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TransACT Abandons Sinking Terria

By Kramer - 28 October 2008 12

Canberra’s TransACT has announced that they have abandoned their Terria partnership for the National Broadband Network (NBN).

Since the departure of other Aussie ISPs from the Terria group, the whole partnership has become a bit unstable – and the likelihood of Terria successfully tendering and rolling out the NBN looks less likely.

TransACT will now proceed on its own to tender for NBN services in the ACT.

[ED – Signs of life at TransACT?]

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12 Responses to
TransACT Abandons Sinking Terria
Grrrr 1:52 pm 29 Oct 08

dalryk said :

Erm, not that I’m a big ol Telstra supporter or anything, but they aren’t demanding exclusive access,

nor are they planning to rewire any copper network;

ADSL2 is delivered from DSLAMs in suburban exchanges owned by the ISP. There is no way to ‘rewire’ the network to prevent an ordinary copper phone line from carrying a signal to the exchange.

They sure are planning to rewire. NBN is FTTN, like TransACT Phase 1 (though TransACT use VDSL instead of ADSL2+.) Whoever wins it will be rerouting copper.

To give everyone the minimum N mpbs (6 or 12), only people less than M (2000 or 1000 or whatever) metres via the copper from the exchange can be serviced by it. Everyone else will need to be terminated on mini-DSLAMS at curbside cabinets around their neighbourhoods.

Telstra will ensure there isn’t room for competitors to install DSLAMs in these cabinets – and it will probably be hard to impossible for competitors to install nearby too (for instance, no backhaul from Node to Exchange.) Thus, Telstra winning a bid for the NBN will result in 100% Telstra resold DSL.

Telstra do not want innovation or competition. The only reason Telstra are selling ADSL2 now is because 4 years ago Internode and iiNet installed their own DSLAMs in exchanges, then 3.5 years ago switched on ADSL2(+). I don’t want to be forced to buy Telstra-resold DSL, thanks.

dalryk 7:21 pm 28 Oct 08

Erm, not that I’m a big ol Telstra supporter or anything, but they aren’t demanding exclusive access,

johnboy said :

Telstra aren’t bidding, last I heard, until they can’t be forced to give third party access to the network.

they’ve just demanded that they not be required to separate as part of the deal. Still a position many take issue with, but a very different issue to the claim above.

nor are they planning to rewire any copper network;

Grrrr said :

It would grant Telstra the ability to re-wire your copper such that ADSL2+ could no-longer be delivered by it’s competitors, which would be a giant step backwards for Australian broadband.

ADSL2 is delivered from DSLAMs in suburban exchanges owned by the ISP. There is no way to ‘rewire’ the network to prevent an ordinary copper phone line from carrying a signal to the exchange.

Grrrr 6:29 pm 28 Oct 08

You see TransACT leaving Terria as a sign of Terria failing – I see it as a further sign that TransACT are useless and when push comes to shove, they won’t do anything that resembles keeping up with the times.

That said, the NBN isn’t a great idea. Terria are bidding on it because not bidding on it would be disastrous: It would grant Telstra the ability to re-wire your copper such that ADSL2+ could no-longer be delivered by it’s competitors, which would be a giant step backwards for Australian broadband. A quarter of people once on the NBN would see virtually no increase in sync speed. Most of the others, a reasonable increase but hardly an order of magnitude. A very small few others – get fixed wire broadband where they couldn’t before. (I say fixed wire because satellite is an option for all Australians, on top of possible point-to-point wireless or even 3G. Satellite just ain’t great for gaming!)

It’s not quite Fibre To The Home’s time yet – but it will be around the time the NBN is finished!

I can’t see how TransACT can bid for a state’s services alone – and if they do, I can’t see why they would get it. If they had half a clue they would have kept their Phase 1 (fibre) rollouts going, and kept speeds ahead of ADSL2 to ensure marketplace dominance in the ACT. It wouldn’t have been hard to do .. instead all they did was up speeds when they got enough complaints and/or churn away from them. If every speed upgrade had happened 2 years earlier, they’d be winning by a mile. Then, they could look to turn their FTTN structure into FTTH and offer something that not even NBN can.

GregW 1:58 pm 28 Oct 08

Telstra will not get exclusive use of the network and will still bid for the project. The government is more than able to call this bluff, especially as Terria has demonstrated commercially viability for significantly less.

To be honest the network is an enormous waste of money, Labor know this but made an election promise to deliver it anyway. I prefer to think of this as naive rather than stupid but to continue with it now is silly. There are far cheaper ways of delivering broadband to the masses.

SkipDaRoo 1:18 pm 28 Oct 08

Transact dropping out can only be seen as a plus.

Their aborted effort in Canberra has left a sour taste unless you are in the 1/3 of Canberra suburbs that actually get the full service.

Now they just re badge DSL and mobiles, quite the achievement.

AG Canberra 12:52 pm 28 Oct 08

Yep – if it’s billions of my hard earned being used to fund this infrastructure project – then it should be available for use by any company.

TransAct dropping out is no great loss.

peterh 12:51 pm 28 Oct 08

transact found that they were in a state of conflict, as they wanted to submit a response for the ACT only. how is that a national network?

Dante 12:43 pm 28 Oct 08

In other words, if Telstra can’t run the NBN as a monopoly, they don’t want a part in it.

Isn’t the NBN about giving Australia broadband, not increasing profit margins? Of course you wouldn’t get involved if you couldn’t make money from it, but this isn’t the point of this network.. it’s about delivering new innovative internet services, something I’m not sure Telstra knows anything about.

johnboy 11:30 am 28 Oct 08

Telstra aren’t bidding, last I heard, until they can’t be forced to give third party access to the network.

GregW 11:17 am 28 Oct 08

I would also suspect that Telstra was chose long before the bidding process began, but I don’t believe that the departure of these companies is significant as many of them were not expected to contribute financially to the building for the network, just to support it, in name, so that Telstra winning is less likely. The remaining companies: Optus, Internode, iiNet Macquarie and Primus and the main players and they could likely afford to loose Primus as well before loosing the ability to finance the project.

tylersmayhem 10:53 am 28 Oct 08

Or…the skeptic in me didn’t think the Government will come and financially bail out Tran$ACT again!

LG 10:13 am 28 Oct 08

Considering the size of the remaining partners (particularly Optus), I think they can still put up a good bid (if the skeptic in me didn’t think a Telstra victory wasn’t already wrapped up).

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