Feeds

The problem with Telstra’s NBN plans

Copper in the incumbent’s saddlebags

Top three mobile application threats

Regulatory rules have helped put Telstra in the uncomfortable position of launching the most expensive National Broadband Network fibre-based plans in the Australian market.

The incumbent carrier, which launched its fibre-based plans yesterday, has faced unfavourable coverage in the national media for the cost of services, and for its requirement that customers retain their copper services – at least for the time being.

In publicity terms, it’s a double pain in the neck for Telstra: the retention of the copper looks like Telstra holding back customers where the fibre is available; and it makes Telstra’s NBN plans more expensive than anyone else in the market (for example, $80 for a 25 Mbps plan including home phone and a 5 GB monthly allowance).

The maintenance of the copper isn’t all of Telstra’s making, however, and it isn’t “news”.

Telstra’s migration plan, which states that the copper will be disconnected 18 months after the NBN is ready in any particular area, has been public knowledge since last year. While Telstra drafted the plan, it did so in negotiation with NBN Co and the government; maintaining the copper isn’t solely a Telstra requirement.

And then there’s the USO to consider. The USO – Universal Service Obligation – demands that all Australian households are able to at least access a basic telephone service. Although funded by the telecommunications industry as a whole through carrier licensing fees, USO services are delivered by Telstra.

The USO responsibilities will eventually be handed to a new government authority, with NBN Co tasked to deliver the physical connection. However, that new authority – the Telecommunications Universal Service Management Agency – can’t come into existence until the relevant legislation passes the Senate.

Hence Telstra is operating its NBN services under a double constraint: its agreement to maintain the copper, negotiated with NBN Co; and its ongoing (for the time being) USO responsibilities.

The result is a bind, for now: Telstra’s prices are higher than everyone else in the NBN retail market. In spite of press and blog commentary along the lines of “Telstra sucks”, it’s a trivial debate at the moment. Watching service providers compete over both thousands of NBN customers is rather like watching a flock of seagulls squabbling over a single potato crisp. ®

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

More from The Register

next story
Virgin Media so, so SORRY for turning spam fire-hose on its punters
Hundreds of emails flood inboxes thanks to gaffe
A black box for your SUITCASE: Now your lost luggage can phone home – quite literally
Breakfast in London, lunch in NYC, and your clothes in Peru
AT&T threatens to pull out of FCC wireless auctions over purchase limits
Company wants ability to buy more spectrum space in auction
Turnbull leaves Australia's broadband blackspots in the dark
New Statement of Expectations to NBN Co offers get-out clauses for blackspot builds
Facebook claims 100 MEEELLION active users in India
Who needs China when you've got the next billion in your sights?
Facebook splats in-app chat, whacks brats into crack yakety-yak app
Jibber-jabbering addicts turfed out just as Zuck warned
Google looks to LTE and Wi-Fi to help it lube YouTube tubes
Bandwidth hogger needs tube embiggenment if it's to succeed
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.