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iiNet appears to be moving full steam ahead with its annual report for the year to June 30, 2010 showing a very healthy rise in revenues, EBITDA and NPAT.
The major ISP's revenue took a 13% rise to $473.8m and its subscriber services rose by a whopping 27%, almost hitting the 1 Million mark at 960,000. Naked DSL looks to be notably popular with subscriber numbers growing a whopping 59% to 106,400.
Aquiring Westnet and more recently Netspace looks to have paid off, too, with the company's total broadband customers sustaining 539,000 to the years end, a rise of 28% since the aquisition. If you didn't catch it in recent news, iiNet is also in the process of aquiring AAPT's consumer division which should be completed in September this year.
It's looking less and less likely that Labor will succeed in pushing its internet filter plan through federal parliament with the Greens today showing their support alongside the Coalition in calling for a PC-based approach.
Greens ICT spokesman Scott Ludlam unveiled the party's cyber safety policy this morning which is all about PC-based filtering, further research into cyber safety risks, strengthened law enforcement and net literacy education.
"The Greens believe Australians need a world-class national broadband network but we don't need the Australian government looking over our shoulder and filtering what we see. A voluntary filter at the household level would be more effective to protect kids" said Senator Ludlam.
Following a demonstration at the CeBIT Sydney 2010 technology show a short while back, both CENTRELINK and Medicare are going to start using electronic handheld devices at their entrances to access customers' information.
This is for the most part in efforts to do away with the messy queues seen in these places daily. The device can tap into a mass of information that will determine what's required before the customer takes a seat (as opposed to going into a queue).
Human Services ICT infrastructure deputy secretary John Wadeson says "Queues are bad news. What we're aiming for is a scenario where people will be met at the door by someone with a handheld device and there'll be a brief interchange to find out what's required.
Once we know that, people will be directed to a seat - not a queue. It's about being able to quickly access all of our information on a little device and making the right decisions in directing people to our face-to-face services.
After being hammered for several flaws by industry experts in the promises made behind the Coalition's alternative internet policy, Liberal Party leader Tony Abbott sure isn't making the situation any better for himself.
in following the Coalition's policy announcement, Prime Minister Julia Gilliard has announced that the NBN will deliver 1Gbps to its subscribers, not the 100Mbps which is all that the Coalition's internet network plan would be capable of. Despite already having displayed a technological lack of understanding, Tony Abbott was quick to respond to this by saying that 1Gbps is 'utterly implausible'.
Communications Minister Stephen Conroy has made some critical, yet valid points that even providers and other industry experts agree to in relation to the Coalition's wireless plan as a means to attempt to uplift the condition of Australia's internet.
Stephen says "The Coalition's focus on wireless defies the advice of industry experts who agree it is a complementary technology to fibre and will not deliver the high speeds and capacity needed for the delivery of healthcare, education and business applications of the future.
Even providers agree that hybrid fibre coaxial is not the answer to Australia's broadband future. Like wireless, broadband on HFC is shared, which means the more people using it, the slower it gets".
A blog post from Internode's Managing Director Simon Hackett yesterday morning has revealed plans by the ISP to give an even more aggressive broadband offer on its own Agile DSLAM ports than Telstra's 200GB plan it announced just recently.
The plan gives a whopping 240GB per month for $99.95 as a standalone product, or $89.95 when bundled with a NodeLine phone service. This is the same price point as Telstra's plan while giving an additional 40GB a month of data usage. However, the plan is said to be limited to about 149 exchanges at this stage.
Further to this, Internode has reviewed and 'simplified' the plans it offers on Telstra's infrastructure, which includes the suspension of its Easy Broadband sign-ups and 200GB 'Fast' plan which Telstra recently blew out of the water, undercutting it by $100 per month.
Customers on these existing plans will remain on them unless they decide to change.
Following our earlier story on industry disapproval to what the Coalition had previously unveiled in terms of its alternative broadband policy deliverance versus the NBN, the cat is now out the bag and full details are known as to what it is exactly they have on the cards.
Their alternative idea is only said to cost about $6.3 Billion which will go towards a mix of fibre, cable and wireless technologies to deliver affordable high-speed connections nationwide by 2016; this being two years ahead of Labor's plan.
The scheme includes $2.75Bn for the construction of an optic fibre backhaul network, but will also rely on at least another $750 Million from the private sector. The end result will be speeds of up to 100Mbps in metro areas already served by fibre or HFC cable, and up to 12Mbps in other areas via wireless and satellite connections.
After the Coalition let it be known late last week that they plan to axe the NBN in favour of a wireless based broadband plan, the ICT sector is full of people shaking their heads at this idea. Internet Industry Association Chief Executive Peter Coroneos has shared his views on this and says that any credible national broadband plan would require fibre as a central element.
"We appreciate the value of wireless technology, but for the reason we argued (in our manifesto) it will never be a substitute for fibre".
While Optus and Telstra haven't yet commented, a cross-section of telecommunications and technology interest groups said that a wireless-centric policy would actually take the country backwards.
It was certainly a big thumbs up from many of us after hearing of Liberal's disapproval towards Labour's mandatory filter late last week, but even if Liberal wins the election, we're not entirely free from enforced filtering.
In harnessing a blacklist that has been compiled by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) which blocks an unknown number of child pornography websites and others, both ISPs Telstra and Optus (so far) have agreed to voluntarily implement this blacklist mid next year. This equates to about 5 million internet users that will start receiving a 'clean feed' from this time.
It's becoming clearer as to what the Opposition plans to do with the NBN, should it win the election on August 21. Opposition finance spokesman Andrew Robb was on ABC Radio this morning and gave good indication of what would most likely be happening if a Coalition return to power takes place.
The project will definitively be halted, But what has been done so far (incl. the Tasmanian leg of the NBN of which portions are already in operation and serving households) will remain in place, but will more than likely be sold off to telecommunications operators.
Mr Robb went on to say that while the Opposition would be ditching the NBN, they acknowledge that an internet alternative is still a strong point of focus for them and there is promise of a faster, better system on the cards that can be built for a lot less than the $43 Billion that will be swallowed up by the NBN.