Feeds

The problem with Telstra’s NBN plans

Copper in the incumbent’s saddlebags

High performance access to file storage

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. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Broadband Secretary of SHEEP sensationally quits Cabinet
Maria Miller finally resigns over expenses row
Skype pimps pro-level broadcast service
Playing Cat and Mouse with the media
Beat it, freetards! Dyn to shut down no-cost dynamic DNS next month
... but don't worry, charter members, you're still in 'for life'
Like Google, Comcast might roll its own mobile voice network
Says anything's possible if regulators approve merger with Time Warner
EE dismisses DATA-BURNING glitch with Orange Mail app
Bug quietly slurps PAYG credit - yet EE denies it exists
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
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
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.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.