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NBN costs Australian taxpayers

24 times South Korea at one tenth

the speed: report says @ $40billion

February 9, 2011 – 2:29PM
Speed, coverage and public-funding comparison (per covered household).Speed, coverage and public-funding comparison (per covered household). Photo: ECU

Australia’s national broadband network will cost taxpayers 24 times as much as South Korea’s but deliver services at just one-tenth the speed, new research claims.

The opposition claimed the research vindicated its position that the NBN was a waste of public funds, while the government countered that comparing Australia to South Korea was “like comparing apples to oranges”.

The research from the Economist Intelligence Unit published today shows Australia is spending an estimated 7.6 per cent of annual government budget revenues on its broadband network.

“In South Korea, by comparison, the government is spending less than 1 per cent of annual budget revenues to realise its broadband goals, achieving targets by encouraging the private sector to invest in the country’s broadband future,” the Economist Intelligence Unit said in a statement.

However, the EIU report does not mention NBN Co’sannouncement last year that its network will also be capable of the same speeds as South Korea’s network. Shortly before the federal election, chief executive Mike Quigley announced the fibre network would be built to carry speeds of 1 gigabit per second in a bid to differentiate the project from the opposition’s broadband policy.

The opposition seized on the report, with its communications spokesman Malcolm Turnbull saying that the Economist Intelligence Unit had “joined the long list of expert observers, both international and local, who are utterly dismayed by the reckless spending of the Gillard government on the NBN”.

“The study confirms, yet again, that this NBN project should be the subject of a rigorous cost benefit analysis by the Productivity Commission.”

Communications Minister Stephen Conroy’s spokeswoman said comparing Australia to Korea was “like comparing apples to oranges”.

“Investment in Australia’s road, rail, telecommunications and utility infrastructure faces vastly different factors than countries such as South Korea,” the spokeswoman said.

“We know that with Australia’s population density, there aren’t the incentives for the private sector to provide the universal high quality broadband infrastructure that all Australians need.”

Conroy’s spokeswoman also noted that Australia’s land mass was “over 7.6 million square kilometres compared with South Korea’s which is just over 100,000 square kilometres” and that Australia had a population density of “2.7 people per sq km compared with 487 people per sq km for South Korea”.

The report also claimed that while Australia’s network scored highly for setting an original target speed of 100Mbps, Sweden, Finland, Estonia and France planned to achieve similar targets with much lower public-sector funding.

The study reviewed more than 40 national government plans for broadband development. Australia scored 3.4 out of five on the index. It punished Australia for the “huge cost to the public sector of its broadband scheme”.

Other factors that worked against Australia were “limited private-sector involvement, heavy central-government intervention and the exclusion of state and municipal authorities from its plan”, the Economist Intelligence Unit said.

smh.com.au

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha


Internet Armageddon

is all my fault:

Google chief says….

Asher Moses and Ben Grubb

January 21, 2011 – 4:55PM

Wow, what a title...Google's vice-president and chief internet evangelist Vinton Cerf.
Google’s vice-president and chief internet evangelist Vint Cerf.

The “father of the internet” says the world is going to run out of internet addresses “within weeks” – and it will be all his fault.

Google’s chief internet evangelist, Vint Cerf, who created the web protocol, IPv4, that connects computers globally, said he had no idea that his “experiment” in 1977 “wouldn’t end”.

“I thought it was an experiment and I thought that 4.3 billion [addresses] would be enough to do an experiment,” he said in group interview with Fairfax journalists.

The protocol underpinning the net, known as IPv4, provides only about 4 billion IP addresses – not website domain names, but the unique sequence of numbers assigned to each computer, website or other internet-connected device.

The explosion in the number of people, devices and web services on the internet means there are only a few million left.

The allocation of those addresses is set to run out very shortly but the industry is moving towards a new version, called IPv6, which will offer trillions of addresses for every person on the planet.

“Who the hell knew how much address space we needed?” Cerf said.

“It doesn’t mean the network stops, it just means you can’t build it very well.”

Google’s leadership shake-up

Cerf said Google’s surprise leadership shake-up was essential because the search giant was beginning to move too slowly.

Today the company announced that Google co-founder Larry Page would take over as chief executive from Eric Schmidt, who has become its executive chairman. Until this point Page and co-founder Sergey Brin ran the company with Schmidt as a “troika”.

“‘As we got larger it was harder for us to move as quickly as we would like so I think this is part of the whole practice of speeding up decision processes,” he said.

“Quick rapid execution is absolutely essential, especially in a highly competitive world like this.”

Recent ex-Googlers who left the company to join Facebook, including former Google Australia engineer Lars Rasmussen, have said Google has become too unwieldy as it has grown.

Schmidt gave similar comments in a blog post today, saying that, as Google had grown, managing the business had become “more complicated” and the trio had been “talking for a long time about how best to simplify our management structure and speed up the decision making process”.

Cerf said Schmidt, 55, had been chief executive for 10 years – “a nice round number” – and Page, now 37, was ready to lead the company well into the future.

“Larry and Sergey are 10 years older than they were when they thoughtfully hired Eric to be the CEO … so everybody’s growing up,” Cerf said.

“He was the only guy that stood up to them – these were two young, smart, incredibly brilliant guys who literally had just dropped their PhDs to go start this company.”

It has long been held that Schmidt was brought on at Google to counter the lack of business experience of Google’s founders, and Schmidt alluded to this in a tweet today.

“Day-to-day adult supervision no longer need!” he wrote after the leadership change announcement.

Taking on Facebook

Cerf would not be drawn on whether Google was developing a social networking site to compete with Facebook, as has been rumoured. But he said “our interest is less in the social networking aspect as it is in the patterns of behaviour”.

“We really don’t care about you personally we care about the patterns that you make. If we can match the patterns that you make with the patterns that the advertisers are trying to get in front of you, you benefit as well as the advertisers,” he said.

“This is quite independent of the sort of things that go on in Facebook, which is more about personal information and personal interactions.”

Praising the NBN

Cerf heaped praise on the National Broadband Network, saying Australia was making a long-term investment that would “serve you incredibly well in ways that even I can’t figure out”.

“The idea of being able to export your talents without having to export your people … this is a very attractive proposition,” he said.

“I honestly envy the political will to make this kind of long-term investment.”

Google as ISP?

But despite Google’s work in building municipal Wi-Fi and experimental fibre broadband networks in the US, he said it was unlikely Google would ever become an ISP.

“The intent is that as we build these [networks] out we will then turn them over to some other parties to operate and to make openly accessible,” he said.

“This is not our business model. Our purpose was to document what the costs and problems are … we’re not in the business of building physical infrastructure except for our internal operation.”

Asked whether recent privacy breaches at Sydney University and Vodafone – both of which kept detailed customer records online – highlighted the pitfalls of moving toward hosting everything in the online “cloud”, Cerf said the cloud was not at fault.

“Just because it’s sitting in an enterprise server doesn’t mean that you’re any better protected than you would be in the cloud,” he said.

“When you’re in the cloud business you better be good at protecting and securing your systems otherwise you lose all your customers.”

Sourced & published  by Henry Sapiecha

Google names Larry Page

new CEO in shake-up

as it announces

its fourth-quarter earnings

January 21, 2011 – 8:56AM

Google co-founder Larry Page is taking over as CEO in an unexpected shake-up that upstaged the internet search leader’s fourth-quarter earnings.

Page, 37, is reclaiming the top job from Eric Schmidt, who had been brought in as CEO a decade ago because Google’s investors believed the company needed a more mature leader.

Schmidt, 55, will remain an adviser to Page and Google’s other co-founder, Sergey Brin, as Google’s executive chairman.

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Google co-founder and now CEO, Larry Page, talks to reporters as former Google CEO Eric Schmidt (right) watches at the Sun Valley Inn in Sun Valley, Idaho in this July 9, 2009 file photo.Google co-founder and now CEO, Larry Page, talks to reporters as former Google CEO Eric Schmidt (right) watches at the Sun Valley Inn in Sun Valley, Idaho in this July 9, 2009 file photo. Photo: Reuters

The changes will be effective April 4.

“In my clear opinion, Larry is ready to lead and I’m excited about working with both him and Sergey for a long time to come,” Schmidt said.

Page praised Schmidt, too. “There is no other CEO in the world that could have kept such headstrong founders so deeply involved and still run the business so brilliantly,” Page said.

“Eric is a tremendous leader and I have learned innumerable lessons from him”

The change in command overshadowed Google’s fourth-quarter earnings, which soared past analysts’ estimates as the company cranked up its internet marketing machine during the holiday shopping season.

Net income rose 29 per cent to $US2.54 billion, or $US7.81 a share, from $US1.97 billion, or $US6.13, a year earlier, Google said on its website. Profit excluding some items was $US8.75 a share, exceeding the $US8.08 average of estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

Google benefited from its core search-engine business as advertisers stepped up efforts to reach consumers through the internet. Spending on search-based ads rose 23 per cent in the US during the quarter, with gains in retail and travel, according to Efficient Frontier, which manages more than $US1 billion annually in online advertising.

“The media buyers are more positive on the economy moving forward – and they want to participate,” said Mike Hickey, an analyst at Janco Partners in Greenwood Village, Colorado. He recommends buying the stock and doesn’t own it. “The dollars are going to the internet.”

Sales, excluding revenue passed on to partner sites, were $US6.37 billion, topping the $US6.06 billion average of estimates.

Android growth

Google, which gets most of its revenue by selling ads in its search business, is also gaining ground in the mobile-device market with its Android smartphone software.

Android topped Apple’s iPhone in US smartphone subscribers for the first time in November, accounting for 26 per cent of the market, compared with 25 per cent for Apple, according to ComScore BlackBerry maker Research In Motion had the top spot with 33.5 per cent.

While Google doesn’t charge for Android, it’s helping the company expand mobile-advertising sales. Google was projected to grab 59 per cent of the US mobile-ad market last year, according to research firm IDC. Google benefitted from its May 2010 acquisition of AdMob, which had 8.4 per cent of the market in 2009.

In October the company said it expects to exceed $US1 billion in annual mobile-ad sales and $US2.5 billion in display-ad revenue. The company noted there could be overlap between the businesses’ sales.

Google is maintaining its leadership in the search-engine business even as it faces a stronger challenge from rivals Yahoo! and Microsoft. In August, Yahoo! began using Microsoft’s Bing technology to provide online search results.

Google grabbed 66.6 per cent of searches in the US in December, up from 66.2 per cent in the previous month. Combined, Microsoft and Yahoo had 28 per cent, down from 28.2 per cent, according to ComScore.

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha


IS CHEATING IN GAMES OK?

A new meaning to keeping your eye on the ball

USE YOUR PHONE TO CONTROL THE BALL

Entrepreneur’s Edge: Orbotix (1:58)

Reuters Small Business presents expansion pitches from upstarts across the country. Robotic gaming startup Orbotix has developed technology that lets people control a ball with their smartphone. Here’s the pitch:

Video

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha