CRM software runs my life

Tag: Telstra

Save your tax dollars – cut your copper now!

As part of the Heads of Agreement that Telstra has signed with NBNCo, Telstra is being paid $11 billion taxpayer dollars. This amount is effectively the sum value of each and every customer they migrate off copper. As John Stanhope (Telstra CFO) states:

So as the customer is switched off and goes across to (NBNCo) fibre, we get a payment.

Copper lines are already being dropped at a massive 8% pa, but you can help accelerate this drop and save your taxpayer dollars as well as your own line rental costs in the process. Moving to VoIP over fibre, merging multiple lines into VoIP services and migrating to mobile phones will all help you save your hard earned tax dollars.

What is the ACMA Blacklist?

The ACMA's Little Black Book

The ACMA's Little Black Book

The Australian Communications and Media Authority, ACMA, is the Government’s media regulating body. They work on a complaints basis, so if content is deemed to be R18+ or to contain excessive amounts of violence, drugs, terrorism etc. then they ban it. They cannot search for new material currently, but instead they review complaints submitted to them (by the public, law enforcement etc.) and then decide whether to ban it or not. This list of banned items is called the ACMA Blacklist.

So why are people so upset about this list? This filtering of content has worked well for movies, why not the internet as well? There are two main areas of thought here:

1) Why is the list black? – The content of the list is not publicly available. In the ACMA’s last report however, 781 overseas sites were added to the list:

  • 3 were pedophilia related
  • 410 were rated “RC – Child – Depiction”
  • 251 were X-rated
  • 117 “other” legal content

Previous years showed similar statistics. Wikileaks claims to have the list in full, although of course the ACMA or Senator Conroy would never admit that. This secrecy and the lack of transparency around the reporting process, judgement criteria and the Blacklist itself has people concerned. This was heightened by the leaked Blacklist containing links to popular sites such as YouTube, Geocities and Flickr, as well as plans by Senator Conroy to monitor the blogosphere for dissent.

2) How will it be enforced? – There is enforcement currently in place, Australian websites on the Blacklist can be forcefully taken down. Sites that even link to Blacklisted sites can be fined $11,000, although the irony is that you will never know your link is Blacklisted until it’s too late.

Senator Conroy has decided that the Government needs to be more proactive about this process however, they need to make the filtering mandatory at the ISP level (the company who provides your internet connection). He has setup a live trial with a number of lower tier ISP’s to test his theory, having been rejected by the three big players: Telstra, Optus and Iinet. This opposition is mostly at a technical level, basically arguing that the filter will substantially slow internet access and be largely ineffective (Peer to Peer, Email and other traffic will not be filtered).

Not Happy Jan? You can:

I just hope that they use the inevitably flawed trial as a way out of this sticky web they have weaved. Please try and focus on getting the National Broadband Network right before you cripple our current copper tangle.

Telstra's plan to deal with the NBN

Telstra workers working hard

Telstra workers working hard

Telstra went all quiet after they got kicked out of the National Broadband Network tender, apart from a few whimpers about not caring anyway.

Everyone thinks the value is under the ground, in the pits around the nation. More specifically the value is in the copper, or rather it is if you are proposing the cheapest possible national roll out via VDSL. Telstra has been under investing in this asset for at least 20 years, so maybe the value isn’t really there?

One way or the other this asset will end up back in the NBN’s hand, and Telstra has always known that and milked it for every cent it can. It will eventually lose it though; through a Telstra’s lawyers dead hands, structural separation of Telstra, a massive compensation package or some combination of the above.

This is all part of the plan and a distracting safety net as far as Telstra is concerned. This was revealed this week with Telstra’s decision to upgrade its cable network to 100Mb/s, hidden in the fact that now they will deliver PSTN calls over the cable. Optus have been doing this for a while to avoid Telstra copper, but ironically Telstra is now trying to avoid copper too. They want to make sure no spare cent ends up in the hands of the new NBN owner.

So what’s next for Telstra? Telstra will lose the copper lines, keeping their high margin fibre customers (migrating them off copper PSTN lines) and getting a nice gift from the government to give them breathing space. Next steps are to capture as many high margin Metro customers as possible, and clean up the rest with NextG (maybe delivering VoIP over NextG?).

In the end though, Telstra’s plan will only work if the customer’s embrace it. A patriotic duty to support a national network will be hard pressed to overcome the Telstra brand and aggressive marketing and retailing. The economies of scale are being pressed from every side possible.

Telstra CEO Departs?

Sol Trujillo Money Cartoon

Sol Trujillo Money Cartoon

The latest buzz around Telstra is that they have engaged a recruiter to start the hunt for a new CEO. This rumour comes hot on the heels of his two amigos, Greg Winn and Phil Burgess, returning to the US. Sol has now been CEO of Telstra since way back in 2005 and quickly became known for his ‘no compromise’ stance towards Government regulation.

The evidence that this policy has backfired on Telstra is now building, with Optus now looking to be in the box seat to grab the National Broadband Network contract by the end of March. It is quite likely that the contract will be awarded in conjunction with at least one other party, ironically most likely a group of ex-Telstra employees. That has to hurt a bit, especially for people within Telstra who were opposed to Sol’s strategies.

So what happens next? Well if, as expected, Telstra misses out on the NBN contract then I think Sol would be more than willing to use that as an exit strategy. Would this signal a change in direction for Telstra, or would the new CEO have even more incentive to fight the process every step of the way? I would like to think that they could take a more positive approach and focus on delivering the best wireless solution possible and keep competition in the market strong. I guess this would entirely depend on the Government and how they see the NBN tender winners leveraging Telstra’s existing infrastructure. I hope they have the lawyers and strategy in place, otherwise this could get very messy.

Pipe Networks Runway Survives

PipeNetworks have survived ANZ pulling the plug on their finance and have emerged from a share trading halt to announce that Project Runway is pushing ahead. It is great to see that even in tough financial times that profitable and well founded projects can still get through with smart companies banding together. It represents more than just a great opportunity for these companies though, overseas traffic charges are one of the major things keeping a floor under Australian internet prices. In fact it can be argued that cheaper overseas traffic will have more effect on Australian internet prices than the NBN project. Maybe with Project Runway, an NBN without Telstra and a canning of the internet filtering scheme we can actually get somewhere. It’s Christmas time, time to wish for miracles.

National Broadband Network Submissions

This came up all of a sudden after I decided to test my SEO by googling my name. That took me to this page on Submissions to the National Broadband Expert Panel. Among them is a submission that I emailed in to the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy (hell of a title, although I guess at least it isn’t lumped with Arts anymore). A few things surprise me:

  • I appreciate the open tender process, but I don’t remember being told my submission would be made public.
  • I am surprised just how few submissions were made. I know the window was only about 2 weeks, but seriously given the state of Australian broadband, the $4.7B+ of taxpayers money on the table, decent media coverage and the email submission method I would have thought more people would be interested.
  • I got all excited thinking perhaps the use of the phrase “submissions included” meant that only a few high calibre submissions had been listed. I then came across a submission from Karen. We truly have a bright future in Australia!

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén