[LINK] National Broadband Network - except it's not national.

Roger Clarke Roger.Clarke at xamax.com.au
Fri May 7 11:02:33 AEST 2010

At 10:31 +1000 7/5/10, Tom Worthington wrote:
>  ... mobile services are now cheap enough and
>normal enough that few would bother with [a dual mobile and cordless 
>landline handset].

It seems that people generally do think that "mobile services are now 
cheap enough".

Without having gone back to my old records, it seems to me that:

-   many people are paying quite a lot for 'call from lots of places,
     lots of the time' (more on that below).  That's a service not
     provided by landlines, so we don't have a prior price-comparison

-   people are paying a lot more to 'call from fixed locations,
     but use a mobile phone to do it'

-   people are paying a great deal more when they call from a
     landline but can only reach the target via the target's mobile,
     e.g. because the person doesn't have a landline any more

Even with the current plunge in value, I'm sitting happily on my 
Telstra shares, picking up dividends of 8.25% p.a. on funds employed 

Re mobile service-quality:

I continue to regard it as appalling.  I frequently encounter 
connection difficulties, dropouts, people who don't have a 
functioning answering-machine arrangement, and poor sound-quality. 
(I'm talking about reaching other people's mobiles from a landline. 
I have a genuine need for a mobile phone half-a-dozen times p.a. and 
either borrow someone else's or go without).

Recently, I was sitting with my nephew in the centre of Picton (one 
of the first major towns out of Sydney, good red-neck country).  His 
mobile phone didn't have coverage.  (He uses 3 - in order to get an 
affordable iPhone.  He said he understands that 3 uses Optus towers 
and has comparable coverage to Optus.  I haven't checked that out).

The even bigger surprise to me was that he just shrugged his 
shoulders.  That seemed to partly reflect his Generation (he's 18), 
but also the fact that he often encounters out-of-range problems, 
even though he lives in the now-heavily-urbanised Macarthur area (5km 
from Campbelltown, a major satellite, 50km south of Sydney).

Roger Clarke                                 http://www.rogerclarke.com/

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 the Cyberspace Law & Policy Centre      Uni of NSW
Visiting Professor in Computer Science    Australian National University

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