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Australia to Halt ISP Filtering Program

in Australia/International by

WASHINGTON July 19, 2010 – Australia will stop the rollout of their controversial ISP filtering program. The Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Senator Stephen Conroy has stated that the program is currently being re-reviewed.

Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Senator Stephen Conroy

The filter would block Refused Classification content which includes child pornography, bestiality, extreme violence, terrorist activities, and drug use.  “The RC content list of URLs provides direct access to child abuse material so it cannot be published the way a list of prohibited book titles or movies can be,” Senator Conroy said.

Three  of the nation’s largest ISPs, Telstra, Optus, Primus,  have agreed to block child abuse material based on a list of URLs created by  Australian Communications and Media Authority.

Australian Telstra Upgrades One-Fifth of Broadband Customers

in Australia/International by

WASHINGTON, July 16, 2010 – One-fifth of Telstra customers in a previous broadband desolate area have upgraded their home networks from copper broadband connections.

Telstra had an area that included 1,500 households in its trial fiber-to-the-home project. Around 300 households signed up for fiber networks as a part of the two-month pilot program. Telstra provided the infrastructure for those 1,500 households to install a fiber connection in an area not used to having broadband.

Simon Hackett managing director of Internode, a provider involved with the trial, said “We’ve certainly signed up enough customers to form a valid set of test cases.”

Australian Executive Slams High Cost Estimates for National Broadband Network

in International by

WASHINGTON, June 30, 2010 – In a statement released today, Australia’s National Broadband Network (NBN) Co-Chief Executive Mike Quigley called recent estimates of the network’s startup cost “nonsense.” While most mainstream estimates of the cost to build Australia’s new network range from $43 billion to $60 billion, Quigley insisted that the actual cost of the network would run closer to $30 billion.

National Broadband Network Co-Chief Executive Mike Quigley

“”For the record, the amount of money that the government will need to put into this project, which comes from our business case and aligns closely with the implementation study, will be south of $30 billion,” Quigley said. “$43 billion is a different number.”

Quigley’s statement comes just as the NBN is considering an $11 billion cooperation agreement with Telstra, a private telecommunications company, for assistance in building Australia’s national network. Telstra already has infrastructure available to run the network, supporters of the agreement argue that it could bolster revenues for the NBN, while cutting down operating costs. Quigley, however, remained skeptical.

“People who keep talking about commercial returns have lost the focus that this is a big national asset that is being built by the government,” Quigly said. “No commercial entity would do this, and you wouldn’t expect them to, because their job is to get the highest possible return for their shareholders.”

Australian Government to Buy Telstra’s Fiber Network

in International by

WASHINGTON, June 22, 2010 – Australia’s largest telecom firm Telstra has finally come to an agreement with the government regarding its fiber network. Telstra was the only internet service provider in the nation that didn’t support the government’s broadband expansion plans. The firm has reached a deal with the government to decommission its copper network.

The government also will take over the firm’s cable and fiber network and the firm will provide last mile service with backhaul provided by the NBN Co network run by the government. Telstra will receive $9.6 billion for the use of the fiber network.

Telstra Chairman Catherine Livingstone said the agreement “is consistent with the government’s high-speed broadband vision and desired industry structure. This agreement reflects a commitment by all parties to reaching a mutually beneficial outcome for Telstra investors, customers, employees and the industry”

The firm will also begin to bid on spectrum for the deployment of a super fast Long Term Evolution network.

Telstra and Nokia Siemens Networks Achieve 100Mbps LTE Connection Over 75km

in International/Wireless by

WASHINGTON, June 21, 2010 – Telstra, Australia’s largest telecommunications firm, and Nokia Siemens Networks, a joint venture between Finland’s Nokia and Germany’s Siemens, has achieved a 100mbps down speed on its LTE network over a record breaking distance of 75Kilometers.

The tests were conducted between Mount Hope and Mount Burrumboot in central Victoria, Australia as part of an effort to support the nation’s broadband goal of 100mbps to 90% of homes by 2018.

Australian Prime Minster, Kevin Rudd, has said of broadband “Just as railway tracks laid out the future of the 19th Century and electricity grids the future       of the 20th Century, so broadband represents the core infrastructure of the 21st Century”

The trial used commercially-available LTE-ready Flexi Multiradio Base Station and Evolved Packet Core (EPC), with pre-commercial LTE USB dongles from     third-party vendors.   This new trial bodes well not just for Nokia Siemens but also for Verizon Wireless which plans to blanket the United States in LTE over the next few years.

Kalevi Kostiainen, head of Nokia Siemens Networks, Australia and New Zealand said, “.The benefits of LTE in urban environments are currently being deployed globally, having already been extensively tested and the business benefits well understood. Through this unique joint trial we can now see how LTE can be extended to provide cost effective solutions for rural and remote environments.”

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