blog Who to believe, who to believe? If you accept Telstra’s story about the current state of its copper network, it operates with only minimum faults and is in a good enough state that it could last another 100 years if well-maintained. But one of Telstra’s unions, the Communications, Electrical and Plumbing Union, has another view entirely. This morning it told the ABC (we recommend you click here for the full article):
The telecommunications pits have been nicknamed ‘bag-dad’ by contractors because of the plastic bags, that are in theory supposed to keep the water out. [According to] Shane Murphy, the assistant secretary of CEPU’s New South Wales branch, “… plastic bags and ringbarked cables are everywhere.”
Frankly, we think the truth is somewhere in the middle. Yes, it is true that Telstra’s copper network currently operates with an acceptable level of faults. Most of Australia’s broadband needs are currently delivered by that network, and there’s no reason why most of the network won’t continue to function within acceptable parameters for the forseeable future. However, as those of us who’ve spent any time investigating it will also be aware, that doesn’t mean it’s not a bit of an eyesore, and it doesn’t mean that there aren’t many, many troublespots in Telstra’s network which are limping along with what Murphy would describe as “band-aid” solutions.
We do need a long-term solution to this issue. It’s good that both major sides of politics have policies which will see large parts of the copper network replaced. After decades and decades of stretching this network to its limit … it’s about time.
Image credit: From Delimiter’s ‘worst of the worst’ Telstra copper photo gallery