Telstra and G9 square up for real fibre fight

Telstra and G9 square up for real fibre fight

Summary: The phony war is over, the real battle is now on -- the government's expert taskforce has published its full list of guidelines that would-be bidders for Australia's urban high speed broadband network will need to abide by.


The phony war is over, the real battle is now on -- the government's expert taskforce has published its full list of guidelines that would-be bidders for Australia's urban high speed broadband network will need to abide by.

The bidders, expected to include the Optus led G9 consortium and Telstra, have until 15 February to submit tenders for the network. Once the proposals are returned, they will be subject to public review and may be presented to a public forum at a later date, the taskforce said.

While the Department of Communications, Information Technology and the Arts (DCITA) has not mandated which technology is to be used, Telstra and G9 are expected to submit proposals based around fibre-to-the-node (FTTN).

Deutsche Telekom has also expressed interest in building the network but, in a recent submission to the taskforce, suggested that the time limit given for submitting a proposal is too short to allow it to get involved.

According to the guidelines, the network should improve speeds, pricing and geographical availability of high-speed broadband across urban Australia. The network must also be open access, according to the guidelines, and promote competition.

Unlike the recent bush WiMax network, which attracted AU$1 billion of government funding, no public cash will be provided for the metropolitan network. However, the Coalition has committed to passing legislation or making any regulatory changes considered necessary to the creation of the network.

Topics: Government, Broadband, Government AU, Telcos, Optus, Telstra

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  • Success or Failure.

    It is time for all interested persons to face reality and realize that the only Company with the resources (financial and technological) to quickly complete a roll-out of the Fast Fibre Broadband for Australia is Telstra.

    Is is to hoped that Opel will reconsider its proposed investment as recently described, and while it would be difficult for Opel to reject the one billion dollar gift from the Howard Government, they should understand that to proceed may create the biggest financial disaster in the history of Australia.

    The recent complaints (mostly unfounded) of the superior Telstra Next-G system should indicate to Opel the horrors that await them with their roll-out and subsequent rejection of their network. Also to be taken into consideration, is Senator Conroy's warning that no financial bailout will be available from his Government should Opel become involved in cost over-runs or system failures.

    It would appear that Mr. Howard will be dismissed from Office because the Australian people reject his IR laws and his disgraceful decision not to supply the Fast Broadband demanded by the Australian people, and Senator Coonan must accept a large proportion of the blame for the present situation.
  • Affordable or Unaffordable

    Most people agree that Te$tra should be the last company chosen to build another network.

    All Telstra's products are over priced and poor value. Who cares if the quality is the best in the world when nobody can afford to use it the way we want.
    Its fair to say Telstra inhibits broadband use and growth in Australia.

    We need a company who can build a broadband network and then offer prices around $40 - 50 not $80+
    This network should also allow not just high speeds but also decent data allowances of at least 20 GB.

    Lets stop allowing Telstra to play games with broadband (e.g. installing ADSL2 in most exchanges but restricting to ADSL version 1) and give another private company a chance.

    Let any company but Telstra build another network because Telstra has already ripping everyone off for too long
  • Logical or Illogical

    There is no other industry in Australia that is being told that only one company can produce a service and force everyone else to buy from them.

    It is understandable with legacy technology and infrastructure that companies are not willing to invest to refresh or grow the services; unfortunately this includes the copper infrastructure that was once owned by the taxpayer but was sold off and is now Telstraâ??s responsibility.

    What doesnâ??t make sense is saying only one company can build a certain technology in this country. Allow Telstra, Opel, G9 and others build whatever they deem most suitable (FTTN, FTTH, wireless, 2 cups and some string) with their own money and price it according to market forces. This will shut everyone up about who can and canâ??t build the networks, consumers will decide who succeeds.

    In the bush the government will need to step in and provide subsidies but they shouldnâ??t be subsidising the network build they should be subsidising individual services only when a rural user is using a service.

    Upgrading ADSL across Australia shows Telstra is willing to invest in the country, not turning it on shows they want a decent return for their investment. I would refuse to sell a product if it meant I lost money, either directly or indirectly.

    I wish all of you contributors will remove your emotional garbage and focus on cold hard facts. Yes Telstra has had many problems in the past when stuck in limbo as a government owned company but now they have admitted they have had problems & are trying to fix their service, profile and products and that is admirable to say the least.

    As an IT professional who has had many companies knocking on my door to switch suppliers I am more then happy with the current service levels. Although my Telstra bill may be a little higher then if I used another supplier there are many other benefits I receive that contribute to my companyâ??s bottom line that other companies have simply not invested in developing. When someone knocks on my door and offers a truly equal service for $1 less I will consider switching sides.
  • No to Telstra

    My opinion is that Telstra should be the last company chosen to build another network. This is because they will
    create a monolpoly. Their wholesale organisation will charge more for access to the network than Telstra
    retail to kill off competitors, at the same time sooking to the ACCC about unfair competition. Ask any ISP in Australia how they feel about Telstra to veify these opinions.
  • Not exclusive Telstra territory

    Any company that is allowed to build a network where the government restricts competition is a monopoly.

    Of course if you ask any ISP to comment about Telstra they will provide negative feedbacks, would you ever see Holden praising a Ford design?

    What is the purpose of your comment? To provide more negative comments based on emotion instead of fact?
  • Not exclusive Telstra territory -

    Holden and Ford are not forced to rely on each other for business because of a stupid decision our governement made.

    Just for your information, because you are ignoring the fact that there are many ISP's that are 100% reliant on the copper to the home which has been sold off to Telstra by the government. For this reason the ACCC has forced them to provide wholesale DSL to ISP's.

    So the way Telstra deal with this is to charge more for wholesale services than their bigpond retail. This is still the case today, fact, not emotion.

    Obviously you are one of those people who think this is fair competition and exhibits a level playing field.

    To me it demonstrates how Telstra are prepared to operate, now and in the future.

    The purpose of my comment is to expose that this is how Telstra continue to operate.
  • Why Telstra

    Real competition means everyone is on level ground doing their best to achive results for the customer. If companies want to put in their own infrastructure then they do. If they feel it is better for them to use another companies infrastructure then they should pay accordingly. That to me is fair and equal. Making a company put the infrastructure in and then telling them they must share with its competitors is not fair! Sure lets save room for the other companies who are trying to jump on the broadband wagon but lets be frank only Telstra has what it takes to do the job properly because they already have the resources and the proven track record the competition don't. If the ACCC and the government hadn't hobbled the "Great Broadband Debate" then Telstra would already be well on the way to providing all of Australia with high speed broadband. They have already achieved the biggest wirless network in the world. Now they have developed the Next IP nation wide network. Always looking forward never going backwards. I'll stick with them thanks.
  • Address your points

    1. Yes Holden do not rely on Ford to make their product because although Holden was the first mass market car manufacturer they were not forced to supply parts to Ford. I admit we are not comparing exact services but it is a simple example.

    2. The government never sold the copper to Telstra, they always owned the copper. The government sold the company and all assets at a value based on actual costs to shareholders. This means shareholders paid market rates for the copper and they expect a return for this investment.

    2. The ACCC is not forcing them to provide wholesale DSL to ISP's. They are forcing them to provide copper wholesale copper to the ISP's, the DSL is a different wholesale product that can be installed into any exchange by any ISP but all of the ISP's have decided to focus on under 500 profitable metro exchanges to install their own DSL infrastructure and buy wholesale DSL at the other 2000 exchanges.

    3. The ACCC would take action against Telstra if they were selling wholesale services at a higher price then retail. This did occur once several years ago and the ACCC took action, since then nothing!!!

    4. Yes I am one of those people who thinks a reasonable return to shareholders is fair, if Telstra was truly ripping off all of these other companies why are they not running their own cabling or installing their own equipment in more then just the high density locations. Telstra is expected to provide services at a flat cost nation wide and do not have a choice of only chasing the low hanging fruit.

    5. The purpose of my reply is to expose how every disagreement has two sides, no one side may be completely correct but without providing multiple opinions we may as well be living in a communist state.
  • Re:why Telstra?

    Unless you happen to live in a large city your only option for BB is via exorbitantly priced/restricted wireless or via Telstra controlled copper. So if you chose an alternate, reasonably priced provider your chances of a reliable service remains dependent on a company with no interest in maintaining your connection. (Du vill switch to B. Puddle!)
    As usual,@*&%$#@%%^ Telsta has stuffed up our ADSL connection at the local exchange once again & until I can get them off their fat arses to investigate, I'm back on dial-up for the past 5 days with an average download rate of around 10-15 minutes/MB.
    Guess it's time to either shoot that useless Sol T/Howard fat cats mob or move to
    Korea/Mexico/Uganda for a decent/affordable broadband service.
    Customer servicefrom Telstra? Not while they can make millions ripping you off.
  • Why Not Telstra?

    Grump, you made a choice to use another ISP and because of this the issue does not lie between you and Telstra, it lies between you and your chosen ISP and then between this ISP and Telstra. How certain are you that your ISP was not at fault? Since your phone line is still working I can assume it was not a copper related problem and as most ISP's now have their own devices in high population exchanges my guess is you are once again barking up the wrong ISP. If I am wrong then your ISP, not you, has every right to lodge a complaint with Telstra or the ACA.
    If you want to complain then you can only complain about your ISP, they are the ones who have an agreement with you and they are the ones who failed to deliver the service as agreed.
    I would love it if you moved to one of those other countries, you are probably alreasy sending your money to an overseas owned company.
  • Re Why not Telstra

    Your assumptions are well off target.
    In order to have any chance of a reasonable phone service here I've been shelling out for 2 seperate landlines in the hope that at least one will function most of the time. (No reliable mobile sig either)
    The problems here are entirely due to Sol's cost cutting measures. All the competent techs have been culled & maintenace/upgrade of the overloaded rural network is pathetic.
    (Both my brothers are ex Telstra techs & a close friend is a recently retired Telstra engineer).
    As for my money going overseas, lol just remember your comment next time you're vainly attempting to communicate with a Telstra service call centre rep in Pakistan on 20c/ents/hr just so Sol can salt away his 10+ million PA in a Swiss account.
  • taxes still in australia

    i dont think the earlier writer was off target because you are in an agreement with your local provider and they have agreed to supply the service to you, they are the ones who are taking your money and not telstra.
    telstra has already stated that they will not have front of house staff working in call centres overseas, in fact if you read the news you will know they just hired an additional 200 staff members for a big pond call centre in adelaide.
    just like every other major communications company in australia there will be some outsourced technical support work being handled by ibm, eds or simular that may be overseas.
    I own telstra and singtel shares and i know that telstra pays 30% in australian taxes while singtel doesn't pay domestic taxes so i cant claim the tax credits from singtel.
    in relation to sol taking his money overseas, once he earns his salary and pays his taxes it is his money and is free to do what he wants with it, you seem to imply he is avoiding paying taxes by using the term swiss account.
    i look forward to your next whinge.
  • Grump you have choices ... don't you?

    Have you considered Optus or Vodaphone or 3 or Virgin or Unwired or Opel or another wireless ISP?

    Am I right in suspecting that none of these companies consider your business profitable enough to provide service in the area?

    How about Primus or iiNet or Optus or TPG or anyone of the dozens of other terrestrial ISP's?

    Oh! That's right once again you are not profitable enough to install new copper to your premises. Why bother when they can rent the copper from Telstra cheaper then they could run it themselves because the ACCC controls the wholesale price and sets it so low that no other company would waste their own money by investing in infrastructure with no short or long term return.

    Once again blame Telstra for your (or your ISP’s) own shortcomings.
  • If Telstra is so bad

    Winner - Best Broadband Supplier, 2007 Australian Telecoms Awards

    Winner - Best Wireless Broadband, 2007 Australian Personal Computer Internet Technology Awards

    Winner - Internet Technology of the Year, 2007 Australian Personal Computer Internet Technology Awards
  • Re:you have choices ... don't you?

    No, I don't have choices. Not while Telstra controls the BB delivery via it's copper & exchanges. Even their fabled next G wireless 98% coverage claim is a dismal failure in my area (mid Nth coast NSW).
    I've tried out most of the popular ISPs services over the past 5 years including B Pong & have found my current provider to be the best of the lot.
    However Telstra's antiquated infrastructure is the limiting factor in this area.
    Given Telstra's past track record of neglect & contempt for their long suffering rural customers the last thing we need is for them to increase their control & monopoly of BB in OZ.
  • I will state my comments in a different way

    I feel sorry for you being in your situation but ...

    My reference was to the fact that no other company is willing to supply infrastructure to your door because the restrictions imposed on the price Telstra can charge means nobody want to install their own services when they can rent it from Telstra for around $7 per month.

    Would you be willing to run new copper cables, old technology, to fix your problem when you would get under $2000 over a 20 year life span and during this time have to maintain contact centres, technician and other ongoing costs?

    Everyone is looking at wireless, FTTN and FTTH because the cost to run new technology services everywhere is not much different to copper.

    Telstra wants to build FTTN, others also want to build FTTN, let them all build it with their own money and then request rebates from the government for each rural active service, the critical term is "active service"

    The government is spending $1Billion of taxpayer's money on a project that I think will be a long term failure when they should offer a rebate (I guess $500 per annum) to any ISP that is willing to build new technology infrastructure to your home that you are willing to connect to.
  • Logical or Illogical? --> Illogical

    Dear Sleepless,
    Either you have shares in Telstra or you are of finite wisdom. To watch what Telstra has been doing to itself, should I mention Sol "the sun shines out of his ar$e Trujillo" & his previous 2 telecommunications companies that he ran into the dirt in the US, has been truly hard for me to watch. I used to be a CSO2 working for Telecom Australia when it was a grand company.

    Now that the scum have taken over & decided they should be allowed to hold the rest of Australia to ransom whilst not living up to the original contracts by one; not providing reasonable service to all of Australia & allowing alternate companies to access their copper wire for a reasonable cost.

    Telstra do not do this, rather they hold others to ransom whilst bleeding hearts over in NZ demanding exactly what they won't allow here. What they forget is that their copper wire belongs to the people of Aus bcoz it was gained by a monopoly Gov't ownership. Telstra needs to be split into 2 companies & the hardware taken back by the Gov't for a Court-approved cost. That hardware access belongs to the people & should be accessed by those who want to pay for the access price rather than screwing everyone the way Telstra does.

    The worst part of Telstra's so-called service is that they are screwing us as well. Scum!

    Sol, go back to the USA asap. You're not liked nor wanted here.
  • Yeah right! No wrong!

    Problem here is that Telstra does not provide service to ISPs at "reasonable return" & their contract always included providing this non-service to everyone in OZ.
  • Why Telstra?

    You say the biggest in the world? Rubbish!

    It may cover a bigger area than anywhere else in the world but the size you mention here has no point in the issue. It is the number of available accesses running simultaneously & Telstra is nowhere on this mark. If 50 people in the middle of Oz in a 1 square mile radius, away from a metro area were to simultaneously make a mobile call about 15 of them would possibly get through.

    Australia is a big place but the number of available access points compared to the opposition starts with a huge amount of infrastructure that no-one else had & it was built up over an 80 year period after the first world war.

    Just a slight advantage over the others.
  • For once you make some sense

    Splitting the company is the first comment you have ever made that I even partially agree with. The company should have been split before it was privatised but unfortunately now it is 100% privately owned and as such they will of course look to provide services at the lowers cost, highest margin, to the standards set in law and not above them unless there is a return.

    The issue here is how will this infrastructure be valued and what parts should be split. Using the courts to decide will never deliver a just return for shareholders, FYI I own over 100,000 T3 shares alone and unlike you I feel like the government and ACCC is screwing me and the other 1.6 million shareholders.

    My thought is last mile copper and exchanges meaning the retail Telstra will own the mobile network and all fibre based infrastructure that already has competition and a government Telstra will rent out copper and exchange space to all comers. Only then will the government realise the true cost of maintaining the copper infrastructure at a standard expected of Australians.

    Based on every one of your other posts I am sure if this happens you will simply change your target and complain about the government, ACCC or someone else.