[LINK] Telstra propose biggest rollout in Australia's history

Roger Clarke Roger.Clarke at xamax.com.au
Thu Jan 18 08:37:25 AEDT 2007

>At 11:31 PM 17/01/2007, Frank O'Connor wrote:
>>>Two words: corporate welfare.

I hate to adopt the role of Telstra-defender, but ...

Installing reasonable-level telecomms in even some regional areas, 
let alone rural areas, let alone remote areas, is financially 
infeasible for a company.  If that was its sole source of revenue, it 
would go broke.

The Directors of any company that did any such thing would be subject 
to a lawsuit.  Agreed:  companies cross-subsidise among their 
business lines and business units (although they use other words for 
it).  But they do so with some degree of rationality, i.e. a business 
model that supports it.

The whole meaning of 'nation' embodies the notion of equitable 
services irrespective of location within nation.  (I carefully used 
'equitable' rather than 'equal').

But the appropriate way for that to be achieved is by the taxpayer 
paying the difference between the cost in the conurbations and the 
cost in the various other areas.

The scheme set up by DCITA does that.  Moreover, they called for 
tenders to accept the subsidy and deliver the services.  And Telstra 
seems to believe that they failed to give Telstra an inside run.

Now of course the *real* solution is to drop all this naive belief 
about the magical nature of the private sector, and recognise the 
responsibility of government to create and maintain common 

But the second-best alternative is to do what the government's doing. 
(I stress that I haven't looked at the *detail* of the DCITA 
tendering arrangements;  so I'm defending the principle not 
necessarily the specifics).

Roger Clarke                  http://www.anu.edu.au/people/Roger.Clarke/

Xamax Consultancy Pty Ltd      78 Sidaway St, Chapman ACT 2611 AUSTRALIA
                    Tel: +61 2 6288 1472, and 6288 6916
mailto:Roger.Clarke at xamax.com.au                http://www.xamax.com.au/

Visiting Professor in Info Science & Eng  Australian National University
Visiting Professor in the eCommerce Program      University of Hong Kong
Visiting Professor in the Cyberspace Law & Policy Centre      Uni of NSW

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