Broadband Security Blog

Legislative Session Lacks Broadband Bills So Far 0

Legislative Session Lacks Broadband Bills So Far

After 14 days of this legislative session, not a single bill dealing with broadband expansion had been introduced. The issue received attention early last session, but lawmakers say they’re still working on a plan to reach both unserved and underserved areas of West Virginia. Thirty percent of West Virginians do not have access to basic broadband service under federal definitions.

When you look at just the rural parts of the state, that percentage increases to 48, according the Federal Communications Commission . The lack of access poses a problem for many West Virginians on a daily basis. “My family owns a hardware store in the municipality of Clay and there are often times in which we can’t process a credit card because connectivity is so poor,” Delegate Roger Hanshaw , R-Clay, said Feb.

21. So far this session, no member of the Legislature has introduced a bill to take on the lack of access, but Hanshaw said those talks are underway in his chamber. “All over the Capitol right now, we have representatives of all of the companies who provide internet access in West Virginia having almost daily meetings about just what kind of help the state can offer,” he said.

But exactly what that help looks like hasn’t been determined. During the 2016 legislative session, then-Republican Sen. Chris Walters championed a bill to create a government-owned broadband network, using a bond to pay for its construction.

The bill made it through his chamber, but members in both bodies had concerns about the government interfering in private business. That included now-Senate President Mitch Carmichael , R-Jackson, who works for Frontier , one of the largest internet providers in the state. Advocacy groups have started pushing lawmakers to take action this year, including AARP .

State Director Gaylene Miller released the group’s legislative priorities Feb.

21, and broadband is near the top of the list. This year, AARP is teaming up with Generation West Virginia , a group that advocates for millennial issues, to get a bill passed. “The issue is so important that you have all the generations, from AARP to Generation West Virginia, coming together to say, ‘Hey, look, let’s shine a light on the issue.’ Let’s see what we can do together to move the state forward,” she said. This year, Senate Majority Leader Ryan Ferns , R-Ohio, said proposals will likely come in the form of two pieces of legislation, at least in the Senate.

One would incentivize private expansion into areas that currently don’t have access with tax credits; the other would provide government-backed loans to internet companies to upgrade access in underserved areas or areas with slow internet speeds. Sen. Mike Woelfel , D-Cabell, opposed the government-owned network proposed in 2016 and said this year, he’d likely support tax credits for businesses, but still doesn’t think they will make much difference. “Tax credits can be a useful tool, but the free market is going to drive this and there are so many parts of this state that don’t even have a water line to their house,” he said. “I don’t know how we can justify subsidizing broadband access to those folks when we can’t even get them water.” But Woelfel and his colleagues on both sides of the aisle agree the lack of connectivity is impeding business expansion. “If we’re going to talk about small businesses in West Virginia growing and doing new things and talking about a new economy, we have to give them the tools to do that,” Hanshaw said, “and one of those is being able to sell products to people who aren’t in your backyard.” In 2015, the FCC reclassified broadband access as a public utility, blocking industry practices that allowed certain companies to pay to have their websites respond more quickly for consumers.

The reclassification was eventually backed by federal courts, but many lawmakers in West Virginia of both parties don’t think broadband should be treated as an essential service rather than a luxury.

Still, Woelfel believes it’s an expensive proposition for the state, no matter how the Legislature decides to incentivize expansion. “To take it to that final mile or the last mile to someone’s house or someone’s business is going to be, just due to our topography, going to be an economic burden that the private sector is not likely to take on,” he said.

Hanshaw expected a broadband expansion bill to be introduced in his chamber by the end of the week.

NBN Website Now Answers Aussies’ Number One Broadband Question 0

NBN Website Now Answers Aussies’ Number One Broadband Question

Australians can now jump online and find out when they can connect to the long-awaited National Broadband Network (NBN). The company responsible for rolling out the network said the updated online tool 1 would enable those across the country to get a timeframe for when people could get connected. ‘When am I getting the #nbn ?’ Our website update answers the no.1 question for Aussie homes and businesses: https://t.co/OWy7AV6QEi pic.twitter.com/z2trPVdmsi 2 3 4 — nbn™ Australia (@NBN_Australia) February 26, 2017 5 So far, the NBN, which is projected to be worth $27 billion when completed, has been rolled out to one in three households. It is scheduled to be rolled out to one in two households in June.

Those in charge of the rollout want every household in Australia to have access it by 2020. When will you get the NBN? https://t.co/pWyZ2HM5TK #ConsumerNews pic.twitter.com/Zdekms5W1G 6 7 8 — Consumer Action (@consumer_action) February 27, 2017 9 NBN Co CEO Bill Morrow said on Monday that the update to its website was about giving people an idea about when they could access the high-speed internet service. “You can type in your suburb and it will tell you when you can get the service or order from your retailer,” he told the ABC.

When will the #NBN come to you?

CEO Bill Morrow tells News Breakfast how you can find out pic.twitter.com/78rdQ3t4qy 10 11 — News Breakfast (@BreakfastNews) February 26, 2017 12 “Furthermore, if you are a tech enthusiast, it will tell you what kind of technologies will be coming into your home.

In the past, we would make available when we would start construction and we would give a window to that time.” Suggest a correction 13 References ^ online tool (www.abc.net.au) ^ #nbn (twitter.com) ^ https://t.co/OWy7AV6QEi (t.co) ^ pic.twitter.com/z2trPVdmsi (t.co) ^ February 26, 2017 (twitter.com) ^ https://t.co/pWyZ2HM5TK (t.co) ^ #ConsumerNews (twitter.com) ^ pic.twitter.com/Zdekms5W1G (t.co) ^ February 27, 2017 (twitter.com) ^ #NBN (twitter.com) ^ pic.twitter.com/78rdQ3t4qy (t.co) ^ February 26, 2017 (twitter.com) ^ Suggest a correction (www.huffingtonpost.com.au)

​Amaysim reports AU$8.3m H1 profit after signing 59000 new customers – ZDNet 0

​Amaysim reports AU$8.3m H1 profit after signing 59000 new customers – ZDNet

Australian telecommunications provider Amaysim has announced its results for the first half of the 2017 financial year, reporting a 10 percent increase year on year in underlying net profit after tax, to AU$8.3 million. Statutory earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortisation (EBITDA) came in at AU$17.3 million for the six months to December, an increase of 564 percent over the same period a year prior. Net revenue for H1 was AU$136.6 million.

Latest Australian news The company said its first half figures were affected by AU$8.3 million in IPO costs as a result of Amaysim debuting on the Australian Securities Exchange 1 in June 2015. As of December 31, 2016, Amaysim boasted 1.03 million mobile subscribers, securing 59,000 new customers during the six-month period. “Allowing subscribers the flexibility to switch plans is a key component of the Amaysim experience and brand strategy,” Amaysim CEO Julian Ogrin told shareholders. “It improves customer satisfaction and tenure, and allowed us to simultaneously reduce churn to 2 percent.” Amaysim said previously that it holds almost 30 percent of the mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) market in Australia, after tipping the 1 million customer mark in November 2 . At the time, Ogrin said Amaysim’s market share equated to “close to 3 percent” of overall Australian mobile market share. “We’re seeing a new normal, with Aussies catching on to a better way of mobile and shaking off the shackles of traditional telco contracts,” Ogrin said previously. “Aussie mobile users are at a real tipping point of change, with over 3 million people on lapsed contracts that haven’t yet made the move and the BYO market becoming more popular than ever before.” According to market research company Kantar’s latest statistics on mobile market share in Australia 3 released last week, Amaysim holds 5.2 percent of the total local mobile market.

Telstra’s total market share rose from 39.3 percent to 40.3 percent; Optus followed Telstra with 23 percent; then Vodafone Australia with 14 percent; other MVNOs, with 6.3 percent; Virgin, with 5.1 percent; Aldi Mobile, with 2.9 percent; TPG/iiNet, with 2.4 percent; and Boost, with 0.8 percent. “The Amaysim Group is performing well and in line with management’s expectations, driven by strong momentum in mobile services,” Ogrin said on Monday. “In a competitive environment, our aim is to maintain a strong challenger brand position and achieve profitable growth by leveraging our superior operating platform, offering a competitive product suite and delivering high customer satisfaction. “Our success is reflected in our ability to profitably grow subscribers and keep churn low.” Average revenue per user (ARPU) for the six-month period was AU$22.37, a 15 percent drop from last year’s AU$26.34. Amaysim attributed the ARPU decrease to market competition, and said it expects ARPU to “gradually increase” in the first half of the 2018 financial year, based on greater stability in the competitive landscape as well as the company’s planned initiatives to grow revenue. Such initiatives include the launch of Amaysim broadband 4 , which Amaysim confirmed on Monday will be in May. “We will launch our broadband offering in the next 90 days with an initial focus on our 1.03 million subscribers or over 600,000 households across the Amaysim Group aligned to the NBN rollout,” Ogrin said on Monday. “Success in our mobile business has positioned Amaysim to continue to grow share of household wallet by acquiring new subscribers, while expanding our focus to become a multi-vertical company.

We are excited to complement our competitive mobile products with a compelling broadband offering.” During the first quarter of the 2017 financial year, Amaysim invested AU$0.4 million into its Amaysim broadband offering, and expects a “modest” full year investment of approximately AU$3 million to develop and launch Amaysim broadband. The Australian Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO) in October revealed that from July to September 2016, consumer complaints about Amaysim rose slightly 5 , from 0.9 a year prior and 0.8 during the previous quarter to 1.1 for the reported quarter. On Monday, Amaysim said it experienced its lowest contextualised complaints during the six-month period.

Amaysim’s communications director Ged Mansour said previously that after acquiring Vaya 6 , Amaysim managed to bring down the “huge level of complaints” associated with the former company by introducing a new workplace culture. “It’s about instilling a culture of simplicity and a culture of compliance across the industry, whether you’re big or small,” Mansour said previously. “And we dove in straight away, and while we see Vaya as the real price fighter, whereas Amaysim is more about the customer experience, there was some basic things that we could do straight away, like remove unnecessary fees, make some of the plans easier to understand, make the plans even more powerful for customers that really are wallet conscious. “As a result, we saw complaints through the TIO drop by 80 or 90 percent when you look at year-on-year comparisons.” Amaysim acquired fellow MVNO Vaya for AU$70 million in January last year via AU$5 million in cash, AU$15 million in Amaysim scrip, and assumption of Vaya’s AU$50 million liability to Optus. Amaysim reported a full-year net profit of AU$12.31 million 7 for 2015-16 on revenue of AU$253.5 million and EBITDA of AU$25.1 million. Profit was down 48.7 percent from the AU$24 million reported a year ago due to its acquisitions of Vaya and AusBBS, while EBITDA was up by 79.3 percent and revenue increased by 19.3 percent.

Looking forward, full-year underlying EBITDA for Amaysim’s mobile business is expected to grow to between AU$42 million and AU$44 million, while total underlying EBITDA which includes the company’s investment in broadband is expected to come in at between AU$40 million and AU$42 million, driven by growth in the mobile business, sustained low churn, and disciplined cost management, Amaysim said.

References ^ debuting on the Australian Securities Exchange (www.zdnet.com) ^ 1 million customer mark in November (www.zdnet.com) ^ statistics on mobile market share in Australia (www.zdnet.com) ^ launch of Amaysim broadband (www.zdnet.com) ^ complaints about Amaysim rose slightly (www.zdnet.com) ^ acquiring Vaya (www.zdnet.com) ^ net profit of AU$12.31 million (www.zdnet.com)