NBN retailers want pricing model changes

August 10, 2017

Leading retailers of Australian broadband ISP services say the NBN pricing model is broken, making high-speed internet connections too expensive for most domestic customers.

Managing Director of ISP retailer MyRepublic, Nicholas Demos has told IA that the NBN Co must reduce its controversial connection charges to retailers. He is among several NBN retailers calling on NBN Co chief Bill Morrow to admit it has made a mistake and to start over on its pricing models.

The NBN levies a connectivity charge, the CVC, which retailers purchase in 100 megabits per second Mbps, as well as a second access charge, the AVC. These charges apply to each individual subscriber that the ISP retailer signs up.

In all, the wholesale NBN pricing structure has four components and the average charge per connection is around $24. It is very complicated and MyRepublic’s Nicholas Demos says this is the major point of contention between the retailers and the NBN Co.

Said Nicholas Demos:

“At the moment, with the CVC and AVC charges, the pricing structure discourages people going higher speeds because it’s too expensive. Some players have cheaper products, like a $29.99 per month price point. But that’s ridiculous and it’s only a speed of 12Mbps download and 10Gigabytes of data. That’s not what the NBN is about, you get more data on your phone.”

MyRepublic is offering a trial retail package at a site near Wollongong, called Gigatown, where a 1 gigabyte download speed is being offered for $129.99 per month.

 

Mr Demos says customers seem willing to pay this for better speeds.

“NBN Co has acknowledged its pricing model is wrong,” Mr Demos says. Retailers can now get discounted CVC fees, which he says demonstrates that the NBN Co knows the model is not working.

“We know NBN Co is looking at it because they’ve acknowledged the pricing model needs to be changed,” he said.

Read the rest of this article at Independent Australia


Journalism and blogging: leave it to the machines?

October 23, 2009

In science and science fiction there’s a moment when it all goes to custard for the human race. It’s the singularity – often defined as the time when machines begin to out think humans.

We’re not there yet and I’m comfortable with predictions that it might happen 200 years after my demise. But you can never really trust futurist predictions.

We’ve already got smart(ish) bots hurtling around the interWebs chewing up data and spitting it out again in a clickable and commercial form, so I’m not too sanguine about what’s gong on in the DARP labs and other murky salons where “mad” scientists and uber-smart geeks tend to gather.

Anyway, there is evidence of not-so-smart machines out there already aggregating, redacting and posting prose that fills the holes between advertising links on some remote outposts of the blogosphere.

Take, for example, Biginfo, the website with the unbeatable cyber-catchline: “All of your info, on one page”.

Isn’t that the holy grail of the Internet? Isn’t this slogan the absolute bottom-line misison statement for Google?

We won’t need humans any more if Biginfo succeeds.

I  know about Biginfo because the site has linked to a post here at Ethical Martini. As you do, I went to check out why the site was linking and pushing some traffic my way.

This is what I found:

What is More Ethical Blogs or News Media?

20 October, 2009 (15:10) | News And Society | By: admin

// your advertisement goes here

We are chance more and more that readers conceive the aggregation contained in Blogs is more trusty than the indicant programme media. (I don’t conceive a candid comparability between the electronic media and Blogs makes such sense, so my comparability is direct: cursive touchable vs. cursive material.) While I encounter this agitate in ‘believability’ to be somewhat surprising, I staleness adjudge that I don’t conceive I personally undergo anybody that reads the production without a nagging distrustfulness and a taste of doubt. Even more, I move to be astonished at the ontogeny sort of grouping I undergo that do not modify pain to feature the newspaper.

The long post goes on in this vein for some depth. Here’s another of my favourite paras:

I module substance digit appearance on the supply of blogs vs. newspapers. A blogger, aforementioned me, is attractive the instance to indite most an supply that I poverty to indite most and that I see passionately about. Question: so, what most the mortal of ethics? Answer: I do not hit a deadline, I hit no application that is biased, and I modify intend to indite my possess headline!

I am willing to believe that this is a machine-translation of something written in another language (possibly Chinese?) by a blogger or someone and that in it’s original iteration it makes great sense. Also, if it had been translated by a moderately proficient human it would probably also be readable and cogent.

Are we redundant? Should we retreat and leave the web to dribblejaws who find it a convenient medium to feed their conspiracy theories and ugly prejudice?

I certainly hope not, continue reading if you’d like to know more about the singularity.

Read the rest of this entry »


Baby herbal soup: the Internet for sick fc*ks

October 21, 2009

[EM’s long-promised update to this post. I did have some correspondence from people allegedly associated with Seoul Times (see below), but it was inconsequential and I’d forgotten about my promise to publish any reply. So if that person, or anyone else from ST wants to respond, send something.

What drew me back here today, April Fool’s Day in fact [01-April-2011] was an incoming link to this post from To find another paths.  The post is in Indonesian, but I have googletranslated it and posted that here.

It is amazing how this nasty viral hoax and blood libel continues to spread. I thank all those who link to Ethical Martini’s ongoing attempt to destroy this disease.

EM, Auckland 1 April 2011]

Ok, so I thought we’d nailed this long ago – BABY HERBAL SOUP IS A VIRAL INTERNET HOAX.

I’ve just come across another sick chatroom thread about the perennial ‘baby herbal soup’ hoax photographs that continue to circulate and to get more and more graphic. This is a new thread, it only went up on 20 October 2009.

That this happens is not really surprising, but the ignorant and racist comments that these posts generate is the really shocking aspect of this story.

 

The Furaffinity site - click to check [PGA]

The Furaffinity site - click to check PGA warning

This site claims to have the story from an online news source The Seoul Times and sure enough, the story is there, complete with all the nasty fake photos.

 

click to read Seoul Times 'baby herbal soup' story PGA

click to read Seoul Times 'baby herbal soup' story PGA

It’s one thing for this viral meme to circulate in chatrooms where ignorance and prejudice seem to rule, but for a news site to run it as a straight news piece is pretty disgusting.

It’s another argument in favour of having some form of trained cadre who can verify and check and against the idea that somehow the “bottom up” Internet is going to improve on the mainstream media. It purports to be a letter to the editor and it’s dated 30 September 2008, so now it’s recirculating thanks to Fur Affinity.

I have contacted the Seoul Times editor asking her/him to remove this piece, or at least to acknowledge that it is more than likely a hoax.

I encourage you to do the same.

You can simply copy and paste this text into your email browser. The address is seoultimes@gmail.com

Dear editor, I was shocked to see that you are running the Chinese baby soup story as if it were real and verified.
This is an internet hoax and you have been fooled into running this story which feeds prejudice and racism against Chinese people.
You can see what I mean here. http://www.furaffinity.net/journal/1004922/
I urge you to take this story down immediately and check for yourself that it is indeed a cruel and racist hoax.
I would appreciate it if you reply to this letter so that I know you take your journalistic responsibility seriously
Thankyou
I will post any responses from the editor

Al Giordano @ The Field: Interesting updates on Iran and background

June 24, 2009

Al Giordano at The Field has some very interesting commentary on the state of play in Iran.

For anyone interested in thoughtful analysis and deep background, I would recommend that you visit his site.

In a post from 23 June, Al’s talking about the situation in Iran from an informed perspective that certainly accords with my own thinking at this point:

What we can see in Iran today are two simultaneous struggles, one from below (people with legitimate grievances against their government), and one up above (a power struggle between factions).

Although many had hoped that the post-electoral struggle in Iran would be a one act play, this one seems more likely to be headed into a saga that is four or five acts long. Like many previous social movements throughout history, this has turned from a hundred yard dash into a marathon.

I don’t know about Al’s politics, but his analysis of the importance of a general strike to the success of any secular/humanist overthrow of the Islamist regime is spot on:

The conflict is now moving into a Second Phase, in which massive street protests show diminishing returns (it would be near impossible to keep them massive when communications are subject to such constant censorship and interference) and different sectors of the opposition – electoral, non-electoral, students, labor, religious, etcetera – have called for a General Strike, using varying words to describe it.

There are unconfirmed reports today that a national strike is underway already, including by Iran state television which has reported that today, Tuesday, thirty percent of workers in the country have not shown up on the job.

If state media is admitting 30 percent, it is a safe bet that adherence to the strike is larger than that. It would also be very impressive because the government has warned that any citizen that participates in a strike will be fired from his and her job, or lose his or her space in the public markets. Thirty percent compliance on what is only the first day a strike would also be heartening for the resistance because some sectors – specifically a call by the Grand Ayatollah and spiritual elder Montazeri for three days of mourning beginning tomorrow, Wednesday, have not kicked in yet.

I suggest that if you’re interested in this line of thinking, checking out The Field should be a higher priority than following the Twitter feeds, or mainstream media.

For the MSM, the story has now moved into a second phase too: one that privileges Washington and London over the bazaars. I will post more on this later, particularly the awful Fox network coverage from this week.

One other interesting source is a guy called NiteOwl who’s posting updates at Anonymous Iran and who claims to only be distilling his information from the Twittersphere. I like his writing style and the fact that he covers himself with a large disclaimer.

People Outside Iran: This is as clear and concise as I can be. I have not included ANYTHING that I have sensed to be remotely fishy, but human error will always manifests itself in even the most flawless of non-mathematical things. However, this includes nothing from the Western media, including the BBC which I have been generously using to inform people and I laud them for their courageous journalism.

People Inside Iran: Don’t believe a WORD of what I am telling you. Do what you think is best, keeping everything in mind. I know LITTLE of what you know so make your decisions based on your OWN judgment.

This should be on every news story coming out of Iran at the moment.


“Sorry” is indeed the hardest word: Facebook faux pas leads to apology

March 6, 2009

A number of British news organisations have been forced to apologise and pay damages to a woman after wrongly reporting that her daughter’s 16th birthday got out of hand because people turned up to her house after the event was promoted on the girls’ Facebook page.

As Nelson would say: “Ha ha!”

The case was covered in the Guardian a few days ago:

David Price, of London law firm David Price Solicitors and Advocates, told Judge Charles Gray at the high court in London today that Amanda Hudson had been “extremely shocked and distressed” by the false picture that had been painted of her daughter Jodie’s birthday party in Marbella, Spain.

Allegations that the party had got out of hand first appeared across the national and international press in May last year, with claims that the house in Marbella had been “trashed” or “destroyed” by gatecrashers.

However, Price told the high court today that “only very minor damage was caused” and that Jodie had promoted the party on social networking website Bebo – not Facebook. [Oliver Luft, Newspapers sorry for ‘Facebook party’ story]

I’ve been concerned for some time about journalists free and easy use of Facebook as  a source, but it seems that in this case the news media concerned didn’t even do any basic fact-checking. It supports my argument that using Facebook is basically a lazy way to get a story, particularly if you’re just taking stuff from the site, or not checking when someone tells you something was “on Facebook”.

If we’re going to use social networks as a journalistic tool, I think we need to have a much more rigorous debate about it. Not just assume that the technology “can” and therefore we “should”.

Read the rest of this entry »


Epic 2015 – what’s beyond the horizon?

September 13, 2008

I was fortunate today to meet and interview Matt Thompson. He’s a journalist, blogger and thinker. He’s also the guy behind the wildly successful viral flash videos Epic 2014 and Epic 2015.

The premise of these 8.5 minute creations is to predict the future of the media in our digital world. They were both created a few years ago now and they tried to look ahead 10 years from when they were produced.

Epic 2014 was made in 2004, but a year later Matt decided it needed updating.

While I was in Columbia, Missouri at the Missouri School of Journalism 100th anniversary celebrations I met Matt and heard him talk about a new project. He calls it “Wikipedia-ing the news”, but admits the name doesn’t really capture what he’s doing.

Matt is a visiting fellow this year at the Reynolds Journalism Institute at MU that was also launched today.

I was able to grab a few minutes with Matt between his break-out session and the official launch where he and the other RJI fellows were announced.

I asked Matt why he had changed some of the content from Epic 2014 in the second version, a year later.

Read the rest of this entry »


Will this really worry Rupert?

August 15, 2007

My university, AUT (Auckland University of Technology) has just launched a marketing campaign to promote some of its teaching and research strengths. Part of the campaign is a series of billboards and bus shelter posters around Auckland.

This one is interesting, but I’m not sure Rupert’s all that worried about any real competition from the Internet. After all, he recently paid over $500 million for MySpace. And he’s famously on the record as saying News International (and its various tentacles) has and will take the Internet seriously. Why wouldn’t he? If there’s money to be made, Murdoch wants to know about it.