Internet & Related Stuff

For Internet and Related Stuff.

Telecom are not impressed... Website Article
(The main text below, however, a useful backgrounder is also featured on the beehive site)

New Zealanders can look forward to faster, better broadband Internet services thanks to the comprehensive telecommunications package announced today.

Communications Minister David Cunliffe says the package is a vital part of the Government's drive to transform the economy and push New Zealand's broadband performance into the top quarter of the OECD.

"Access to fast, competitively priced broadband Internet is vital for New Zealand to take full advantage of new technologies," Mr Cunliffe said.

"This package will help ensure we catch up and keep up with other developed countries."

Today's package includes:

* Requiring the unbundling of the local loop and sub-loop copper-wire lines between telephone exchanges and homes and businesses, allowing other Internet Service Providers to compete fully with Telecom to provide faster, cheaper broadband.
* Regulatory action such as information disclosure, accounting separation of Telecom's business operations and an enhanced Commerce Commission monitoring role in order to ensure improved competition.
* Removing constraints on the existing regulated Unbundled Bitstream Service to ensure ISPs can offer better and cheaper broadband at upload speeds faster than 128kps.
* Encouraging investment in alternative infrastructure such as fibre, wireless and satellite networks by measures including a review of public sector investment in telecommunications infrastructure to encourage a whole-of-government approach; reviewing whether Telecom’s ability to reduce local prices solely in response to new competing infrastructure investment should be constrained; developing a rural package and expansion of the Digital Strategy Broadband Challenge fund.

"We are continuing to look at whether additional measures are warranted, such as the structural separation of Telecom's retail and lines operations," Mr Cunliffe said.

As an afterthought to my previous article I'd ask as many guests as possible to answer the following polls:

What is your position on Xtra's shutting down of their Usenet server?

Explain your knowledge/usage of Usenet.

Would be very interested to gauge exactly what sort of impact this is likely to have....


Xtra will block email traffic on Port 25 from the end of this month in a bid to cut down on spam and virus-laden emails.

Port 25 is used by the Simple Mail Transfer Protocol, or SMTP, which is commonly used by computers to connect to mail servers to send emails.

It is often used by spammers to send mail either using their own machines or hijacked "zombie" computers, as well as by mass-mailing worms and viruses to spread to other computers.

Not bad, I guess. I was suggesting they pursue this nearly 3 years ago!

Would be interested to see how they implement this, and whether its along the lines I had originally suggested (exceptions only for static IP customers [who can be policed individually as a block-and-exception or allow-and-police as required]).... I still use Xtra as my DSL provider, so the negative here will be an inability to test outbound SMTP to other MX's from home. Still, as a residential customer, thems the breaks... (how much spam comes from haxed boxen on residential links?)

[Edit: See also:]

Also found on the Xtra Website:

Xtra will prevent email traffic bypassing Xtra's anti-virus and anti-spam filters by filtering email that is sent using port 25. This measure is to reduce to the amount of spam being received or sent by Xtra customers.

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