Spnak! Spnak! Bad Telecom!

New Zealand is not Korea, the Minister of our Communications, David Cunliffe. said at the TUANZ Telecommunications Day get-together in Wellington this week. Most people who have tried to get semi-decent broadband in New Zealand kind of knew that already, though.

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Spnak! Spnak! Bad Telecom! To bed with you! NOW!

New Zealand is not Korea, the Minister of our Communications, David Cunliffe. said at the TUANZ Telecommunications Day get-together in Wellington this week. Most people who have tried to get semi-decent broadband in New Zealand kind of knew that already, though.

Drawing on his parenting experience, Cunliffe likened Telecom to his three-year-old son who doesn’t like to go to bed. This drives Mum nuts and Dad to the limits of patience. However, naughty, recalcitrant Telecom had better watch it though, because it’ll eventually dawn on Theresa and Gang that they’re headed for bed eventually whether they want it or not.

That’s all very cute but it’s already 2005 and, as Cunliffe says, to look good in the OECD ratings we need 600,000 broadband connections now. That is, almost two and a half times more than Telecom’s 250,000 residential connections target by the end of the year.

We could’ve been a contender with local loop unbundling but no, we had to have the technically-inadequate “Unbundled Bitstream Service” that’s too expensive and poor to be anything but the “oh well, guess there’s nothing else available” solution on the market.

To give you an example, I had the pleasure of taking some visitors from Taiwan out this week in Auckland. They loved the place, despite all four seasons in a day, but were shocked at how expensive it was to use roaming with GSM phones here. So, they tried to use Skype as much as possible in the hotel … which has shared 128kbit/s DSL in the business centre. Uh-oh.

So we talked a bit about this, and I tried to explain the weird regulatory regime here and what people and businesses get out if it. “Is that all you get?” was the response when I said 2Mbit/s DSL, with 128kbit/s upstream, costs $70 plus another $40 for the phone line. It seems in Taiwan that approximately $70 a month buys you a 12Mbit/s voice and broadband package with 1Mbit/s upstream — and that’s considered pricey by regional standards.

- Hon. David Cunliffe: First World Broadband: Moving up the OECD Rankings.

- Unbundling 'increases services, drops prices'

Hasta la Vista, Longhorn

So, here it is then, Microsoft’s formerly cattle-codenamed operating system update. After a very long development process, it’s time for Joe and Joelene Bloggs to taste Microsoft’s dog-food with Beta 1 of Windows Vista. A cursory glance through various web sites (haven’t received much information about Longhorn/Vista from Microsoft or its PR people) shows a raft of interesting updates which, to be honest are long overdue.

Two features in particular — tabbed browsing in IE and not having to run as Administrator to use all the features in a desktop machine — sound great, so I hope to get hold of a copy soon.

- Microsoft delivers Windows Vista beta

- Windows Vista home page

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