This week in NBN news! Optus signs on the dotted line, the rural wireless tower saga continues and zombies get broadband too...
• Optus has signed on the dotted line of NBN Co's wholesale broadband agreement, despite its concerns about regulatory oversight and service assurance levels. It's only a 12 month contract, so expect there to be plenty more debate about the specifics of the ongoing relationship. But it does mean that customers connected to the NBN will be able to sign up to Optus' NBN plans this year. [Computerworld]
• Work has started on the construction of 12 LTE wireless towers in the early release sites. It's still a long way from getting the complete coverage it plans on offering - according to ZDNet NBN Co needs 94 towers in the first five sites, or which 43 exist already and 12 are being built - with local councils needing to approve the additional towers before construction can commence. Trials are expected to begin in April. [ZDNet]
• Speaking of towers, those country residents we heard about last week fighting the construction of wireless towers have been told if they don't give up the fight, they'll be stuck in the dark ages of satellite broadband FOREVER. Quigley was quoted as saying:
"The local council has got to weigh up the impact [of] 30 and 40 metre towers, they are big monopole towers, but most local councils we speak to are very very keen to have much improved broadband services.
"It is very important that we do not set a precedent where if people object in local councils to a fixed wireless service that they think [that] ... it will be fibre, because it won't"
In a choice between satellite internet and a 40 metre tower in my back yard, I know which one I'd prefer... [SMH]
• Aboriginal groups are concerned that NBN Co is going to leave them behind, leaving the first Australians further and further behind. They're pushing that NBN rollout in remote aboriginal communities be made a priority. [The Australian]
• Senator Conroy has dedicated a week in November as National Telework week, as part of his efforts to show the benefits of the NBN. It will be a week where few people work wearing pants. [Giz]
• The NBN means were going to see a lot more acquisitions in the Telco space over the next year, according to analysts. Expect more of what we saw last year, with iiNet dropping millions to acquire ISPs left right and centre. [The Australian]
• NBN Co released a map showing where its fibre will roll out around Lidcombe in Sydney this week, where it was quickly discovered that half of the massive Rookwood cemetery would get the super faster broadband connection. So when the zombies come, at least they'll be well connected... [ITNews]