Like the protagonist of Hemingway's "Old Man and the Sea", Stephen Conroy has finally reeled in his biggest catch ever after an epic battle. But has he tamed Australia's largest telco at last, or will a cashed-up and liberated Telstra simply regroup, biding its time until it can come back stronger than ever?
A view from the trenches of Australian telecommunications. As the name implies, it’s a two-way conversation and we ask you not to pull any punches ... we won’t.
Australia’s first-world economy relies on first-rate IT and telecommunications innovation. David Braue, an award-winning IT journalist and former Macworld editor, covers its challenges, successes and lessons learned as it uses ICT to assert its leadership in the developing Asia-Pacific region – and strengthen its reputation on the world stage.
Labor seems bent on an ever-more-stunning array of policies that are all but sure to lose the election this year — and compromise everything Rudd and Conroy have worked towards. Will their proposal to track and log Australians' every move lose the election — or has bad policy already lost it for them?
Telstra's half-ownership of Foxtel has long been a contentious issue — but its destructive effect on Foxtel's more-open pay-TV vision has rarely been clearer than in the telco's attempts to lock Foxtel to its own delivery network. In an era where improving telecommunications mean such close relationships are no longer necessary, such a deal would let Telstra create unnecessary obstacles to the realisation of the industry's triple-play vision.
Stephen Conroy hasn't been making many friends lately, what with his attacks on Google and his false claims of filter support from iiNet. But have poor communications with industry and even the PM made our communications minister an ironic liability to his own party? Or is it the party itself simply showing its internal systematic failures for the world to see?
Telcos' reputations for customer service came to a head in April, when ACMA announced a formal inquiry into the industry's ailing standards. But recent experiences with Telstra and Optus suggest they may finally be lifting their game — thanks to their warm embrace of social media.
Telcos are clamouring for clarity around plans for next-generation wireless spectrum, but Stephen Conroy has been so distracted lately that enabling the NBN's 4 per cent seems to be on the back burner. The right approach could kill two birds with one stone — and keep Australia from missing yet another broadband boat.
For a government that's theoretically meant to be technology-agnostic, it was a big step to explicitly declare Telstra's Next G wireless network good enough that no further funding would flow to the company's potential competitors. Does this concession on the government's part signify it may be reaching a compromise in its long-running negotiations with Telstra?
No matter how many times it happens, it's still amazing to see how consistently and effectively politicians seem capable of putting their feet in their mouths. Yet in demonstrating their aversion to forward-looking ICT policies, the Liberals are not only proving their knee-jerk policy-making — but effectively threatening to hand the reins of Australia's telecommunications industry back to Telstra.
Questions over the pricing of NBN services were answered in part, as Exetel revealed an innovative pricing model that will save money for light internet users and price bandwidth hogs off of its services. Underneath that pricing, however, are some important lessons about the prices at which NBN Co can deliver its fibre services — injecting some reality into long-running speculation over future NBN pricing.
Stephen Conroy must have been biting his tongue hard since receiving the NBN implementation study two months ago. Here he was, sitting on good news, while having to endure a constant barrage of criticism from every quarter. But now that the report is out, and supports the NBN, an emboldened Conroy has gained a new legitimacy. Can the NBN save Labor?