commentary It is a truth universally acknowledged that a first-world country in possession of a good economy must be in
want of a nation-wide fibre-optic communications network.
This is certainly the case in Australia.
As it becomes increasingly clear the nation's needs are
growing too large to be served by existing last-mile copper
infrastructure, most industry players are eagerly plugging fibre
as a replacement.
Of course, the usual suspects will attend the meeting. The
nation's dominant carriers Telstra and Optus, vendors such as
Alcatel, and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
(ACCC) will all be there.
This forum will come just one month after a similar event
being held yesterday by local broadband evangelist and
telecommunications analyst Paul Budde.
These events are obviously helpful, as ACIF put it in the
invitation, in helping the industry to explore "the operational,
technical, regulatory and commercial issues surrounding
But given how long the industry has been talking about fibre
it's likely a lot of people are thinking along the lines of Elvis
Presley's classic song "A little less conversation".
For those not familiar with the lyrics, the follow-up line is:
"A little more action please ... come on baby I'm tired of
The King's sentiments are particularly appropriate when you
consider the lengthy and ongoing talks between Telstra and the
ACCC about the terms under which the telco would build its
proposed national fibre network.
The network appears to be no closer to construction than when
Telstra initially announced it last November.
Nobody's saying the talks aren't necessary ... but couldn't
Telstra have discussed the idea with the ACCC BEFORE it went
public with the plans back in November?
Telstra's network is not the only one behind schedule.
A smaller trial effort in Tasmania is likely to make it to the
market some 12 months after the timeline originally flagged by
the state's government.
Meanwhile, over in Perth, efforts to extend Bright
Telecommunication's existing fibre network are gaining pace, but
the telco still needs equity partners and a further network
rollout is likely to be some way off.
There are patchy fibre access networks in other places around
the nation, especially in central business districts of capital
cities -- but most businesses and homes are literally not in the
Fibre to the home and business may, as Budde often puts it, be
unstoppable, but perhaps a more accurate word to describe the
situation in Australia would be "halted".
Would you like to see "a little less conversation"
on fibre? How would you stimulate fibre developments? Drop me a
line directly on firstname.lastname@example.org or post a comment below.