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173 posts

Master Geek

  Reply # 116858 15-Mar-2008 19:59
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There's some great comments here, and delivered in a very thoughtful manner.  Good also to see the likes of Paul explaining their position, as well as comments from Grant about the rural sector, and so on. IMHO - I would only add the following:

a) Regulation of the local loop is often spoken of in terms of opening up of Telecom's network - which is not entirely true.  It was never closed in the first place.  You could always lease Telecom circuits (and indeed, the likes of Telstra, AT&T, Voda, Bloomberg, Reuters, etc) have had their own switched equipment on the network for years - decades in some cases.  It was more the case of whether or not you could afford the prices Telecom were charging - which for many ISPs they could not.  To me it raises the question - were Telecom prices too expensive, or are some of the wannabe Telcos simply not big enough? Probably a bit of both I would guess.

b) Where is the regulation going? Overall I think its been positive. It has certainly opened up a whole bunch of new possibilities, but is the constant raft of legislation going to be a permanent feature - or is there a point where the govt says "ok, we've done what you asked now it time for you to go and do your stuff". Regulation is a fact of life, and there isn't a single sector that isn't regulated in some way, but with telecommunications - Telecom is regulated in terms of who can own it, how much the can own, what products they can sell, who the can sell it too, what they can sell it for, what structure the company can have, and by the looks of it - what sort of bonus they can pay their GMs? I'd almost be tempted to say just nationalise them and be done with it - but I'm old enough to remember what it was like when Telecom was a govt dept (nooooooo...... ). I guess this is more a question about finding the balance between telecommunications as a business, and as a public service.

c)  Just exactly what is the govts plan? At present I count no less than 5 differnet initiatives currently managed or backed by the tax payer,

- government shared network,
- Karen,
- various MUSH networks,
- Kordia (Orcon, etc),

the last two when placed together look........slightly dodgy? (i.e - funding your own ISP while regulating your competitors network). I know there's nothing to it but geezzzz!

anyway, just a few thoughts. cheers.

1889 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 119


  Reply # 118684 26-Mar-2008 02:47
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First of all, it would have to be a very small village to make VDSL feasible from a central exchange. I think datarates drop sharply after 200m and max useful distance 500m (all equipment is designed for outdoor cabinets anyway). However, your small town might have some very important customers who all need better solutions than they currently pay thousands for with frame relay. So thats where LLU really has potential to add value to the NZ economy.

LLU should have happened 10 years ago or at least when it was promised by Labour as an election pledge; its taken years to implement election policy that still isnt complete and should have been started by the previous Nats government. LLU had potential to make the NZ economy more efficient and compensate for a few of the effects of isolation from international markets. The Bitstream service was never implemented as promised either, backhaul was originally promised on partially unbundled ethernet links that were planned at launch of 256k UBS. Too difficult and ComCom never had anything to enforce because the Bitstream deal was done directly with government and then TCL withdrew their request for backhaul determination.

Cabinetisation was always going to happen and the network investment being started now would have seen much more competition if it happened 8 years ago. The bad timing of LLU just in time for cabinetisation is because governments never did (and probably no government ever will) understand the telecomms industry enough to specify particular services. LLU was an attempt to create a mechanism where the industry can respond to customer demand by installing new technology and services. The new hurdles will involve how to create competition out of street cabinets when hostile lobby groups appear out of nowhere trying to get your cabinets and wireless services banned.

I hope that in future the cabinetisation will precipitate more competition in a range of technologies from fibre to wireless, and that we can also get a colocation service from Telecom street cabinets so that telecom does not need to bear the full cost of cabinetisation. That would allow deals where Telecom can buy colocation into 3rd-party cabinets too instead of just telling customers there is no schedule to install broadband. Eventually the real near-monopoly for some areas could be the backhaul out to cabinets and Council approval to install cabinets in residential areas, and will not always be Telecom. The most valuable parts of the installed network will attract most rent from providers that need to use them.

Probably everybody wished Pukekohe was unbundled a while ago, could have saved lots of stress when the actual exchange died!

MDR is one they probably want to unbundle because Central Auckland faces the most competition from Fibre and potentially wireless...

Qualified in business, certified in fibre, stuck in copper, have to keep going  ^_^


1889 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 119


  Reply # 118685 26-Mar-2008 03:09
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There is no such thing as a "ladder of investment", and most of the government initiatives conflict with each other instead of developing the market. Some ISPs specialise in aspects of the business that dont involve network build, but may purchase wholesale connections form other providers who have a different business model. Several niche providers already have wireless connections in some limited area they built themselves but may buy wholesale ADSL from another provider. There is a provider in Auckland that specialises in fibre to apartments so doesnt need to own much infrastructure. Those type of operators will happen more and more as competition develops.

Qualified in business, certified in fibre, stuck in copper, have to keep going  ^_^

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