Alan Jones Confuses Laser Beams With Fibre (UPDATED With Audio)

Radio talkback king Alan Jones has always had a fairly liberal view of the world, but he clearly doesn't have a clue about technology. Andrew Ramadge over at News has picked up that the opinionated personality jumped on the story of German researchers breaking the data transmission record as a way to trash the NBN, despite the fact they use the same technology.

Just to sum up briefly - German researchers transferred 26 Terabits of data a second over 50km using a single piece of optic fibre by transferring data over 325 separate colours (or wavelengths). Current fibre technology only transmits data over a handful of wavelengths, but in both cases, the actual fibre is exactly the same.

Alan Jones, however, picked up on the story and used it to claim that the NBN will be outdated before it's even completed:

"Canberra wants us to believe that the technology we're spending anything up to $60 billion on won't be outdated by the time it's rolled out."

"Of course, they're kidding. But it is government these days in Canberra, and they're always kidding."

While we're still years away from seeing Terabit per second speeds over the NBN, the simple fact is that for it to happen, it will only require an upgrade at either end of the cable. The cable itself - which is the bulk of the expense of the NBN - is future proofed to be able to support the faster speeds.

But of course, that little fact is unlikely to sway Alan Jones' opinion on the network...

UPDATE: Here's the audio:




    and this is the man who willingly signed a copy of the book "Jonestown- Power and Myth of Alan Jones" when handed to him by the guys from The Chaser.

    He is a fool.

    No idea why anyone belives what he says. Can't even say he's bending the truth when in fact it's a straight up lie.

    I called this in the Whitenoise section...

    It's willful ignorance like this that really pisses me off.

    If people like Jones had their way we'd still be chimpanzees.

    he should go back to rugby coaching win-win

    Yep. Too late to complain about it now, folks. The cost of stopping is now (AFAIK) greater than the cost of continuing, so we may as well see it through.

    The fibre itself won't be outdated for a long time and hopefully never will become outdated but by the time that it is completed, the tech that transmit the data may be outdated but this shouldn't be a major problem because they will only need to replace that which will be in exchanges and not the fibre running along the streets and to homes.

      yeah, and this was always known. its not to say that still wouldn't be expensive, but I would imagine it's nothing compared to the actual installation of cable.

      from what I can tell the cable will only become obsolete when they come up with something faster than light...

      the bigger question is how durable the cable is. but I would assume they have been using fibre for the big backbones and international pipes for decades, so I'm sure they'd have a fair idea on that by now.

      Jesus the comments on that article. Makes it look like a lot of people are too scared to try & understand the NBN, so they'll turn around and hate on it.

        You have to realise that website is very liberal orientated, i dont think i have seen one article saying the benefits of the NBN, just all the negativity surrounding it.

    Just sent that idiot an email demanding he correct himself on air. Should be interesting to see if he does.

    If you have 5 minutes, go to the 2GB website > Contact and have your way with him

      He wont... his egos to big to correct himself.

      I have never seen his as a journalist, i see him as a rambling senile old man who thinks that people hang off of his opinions.

    Behold, the man who killed Micallef Tonight.

      I loved that show... pity it only lasted a few episodes.

    The only way to upgrade a fiber network... is with more fiber. its pathetic he doesnt even have the most basic understanding

    and sadly people hang on his every word...

      In fact "very few people hang on his very word". The shock jocks are favourites of our news reporters because they do say outrageous and outrageously stupid things. However the numbers of regular listeners they have is actually quite small, being somewhere in the vicinity of 30,000 on a regular basis. This amounts to a very small hill of beans in a population of about 22 million.

      The real issue here is the fact that mainstream press reports what these idiots say and give them an ephemeral audience far bigger than the would otherwise have.

    Has a news network/Gizmodo tried to get a comment from Alan Jones?

    ... and he, along with many other talkback hosts and panelists (who talk absolute ignoramus jibberish) get paid a fortune i.e. $17M for a couple of un-funny twits.

    When is this idiot going to retire. He sits around and earns 5 million a year for talking crap into a microphone?

    Go play the pokies and shut the hell up. Old idiot.

      i think you answered your own question

    First some history: “Fiber optic technology has been around for some time but it is only recently that it has acquired so much growth so fast.” So said Emmett Ientilucci 18 years ago in a 1993 paper titled ‘Fundamentals of Fiber Optics’. The basis of this was that in 1854 a British physicist discovered that light could be bent around a corner through a curved spout of running water. In this experiment he permitted water to spout from a tube, the light on reaching the limiting surface of air and water was totally reflected and seemed to be washed downwards by the descending liquid. What he had discovered was the idea now known as total internal reflection. It is this idea that is the basis of fibre optics. During the mid-1960s, LASERS were introduced as efficient light sources and in the 1970s the refinement of pure low-loss glass fibres was established. Coherent light as generated from a laser has the wave packets synchronised or in phase. With these developments, fibre-optic transmission became practical and advantageous for many applications.
    Whilst the copper-based broadband services of today are severely limited by the distance of the customer from an ADSL-enabled Telstra exchange and the quality of the copper lines, these limitations are removed with the NBN Co’s proposed FTTP network (albeit only to about 93% of premises). It will also be generally impervious to the elements (but as it happens, not totally impervious to mechanical damage, fire, flood and animals/insects). The design life for optical fibre cables is in the range of 25 to 30 years; in fact, armoured outdoor cable from a reputable manufacturer will carry a guarantee of 25 years.
    When Australia's first domestic synchronous orbit communications satellite was launched by Aussat 26 years ago (1985), it was because of the recognition that Australia's vast landmass and nearby islands could not then be solely serviced by terrestrial communications and television infrastructure. That situation has not changed. Parallel developments to fibre have occurred with communications satellites since 1957 when Sputnik was launched, and communications satellites now have design lives extending to 14 years and beyond, with a typical mean mission duration even for military purposes of 10 years.
    What has changed the landscape though is the concept of communications mobility. Mobile usage has increased exponentially in the last decade and will continue to evolve. There are increasing numbers of mobile-only households and for most consumers mobile access is now regarded as a necessity rather than a premium service. In business, mobility has become the latest frontier for companies seeking greater responsiveness in the face of rising competition and customer expectations. Indeed, a large number of broadband applications are significantly enhanced with mobility. Community sites, search engines, presence applications, GIS data, and content-sharing sites such as YouTube are a few examples. With mobility, these applications become significantly more valuable to users. User-generated content is particularly interesting, because it changes traffic patterns, making the ability to uplink more important than it was formerly.
    The design life of fixed and mobile wireless broadband systems such as LTE (Long Term Evolution) is certainly less than either of the above two technologies – more like about 7 years.
    Turning to the proposed NBN, universal access (ubiquity) is a key feature of a nationwide broadband network, rather than fast bandwidth, which is a given. Hence, a state-of-the-art, ubiquitous nationwide broadband network for a continent like ours clearly needs all three carrier transmission technologies.
    Moving forward, more to the point is that Australia needs to focus back on something it has always been good at - Telecommunications Industry Development. I have seen firsthand in both Japan and Korea that their telecommunications industries are focussed on business development that leverages off the 'first mover' advantage from ultra-high speed NBNs in their countries. For example, their telecommunic-ations equipment and service companies not only produce a huge range of power and communications cables, but also a complete range of all the tools and instruments that are needed by field technicians and engineers. There is a strong focus on R&D, manufacturing quality, and means of achieving optimum productivity in the field (e.g. fibre jointing tools that can be used by workers with low-levels of training, and very low friction house cable that slide easily through small diameter or crowded communications conduits). There is a similar focus on R&D and international standardisation for wireless systems.
    In terms of the much-mentioned 'railways and highways' analogy, the network is not just for communications – it is widely recognised to be a tool for value creation through its facilitation of new business models, including cloud computing/storage and SaaS (Software as a Service). Thus the impetus of the NBN proposal has already - and will create further significant potential for Australian R&D organisations, universities, TAFEs and public/private companies to form partnerships with overseas R&D organisations in such areas as smart grids, digital media, e-health, e-learning and web services. The NBN will also provide the impetus to improve the skills inter alia of SMEs and the general public leading to increased innovation and productivity, and job retntion/creation.

    good to see him flying the (multicoloured) flag for ignorance.

      yeah, but Alan Jones is still a complete planker!

    Those of us with long memories will remember that somebody sent the plot of a Frederick Forsythe novel to Jones in the 1980s saying the USSR had run out of oil.

    Jones broadcast it as fact. You would think a former English Master from Kings School would know that novels are works of fiction.

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now