ADSL2+ FINALLY enabled at another 900 exchanges

Introducing ADSL2+. Yeh, we knew it existed years ago, Telstra were just so slow at getting the pills necessary to get it up.

Now, however, Senator Conroy, contacted Telstra advising them that he agrees with the ACCC in full, when they said it back in 2006, there is no reason for the ACCC to interfere in Telstra’s ADSL2+ plans, and shouldn’t require wholesale activity (well, they haven’t seen a compelling case).

Conroy says that’s good enough, Samuel said it was good enough back in 2006, Telstra were just too lazy (or using the negative situation to its advantage) to send a letter in to ACCC chair Graeme Samuel.

Senator Conroy saved them the ink (pretty pathetic when a company can’t even write / type / fax / email a simple letter) and wrote to them advising them that the ACCC are right.

However, if you read the media release from Telstra, they try and spin it around as they were trying for the last year to get this certainty.

Well, they didn’t try hard enough, considering it’s been well known for the last year at least that there are no plans to intervene with ADSL2+ from Telstra.

And I echo and agree, there’s absolutely no want, no need, or requirement for well, anyone to intervene in Telstra’s wholesale ADSL2+ offering.

That said, so long as Telstra don’t try and restrict competition by filling up exchanges deliberately, or doing other anti competitive behaviour.

This is of course a major news revelation, and I’ve seen Sydney Lawrence and someone I assume is Rod Bruem out and about on other news sites posting some outlandish comments (that’s pretty much the norm, right Sydney?) – the same is true from users with opposing views on those sites as well.

But, of them all, this article stroke the most interest from me. I don’t care if Telstra are offering 900 exchanges ADSL2+. Don’t give a rats, doesn’t effect me, never will touch Bigpond product, too expensive, not worth it, won’t get any gain from it, ends up costing you more, etc, etc, etc. The article that I found most interesting, is this one, which instead, gives a view from another ISP (Internode), published on APCs website, features some comments from Simon Hackett (who should be hanging his head in shame after thinking such comments). The article is here: http://www.apcmag.com/7972/internode_doubts_legality_of_telstras_adsl2_plans

Simon finds it difficult how a regulatory guarantee exists, well, simple, there is none, there is no guarantee in any of the released information that purports to guarantee there will be zero intervention by the ACCC in Telstra’s enabling of ADSL2+.
The ACCC may find that Telstra wholesaling ADSL2+ plans at higher than retail costs is worthy of them intervening, and they can do so.  The ACCC only ever stated that they haven’t heard a compelling case for them to intervene, and so they shouldn’t.

Telstra is free to retail ADSL2+ all they like, sure, it’s the same ports, sure, it’s a stupid attitude to take, sure, they are piss expensive, but, there’s no reason for the ACCC to get involved, simply because Internode, they’ve shown they know how to invest, so get investing. Put up or shut up Simon.

He claims to have contacted the ACCC and TW for explanations on the guaratee, well, there was none, I haven’t seen any claim of one, just that there is certainty that the ACCC haven’t found a compelling case for them to tell Telstra to share.

Telstra offer ADSL1 services. Optus have proven they are capable of investing in the areas, so maybe it’s time other ISPs copied Telstra and Optus, place more DSLAMs in regional areas, invest, get the plans out there, and hey, if the costs are higher, well pass them on, and if the market shuns you, then you’ll need to find a new path.

Telstra Wholesale doesn’t have to wholesale a bloody thing except for declared products, Simon’s whinge seems to place out the view (at least to me) that he was expecting wholesale prices on ADSL2+ from Telstra.

I doubt you will be seeing them Simon, Telstra can simply stick to marketing and use up to 20Mbps for speed advertisements, and where they have ADSL2+ enabled, give the customer ADSL2+, and where they don’t, give an ADSL1 8Mbps port.

And, on the wholesale front, you simply get, you guessed it, a ADSL1 port at 8Mbps with Telstra’s excessively premium prices attached.

There is no guarantee, there’s only certainty, Simon should perhaps think a little before he speaks, Conroy or the ACCC have not provided a guarantee, and I doubt they ever will.

Our governments and regulatory bodies should never talk in guarantee terms unless they are talking to guarantee a quality of service and have penalties imposed for failing.

The governments and regulatory bodies should already (well, bloody well hopefully) by now realise that making a guarantee is a very much open to punishment when something bad happens (ie. Guaranteeing Telstra no intervention by the ACCC on ADSL2+ would cause Telstra to act anti competitively just because they had that guarantee, which is why they don’t guarantee anything).

That said, Simon seems to be also questioning whether Telstra might withdraw offering ADSL1 services, Simon, ask yourself, if you were Telstra, and anal probing your competitors for lots of dollars on ports that cost two thirds of what is being charged, would you stop? Would you pull it all away? Would you piss off that many public consumers, knowing that many could just seek alternatives like Unwired or other non Telstra broadband?

If they did withdraw from ADSL1 wholesale, imagine how much investment would automatically happen as a result? Optus would be in overflow mode spending big dollars to take off where Telstra let everyone down. And I’m sure Simon won’t be complaining about regulatory certainty, they’d have a strong foothold to invest knowing Telstra isn’t in the way.

I find Simon’s comments published on that article very much surprising, considering I’d have expected them to now see even more certainty, and now are able to invest in a market where they know that Telstra isn’t going to wholesale, so on your bike Agile, get some ports out there, get some customers on them.

But backhaul I hear you whinge? Well, that’s a job for investment to fix, high prices encourage investment, just go ask iiNet, they got encouraged by faster speeds and cheaper prices from what I gather.

Run some backhaul, pay for it, and profit. You got the profit bit downpat, considering Internode’s prices are some of the higher prices by comparison to other ISPs.

Enjoy!

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2 Responses to ADSL2+ FINALLY enabled at another 900 exchanges

  1. Sydney Lawrence says:

    Jason, as always, a very enjoyable an interesting report on the Telstra turn-on (refer your first para-graphic jest).

    The problem for Telstra, and I could be wrong here, was that the ACCC would not give a firm ruling on the Declaration of the ADSL2+ until Telstra switched it on. This would be not acceptable to Telstra as one could imagine.

    With the assurance of Senator Conroy that the ADSL2+ would not be confiscated(to some extent)if switched on Australia moves forward with better Broadband. Jason, would greatly appreciate if you could, when time is available, make comment on the pro and con of FTTN V FTTH. AS always, best wishes.

  2. Sydney, The ACCC wanted Telstra to write in and request certainty, it’s not up to the ACCC to go about dishing it out.

    The Senator on the other hand has a vested interest in making the country look good on the stats, so the Australian public see the government as doing something, so that’s what has happened there with the Senator writing directly to them to advise what the ACCC has said all along.

    Seems pretty pointless doesn’t it, but, the government likes to be seen to be doing things – they don’t want to get voted out now, do they.

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