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BDFL - Memuneh
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#22842 10-Jun-2008 10:01
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We here at Geekzone managed to get some time from Dr Allan Freeth to answer questions you will post in this thread.

These are the rules:

1.Only questions in this thread. Any post that it is not a question will be removed
2.Only valid questions. Any post with questions that are clearly trying to make a point or being a troll will be removed
3.We want your questions but we obviously have a time limit so this thread will be locked Monday 16th June
4.Dr Allan Freeth wants your questions but he obviously has a time limit too, so we will try to merge some questions and limit to the most interesting ones.

Here is a short bio:

"Dr Allan Freeth was appointed Chief Executive Officer of TelstraClear in 2005. Prior to joining the company, reflecting his wide-ranging strategic and management skills, Allan was a member on the TelstraClear Advisory Committee and Managing Director of Wrightson. This followed five years with Trust Bank in a number of senior roles before being appointed General Manager, Executive Office.

Allan became a Doctor of Philosophy in Population Genetics through the Australian National University in Canberra, has a Bachelor of Science (Hons) from Canterbury University, and an MBA with Distinction.

He is a member of the Treasury Advisory Board, a Director of the Geological and Nuclear Science Crown Research Institute, and is

Chairman of Save the Children New Zealand Board, and has just stepped down as Chair of Queen Margaret College Board of Governors."

Please post your questions here!

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  #136931 10-Jun-2008 10:30
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1) If TCL customers who ported their TNZ numbers over to TCL before the April 07's Number Portability, will these customers get an opportunity to consolidate their dual-number lines into single phone number?

2) When will TCL be willing to provide a mid-high quality single-unit digital tv decoder with modern video outputs like components or hdmi. As seeing that Sky TV has an edge on their offer of modern device which will allow HD programmes in today's HD TV sets.

3) Now that Sky Online is available to Sky subscribers, how/when will TCL's customers get the access to that service seeing that TCL effectively reselling Sky services to their inHome customers.

4) When will TCL be offering mobile services for consumers, which in terms to help consolidating all bills into single-billing. And when will we see a GSM/3G implementation of TCL's mobile?


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  #136955 10-Jun-2008 11:09
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Dr Freeth, its fantastic that you agreed to participate here. I'm not sure whether we can ask for your own opinions here or just things about TelstraClear, but...

What is your view on the use of technology for competitive advantage? Do you agree with the likes of Nicholas Carr's "IT Doesn't Matter" article about Technology as Infrastructure? What is your view on the future of technology?

What is your perspective on the 'ideal' model of telecommunications infrastructure in a country like New Zealand? For example, do you prefer that every ISP owns and operates their own end to end network from CPE through to national or international peer, or a LLU model, or a shared national network, or something else?

In your view/experience, what are the main barriers to deploying broadband infrastructure in New Zealand (if any)?

What are the differences between communications networks in New Zealand and Australia in terms of building, managing, and regulating them?

Is TelstraClear strongly influenced either explicity or implicitly in it's strategy by the past and present strategy of Telstra Australia? Can you give some insight into the managerial relationship between Telstra Australia and TelstraClear New Zealand?

Do you believe it is the place of an ISP in this country to take any social responsibility with their products and services, or should they simply do the minumum required by law and otherwise act as a purely money making enterprise?

What is your opinion on the obligations set out in the Copyright (New Technologies) Amendement Bill for ISPs over Copyright Infringement by your customers? What is TelstraClear's Policy on this?

I admire Google for their ability to diffuse technology openly and still turn a profit. Are there any companies or people that you aspire to and do your aspirations influence the strategy of TelstraClear or other companies you had/have influence over?


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  #136961 10-Jun-2008 11:35
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How do you expect Clearnet to compete with the likes of NZ Herald and Stuff? Can you honestly sit down, open the website and say this will make people switch from their current news site to this new portal? What does the portal have that other sites don't?

I'm interested because we have such major players in the NZ market that anything new needs to be that much better than the competition and I'm not sure that Clearnet is in its current form.

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  #137061 10-Jun-2008 16:28
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Does Telstraclear plan to put a significant investment into LLU like Vodafone or Orcon? Do you beleive that this is the best option for new zealand as opposed to nationwide cable network?

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  #137094 10-Jun-2008 18:26
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Are there definite plans to increase the number of houses connected to the TelstraClear network (ie not using Telecom's lines) in Christchurch?

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  #137133 10-Jun-2008 19:38
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1. What car do you drive?  :P
2. Are there plans to expand your cable network to other centres? Alternative technologies?
3. Is Telstraclear planning follow Vodafone and Orcon into LLU? Or build your own network?

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  #137158 10-Jun-2008 20:57
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1. Are you planning to upgrade your installation abilitys? as we tryed to get Telstra, but we couldnt as your thruster that thrusts the cable underground could only go 10m so we would have to dig around 4 holes in our driveway to get telstra, so it wasnt worth the effort.

2. What is your view on underqualified people going into the I.T. industry? with the current NCEA set-up it just doesnt work or make sense, from personal expierience, I am getting level 2 and 3 computing credits in year 10 because they are so easy.

3. Why are Telstras hold times for technical support so bad? I may be moving house soon, and the house we are looking at has telstra, but I might re-consider based on the current hold times that my friends and people on this forum are currently getting.

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  #137195 10-Jun-2008 22:06
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The big 2 questions from me are:

Is Telstra going to keep developing the old Saturn network or is it just "as it is until outdated" type of setup?

Is Telstra still considering a mobile network of sorts, maybe based on new technology?

TelstraClear have some very innovative stuff and need to be commended on some of these.

Ztalk is great, short duration quick calls are cheap per minute as not all of us are interested in long duration "caps".
Please allow all customers access to the "coded access" 0505 calls like we used to.

Talkplus calling card has stellar reliabaility and perfect quality with good "everyday rates" I get a lot of mileage from mine.

PDQ is very flexible with data charged in 10GB chunks automatically.
Dropping the 10GB price to just a flat $10 would make it even more appetizing.
The bad is you have to have other services with Telstraclear just to even get the service, Paying an extra $10 a month should be an option, better still, no penalty, a partial customer is better than none at all.

Congrats for coming on here for feedback. looks to see more from Telstra in the near future.

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  #137241 11-Jun-2008 09:44
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Early last year Telstra stated in a Wellington newspaper that they would be offering a PVR for their calbe TV network in the near future and made the same annoucment about a month ago. When can we realistically expect a PVR?

Thanks Paul

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  #137316 11-Jun-2008 13:37
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I have some practical questions about TelstraClear's cable digital TV service.

1. Does TC have plans to support HD?  When? 

2. Does TC have plans to improve the quality of the EPG?  The current state of the EPG is poor.  There is no episode info on most programs, channels come and go, EPG gets out of sync with broadcast, etc.

3. The current set top box is of poor quality - well at least the software is.  It is buggy and crashes regularly.  What are TCs plans to improve this situation?  Why doesn't TC offer the facility to report bugs so they can be passed onto the STB manufacturer?

4. Will TC ever offer the option of a-la-carte channels?  For example, why do I have to get all the Sky Sport channels if I want the Rugby Channel?  Why do I need to get a bunch of other channels like Fox News to get the Arts Channel?

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  #137523 12-Jun-2008 02:48
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Some more questions:

Around here, Telstraclear has a large amount of support for its cable broadband network given its advantages over current ADSL products in the Wellington and Christchurch areas. Given the prices rises coming into effect on July 1, and a range of technical issues in recent times, what will TelstraClear be doing to keep the cable network a preferred option?

A follow on question from the copyright ones: What is your opinion of Net Neutrality? What is TelstraClear's strategy/policy on this?

TelstraClear has recently stated that it will not participate in Telecom's new peering scheme for the time being. What is your view on the principle of peering? Under what conditions will TelstraClear participate in national peering (if any)? Does TelstraClear have an alternative or preferred peering scheme, and can you describe it?

Various companies such as Slingshot, 2talk, WorldExchange and a number of others offer VoIP products at extremely competitive rates. Does TelstraClear plan to enter into the VoIP market, either as an extention to or as a replacement of it's existing POTS phone network?

Telecom New Zealand is implementing their Next Generation Network using various modern technologies such as ethernet and IP communications. What initiatives (if any) is TelstraClear taking to modernise and/or improve their network infrastructure?

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  #137530 12-Jun-2008 08:10
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My questions are:

1) Why is the largest plan that TCL offer on Cable is 80GB, for customers who want any more data the only offerings TCL have is either two cable modems (a completely ridiculous solution, for many technical reasons) or pay for the extra data (also unacceptible).  TCL need to sort out their billing system to have offerings that are more sutiable offerings for business customers or customers who want more data per month than 80GB in Wellington.

2) The Digital TV offering.  As has been repeatidly stated, support for HD, Component & HDMI, PVR options, a single STB that does not require an additional Cable Modem for EPG/PPV.

3) Cable Internet Modem options.  It is very common practice that customers can own their own Cable Modems in most countries.  This would allow customers to have more flexibility on what sort of features they wanted out of a single Cable Modem such as WIFI, or at the very least have a router, rather than a bridge.

4) Cable ARP Traffic.  This has been done to death, but posts from TCL staffers had said it will be sorted out in 6-8 weeks, this really should have been a more official release from TCL accepting the problem and giving an ETA of the fix, rather than a staffer having to post information himself, which may or may not have been ratified by TCL mgmt.

5) Internet Peering.  It was a huge shame when TCL de-peered from WIX/Citylink.  This has huge ramiffications for people wanting to use services that are connected to Citylink, although they live 1km away from the server they want to connect to, yet the traffic is routed via LA.  How does that in the interests of the customers?  The only option is to use a ISP like Xtreme or someone else who on-sells TCL Cable Services that do peer with Citylink.


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#138612 17-Jun-2008 08:13
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Thank you everyone who participated. I have forwarded the questions to TelstraClear and will post an update here with the answers.

BDFL - Memuneh
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#141821 1-Jul-2008 11:20
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Folks, we have now posted the answers to these questions. Note that not all questions were answered - I went through all of them and merged some, reworded a few.

You can comment from below this point...

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  #142002 1-Jul-2008 19:26
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I am disappointed with Dr Freeth's response to HD & updated PVR/STB for customers.  This was clearly the most sort after information if you look at the questions above, yet all he said was "yes" HD is coming.

No timeframes - No Information. 

This is pretty poor marketing and makes one throw in the Telstra towel and go Sky HD.

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