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Topic # 71548 12-Nov-2010 10:21 Send private message

Media release:


Ending the digital divide: Telecom and Vodafone announce joint approach to rural broadband

Telecom and Vodafone today announced they had submitted a joint response to the Rural Broadband Initiative (RBI), in which the companies will combine their resources to build new, open access network infrastructure for the provision of broadband in rural areas using a range of technologies.

The RBI seeks to provide fibre to 97 percent of rural schools and a minimum 5Mbps broadband service to 80 percent of rural households within six years. It also aims to provide priority users with access to fibre-based broadband services.

The proposed solution announced today will meet the requirements of the scheme through the extension of Telecom’s existing fibre infrastructure to key rural points of presence, including schools and hospitals, and an expanded Vodafone wireless infrastructure that harnesses the power of this fibre to deliver high speed broadband services wirelessly.

It will bring rural broadband users greater choice in terms of providers and technologies, both fixed and wireless.

The proposal extends Telecom’s fast broadband (10Mbps+) rollout to 92 percent of the country, bringing city-grade fixed broadband to even more rural users.

At the heart of the proposal is the principle of open access. Both fibre and wireless components will be available on an equivalent basis to access seekers and wholesale customers, allowing any party to offer a retail service over the new infrastructure. This means that rural customers will have not only faster data services but also a much wider choice of technologies and suppliers for these services.

Telecom will be responsible for building fibre to schools and hospitals, cell sites and rural exchanges and cabinets.

Vodafone will be responsible for the design and build of open access tower infrastructure that Vodafone and Telecom XT will co-locate their mobile services on, as indeed could any other wireless service provider who wishes to do so.

Both Telecom and Vodafone will also be making additional investments in their networks in the areas covered by the RBI scheme to offer broadband services to their customers.

“This solution sees New Zealand’s two largest telecommunications providers combining their extensive resources and skills to bring the benefits of high speed broadband to rural communities as quickly as possible,” said Telecom CEO Paul Reynolds.

“It is in these very communities that so much of the nation’s economic wealth is generated.

“By collaborating, our companies are showing that the telecommunications industry is working for the good of New Zealand to deliver a solution that will accelerate the commercial success and social connectivity of New Zealand’s rural and regional communities, employing fixed and mobile technology.”

Vodafone CEO, Russell Stanners, said: “We want to provide the best technology fit, giving the best bang-for-buck for the New Zealand taxpayer.

“Wireless is now recognised internationally as playing a critical role in reaching rural areas, where it is the most efficient way to deliver high speed internet access. The spin-off benefit of building more cell sites to deliver a broadband service to homes and businesses is the significant expansion of mobile voice, SMS and data coverage in rural New Zealand.”

The joint proposal builds on the extensive community engagement process both companies have undertaken with rural communities and stakeholders.

Vodafone and Telecom remain open to future collaboration with other parties to deliver broadband services to regional and remote parts of New Zealand.

The Ministry of Economic Development is running the bid process for the RBI, and a decision by the Minister is expected to be made by Christmas. 

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  Reply # 414910 9-Dec-2010 10:46 Send private message

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/connect/news/article.cfm?c_id=1501833&objectid=10693043

Can someone explain to me why Telecom should even be in the running for any fibre contracts when they're clearly still not playing ball with what they've got at present?

I'm a Kiwi, and I like to support Kiwi companies that support Kiwis. But T.nz hardly seem to be supporting us at present if I'm to look at simple indicators like:

* GZ's fault reporting - Did you see this mornings graph and the number of complains simply about slow browsing?
* 45kbit hand overs?
* L1HD email systems that don't even resolve to dns meaning they can't send tech support info to techs like us?
* L1HD staff who can't provide all the info to let you preconfigure gear for a customers site?
* L1HD staff who argue with customers who are asking for simple tasks to be completed - eg putting new authorities on lines.

That's just my 'this week list' and I'm sure there's many of you out there who are just as frustrated.

Do we need to send a clear message to shareholders.t.nz that a change of guard is clearly required?

Is it time .nz had a bunch of locally owned co's to provide service to kiwi.nz?

/rant

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  Reply # 415376 10-Dec-2010 08:35 Send private message

DonGould: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/connect/news/article.cfm?c_id=1501833&objectid=10693043

Can someone explain to me why Telecom should even be in the running for any fibre contracts when they're clearly still not playing ball with what they've got at present?

I'm a Kiwi, and I like to support Kiwi companies that support Kiwis. But T.nz hardly seem to be supporting us at present if I'm to look at simple indicators like:

* GZ's fault reporting - Did you see this mornings graph and the number of complains simply about slow browsing?
* 45kbit hand overs?
* L1HD email systems that don't even resolve to dns meaning they can't send tech support info to techs like us?
* L1HD staff who can't provide all the info to let you preconfigure gear for a customers site?
* L1HD staff who argue with customers who are asking for simple tasks to be completed - eg putting new authorities on lines.

That's just my 'this week list' and I'm sure there's many of you out there who are just as frustrated.

Do we need to send a clear message to shareholders.t.nz that a change of guard is clearly required?

Is it time .nz had a bunch of locally owned co's to provide service to kiwi.nz?


/rant


You mean like Orcon who sold out to the Gov..??




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  Reply # 436130 7-Feb-2011 09:40 Send private message

An update on this:


Negotiations for Rural Broadband Initiative underway

The government has commenced commercial negotiations with Telecom and Vodafone for the provision of vastly improved broadband services to rural New Zealand, Communications and Information Technology Minister Steven Joyce announced today.

Last November Telecom and Vodafone submitted a joint proposal to the $285 million Rural Broadband Initiative (RBI) tender, which will improve access to faster broadband for rural customers.  In December, three proposals were short-listed for evaluation against strict criteria. 

Mr Joyce says the joint Vodafone/Telecom proposal is based on proven existing technology, and provides the government with confidence that it can be deployed.  

“The government specifically asked for parties to consider collaborating on joint bids to reduce construction costs – and this bid does just that.”

“Currently 20 percent of customers in rural New Zealand can access speeds of at least 5 Mbps.  This will rise to 86 percent of rural households and businesses, with 95 percent of rural schools receiving ultra-fast connection.  The extension of the fibre backbone into rural areas means more customers living on the fibre routes may be able to get fibre-to-the-door.”

“For many remote and not-so-remote rural areas this will be light years ahead of where they are today and will ensure they participate in the promise of the digital economy."

The joint bid involves an extension of Telecom’s fibre network to deliver fixed wireless and fixed wire broadband to 252,000 customers in rural New Zealand, and the construction of 154 fibre-connected cell phone towers to enable fixed wireless broadband to rural customers as well as improved mobile coverage, and the direct connection of 719 rural schools to fibre networks.

“The joint proposal was the only one that increases mobile coverage, and it will ensure serious competition in the last mile with many rural customers being able to choose from fixed wireless, ADSL2+ and mobile broadband.” 

Negotiations will be undertaken over the first quarter of 2011 with the roll out due for completion by 2016. “This is another significant infrastructure project for the government – and it is important that we achieve the best value we can for rural communities and taxpayers,” says Mr Joyce.  

“A successful project would include Telecom and Vodafone looking to use existing infrastructure where they can.  I also expect to see affordable wholesale and retail prices from this investment.

“I have also been clear that strict open access rules will be included in any contract.  This will promote healthy competition in both the rural wholesale and retail broadband markets.  Other providers who have not been successful in the tender will be able to provide services using the government-funded infrastructure.  The infrastructure will also support new technologies like 4G as they roll out.

“I have advised officials that I am seeking contracts to be signed with Telecom and Vodafone for their separate parts of the proposal by the end of this quarter.  Should that not prove possible for any reason, the Government reserves the right to re-tender for the contract.”  

Unsuccessful tender parties are also now encouraged to start working with Telecom and Vodafone to look at ways to further improve solutions for rural New Zealand.
 




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  Reply # 436206 7-Feb-2011 12:06 Send private message

InternetNZ reaction:


“Today’s announcement that the Government is in negotiation with a Telecom/Vodafone consortium to deliver its Rural Broadband Initiative reinforces serious concerns about the future of a competitive communications market in rural areas,” says InternetNZ (Internet New Zealand Inc) Chief Executive Vikram Kumar.

He was commenting on this morning’s announcement by Steven Joyce that the Government has decided to proceed to commercial negotiations with the two telco giants to deliver a $285m improvement to rural telecommunications infrastructure.

“InternetNZ strongly supports policy to raise broadband speeds, and that is why we welcomed the Rural Broadband Initiative when it was announced,” Vikram Kumar says.

“A reasonable-sized investment in new infrastructure provided on open access terms would be of clear benefit to rural areas. But the gains that could be made from this investment may be put at risk by the legal framework that surrounds the Rural Broadband initiative, and the weakness of the open access obligations that will apply to it.

“A partnership with existing infrastructure owners makes it difficult to identify new build, continuing the problems associated with the TSO (where rural subsidies were not clearly attached to new infrastructure).

“The open access obligations that have been proposed are, like those set out for the Ultra-fast Broadband Initiative, far from strong.  This will unfortunately limit retail service providers’ ability to compete with the infrastructure providers themselves, who are also the major retail providers in rural areas. 

“Given that the two partners are the major infrastructure owners today, new infrastructure based competition will not emerge. This reinforces the importance of very strong open access provisions and a big role for the Commerce Commission.

“Our reading of the Telecommunications Amendment Bill currently before Parliament is that the regulatory holiday that the Government is trying to secure for urban providers could also apply to this rural scheme.  The unacceptable scenario of an unregulated pairing of the country’s biggest telcos controlling New Zealand’s rural communications infrastructure thus becomes a real prospect.

"The Government will be expecting a successful conclusion to these negotiations.  As soon as possible, it should take two steps that would help assure the public that their interests are being put first.

“First, the Government should clarify that the rural broadband initiative will be fully covered by the regulatory powers of the Commerce Commission under the Telecommunications Act – that is, that the regulatory holiday that is proposed for urban areas will not apply to this rural scheme.

“That is a simple way to give the public confidence that this scheme will be run to the benefit of rural customers of broadband – and not just Vodafone and Telecom themselves,” Vikram Kumar says.

“Second, the Government should assure the public that it will only sign the contracts currently under negotiation if it can be assured that the combination of open access requirements and the regulatory framework that will apply are going to work in the public interest. 

“If this is not clear, the Government should exercise the right to go back to market and undertake negotiations with other prospective partners,” says Vikram Kumar. 





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  Reply # 436227 7-Feb-2011 12:22 Send private message

Two questions.

1. What will it cost me to put an AP on a government funded tower so I can feed a customer?

2. What will it cost me to connect my AP to the government funded fibre from the tower back to a hand over point?





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Reply # 436240 7-Feb-2011 12:37 Send private message

DonGould: Two questions.

1. What will it cost me to put an AP on a government funded tower so I can feed a customer?

2. What will it cost me to connect my AP to the government funded fibre from the tower back to a hand over point?



A customer as in 1?

Please tell me you are kidding




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  Reply # 436244 7-Feb-2011 12:43 Send private message

johnr: A customer as in 1?


Yip.  Last time I counted.

johnr:Please tell me you are kidding


No.  Not kidding at all.

Telecom currently have FTTN units with 12 customers on them.  This stuff is going to have even less population density, hence if we just consider the FTTN example, 10% of the market for a competitor is 1 customer.





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  Reply # 436249 7-Feb-2011 12:45 Send private message

DonGould:
johnr: A customer as in 1?


Yip.? Last time I counted.

johnr:Please tell me you are kidding


No.? Not kidding at all.

Telecom currently have FTTN units with 12 customers on them.? This stuff is going to have even less population density, hence if we just consider the FTTN example, 10% of the market for a competitor is 1 customer.



12 is alot more than 1 (12 x more)




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  Reply # 436252 7-Feb-2011 12:50 Send private message

johnr: 12 is alot more than 1 (12 x more)


Clearly you missed the point of what I was saying.

The given area has 12 customers.  They are all currently serviced via a Telecom FTTN cabinet because that's the only choice.

However with this RBI thing, the govt is giving Telecom/Vodafone $300m to put a fibre fed tower in range of those 12 customers.

I want to know what it will cost me to put an AP on said tower to feed 10% of the customers in that area - 1 customer.





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  Reply # 436257 7-Feb-2011 12:56

Is this like the discussion you started expecting a certain company to spend $150,000 for about 3 customers? How much do you expect the monthly bill to be $2000?




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  Reply # 436258 7-Feb-2011 12:58 Send private message

Until there is a service one cannot predict who the 'providers' are, therefore nor how many customers each may terminate....


(What do we call this new joint venture??? Voda-com [err...no] or Tele-Fone....... finally rural customers will be able to get a Tele-Fone service.... )

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  Reply # 436259 7-Feb-2011 13:00 Send private message

Probably quite a lot.. rental of the space on the tower, connection/access to fibre backhaul, backhaul service and handover to your network/noc/pop.



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  Reply # 436263 7-Feb-2011 13:07 Send private message

SteveON: Is this like the discussion you started expecting a certain company to spend $150,000 for about 3 customers? How much do you expect the monthly bill to be $2000?


Sorry, which thread was that?

I have no idea what the monthly bill might be.  How could I hope to figure that out till I know what the tower and fibre costs are for the stuff that my taxes are paying for?




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  Reply # 436268 7-Feb-2011 13:13 Send private message

Ragnor: Probably quite a lot.. rental of the space on the tower, connection/access to fibre backhaul, backhaul service and handover to your network/noc/pop.




Hold up.... 

The govt is paying for the tower and the fibre.

Why shouldn't I have equal commercial terms - ie I pay for my AP and media converter the same way Telecom and Vodafone are paying for theirs?

I don't follow where the hand over comes in to it.  I just want to put my other media converter on the other end of the bit of fibre in a box out side just like any normal telecom demarcation point now. 

I assume that each one of these towers is going to be feed with at least a 12 core fibre?  Or will it just be 6 cores?  That's more than enough for each of 6 providers to have a single core each.

Now again...  what's it going to cost me to put my AP on the tower and use the govt funded fibre?

Will it be a reverse retail calculation as a forward build cost calculation clearly won't work? 




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  Reply # 436274 7-Feb-2011 13:18 Send private message

DonGould:
Ragnor: Probably quite a lot.. rental of the space on the tower, connection/access to fibre backhaul, backhaul service and handover to your network/noc/pop.




Hold up....?

The govt is paying for the tower and the fibre.

Why shouldn't I have equal commercial terms - ie I pay for my AP and media converter the same way Telecom and Vodafone are paying for theirs?

I don't follow where the hand over comes in to it.? I just want to put my other media converter on the other end of the bit of fibre in a box out side just like any normal telecom demarcation point now.?

I assume that each one of these towers is going to be feed with at least a 12 core fibre?? Or will it just be 6 cores?? That's more than enough for each of 6 providers to have a single core each.

Now again...? what's it going to cost me to put my AP on the tower and use the govt funded fibre?

Will it be a reverse retail calculation as a forward build cost calculation clearly won't work??


What about on going rent for your AP on the tower?





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