Sunday, April 21, 2013

My premise: Australia’s NBN shouldn’t mangle the English language

I’m totally enjoying being a pedantic old grump. It’s one of the privileges of getting on in years, one of the joys of dotage.

At out home we’ve been really enjoying having the Optus Cable service for more than a decade now, and for the past year or two their highest offering of 100 Mbps download speeds (as well as a 1 terabyte download quota). I measure the cable speeds every day, and even though HFC is a shared service my tests show that it only drops as low as 30-40 Mbps on weekends and other similar busy times.

So it performs as promised, good work Optus. However I’d prefer it if they offered upload speeds higher than the nominal 2 Mbps (never better than about 1.5 Mbps in practice). The DOCSIS 3.0 standard does support faster speeds, though our National Broadband Network (NBN) being rolled out nation wide I don’t reckon that Optus will ever offer such higher HFC speeds.

So to get even better speeds I’m very much looking forward to the NBN. Unfortunately it’s a huge project expected to take the best part of a decade to roll out, and it was greatly hampered during the first year or two by the “moving target” syndrome (unexpected changes in regulations about the number of Points of Presence, drawn-out negotiations with Telstra, and so on).

I like just about everything that the NBNCo has done so far (and sincerely hope that the 2013 Australian federal election coming in mid-September don’t’ see a change of government and a much inferior NBN result from the new government’s limited vision).

However THERE’’S ONE THING THAT THE NBN DOES ALL THE TIME THAT I DON’T APPRECIATE AT ALL and it’s my pet hate. Their chief spokesperson,  CEO Mike Quigley, uses the term “premise” far too much when he should actually be referring to “premises” – and irritatingly keeps on doing so!

Unfortunately it seems to be spreading throughout NBNCo like an infectious disease (perhaps they’re afraid to correct the boss).

Here’s the latest example, from several days ago, A Report to the Australian Parliamentary Joint Committee on the NBN.

Just one example, a chart showing an estimated price on each “premise” passed. Dollars per “premise” – how slack:


The Australian federal opposition party hasn’t yet picked up on this litany of misused terminology, they would surely use it as another way to criticize NBNCo if they did, wouldn’t they?

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