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Telecom Cops Some Flak 10 October 2001 Edition
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Yesterday's column produced quite a bit of correspondence -- some of which confirmed my suspicions about that Telecom ad.

A reader advised that it was filmed at Piha where there is no DSL or other Telecom-provided broadband service available. Apparently the residents of Piha were really pee'd off that Telecom launched that ad. It seems that they're having enough trouble just getting phone lines that work, let alone broadband teleconferencing.

I also received some comments of dissatisfaction with Telecom's CDMA network.

One reader says that his experience with the service is bad news -- claiming that using it for Net-related tasks is virtually hopeless. He also reports that users of some older PABX systems have been unable to call him because they can't dial 027 numbers.

I'd be keen to hear from other Telecom CDMA users who might be having problems with their data services.

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How about someone from Telecom moves to set the record straight -- that's if I've got it wrong of course.

Rural Broadband -- The Answer?
I see that there are mumblings in the UK that the government there are talking about throwing UK30 million pounds (about NZ$100m) at the problem of providing "fast internet services through broadband technology to all parts of the UK."

How very forward-thinking -- or is it?

Is it the government's job to subsidise, or even provide, such services?

What do you think -- should the NZ government move quickly and pay to have NZ serviced by a ubiquitous broadband network?

In fact, why shouldn't it be seen as a priority -- after all, something like 99% of the population receives free-to-air TV broadcasts thanks to the public purse -- and as we all know: TV just rots your brain, it doesn't provide nearly the same intellectual stimulus, commercial or education value as the Net.

Readers Say
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From Yesterday...
  • Rural DSL... - Geoff
  • rural internet... - Grant
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    However, someone suggested another alternative -- how about a community-based wireless network based on low cost 802.11b-based hardware?

    Gosh... this takes me back over 20 years to a time when I was involved in installing and setting up a number of private TV translators around the country.

    Small communities that were outside the coverage range of the state-funded network would club together and (with some government contribution I believe) buy a translator that would be sited on a convenient hilltop. Maybe it's time for some rural communities to adopt the same approach for broadband Internet access.

    Of course it would require that there's a basic wireless backbone in place into which they could tap -- perhaps that's where the government and BCL could fit in.

    Of course where a reliable phone service is already available then satellite-based Net-access is probably the simplest and most cost-effective option -- but let's face it, the quality and reliability of the lines to some communities precludes that as a practical reality.

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