Friday, December 19, 2008

Hold the line, Sol is here

Sol Trujillo was appointed Telstra's CEO on July 1, 2005 after stints like President, chairman and CEO of U S WEST Communications, Inc. Telstra was the publicly owned phone company in Australia, until it was sold off by John Howard as another asset plunder.

Telstra and its previous incarnations, including the Post Master General’s Department, have owned the copper wire infrastructure in Australia, so have always had a massive competitive advantage.

As we try to develop a 21st century broadband network in Australia Telstra and Trujillo are still trying to leverage that advantage; particularly the cost savings of a central fibre-optic network which relies on “last mile copper connection” to deliver internet services to homes and businesses.

“Telstra's exclusion from the competitive process established by the Federal Government to build a national broadband network is another example of how Sol Trujillo and his team have consistently misread two governments.” SMH

Sol has consistently tried to stare down governments and parliament on a range of communications issues; he has consistently lost. But hang on, now his supporters are accusing anyone who critisises him of xenophobia. You see, poor Sol is a bloody American.

Personally I don’t give a damn where he comes from, I’m only concerned about his performance. In fact I doubt any of my regular readers would accuse me of any particular anti-American sentiments. But when we face a barrier like this to a broadband network:

Telstra is not contemplating legally challenging its exclusion yet, but if and when a broadband roll-out by one of the three other groups bidding for the job gets the nod, it will probably go to court.
… Telstra can argue that its existing copper network should not be piggybacked by the new fibre (as all projects will), and that it should not be prevented from building an alternative network.”

Along with many others I objected to the sale of Telstra, and more particularly of the infrastructure. The privatized unit has not served us well and obviously intends to continue with that record of performance.

I’d just like to say I don’t look at nationalities when I critisise performance; I don’t care about antecedents when I say “ah sol…” Enough of the bullshit, let’s have some sensible resolution to the development of communication needs.

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