Feeds

The problem with Telstra’s NBN plans

Copper in the incumbent’s saddlebags

Boost IT visibility and business value

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. ®

Seven Steps to Software Security

More from The Register

next story
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
Bring back error correction, say Danish 'net boffins
We don't need no steenkin' TCP/IP retransmission and the congestion it causes
NBN Co adds apartments to FTTP rollout
Commercial trial locations to go live in September
GoTenna: How does this 'magic' work?
An ideal product if you believe the Earth is flat
Samsung Z Tizen OS mobe is post-phoned – this time for good?
Russian launch for Sammy's non-droid knocked back
Telstra to KILL 2G network by end of 2016
GSM now stands for Grave-Seeking-Mobile network
Seeking LTE expert to insert small cells into BT customers' places
Is this the first step to a FON-a-like 4G network?
What FTC lawsuit? T-Mobile US touts 10GB, $100 family-of-4 plan
Folks 'could use that money for more important things' says CEO Legere
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.