I’m going to weigh back into the debate about the NBN after a few months not saying anything… To be honest, at the time of my last set of comments my employer at the time had a great deal of interest (financial and otherwise) at stake in the NBN, so my “point of view” could have potentially damaged that and so I kept quiet.

I’m no longer employed there and am now a free citizen so I get to speak my mind again!

The problem with the NBN is that it has become a trough of special interest and political point scoring and not a sensible technology project or government infrastructure program.  I’d always had concerns that the way that the NBN Co was throwing its weight around in the marketplace and being backed by a Minister that could best be described as a “bully” was bad for the project.  The government’s continual failure to deliver serious costings on the project made the whole thing smell even worse.  The final nail in the coffin for me was shortly after doing her “deal” with Mssrs Oakeshott and Windsor it began to become apparent that prioritising “rural interests” and in particular their two electorates with the roll-out of the NBN was part of the deal.

Any time serious infrastructure projects, particularly expensive technology projects become parts of political horse trading at the highest level things are never going to go well.

I’m someone who favours free market economics generally.  I think things tend to work out well when there is a profit motivation for companies to deliver services.

I’m also someone who likes a certain amount of socialism in my government.  I like free universal health care.  I’m in favour of paid maternity leave funded by the government for ALL women.

With that in mind I think sometimes it is important for the government to jumpstart certain infrastructure initiatives to ensure some level of equality that the free market is not inclined to deliver.  In truth, the NBN should fall into that basic, but it doesn’t.

The fact of the matter is that politics have corrupted the NBN to the point where in its current form it is probably not salvageable.  The NBN should be rolled out to the metro areas first, and not only the metro areas, but the metro areas with the highest incomes.  Why?  Simple, because those people have the money to pay an “early adopters premium” and ensure that the NBN is profitable from Day One!  The network should then progressively be rolled out to the rest of the urbanites and we should start to see some economies of scale bring the price down while maintaining profitability.

This approach does two things: first, it gets the technology into the hands of the most people, quickly and with the best financial return.  Secondly, it allows the NBN to build up a pool of funds to underwrite expansion into rural areas so that the Federal Government doesn’t get stuck wearing the full cost plus interest.

The NBN should also fall outside of the control of the Minister and be accountable to a senior bureaucrat appointed by the full parliament.  If we’re serious about telecommunications infrastructure being critical, then it needs to sit outside the political machinations of single Minister.

The deal with Telstra should be scrapped.  I agree with the idea, but the truth is, you can’t put rules in place that prevent competition like what the government and the NBN are doing.  If Telstra wants to run their own proprietary cable and limit access to it, then its their dollar – may the market decide… So long as there is an open infrastructure program like the NBN in place.  If Telstra want to build a parallel network, they should be entitled to and should be encouraged.  Thinking about this longer term, if the NBN goes in and is the only game in town, what happens in twenty years when government neglect and lack of interest sees it looking like the Sydney Rail Network?  No, if free enterprise sees and opportunity to provide a better product than so be it.

The most delicate issue of course is rural Australia.  In any free market system they would have to pay outrageous rates to get decent service because frankly, it costs an astronomical sum to deliver them the services.  I don’t really have an answer.  I think the NBN should use profits from the metro regions to underwrite the roll-out but the ongoing maintenance is another issue.  It is abjectly unfair to say that someone in a remote part of NSW should pay the same cost for broadband as someone in Surry Hills or Vaucluse.  Should I have expensive broadband so that I can have cheap milk?  Why can’t farmers just run profitable businesses?

Ultimately, the NBN has more questions than answers and is beginning to look like a train wreck waiting to happen.  Unfortunately, the Gillard government can’t (because of their backroom dealings) stop it and nor does she have the political will to do anything about it.  So eventually, we’re going to be sitting here in five years time doing a post-mortem of the wreckage of this government spending disaster which is a bit sad.

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David Thodey is a nice guy and he’s very customer focussed.  His people have put in place a Social Media team who respond promptly to issues raised with @telstra.  Unfortunately, answering tweets and the telephone quickly isn’t going to be enough to fix Telstra, Thodey is going to have to go into the bowels of the organisation, to fix the mess he’s inherited.

I’m moving house and the new place has cable.  I’ve been very happy with iinet ADSL for the last two years, but due to a previous Telstra screw up, I have a $1300 credit sitting in my account.  I decided to take Telstra Bigpond Cable up as part of a bundle when I moved.  I’m now regretting that decision.

The first problem came when I called the Telstra telephone people to have my phone service moved.  As I am moving within the same suburb, I knew there was an opportunity to keep my telephone number.  The Telstra phone rep virtually begged me to get a new number because the process he had to go through to transfer my number was apparently so arduous for him.  Despite the fact that I kept repeating how great it would be for me not to have to change telephone numbers, he continued to plead his case.  Rule number one of customer service, you’re there to serve the customer, if I think something you are offering me is great and I’m excited about it, you should never tell me how hard it is for you and try and convince me to do something MORE INCONVENIENT FOR ME!  Either way, it took about fifteen minutes of being on hold for him to go through whatever systemic hoops he needed to go through.

Then it was onto my order for a Bigpond Cable service.  We went through the various deals even though I knew what I wanted and asked for the biggest and most expensive plan on offer.  Rule number two of customer service, if the customer knows what he wants, give it to me!  Spending five minutes listening to lower bandwidth plans I didn’t want or being asked to consider NextG, was just annoying.

The guy then asked me if I wanted my Foxtel through Telstra.  I’ve never once had a major problem with Foxtel customer service, I always find them prompt and helpful so I said no.  I was then offered a price more expensive than what I currently pay.  Rule number three of customer service, if I say emphatically that I don’t want a service, don’t pitch me a price unless you know it is ridiculously better than what your competitor is offering.

I was told that someone would call me within 3 business days to organise my cable modem installation and then good-bye and onto a survey.

Well, we’re now on the fourth business day, we’re moving tomorrow and guess what, no Telstra call.  Compare this to Foxtel who took my call within seconds, asked me when I was moving, told me the new place was cable, not satellite so a technician would attend to make sure everything works properly and followed it up with an email less than 10 minutes later confirming everything.  Then this morning I get a call from Foxtel just to confirm the onsite tech’s time.  Oh, did I mention I called them right after the above call to Telstra?

So today I sent out an SOS to the Telstra social media team and Carly made an attempt to help, but there was no order on file.  This necessitated a call to the Bigpond call centre.  A person, strangely enough named Carly (might it be the same person) answered my call.  We went through everything and finally she worked out that because I ordered a “bundle” my order for Bigpond Cable would not be put through UNTIL the phone was connected.  Say what now?  They also had to quote me 10-14 working days to receive my Telstra Cable modem.  That never came up during the original call.  Then the kicker was, instead of Tuesday my phone transfering across,  Telstra had it happening Thursday!  It was the trifecta of screwed over!

Carly told me that ideally the cable modem will arrive in three or four days after the order goes through.  She couldn’t do anything about the telephone order except give me a number to call when it doesn’t work.  She then put in a follow-up reminder to send the cable modem right away.  Best case scenario, I have my cable modem connection on Friday, worst case scenario, some time in mid-to-late October.  Not good.

This is the challenge Thodey faces.  The internal workings and machinations of his company are so screwed up that it is a joke.  When thinking of Telstra is it important to call a spade a spade, you are not dealing with one organisation you are  dealing with several – the Bigpond team is totally different from the telephone team and the mobile team is not the wholesale group.  Telstra is a thin veneer atop a mass of different companies with their own systems and structures.  If Thodey wants to overcome this, having a happy smiling customer facing team isn’t going to be the end game, he needs to tackle this terrible internal systemic problem.

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In my original post about the NBN I put forward the open ended question as to whether or not the country could afford this particular network at this moment in time. That post generated more debate and comments than I ever imagined it would. There were some very interesting points of view on both sides of the debate and I’m glad that I posted it during the election because I think that’s a great time for voters to feverishly debate the big issues.

In a post after the election I tried to make some sense of where things stood. I do firmly believe that the majority of Australians want some form of National Broadband Network and I used that to try and formulate some kind of middle ground strategy that took some of the cost away from government and allowed the private sector and the users to underwrite much of the cash outlay. The response to this post didn’t really surprise me, people who thought it was rational said nothing and those who just want government handouts continued to press for a heavily government funded network.

Now that we have a government and the backroom deals are starting to come to light, its time to revisit the NBN. After listening to Tony Windsor, Rob Oakeshott, Julia Gillard and Stephen Conroy all speak about the future of the NBN, I now believe the country has a big problem on its hands. For me, there are three specific points that concern me:

  • First of all, each of the aforementioned parties seem to agree that what’s been negotiated is a situation where the network will be rolled-out first to regional areas of Australia;
  • The second red flag came from Stephen Conroy who said that the government would now need to sit down with the NBN Co and work out a new roll-out plan and schedule; and,
  • Thirdly, wholesale price parity has been agreed to.

All along, the Labor government has been completely unwilling to deliver to the anyone a proper business plan for the NBN. It has said that the network would make a return on investment in a relatively short period of time and that it has provisioned enough in the budgets to deliver the network. The problem with this new deal is that no matter how you look at it, the core fundamental business plan has now been significantly altered for the NBN to the point where an entirely new business plan must be created.

The original plan obviously had the NBN Co rolling out fibre to the major metropolitan areas first because that’s the cheapest and easiest element of the project. By rolling out to the major metropolitan areas first, you get considerably more revenue quicker which would then be used to partially offset the capital cost of the continued roll-out.

We now have a situation where the more expensive parts of the roll-out, the regional areas with a blend of wireless, satellite and fibre (much of which hasn’t yet been designed) is going to be pushed forward. So as a result, more of the cost will be front-end loaded into the project and much of the cheap, urban revenue is being pushed back. You don’t need an MBA to work out that this can’t be good for the bottom line of the NBN Co as a business. Simply put, the government will need to borrow more money up front to pay for this part of the project.

The other side of the cost coin is revenue. By delaying the urban deployments the NBN Co is also going to be forgoing its cheapest (and therefore most lucrative) revenue. This is compounded by the fact that the government seems to have decided that the NBN Co will operate a flat rate wholesale model between the country areas and the city areas. This means one of two things: one, revenue will be EVEN lower in the rural areas (compounding the cost vs revenue problem) than budgeted originally, or two, the rural areas will pay what they were originally going to be charged and urban users will simply pay more.

The financial net result of this deal with Windsor and Oakeshott not only must impact the bottom line of the NBN Co, but the country as a whole. You can’t simply borrow more money and take less in and it not have an impact, especially when we’re talking about tens of billions of dollars per year. While I appreciate and concur with the view of Phil Sykes of NextGen that the NBN will come in cheaper than budgeted, it still doesn’t change the overall economics of the delivery.

Having talked about the revenue hole, the front-loaded costs and the wholesale pricing, the last piece of this thing that concerns me is something Senator Conroy said. The Senator said that the government was going to have to now sit down with the NBN Co and work out a new roll-out schedule to suit the new rural prioritisation. This just flat out is a worry. Mike Quigley was put in the role of CEO of NBN Co without much diligence because he was “the best person”. Quigley went out and hired a crack team of people to design and run this NBN project and now, you’re going to have a bunch of politicians overruling them because of back room deals? If these people are THAT good, they simply won’t accept being the puppets of the government and will no doubt stand by their work to date as the best plan for the overall network. Furthermore, how open has this now become to politics? You can bet your bottom dollar that Lyne and New England electorates get their NBN rollouts before any LNP seats do.

Rob Oakeshott ran around for 17 days spouting off about transparency. In his long-winded speech about backing Labor he dropped the bombshell that as part of this whole process he’s been offered an “executive role” in government. Which means more money for him personally and his office (which makes it easier to get re-elected). He wouldn’t then tell us what role he was offered. Clearly there’s been a deal done with the people over the NBN, if Oakeshott and Windsor are men of their word, then before any further NBN work is done, a completely re-costed business plan (including design and roll-out plans) should be made publicly available.


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Enterprise IT departments make for very interesting places to work.  You often work with incredibly smart and talented people, you can find yourself working with some of the most cutting edge technology available and at times, you can be solving amazing problems while creating radical improvements in the company you work for.  Note that I said, “often”, not always.

With Information Technology being such a new field, really only deeply infiltrating businesses in the last twenty years, the area can also at times be magical and misunderstood by senior executives.  It is not at all uncommon to find people “from the business” thrust into senior decision making roles within the IT departments of many large companies.  I often liken this to pulling a really good accountant our of you finance department and parachuting them into your legal team.  That generally doesn’t happen, but within the confines of Enterprise IT, this kind of thing happens all the time.  Often times these individuals are well meaning and feel that because they know how to turn on their computer and do some internet banking that they’ve got a firm grip on technology.

This is a sign of the immaturity of the IT industry as a whole.  Enterprise IT, more than probably any other major area in most companies lacks the leadership to properly convey the value the function adds to the business.  This is compounded by the fact that senior management often has such a poor grip on technology.  As a result, senior executives know that they need technology to remain current, but there is often misalignement and misunderstanding.

The solution to this problem lies at the feet of both Senior Business Executives and Senior IT Executives.  Senior Business Executives need to take the time to try and learn more about the key technologies that are at their heart of their business.  This might be systems or manufacturing processes or whatever, but Senior Managers need to get closer to these things and understand them as well as they might understand the sales process or the customer service approach.  Likewise, Senior IT Executives need to learn to stop following vendor scripts filled with three letter acronyms and jargon.  You need to be able to find analogies and things to simplify the message, without dumbing it down to the point where Senior Executives are comfortable discussing the key issues.

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A couple of great quotes can be used to sum up the recent Australian Federal election: the first one is a classic that Julia Gillard pulled out in her post-election speech last night from Bill Clinton, “The people have spoken, but its going to take a little while to determine what they said.” The second quote I like and the basis for this article in relation to the NBN is from that great American thinker, Axl Rose who poetically sang, “Where do we go now?” in the Guns’n'Roses hit, “Sweet Child O’ Mine”.

Scholars are going to dissect this election result and the campaign leading up to it in great detail for many years to come and good luck to them, they’ll find whatever answers they want to find and call it fact. The truth is, this kind of election result is like a “glitch in the Matrix”. Labor lost support from all but its most ardent constituents: the non-union Left went to the Greens and the swinging centre/right moved to the Liberals. The swing was big enough to bring down the Labor government, but because of preferences and some oddities in redistribution, who knows what’s going to happen. Again though, let’s leave that behind.

My attention is focused on trying to glean some understanding of what “the people” said about the NBN and how the parliament (both upper and lower house members of all stripes) should now act on this matter if we proceed with a minority government of some description for any length of time. Originally, in my piece about National Broadband policy, I put forward a proposition that we should simply hold off on the government’s massive expenditure until the country could better afford it. I questioned the government’s capability of successfully rolling out this plan, but go back and read it again, I’ve never once questioned whether or not we needed a National Broadband strategy – I think we do. I just believe it needs to address the problem affordably for everyone.

Before I start my analysis, let me say that by no means do I think we should take the popular vote and mash it together as some form of issue by issue referendum, but for the sake of this piece, I’m taking some liberties with the mood of the voters to infer a way forward. Effectively, I’m asking for a bit of license to find some sensible common ground, which is going to be necessary in this minority government situation if we are to have effective government.

Now that the matter has been put to the polls, here’s what I think the outcome should be. First of all, the internet filter is dead – neither the Greens nor the Coalition supported that nor did any of the minor parties, so we’re talking about 65% of the population. First up, bury that sucker in the deadpool and let’s never hear from it again – it was ill conceived, bad policy.

I do think that the majority of Australians want a strong National Broadband Network. I think we can infer that the majority of Australians want this network to close the gap between rural and urban Australians in terms of technology availability. That said, I don’t think the majority of people want the Labor party’s NBN either.

My solutions are these:

  • If you’re going to be a bear, be a grizzly, so we may as well aim for Fibre-to-the-Home (FTTH). Effectively though, the NBN Co needs to rapidly deliver Fibre-to-the-Node (FTTN) and through tax policy and legislation, the last mile should be the responsibility of customers and the private sector;
  • Continue with the plan to nationalise the Telstra copper network, open up the exchanges and pay them the $11b or whatever was agreed in the Heads of Agreement;
  • We establish some Universal Service Obligations that work for both rural centres and remote regions of the country that commit us to delivering them great broadband services now and into the future;
  • Instigate an immediate strategy to fibre up every single school, hospital, regional health facility and GP Super Clinic in the country within the next three years; and,
  • Deliver a business plan for NBN Co which is publicly available takes into account the new requirements and is tabled before the end of the year.

Before I go into discussing each of those points and my thoughts behind them, I think the issue of Mike Quigley, CEO of NBN Co. and his blatant breaches of the Caretaker Conventions must be looked at. I don’t think there can be any doubt that Quigley breached the Caretaker Conventions on at least two occasions during the campaign: the first time when he announced the increase in bandwidth from 100Mbps to 1Gbps at EXACTLY the time when Labor were scoring points on the Liberals about the technicalities of the NBN. That was a clear foul, yellow card for Mr. Quigley. The second instance occurred when he derided the Coalition’s Broadband Policy. To me, that was even more flagrant because he openly criticised and chided a policy that he was personally in direct conflict of interest with. In football (soccer) parlance, that was a studs-up tackle from behind and should have been a straight red. So what do we do with Quigley?

He’s done a good job assembling a team of experts and by all accounts, the work they are doing in the planning and architecture phase is world class. He needs to be addressed because the Caretaker Conventions are very important, as has been highlighted by the result of last night’s election. However, if we’re going to proceed with this plan, we shouldn’t cut our nose off to spite our face. I think before any government is formed, Prime Minister Gillard should publicly reprimand him for his conduct, explain why she’s done so to the people of Australia and Mr. Quigley should apologise to the voters for crossing the line. Then he should get back to work with a slightly lower profile.

On to the meat and potatoes of my position and I’m going to tackle the points in a varied order from perhaps what they appear above. First of all, the Howard Government hurt the country’s telecommunications infrastructure with the way it privatised Telstra. That wrong needs to be addressed. Nationalising the core infrastructure makes sense in a country of such small population, but vast geography. The Universal Service Obligations were largely on the shoulders of Telstra, which was unfair for a publicly traded company to have to bear. NBN Co can now take over a modified version of the USO and all Retail Service Providers will have to have some responsibilities as well to ensure people have basic access like telephones and ’000′ services.

The next portion needs to be looking at the cost of this network and how we balance delivering great technology while being fiscally responsible. I think we need to deliver a hybrid FTTN and FTTH network in the short term, with a long term view (maybe six to eight years) that we’ll move to a full FTTH. As a priority, the NBN Co and Retail Service Providers should be surveying customers to find out which areas are most likely to have the highest levels of early penetration. We cannot have a system open to patronage and dirty politics – the people who most want and are willing to pay for the network should get it first.

The big cost on this NBN is the last mile and this is where the country needs to be clever about how it gets an outcome. Once the NBN Co becomes available at my nearest node, I should be able to contact any of the Retail Service Providers who wish to service my area. I should then be able to ask them for a connection cost, monthly access fee and a contract length. The cost of the connection is where some creativity needs to happen.

Some suggestions are that the NBN Co was modelling between $3000 and $4000 per household to connect in cost for the NBN. That’s not entirely accurate because it takes into account much of the infrastructure and isn’t the “last mile” cost. If you separate out the “infrastructure” and call that a required government expenditure, then what you are left with is just the last mile. If that were say, $1500 per household then that is a much more reasonable number. That number should also come down as penetration increases – for example, if running fibre to the demarkation point of my building costs $1500, then that’s done, the other sixty-seven tenants in my block of flats won’t have to pay that again because the fibre hits our demarkation point.

This is another point that needs to be better understood. Currently, Telstra’s obligation is to run services to a demarkation point on your property. That might be a switch box on the outside of your house, a comms rack in your block of flats or a telephone pole on the edge of your property. It is then your responsibility for the wiring and cabling of your property and I think this must be maintained for the NBN.

I believe this is where we need to get creative with tax incentives so that customers and the private sector fund the cash elements of the NBN to avoid the government having to borrow the money upfront. Take the issue of the $1500 cost to run from the node to the demarkation point of the property, to ensure flexibility of service provision this fibre needs to be owned by the NBN Co. You could have a scenario where if the resident wishes to pick up the cost of this themselves, then it is 100% tax deductible in that financial year. You could have a scenario where maybe the Service Provider pays for the connection on behalf of the customer if they sign-up for a three year contract. You would then allow the Service Provider to write the connection cost off in the same way you would an individual taxpayer, but you’d end up with the Service Provider’s fronting the cash for the connection.

The next piece of the puzzle is a bit complicated and that’s in relation to the work required within a property to “fibre up” the premises. This is going to require tough regulation in my view and good tax policy again. First of all, one need look at strata units. Unless the strata committee approves the onsite expenditure, then you can fibre up to the demarkation point all you like, but it won’t go any further. I have an elegant solution for this. Alter the Universal Service Obligations so that the moment fibre is available to the demarkation point of a property and a resident requests access, within twelve months the strata owners must ensure the completion of the work. Failure to comply would result in penalties that would make it worth complying with. Again, you can make the onsite work 100% tax refundable to property owners, tenants and strata companies.

The last part would be the stragglers. I would set a hard retirement date for the copper network in say eight years. In the first five years you allow the demand side economics take care of driving adoption, I’m fairly certain this would be successful. In the final three years you begin to impose punitive levies on property owners that do not comply because ultimately the government, through the NBN Co is going to have to wear the full cash cost of providing the last mile coverage. The government must make it so financially unattractive for property owners that they would certainly opt-in – along the lines of what the government does for people on high incomes to ensure they take out private health cover.

I think it is a no brainer that the NBN Co needs to get out there right now and start running fibre now to schools, hospitals, GP Super Clinics and any large government health facilities in rural Australia. That’s an infrastructure leap we can afford to take and one we should take. While I believe our roads, hospitals, power grids and water facilities have all been neglected, that’s no reason to ignore our telecommunications infrastructure needs to these key service facilities across the country. This is a cost we just must incur.

The final part of my plan that needs the most work is around rural areas. Having an economic rationalist argument about the value of rural Australia is a moot point – there are plenty of people living in non-urban centres and they are citizens, they’ve spoken and they’ve requested faster broadband access. This is where Quigley and his cohorts need to get creative and use technology well. I think firing off very expensive satellites to establish footprint with an endless supply of government money is the wrong approach. While the plan of tax incentives and tough policy will get 85% of the country in the urban areas over the line, it is not feasible to apply the same strategy in rural Australia. The best answer, let’s commit to providing our fellow citizens in those areas great service, they need to accept that it must be at a reasonable cost and let’s agree a timeline that gets it done within two full terms of office.

For me, there are two things that I’d like to see addressed. First of all, undersea capacity to the US and Asia. I think the NBN Co must as part of its mandate undertake to do something about this. Australia is an island, telecommunications connects us to the rest of the world, if we believe it necessary as a people to have our core telecommunications infrastructure owned by the government domestically, then surely it must follow that our global interconnectedness should be owned similarly. I think we can save enough from having the customers and private sector underwrite the cash component of the last mile to wear the cost of proper set of redundant undersea connections to the rest of the world.

The second issue is usage charges. I firmly believe that if our government and we as taxpayers are going to underwrite this great endeavour, then we need to legislate, unequivocally and for all time that uncapped usage is the rule. If we are paying for 100Mbps connectivity to every home, school, hospital and clinic in the country, then the users should be able to use 100Mbps at all times, 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. If the Retail Service Providers don’t like it, then they can build their own infrastructure, at their own cost.

My feeling is that this is a better plan. It gets the core infrastructure in place at a cost that should be lower than what Labor are suggesting. It shifts much of the cash burden to the private sector and the retail sector. The tax incentives can be tweaked so that high income earners or largely profitable companies don’t see a full deductible, whereas low income families and small business could avoid the cash components through a rebate scheme. I think we need to codify our resolve to our fellow citizens in rural Australia that we’ve heard their demand for faster broadband and we commit to delivering them the best we can, in a reasonable period of time at a cost we can all accept.

This “glitch in the Matrix” provides us with an opportunity. We have a chance to stop the “government of opposition” and have parties of all stripes work together on an issue to deliver not what is politically expedient or advantageous, but to deliver the people what they want and feel they need. The National Broadband initiative is an opportunity to see if we can manage a more evolved form of government where people can elect the representatives that represent their ideological views, but with the knowledge that the country will be governed in a non-dogmatic way and with greater participation.


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Facebook Knows Where It Is Going

August 19, 2010

Today the hive at Facebook have started making available their Facebook Places functionality. This piece of technology is one that will allow users to link and publish their location on Facebook via their mobile devices or whatever. This is obviously Facebook going after Foursquare, Gowalla and a few other minor players. Unfortunately for those guys, […]

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Old Post about Broadband

August 18, 2010

I used to do a fair bit of blogging back in 2004 – 2006. Most of my entries were about technology, but occasionally I’d write about other things too. With all of the debate around the NBN recently and I’ve had numerous people come up to me, as though they were having some kind of […]

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NBN – Hurry Up to Slow Down

August 17, 2010

One of the interesting elements for me around the NBN is what we as end customers will really see develop in terms of market dynamics. The ISP market in Australia is shrinking quickly down to a very small oligopoly. As pointed out in a Delimiter article yesterday, there are really only four major players left: […]

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Did HP “Invent” a Problem with Mark Hurd?

August 10, 2010

Let me get this straight, I can diddle with a contractor, fiddle with my expenses and piddle away company assets and for my trouble I get a $40m severance package… Wow, wouldn’t it be nice to be Mark Hurd, former CEO of HP right about now.  Methinks there’s something stinky going on over there, let […]

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National Broadband Policy

August 10, 2010

As someone who is very “pro” technology and likes to be on the cutting edge, I find myself staring at many of my colleagues and acquaintances in the industry with disbelief when the topic of the National Broadband Network comes up.  People I know (and some just email or tweet me) ask if I’ve bumped […]

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