Telstra has done a deal with National Broadband Network Co (or a heads of agreement which is not quite the same thing). You can read about it here. And an analysis of it here. But one thing that is clear, or was, after a bit of a Twitter discussion:  that copper is no more. The thingie that ran our phone networks for hundreds of years (ok, last century) is being put out to pasture, retired, taken out.

In the early 1980’s I worked for  the then Telecom Australia. It’s a family tradition, as both my parents worked at Telecom Australia for the majority of their working lives. Copper networks was actually part of the discussion at the dinner table… what? you mean it wasn’t at yours? Anyway as I was saying, I worked for them, in their Private Lines department, in Adelaide. Waymouth Street I think.  Now how do I explain private lines? Hmmm. Some companies, mostly what we called in the 80’s “multinationals” had a very expensive service called a “private line”. I only remember a few companies having it – SANTOS was one. The television stations were another. If the “private line” was cut or damaged between Melbourne and Adelaide, the TV station went off the air and the test pattern…

Please Stand By

… or worse, a picture of a woman with a headset on and the words “Telecom Fault, service will be resumed shortly”. Which meant people rang me to find out why the TV was off the air. There was either nothing to do or it was frantic. Mostly frantic, there was a lot of digging and roadworks between Melbourne and Adelaide in those days.

I remember it surprising me that companies would want their own private lines. And I thought “data” over networks probably meant fax machines. That private lines started to grow and became ISDN, Telstra Multimedia, and eventually I dunno, BigPond I guess … well, from little acorns grow.

So, ce la vie, bon voyage and RIP to copper networks. I’ll miss you (nah, not really). Meanwhile I predict a glut in the copper jewellry market. And these things:

copper tree

Dust collectors or another revenue stream for Telstra? I’ll let you decide. You’ve got a while, take your time. Copper will shift very slowly.

By the way, have a think about this: the yoof of today, Digital Natives, think anyone over about 18 years of age can’t “get” online medium because they are Digital Immigrants. Yet we seem to have coped with the TV being brought into the home, the massive increase in telecommunications such as home phones, faxes and mobiles –  wow, my mum and dad even figured out how to use an iPhone! We also led the way in recording shows at home (quaintly still called “video-ing” in our house) and we also had the first home computers (mine was a Mac Plus with a 20 MB Rodime external drive). So, dear digital natives, you can f**k off, with your “you don’t understand our world” prattle. end rant.

#DigitalImmigrant #CopperNative This post is for @Tarale. 🙂