When I heard last week that global carrier AT&T had signed up local telco People Telecom to provide wholesale co-location and domestic voice services, I wasn't surprised.
It probably wasn't too hard to organise meetings between the two given that AT&T has offices in People Telecom's North Sydney building. Kind of a drop-in, friendly neighbour sort of thing?
|People Telecom's HQ|
Some competitors in the telecomms equipment sector are close enough to drop by to compare prices and crow over deals they've beaten each other to. For example, networking vendor 3Com's headquarters is just across the road from the People Telecom building, and around the corner sits Cisco's tower.
It strikes me that the more people I meet from the Australian telecomms scene, the more it feels like a small pond. Perhaps the industry could take its propensity for proximity a step or two further and use it to tackle some of its thornier disputes.
For example, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission and Telstra could take a joint lease out and share one of the larger buildings in downtown Sydney. Graeme Samuel and Sol Trujillo could thrash out a new competition regime over a coffee in the foyer.
Then again, I guess, you wouldn't want them all going to the same pub on a Friday night. Could be rough.