FryUp: BCL comes clean, Ihug rumours, Domain name targets

Top Stories: - BCL comes out of the closet - Ihug's latest toys - Domain name holders beware

Top Stories:

- BCL comes out of the closet

- Ihug's latest toys

- Domain name holders beware

- BCL comes out of the closet

BCL, formerly best known for sending Richard and Judy round to your house every night at six, has shown its hand in the telecommunications arena and what a hand it is.

A ubiquitous wireless network. A high-speed digital microwave radio (DMR) backbone that reaches to places even Telecom can't get to. A desire to be a wholesaler rather than a retailer and a new technology contract with Ericsson to expand its capabilities into the IP layer.

The user side of the equation is being supplied by a company called AirSpan with its own take on fixed wireless CDMA (yes, just like the cellphones) that BCL says can reach for up to 50km. Nice.

Already the newest player in the field has been talking to the likes of Telecom and Vodafone and that's only the tip of the iceberg. With the government's broadband programme starting to see tangible results, BCL is going to be in big demand in areas where Telecom's fibre capacity is either limited or nonexistent, like the East Coast of the North Island. Those guys really need access to the kinds of services BCL can help offer - things like telelearning, which has principals in remote schools drooling at the thought.

Or perhaps the surgical bus which, if you're really lucky and in need of some help in a remote area, will allow a local surgeon to work on you aided and abetted by specialists from one of our major hospitals. No more late night ambulance rides, no more recuperation in a distant city, away from friends and family and support.

This is what broadband can do for you, or me. This is the kind of application that will make a difference in lives and will drive home (arf arf) why broadband is so important.

So if BCL does nothing but stir Telecom into action in the rural sector it's done a good thing (TM) and it bodes well for the future.

Ericsson wins BCL IP backbone contract - IDGNet

Big things begin in backblocks - NZ Herald

SeaNet provides broadband access to Cup yachts at sea - NZ Herald

Mobile Surgical Services - now THAT'S a bus

- Ihug's latest toys

Ihug's been a bit quiet of late - none of the fireworks and palaver we've come to expect from the boys Tim and Nick.

No mergers or buy-outs. No rants or raves, just a persistent rumour that Nick has left and gone to Fiji and Tim is about to hand over control to some new investor.

I asked Nick about it this week and he says he's bought into a resort in Fiji but won't be scaling back his Ihug commitments any time soon, unless the fishing looks particularly good or his dive gear calls out to him in that plaintive way. Then he's on the next plane for a quick refresher course in sun and sand. And why not I say.

Nick says Tim is staying put as well. Actually he said something rude and unprintable which I took to be a denial, but he said it in that brotherly way which implies a sibling isn't about to get away with anything on HIS watch.

Meanwhile, Ihug has released Text2Voice, a service that allows anyone to type in a brief message and have it sent to a phone number (20 cents to a landline, 50 cents to a cellphone) where a robot voice of your choosing will read it out to the recipient.

Calls are collated during the month and billed all in one hit to either your Ihug account or your credit card number.

There's a call for you ... from Stephen Hawking ... - IDGNet

Your message, another voice - NZ Herald

Text2Voice - Ihug

- Domain name holders beware

First there was Internet Name Group (ING) with its policy of sending faxes to domain name holders disguised as invoices - amusing but illegal; then it was Internet Registry with its "aggressive tactics"; and now there's some new outfit called Domain Registry of Australia (or is it Canada? Or Europe? Or the US?) which would very much like to have some of your hard earned cash, please.

What are they thinking? That domain name holders are soft in the head? Is that it? Do you guys have a reputation for being asleep at the wheel or something? Why do they keep coming for your wallets?

ING looks to have gone under, finally. After the Commerce Commission warned people not to deal with the company and the Australian equivalent took the directors to court and various legal threats from company director Mark Spektor, it should be all over red rover.

Sadly, there will be customers out in the world who are out of pocket. ING was selling 10-year renewals for domain names, despite the Australian domain name register only taking renewals for up to two years. If you paid for the rest, your money's gone.

Domainz, the New Zealand registry operator, says if you have registered anything with ING in the .nz space to get in touch with either Domainz itself or your usual registrar to get it all sorted out.

So that's one down. Just in time, though, a new outfit has sent out letters or faxes to domain name holders "warning" them they may be paying too much for their domain names if they re-register them with their existing registrars. Why not sign up with us instead.

According to the rules in the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand no registrar is allowed to trawl through the database of names and contact details digging out everyone's address and targeting them in such a way. It's just not on.

This company, called the Domain Registry of Australia, has contact details that send your call straight through to a Canadian number. It also has sites registered under Domain Registry of Europe and Domain Registry of America that all offer the same kinds of deals.

Regardless of whether the name is cheaper to register with this crowd or not, you should probably be very careful because the company could well have its registrar status yanked by the various powers that be. Talk it over with your registrar if you have any questions. Do let me know if you get contacted by these guys or anyone similar.

Domain name holders targeted once again - IDGNet

Domainz looks out for local companies - IDGNet

Domain company owes $900,000 - The Australian

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