....and, no, I'm not referring to some possible denizens of Oxford Street but one of Lewis Carroll's more imaginative creations.
As Australia's 'technical' press slowly tries to re-focus on the realities of the "core" promises made from the safety of opposition by the new 'government' the disparities between sniping at the previous government and actually carrying out something different is now beginning to become more apparent - even to the writers in the more technically challenged press - this article for instance:
in which Conroy's ridiculing of the previous government (and very explicit criticisms) shows what difference a day makes (or more properly what difference there is between the luxury of cherry picking criticism from your armchair and the cold winds of being the one responsible for making 'political' decisions costing real money with inadequate alternatives) as neatly set out in that article:
"Conroy has always said he would honour the Opel deal if the consortium met its obligations.
His problem is that much of the Opel network will use copper-based ADSL2+ broadband and largely untested WiMAX wireless technology.
Conroy has publicly ridiculed WiMAX, and its US-based proponents, such as computer chip giant Intel, have done themselves no favours with serial delays in making network equipment available."
So the new Labour government will have to decide what it's going to honour of the previous government's remaining promises (which includes personal law suits against government ministers) and how it deals with its absolute promise to deliver a new fast IP network without Telstra (pretty much an impossibility) and......etc....etc.....
That little dilemma has used up his belief in one of his six impossible things before today's breakfast.
I wonder whether he will authorise the $A1 billion to OPEL by the end of January or whether he will find that he will now also be sued personally by Optus and Elders as well as by Telstra? Maybe he will re-read "How To Win Friends And Influence People" as well as "Alice In Wonderland".
I only looked at that article as Exetel must now make some very tough decisions on the time and resources we have invested in determining how we could deliver faster IP services (including IPTV) and what we would need to invest in what technology to be able to do that. We have continued to have communications with the favoured DSLAM manufacturer so that if the Labour FTTN/H proposal turns out to be the pipe dream it seems inevitably destined to become we could make a prompt start on that project should we still believe that it's sensible to make such a, to us, very large financial commitment.
We are also getting much closer to deciding on which, if any, of the possible data over wireless solutions we could realistically afford and would meet the requirements of Australian users post any new FTTN actual delivery time frame. My favoured solution is still too financially demanding for me to recommend it but there's still a possibility that the terms can be made less onerous if one of two initiatives we have proposed become acceptable to the carrier.
So, apart from everything else that needs to be done in this very difficult time of this very difficult year, these two decisions must be made before the end of February and will take up all of my time and a fair bit of several other people's time.
I really would like to have an IP over wireless solution in place and deliverable by the end of March and also be able to deliver the first 'real' IPTV before the end of June.