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# 79431 17-Mar-2011 12:23
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Allan Freeth: Flawed broadband proposals send NZ back to dark ages
Your Thoughts Geekzoners?

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  # 449212 17-Mar-2011 12:55
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TelstraClear complaining   yet again??




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  # 449241 17-Mar-2011 14:12
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It comes across a little as moaning that TC isn't involved, but it makes some good points. On one hand duplication isn't always smart, but on the other hand duplication will force competition.

Maybe the competition will force TelstraClear to improve their atrocious customer service, or reduce internet prices. I wouldn't immediately move if fiber was available, but if it were more flexible than TC or offered better customer service then I might try it some time.

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  # 449250 17-Mar-2011 14:39
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I think you folks are missing a very important point - and even though you might say TelstraClear is voicing these concerns for their own future benefit...

I am talking about "the 10-year regulatory "holiday" the bill proposes to grant to Government-funded fibre services. This locks out until late 2019 the consumer's watchdog, the Commerce Commission, from recommending regulations around price and access to UFB services."

Does anyone would like to comment on giving telcos some eight years of non-regulation from now?







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  # 449251 17-Mar-2011 14:43
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I think we'd need to know more about what kind of controls and regulation it'd be subject to before we can make any informed comment. Surely they wouldn't be able to do whatever they wanted to, there must be some kind of oversight.

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  # 449255 17-Mar-2011 15:00
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regulatory holiday == teleco's (eg, Telecom, most likely) get to rort us for 8 years. Wholesale to other ISPs will take forever and be crap. Loads of delays, crap service, crap CIR/handovers/etc.

Of course, I _might_ be being to pessimistic, but..

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  # 449275 17-Mar-2011 15:51
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That is unbelievable! What is the justification for a regulation holiday until 2019? I could understand, perhaps, a two or three year holiday which would allow for a fair customer base to settle in but eight years? That is excessive and makes me worried :S

The duplication argument is invalid. He can't argue against the construction of fibre in places where he already has cable. TelstraClear isn't going to offer the cable on an open access basis is it?

His third argument is under-developed and I don't really understand what he is getting at. He mentions the need for competition for better things on our screens. I am fairly certain that content is very much based on build it and it will come.

 
 
 
 


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  # 449500 18-Mar-2011 10:14
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Is this the very same Dr Freeth who was reported in 2008 as saying

" main benefit of true high-speed broadband at home may simply be faster porn and movie downloads, and that there would be no impact on productivity"


http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/BU0809/S00073.htm


Not wanting to draw a long bow (which no doubt I am) but after reading the open letter in the Dom. today it seems his early philosophies on HS broadband have changed somewhat and the realisation that they may well be left in the cold shortly is becoming a reality!






 

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  # 449517 18-Mar-2011 10:59
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Testerpot: Is this the very same Dr Freeth who was reported in 2008 as saying

" main benefit of true high-speed broadband at home may simply be faster porn and movie downloads, and that there would be no impact on productivity"


http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/BU0809/S00073.htm


Not wanting to draw a long bow (which no doubt I am) but after reading the open letter in the Dom. today it seems his early philosophies on HS broadband have changed somewhat and the realisation that they may well be left in the cold shortly is becoming a reality!






 


I don't think TCL are being left in the cold. Their HFC network has plenty of capacity and the channel bonding capabilities of DOCSIS are only limited by RF spectrum and hardware cabilities.

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  # 449533 18-Mar-2011 11:26
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Testerpot: Is this the very same Dr Freeth who was reported in 2008 as saying

" main benefit of true high-speed broadband at home may simply be faster porn and movie downloads, and that there would be no impact on productivity"


http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/BU0809/S00073.htm


Not wanting to draw a long bow (which no doubt I am) but after reading the open letter in the Dom. today it seems his early philosophies on HS broadband have changed somewhat and the realisation that they may well be left in the cold shortly is becoming a reality!






 


Isn;t that, more or less, what he is still saying? i.e. speed alone won't increase productivity.


"Finally, just as competition is healthy for UFB delivery, there's also the need for healthy competition around content and its distribution.

We know from 100Mbps trials TelstraClear conducted with residential customers in Wellington and Christchurch last year that Kiwis are unlikely to seek upgraded broadband solely because it's faster.

For these reasons I believe there's a real risk taxpayers will sink $1 billion into UFB for little outcome.

What if, a couple of years on, people see nothing new on their screens and the prices aren't good enough to make them want to shift from copper? What then happens to the Government's goal of connecting 75 per cent of New Zealand households to broadband?"

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  # 449538 18-Mar-2011 11:35
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NonprayingMantis: Kiwis are unlikely to seek upgraded broadband solely because it's faster.


Indeed, there need to be larger caps or faster capped speeds..

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  # 449541 18-Mar-2011 11:52
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1080p: That is unbelievable! What is the justification for a regulation holiday until 2019? I could understand, perhaps, a two or three year holiday which would allow for a fair customer base to settle in but eight years? That is excessive and makes me worried :S


I think their aim of a 10 year regulatory holiday is inherently flawed personally, but I'm guessing they are focussed less on the price (which is agreed through CFH contract) and more on the overall obligations, given that the political party in power will probably change some time in the next 10 years and might want to put their own regulatory stamp on things which incurs extra costs and blows the already shakey business case for building it in the first place.

His third argument is under-developed and I don't really understand what he is getting at. He mentions the need for competition for better things on our screens. I am fairly certain that content is very much based on build it and it will come.


The "build it and they will come" arguement is quite hard to apply here, lets take what is probably the most mainstream example thrown around, pay TV.

Sky has a large customer base already, based purely on the content they hold rights to being appealing to consumers. To offer an effective competing product, you would need to sink hundreds of millions of dollars into buying content rights, and given they are on exclusive basis, you would only be able to buy new unproven stuff or stuff Sky doesn't already have tied into a contract.

And before you can say "Hulu", consider that in order to offer NBC/Fox/ABC etc. content over a Hulu style service in NZ, they would need to break the existing contracts with Sky for exclusivity in this region on that content, which is less cash in the bank for the studio's weighed against potential uptake of an Advertisement or subscription based service, I think the phrase "A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush" applies there.

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  # 449554 18-Mar-2011 13:02
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Cymro: 


Sky has a large customer base already, based purely on the content they hold rights to being appealing to consumers. To offer an effective competing product, you would need to sink hundreds of millions of dollars into buying content rights, and given they are on exclusive basis, you would only be able to buy new unproven stuff or stuff Sky doesn't already have tied into a contract.


 

Didn't Saturn  in Wellington have a competitive pay TV offering that was trashed once Telstra took them over and  got into be with sky??




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  # 449626 18-Mar-2011 15:02
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The "10-year-regulatory-holiday" is very, very worrying, as is the whole process the government is rushing through here.

The government has to do something to balance or mitigate the inherent "primary-self-interest" of the commercial entities (telcos etc) it is looking to work with to roll out fibre.
But, it is going about this in a completely flawed way.

No-one could accuse the current crop of NZ Telcos of being altruistic - rather they appear to sell their services in such a way that the end-users more often than not feel shafted to some degree. Witness evils such as intentionally confusing calling plans, abominable wait times for service, and high prices (rorting).

But - they do have some very valid points when criticizing the government's approach to this UFB process, and just because we don't like the telcos, doesn't mean we shouldn't listen to them this time.

I suspect that the whole design of the process, which I think has been developed by the Ministry of Economic Development and Minister Joyce, is fatally flawed.

I doubt it will lead to what we really need - which is an optimal spend of public money to achieve quick and tangible benefits by the majority of New Zealanders using fast broadband, whilst making the best use of existing fibre/telco assets in a fair and sensible way.

In my ideal world, there would be one government-owned network backbone, made up of current technology, properly maintained and developed, with multiple parties using it to offer differentiated services to us all. All done with transparency and fair and equal treatment for all parties.

But this isn't an ideal world, because we can't just wave a magic wand and pretend that there isn't existing privately owned and differing sets of network infrastructure out there which needs to be taken into account.
The challenge is moving from what we have today to a new "regime" without wasting money and time and resources.

The best thing we can hope for now is for Minister Joyce to have an epiphany and stop the current "no-win" process.

I don't care how he justifies stopping it, but he needs to, and fast.

Perhaps he could say that he has listened carefully to the mounting concerns of the key players i.e. all the Telcos etc (except TelecomNZ) that are showing surprising unanimity in opposing the current track, and has come to realise that the MED have a significantly flawed plan, and invite the industry and key players to work with him to develop a better approach - in say a "blitzkrieg re-planning effort".

I perceive Joyce is the kind of person who likes to get (big) things done, and he has quite a track record in this regard. So I'm sure he would do everything possible to avoid being seen as failing or going backwards on this key-government initiative. So we need to find ways for him to save face. The opposition could actually help us get a better result here if they resisted their natural and understandable instincts to lambast him for changing tack.

But dear god, we really do want him/the government to change tack, so lets suck it up and make it workable for him/them to do so.




kind regards Andrew TD


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  # 449708 18-Mar-2011 17:31
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old3eyes:
Cymro: 


Sky has a large customer base already, based purely on the content they hold rights to being appealing to consumers. To offer an effective competing product, you would need to sink hundreds of millions of dollars into buying content rights, and given they are on exclusive basis, you would only be able to buy new unproven stuff or stuff Sky doesn't already have tied into a contract.


 

Didn't Saturn  in Wellington have a competitive pay TV offering that was trashed once Telstra took them over and  got into be with sky??


It wasn't competitive at all, hence their reason for joining with Sky. People want pay tv for channels like Sky Sport, and without them Saturn was a very hard sell. Remember that TCL still source many channels independently of Sky, they aren't simply repackaging Sky's product.

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