Australian telecommunications

No national goal has been set for how the National Broadband Network should provide competitive advantage for Australian small or medium enterprises (SMEs) participating in the global digital economy. This paper proposes robust national goals for how the NBN should serve both our digital society and our digital economy. From this perspective it considers the merits of merging NBN Co with InfraCo.

This article reviews recent developments in global broadband deployments and highlights the growing global dominance of fibre to the premises (FTTP). Australia?s increasing use of fibre to the node (FTTN) has locked the country out of world-class broadband for years to come. If Australia is ever to obtain first-class broadband services, it will be necessary to replace FTTN with higher speed technologies.

Australia?s increasing use of fibre to the node (FTTN) has locked the country out of world-class broadband for years to come.

Australia's first cellular mobile service was launched 30 years ago. This paper describes the business and political environment surrounding the launch, and the early evolution of the service.
 

Today Australia's telecommunications market is strongly contested. Competitors with highly skilled, experienced and focused marketing teams battle for market position, market share and profit growth. This has not always been so. Historically Telecom Australia's predominantly engineering culture believed that it only needed a nominal marketing department and no sales force. This is a brief story of the building of a new sales force over the first five years. After five years the "subscribers" were more widely addressed and treated as "customers" but it was to be at least another six years before the company made the customers the focus of the business.

This article provides an overview of the changing legal and regulatory regime for telecommunications and related services in Australia by charting the changes in regulation from 1901 to the present, and by indicating some of the changes that are still evolving. The article is intended to provide a framework for comparison between regulatory regimes in different jurisdictions, and as the basis for further analysis of the sector.

Grand Intentions by Trevor Barr is an exciting read that involves many themes and works at many levels.  It concerns a fictitious telephone company, Telco One, which is undergoing major change as the Government privatises it.  Telco One is in the throes of moving from a traditional culture based on public sector, even public service, values to a commercial entity subject to the overwhelming imperative of shareholder value.  The twists and turns as Telco One transforms from its previous culture into a dynamic commercial entity are transfixing.  This is a must-read book for those with an interest in what could become a dystopian drama if not for the emergence and re-emergence of grand intentions and praiseworthy aspirations of the characters themselves.

Trevor Barr?s page-turner of a novel Grand Intentions tackles the ugly side of the neo-liberalism sweeping Australia in the 1990s and 2000s.  It examines the privatisation of an incumbent telecommunications carrier, and the drastic impact of its imported US corporate culture on several individuals. He deploys a cast of plausible fictional characters while allowing the narrative to be driven by an echo of real events in the Australian telecommunications industry.

TransACT (2000- ) introduced Australia?s first VDSL network, offering a ?triple play? of voice, data (e.g. Internet access), broadcast and video-on-demand services in Australia?s capital city, Canberra, in competition with the incumbent carrier Telstra. TransACT?s founding Chief Architect, Robin Eckermann, reminisces on the founding of TransACT and some of the lessons to be learned from this fore-runner of the National Broadband Network (NBN).

Some departing words from the Journal's Managing Director, Peter Gerrand, in stepping down from the role of Editor-in-Chief of the Telecommunications Journal of Australia and its successor, the Australian Journal of Telecommunications and the Digital Economy, after 21 years in the job.

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