Tardis, To Do list

Top Stories: - The Doctor changes but the Tardis stays the same - To Do list

Top Stories:

- The Doctor changes but the Tardis stays the same

- To Do list

- The Doctor changes but the Tardis stays the same

That's it, call me Phil 'cos I'm Goff.

It's been tremendous fun writing the FryUp. It's changed the way I look at journalism (hint: papers are dead, blogs and email are alive. Alive! The era of interactive journalism may well have arrived. Hey, I should do a thesis on that!) and has introduced me a wide range of interesting and, dare I say it, unusual readers. You all know who you are, and none of you are allowed within 100 metres of my dwelling or domicile following the court order.

The FryUp is typically written late on in the piece on a Friday (if not later). No, really. I know you think it's carefully sculpted over several days but instead it's thrown together at the last minute like a poorly packed suitcase. Consequently I've forgotten things I wanted to add in and wandered off on tangerines I never meant to explore (I'd also like at this point to thank editor Anthony for allowing, if not downright encouraging, me to mix my metaphors). That in itself has been invaluable to me as a reporter, and the debriefing the FryUp has given me allows me to start the week fresh, all pink and scrubbed clean, ready to go.

And just when you thought it was safe to open your inbox on a Friday morning (or late on a Friday afternoon for that matter), it seems there will be more frying to follow. Negotiations (well, bullying mostly) are underway to get some other poor schmuck to write the FryUp each week, and looking at the shortlist I can happily say you'll be well served. Just make sure you give them a bit of stick about that other fellow from time to time and all will be well. I've subscribed myself so I can put the boot in from time to time. Should be fun.

The headline for this section, by the way, was happily stolen from a story on The Register from a few years ago about the changing of the guard at one of the spam blacklist organisations; I've been saving it in a box ever since. Great to be able to use it again.

I start the new job at the Harold (dammit!) on Monday, so keep an eye out for me over there. Even if you can't get the paper you can have a look online. You won't catch Auckland cooties, I promise.

- To Do list

It wouldn't be the FryUp without a bit of a rant, so I've rummaged around in my news list and come up with some topics that will need sorting and soon. These things are holding us back so it's time to get on. Let's see what happens over the next year and we'll meet back here for the dissection.

- number portability

It's been about a hundred years since the someone first said "Hey, why do I need a new phone number just because I've moved house/premises?" and the telcos said "because I can charge you some money and make your life miserable doing so". This one's been dragging on for years and it's high time someone stepped in and said "Begone!" Bet you nobody will though and this will remain a myth for ages.

- peering

It's dull as dishwater to anyone not in the industry and quite a few who are, I suspect, but the transit of data back and forth between networks is an issue that's not going to go away any time soon. It's fundamental to the basic running of the internet, this kind of agreement, and whether you call it peering or interconnection, it's become a commercial issue instead of a technical one. I hate that. It's the dull stories that are the most important, I find, so this one will be interesting to watch over the coming months.

- competition

Please sir, may we have some more. We have limited competition in almost all the telco sectors in New Zealand and it shows. We lag in the broadband uptake stakes, we lag in the price of calls to cellphones, we slither down the rankings all over town, and frankly that's got to stop. We have the most to gain from telecommunications out of almost all the OECD nations, so we should get on with it.

- flat rate versus per byte charging

This is the biggest bugbear of them all, for me. I have no control over the data that's sent to my connection, I have no control over the bill I get each month and, by crikey, that bill can be a whopper. And for what? Megabytes don't exist; it doesn't cost the companies that much to send them? Why is it that when I send 1GB of data over a dial-up connection it costs me nothing but when I send it over my broadband connection it costs me a fortune? This one needs fixing.

- TSO

In 2000 Telecom told us it wanted to sell off the rural non-viable customers. Then the government started handing out cash to investors in rural networks and Telecom started loving the rural customers. Now the government is talking about tendering out the TSO provisions in the rural sector and Telecom says not only is it too difficult (no, really) but it doesn't want to. Why? Let's cut to the chase -- these customers aren't non-viable. They make money. Companies want to offer them services because there's revenue to be earned there. Let's revisit the TSO payments in light of the intense competition for these customers and say the price of maintaining these 60,000 odd is nill. Divide that up between the telcos and move on.

- NGI

If we can't convince the incumbent to let us use the Southern Cross Cable to its full extent we may as well build our own. Next generation internet research is as important as anything else the telcos are doing today and it's being driven by research institutes and governments. If we want to be part of this we have to front up with the cash and government has hinted that it'll do so in the near future. Good. Get on with it.

See you all in the future.

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