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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

Brock
1376778.  Sat Mar 13, 2021 8:31 am Reply with quote

PDR wrote:
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?


No, it's not. That wasn't my point. It's the way you just assumed that everyone else would know who they are, without any explanation.

Quote:
I would have thought anyone with an interest in the environment and/or future energy strategy would be familiar with their work.


Well I don't have a specialized interest in the environment and/or future energy strategy, I'm just a participant in this forum with a general interest in current affairs. We can't all be specialists in everything.

Quote:
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.


Well I'd never heard of them. Neither of them appears to have a Wikipedia page. I know that Wikipedia isn't the be-all and end-all but it's usually a reasonable guide to a person's level of public recognition.

Apparently they work at a non-profit think tank called RethinkX. I'd never heard of that either, and it's not in Wikipedia either.

I would say they're pretty obscure by most people's standards, and I think it's unreasonable to expect other members of this forum to have heard of them.

 
PDR
1376779.  Sat Mar 13, 2021 8:38 am Reply with quote

Well now you do. EVery day is a school day...

PDR

 
suze
1376780.  Sat Mar 13, 2021 9:34 am Reply with quote

Two slightly tangential points in this post, and the next post will actually say something new.


Brock wrote:
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?


If you spent more time than you do with middle class teenaged girls, you would still hear that argument on a regular basis. Now for sure, it may be that those girls have realised that I am "A bit Guardian", and so they'll talk to me about this when they mightn't talk to a teacher who they think would be unsympathetic. It may be that Jeremy Corbyn brought the idea back into the public consciousness to some extent, after it had been unfashionable for twenty years. But I still hear it.

Personally I have always held that nuclear weapons were a white elephant vanity project. Others disagree on that, but even if there was once a time when they weren't, they absolutely are in 2021.


PDR wrote:
Amongst those flags is anything including a known and understood term prefaced with "so-called".


Disagree.

I'll accept that "so-called" is often used wrongly, but Brock used it entirely correctly.

When the known and understood term was wrong in the first place, then it is entirely appropriate to prefix it with "so-called". Jimmy Carr is a "so-called comedian", because he is not in fact a comedian. "So-called mini exams" are not exams, and so on.

The nuclear deterrent argument is bunkum and always was, and no less of a person than Henry Kissinger by now admits this. (I checked, and Dr Kissinger is 97. So I am not subjecting him to the suze curse on 94 year olds.) Accordingly, to refer to the "so-called deterrent" is entirely proper.

 
suze
1376781.  Sat Mar 13, 2021 9:44 am Reply with quote

PDR wrote:
free gigabit internet connections to every household and business in the kingdom.


However laudable an idea might be, there is no point proposing it if it is impossible to deliver.

As discussed on a number of previous occasions (QI forums, passim), this is a major problem with electric cars. As things stand, it is impossible to build the electrical infrastructure that will be needed for all cars to be electric. Until such time as someone invents an entirely new way of "making" and distributing electricity, which doesn't rely on larger amounts of scarce natural resources than are believed to exist, can't be done.

Does the same issue arise with "free gigabit internet connections to every household and business in the kingdom"? Could we build that today if the money and the labour were immediately to hand? Or does it rely on technology that doesn't exist yet, and/or scarce natural resources which do not exist?

 
barbados
1376784.  Sat Mar 13, 2021 10:05 am Reply with quote

PDR wrote:
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

What you suggested was fttp, to delivery a 100meg connection, that is a huge hammer to crack a very small nut, and you would need to throttle the service to provide that level of service. If you are going to use BTís infrastructure, then consider they offer around 400gbs per channel - where 5 years earlier they could only offer half that, in five years time you will once again have a proportion of the population encountering internet poverty.

On the point of building more schools, that would allow for smaller class sizes. Leading to improved learning outcomes across all subjects. Itís the reason why class sizes were limited as a priority under the last Labour government.
Hospitals are a similar project. The reason why the waiting lists are in the state they are in is in no small part down to a lack of capacity. And to suggest that there is no need to increase capacity because they are closing the specialist Nightingale Field) Hospitals that were implemented with the sole purpose of providing capacity to cope with a specific and urgent need is at the very least disingenuous.

 
Jenny
1376785.  Sat Mar 13, 2021 10:09 am Reply with quote

I've added a poll option if people care to go back to the beginning and cast a vote.

I'm also moving this thread to WFHIT, where I think it is better placed.

 
Celebaelin
1376792.  Sat Mar 13, 2021 11:10 am Reply with quote

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

A requirement that may no longer exist.

Because as is well known no actual people live North of Watford or have any need to travel there and the Frost Giants and Yetis of those regions do not have any demand for foodstuffs and consumer goods from the South or across the channel.

PDR wrote:
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).

Three home-based workers needing to video conference simultaneously? With three incomes I'd think they should either bear the cost of that capacity themselves or, and here's a radical idea, conduct the meetings at or from common places of work with which they are associated.

In truth we're both speculating about the post lockdown landscape; an increase in home working - if it's found to allow sufficient productivity rather than merely making the best of the circumstances as is currently the case - would, one imagines, generate ecological and time-saving dividends but I have no idea what proportion of workers would find home work suited their needs in an otherwise unrestrained working schedule. An informal 'I need a quick word with you when you've got a moment' becomes 'call waiting' etc. etc. carving chunks out of everybody's working day. Much as mooching about at home in sweatpants and a t-shirt with your favourite brand of coffee in your personalised pint mug and a fully stocked kitchen mere yards away is an appealing notion I suspect the numerous distractions will be problematic; at least initially - not to mention the pitfalls of routinely dragging work stresses into the home environment.


Last edited by Celebaelin on Sat Mar 13, 2021 11:24 am; edited 1 time in total

 
barbados
1376794.  Sat Mar 13, 2021 11:20 am Reply with quote

I canít speak for others, but we have 1 office at home, a lot of my day is spent repeating myself because the person I am trying to speak to is struggling to hear me ove my wife on her call, and she has the same experience So while it may be that the capability is there to work from home where required, those that move from the workplace to the home office as a matter of course will ultimately end up less productive as the ability to communicate is diminished.

 
PDR
1376796.  Sat Mar 13, 2021 12:05 pm Reply with quote

suze wrote:

Does the same issue arise with "free gigabit internet connections to every household and business in the kingdom"? Could we build that today if the money and the labour were immediately to hand? Or does it rely on technology that doesn't exist yet, and/or scarce natural resources which do not exist?


No. By and large it already exists. The technology certainly exists, and the investment would only be needed to run the physical fibre and provision a few more server farms. It's nothing special - other countries have done it.

PDR

 
PDR
1376797.  Sat Mar 13, 2021 12:15 pm Reply with quote

barbados wrote:

What you suggested was fttp, to delivery a 100meg connection, that is a huge hammer to crack a very small nut, and you would need to throttle the service to provide that level of service.


No, what I said was a gigabit network which was scales such that the actual performance experienced by the user could average at least 100Mbit even at the peak load times. The only one who ever mentioned throttling was you, because you are trolling in a failed attempt to look clever.

Again.

You need fttp because in anywhere outside urban areas fttc can typically only deliver 5-10Mbit. But again, you undoubtedly already knew this so the only point of your post was to try to stir up trouble.

Again.

Quote:

On the point of building more schools, that would allow for smaller class sizes. Leading to improved learning outcomes across all subjects. Itís the reason why class sizes were limited as a priority under the last Labour government.


And what is it that makes it an either-or choice against decent network provision? In what way is that of any relevance to the subject of the thread?

Quote:
Hospitals are a similar project. The reason why the waiting lists are in the state they are in is in no small part down to a lack of capacity.


And what is it that makes it an either-or choice against decent network provision? In what way is that of any relevance to the subject of the thread?

Well done - that's yet another thread you have wrecked.

PDR

 
barbados
1376798.  Sat Mar 13, 2021 12:36 pm Reply with quote

Quote:
And what is it that makes it an either-or choice against decent network provision? In what way is that of any relevance to the subject of the thread?


You introduced the either / or restriction

PDR wrote:
I'll keep the phrasing neutral to disguise my own views.

So the motion before the house is:

This house proposes that the UK should scrap the pointless HS2 vanity project and use the money saved to provide free gigabit internet connections to every household and business in the kingdom.

PDR


There are a number of infrastructure requirements that are quite frankly more important than both of the options on offer.

 
barbados
1376799.  Sat Mar 13, 2021 12:43 pm Reply with quote

PDR wrote:
Well done - that's yet another thread you have wrecked.

PDR

The thread was wrecked by
1) the introduction of two randoms as a valid source for information
2) your reluctance to actually discuss anything that does not agree with your extremely narrow viewpoint
3) your lack of thought on how your proposed solution will actually work.

 
PDR
1376800.  Sat Mar 13, 2021 12:49 pm Reply with quote

Celebaelin wrote:
PDR wrote:
Quote:
...and it is this long term infrastructure requirement that HS2 serves

A requirement that may no longer exist.

Because as is well known no actual people live North of Watford or have any need to travel there and the Frost Giants and Yetis of those regions do not have any demand for foodstuffs and consumer goods from the South or across the channel.


I'm not singling out the frost giants north of watford - I am suggesting that the need for ALL long distance mass travel will massively reduce. Businesses won't pay for people to physically travel for meetings unless you can show that it's actually necessary. The last year has woken many up to just what a small proportion of cases this actually is.

The goods and foodstuffs argument is a red herring, because such a small proportion of freight actually goes by train. The bottlenecks aren't the lack of HS provision (if you carried lots of freight on the HS services you'd have to throw the passengers off, and the HS services have very few stops which doesn't work for freight). The main bottleneck for freight from across the channel is the channel tunnel itself, and the limitations it imposes on container sizes.

Quote:

Three home-based workers needing to video conference simultaneously? With three incomes I'd think they should either bear the cost of that capacity themselves or, and here's a radical idea, conduct the meetings at or from common places of work with which they are associated.


You seem to be equating the need for video with fatcat salaries - that's bollox! Many people on barely mean wages are in roles that have used video during lockdown. Or need similar bandwidth to vpn into corporate systems. And if you have two kids at university then they will often dominate the requirements. Universities are all buzzing with the term "blended learning" by which they mean "we're going to move the bulk of the course content on-line for better profitability". The "common laces of work" will become fewer as companies look to leverage the lower costbase through smaller premises (lower rent, lower power/light/heat/rates etc etc). But even if you CAN afford it there are huge swathes of the UK where anything more than 3-4Mbit service simply isn't available. Part of the driver behind my proposal is to take this out of the hands of the market and provide it as a basic public service, because that's the only model tat ever seems to be able to deliver universal provision.

Quote:

In truth we're both speculating about the post lockdown landscape; an increase in home working - if it's found to allow sufficient productivity rather than merely making the best of the circumstances as is currently the case - would, one imagines, generate ecological and time-saving dividends but I have no idea what proportion of workers would find home work suited their needs in an otherwise unrestrained working schedule. An informal 'I need a quick word with you when you've got a moment' becomes 'call waiting' etc. etc. carving chunks out of everybody's working day. Much as mooching about at home in sweatpants and a t-shirt with your favourite brand of coffee in your personalised pint mug and a fully stocked kitchen mere yards away is an appealing notion I suspect the numerous distractions will be problematic; at least initially - not to mention the pitfalls of routinely dragging work stresses into the home environment.


Speculating? Perhaps. But I'm speculating based on what I actually see my and other organisations discussing as the shape of the business over the next 5-10 years. There are already two of our smaller sites where people have been told to come and retrieve personal belongings from their desks within 3 weeks because those sites are going to be reconfigured for 100% hot desking at 20% of their current capacity by the end of July. Not as a temporary thing, but as a permanent change of workstyle.

PDR

 
Jenny
1376801.  Sat Mar 13, 2021 1:05 pm Reply with quote

I have to say that I'm not seeing the point of HS2 at the moment, unless it includes the kind of normal maintenance and upgrade requirements of a rail network, because I do think we still need one given that rail removes a large number of trucks from the motorways. If I were the one needing to spend the money, it would go on maintaining and reinforcing existing infrastructure rather than creating new infrastructure.

I do think it's important to roll out internet everywhere - it's essentially become a public utility now, every bit as much as electricity and water.

 
barbados
1376802.  Sat Mar 13, 2021 2:45 pm Reply with quote

The problem is Jenny, that there isn't room to add the extra trains - so new infrastructure is required.
With that in mind - from the Capital to the second City, it does make sense to make it a high speed link.

 

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