One step forward, two steps back

So the Commerce Commission recommendation that mobile termination rates be slashed but only if they're second generation, not third, and that Telecom's third generation network, called T3G, isn't 3G after all, unless you use it for data, has been rejected by the minister.

Top Stories

- One step forward, two steps back

- Corporate Windows worms wiggle

- We don’t know how lucky we are

One step forward, two steps back

So the Commerce Commission recommendation that mobile termination rates be slashed but only if they’re second generation, not third, and that Telecom’s third generation network, called T3G, isn’t 3G after all, unless you use it for data, has been rejected by the minister.

Minister David Cunliffe didn’t have much choice in the matter – there was obviously going to be a problem with the whole “We didn’t like the definition of 3G so we made up our own” claim by the Commission and the way the Telco Act is written at the moment he can’t reject part of a recommendation – it’s all or nothing.

So Cunliffe’s sent it back with “Needs more work” written at the top. That’s not to say the idea of regulating mobile termination is wrong, he says, just that this isn’t going to cut it.

Also there’s the tricky question of both Telecom and Vodafone putting commercial offers to the minister after the event. It’s good to see them trying to reach a commercial solution but it’s bad (BAD, mmkay?) that they waited so long. Cunliffe’s asked the Commission to take a closer look at the offers with no emphasis either way from him on whether the offers are acceptable or not.

All this should go away once the new amendments to the act are introduced as it will give the minister the right to reject parts of a proposal if needs be.

- Mixed reactions to Minister's termination decision

Corporate Windows worms wiggle

If there’s one thing that makes Microsoft security experts nervous, it’s large corporate installations of Windows. In the vast majority of cases, big corporates are one or more steps behind the Windows upgrade cycle and run older versions of Microsoft’s operating systems. As there is usually no active development on yesteryear’s Windows, they become ticking time bombs. Each single one…

There’s probably no good solution to this issue either. When you have hundreds or thousands of machines to look after, upgrading the operating system on each becomes a task not undertaken lightly. Or, for that matter, applying patches to Windows. There’s the time it takes to roll out upgrades, patches and entirely new operating systems usually require new hardware as well. The whole thing is an expensive balancing act between minimising new and unknown breakage, user training and security concerns. It doesn’t just apply to Windows of course but as the Redmondian OS is deployed in such large numbers, it’s the one with a bull’s eye on its bum causing ulcers and sleepless nights for admins.

- CA: Windows 2000 worms now affecting 250,000

We don’t know how lucky we are

Well, compared to our fellow Rarotongan packet-punters in the tropical sun at least. FryUp reader Andrew Joll wrote in to say that he’s off on Raro hols soon, and decided to check out internet access pricing on the island. There’s exactly one ISP on Rarotonga, Oyster, and it’s owned by Telecom Cook Islands. Interestingly enough, Telecom New Zealand owns 60% of said telco, but I’m sure that has nothing to do with Oyster’s access pricing.

FryUp’s advice to Mr Joll is of course to leave the $5/hour dial-up well alone during his holiday in Raro and not even think about the up to $1,585/month 70-115kbit/s IDSL (ISDN DSL, an oddball data-only technology that’s, Raro-ly found elsewhere), and to enjoy the balmy climes instead.

Cook Islands: Oyster Internet Services – Dial Up Services

Cook Islands: Oyster Internet Services – Dedicated Internet Access

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