Until now it has only been possible to transport images and data using fibre optic networks. Intune has succeeded in making the fibre optic network programmable. This breakthrough innovation allows the possibility of sending, switching and collecting digital data and images in a single optical infrastructure.
(exerpt from the recently published “Technology Actions to Support the Smart Economy” Report)
Anyone who can write something as dumb as this should not be writing a government commissioned report that will be circulated to the EU and OECD with the intention of “attracting foreign direct investment by promoting Ireland as a test location for new Information Communications Technologies (ICT).” This report makes us look like gombeens.
First: a tiny request. When publishing a report on the internet, especially about one about how your country plans to become a internet powerhouse, how about publishing it as a web page? You could even go a bit mad, stick a few hyperlinks into it. God forbid that it’d be easier to access that way.
But my issue isn’t really about the format of the report. The whole “Exemplar Smart Network” idea that is contained within it is terribly flawed.
It is hard not to be dubious about the prospects of one company putting a new whizz-bang new switching framework into our national backbone in order to fix all our “image and data transfer” problems. This is just incredibly foolish and quite a bit silly. Quite why our government are willing to let them play with the nation’s vastly underutilized fibre backbone is really of no practical benefit anyone. Perhaps they have so much spare bandwidth in that network that they can carve a lump off and give it to InTune and nobody will notice.
The “smart network” thing bugs me too. I sincerely hope that InTune are not going to attempt to build anything more than a faster packet switching network that can shunt IP traffic from A to B. There is a principal that the internet pioneers stuck to when designing the Internet Protocol(IP). It’s called The End-To-End Principle. Eamon Ryan and whoever wrote this report should read about it – it basically says “don’t try build smart networks because they are too inflexible for long terms use by different generations of network clients”.
The other huge issue is that even if we had the best/smartest/greenest[?] fibre backbone in the world, all of the network clients in this country won’t be able to transfer the “images and data” at the rates they need to in order to provide value to their users. Why not? Because they won’t have a decent connection into the fibre backbone.
All that fibre in a MAN network with exotic switches supporting even the most exotic protocols won’t do anyone any good if the population cannot get broadband connections from fat local loops into their homes. Period. Forget about trying to build an intelligent network out of unproven technology, even if they are waving “potentially thousands of jobs” in your face.
Invest in the local broadband loops where most of the bandwidth contention occurs instead. You’ll end up creating thousands of job for the very people who need them – surveyors, architects, builders. Implement this as a massive public building (capital investment) project and it pay for itself in spades within a decade.
Oh, and what he said about the rest of the report.