tomk at unwired.com.au
Sat Apr 21 14:14:04 EST 2012
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Ross Kelso [mailto:kelso at internode.on.net]
> Sent: Saturday, 21 April 2012 10:50 AM
> To: link at mailman.anu.edu.au
> Subject: Re: FTTP/FTTN
> What I wrote was based upon page 22 of my doctoral thesis
> http://eprints.qut.edu.au/16612/ , which said in part: ===
> Two forms of 'open' access are possible regarding HFC
> networks, namely, access by competitive ISPs to cable modem
> capacity (as has been discussed in the US context) and access
> by competitive service or programme providers to television
> channels and associated services (as has been discussed in
> the EU context).
> For the former to occur in Australia, barring voluntary
> action by cable providers Telstra and Optus, the ACCC would
> need to declare that facet of a cable television network.
> According to a 2001 interview with an ACCC senior official,
> "nobody has approached us in any concerted way to ask us to
> look at declaration" and so to date cable modem access
> remains closed. (Chirgwin, R. (2001). "Opening up the Cable."
> CommsWorld: 59-84, 60 probably refers). ===
> I subsequently interviewed Michael Cosgrave who confirmed
> that situation.
> At that time (roughly speaking circa 1995/6?), I understand
> that there were only 3 MAJOR ISPs in Australia; Telstra and
> Optus certainly did NOT want open access, and then there was
> Ozemail (yes, a Malcolm Turnbull connection there :) which I
> recollect around that time was in the market for being sold -
> so they were totally distracted. Correct me if I've got that
> wrong, but I recollect it is roughly the way it was - and who
> is to argue with Richard Chirgwin's journalism!
> No doubt I'm now an old fart rummaging through the entrails
> of telecommunications history, but IMHO if the ACCC had
> launched into HFC declaration at that time (OK, the incoming
> Howard Government may well have then stomped on them?) then
> open access to the cable modem capacity of the two HFC
> networks, in addition to what also transpired w.r.t. to the
> copper network and ADSL, would more than likely have produced
> a dramatically different competitive ISP industry compared to
> what we now have, and other developments (eg. the NBN as we
> currently know it) may well have panned out quite differently.?
> Ross Kelso
Dear Ross, as another old fart rummaging... I would like to answer you
at length, however life is too short and I don't have another ten years
to "give" the ungrateful Australian public.
Therefore mindful of the nasties I shall apply some slip slap slop and
unfortunately restrain myself from commenting on your perceived reasons
or in fact any Journalists misreading of the events.
Exceptions to misreading would be documents written at the time on the
reasonably accurate FirstPR website by former Linkers, Stewart Fist and
...and I will add that we attempted to have "swept copper" nominated as
a declared service for alarm circuits in 1996.
When Optus legal chaps declined to lobby Canberra against opening up the
copper, claiming their HFC would provide them all the competitive edge
that they needed, (even though the ex-PacWest engineers that then worked
for me in Portland told me differently,) we attempted to convince
Canberra that the HFC should also be a declared service and open to
That drive created the Australian Internet Association in the Boardroom
of OGN in about February 1997. I declined to be a board member because
of my obvious conflicts of interest.
I have heard it said: "...it is sad to live in a country where the
greatest weapon of Mass Destruction are the civil servants manipulating
their "elected masters" to achieve their own empire building agendas".
Possibly it was one of those Yes Minister episodes.
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