Feeds

TELEPOCALYPSE as Australian carriers shed jobs with horrible speed

Blame the re-invention of the NBN for giving telco-land pause in the worst possible way

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

While Australia's telco industry has become accustomed to the constant slim-down drive at incumbent Telstra and number-two Optus, an accumulation of bad news further down the food chain will narrow the options for the country's telco professionals.

Optus' latest job cuts announcement, that rather than the 200 originally mooted in Australia's mainstream press, it would be cutting 350 staff, predominantly in back-end corporate functions, added to what looks like a broader industry employment downturn.

M2 Communications, which rose to prominence on the back of an aggressive acquisition strategy that put it in control of Dodo, iPrimus, Commander Communications and VoIP business Engin, announced on Monday that it is to shed as many as 150 jobs.

Its acquisition strategy, the company said, has resulted in duplication, leading M2 to begin a consultation process to identify the roles that will get made redundant.

Meanwhile, iiNet has begun talking of job cuts again. The company had previously slimmed its executive ranks after acquiring Adelaide-based Internode, and in 2012 it had a round of cuts after acquiring Canberra-based TransACT. TPG recently hosed out a lot of former AAPT staff.

There are several dynamics at work driving carriers and ISPs to slim down, but National Broadband Network policy is casting a shadow over the industry, and has done for years.

The original NBN fibre-to-the-premises plan put a freeze on much of the once-aggressive infrastructure rollouts of the ISP sector: new ADSL deployments became reactive rather than speculative, since nobody wanted to deploy an asset that would be stranded when fibre arrived.

The industry stasis has become more acute since the change of government, with the NBN under review: the rate of fibre deployment has slowed (Tasmania's peak body, TasICT, has called the rollout in that state a shambles), and the proposed FTTN rollout has yet to get beyond trial stage.

The telco industry's doldrums are reflected in national productivity data: the sector is attributed with a 7.2 per cent decline in productivity (chiefly driven by an NBN-dominated capital spike of 6.3 per cent).

With all of this and a long-term future in which everyone outside of the mobile business will become an NBN reseller, it's hard to see an employment turnaround, and that's its own problem. At some point, telco is going to have to try to attract new, young blood.

Who would be foolish enough to try and enter an industry in which a career looks so uncertain? ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
Microsoft's MCSE and MCSD will become HARDER to win
Redmond decides it won't replace Masters certifications, so lesser certs get more rigour
Pinterest diversity stats: Also pale and male (but not as much as Twitter)
Cats'n'flowers site latest to admit white men rule its roost
'Oh my god – Mark Zuckerberg wants to meet me'
'The Swiss have got no great interest in working with Apple'
Dammit, Foxconn: Where's our 1 MILLION-strong robot ARMY?
'Foxbots' just aren't good enough to take up the slack
Devs: Fancy a job teaching Siri to speak the Queen's English?
Spik propa lyk dis blud innit, ya get me?
Bankers bid to use offshore temp techies
WikiLeaks publishes Financial Services Annex to 50-nation Trade in Services Agreement
Hey! Where! are! the! white! women! at!? It's! Yahoo!
In non-tech jobs, that is – still mostly white men running Marissa Mayer's web biz
Non-techies: The cute things they say
'OK, smartass, the firewall is blocking the proxy server.'
Join me, Reg readers, and help me UPGRADE our CHILDREN
Think of the children? I just did, says Dom Connor
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
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.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.