Steve Wray wrote:
Redundancy isn't really what I mean; more
So if a TelstraClear engineer thought about it really hard
the truck would have missed the fibre? Personally, I don't
think the power of prayer is a valid network protection
scheme. Though when I used to work there, it was useful on
From what I've heard out of Telstra people --
thats just the faults and 'helpdesk' people, the
attitude seems to be that a 'truck hitting a
pole' is not something that could have been
foreseen and that therefore there was no point in
having a contingency plan to deal with it.
To me, this just seems wrong-headed.
My question for Telstra is, was there a plan? How
well did it work out?
If they didn't have a plan or if it didn't work out
well, how are they going to address this in future?
And the answers I've been getting back from Telstra
people are rather disconcerting.
A quick talk about how things are done in a Telco may be in
1. You need money to do everything. This includes laying
fibre, writing plans and taking a toilet break.
2. There are two types of money to be spent - OPEX and CAPEX
(OPerational expenditure and CAPital expenditure).
3. OPEX is evil. Accountants see it as a black hole that
money is thrown down. It is not an investment. It is paying
some guy for something you already own. OPEX is constantly
cut. Many things that should be done as OPEX are classed as
CAPEX by squinting your eyes and with the aid of smoke and
4. CAPEX is ok - it is investing money in something with the
expectation of a return at some point in time. Dig a hole,
lay a cable, charge people to use it, eventually they've
paid you more than it cost you to lay - this is CAPEX. You
need a business case to spend CAPEX. This will consist of
all likely and unlikely costs and revenues; and consequently
a best, worst and expected-case return on investment. If the
company thinks this is the best way to spend it's money it
will do it. If it thinks it can make a larger profit or the
same profit in a shorter time frame elsewhere it will do
This is The Way It Works(tm) for a Telco and most
businesses. If you can write a business case showing that
getting 1000 monks in Tibet to pray for the safety of
TelstrClear's network will turn a profit then they will do
it. If prayer wasn't what you meant by "forward-thinking",
and redundancy wasn't it then I'm at a loss. What else could
they do? Not lay the fibre there? That location was probably
the place that brought the best return on investment to
justify the CAPEX. Could there have been a better place to
put it - probably. Do companies have the time to second
guess every decision made? Or will someone else beat you to
the punch if you do that?
Sorry for the massive rant, but berating a company, any
company, for doing their best to fix a fault caused by some
truck driver who was likely high on P at the time just seems
like cynical people trying to complain about nothing to me.
Sure, if you were one of the people affected it must've
really sucked. In the end them's the breaks.
On a lighter note, Merry Christmas to everyone - try to
shake off the cynicism and anger that accumulated through
the year at the beach this summer!