×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

AU Goverment To Break Up Telstra; Filtering News

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the breaking-up-is-hard-to-do dept.

Businesses 144

benz001 writes "The Minister who has pushed the ridiculous broadband filter plan has at least won a few brownie points with yesterday's press conference, in which he promised to force Telstra to split its network and wholesale businesses. Australia's largest ISP, and the country's main infrastructure owner, will be given a chance to implement the structural separation voluntarily; if it does not, the Government will step in with legislation. Here is the Minister's official press release." And speaking of the filtering program, reader smash writes "After several years of debate and electioneering, some statistics on the Australian national web filtering effort have been disclosed. Apparently, the typical Aussie web surfer is 70 times more likely to win the national lotto than stumble across a blocked page. Additionally, despite the claim that the main aim of the filter is to block child pornography, only 313 of the 977 total sites blocked is on the basis of child porn. At $40M AU so far in taxpayers funds, the cost so far is around $40,900 per blocked URL. Government efficiency at work..."

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered

144 comments

It's hard enough dealing with ONE Telstra (2, Insightful)

Centurix (249778) | more than 4 years ago | (#29436087)

Let alone two.

Re:It's hard enough dealing with ONE Telstra (1)

bloodhawk (813939) | more than 4 years ago | (#29436131)

The sad Reality of such a break up is that their is not going to be a significant benefit to the consumer. Instead of one monopoly we will have 2, One still in complete control of the infrastructure and still setting prices and a second dominate retail division which will still be the defacto standard for people to use as they don't know better.

Re:It's hard enough dealing with ONE Telstra (5, Informative)

Zeussy (868062) | more than 4 years ago | (#29436327)

From the article it sounds like they are implementing something like what the British government did with BT, that the 2 firms cannot give each other preferential treatment, or special rates. To encourage competetion.

Re:It's hard enough dealing with ONE Telstra (1)

mjwx (966435) | more than 4 years ago | (#29436341)

Mod Parent Up.

From the article it sounds like they are implementing something like what the British government did with BT, that the 2 firms cannot give each other preferential treatment, or special rates. To encourage competition.

This is exactly what they hope to accomplish and exactly what Telstra is doing.

Re:It's hard enough dealing with ONE Telstra (3, Informative)

sortius_nod (1080919) | more than 4 years ago | (#29436911)

Indeed, and any suggestion otherwise is merely FUD.

Having worked for Telstra, their attitude toward wholesale customers is absolutely terrible. They are deliberately given worse service than Telstra customers, even though ALL Australians paid for the network they "own". This is great news and I have been pushing for this as a viable alternative to the mess that is Aussie telecoms - mind you, most people have no idea of the real impact and just parrot the FUD spreaders.

I wouldn't be surprised if bloodhawk is in Telstra middle management.

Re:It's hard enough dealing with ONE Telstra (4, Interesting)

Spit (23158) | more than 4 years ago | (#29437127)

There are astonishing anti-competitive roadblocks to wholesalers. I recently looked into converting my internet service into a naked service, but the caveats and hoops they have to jump through made me give up for now.

The internet service stays the same, the physical wire stays the same, the exchange connections pretty much stay the same, all that I wanted to change was moving the line rental from Telstra to my ISP. To do so would require a totally new service to be commissioned with extended outages, and was told this is an artificial limitation.

Re:It's hard enough dealing with ONE Telstra (2, Insightful)

Hucko (998827) | more than 4 years ago | (#29437145)

Indeed, and any suggestion otherwise is merely FUD. Having worked for Telstra, their attitude toward customers is absolutely terrible. They are deliberately given worse service than corporate CIOs, even though ALL Australians paid for the network they "own". This is great news and I have been pushing for this as a viable alternative to the mess that is Aussie telecoms - mind you, most people have no idea of the real impact and just parrot the FUD spreaders. I wouldn't be surprised if bloodhawk is in Telstra middle management.

There I fixed... yada, yada. *sob*

Re:It's hard enough dealing with ONE Telstra (3, Interesting)

crafty.munchkin (1220528) | more than 4 years ago | (#29436363)

... until they get a a $280 bill for going over their transfer limit on their $29.95/month 200mb plan. Note I said transfer limit as Telstra include uploads and downloads in that.

My daughter spent 2 hrs on a kids games website at her grandparents house not long after they signed up to Telstra. This put their account over the limit, and combined with all the other traffic that went across the account in the first month, they received a $280 bill. Despite my repeatedly telling them that they should choose a better ISP (one which only includes downloads in the transfer limit for a start, and one that has a transfer limit that takes more than 10 minutes to chew through for another) I was the one who got yelled at. They were perfectly reasonable with the customer support person... *grumble*

Apparently the sales person told them that 200mb is more than they will ever need in a month for their account. I'd like to find someone in Telstra's sales department and see if they can convince me that they don't need wings to fly as i throw them from the nearest rooftop, by the sounds of things they might actually be able to convince me!

Re:It's hard enough dealing with ONE Telstra (1)

Fluffeh (1273756) | more than 4 years ago | (#29436547)

Hate to take the side that isn't yours here, but I would say that for an elderly couple, visiting a few websites and checking a bunch of mail messages, that 200 meg plan may be enough for an average month.

Is it flexible? No. Would I ever use a telstra plan? No. (I signed my parents up to Internode) Would I recommend Telstra as an ISP to anyone? No. Could you get much better value for the same $30 from another ISP? Of Course. Is it likely a 200 meg plan would suffice for many elderly couples and their foray in the "internets". Yes.

Re:It's hard enough dealing with ONE Telstra (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29436605)

Until a windows service pack is released which blows it all in one go.

Re:It's hard enough dealing with ONE Telstra (1)

crafty.munchkin (1220528) | more than 4 years ago | (#29436669)

that 200 meg plan may be enough for an average month.

My parents are in their early 60s. I wouldn't say that they are elderly (I'd be disinherited if I did!). I tried to get them to sign up with a more reasonable ISP like Netspace (who I'm with) but they have been on the interwebs since I was living at home with them (and I moved out in '96), and they have embraced it for all its glory in the last few years. They do far more than just checking a few websites and a few emails, and because they were comfortable with doing it on dial-up, they didn't choose to change until the Telstra sales people called them up and said for the same cost as their dialup plan ($29.95) they could be on broadband. They were easily doing 200mb on dialup, and with broadband making everything faster... well, you get the idea. Its a sad sign that they are more inclined to take the advice of a sales person than their own son, but I guess in the end they will be glad that I've retained ownership of my soul.

Re:It's hard enough dealing with ONE Telstra (1)

MrNaz (730548) | more than 4 years ago | (#29436703)

A single out of the ordinary anecdote does not prove a point. GP said 200mb may be enough for *some* elderly folk, not *all* elderly folk. I also agree, 200mb plans have a use case. I just think that charging the same for them as for a 2gb plan on another network is a bit steep.

Re:It's hard enough dealing with ONE Telstra (1)

Hucko (998827) | more than 4 years ago | (#29437267)

Two anecdotes? Besides if playing flash games for two hours puts you over 200mb transfer... it is hard to see that reasonable usage for anyone wouldn't do the same. People are sending pictures uncompressed at 5 & 8 Mb each. I think Telstra has generously increased to volume to a massive 500mb recently though.

Re:It's hard enough dealing with ONE Telstra (4, Insightful)

IWannaBeAnAC (653701) | more than 4 years ago | (#29436367)

No, this is excellent news, should have been done years ago. The problem with Telstra is that, as well as being a front-end retailer and ISP, they own all of the back-end infrastructure. Despite regulations that are supposed to allow access by other providers to the back-end infrastructure, Telstra have always managed to find a way to charge more for other companies to use the infrastructure than it costs themselves, giving Telstra (ISP) an unfair advantage over other ISP's.

Now, the retail end of Telstra (the part that would presumably keep the brand name) will need to compete on a level playing field with the other telcos for a share of the wholesale bandwidth. There is no reason for there to be any kind of special relationship between the separated arms of (former) Telstra, anyway there are plenty of existing laws (eg, price fixing!) to discourage that.

I don't agree that "people don't know better" than use Telstra. That might have been true for the first decade after deregulation, but no longer. Telstra is universally loathed in Australia, and people who still use it tend to only do so because in some markets (but by no means all) they are the cheapest.

Re:It's hard enough dealing with ONE Telstra (3, Informative)

wvmarle (1070040) | more than 4 years ago | (#29437111)

Absolutely true.

I have seen something similar going on in The Netherlands, where KPN (traditionally the only fixed-line telephone provider) has been forced to give access to other companies to their network, at good rates. Those rates are determined by the government, periodically reviewed, and are cost plus reasonable profit for the maintenance of the existing network.

It took a while, but first the IDD providers got in - users had to dial a four-digit prefix to select the carrier. Then those IDD providers also started to provide long-distance calls, with the same four-digit prefix. Then small devices came that would dial that prefix for you automatically and transparently. And now even that is not necessary anymore, users can directly set the IDD and long-distance carrier. And are billed by that carrier.

The same of course for ADSL services provided over the POTS network. First KPN's own povider Planet Internet was basically the only one, now there are dozens or even hundreds competing on the ADSL market, providing great choice for the consumer.

The only problem left is that because KPN owns the cables, so it is always a KPN technician that comes to your home to make necessary connections. And the communication between you (consumer that wants a connection), ISP (that has to set up your account) and KPN (that has to connect the cables) is not always going perfectly well.

Re:It's hard enough dealing with ONE Telstra (2, Interesting)

Jeeeb (1141117) | more than 4 years ago | (#29436379)

Things take time to change. This is a good first step. Alternative ISP have made vast inroads in the Australian market and competition has increased massively.

I first got broadband in 2003 on a 2 year conract, 512/128 1gb download limit (with uploads counted!) and excess charges for $70AUD a month through Telstra.... In 2004, I bought out the contract and switched to iiNet... 256/64kbps 4gb download limit (Uploads not counted) with excess usage capping for $60AUD. Oh how things have changed since then. I'm not living in Australia now, but last year I was on ADSL2+ (Upto 24mbps we usually got about 8-10mbps) with a 30gb download limit and speed capping for $60AUD per month. Despite 5 years of inflation prices have fallen, speeds have risen by 16x+ for many and download limits have risen by a factor of 10 at least and caps rather than excess usage charges are now the norm.

Telstra still holds a significant share of the market, but they're by no means dominant. True structural separation will remove the final barriers that competing ISPs have been complaining about.

On a side note, God I'm sick of Australians complaining about their internet access! Our urban areas aren't particular dense and most of our data comes from and goes to overseas locations requiring expensive to maintain communications satellites and underground cables. Despite that for about $60AUD ($50USD) most people have access to ADSL2+ with a generous download allowance (35gb looking at iiNet, 25 with no peak/off peak split looking at Internode). Furthermore, even if you don't have access to ADSL2+, 1.5mbps ADSL1 or cable is almost definitely available. Not only that but we're looking at massive new infrastructure rollouts in the next few years, which should see the final gaps fixed.

Re:It's hard enough dealing with ONE Telstra (3, Interesting)

sonicmerlin (1505111) | more than 4 years ago | (#29436507)

Hahaha. Your standards are so low it's laughable. "Generous download allowance" of 35 gigabytes? Your attitude is mind-numbingly ignorant.

If most of your data went through underseas cables, then why does your cap apply to all traffic?

You also realize most of the popular sites Australians visit are hosted locally in Australia, right? This reduces costs for the content providers as well as the ISPs.

Japan is a similarly isolated island country, and yet affordable 1 gbps connections are proliferating in urban areas.

Do you fully comprehend that the institution of caps is a gross abuse of the progress of internet technology? Speeds (and routers) increase according to Moore's Law. You should be experiencing internet speed increases on par with hardware speed increases.

Re:It's hard enough dealing with ONE Telstra (3, Informative)

zaydana (729943) | more than 4 years ago | (#29436573)

Japan is a similarly isolated island country, and yet affordable 1 gbps connections are proliferating in urban areas.

Population density of Japan: 337.6/km2
Population density of Australia: 2.833/km2

Theres a reason that 1gbps connections are available in Japan, but not Australia. For how isolated we are as a country here, its remarkable that we have the internet as good as we do.

Re:It's hard enough dealing with ONE Telstra (1)

LordAndrewSama (1216602) | more than 4 years ago | (#29437067)

Most of japan is likely urbanized, as they're a small island nation with a high population. Very little of Australia's landmass is urbanized, in comparison, as it's a small population and large swaths of desert, so while technically accurate, I doubt those population densities are a real indication of the difficulty of creating urban broadband infrastructure.

An example, New South Wales has just under one third of Australias population, Australias 'Northern Territory' is much much larger, yet has only 221,100 people.

Re:It's hard enough dealing with ONE Telstra (1)

Jeeeb (1141117) | more than 4 years ago | (#29437099)

I dealt with this in my reply to the grand parent bellow but basically the same thing applies to Japan. It's a very mountains country (About 70% mountains) with large areas of comparatively low population density. Japanese urban areas are _MUCH_ denser than Australian urban areas. Anyone who's been to the two countries could tell you that.

Re:It's hard enough dealing with ONE Telstra (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#29436603)

Japan is a similarly isolated island country, and yet affordable 1 gbps connections are proliferating in urban areas.

Japan has many times the population density of Australia. Their telecommunication markets are not comparable. The Japanese are a race. They really do look to their own country for content. Australians exchange data with countries which have comparable cultures. Europe and the USA.

Re:It's hard enough dealing with ONE Telstra (1)

mgblst (80109) | more than 4 years ago | (#29436853)

Yeah, Japan is equivalent. How far away from the continent is Japan? Now look at how far Australia is from anywhere. You fool.

Re:It's hard enough dealing with ONE Telstra (1)

Jeeeb (1141117) | more than 4 years ago | (#29436857)

Japan is a similarly isolated island country, and yet affordable 1 gbps connections are proliferating in urban areas.

Funnily enough I'm living in Japan atm and had a feeling that someone would raise it. Here's a few fun-facts about Japan. The total land area of Japan is about 370,000km2 or about 1/20 the size of Australia. 70% of this is land is mountainous and quite sparsely populated. Furthermore, the Tohoku and Hokaido regions in the north are cold and still quite sparsely populated (Comparatively speaking) with agriculture being dominate. Shikoku in the south is similarly less densely populated.

The large majority of the population lives along the East coast of the south half of Honshuu (the main island). This can be rough divided into Tokyo and its surrounds in the north-east on the Kanto plain and the Toukai and Kinki regions in the West where Nagoya, Osaka, Kobe .etc. are.

Given the way the Japanese population is concentrated into such a small area, it follows that Japanese cities everywhere are simply _MUCH_ denser than Australian cities. (I'd offer statistics but the methods of division are so different that there is no real way to compare the two). It's extremely obvious to anyone who's been to the two countries.

Higher population density = lower cost per person for delivering service. For every kilometre of cable it lays a Japanese company can reach _far_ more customers than an Australian company can.

Secondly Japan has much less need for overseas bandwidth than Australia does. Language and culture means Japanese internet users are focused on Japan. Even on p2p networks they're much more likely to be accessing Japanese language material, from other Japanese people. Australians comparatively are culturally and linguistically part of a much larger area and consequently be it through p2p downloads or normal browsing access much more overseas content.

Finally, gigabit connection or not (they're not as common as you suggest), you're not likely to get more than about 8-10mbps (I.e. ~1mB/s) downloading from overseas. That's just the speed of your connection to the ISP, the rest of the infrastructure doesn't really support those speeds.

Anyway, if download limits weren't necessary the market would've taken care of them by now. In case you haven't noticed Australian ISP's have been locked in harsh competition for several years driving prices down and speeds up. So no my attitude is not "mind-numbingly ignorant" as you put, I just have more of a grasp of reality.

Re:It's hard enough dealing with ONE Telstra (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29436713)

not correct, for access to the physical infrastructure the Retail company will have to bid along with other companies.
Who ever gives the physical owner the greatest percentage share of retail revenue.

The main concern should be severe geographical price discrepencies.

City of Port Philip made up of a number of towns
Melbourne, SOuth Melbourne, Nth Melbourne etc
Imagine Optus, Telstra Retail, AAPT have monopoly rights on a town each. Each pays Wholesale 10% , 12% and 33% respectably

Instead of one super rich telstra there will be three equally rich retailers Optus, Telstra Retail, AAPT.
and a super rich Wholesaler. whos best interest has all companies with a monopoly on a suburb, charge whatever rediculously high price they like.

Re:It's hard enough dealing with ONE Telstra (1)

mgblst (80109) | more than 4 years ago | (#29436733)

This is not true at all. We will have one that manages infrastructure, that will deal with all companies equally. You will then have one that competes, and is no different to the other carriers. HOW IS THIS 2 MONOPOLIES.

Re:It's hard enough dealing with ONE Telstra (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29436947)

The sad Reality of such a break up is that their is not going to be a significant benefit to the consumer. Instead of one monopoly we will have 2

I'd like to thank you on behalf of the ONE Telstra for actively working to discourage the break-up by spreading this kind of naysaying. Your cheque is in the mail.

Re:It's hard enough dealing with ONE Telstra (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29436165)

You (hopefully) won't have to deal with two. This *should* force Telstra wholesale to give most retailers similar pricing - hopefully it will cost less than it does now.

Australia is following New Zealand's lead (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29436481)

Australia is following New Zealand's lead, albeit more forcefully. The National Business Review [nbr.co.nz] reports that New Zealand's Telecom wholesale division will be blocked from future involvement unless it splits itself. Internet NZ said,

"If Telecom wants to make a serious pitch for taking part in this Initiative, then it should look at what is happening over the Tasman and consider the voluntary structural separation of Chorus from the rest of the Telecom group. Such a step could lead to Chorus being a viable investment partner in rolling out the high speed fibre New Zealand needs."

Re:It's hard enough dealing with ONE Telstra (1)

crafty.munchkin (1220528) | more than 4 years ago | (#29436485)

Let alone two.

How often do you have to directly contact a wholesaler, as a retail consumer?

Re:It's hard enough dealing with ONE Telstra (1)

BrokenHalo (565198) | more than 4 years ago | (#29436581)

How often do you have to directly contact a wholesaler, as a retail consumer?

If you've ever lived/worked in rural Australia, you'll have found that it's quite common to have to deal directly with Telstra, since they own all the phone lines and exchanges. Doesn't matter who's selling you the bandwidth.

Re:It's hard enough dealing with ONE Telstra (1, Insightful)

smash (1351) | more than 4 years ago | (#29436739)

They trade as telstra, but there are many departments within... and the left hand has no fucking idea what the right hand is doing.

My bet is that it will be situation normal whether they are split or not...

Re:It's hard enough dealing with ONE Telstra (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29436833)

Except that the Government will be able to scrutinize the interactions of the two companies a lot more, and presumably amend legislation and levy penalties against them if they offer preferential treatment.

Re:It's hard enough dealing with ONE Telstra (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29437129)

optus is the other telstra

Re:It's hard enough dealing with ONE Telstra (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29437191)

Actually this is what should have happened when the Howard government privatised Telstra in the first place.

The basic idea behind it is that the "network" arm will no longer have any incentive to price the other "retail" telcos out of the market (current Telstra Wholesale line rentals are (I believe) almost the same price (possibly more) Telstra charges it's END USERS for line rental.)

Statistics? (1)

blueg3 (192743) | more than 4 years ago | (#29436127)

Say what you will about the effectiveness and appropriateness of the Austrailian web filters... This "70 times more likely to win the national lottery" business was clearly pulled out of someone's ass, and in the process, they made a number of egregiously wrong statements.

Re:Statistics? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29436149)

Say what you will about the effectiveness and appropriateness of the Austrailian web filters... This "70 times more likely to win the national lottery" business was clearly pulled out of someone's ass, and in the process, they made a number of egregiously wrong statements.

maybe they were black or aboriginal, making you automatically a racist for disagreeing with them. barak obama is change we can believe in!

Re:Statistics? (1, Troll)

ztransform (929641) | more than 4 years ago | (#29436237)

maybe they were black or aboriginal, making you automatically a racist for disagreeing with them.

I found it interesting being in the UK and having British Blacks come up to me and harassing me for the way Australians treated Aboriginals. To think that I was a native of a country (UK) being harassed by immigrants (Africans) about harassing immigrants (Aboriginals)! Made me laugh; I guess some races just strive to prove genetic deficiency when political correctness prevents people from theorising it.

Re:Statistics? (2, Interesting)

absoluteflatness (913952) | more than 4 years ago | (#29436663)

To think that I was a native of a country (UK) being harassed by immigrants (Africans) about harassing immigrants (Aboriginals)!

In what way are Aboriginal people immigrants?

Re:Statistics? (1)

ztransform (929641) | more than 4 years ago | (#29436699)

There are times one wishes they could edit their post because they got their grammar or example wrong. You're right, the line should have read: To think that I was a native of a country (UK) being harassed by immigrants (Africans) about immigrants (British) harassing natives (Aboriginals)!

Re:Statistics? (2, Insightful)

sodul (833177) | more than 4 years ago | (#29437575)

Off topic but the irony and the laugh would be on you if they "harassed" you the same the British did: by harassment do you mean they forced you out of your homes, to learn their imported language, killed your friends and kidnaped your kids ?

Re:Statistics? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29437255)

I found it interesting being in the UK and having British Blacks come up to me and harassing me for the way Australians treated Aboriginals.

Indeed, he should have asked a welshman to do it.

Re:Statistics? (1)

whoever57 (658626) | more than 4 years ago | (#29436259)

Say what you will about the effectiveness and appropriateness of the Austrailian web filters... This "70 times more likely to win the national lottery" business was clearly pulled out of someone's ass, and in the process, they made a number of egregiously wrong statements.

It's really not that difficult, but perhaps you could RTFA, since TFA actually has some justification for this figure. Perhaps your posting came from the same orifice that you claim the "70 times" number came from?

Re:Statistics? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29436501)

It still ignores the fact of false positives due to software error or misconfiguration, the statistic only considers true positives.

Re:Statistics? (1)

BrokenHalo (565198) | more than 4 years ago | (#29436543)

...since TFA actually has some justification for this figure.

Yes, but what TFA conveniently neglects to mention is that if you funnel every single http request through the same government-administered pipe, something is going to block up. It doesn't matter whether or not the site you request is blocked. Just having to ask is enough.

Given that our governments have a long history of messing things up, you can bet your ass that if the filter does get implemented it will be hopelessly underfunded and under-resourced, and we will be the ones who suffer as a result, at least while Sen. Conroy is communications minister. He is such an arrogant prick, he will never admit that he got it all wrong.

Re:Statistics? (1)

totally bogus dude (1040246) | more than 4 years ago | (#29437211)

The ISPs do the filtering, they don't funnel all the traffic to a central government-run filter. The government provides the ISPs with the list of things to block and the ISPs do the blocking. A particular ISP might run into performance problems but it'd only impact their customers.

Not that I support the filter at all, of course.

Re:Statistics? (2, Informative)

Hucko (998827) | more than 4 years ago | (#29437409)

I was recently told by a Queensland Education Department tech that the current, recently upgraded EdQ filter infrastructure (centralised in Brisbane covers every school in Qld Au) is only able to cope with a maximum 80mbps requests. Some of the apparently common slowdowns of the department's network were due to this.

I can only wonder what will happen when Australians are all filtered...

Re:Statistics? (1)

smash (1351) | more than 4 years ago | (#29436745)

Actually, it was based on number of pages in the google index, divided by the number of pages in the filter. The lottery stats are easily calculated if you care to bother.

Re:Statistics? (2, Informative)

Dan541 (1032000) | more than 4 years ago | (#29437093)

These stats came from a government that would not set the criteria of pass or fail until they have the result. They also make stupid claims about how it won't slow the internet, last I checked a 404 is a pretty high percentage of slow down about 100%

You don't want to push the efficiency angle... (5, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#29436139)

Implementation of a system like that unavoidably involves substantial fixed costs(both at startup and per year). Once you have one, though, incremental costs should be pretty low. Thus, the obvious way of making it "more efficient" in dollars/URL terms is to use it a lot more.

Obviously, the mere existence of the system sucks, and taking pot-shots at governmental inefficiency is always fun; but there is a serious point here(although this program is a poor example, since it shouldn't exist at all):

Inefficiency is bad; but do not make the mistake of assuming that procedural restraint is a form of inefficiency. After all, courtrooms could be much more efficient, in case/year terms, if jury trials and defense attorneys were abolished. Prisons would be much more efficient, in dollars/year/inmate terms, if they were kept as full and as crowded as possible. And just think of the negative impact of the internal affairs division on the number of officers actively patrolling the streets, a terrible waste.

If your justice system allows efficiency to replace justice as the primary criterion, you have issues.(Of course, if your justice system allows public hysteria and political convenience to replace justice as the primary criteria, you get web censorship schemes).

Re:You don't want to push the efficiency angle... (3, Interesting)

Si1verfish (1638309) | more than 4 years ago | (#29436301)

The interesting point I heard yesterday on the radio was that if you are spending huge sums of money creating a new independent network to compete with telstra, why spend all this money reforming the old network at the same time?

Re:You don't want to push the efficiency angle... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29436611)

Competition. This is splitting Telstra Wholesale, with Telstra Retail. That will mean that Telstra Wholesale cannot give priority, discounts, insider knowledge, or what ever else goes on beween the wholesale and retail. The other companies would still only have one wholesaler when it comes to copper to the home. Having a second national network would give these providers a choice, and hopefully reduce costs to the consumer.

Wow (1)

sonicmerlin (1505111) | more than 4 years ago | (#29436159)

Really it's about time. From what I've heard, ever since Telstra went private in 2006, they've been nothing but a nightmare for Australians as well as the government. They've had such an adversarial relationship with the government I imagine they managed to make a good deal number of enemies.

I think this quote from Communications Minister Stephen Conroy is extremely apt: "For years industry has been calling for fundamental and historic micro-economic reform in telecommunications," Conroy said. "Today we are delivering this outcome in Australia's long-term national interest."

There are many countries around the world that could use this sort of reform. For some strange reason internet-related telecommunications has managed to escape government regulation and oversight ever since its inception. Despite the fact that internet speeds increase according to Moore's Law (http://www.physorg.com/news151162452.html), internet service has stayed stagnant or even increased, with price increases and the institution of caps.

My guess is the old-timer politicians could never properly understand the "new fangled technology", and as newer, younger, and more tech-savvy politicians make it into office they are able to see how the industry has abused its unregulated position for so many years.

Re:Wow (2, Interesting)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#29436211)

From what I've heard, ever since Telstra went private in 2006, they've been nothing but a nightmare for Australians

Nothing changed in 2006. Telstra/Telecom has always regarded their customers as the enemy. Back when Optus was starting up I preselected them for long distance. I called Telstra customer support with a question about my Telstra account for local calls. Their answer was that they couldn't answer the question because I has preselected Optus. In other words: you deal with the competition so STFU.

Old telstra people I know regard their employer as part of the federal government. By that argument dealing with the competition is just like dealing with another government.

Re:Wow (1)

Techman83 (949264) | more than 4 years ago | (#29436279)

My guess is the old-timer politicians could never properly understand the "new fangled technology", and as newer, younger, and more tech-savvy politicians make it into office they are able to see how the industry has abused its unregulated position for so many years.

Unfortunately the current politicians in power do not properly understand the "new fangled technology". Whenever Senator Conroy questioned, he completely avoids answering the question, simply just regurgitates the bullshit line he has chosen for that particular day.

Re:Wow (2, Informative)

SlashWombat (1227578) | more than 4 years ago | (#29436557)

I used to work for Telstra about 15 years ago and it was thought by most employees at that time that the initial Telstra "split up" was laughable, and was not going to do anything for competition. After all this time, it seems laughable that they are only just considering some bum kicking. This will all become mute should the government implement the national broadband they seem intent on at present as this will spell the death knell for the copper voice/ADSL that most Aussies currently connect via. As it stands, so many let their home phone go, and use their mobiles for everything. (Except for ADSL ... and you dont need the voice once connected!)

Corruption and Australia (3, Interesting)

ztransform (929641) | more than 4 years ago | (#29436209)

As an Australian citizen I have to say I am ashamed of Australia's level of corruption at all levels of government (and the lower the level the higher the corruption) from local to state to federal. With a justice system for which truth is no defence against an allegation and unions that have no interest in actually doing their job.

Is Internet Filtering about protecting Australians or giving authorities more reason to prosecute and more agencies kickbacks for "essential services"?

Here in Australia you don't even need to break a present law to have committed a crime. The Australian Tax Office (or Federal Government) can, at any time, pass legislation that applies retrospectively. For anyone with a short memory consider the repealed alcopop tax in 2009, the luxury car tax that was levied prematurely, the petrol taxes levied by Keating without budget approval in the senate, etc etc.

People get excited about Australia but it is just the weather and landscapes that are worth raving about. The regulatory system has nothing fair or just about it.

Re:Corruption and Australia (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29436315)

Shhh! You'll get Slashdot added to the block list

Re:Corruption and Australia (1)

walshy007 (906710) | more than 4 years ago | (#29436419)

For anyone with a short memory consider the repealed alcopop tax in 2009,

Even though it had never passed, they are still collecting it, and since a small shift of power has occurred, they are reintroducing it and are pretty sure it will pass this time.

At least they acknowledge it will do nothing for binge drinking, just makes people buy bottles of spirits. To qoute them "we need the money".

The bigger concern is that they can introduce such things without any legislation passing and have it effectively stick over multiple years

Re:Corruption and Australia (2, Insightful)

ztransform (929641) | more than 4 years ago | (#29436919)

The bigger concern is that they can introduce such things without any legislation passing and have it effectively stick over multiple years

My concern is that they tax individuals, the young, the old, the rich, the poor, on each drink. Then when they decide the tax is illegal guess who they refund.. the person that paid the tax? NO! They refund the alcohol industry.

Makes me think the alcohol industry might be strong arming the government into making up the tax so they can sell these drinks at a higher price which everyone grumbles about and accepts and then profits from!

Which goes to prove Australia is anything but "just". The concept of a "fair go" is nowhere to be found. If Australia stood behind the "fair go" they would hunt down every individual that bought an alcopop and refund them that $1 or so.

Or better yet they'd just not collect un-ratified taxes while threatening businesses with fines and retrospective taxes if/when legislation actually gets passed.

Re:Corruption and Australia (1)

Techman83 (949264) | more than 4 years ago | (#29437441)

I think the Mantra of "just" and "fair go" still stands at least with the citzens. The government, and it seems so much more so the Labour government of today is really doing some pitiful things. I may not of agreed with a lot of things the Howard government brought in, but nothing really got me angry like the plethora of things the Rudd government has brought in and attempting to bring in.

Re:Corruption and Australia (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29437049)

Here in Australia you don't even need to break a present law to have committed a crime. The Australian Tax Office (or Federal Government) can, at any time, pass legislation that applies retrospectively. For anyone with a short memory consider the repealed alcopop tax in 2009, the luxury car tax that was levied prematurely, the petrol taxes levied by Keating without budget approval in the senate, etc etc.

All your claimed examples introduced taxes rather than convicting anybody of a crime.

Re:Corruption and Australia (4, Funny)

LordAndrewSama (1216602) | more than 4 years ago | (#29437101)

As an Australian citizen I have to say I am ashamed of Australia's level of corruption

And so you should be. We brits have been doing corrupt fucked up government for ages, and you're very far behind, despite all the hard work that seems to be going into catching up. do you have people like mandelson, jacqui smith, gordon brown? shape up and get with it, we're all moving into a golden age of corruption, and you don't want to be left behind, do you?

Re:Corruption and Australia (1)

anarche (1525323) | more than 4 years ago | (#29437513)

Really? Corruption?

On the same scale as saaay, Indonesia, Iraq or China? Get a grip!

Yes there is chronyism, yes there are retroactive laws (which equal corruption how exactly?)

We are one of the most transparent democracies in the world, the only reason nobody is ever held to account is because the people vote so predictably. Get out there and change that . And you'll remove the "corruption".

The truth... (2, Informative)

overbaud (964858) | more than 4 years ago | (#29436219)

...is that if Telstra had played ball with Kevin Krudd and implemented his national broadband plan this would not be happening. But Telstra doesn't want to play ball and that makes Kevins plans next to impossible. This is just Kevin getting his own back and forcing Telstra to play ball at the cost of the thousands of Mum and Dad investors that were encouraged to invest in Telstra. A double financial kick in the guts given the current financial climate. If Kevin really wanted to bring about this change *he should have done it before now* ... not right after Telstra flipped him and his badly thought out national broadband network the middle finger. Kevin is still the snot nosed debate team nerd he was in highschool, he's just more powerful and narcissistic now.

Re:The truth (3, Insightful)

mjwx (966435) | more than 4 years ago | (#29436317)

The sad truth is that Telstra has needed it's sales arm broken off from its service arm for a long time now. They have had too much influence over the operations of other telco's for a very long time and have repeatedly used it's dominant market position to force customers into higher paying plans. DSL blackspots to sell high priced "NextG" mobile broadband, limiting the bandwidth/coverage of MVNO's, deliberately reserving open DSLAM ports for Telstra only customers when no such customers existed (Against the law, which stipulated they could not do that to wholesale customers) claiming there were no ports available (except if you went with Big Pond). There is a reason iinet, Internode and many other smaller ISP's went to great pain and expense to install their own DSL infrastructure and now Telstra is whinging that it cant compete.

at the cost of the thousands of Mum and Dad investors that were encouraged to invest in Telstra.

At the age of 15 I could tell the Telstra Share Offers were vastly overpriced, this is why they only sent their prospectus to selected individuals in the first release. Telstra has held back the advance of internet and telecommunications services in this country and why should we help them hold it back even further for the sake of other peoples bad investment.

Re:The truth (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 4 years ago | (#29436459)

Really? Vastly over priced? And yet they were selling for almost triple the initial offer price two years later.

Sure they are below that price now so those people who bought then and are still holding see the shares that cost them $3.30 are now selling for $3.24. I'm pretty sure it will have been very easy to have done worse in a stock pick.

Oh but inflation, you say? Yes $3.30 then is equivalent to $4.53 now. But I skipped the dividends, those $3.30 shares if held for all this time will have paid $3 in dividends. Since $5.24 is greater than $4.53 that "vastly overpriced" investment has done better than inflation which seems strange for being overpriced at purchase time...

Those who got in later didn't do so well, but that wasn't the "first release".

Re:The truth... (2, Interesting)

EEPROMS (889169) | more than 4 years ago | (#29436431)

thousands of Mum and Dad investors

You have to be kidding me, every Telstra investor is now crying in their drink after losing 70% true net worth on their investment (net worth versus cash). They would have been better opening a cash account and getting 4.5%pa.

Re:The truth... (2, Informative)

rtb61 (674572) | more than 4 years ago | (#29436599)

When Telstra was privatised it was quite clearly stated in the prospectus that the government could implement changes in the way telstra was managed if those changes were in the public interest, this obviously has always had an impact on Telstra's share value and as an investor you should have kept informed.

On the subject of privatisation, prior to privatisation Telstra as a government institution had originally intended to have fibre optic to the majority of Australian homes by 2005, so the profits for a few yet once again destroyed the benefits for the many. Privatisation the scourge of efficient well served public 'services', how to turn something good into something reviled requiring constant government supervision, auditing, legislation and prosecution.

When you want to fix a system that is irretrievably broken, you break up the private parts, nationalise it and turn it into a public service, when you want to do the opposite, privatise, a few get rich and the rest get screwed plus a whole load of PR=B$ advertising.

I disagree (4, Informative)

Namarrgon (105036) | more than 4 years ago | (#29436935)

The separation of Telstra's wholesale and retail divisions has been discussed [zdnet.com.au] heatedly [smh.com.au] for many years, long before the change of government. The previous administration was happy to let it stand, which made Telstra investors happy but pissed off Telstra customers as well as competitors, not to mention holding back innovation [arnnet.com.au] . You only have to look at the number of times Telstra has lost in fights with the ACCC [news.com.au] , the courts [theage.com.au] and even the government [theage.com.au] to see why this was a mistake.

The only group of people who are opposed to Telstra being split are the (unlucky) shareholders. Pretty much everyone else who has had to deal with Telstra are unhappy with their service and pricing [whirlpool.net.au] , their treatment of retail customers [news.com.au] and wholesale customers [whirlpool.net.au] .

I'm not saying that the government's NBN plan is well-thought-out or anything, but Telstra's joke of a proposal [news.com.au] and their juvenile "change the law to suit us or we take our toys and leave" attitude [news.com.au] is even worse for the competitive landscape and the general Australian public. A split can't come soon enough.

Re:The truth... (4, Insightful)

dbIII (701233) | more than 4 years ago | (#29437203)

The truth is instead that if Telstra didn't have a government mandated monopoly then Sol or Ziggy would have completely destroyed it due to their mismanagement. The price of a government mandated monopoly and having a government as the largest shareholder (future fund) is that the government can take that away.
Telstra have not been "playing ball" since about 1996! I also don't see how you can blame the Prime Minister for the money grubbing scam of the previous government of the Telstra float. A company that spends millions buying a dodgy pirate ringtone company in China and a thousand other bits of stupidity should not be immune to government action when it is in the national interest and the government is the major shareholder. The government has to get more out of it than a place to put good mates on the board, which is nearly all the previous government did. It needs better management than letting a failed farmer pick a silver tongued mexican bandit as a CEO then get that seconded by a historian too radical to get a good job in academia and a corrupt businessman that bought his way onto Australias TV screens as a pathetic copy of Letterman.
Kevin Rudd's huge ego really has nothing to do with it. We are all paying life support for a disfunctional corporation that could not exist in a competitive environment. We effectively have a government Qango that the government can not control and expending far more money while delivering far lass than it would if it was run by the government or was run like a private corporation. Sol must have been laughing all the way to the bank as he came over, called his friends over to join the feeding frenzy and contracted out many failed projects at vast expense with nothing delivered to friends at Andersons/Accenture and others.

Re:The truth... (1)

Malc (1751) | more than 4 years ago | (#29437587)

Kevin Rudd's broadband plan that he announced earlier in the year is ridiculous and should be canned. AUD$43 billion could be better spent in other areas. What a waste of money.

the body or the subject (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29436235)

and so it starts...

plus the fact that they are willing to spend that much money to block a single URL kinda proves that the whole thing has a different purpose.

Brownie Points? (1, Interesting)

Techman83 (949264) | more than 4 years ago | (#29436241)

The Minister who has pushed the ridiculous broadband filter plan has at least won a few brownie points with yesterday's press conference

I'll believe it when something actually happens. Senator Conroy has a history of extreme inconsistency, ranging from "The government just wants to block child porn" to "The government just wants to stop 'Unwanted Content'". Conroy, get your story straight, the Australian people, including the non technical part of the community are tired of your complete and utter lack of consistency.

From the Brisbane times

"Unless it structurally separates, divests its ... cable network and divests its interests in Foxtel,'' Senator Conroy said.

I wonder exactly how profitable are those parts of Telstra's business? Has anyone seen what Telstra tries to charge for it's branded version of Foxtel? (it's much more expensive than the already expensive Foxtel)Honestly anything to try and break the monopoly, but realistically is this going to achieve much?

NBN on the cheap? (1)

lego_boy_aus (1020533) | more than 4 years ago | (#29436311)

It's just a shame that the government feel they need to do this in order to put together their NBN plans. (I believe this is the first time they've even mentioned the idea of splitting Telstra.)

Of course, once split, they should be able to buy up the infrastructure arm for a song and actually have a chance of getting the NBN in under budget...And removing any competition they would otherwise have for customers.

Re:NBN on the cheap? (2, Insightful)

mgblst (80109) | more than 4 years ago | (#29437023)

What the hell are you talking about. If you have never heard anyone in gov talk about splitting up telstra before, you have been living under a rock. This is the best thing that could have happened, and should have happened from the beginning.

Re:NBN on the cheap? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29437177)

I think what was meant was that in nearly 2 years, the ALP hasn't suggested separation of Telstra at all in any meaningful way, and now, when the NBN looks likely to go over-budget, they decide to spring the forced separation of Telstra, with the hope of getting the infrastructure cheap to help them-selves out of the hole they dug themselves.

The previous government was much better in terms of IT...Voluntary PC based internet filtering for a start.

Re:NBN on the cheap? (1)

dbIII (701233) | more than 4 years ago | (#29437231)

The budget had the appearance of being an enormous figure announced to get everyone's attention. At least one large ISP is convinced the number is well over double the realistic number, and that was even if Telstra infrastructure had to be duplicated. Since Telstra hasn't done much since 1996 there's still a fair bit of infrastructure to build.

So you would prefer they blocked more sites? (2, Insightful)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 4 years ago | (#29436323)

To decrease the stupid cost per blocked url metric?

Re:So you would prefer they blocked more sites? (1)

smash (1351) | more than 4 years ago | (#29436767)

Heh. Would prefer they got rid of the filter. I just find it amusing that I've got about 100k sites in my LAN's proxy server, and i got that done in about 15 minutes work.

Re:So you would prefer they blocked more sites? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29437175)

For the love of God, don't give Conroy any more ideas. They still haven't decided on a success metric for the filtering trials...

Re:So you would prefer they blocked more sites? (2, Insightful)

Ralish (775196) | more than 4 years ago | (#29437779)

No, I take the view that's $40 million AUD that could have been spent on actually bringing the creators of genuine child pornography to justice, rather than a filter to stop people from viewing the end result of the real original sin. The hard reality is, people who want to view this material are always going to be able to access it if they really want to, filter or no filter, and this money does nothing to stop the problem at the source; just maybe a few people from seeing a video that shows the (in my opinion) far greater crime.

.

Aussies = idiots (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29436343)

My paycheck gets signed by someone in Australia, and all the crappy decisions come from them, too. At this point I'm firmly convinced that the whole country is full of low-grade morons.

Re:Aussies = idiots (1)

smash (1351) | more than 4 years ago | (#29436775)

Given that you're working for "low grade morons", what does that make you?

Maybe we could fix the regulations instead? (2, Insightful)

urbanheretic (1138845) | more than 4 years ago | (#29436387)

Seriously, the filter proposal is simply lipstick on a pig... The real problem for Australia is the lack of a clear regulatory system. As a gamer, the fact that we don't have an R18+ classification really irritates me, the internet classification system just depends on what the ACMA feels like on that day, as they don't have to get a site a classification, just declare what they believe the classification board would approve. It might help if we got a politician who understood technology, instead of the current streak of 'wonderful' caretakers

Re:Maybe we could fix the regulations instead? (2, Informative)

Techman83 (949264) | more than 4 years ago | (#29437343)

Funnily enough, Part of Senator Conroy's [wikipedia.org] election strategy was explaining exactly how much of a luddite Hellen Coonan [wikipedia.org] was. I attended one of his broadband forums prior to the last election, and whilst I pulled him up on a few things, he actually had a plan to do something about communications in Australia. Unfortunately it turns out that he was no better and in fact a magnitude worse then Helen Coonan.

Hmm what is bad about it? (1)

Korbeau (913903) | more than 4 years ago | (#29436475)

FIltering news? This seems to me completely unrelated. The government wants to force Telstra to ensure it permits wholesale customers?

A little like we forced Bell to do so in Quebec?

Except that in Quebec Bell forces its wholesale customers to throttle as well (or rather, it throttles its wholesale customers without their consent!) And as we know throttling is evil. The CRTC is reviewing the case right now, let's hope liberty prevail!

Liberty .. Anonymity.. prevail!!!!!! (I should become a sailor)

About time (2, Insightful)

dcam (615646) | more than 4 years ago | (#29436783)

Good on govt. for doing what should have been done before telstra was sold. This actually ensures that there will be some competition, rather than a continual requirement for regulation. In its current form, telstra is a recipe for anti-competitive strategies. With a monopoly on copper, they have a retail arm and a wholesale arm, that sells to companies who compete with the retail arm.

Sol and his amigos didn't exactly help telstra either. In Australia the government is not afraid of regulating with the consumer in mind.

Re:About time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29437469)

Good on govt. for doing what should have been done before telstra was sold. This actually ensures that there will be some competition, rather than a continual requirement for regulation. In its current form, telstra is a recipe for anti-competitive strategies. With a monopoly on copper, they have a retail arm and a wholesale arm, that sells to companies who compete with the retail arm.

Sol and his amigos didn't exactly help telstra either. In Australia the government is not afraid of regulating with the consumer in mind.

Nothing changed in 2006. Telstra/Telecom has always regarded their customers as the enemy. Back when Optus was starting up I
http://www.askimbaksanabana.com

How is this going to make internet cheaper? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29436945)

Even if Telstra is split, there's still going to be one company controlling the entire wholesale end of things isn't there? I can see how it would create an even playing field for retailers, but why is it going to make things cheaper for customers? This makes me think about how much cheaper electricity was going to get when it was privatised. I've noticed my bill has gone up significantly.

Buying it Back (2, Interesting)

missileman (1101691) | more than 4 years ago | (#29437089)

I believe the current government is maneuvering to buy back the wholesale arm of Telstra. It should be in public hands IMO, and it sure would make the NBN (National Broadband Network) a lot more viable. ... and I don't think it's the wrong thing to do.

"only 313 of the 977"?! That is a lot! (1)

G3ckoG33k (647276) | more than 4 years ago | (#29437363)

"only 313 of the 977"?! WTF, that is a lot! Bl00dy stupid argument. I am very happy that they took care of those and for the time being couldn't care less about the other warez sites! Go, get them.

AU needs: Cheap,Fast, Unlimited,Unrestricted plans (0, Offtopic)

ivi (126837) | more than 4 years ago | (#29437443)

At [Internode ISP's] Simon [Hackett]'s request, we're transplanting a post from WP Internode forum [to WP Broadband forum]:

From: http://forums.whirlpool.net.au/forum-replies.cfm?t=1280230 [whirlpool.net.au]
To: http://forums.whirlpool.net.au/forum-replies.cfm?t=1280474 [whirlpool.net.au]

(There's a Poll [on the first thread] on the Q of whether you feel that, an ISP [with] "too many" plan options
may deter you from choosing any of their plans, as Barry Schwartz suggests in his earlier TED talk.)

---

First, some background from an -earlier- post (in the above thread;
reply to the thread in which your comment(s) are most relavent):

In a TED talk, Barry Schwarz (author of "The Paradox of Choice") notes that:

- when there are "too many" alternatives to choose from,
- fewer people will make a choice

Cf: http://www.ted.com/talks/lang [ted.com] â/eng/barry_schwartz_on_the_paradox_of_choice.html

(eg, where supermarket demonstrators showing many jams,
fewer people buy any of the demo'd jams (By contrast,
where just a handful of jams are demo'd, more people buy;

-or-

If [US] companies offer many mutual funds to employees;
employees miss out on employer mathing-comtributions,
of up to US$ 5,000.00, by not making a choice of fund.)

Extrapolating to WP Broadband Choice's tabbed-page with
Internode's many (too many?) plans, I wonder:

How many people give the 'node a miss, eg, due to the
"excess" number of Internode plans shown on offer there?

cf: http://bc.whirlpool.net.au/bc/isp-9/internode.htm [whirlpool.net.au]

(My guess is that ISPs offer from several to many plans,
eg, to keep Aussies focussed on analysing plans for the
"best" deal for them, in part, so that they will have less
energy to -demand- cheap, unlimited plans, such as are
the norm, in many other countries in Australia's "class.")

--- Here comes the post, shifted from forum Internode:

--- (Although it was originally about Internode, feel free to
--- read this post with -your- choice of ISP, ie, in place of
--- "Internode" where it appears, & maybe let us know
--- which ISP you're thinking about in any replies. ;-)

[In WP's Internode forum] Simon Hackett [wrote]:

"[coming up with a new Internet plan] a lot of work and it has to fit in around some other major new project initiatives that are also in the pipeline"

With all due respect, Simon, I â" for one â" urge Aussie ISPs to redirect all the creative energy & programming/implementation time needed to dream up & implement YAPBP (Yet Another Pricy Broadband Plan) ...to find better ways to deliver what Aussie customers know is possible (since so many other countries' ISP provide it, while we drool in envy that they got it right, while AU continues to lag):

- cheap, fast, unlimited, unrestricted Internet ...not: you can use it for -this- (eg, watch TV -or- access -our- choice of files) purpose for free/cheap, but -that- (eg, research or remote medical imaging, etc.) usage is gonna cost you

For far too long, Aussie ISPs have hugged Telstra's "data allocation & penalty (pick one: huge 'excess' fee or get dial-up speed)" model.

Other Aussie ISPs are -starting- to help us to move to cheaper (if not cheap) unlimited plans, if only on an After Hours (during non-peak periods) basis.

Canberrans enjoy perhaps the -cheapest- AH-unlimited plans (speed "only" 2 Mb/Sec, eg, from their local ISPs that resell TransACT), paying from $20/mon for access to it all.

Why should such plans be reserved -only- for those living in Canberra (eg, pollies & C'th gov't officials & public servants)?

What is Internode missing that TransACT has got right?

In a sports-centred land, like AU, we may have to live with -less- than World-best speeds ...but our current low-speed reality comprises yet another argument for tossing out the silly "data allocation & penalty (pick one: huge 'excess' fee or get dial-up speed)" model.

Even our few "After Hours unlimited" options have social implications, eg, more employees or students may be sleepy the next morning; perhaps the number or seriousness of vehicle crashes may be impacted a bit?

Aussie ISPs can do more than they have, by giving up their "cash for jam" model that Telstra's "penalty model" got them addicted to, from the start.

It's not worked, it's not working & it's far from the best model Internet pricing.

It's time to clean out all remnants of that unethical & distasteful "penalty" model, so we can to move on to World-best pricing models in AU.

To our ISPs, I say:

Lead, Follow or Get Out of the Way

Internode has been applauded for some of its technical features & a level of quality ...but many folks never get near enough to taste these attributes ...eg, due to plan cost, continued existence of RIMs in copper landlines, "too little" space at Telstra's exchange, etc. ...and (new to Internet) non-geek prospects don't get or need all those cool technical features (eg, lotsa free-to-download files)

(Consider Swedish Rail's decision to address falling ticket sales by -decreasing- ticket prices ...a decade or so ago; they -won- more passenger business back to the trains, eg, uni students & pensioners began to travl by train.

Who knows how much good came from this, eg, when students could attend more conferences, etc.?

How much more happiness resulted for others, who could visit families & friends oftener?

Swedish Rail took a chance that cutting prices would help them grow their business, and it worked â" both for the company & for the country.)

It's time to dump all the excuses we've heard (even: "Trust us... we've got something Really Big coming... Real Soon Now... so, we have to keep high prices & retain the penalty models ...just to pay for them.")

Focus on bringing Australia up to speed slowly â" if you must ...but bring World-best price/performance levels (read: cheap, unlimited, as fast as possible) -quickly-

Enable more, who can benefit from them, to access all the promised & predicted advances & advantages that Internet has to offer.

Over the "penalty model" years, Aussies have paid -more- than enough for Internet services, but ISPs haven't kept us near enough to World best in price/performance.

Grow your business by attracting more â" & not only geeky â" customers. ;-)

It's time to let in more of the 'great unwashed' so that all Aussie Internet users can enjoy (near) World best price/performance, for a change.

My 2.2 centavos...

Re:AU needs: Cheap,Fast, Unlimited,Unrestricted pl (1)

ivi (126837) | more than 4 years ago | (#29437465)

The 3rd line from the bottom was meant to say:

"Grow your business by attracting more (& not only geeky) customers."

Fucking YES. (1)

David Gerard (12369) | more than 4 years ago | (#29437841)

Not separating wholesale and retail operations was a major error when competition was first opened up.

If Conroy can pull this one off, he may not be an entirely surplus sack of shit after all.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...