Hard News by Russell Brown


Ya rly

I know I said I wouldn't post … but if I promise not to give out stock tips, could Bruce Shepherd of the Shareholders' Association consider refraining from commenting on technology he clearly doesn't understand?

Shepherd declared in his Morning Report interview that Telecom only has a monopoly on "copper wire" which will only last 10 years before it is "killed" by the "cellular network". Ya rly.

Apart from anything else, Telecom's monopoly is not only on the copper in the ground but on the ducting through which some of it runs -- the same ducting that brought the fibre all the way to our new cabinets in Pt Chev. The cost and disruption, and the time it would take, of replicating that run would truly constitute the "waste" that Shepherd was blathering about.

Having spoken to some of the people from newly-separated Telecom Wholesale, my impression is that they are not "mindless paper shufflers", and that they are just a bit excited at the prospect that they are now not constrained from offering products that Telecom's retail division doesn't want in the market.

Shepherd also predicted that Telecom would "stop investing" in response to the separation. Which was, oddly enough, the same prediction he made before Telecom announced an unprecedented $1.4 billion campaign of capital investment.

I, too, hope that what Paul Reynolds described as the "new, open Telecom" will be a reality, and that no further regulation will be required. (Does anyone have any insight as to whether the separation of Telecom Networks might resolve the stand-off over peering?) I'm certainly prepared to give the company a chance. And, unlike Shepherd, I do think I have some idea what I'm talking about.

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