[clug] Trump Telstra once and for all (was: ADSL2 from Internode)

Paul Wayper paul.wayper at anu.edu.au
Fri Sep 29 04:31:09 GMT 2006

Stephen Jenkin wrote:
> Happened to look at Internodes' ADSL2 availability pages:
> <http://cgi.internode.on.net/cgi-bin/dsl-coverage-table?carrier=Agile>
Belconnen has been this way for about three weeks by my guess, so
theoretically they're not even started.

This discussion has spurred me to finally pull my finger out; I'm going
to write up an email to the various major ADSL2 providers (Internode,
iiNet, Extetel, TPG) to suggest the following idea (put simply):

0: All the non-Telstra ISPs that are getting into ADSL2 come together to
plan this.
1: Set up a holding company that 'owns' all the ADSL2 DSLAM equipment
not owned by Telstra.
2: The holding company does all the work of connecting customers with
'subcontractors' from the ISPs - i.e. it doesn't own any staff per se.
3: Each ISP gets access to the equipment, in proportion to how much
equipment it's contributing.
4: The data gets routed as appropriate and customers are billed by their
own ISP.

The immediate aim is to stop redundant equipment being put into
exchanges, and to maximise the speed of conversion to ADSL2.  The
ultimate aim is to shove a large bargepole up Telstra's ... pitiful
attempts at controlling the consumer data network in Australia.  The
average connected person in Korea has an 80 _megabit_ connection; there
are applications that they run there that are simply inconcievable
across our internet connections.  It's blindingly obvious that Telstra
is deliberately keeping the technology low to squeeze the most money out
of everyone, and Optus has no encouragement to do much better because
the pickings are so rich.  It's also in Telstra's best interests that
all the other ISPs fight amongst eachother for customers rather than
tackle Telstra as one united group.  If they all got together and shared
the connectivity, then Telstra would quickly be left as a dead duck,
peddling its hopeless cable service and restrictive usage conditions,
while everyone moved to ADSL2 and realised that they never wanted to go

It still allows the ISPs to compete, and to offer different services, so
it doesn't mean we get a third Super-ISP that homogenises everyone and
reduces competition.  And hopefully it also means that they can build
much better cases for sharing other equipment, to get more fiber lit and
to get other partners in (imagine if every ADSL2 provider could also
offer shows from the same VOD provider...).

If you imagine if Telstra had never been forced to install ADSL
equipment in nearly every exchange, then that's the situation we'd be in
now.  The cost of everyone putting their own ADSL equipment into each
exchange in order to get customers would be too much for most ISPs. 
Moving to a new house would probably mean changing ISPs because the old
one didn't have equipment in the new exchange.  Most people would still
be on dial-up, since it worked everywhere.

So why don't they do it?

Have fun,


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