South Australia's Yorke Peninsula with just 11,780 people spread across 5,834 square kilometres, is known more for its rugged natural beauty than its technological prowess. But now that Internode has brought broadband to the entire peninsula, the area has become a very important part of Australia's telegeography.
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.
A bulletin board troll in the 1980s, David Braue has been online long enough to remember using the text-based Lynx browser to visit www.ibm.com, one of around 100 Web sites available back then. Telecoms has remained an obsession as he developed ever more complicated schemes to stay in touch with family overseas without going broke. After more than a decade covering Australia's ICT industry - and watching our telcos stumble time and again - he's eager to call them to task.
Last week, a family friend rang for some technical help. "Telstra sold me this wireless Internet service and they promised it would work both at my home and at my office," he said. Said home is in the Melbourne CBD, and said office is in Kyneton, a lovely town about an hour away from Melbourne.
The council rubbish truck didn't pick up my bin last week. Instead, the garbage contractor left a big yellow sticker highlighting exactly why my old egg shells, rancid fruit, microwave pizza boxes, an ancient and smelly pair of sneakers, and the odd brick had been left to rot on my property.
Hopefully, you've been spending your end-of-year break better than the executives at Optus, who seem to have taken advantage of the annual industry-wide lull to get onetime WiMax aspirant Austar United Telecommunications to the negotiating table.
It has been a busy year in telecoms, whether because of the increasingly bitter relationship between Telstra and the government; the awarding of the contentious but (finally) progressive broadband contract to OPEL; the pivotal election that led to a change of government; or the move of 3G mobile technology into the mainstream at last.
As Christmas roars in upon us and the Rudds, Trujillos, and Conroys of the world hang their Christmas stockings, everybody is casting an eye to 2008 and the changes it will bring.
As expected, Senator Stephen Conroy -- who made a career out of picking holes in the actions of his predecessor Helen Coonan -- was named to Kevin Rudd's front bench, bearing the interesting new title of Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy (BCDE).
One of the real dangers of election season -- for politicians, at least -- is being held to their word.
Well, here we are. After years of bluster, measured progress and loads of annoyance, Australia's broadband users head to the polls on Saturday with a score to settle.
Tevye, the much loved protagonist of Fiddler on the Roof, was full of wisdom. "A bird may love a fish," he memorably said, "but where would they build a home together?"