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Friday, January 29, 2010

Telecom more like Teletubbies!

XT, Huh? Does that stand for "Xtra Terrible"?

Telecoms mobile woes continue into a third day. Unbelievable, really when you think that Telecom is home to half of NZ's mobile base. This has certainly made Telecom look like a childrens television show rather than a cutting edge service provider. However the thing is is that its Technology. With a capital T. I give it a capital T because it's a "thing" in its own right. And like all things, fallible.

It always amuses me when people get shitty about their flight being delayed because of bad weather. You know. I'm sure most of you have stood by some anxious traveler mouthing of at Air New Zealand et al for ruining their plans by being late. And quite often it's due to weather. As if Pacific Blue can control windspeed and rainfall.

What these people don't seem to realise is that flying is not exactly natural! For example: a Boeing 737, when full loaded, weighs in at around 80 tonnes. Thats 80,000kgs of metal, composites and plastics held in association and sent up into the air using physics and a crapload of power. If that doesn't boggle the mind, think of an Airbus A380.590 Tonnes!

Just think on that for a moment. Isn't it crazy? 590 bloody tonnes!

Now, apply this to cellphones.

I'm sure that not a few of you will remember Star Trek. Remember William Shatner flicking his "communicator" out to talk to the Enterprise? This was in the 60's. 50 years later, we now have that technology. We can now transfer our images and data the same way. And they are now commonplace in society. When you contemplate this, like the flying analogy, its bloody amazing! But even Kirks communicator didn't work all the time (a fact that James Doohan, playing "Scotty" is forever thankful for).

Now I'm not apologising for Telecom's performance. It has been shabby, dreadful and, at worst, perhaps negligent. Engineering may have been incomplete, network maintenance - dour and project planning perhaps poor.  But the fact still stands. It's Technology with a capital "T". It's new and made by mankind therefore fallible.

So next time you flick out out the phone and whisper into it "beam me up, Scotty", just pause for a mo and contemplate 80 tonne flying bits of steel and Star Trek in your pocket.

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