Monday, April 04, 2011

The prescient Brian Perkins and NBN tale

I had the pleasure of attending the ATUG Gala Awards Evening and Conference last week.

I happened to be talking to last year's Charles Todd Medal winner (The Hon Senator Stephen Conroy, Minister for DBCDE), when this year's winner (Macquarie Telecom's David Tudehope) came over to introduce a former winner, AAPT's Brian Perkins.

David rightly introduced Brian as a role model for all the entrants who came after him. But I was able to trump that by saying Brian was also prescient. In AAPT's move from one end of George St to another various documents were being disposed of, but the secretary to the CEO, Rosemary Robinson, knew I liked history and sent some my way.

Included in it was a memo from Brian to AAPT CEO Larry Williams dated 4 August 1993, in which he says he was asked at ATUG what his views were on the Government's plans to initiate a fibre-to-the-home project.

He notes that ATUG submitted to the the ROSA review that Telecom be separated into three companies, but that the Government had opted for accounting rather than structural separation. He writes;

ATUG should propose a stand-alone company whose responsibility is to provide and operate an efficient and cost-effective fibre distribution network which will meet the needs of Australian service suppliers and users into the 21st century.

(Note: The note also makes reference to the troubles AAPT had in getting its 1414 access code configured. Technically the 1991 Act did not require the provision of PSTN Ingress and Egress (as it was then known - hence the PIE model), in fact, the view in Telecom was that to provide it was illegal. This did not stop then Minister Grahame Richardson ringing then GM CCD Sales John Brennan (who had responsibility for AAP as an account) and saying that Telecom had to "fix it or it was your job". Brennan passed it up the chain.)

Novae Meridianae Demetae Dexter delenda est

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