The debate for FTTN

There’s two key providers lined up to get involved on the bidding for FTTN.

Those two are none other than Telstra, the company that expects a extremely high margin from what is essentially a VERY basic communications service, and the other company being G9, who are a consortium of companies specialising in providing network technologies, much more advanced than that of Telstra.

The question I think we need to ask our potential FTTN supplier is, do they see the entire company as a true communications supplier, who innovates and has the technology and national interests at heart, or are they a media company, who should perhaps be printing newspapers rather than delving into the world of FTTN (and consumer, business and government grade services).

When I say media company, I’m referring to none other than Telstra who seem to prefer being a media company over a telecommunications company.

So, if they prefer being a media company, why not go ahead and do that, and leave telecommunications to the professionals, those who know what they are doing and don’t really have an interest in anything else but providing IP connectivity to users of a service?

Of course, we can’t rule out the next ‘media’ company diving into telecommuncations, and that is none other than the king pin of Australian Television Entertainment, Channel 7.

They plan to have a network build based on WiMAX technology after buying out the Unwired company, with plans to use that network as a network for its television based products.

Now, that’s a good idea, but the potential for more revenue lies in selling a broadband internet connection across it at the same time as running the TiVO service on it as well.

Channel 7 recently stated that the telecommunications profits aren’t expected to be of high interest to them, they are more interested obviously in the capabilities of the TiVO unit, powered up with an internet connection so that they can deliver content from its huge collection of content on demand, assumably on a monthly fee, diving themselves into the Pay TV market.

The debate on FTTN is a more different debate. It’s Telstra, a self confessed media company (numerous times), and G9, a collection of companies specialising in communications infrastructure.

The winner for me is easily G9. For the sole reason its companies that specialise in telecommunications and don’t try and be a media entity. Further, they know what the technology truly is worth to consumers, and it certainly is preparing for that with nice low prices to reflect the service costs, and not the interests of the media company owner, as would be the case with a Telstra network.

For the Labor partnership to work, it needs to be more of a controlling interest by the government, which flies flat in the face of regulation, but that’s the way it needs to be. Labor need to push the hardline that they are boss in the partnership, and they dictate the rate of return, otherwise Telstra should then face structural seperation.

The G9 have a great plan for FTTN, and I do hope Conroy heavily considers the options here before he dooms the nation to yet another Telstra monopoly (although he has indicated he wants an open network to prevent the monopolisation that got us here in the FIRST place).

One can assume this government should be capable of topping the Howard effort. It’ll be interesting to compare them. Don’t bother looking at the economy, that’s not what we should consider at a government deciding level. We need to look at policies, the kinds of policies and the effects they have on the budget (which in turn effects the taxpayer and economy).

So, watch the policies, what them unfold, and if you strongly disagree with the policies, you’ll quickly develop a strong dislike for him and wish to vote him out. On the other hand, if you are like me and keep an open mind, the policies will draw their own picture and you’ll be able to see how things unfold.

Telstra are simply the most likely to build FTTN, but that more than likely will be under Labor’s terms, and not that of their own agenda. They’ll more than likely be forced with higher, higher levels of regulation if they don’t play ball, simply because the consumer and competition need investment in infrastructure. If Telstra are holding the country back, laws and legislation need to be drawn to stop such acts.

Which is what Labor will hopefully do and we’ll have much of the problems fixed for .. good.


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