- Geeking out
Telecom's DSL announcement of last week turned out to be so much ho hum. Fortunately, I'm reliably told the full announcement (this was the pre-announcement announcement for Telecom's ISP-customers' benefit) in September will have a great deal more in the way of bells and whistles.
Sadly, I'm almost beyond caring.
The problem with JetStream isn't the lack of bells and whistles, and by that I mean content, it's the price. It's very simple - it's too expensive. People don't like not knowing what kind of bill they're going to get next month (will it be $65 or will it be $5000?). They don't like having a really cool service that they can only use on the first day of the month because their traffic limit is so low as to be ridiculous.
It's that simple.
I had hoped for a complete revamp of the pricing structure - the introduction of new traffic caps would be the bare minimum. Instead we've got a new speed (256Kbit/s) and the old traffic caps.
Telecom tells me nearly half of all JetStream customers use less than 500 MB of traffic a month. I'm sure this is true, but it's not for want of trying. I watch my usage carefully because even though I'm on the 1 GB plan I still run over it practically every month. The problem is I think the limits were drawn up by those using dial-up and, frankly, they just aren't reasonable given the speed of the connections. Telecom has one of the fastest DSL connection speeds anywhere in the world - but one of the lowest connection traffic cap regimes. 500 MB is a joke - I can fit that and more on a CD. That would cost me less than $5 to buy, copy and post. When the postal service is a more cost-effective mover of data than a digital connection you know something's amiss.
Even if the new stuff announced in September is particularly exciting, and I'm sure it'll include stuff like JetVideo, Telecom's video over DSL service, it will still leave us with the traffic charges from hell.
I'm also less than impressed with the idea that the telco can give ISPs 30 days notice of a change to the mechanism and that's all. I bet Xtra got an indication of what's coming up earlier than Telecom gave the others. If this is a real wholesale market, and current indications are that it isn't, then this kind of carry-on is just plain wrong. Still, that's what you get with a regime that is about wholesaling a retail product instead of a wholesale one. Subtle but important difference there.
Finally, TelstraClear is on the move. After spending the last few years merging and then merging again (re-emerging?) the company is about ready to start offering products and services in the broadband space. It's doubling its DSL capacity after revealing it has been rolling out copper alongside the cable it's been laying for years.
Doubling sounds good, but TelstraClear won't tell me how many exchanges, cabinets, lines or users this refers to, so it could be that three customers will become six. I doubt it, but the network reach of TelstraClear's copper service can't be that great.
Still, it's all welcome and when it finally makes a move on the residential market then more power to it. Walker Wireless is about ready to go and BCL's network will kick off operation in November. Till then I guess we just watch this space.
- Geeking out
Rolls Royce has bought its own .geek.nz domain name. Can you imagine?! Bet Bentley wouldn't have the nerve.
That's right, .geek.nz is finally available and boy, did they jump in with both feet. Registrations reached nearly 500 in 48 hours and show very little sign of slowing down. Also they do a great line in beanies.
Gone are the obvious geeky names - linux.geek.nz went early, as did microsoft.geek.nz to show an even hand. The quirky names, a.geek.nz and uber.geek.nz flew out the door and even good old media.geek.nz has found a home. Even the business-which-cannot-be-named-in-email-for-fear-of-alarming-your-spam-filter has been in on the act, but I can't tell you what it bought. Suffice it to say that prawns.geek.nz is probably your only alternative left.
So a good time has been had by all and I'm pleased to see such interest. It bodes well for the industry that we can have a bit of fun, pay some money and generally be silly.
InternetNZ has a moratorium on new second level domain names while it works out whether to change its decision-making process. Options on the table include opening up the 2LD to any and all names (.com.nz anyone?) which could be startling to put it mildly or doing away with it altogether. I was in favour of the latter, very European approach, but now that .geek.nz has generated so much entertainment, I have to say I've changed my mind.
Instead I think InternetNZ should still carefully weigh up authorisation of new names, but should speed up the process. Currently it takes a dog's age of voting, discussing, voting and consenting. That could still happen but over a few weeks instead of several months.
So, what's next? The bankers failed with .bank.nz but I'm sure there are more out there.
Good news for anyone fooled by this ratbag - the Aussie equivalent of the Domain Name Commissioner is taking him through the Federal Court.