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Optus set to take on Telstra in urban areas

Optus has shrugged off soft quarterly results and declared it can challenge Telstra for network supremacy in urban areas, as it prepares for legal mediation with its bitter rival over 4G-standard advertising.

In the Federal Court, Justice Stephen Rares has ordered senior executives from the two major forces of Australia’s telecommunications industry to attend talks on Friday amid a dispute over advertising for superfast 4G services.

The Australian Financial Review revealed in November that Optus, a subsidiary of locally listed Singapore Telecommunications, was attempting to force Telstra to drop its “network without equal” campaign after media testing showed the No. 2 carrier’s network was faster in many locations in the Sydney metro area.

The latest dispute centres on advertising claims Telstra had the only 4G network in Brisbane after Optus has activated the technology in the city.

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“We are committed to matching Telstra in metro network quality and will defend ourselves against misleading claims in advertising,” SingTel’s Australian consumer chief Kevin Russell said.

But the outbreak in hostilities coincided with the third straight decline in quarterly sales for Optus, forcing it to lower its full-year revenue guidance.

Return to ‘Dark Ages’ without NBN

A case of two steps forward and one step back? Shadow Minister for Finance Joe Hockey has stated the NBN will get ‘the chop’ in a federal budget response at the National Press Club last week. Targeting the Government’s budget forecast, the Liberal party plans to return the budget to a surplus by saving an estimated $18 billion that was otherwise designated for the National Broadband Network. However in reply to Joe Hockey’s announcement, Finance Minister Lindsay Tanner said the savings have no direct impact on the budget bottom line as the money would be used as an investment on an asset.

Perhaps the more alarming factor to surface (or lack thereof) from behind Mr Hockey’s speech, was the absence of an NBN alternative. It sounds a lot like the Lib’s are basically committed to scrapping Labor’s whole Digital Education Revolution which includes new high speed broadband, computers, networks and IT programs for schools and of course the entire National Broadband Network project.

It’s one thing to throw around speculative numbers on how the Liberal party can return the economy back into the black by scrapping this and that, but without making any real policy announcements on sound alternatives, suggests uncertainty for effectively mounting a credible case. This leaves significant doubt that the only achievable outcome that a new Liberal Government in power would bring, is a return to the lack lustred innovative and visionary ‘dark ages’ of pre 2007 Governemnt.

Published by Ronnie on May 24, 2010 at 3:41 pm

Australian ISPs discuss if the National Broadband is viable

Australian ISPs BigPond, iiNet and Internode discuss whether the National Broadband Numbers stack up.

via ZDNet Australia.

Leighton wins Tasmanian NBN broadband backbone project

Once complete, the Tasmanian leg of the NBN rollout will deliver wholesale-only, open access broadband network services. The fibre to the home network will deliver speeds of 100 megabits per second to 200,000 Tasmanian households and businesses. The remainder of premises will be served by next generation wireless or satellite services, offering speeds of 12 megabits per second or more.

First services from the Tasmanian leg of the NBN are expected to be switched on by mid-2010.

via The Australian.

Telstra’s FTTN bid safe as houses

The federal government has finally announced the release of the ‘Request for Proposals’ (RFP) to build the new high speed National Broadband Network. Up to $4.7 billion has been granted by the government to the successful bidder to build a network which must deliver broadband speeds of 12Mbit to at least 98% of Australian premises.

Analysts are predicting that Telstra will win the bidding proposal due to the ease it would have of rolling out (of should I say updating) a network. Considering the amount of infrastructure that it already owns, along with their extensive knowledge of the networks already in place, it appears that Telstra’s chances of winning the National Broadband Network project to be extremely high. Strengthening this theory is the numerous handicaps that Telstra’s competitors will face.

Lodgements for proposals close on July 25.

On obstacles facing Telstra’s competitors…
“In using network information, proponents acknowledge that they do so at their own risk and acknowledge that neither the Commonwealth nor carriers who have provided the Network Information bear any liability in relation to their use of the data.”

Then there is simply the limited time they have to access, digest the information and incorporate it in their plans: they will gain access to the information in May and June and the closing date for response to the RFP is 25 July.

Pro’s for Telstra…
In contrast, not only does Telstra have total access to this information in ways that should be well integrated with its other information systems, it is intimately familiar with it and, as it has repeatedly boasted, has already done all the planning and could start rolling out the network at the drop of a hat.

Government invites National Broadband Network proposals: Media Release
National Broadband Network Request for submissions on regulatory issues: Media Release

Have your say on new Broadband Network

Got an opinion on the forthcoming new Broadband national network for Australia? The federal Government is giving the Australian public two weeks to have their say on plans for the new $4.7 billion Broadband Network.

Communications Minister ‘Stephen Conroy’ stated that the government values any input from individuals and organisations toward the panel for their consideration for the new network. So if you have some insight that you think might be valuable, you have until March 30th to lodge your submission.

“I am sure there are a number of individuals and organisations that are interested in the Australian broadband market and that will be able to provide informed submissions to aid in the panel’s consideration of the issues.

“The Government values their input to this very important process, which will secure Australia’s digital future for many years to come,” Senator Conroy said.

Read the entire ‘Broadband network seeks public input’ article at

FTTN ‘contemplation’ almost over?

One way or another, the time of deliberation and contemplating a new Australian FTTN network is almost over. Days have turned into months, political parties have changed office, and months will soon turn into years unless something is done shortly. We are still yet to see any real advancement toward obtaining a network tender, and although we’re not expecting a final decision to be made anytime soon, it’s appearing that something may give way shortly.

More importantly, is the need for major change and solutions to problems that indirectly affect a new network before it’s even built.  These issues could appear in the form of endless litigation threats, anti competitive tactics & poor regulatory arbitration that bog down courtrooms, drive prices sky high and hinder the path of progress.

Stephen Conroy and the Rudd government have a potential major issue on their hands other than the huge costs and development behind producing a new national Broadband network. They have an issue facing them that could severely hamper the blueprint for a prosperous future in Australia’s Communications & Technology industry, and this resides with who wins the tender rights to build the new network.

If it’s not Telstra, then be prepared for all hell to break loose, especially if the government hasn’t taken appropriate measures to keep the lion on it’s leash. A new national Broadband network may be closer than we know? Then again who knows, we might see agenda for structural separation appear before we witness a new Australian Broadband Network?

He should then sit down, brew a pot of peppermint tea and redraw his policy objectives to give himself, and all Australians, the best chance of success. Something bold and radical needs to be done in the telecoms sector.

Telstra has the best information and its rivals want it released so they can compete fairly for the Government’s money. Conroy needs to rule on this.

Some have suggested the issue is so important the Government should seize control of pricing and access in order to break the nexus of the arbitrate-debate-litigate model that has not got the industry very far for 10 years.

Read the whole ‘FTTN decision can’t be rushed’ article at

TransACT acquire Neighbourhood Cable

In a takeover that could effectively provide 200,000 households with telecommunication bundling services that include home phone, mobile phone, TV and Broadband Internet products, the purchase of Neighbourhood Cable by TransACT will also position themselves prominently within the Government’s National Broadband initiative.

TransACT Communications has announced it will acquire the Victorian company, Neighbourhood Cable, from 1 January 2008. The acquisition comes after a period of continuing growth by both companies and positions the enlarged entity as the second strongest telecommunications service provider in four of the top 30 population centres in Australia.

“Importantly, the acquisition positions us well to actively contribute to the Federal Government’s national broadband agenda as both companies have extensive telecommunications infrastructure in their regions.”

Read the entire announcement at

Meet Australia’s new Communications Minister

Just like Australia has a new political party in power, we also have a new Communications Minister. Senator Stephen Conroy has been appointed Australia’s new Communications Minister under Kevin Rudd’s Cabinet lineup. Perhaps Senator Conroy’s most important task as the new Minister will be overseeing the development of the Federal Government’s new national fibre-to-the-node Broadband network. One thing is for certain, Mr Conroy will also need a suit of Armour to keep telco giant ‘Telstra’ in check along with the arduous task of building a new Broadband network for Australians.

Australia now has a minister for broadband, under Kevin Rudd’s new cabinet lineup. Senator Stephen Conroy will be the minister for broadband, communications and digital economy.

Given that a central part of conservative political theory is light-touch, non-interventionist government and letting the free market operate, it speaks volumes that the former conservative government thought it so important to strongly regulate Telstra.

Read the entired article at

Coonan lies over WiMax speeds says Conroy

In an Election ’07 debate held last week on the Sky channel, both major Political Parties went head to head over Australia’s Telecommunication issues, namely Broadband. Labor Communication’s spokesman ‘Stephen Conroy’ accused Coalition Communication’s Minister ‘Helen Coonan’ of not only lying, but rewriting the laws of physics.

Although there are no official regulations and reports that support or condem these figures, it appears that most WiMax enthusiasts tend to agree that Coonan’s WiMax Speeds figures fall way short of actual speeds attainable, unless we’re living in a ‘perfect world’.

“There are so many things that are technically wrong with what Helen has just said. Internode is not suggesting that it can get 12Mbps at 25km. That is just a lie. Internode can’t get 12Mbps to 20km. The Minister continues to rewrite the laws of physics,” he said.

“If she was a business, Graham Samuel [head of the ACCC] would fine her for false and misleading advertising. He requires Internode, he requires every wireless provider to use the words ‘up to’ 12Mbps,” continued Conroy

Unfortunately for Coonan, and for rural Australians, we’re still far from a perfect world.

Read the entire article at

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