Last year was a roller-coaster ride for the telco industry. We enter 2011 with a lot to sort out — all potentially destructive for the future of the industry.
In this edition of Twisted Wire I give my opinions and play back some thoughts of others made on the program last year.
- We need to ensure Telstra really is split up. A deal with the National Broadband Network Co (NBN Co) to sell the passive network (all the ducts) and pass over the retail customers isn’t enough. As a key supplier, Telstra retains a stranglehold on the future of the NBN which it could potentially use to favour its retail arm.
- We need to ask whether the NBN approach is the best one. It’s expensive, suffering from scope creep, arguably reduces competition and seems to offer little in the way of direct public benefits. Is it too late to question what the real benefit is?
- The government needs to focus on applications and services. They have focused on building the infrastructure, but the network alone won’t change how we deal with the government. Developing applications and online services has to be a priority.
- A big education job needs to be done by government and industry. The community is discussing the NBN and many attitudes are not favourable. Often they are ill-informed opinions that can only be influenced by educating people on the benefits of super-fast broadband and the technologies involved.
You’ll hear from Ovum analyst David Kennedy, Nationals Senator Barnaby Joyce, Telecom NZ head of the Ultra-Fast Broadband Program Mark Ratcliffe, Shadow Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull, analyst Paul Budde, C-Cor Broadband marketing director Dermot Cox, president of the Internet Society Tony Hill, IDC analyst George Hoffman from IDC Japan and CEO of the Communications Alliance John Stanhope.