back to article Telstra asks users to be its next backhaul network

With a single announcement, Telstra has accidentally skewered the argument that fixed networks are obsolete: the carrier plans to rollout a $AUD100 million cities-and-towns WiFi offload network, which will shift traffic from smartphones and tablets off the 4G network and onto the nearest bit of copper oxide* it can find. …


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  1. Steven Roper

    Let me see if I have this right

    Telstra want me to pay $210 (or bind myself into a contract, which is probably more in total) for the privilege of allowing passing strangers to use my internet connection, at my cost, in order to save themselves millions of dollars in backhaul costs? Do I have that down correctly? A multibillion dollar corporation wants me to charitably pay and provide a service, for them to save costs, with no benefit to myself?

    The sheer face of that simply stuns me. I'd say "fuck off you greedy bastards", but that's too tame. What I'd really like to say would probably exceed even El Reg's generous standards.

    1. Mark 65

      Re: Let me see if I have this right

      Dude, this is Telstra remember. Nothing they do shocks me any more such is the complacency that arises from a cast iron monopoly.

    2. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

      Re: Let me see if I have this right

      And I thought being charged monthly rental for a femtocell just so you can use a service you've already paid for was bad.

      Edit: I see Mort's already touched on that below.

  2. poopypants

    "The average Australian fixed broadband user consumes 46 GB per month".

    I read that, then glanced across at my other screen where I am downloading the 40.7 GB Wolfenstein: The New Order, which according to Steam should be done in 3 days.

    Next week's download will be Watchdogs. I wonder how big that will be?

    1. xpz393

      Re: "The average Australian fixed broadband user consumes 46 GB per month".

      ***THREE*** days to download 41GB???

      Sounds like it's not just the game which is delivered by 'steam' :-(

  3. dan1980


    Considering the journalism chops of Mr Chirgwin, I can only assume that the fault is mine and I am misunderstanding this proposal or that Telstra really are suggesting that we share our paid connections with random people walking down the street.

    If so, would it be too much to hope that those passing mobile do not have that data count towards their monthly allowance? I don't see why Telstra should get paid twice.

    I think it would be a reasonable proposition (though still a bit mad) were Telstra to pay users $10/mo (my phone line to them costs me $40/mo to rent) and then give them the gateway for free. Of course, just as my line rental with Telstra is for use of the line alone and I have to pay extra for my ADSL service and data, so should Telstra also pay extra on top of the above for the service and data.

    I.e., If Telstra charge you line rental + ADSL/data + equipment then they should pay you for each of those as well.

  4. Mort

    Optus did (does?) something similar

    Optus had (has?) a home gateway device that would allow your Optus Mobile to connect to a local picocell in your house to give you better mobile coverage if you were in a blackspot. Of course, that picocell then used your Optus internet connection, and your data allowance, to provide that service. On top of that the pico cell *still* needed to be able to pick up a (weak) signal from a proper mobile base station to authenticate the mobile service. So you got to pay extra for the picocell, pay for the internet connection and data, and pay for the mobile service that was connecting to it. TRIPLE PLAY!

    So kinda the same thing I guess... why should the carriers bother building their own network when they can double bill the users to provide the service for them?

    (Why is there no $$ signs icon?)

    I also seem to recall there was something in the Australian Telecomunications act that prevented "non Carriers" from offering a service that allowed them to connect to the internet. It was something that caused a headache for the "Sydney Wi-Fi" open-mesh network that started many years ago. If so, then perhaps it is still OK for Telstra to charge for access "over their equipment", but the user can't earn anything from it without breaching the act... or some such loophole I'm sure Telstra would use to explain the rort.

  5. Scoular

    What are they really proposing?

    One day we may find out what is really being proposed.

    It may make sense if Telstra is going to give individuals the option of allowing others access to their connection when it is under utilised, as most are, and they have a really good security solution in place. However a good deal has to be a good deal for all parties involved.

    Telstra history of commercial terms is not encouraging but I will watch with interest.

  6. Anonymous Crowbar

    Erm unless they were paying me why on earth would i let some random geezer use my connection. Not being snarky, but he can f*$k off and pay for his own.

  7. southen bastard
    Paris Hilton

    The reason that the average mobile user out side the capatal cities uses less data is its so fu%king slow.

    Recently tryied downloading red faction only 7gig it was going to take 26days and some hours, it would in no way exceed my data allocation, point with a 5gig allocation a month there is no way to use it up unless you have a continous down load happening,

    Red faction still not down loaded its now day 32 and im into a second months data and still going.

    Thank you telstra, i have an optus device as well its no faster just cheaper.

    Paris icon becouse i dont know ether.

    New telstra moto "telstra lies"

    1. Tim Bates

      "The reason that the average mobile user out side the capatal cities uses less data is its so fu%king slow."

      The reason it's so slow is the retards in Telstra shops sell 3/4G mobile modems to customers that would be better served by ADSL. In some cases they even switch people from working but old ADSL plans to poor value 4G plans. And they usually sell them a USB modem, ignoring the fact people use wired Ethernet for desktops, multiple computers and even printers.

  8. FromOz

    You Can't Be Serious David!

    I worked for Telstra when it was privitised - John Howard and Get Ziggy With It convinced the Australian Public, by way of the first (T1) shares role out to buy what was their own Company and Network. That rort continued with the subsequent T2 and T3 share role out. In a mindless quick cash grab exercise, the Govt of the day flogged off the whole Telstra network and Telstra instantly became the prime "Telco Terrorist".

    Unshackled from their Community Service Obligation and now a wholesaler to their competitors with a HUGE unfair advantage, they unconscionably sold what was then emerging ADSL 1 services to their competitors and ISPs at a higher price than they did to the public. Rightly so, their competitors and ISPs screamed like hell.

    By the time the ACCC (Australia's toothless watch guard on such things) managed to acquire false teeth Telstra had done it's damage and secured a massive market place chunk of that (then emerging) technology.

    Years down the track and into the present day we have Telcos farcically rolling out their own infrastructures - in a vast country predominated by low population areas.

    Put this all together and you end up with an overall mobile coverage that is an absolute disgrace and Telstra in a position that leaved other major players like Optus and Virgin gasping for competitive air.

    The only winner in this (unfortunately not a) scenario is Telstra.

    Such a strong position is prime breading grounds for appointing a CEO that is completely out of touch with their customers - many of whom would much prefer to be elsewhere, if only there was any real competition.

    So, Mr Thodey, I didn't buy T1,T2 or T3, I left Telstra because I was disgusted with Telstra's tactics and still am. I remain a Telstra customer ONLY for my mobile service (a reputable ISP gets my fixed line and internet service money) and ONLY because you don't have competition.

    So if you think I'm going to pay you $210.00 for the "privilege" of providing a Twitter network you're dreaming!! But then, we already know that - you haven't realised yet.

  9. Craig Foster

    It may work in your favor

    "Your honour, I have a public Telstra WiFi connection. It could have been *anyone*!!! Won't someone think of the children?!?!"

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