Dance of the seven veils
Don’t the folk at Crown Fibre Holdings like to surprise. We had been primed for an October announcement and out they come with a statement yesterday, saying CFH has picked the first three partners for the $1.5 billion Ultra Fast Broadband project, in Whangarei, central North Island and Timaru (goodness, what is it about Timaru that it attracts so much taxpayer investment?)
It shatters Telecom’s hopes of a national build, but it keeps the telco hanging on whether it will get the big prize that is Auckland. The decision to go down the regional route is gutsy – it raises the spectre of the taxpayer’s fibre competing with Telecom’s copper. But – with all due respect to Timaru – until we get word on who’s got the contracts in the big towns, its too early to do anything but speculate on the ultimate outcome of all this.
Telecom was quick off the mark with a press release following yesterday's announcement in which it slammed Crown Fibre Holdings. Here is what CEO Paul Reynolds said: “Crown Fibre Holdings does not have a mandate in the areas of RBI, regulatory reform and legislative change. Telecom’s proposal includes a potential structural separation by demerger in July next year. Telecom will need appropriate engagement with the whole of government in order to meet this challenging time frame.”
So true Dr Reynolds. UFB is, if you’ll excuse the biblical reference, a dance of the seven veils, with the first veil delicately peeled away yesterday morning. Here’s what else needs to be revealed:
- Who gets Auckland – Vector or Telecom?
- ICT Minister Steven Joyce’s decision on whether to allow Telecom its Variation 4 request
- Parliament must change legislation to allow the 10-year regulatory holiday.
- A national bid on the rural broadband will be have to be negotiated – will Telecom take the crumbs if it misses out on the cake?
- Structural separation of Telecom – will it, won’t it, should it have to if it does not get a deal with CFH?
- Customers, customers, customers – remember them? The ultimate ‘veil’ is whether voice and data services are fast, reasonably priced and make a real difference to the economic welfare of this country.
Those of you who went to Sunday school may recall that the dance of the seven veils is performed in return for John the Baptist’s head on a platter.
It has been almost a week since the 7.1 magnitude earthquake struck Christchurch at 4.35am and in that time Cantabrians have had to endure hundreds of aftershocks. It is impossible to be comprehensive about this, but initial reports suggested that the telcos got stuck in and, at the very least, maintained voice networks over both fixed line and mobile networks with minimum disruption.
Meanwhile the ICT community has rallied around and offered a bunch of services to their fellow business people.
Kia kaha Canterbury.
People who live in glasshouses...
So Oracle CEO Larry Ellison thinks HP is being vindictive in launching a lawsuit against its former CEO Mark Hurd, who has joined Oracle after effectively being pushed out of his HP job. Ellison's bleating might be a bit easier to take if Oracle, in its role as the new owner of Sun Microsystems, hadn't itself recently sued Google over issues relating to Java.
From the desperate marketing files comes this from HP and Microsoft. Four fashion designers have created limited edition skins (stickers) for release on HP notebooks to coincide with New Zealand Fashion Week. “The designers each designed their own unique print, which will be given away on a “first-come-first-served basis to fashion-conscious kiwis purchasing selected HP notebooks from mid-September,” notes the press release.
The skins were launched at posh Auckland eatery The Grove, where they were matched with food and wine. Pictured is designer Adrian Hailwood - PC in one hand, and a dish of braised Wagyu beef in red wine with smoked potato puree and ash baked celeriac in the other. Out of shot is the glass of Kemp Road Cabernet. Just in case you were thinking of recreating the experience at home.
FRY UP news
FRY UP is taking a little break and will be back on October 15. Just to tide you over, here’s a selection from the youtube files. When we return we will have lots of news. Promise.
When it goes horribly wrong
Double rainbow set to music