Tuesday, September 21, 2010

And the winners are...

A Computerworld article takes a look at the three tenders to pass the first hurdle for UFB contracts. The first three companies are Northpower, Central North Island Consortium, and Alpine Energy.

Click the link below to learn more about these three companies.

Read More (Computerworld)

UFB. Where does Telecom fit?

Another opinion article this time by Scoop discussing the role of the small regional fibre groups in the UFB plan, the scale of the work they've committed themselves to, what it all means for Telecom.

Click the link below to see more.

Read More (Scoop)

UFB still a risky prospect?

Stuff.co.nz have posted an opinion piece stating that despite the election win of the Australian Labour Party, which in turn is a vote to move forward with the Australian National Broadband Network (NBN), UFB still seems like a shakey proposition for New Zealand.

While admitting it's important New Zealand keep pace with Australia, in the current economic times few governments are in a position to invest in building a fast broadband network while at the same time they pare back other state services. This includes Britain, Europe, and the US where voter support is lacking.

An interesting perspective, click the link below to read more.

Read More (Stuff.co.nz)

Telecom Structural Separation Discussion

The Ministry of Economic Development have posted a document discussing the structural separation of Telecom and are seeking views from interested parties.

See the link below for more information. Submissions are due by 5:00pm on the 15th October 2010.

Read More (MED)

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Telecom - Chorus de-merger still leaves a monopoly

The New Zealand Herald has posted an article stating that according the Ministry of Economic Development, the de-merger of Chorus from Telecom as part of the companies UFB bid will still leave a network level monopoly.

The MED document referred to in the article states "Structural separation would not affect the underlying problem of limited competition at the network level, which confers market power on the network owner".

See the full article at the NZ Herald website.

Read More (NZ Herald)

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Government's "cut too many corners", says Newman

Ernie Newman slammed the government's UFB initiative while speaking in Wellington at the National Forum of Economic Development according to a Stuff.co.nz article.

Newman raised concerns that there has been little planning around what the key objectives are relating the government's scheme, and more focus on getting the technology delivered as quickly as possible. "We are working through the implementation without having a clear vision of the end point we want to achieve.", says Newman.

See the Stuff article link at the bottom of this post to read more.

The outgoing TUANZ CEO raises some interesting points. Questions the public should be asking are things such as what are we getting for our tax dollars, what services are targeted for UFB, when will the services be delivered, and so forth.

Also of concern is the current shroud of secrecy surrounding negotiations for the local fibre company contracts. As citizens are sharing in the capital expenditure, should they be privy to negotiations and/or have a say in the chosen partnerships?

Read More (Stuff.co.nz)

Axia may withdraw rural broadband bid

Vodafone supported Axia NetMedia has dropped hints that it may drop out of its rural broadband bid as reported by the National Business Review last Friday.

This follows the governments announcement last Thursday on the successful participants for stage one of the UFB initiative of which Axia was the only tender not included.

Axia NetMedia's share price fell 4% following the announcement.

Read More (NBR.co.nz) | Read More (Stuff.co.nz)

Long wait for Telecom on UFB decision

Stuff.co.nz has posted an article stating that Telecom investors can expect to wait longer for the governments decision on the Ultra Fast Broadband initiative.

While initially the government indicated discussions would conclude by October, Communications Minister Stephen Joyce has stated that a number of contracts will be signed by then, however it was never his expectation to have it all wrapped up by October.

An announcement was made last Thursday that the government would begin negotiations for 8 of the 33 cities in the scheme with fibre companies. Telecom was not one of the companies.

Read More (Stuff.co.nz)

Monday, September 6, 2010

Guaranteed VDSL2 Speeds

With the impending roll out of VDSL2, Telecom has stated that it will guarantee speeds of a minimum 15 Mbit/s down, and 5 Mbits/s up. If customers are unable to meet that speed, they will be returned back to an ADSL service.

VDSL2 can attain speeds of up to 50 Mbit/s on the Telecom network, and theoretically the technology is capable of going much higher. However the service is dependent on short, good quality phone lines to attain these high speeds.

The technology regardless could be a very serious competitor to UFB, with a significantly less investment required to deliver.

Read More (Computerworld) | VDSL2 (Wikipedia)

Not time for FTTH?

Telecompaper have posted a summary of a report from Analysis Morgan which states network operators in developed countries should consider focusing on copper based technologies, such as VDSL, instead of rolling out expensive fibre based technologies.

Reasons listed include low uptake of high speed technologies, public spending focus on mobile, a lack of new devices and services, and a difficulty converting the costly capex spend into actual revenue. The report also comments that governments may better choose to focus their spending on education and health in the current economically challenging times.

This article will hit home with many as the New Zealand government prepares to move forward with decisions on who will partner in their $1.5 billion Ultra Fast Broadband initiative.

Read More (Telecompaper) | Read More (iTWire)

FX Networks receives award

New Zealand Fibre company FX Networks received a Next Generation Fibre-Optic Network Award at the TUANZ awards.

FX is currently in competition with Telecom and other LFC bidders to partner in the UFB initiative, and is awaiting the government to make its decision later in the year.

Read More (NBR)

Saturday, September 4, 2010

NZRFG to begin construction before christmas?

Lines and fibre company collective the NZRFG are preparing a Request for Information (RFI) surrounding their plans on a common service organization for UFB which they've pitched to the government.

Voxy.co.nz writes the NZRFG "remains intent on winning the ultra-fast broadband (UFB) and rural broadband initiatives (RBI) outright and wants to have construction underway before Christmas".

The collective would bring a fresh face to the New Zealand broadband game, with new systems and solutions in addition to the newly built infrastructure. Group CEO Vaughn Baker believes the key to the success of the initiative is to move now. "It's imperative we give ourselves a head start because with every delay, we miss out on something great, something revolutionary" says Baker.

Mr Baker also expressed his concerns that Telecom conditional participation will delay the process, saying "If other parties aren't ready to build a fibre network that we all agree is an urgent priority for our economic prosperity, then that really only leaves the members of the New Zealand Regional Fibre Group to do the job".

However the RFI is a bold move forward, with the government only due to make an announcement on their preferred partners several weeks from now.

Read More (Voxy.co.nz)

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Huawei to hold NZ telco event

Telecom solutions provider Huawei will be holding an event for the telco industry from the 15th to 17th September in Auckland according to a recent article by Computerworld magazine.

The event is an opportunity for members of the industry such as telco's and line companies to hear key players in the industry speak and attend technology workshops in advance of the governments decision on who will take a share in the $1.5 billion UFB initiative.

Huawei is hoping to beat other technology vendors to the punch in supplying fibre infrastructure to the successful LFC's.

A global company having served over 50 telcos, Huawei is currently the the supplier for 2degrees mobile network infrastructure.

Read More (Computerworld)

Vector CEO discusss network ownership

Stuff.co.nz have posted an interview with Vector CEO Simon McKenzie where he discusses UFB and Vector's ability to leverage off their existing extensive electricity and gas network in their bid, the future services the network may deliver, and the challenges to face in attaining the goal of a fibre future.

Read More (Stuff.co.nz)