Whinging Telstra shareholders followed Malcolm Turnbull's lead, showing no shame in comparing the government-driven separation of Telstra to authoritarian regimes where citizens have few rights and live in perpetual fear of starvation, torture, imprisonment and death. As hypocritical complaints mount over the latest NBN schedule, one wonders whether we could put some perspective back into the NBN debate — or have anti-NBN crusaders jumped the shark for good?
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.
Telstra's shareholders have voted resoundingly for the NBN Co deal, but the battle isn't over yet. The future of the NBN now hangs in the balance as David Thodey steps eye to eye with ACCC head Rod Sims over Telstra's so-far-inadequate SSU. The structure of the NBN, and of the entire industry, now depends on who blinks first.
Attendees at this week's CommsDay Summit, who represented most of the telecoms industry, were disappointed when Malcolm Turnbull had to pull out at the last minute after being called to Canberra. But as the industry show-and-tell rolled on, it was interesting to see the overall spirit of acceptance and pro-activity that is, in the absence of politics, driving the industry to look towards the future.
Whether you were impressed by the iPhone 4S, or were disappointed that it doesn't have a 5 in its name, there's no question that it will continue the disruption of telcos' mobile data business models. But with research suggesting that running a mobile network could become unprofitable within three years, can carriers change their ways before the iPhone and its ilk chew up our airwaves like locusts buzzing the plains?
Telstra may have agreed not to market its wireless services as competing with the National Broadband Network (NBN), but that doesn't mean that it's beyond letting customers draw their own conclusions.
Sometimes, even the Liberal Party gets what it asks for — in this case, a guarantee that NBN pricing won't match Internode's dizzying heights. But when the party still manages to find a way to complain, it's hard not to wonder whether its anti-NBN financial arguments are so riddled with inconsistencies that they're no longer relevant to the world in which the rest of us live.
Our two major telcos have jumped onto the tablet bandwagon with cheap and uninspiring devices that offer nothing that's new. It's an unimpressive effort in a market that could, if approached more creatively, keep paying customers more engaged, and forge a trail into the new content world. But can Optus and Telstra think far enough outside the box before it's too late?
Optus' recently revealed agreement to talk nicely about the NBN for the next 15 years reinforces the lengths to which NBN Co will go to ensure its network is built in a protective, competition-free bubble. But as ever more-onerous market protections come to light, we have to ask: is NBN Co tilting the field too far in its own favour? And could its caution compromise carriers' return on their LTE investments?
Poised to knock back Telstra's structural separation proposal, the ACCC is rearing its head and seems determined to ensure that the separation is done right. But with the ball now back in Telstra's court, can the company be trusted to negotiate in good faith — or will it simply wait until the NBN implodes under its own weight come next election?
You may have forgotten about her long ago, but Helen Coonan made a surprise appearance to announce the end of her time in Parliament. The NBN, unsurprisingly, got a spray, and the ghosts of OPEL were dredged up yet again. But have the Liberals evolved away from Coonan's wireless obsession? Or are we doomed to repeat the past as technological ignorance continues to pollute the NBN debate?