a source of funding seems short-termist. Covid 19 is in many ways already dwindling in significance as more and better vaccine treatment options become available and life will in a relatively short space of time return to something like its usual state of people wanting and/or needing to travel. Modern concerns over energy efficiency in this regard are best answered by rail mass transport solutions and it is this long term infrastructure requirement that HS2 serves replacing the essentially Victorian rail system for passenger transport and allowing the older, slower lines to be used for more long distance goods transport - which is where rail transport really excels relative to the other options currently available.

I doubt gigabit internet services are necessary for the vast majority of domestic uses but I do think that some modification of library services/budgets* to accommodate more and greater internet accessibility to those who would otherwise be unable to afford it should be considered.

* eg maybe free or discounted internet services of relevant sorts to the unemployed and those still in education. To assess 'relevant sorts' perhaps this would involve a log of sites accessed under the free provision but that's not too intrusive I wouldn't have thought. Incidentally post lockdown this might also offer a whole new lease of life to UK libraries although one assumes their opening hours would have to be changed or extended such that they are available for after school use.

 
PDR
1376768.  Sat Mar 13, 2021 6:46 am Reply with quote

Brock wrote:
There was someone on the Today programme a few days ago who put a very good case for raising NHS pay, but rather undermined it by saying that the Government was wasting money on HS2 - "a very fast road". She clearly hadn't taken the trouble to find out what HS2 actually was, she just knew it was costing a lot of public money.


The main issue here is not understanding the difference between capital spending (investment) and revenue (recurring) spending.

Quote:

When I was younger it was fashionable to say that Trident should be scrapped to pay for this, that and the other. Why do we never hear that now? I'd much rather have a fast railway line than a so-called "deterrent" that we're never going to use.


cf capital vs revenue, but also it reminds me of the people saying that we wasted billions on Y2K preparations which clearly weren't needed because nothing happened. Like many things (eg counter-intelligence effort) you only find out that it worked when you decided not to have it and therefore it didn't.

There are some flags which tend to indicate uninformed opinions - anything prefaced with "it stands to reason that" or including a call to "common sense". Amongst those flags is anything including a known and understood term prefaced with "so-called".

PDR

 
barbados
1376770.  Sat Mar 13, 2021 7:11 am Reply with quote

With regards to the capital investment - if you wish to save the future spend, and waste what has already been spent on HS2, a far higher priority would be to build more schools and hospitals.

 
PDR
1376771.  Sat Mar 13, 2021 7:22 am Reply with quote

Celebaelin wrote:
Whilst access to the internet is a concern and in some cases is already a new kind of self-perpetuating poverty trap the whole anti-HS2 argument as a source of funding seems short-termist. Covid 19 is in many ways already dwindling in significance as more and better vaccine treatment options become available and life will in a relatively short space of time return to something like its usual state of people wanting and/or needing to travel.


That's the big assumption which is now questionable. Many employers (including my own) are now looking to change the whole basis of working, not just for the duration of the pandemic but as a fundamental and enduring change.

Quote:

Modern concerns over energy efficiency in this regard are best answered by rail mass transport solutions


That's been accepted dogma for a long time, but Seba and Dorr are suggesting this may have changed because the requirement is eco-friendliness more than just raw efficiency.

Quote:
and it is this long term infrastructure requirement that HS2 serves


A requirement that may no longer exist.

Quote:

I doubt gigabit internet services are necessary for the vast majority of domestic uses


Id the majority become home-based workers (even only 2-3 days per week) then bandwidth requirements go up drastically so that two or three separate members of the household are able to use decent quality video telecommuting simultaneously. This requires gigabit-class connections (fibre to the house, capable of delivering at least 100Mbaud at peak times).

PDR

 
Leith
1376772.  Sat Mar 13, 2021 7:24 am Reply with quote

barbados wrote:
With regards to the capital investment - if you wish to save the future spend, and waste what has already been spent on HS2, a far higher priority would be to build more schools and hospitals.

Beware the sunk costs fallacy. The amount already spent is irrelevant. All that matters is what value can be gained from the spend still to come, compared against the alternatives.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sunk_cost

 
PDR
1376773.  Sat Mar 13, 2021 7:30 am Reply with quote

barbados wrote:
With regards to the capital investment - if you wish to save the future spend, and waste what has already been spent on HS2, a far higher priority would be to build more schools and hospitals.


Why do we need more schools when the projected child population is in decline. Form the ONS data:

Quote:
Headline facts and figures from the 2020 national pupil projections


The nursery and primary school population has been rising since 2009 but has now plateaued, as the drop in births in 2013 feeds into the main school population, and is projected to drop for the whole projection period to 2030. The drop is steeper than previously projected due to lower births recorded since the end of 2016.
The secondary school population began rising in 2016 and is projected to continue increasing until 2024 before gradually dropping until the end of the projection period. The peak and then fall is primarily due to the lower births seen in 2013 and beyond, which start to reach secondary school age in around 2025.


As for hospitals, well the same argument would obtain (we are already closing the "nightingale hospitals" because they are no longer needed), but these investments are not mutually exclusive.

PDR

 
barbados
1376774.  Sat Mar 13, 2021 7:30 am Reply with quote

PDR wrote:
This requires gigabit-class connections (fibre to the house, capable of delivering at least 100Mbaud at peak times).

PDR

Why would you provide gigabit services, and lokk to throttle the supply?

 
Brock
1376775.  Sat Mar 13, 2021 7:37 am Reply with quote

PDR - you've mentioned Tony Seba and Adam Dorr three times without saying who they are or giving any references. Could you possibly give a link for the uninitiated please?

 
PDR
1376776.  Sat Mar 13, 2021 8:03 am Reply with quote

Brock wrote:
PDR - you've mentioned Tony Seba and Adam Dorr three times without saying who they are or giving any references. Could you possibly give a link for the uninitiated please?


Is typing "Tony Seba and Adam Dorr" into google so hard? I would have thought anyone with an interest in the environment and/or future energy strategy would be familiar with their work. If google is too hard, you could start here, but they really are quite prominent in these fields so shouldn't really need an introduction.

PDR

 
PDR
1376777.  Sat Mar 13, 2021 8:07 am Reply with quote

barbados wrote:
PDR wrote:
This requires gigabit-class connections (fibre to the house, capable of delivering at least 100Mbaud at peak times).

PDR

Why would you provide gigabit services, and lokk to throttle the supply?


I'm not looking to "throttle the supply". I'm just putting some boundaries around the expectation so that the network can be provisioned with suitable capacity. Gigabit connections are of no use if the traffic level on them is such that a given connection only gets 10Mbaud of bandwidth.

Sadly you're now just trolling with silly points, of course.

PDR

 

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