CCC: Don't blame Telstra
Taylor was backed from an unlikely corner. David Forman, chief of the competitive carriers coalition, told the angry residents that Telstra's underinvestment was "completely understandable" for an incumbent telco, whose business model revolved around outlaying "the cheapest possible capital cost to deliver the minimum requirement of the day."
RIMs, Forman said, were the "technology of the day" when introduced.
"It was perfectly adequate to provide the service required by law," he said. "That and nothing more."
He also understands why Telstra won't invest more in the area.
"You can only retrofit this stuff so far. Gungahlin - you can do that, but it is not cost effective to pull out RIMs and build exchange buildings," he said.
Forman said it was the result of a broken competitive environment.
"A competitor chooses to invest in tomorrow's technology to win business," he said. "An incumbent will follow the demand and get a payback in the shortest possible time. It is a legitimate commercial choice."
Forman asked the residents to aim their fire at successive Governments - for creating a Telstra with retail and wholesale arms in 1991, right up to those that seek to block the passage of the Telstra split bill today.
"Get on the phone to any senator and tell them you want them to support the legislation stuck in the Senate to require the separation of Telstra's retail and wholesale businesses," he said. "You will benefit and everyone in the country will benefit."