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What's Going On Here (Again)? 4 March 2002 Edition
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Telecom has been having some more problems with its DSL service and the XTRA Network Status Summary keeps promising that it will be fixed real soon now -- but that resolution time has repeatedly slipped for several days already.

At 9pm last night it was promising that the problem would be fixed three hours previously and shortly afterwards, they simply changed the resolution date from 03 Mar 2002 to 04 Mar 2002.

Okay, so no technology is perfect and outages are an unfortunate fact of life -- but I note that Telstra's DSL service has also been suffering some problems in the past few days.

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This "coincidence" rang some alarm bells and reminded me of a column I wrote back in December last year.

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    Now is it *really* just another coincidence that Telstra and Telecom's DSL outages seem to fail in unison so very frequently?

    Or could it be that they're both so unreliable that simultaneous faulting is a statistical certainty on frequent occasions?

    Whatever the explanation, it doesn't stop either Telecom or Telstra customers from being really annoyed that such an expensive service should be so flaky and take so long to fix.

    Can someone remind me again what Telecom's promised Network availability percentage is?

    Websites Cry Out For Cash
    One of the Internet's most popular discussion sites for geeks, Slashdot has announced that it's going to be offering regular users a choice: cough-up a per-page fee or put up with those new mega-sized display ads.

    Despite many users' virtual addiction to the popular website, the discussion that followed the announcement seems to indicate that the move could have a significant adverse effect on readership.

    It looks as if Slashdot's move might just be the start of yet another move towards squeezing web-surfers for money and coming hot on the tail of their announcement, another popular discussion site, Delphi Forums has announced it is shifting to subscription based service.

    Despite reports suggesting that the levels of online advertising are beginning to recover, it appears that the ad-funded model on which so many print-world and broadcast content offerings are based is still not viable on the Web.

    I doubt therefore that the local initiative to try and create some new kind of ratings service will help things much.

    Let me say it again (just in case anyone's listening) -- until the ad industry gets off their backside and starts providing the Net audience with something just a little more creative than ever-larger banners then advertisers will continue to be disappointed -- and that means that they'll keep their wallets in their pockets.

    Just as a sidebar -- neither Kevin Roberts, nor anyone else from the ad-industry seem to have responded to my previous offer to share my smart idea regarding a new advertising model. Maybe the local consortium of online publishers would be interested -- after all, it also acts as a method of monitoring and reporting online Web usage.

    Have your say.

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