Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Debt, Investment and Life

Well, on the money go round a bit lately.

Sold some shares recently which netted me a good return.
Instead of (sensibly) using that money to pay off debt, I have re-invested it in a small business.
Fairly high risk, and definitely a long term investment, but we will see how things go.

I still wanted to consolidate my debt,so managed to get an excellent interest rate from my bank who strangely also let me retain my credit card and overdraft once they were paid off.
The obvious trap there is to double up my debt, but I'm far too wiley to fall into that trap .... (well not accidentally anyway!)

Work is balls, and job hunting is a priority.

Being in a relationship again is fun.
I like the early stages, where everything is like a christmas present waiting to be unwrapped.
It's towards the end when you realise you've got socks in your hand that I can't be bothered with.

Windows Vista looks like, and Office 2007 looks nifty too.

ADSL2+ looks like being rolled out for trial in the next few months, and should create more hilarity if something isn't done about the backhaul on our crumbling ADSL network.

Go the BlackCaps, and god bless Adult Swim.

Jumping is useless!

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Retards, Robots and Spanking

No one can defeat the Quad Laser!
Jumping is useless!
It is over now!

GG Boston.

I do feel sorry for the Americans that aren't right wing rednecks, aren't blinded by some belief in a higher power, and aren't hell bent on attacking their own populace through fear.

What am I talking about ?

The invasion of the Mooninites .....

Saturday, December 30, 2006

New Year approaches

Here comes the new year ...

What to say other than "meh".
The big news of course was the VodaHug merger, and little seems to have immediately come out of that.
ISPs have suffered from UBS outages, SPAM and poor customer service.

Dr Freeth's comments regarding the state of TelstraClear were amusing for non-employees.
That is one company that may have a tough 2007, and really needs to make big changes in it's marketing and 'image' if it wants to compete.

The trend towards then end of 2006 seemed to be consildation and avoiding unnecessary expense.
Customer Service is going to be huge, and for most players will be the only differential.
If I ran a small/medium sized ISP I would focus on network stablity and Customer Service to the exclusion (dare I say it) of Marketing, Advertising, and new projects.

Orcon made another 'we're not affected' press release, which makes me question why they are a part of ISPANZ at all.
It seems they want to hedge their bets, and they remind me of the kid who befriends the bully, and then stands back while their classmates get thumped.

Nintendo Wii is cool, and should be purchased by all.
Looks far more amusing than the XBox 360 and or the PS3, and much drunken fun can be had.


Sunday, October 15, 2006


Well, I was certainly slightly off the mark with my Orcon prediction.

Hats off to Vodafone, for what I think was an excellent move for their company.
Industry marks have noted that the purchase price they paid was higher than the valuation, but in my opinion they were buying more than the infrastructure and customer base.

ihug's marketing campaign has been consistently solid, and their image (especially their website) tends to reflect the fact they're a true alternative to Telecom.
TelstraClear I think has done a poor job with their marketing, and few residential consumers view them differently from the incumbent.

They had an opportunity with the purchase of Paradise, to split away from the grey corporate "Clear Communications" and really create a proper residential brand, but sadly have failed to do so.
Their branding seems confusing, and it appears that Paradise, Clear and "Telstra Clear" compete for customers as seperate entities with different pricing structures ... doh!

Vodafone now has a good base to launch some real 'triple play' with mobile, fixed line and internet access bundles.

The trend over the last 12 months has been for Internet Service Providers to become full fledged Telecommunications companies.
This has been driven by the low margins of UBS and dialup, and the increased cost of supporting those services, due to some fantastically crap Telecom infrastructure.

Lets look at the who "main" players are now: (Telecom and TelstraClear aside)

"Internet" meaning tradition dialup/dsl;

Compass - Fixed Line Telco + Internet + WiredCountry stuff
WorldxChange: Toll bypass Telco + VOIP + Internet
CallPlus/Slingshot: Fixed Line Telco + VOIP + Internet + Wimax
Orcon: Toll bypass + Internet
Woosh: Wireless + Toll Bypass + VOIP + Internet
Vodafone/Ihug: Mobile + Toll Bypass + Fixed Line + Internet + Mobile Internet

Clearly voice servies are the name of the game, and must be where the margins are.
Any of the other providers that currently rely soley on internet access, will either be nieche regional providers, or possibly ones with high numbers of small business customers who also do web design and hosting.
How long can they survive ?

ISPs are becoming Telcos and have to start competing for customers through:

Internet Access
Toll Bypass
Fixed Line Rental
Nieche services (Web Design, Hosting, Domain Name Registration, wacky email configs, security, firewalls, networking equipment, WiFi routers etc)

Time to circle the wagons, prevent churn and try and build some kind of base and brand to either sell, or borrow/seek investment for LLU and/or building an alternative network.


Thursday, August 24, 2006

Resume Program

Another post directed at my readership of 3.
I'm sure you can't contain your glee.

I could have attempted to write something that rhymed for more paragraphs, but the wine has been flowing.

Speculation abounds as to who will purchase ihug.
Does anyone actually want them ?
Does anyone actually care ?

My prediction is ........ Orcon.

Orcon have done a few things right recently, which some of the larger Telco's (larger in terms of existing voice customers) should have done ages ago.
I'll be honest and say I have no idea of the margins for reselling Vodafones mobile services, but it's about time someone other than TelstraClear got in on the act.
Yes, probably before the Government made rumblings about regulating the mobile environment Vodafone either wasn't keen or charged some high prices to potential customers, but Orcon was definitely the first to realise that had changed.

Fuck IPTV, and Video on Demand - the real profitable "Triple Play" is;
Mobile, Fixed Line and Data communications.
Being able to offer all three services, means you can easily attract those larger customers and use that to offset this UBS crap - which lets face it, everyone is only offering for one of 3 reasons.

1) To gain market share for LLU
2) To sell tolls to those customers
3) To inflate customer numbers and "billed" revenue for when a larger Telco buys you

Speaking of predictions (I did several paragraphs ago ok, pay attention!) here's an update on my 2-3 year predictions:

Woosh will either cease to exist, or be brought by another provider and "merged"

Well they bought Quicksilver a FIXED line Telecommunications provider.
Isn't that basically saying that their wireless revolution is doomed ?
With several other fixed line Telco's branching out into Wimax, they're going to lose lose lose money hand over fist.

Telecom will chill out and voluntarily split their retail and wholesale operations

Kinda, sorta happened. (Yes I know it's not structural separation).
I think they will go all the way in the end to save face, rather than being forced by the Government.

Lots of little ISPs will go under - will anyone notice ?

Well several have been bought out.
Quicksilver, Maxnet (I think?) to start, and others sure to follow shortly before LLU hits.

Customers will continue to be cnuts and want faster, cheaper, unlimited broadband so they can download their child porn, and sailor moon episodes

Thats a given.

Customer expectations of what constitutes faster cheaper broadband will be at least 100Mbps with a 500GB cap.
There will be many posts in various forums (mostly game related) explaining why it is a ripoff they should have to pay at all for their service, and the ISPs should be paying them!

Also a given.

Free Internet Access will come back (lol)

I think free dialup will become a reality once broadband gets very cheap.
Of course some kind of minimum tolls spend would be required.

Net4u's liquidation will finally finish.

Still waiting for this one!

Alternative Futures will get struck off the Companies Register (I mean WTF?)

Finally finished - Aaria how you will be missed!

Robots, and sharks with lasers!

Ok not yet, but give it time.

By now most people in the industry will have seen the Annette Presley video circulating YouTube.


Now that, dear readers was comedy gold.
Much was made comparing her to dear Theresa Gattung, and lets face it if you had the choice between the two to run your multi-million dollar business that wouldn't inspire you with confidence.
I think it was a good idea to begin with to make her the face and voice of a growing company, but now I think most Telecommunications users are past "relating" to the CEO's.
If a CEO is doing their job well, an end user of that company shouldn't be aware of who they are.
Lets look at who we don't hear much from ....

Cecil Alexander/Paul Clarkin - Directors of WorldxChange
Michael Spencer - CEO ICONZ
Brett Herkt - MD Maxnet
Karim Hussona - CEO Compass
Alan Freeth - CEO TelstraClear

These people don't tend to make pointless press releases, whinge constantly about Telecom and you'd hope are quietly building succesful companies.
I'm sure none of them will be going hungry anytime soon.

The big three (excluding Theresa who isn't often in the limelight of her own choice) that seem to be the media darlings are:

Annette Presley - Excutive Director Slingshot
Mark Rushworth - CEO ihug (or is that IINet NZ ?)
Seeby Woodhouse - CEO/MD Orcon

Of those three I'd rate Mark Rushworth the highest for relevance, intelligence, and articulation.
Seeby and Annette both seem interested in personal fame, and promoting their companies rather than industry debate and contribution.
Of course thats not necessarily a bad thing if all you consider is "maximising the return to your shareholders" - the major shareholders in this case being those two respectively.

Speaking of Orcon, what a major flip-flop regarding LLU.
They came out initially as a strong opponent of LLU and were used by Telecom as part of their "look how well we already work with ISPs" campaign.

Here's a link to Seeby commenting on LLU way back in 2004:


Some choice comments are:

"let’s not take a backwards step by unbundling the local loop."

"only major players like TelstraClear with pockets deep enough to invest the hundreds of millions of dollars required would survive."

Compare that to Orcon's recent press releases regarding what a 'crucial' role they played in lobbying for LLU:


Plenty of choice quotes in there about how they're completely behind it, investing millions and thriving in the new market.


Friday, June 02, 2006

Things, Things n Stuff

So ... exciting happenings at work.

Some fairly major structural changes being proposed in my department
which will hopefully mean:

a) More money
b) More responsibility, freedom, and control

All in all, a good, if busy week.

I've been told that our beloved Mayor wants to present me with a
"Mayoral Achievement Award" recognising the hard work (*cough*)
I put into my recently passed course.
If he so wants to honour me, what can I do but accept!
Of course, I've yet to receive my tickets for said event,
and if they don't turn up, will happily forgo getting dressed up
and made to look a prat.

Long weekend this weekend, which is fantastic, really need to rest and recover.
Although madness is planned for Saturday, as myself
and my erstwhile colleague finalise our takeover plans.

Telecom talked recently about accepting the Governments upcoming Local Loop Unbundling decision, and pledging to work with other ISPs and customers to facilitate real and effective change.
I can't say this has filtered down to the people we have to deal with in their Wholesale department, but we have several meetings with them next week and I propose to bang some heads together.


Wednesday, May 17, 2006

An Ode to Pie


It makes me cry.
When I have no Pie.

I might die.
Without Pie.