Wired or Wireless, Whats the Difference

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Wired or Wireless,
What’s the Difference?
An analysis of the costs (not what you pay) for wired
and wireless data communications infrastructure.
Local government Association of Tasmania

The main difference between a wired and                       network choice. In addition to the number of devices
wireless data communication infrastructure is the             adding processing cost propagation can also cause
existence of physical cabling. The same, or similar           problems (such as Delay Distortion and the amplification
techniques are employed for both types of data                of jitter) or insufficient propagation causing attenuation.
communication infrastructure in terms of the core             Reliability
elements of essential network services.                       For an organisation that needs to develop a network
When planning a data communication infrastructure, the        for operation in an environment that had a high degree
network developer must consider:                              of reliance on the quality and reliability of the data
• Existing infrastructure (compatibility/interoperability);   traversing the network. This requirement means that a
                                                              data communication infrastructure must employ some
• The requirements of the network in terms of the             reliable means of data correction and error control.
  distance that the network will traverse;                    Reliability can also imply the ability of the data to reach
• Reliability requirements of the data whilst traversing      its intended destination. Error detection can be achieved
  the network;                                                through the application of Cyclic Redundancy Checksum
                                                              which, typically adds 16 bits of error detection code to a
• The type(s) of data that will be transmitted on the
                                                              block of data, thus increasing the network traffic.
                                                              Data Type(s)
• Future growth of the organisation and its
  requirements;                                               According to Cisco Systems, “Cisco Networking
                                                              Academy Program: Second Year Companion Guide,
• The geographical terrain that the network must
                                                              2nd Edition”, 2001 Chapter 17 p87, alternatives to
                                                              the approach for error correction in link and network-
• The data speed requirements of the network;                 level error-control are required, should an organisation
• The security requirements of the data whilst                require the transmission of real-time or digital
  traversing the network;                                     video. This, compared with the requirements for
                                                              organisations that have no such standards, represents
• Maintenance requirements;
                                                              additional processing needs for differing types of data
• Influencing factors (such as atmospheric and man-           communication.
  made interference); and
• Budgetary constraints.
                                                              Organisations must consider the size of their current
Existing Infrastructure                                       networking requirements and the potential for growth
The choice of a wired or wireless infrastructure in           in their environment. In the main, this means that the
this case, must consider the availability of suitably         type of data communication infrastructure needs to
compatible equipment to bridge between architectures.         incorporate the ability to expand within the projected
In either a wired or wireless data communication              growth constraints of the organisation.
infrastructure, bridging adds at least another node for       Terrain Traversal
the network to traverse that will have an impact on the
                                                              If an organisation’s network must span multiple
overall network speed.
                                                              buildings, the designer must consider the means of
Distance                                                      connecting the buildings, issues such as the ownership
The distance that the network will traverse and the type      of intervening property for cabling, any intervening
of network infrastructure chosen will affect the way that     structures that may block microwave transmissions or,
the network developer approaches the consideration            for more geographically dispersed systems, the cost and
of signal attenuation and will affect the range of            benefit of satellite communication.
infrastructure choices available to the network developer.    In addition to the points that have been covered in this
Where data must be regenerated as a result of the             analysis, other elements must be considered in terms of
distance that it must travel, or where the data must be       the development of data communication infrastructure
amplified in order to traverse the distance, additional       such as speed, security, maintenance, atmospheric and
processing time must be considered as a cost of the           man-made interference, and budgetary constraints.

70         LGAT News March 2007

                                    Broadband Internet:
                       a Priority for Local Government
A much greater role for Local Government in                               operators will look after areas that are not on the top
helping provide broadband Internet services is                            rung for commercial opportunities.
predicted in a new report on the “state of play” in                       The benefits of enhanced telecommunications are
Australia’s 64 Local Government areas.                                    numerous. Better telecommunications can enhance
The 158-page State of the Regions 2006-07 report,                         regional competitiveness by providing the infrastructure
released in November 2006, and commissioned by                            to attract knowledge-based businesses to the regions
the Australian Local Government Association from top                      and create opportunities for new knowledge-based
research body, National Economics, points to a growing                    enterprises. Modern communications technology can
trend in recent years by Local Government to become                       also enable businesses to compete more effectively in
active in providing broadband backbone infrastructure.                    the marketplace where they can employ techniques to
These initiatives are often undertaken with assistance                    supply products on demand.
from the Federal Government.
                                                                          Among the many other benefits is on-line learning.
Australia is currently at the bottom of international                     Given the growing trend for people to change their
rankings for broadband Internet penetration in developed
                                                                          careers every 10 years, lifelong learning strategies have
countries, but our take-up rate is growing rapidly. This
                                                                          become increasingly relevant to both individuals and
view is reinforced by a report from the OECD, which
                                                                          business. On-line-based education and training also
has singled out Australia as an example of a country
                                                                          provides employment opportunities for regional-based
connecting to broadband at a very high rate. We are one
of just eight countries that have added more than six                     educators both in Australia and overseas.
subscribers per 100 inhabitants in the past year.                         To view the State of Regions Report go to
The State of the Regions report advocates greater                         www.alga.asn.au/sor/2006/. Full details of the
activity by Local Government in these areas, saying that                  average download speeds in Local Government
without its efforts, it is highly unlikely that commercial                regions starts at page 126 in the report.

   Features include:                                   Things you need to know:
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   148 Elizabeth St, Launceston                                                                         37 Tasma St, North Hobart
     Ph. 6334 4800                            www.totaltas.com.au                                        Ph. 6230 1010
                                                                                             March 2007 LGAT News                    71
business and finance

Understanding Council’s
Financial Future

Deteriorating assets and insufficient funds                  • Assisting in the annual budget process to ensure
to meet competing needs is a situation faced                   that the intended short-term financial strategies
by the vast majority of councils in Australia.                 are consistent with the long-term strategic financial
Understanding the longer-term implications of                  direction of council;
a council’s financial decisions and strategies has           • As a strategic planning tool to assess the financial
always been a complicated matter and not easily                implications of strategic initiatives and consider
explained to councillors and the community.                    alternative financial strategies;
KPMG has worked extensively with Local Government            • Setting long term financial strategy policies that are
in Tasmania over the last decade and, more recently,           both realistic and attainable; and
with councils in New South Wales, to develop 5-10 year
                                                             • As a teaching and reinforcement tool for both
financial strategy plans. These high level plans provide
                                                               management and councillors, to ensure that the
councillors and management with a longer-term focus
                                                               implications of council decisions on the available
that extends beyond the annual budget cycle.
                                                               funds and equity are understood.
The development of financial strategies has been
                                                             The Financial Strategy Model has assisted many
facilitated through the use of KPMG’s Financial Strategy
                                                             councils throughout Tasmania in the past, to set
Model, a purpose-built Excel based tool that models
                                                             strategic financial policies and understand the
the short and long term impacts of different policies
                                                             implications of their decisions. The model has recently
through the manipulation of key financial variables,
                                                             been redeveloped to include additional functionalities
including rate and grant increases, expenditure trends
                                                             and to enhance its user-friendliness.
and asset renewal and replacement requirements.
                                                             For further information, contact David
The Financial Strategy Model is an interactive model
                                                             Richardson at KPMG on (03) 6230 4000.
and assists councils as follows:
• To be accountable for council’s funds as well as
  understanding the overall position of the council;

PricewaterhouseCoopers Study into
Local Government Sustainability
A report into Local Government funding by                    The report says the backlog in infrastructure renewal
PricewaterhouseCoopers has found that 10-30                  has resulted from the growing gap in many councils
per cent of councils have significant sustainability         between their revenue base and the funding required to
issues and that there is an estimated $14.5b                 deliver a broader range of services, as well as maintain
backlog in infrastructure renewal work.                      and renew the infrastructure which supports these
                                                             services. It says the problems facing councils are rising
The study commissioned by the Australian Local
                                                             community expectations, expanding scope of services,
Government Association (ALGA) recommends the
                                                             constrained revenue opportunities, operating deficits,
establishment by the Australian Government of a $250m
                                                             deferral of renewals, and infrastructure backlogs.
local community infrastructure renewals fund.
                                                             The report calls for the Federal and State Governments
ALGA President, Cr. Paul Bell said, Local Government is
                                                             to provide greater support to help local councils with
responsible for around $13b in community infrastructure,
                                                             sustainability challenges, to better meet the needs of
much of which was established in the 1950s or earlier
                                                             their communities. It showed that Local Governments
and is reaching its use-by date. “This community
                                                             needed to be put on a firmer financial footing, otherwise
infrastructure is at the very heart of local towns and
                                                             councils would be forced to cut services and the
communities and includes libraries, ovals, walking tracks,
                                                             provision of community facilities.
community centres, public halls, senior citizens’ centres,
swimming pools and playgrounds.”                                                                   Continued Page 74

72         LGAT News March 2007
business and finance

March 2007 LGAT News   73
business and finance

     From Page 72                                                     the pursuit of further internal efficiency reforms and

“Local Government is playing its part with internal                   changes to intergovernmental funding.
reforms through amalgamations, outsourcing of non-                    Cr Bell said the Financial Assistance Grants received
core operations, shared services between councils, and                from the Federal Government were simply inadequate,
improved capacity to raise revenue through services,”                 adjusted annually through CPI and population measures,
Cr. Bell said. “While more can be done to achieve                     while actual costs were rising at CPI plus 2-3%. “It
greater cost efficiencies, this will not be enough to
                                                                      is time Local Government gets a fair share of funding
balance the books of many councils, which are caught
                                                                      through direct taxation revenue. Unlike the State
in a cost versus revenue squeeze which is not of their
own making.”                                                          Government, Local Government does not have access to
                                                                      a growth tax such as the GST.”
PricewaterhouseCoopers recommend a twin-track
approach for improving financial sustainability through               The report is available from www.alga.asn.au.

Tasmanianjobs.com: Providing
Recruitment Solutions for
Northern Tasmania
The World Wide Web is now the most widely
used medium for job seekers to search for
employment opportunities. Advertising online,
is a simple, cost-effective way to advertise
employment opportunities to individuals seeking                       150 job seekers that have registered with tasmanianjobs.
work in Tasmania.                                                     com, are either from interstate or overseas and are
                                                                      actively seeking to relocate to Tasmania. This is a supply
Tasmanianjobs.com, providing the state’s only Internet
                                                                      of skilled and general labour that Tasmanian businesses
based advertising site, which offers employment
                                                                      cannot afford to ignore”.
advertising solutions for northern businesses and job
seekers, recently opened its office on the corner of                  “Unfortunately, we, as Tasmanian businesses and
George and Cameron Streets in Launceston. Since the                   employers are finding ourselves in a scenario in which
website was launched in February last year, the business              we are competing for skilled labour. The ability to bring
has established a strong foothold in the employment                   someone to Tasmania who actively wants to relocate
advertising market, attracting job seekers from within                here, allows tasmanianjobs.com to expand the service to
Tasmania, interstate and overseas to register as looking              the northern Tasmanian market at a greater level, and not
for work in Tasmania.                                                 at the expense of another local business,” Ms Taylor said.
Hayley Cook, Business Development Executive for                       In addition to gaining employment, the website offers
Northern Tasmania, is looking forward to helping the                  resources and information on relocation and services for
business sector to attract and find staff to ensure their on-         job seekers from interstate and even overseas.
going success and prosperity.                                         For further information please contact Lisa Taylor
Lisa Taylor, Principal of tasmanianjobs.com said, “Over               on 0400 190 964.

      When you need to engage professional, timely and objective statistical consultancy services, first consider the range of
     services available from the Australian Bureau of Statistics. The ABS Hobart Office has a team of consultants available to
     answer all your information and statistical enquiries on a fee for service basis. To discuss your information needs contact
                          the ABS Client services area on 03 62 225812 or email scott.calver@abs.gov.au

        “Local Government and ABS”                                   Go to www.abs.gov.au, select News and Media, then
         An electronic newsletter for councils                        ABS Newsletters, then Local Government and ABS

74           LGAT News March 2007
business and finance

March 2007 LGAT News   75

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