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Why Telecom's DSL Isn't Getting Fixed 5 November 2001 Edition
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In recent weeks, IDG has carried several stories regarding problems with Telecom's DSL service and there's another one this morning (see headlines section).

Apart from being the most expensive DSL service in the OECD, it would appear that Telecom's service is also one of the least reliable -- despite the company's recent advertisements proclaiming the world-standard reliability of their network as a whole.

Let's take a look at what's wrong with Telecom's DSL and why they're unlikely to fix it any time soon...

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First-up there's the issue of price.

Telecom's DSL can bankrupt you -- plain and simple.

If it's not the massive per-megabyte charge for the data you download, it might be the effect of some hacker trying to produce a denial of service attack by flooding your connection with masses of data -- which you will pay for.

Let's face it -- if Telecom wants to charge by the megabyte then it has a moral, if not a legal, responsibility to ensure that you're only charged for the data you legitimately requested.

Readers Say
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  • dsl pricing... - Alan
  • Telecom charter... - Allister
  • Windows XP... - Brodie
  • Microsoft Wimps Out?... - Tanya
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    Then there's those micro-outages which so many people seem to be complaining about.

    It would seem that the problem has been acknowledged but the company is not particularly interested in fixing it any time soon.

    And why should they?

    After all, micro-outages are great money-makers.

    Average people downloading large files from the Web using the HTTP protocol often associated with such transfers will find that a micro-outage probably causes the session to abort.

    If you've downloaded 100MB of a 101MB file then it could be that you'll have to start all over again -- that's a lot of extra cash in Telecom's pockets!

    Don't forget either that DSL is a product that competes head-on with several of Telecom's far more expensive services such as its DDS offering. You only have to compare the price of a 2Mb/S DDS circuit across Auckland city to the DSL equivalent to see why Telecom might want to put off those repairs.

    Hey, nobody can blame Telecom for wanting to extract the maximum revenues and profits from its services -- that's simply the nature of business and if it didn't try to maximise those profits it would be neglecting its responsibility to shareholders.

    However, it becomes damned hard for many Kiwi hi-tech, new economy startups to compete in a global marketplace when they're being offered an unreliable service that represents an open cheque to Telecom each month.

    What do you think? Is Telecom's DSL service a rip-off compared to the service offered by carriers in other countries?

    And what about the prospect of getting a bill for several thousand dollars if you're the victim of a massive IP flood launched by some malevolent hacker?

    Microsoft Wimps Out?
    Last week I challenged Microsoft to put Windows XP to the Aardvark torture test. No response.

    N'uff said.

    Now, is there any Linux vendor out there willing to meet a similar challenge?

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