Today, on ABC, was the National Press Club.
I don’t generally sit there and watch politicians and the media argue on TV, and it’s not really that entertaining. I’d rather waste time explaining to some Whirlpool users exactly why Telstra is doing them no good, or in recent times, well, drahcir, a Whirlpool user who feels that paying $250 to have a WiMAX service installed is “outlandish”, compared to Metro areas, where generally speaking, a user will pay $145 for the service to simply be activated, and they have to buy their own modem ($60+) to use the service.
He seems to be clearly uninformed, when he, in this post declared: There are free setup ISPs around, why pay for it?
Really? Just how long do you want to be with the said “Free set up ISP” after they have slowed your connection, or in the case of the nations ‘icon’ telecommunications company, Telstra and Bigpond, after they have repossessed your home due to excess usage, and insist that you sit the rest of your contract out anyway?
The point here is, the connection to Metro ISPs for broadband is definitely NOT free, and in fact, it’s a very profitable industry for Telstra, charging $145 (ish) to ISPs to get lines activated for services, demanding the customer sits on the service for 6 months or face another $99 early disconnection fee, for a service that is easily supplied, generally in bulk, by a technician doing his daily trip to the exchange, wiring the connection to the port, thank you, see you later (or for your sake, hopefully not so soon).
So, it’s obvious the Free Set Up is a worked in price, and indeed is incorrect, however, when working on the baseline price, that is, the wholesale companies offering, they stated that Elders, as a retail ISP, would be selling installations at around $250 for the WiMAX technology, which is very metro comparable when you use the example I supplied above, with Telstra Wholesale broadband ISPs (currently the largest supplier of ADSL services in Australia, as I am sure many will tell you).
The National Press Club news was all centered generally around Fibre to the node, USO, and the WiMAX network. All of which have been very important aspects of Helen Coonan’s day to day job in recent weeks, and even months.
Some of the questions from the media were indeed targetted and spot on, however, despite my expectations, that she’d struggle and somehow bumble around them, she was very confident in her answers, and the tv was certainly worth the watch to hear her responses.
One question tackled the issue of pornography, with Labour proposing ISP wide filtering, and Coonan proposing Parental Control software for users.
Of course both can be circumvented, ISP wide filters are unnecessary, as some users should be entitled to view content, like Adult Shops and Porn if they so feel like wasting time doing that.
ISP filters can be circumvented by using a Proxy, which is generally very easy for many users to setup.
Parental Filters can be circumvented by the knowledgeable kids by simply ending the process task, booting into Safe Mode where the filter isn’t likely to be running.
Essentially though, the only control that will effectively eliminate underage exposure to unwelcome content is indeed user discretion in the adults, and certainly direct parental supervision in children.
Anything done at the industry level will have a negative impact on audiences that wish to use the content.
As well, Coonan raises a valid point, ISP filtering doesn’t necessarily stop the data arriving via P2P networks, something software on the PC will certainly do a better job at, if configured correctly.
She also agrees, there’s no single blacklist for porn, pr0n, p0rn, nr0p, p-r-0-n and p*rn. As a result, it needs regular updating, and that’s certainly something better managed by Parents, as they can choose what kids are exposed to.
It’s a mammoth task to administer, and take down notices are best placed at this time, until better solutions arise to counter the widespread issue, espiecially when you consider the negative effects its had to people in the NT areas, now requiring Federal Police intervention, and a certainly agreeable suspension or termination of family welfare payments to stop the alcohol and child abuse in those areas.
On the OPEL proposal, using both ADSL2+ and WiMAX to reach regional areas, a nice hot question was asked, which is, when can we expect work to start, and will the election alter the outcome?
Certainly not, as the contract is a commercial contract, so that’s very much a plus for regional australians should the majority get stupid and vote Labour in for some silly political promise without and technical or financial backing evidence.
Further the roll out to ADSL2+ exchanges is expected within weeks, and not months, and the WiMAX network is expected to have had started by September.
That’s great news for many of us Regional users, who would litterally come close to installing their own DSLAMs if the backhaul costs and equipment costs were cheap enough (no kidding, I thought about chucking my own small DSLAM unit in there just so I can have some equivilent service here, tired of the artificial 256kbps shaping!).
And in a final topic, the USO was a hot topic of the moment, many asking the top question of what plans will the USO review have effects with in the Australian telecommunications industry.
So, the USO review questions revealed the following:
1. That Telstra may not be the USO provider on the other side.
2. Telstra’s claim that USO is costing it as much as 2 times more than what industry contributes, and its supposed to be based off market share…
— Just a side note here, who has the largest market share, as Whirlpool user Tolmartyr will repeatedly tell anyone who dares question it ? Telstra.
So with USO rates based on Market Share, Telstra should have a big market share USO bill.
3. They plan to consider how it is adminstered, and if rates need changing, they will change.
4. She did raise this very accurate and agreeable point:
Telstra should not be responsible for USO in the Greenfields estates where another company is contracted bid winner for the telecommunications projects in that area, and the installing carrier should probably be responsible.
5. She did give some possible indication that perhaps the USO could be done by someone else, and the USO funds go entirely to it.
I do agree in part with the USO guidelines, but feel, things could perhaps be managed better for all industry players if a seperate body was setup, and anything to do with the USO went directly to IT, and as such the financials would be a lot more clearer, and market share could still play a stake in who pays what for the USO.
That makes logical sense all around, but the top question I think is:
If Telstra is a Wholesale and Retail provider of the copper network, that makes them the one with the largest market share, simply because they have the income coming in, and very profitable too, from Wholesale users, and as such they deal with Telstra for service provision, and can’t really do much themselves.
I think that therefore calls for anyone who provides the actual infrastructure subject to USO therefore be liable to pay for USO.
I mean, you can’t expect Joe Blow ISP down the road to pay for USO because he has all the locals on his ADSL2+ broadband service, can you? I mean, all those customers have phone lines on Telstra Home Line Budget, because Joe Blow’s ISP motto is simply: “Screw Telstra”, and as a result, customers do exactly that, with VoIP to ensure they really bend Telstra over and give them the royal rear scraping they so deserve?