Note: This column represents the opinions
of the writer and as such, is not purported as fact|
Unless you live in one of the few spots around the country where there are
fibre or cable alternatives, chances are that the only way you can get yourself
connected to the Internet and the phone network is through copper owned by
the contents of Aardvark's "million-dollar ideas" notebook
are revealed for all to see!
This virtual monopoly has provided the Telco huge strength in the market and,
some would say, gives it a hugely unfair advantage over its competitors.
As I scanned the headlines this morning however, I wondered whether perhaps
Telecom ought to be getting just a little nervous about the effect that
emerging technologies might have on the importance of their copper.
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interested, drop me a line
The first story to catch my eye was titled
Broadband to hit the grid on the Sydney Morning
Delivering broadband Net access using the maze of wires that already connect
our houses to the national grid has been repeatedly mooted as a tantalisingly
attractive option over the past few years. Reportedly successful trials have
already been conducted in the UK and Germany -- but we're all still waiting
for someone to perfect the technology and start delivering.
However, if they can work out the bugs, look for the value of line-company
shares to skyrocket as Telecom's shares plunge.
Then there was this story
in today's NZ Herald which shows just how practical the new wireless
systems have become.
But wait, there's more...
Across the ditch in Australia, Telstra's very similar virtual monopoly
looks set to face a challenge
as a consortium of others (including major power companies) prepare to
team up and offer broadband alternatives.
Now, while I don't expect any of these emerging technologies to dethrone
Telecom in the near future, they might cause it to start acting
sensibly when it comes to sharing its copper with other players. Just about
the only way the company can avoid being badly hurt by the onslaught of options is
to rent its copper to competitors at a price that makes power-line or wireless
Let's not hold our breath though -- they'll hang on to their monopoly and
the license to print money it provides, right up to the very last moment -- you can be sure
Of Bombs And Browsers
Last week some stupid kid blew the top off his finger while playing with a
Of course he got the recipe for this explosive device from the Internet -- and'
the media were quick to report this important fact. Funny how they didn't
mention that the construction of a very similar device was shown on the
TV series MacGyver about 15 years ago -- and is likely to be repeated now
that the series is airing again on Prime TV.
Never mind -- we've become well used to the Net being blamed these days
for every home-made bomb that goes off prematurely so it's hardly big
However, if you believe that these online bomb recipes are the root cause
of all amateur explosions then it's time to get worried -- very worried.
Why? -- well according to
from the BBC, your kids might just be making a nuke in the garage
after very detailed information was made available on the Net.
Have your say.
Due to other higher-priority calls on my time and resources over the coming
days, the publication of this column may be a little erratic.
Normal service will be resumed as soon as possible however.
The Jet-Kart is For Sale
It's time to clear out the closet here at Aardvark's country residence so I'm
having a bit of a garage sale. I need to spend a whole lot more time
and money on my jet engine R&D activities (now that the defense industry
has shown a very real interest) -- so I'm trying to scrape up some more cash.
The world-famous Jet-powered Gokart is up for sale by
way of an informal auction. Send me your bid and I'll post the current
highest offer on a webpage that will appear here soon.
As far as I'm aware, this is the only pulsejet-powered gokart in the
Southern Hemisphere -- I wonder why that is?
It may not be the quietest, smoothest, most comfortable or safest vehicle
in the world -- but it's sure different!
To place a bid, just drop me a line.
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