Monday, August 30, 2010

NZTA concerns regarding Micro-Trenching

New Zealand Transport Authority head Ian Cox has expressed his concerns regarding plans that would see Chorus, Vector, TelstraClear, Opto Networks, and Waikato BOP Fibre trial laying fibre through micro trenches in roads.

The narrow and shallow trenches, which can be made with a circular saw, would simplify the task of laying fibre optic cables to homes throughout New Zealand, increasing the likelihood that the governments plan will come in on time and under budget.

Cox however believes the micro trenching would increase road maintenance costs and increase the likelihood of damage to the fibre optic cables. There may also be increased costs to contractors having to avoid the cables whilst performing road maintenance.

Read More (Telecompaper)

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Vector reports 176m profit

Vector has reported a $172.6 million profit, 4.6% up on revenues of $1.19 billion with the governments decision on who the suppliers will be for the UFB broadband initiative due out soon.

Read More (The New Zealand Herald)

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

UFB to create new monopolies?

Geekzone blogger Juha Saarinen explores the idea that the UFB LFC's could create a new era of fibre based monopolies.

Juha argues that the proposed combined layer 1 and 2 structure will reduce an access seekers flexibility in designing and setting price points for their fibre based products.

He is also in agreement with Telecommunications Commissioner Dr Ross Patterson's presentation on the difficulties in unbundling fibre networks based on Passive Optical Network (PON) technology.

Follow the link below to further read his opinions on the UFB initiatives proposed structure.

Read More (Geekzone)

Monday, August 23, 2010

Households may pay up to $3000 for NBN

The Australian have posted an article estimating the costs for wiring a home to connect to Australia's National Broadband Network (NBN) could reach up to $3000.

Costs for wiring a New Zealand home could potentially be higher given that the $1.5 billion government investment for UFB may only get the fibre down your street and not into your home. It seems highly unlikely that the local fibre companies or their retailers will cover the cost of trenching fibre into taxpayers homes.

An interesting proposition will be whether the average New Zealand home will be willing to bear the cost of connecting and rewiring their home for UFB in the current economic climate.

Read More (The Australian)

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Aussie vote on NBN a vote on UFB too?

Stuff have posted an article on whether the Australian federal election, which will decide the fate of their ambitious National Broadband Network (NBN) plan, will have a effect on New Zealand's Ultra Fast Broadband plan.

Read More (Stuff.co.nz)

Vector to trial Gigabit fibre

The National Business Review have posted an article discussing Vector's trial of Gigabit fibre technology in partnership with Northpower. The trial will be lab based to test equipment from four different manufacturers.

The article also discusses G-PON point to multi point technology and the Telecommunications Minister Ross Patterson's objections to it due to the (perceived?) difficulties in unbundling it.

Unlike point to point technology where an individual fibre is delivered from the exchange to each home, under G-PON a single fibre is fed to a mid distribution point where a passive optical splitter splits the line out into individual strands that feed each home.

Architecturally I can see challenges that need to be overcome when unbundling G-PON, though if multiple strands of fibre are fed to the optical splitter, there is potential to "jumper" a customer's line to an access seeker owned/leased fibre feed back to the central exchange (analogous to how we do things in the copper PSTN world).

Read More (NBR)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

TCF posts draft standards

The Telecommunications Carriers Forum (TCF) today posted draft UFB standards for public review.

Feedback on the document is open until the Friday 17th September.

Read More (TCF)

Monday, August 16, 2010

Ernie Newman resigns from TUANZ

Last Friday After 12 years, TUANZ CEO Ernie Newman resigned. During his time, Mr Newman, a voice for all things telecommunications, championed a number of key TUANZ policies, the most recent being closed with the decision to regulate Mobile Termination Rates.

I've very infrequently agreed with the views pushed by Mr Newman (perhaps I'm biased from working in the telecommunications industry), however NZ telecommunications need a voice and I'll be keen to see someone fresh take up the challenge and keep pressure on the government and large telcos to deliver for New Zealanders.

Read More (Stuff.co.nz)

Fibre dreams or an economic driver

An interesting article weighing up the pros and cons of UFB.

Opponents argue the network will not deliver any tangible return on investment, while proponents of the network (not surprisingly one being Cisco) seem to have a build it and they will come mentality.

Cisco's Martin Stuart-Weeks offers some interesting ideas around business video conferencing to improve staff flexibility and foreign trade.

I'm not sold however. Why should New Zealand families subsidize the cost of improving communications for business interests to the tune of $1.5 billion?

Read More (NZ Herald)

SDP to make broadband up to 50% faster?

Stuff posted an article about a kiwi invention which claims to be able to make broadband faster by up to 50%.

The copper phone line terminates into the device, called an SDP - analogous to a distribution frame but in a compact form, which includes a splitter capable of supporting broadband services up to VDSL, while delivering ethernet grade wiring to the rest of the home in a star pattern (as opposed to the traditional daisy chained PSTN jack points).

A DSL modem will still be required to connect to a broadband service and future fibre to the home based services will be able to be terminated on the device.

While improving the quality of internal house wiring is the best way to squeeze more speed out of your broadband connection, an up to 50% improvement is an ambitious target.

Read More (Stuff.co.nz) | Chorus page on Service Delivery Points

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Reynolds: UFB proposal requires regulation relief

Telecom Chief Executive Paul Reynolds says their UFB proposal is dependent on the company receiving regulatory relief (See Variation 4 - Proposed Amendments to the Undertakings). Reynolds advises regulation "stifle its [Telecom's] competitiveness while failing to benefit consumers".

Bids are currently being lodged with Crown Fibre Holdings for part of the Governments $1.5 billion package, with preferred partners due to be picked by the end of October.

Read More (Scoop)

ICT lawer slams UFB at CIO Summit

Prominent ICT lawyer Michael Wigley openly expressed his views on UFB at the CIO summit with regard to the poor planning and communication of the Government's $1.3 billion fibre initiative.

Mr Wigley states that UFB was "inadequately thought-out at the beginning, particularly in light of its significance for the country" and that since the July change of model, suppliers have been given inadequate time to react.

“UFB is a piece of shit. It’s a classic example of an ICT project which is going badly and also an initiative by the public sector which is going poorly.”, says Wigley.

Read More (Computerworld)

Vector may partner with Chorus in bid

Vector's board of directors believe competing against Chorus for the Governments $1.35 billion UFB contract may be a risky proposition.

Stuff.co.nz reports that while the companies CEO Simon Mackenzie is keen on the prospect of competing for the bid, the directors are aware raising the necessary funds could be problematic.

Read More (Stuff.co.nz)

Monday, August 9, 2010

Release of UFB cabinet paper refused

Computerworld reports that the Minister of Communications Stephen Joyce has refused to release a cabinet paper which is believed to contain information from Telecom regarding the viability and it's potential involvement in the UFB initiative.

The minister advised the documents release could "indicate favouritism towards some potential partners" and may "undermine the Government's ability to maintain a strong negotiating position".