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Australia's Largest ISP Ditches Linux Mirror 173

An anonymous reader writes "Australia's largest ISP, BigPond, has decided to ditch its local mirrors of Linux and other open source operating systems, as well as various other open source software and Creative Commons media. BigPond posted a terse update on the service's website, citing reasons of low popularity and the existence of better services like and Tucows. BigPond customers are not impressed by the move, given that the ISP is infamous in Australia for its high prices and relatively low monthly quotas of bandwidth (many users are on 10GB or 25GB per month plans) and all downloads from this service did not count towards their monthly limits."
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Australia's Largest ISP Ditches Linux Mirror

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 26, 2010 @05:12AM (#32700974)

    Those users should shop around, any switch that supports DSL or DSL 2+ can be used by any of the ISP. TPG has some of the best plans in AU, however they have really crap customer service, but you really don't need it once your up and running.

    • by Jelly2003 ( 1842534 ) on Saturday June 26, 2010 @05:54AM (#32701164)

      I signed my dad up to TPG for his home and his office, thus far they seem to be pretty good, fast connection. They lack unmetered content, but make up for it with unmetered uploads and high download quotas. Their tech support is pretty good too but I called them a couple of times and they were closed.

      My favourite ISP is Intenode, they're a little more expensive because they've kept their main focus on providing internet, rather than forcing landline / mobile phone packages down people's throats. Also, on most plans they don't meter uploads.

      Also their unmetered content is great:
      * HUGE FTP file mirror with tons of open source and Linux / BSD / Solaris distros
      * MajorGeeks mirror
      * SourceForge mirror
      * Steam mirrors
      * ABC IVIEW
      * They repeat stacks of streaming radio streams
      * TiVO update / content mirrors
      * - game servers, file downloads, media downloads

      Also, their tech support is really good, all of it seems to be based in Australia, so easy to communicate with.

      • My Aussie gamer friends are all on Internode, so there must be a reason. ;)

        I believe their ping is quite low to North America. (Something like 220ms for L4D - BigPond is apparently 250+ ms, in addition to their caps being horribly low)

        • by ignavus ( 213578 )

          My Aussie gamer friends are all on Internode, so there must be a reason. ;)

          I believe their ping is quite low to North America. (Something like 220ms for L4D - BigPond is apparently 250+ ms, in addition to their caps being horribly low)

          My understanding: Internode is great if you are a gamer or need lots of support. TPG is great if you are not a gamer, don't need support, and don't want to pay more than the minimum.

          I'm with TPG because they are cheap, fast enough, and it would cost me about 60% more to go with Internode and get the same monthly download limits (I am on 70GB a month + another 60 GB during "offpeak" times - for AU$50 a month). Cannot see the point of changing.

          From time to time, TPG significantly increase the monthly download

    • by strack ( 1051390 )
      ive been on tpg, and am now on iinet. tpg sucks, iinet is awesome.
    • Those users should shop around, any switch that supports DSL or DSL 2+ can be used by any of the ISP. TPG has some of the best plans in AU, however they have really crap customer service, but you really don't need it once your up and running.

      Not as easy as you make it out to be.

      I've been stuck on Telstra Cable for years because the ADSL2+ DSLAM wasn't rolled out at our exchange for years (despite being in a suburban area close to the city). I've been wanting to move to Internode, but they still haven't got ADSL2+ support here for some reason (despite all the other ones having it).

      I'm abstaining from switching just yet because I want to go on Internode over iiNet, TPG or whatever (who aren't as reliable apparently). But yeah, ADSL2+ rollout in A

  • Move to another ISP? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Freaky Spook ( 811861 ) on Saturday June 26, 2010 @05:14AM (#32700996)

    It's not as if people are forced to stay with BigPond or anything. I haven't had a BigPond internet account since Dial-Up internet days.

    • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

      by goonerw ( 99408 )
      It's not as if people are forced to stay with BigPond or anything.

      It's not as if Bigpond let you get ADSL2+ with another ISP if you're on a RIM or an area that only has Telstra Cable.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by daBass ( 56811 )

        Yes they do: Internode [] offers Telstra wholesale ADSL2+ where available.

        I do believe they are the only ISP to do so.

        It's not cheap, but you do get the best ISP in the country. Linux mirrors included.

        How do I know? I am on ADSL2+ (17mbit sync) on a RIM off a Telstra-only exchange using Internode as ISP.

        • by Barny ( 103770 )

          Pretty sure they are, and they have telstra ports on their "easy broadband" thing.

          Internode are the best ISP in the country, not the largest, or the cheapest, but the best :)

        • Uhh, best ISP in the country, not likely.

          Telstra's speed and service are far from the best, maybe 10 years ago, but not now.

          Technically, RIMs do NOT support ADSL, it's on street DSLAMs that support ADSL/ADSL2+. I might add that Telstra had their DSLAMs upgraded to ADSL2/2+ quite some time ago, long before it was offered by competitors. They refused to allow users access to the service until they saw fit, artificially limiting people's bandwidth claiming that they had no ADSL2+.

          I say this as an ex-Telstra em

          • by daBass ( 56811 )

            Internode is the best ISP in the country, not Telstra!

            Having experience with both Agile ports and TWS ports, I can say there is no discernible difference in being on either of them with Internode. The only difference is price; I have to pay the Telstra tax; being on a Agile port would be $30/month less.

            My particular RIM actually has no minimux, instead it is fed by a 100-pair from the exchange for ADSL.

            • I'm with iiNet myself, service quality, communication, and support are great. On naked DSL too, which is perfect for me.

              Unfortunately with the copper to the cabinet services it's a bit of a lose lose situation, your line is longer and you're with Telstra technically. On street DSLAMs are much better as it's fibre to the cabinet and copper from there.

              I live in inner city Melbourne, not quite as lucky as Brunswick (they get NBN coverage). You might want to take a look at the NBN site and see if your area is p

              • by daBass ( 56811 )

                No NBN trial for me, but with the RIM hell we have here I have good hopes of being hooked up early in the rollout!

                When the NBN was going to be FTTN I used to joke that's what we already had: it's called a RIM, look how great those are!

                Yeah, if we had an ADSL2+ minimux, I'd be laughing at 24mbit, but 17 ain't so bad... (I used to live 75m from here on the other side of the suburb's ring road. That was direct exchange at 21mbit.)

                But there are also a lot of RIMs with severe backhaul problems, where people sync

          • Yeah, I must say, the sudden change of heart of Telstra about ADSL2+ occurred suspiciously close to the time when they had their stoush with the government over the NBN. All of a sudden they made all their ADSL1 plans obsolete by making ADSL2+ plans the same price - and this was within weeks of the government cutting them out of the NBN (all ancient history now ...).

        • by sc0ob5 ( 836562 )
          I'm also in the same situation as you are. Telstra port and Internode ADSL2+ although I get a 19mbit sync. Have to say I have been with Internode for years and haven't had a problem with them. Love all the "free" and fast content.

          I think it's preaching to the choir here though. If you can get off Bigpond you should if not the rest of us will pray to the Flying Spagetti Monster for your souls.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 26, 2010 @05:22AM (#32701020)

      This only applies if you are willing to stay on dial up or you are in a heavily populated area. If you are in rural Australia your options tend to be limited to Telstra BigPond for broadband or you stay with narrowband services.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Well that's right. Unless you have *absolutely* no other choice there is no reason to sign up with Bigpond and you are best off going with another provider with unmetered mirrors like Internode.

      I grudgingly will say that in spite of it being Telstra owned and expensive their 850MHz HSDPA network is frickin' excellent. If you are on a bitumen road in Australia (and a lot of dirt roads), you will get snappy 3G with them.

    • Except when you live in the country and the only available broadband is via telstra. Monopolist bastards will be the first against the wall when the NBN arrives...
      • It's not only the countryside. The part of the Brisbane suburb I was living in until 6 months ago had Telstra cable as the only available service in the area . Impossible to get ADSL, couldn't even get wireless. It was a nightmare. Apparently there was an ADSL cabinet around, but Telstra had decided that there wasn't enough demand to justify putting in any more ports, since "everyone already had broadband". Through their cable. Bastards.
  • They sucked. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 26, 2010 @05:24AM (#32701038)
    The reason they weren't popular is because the mirrors sucked, they were often slow to get updates and they were slow generally. I can get better speeds from the Netherlands than I can from my local Bigpond Mirror.
  • by dbIII ( 701233 ) on Saturday June 26, 2010 @05:28AM (#32701050)
    It's what you get when you partly privatise a government monopoly and then pretend the government has nothing to do with it anymore but make it difficult for anyone else to compete.
    • Actually, it's the exact opposoite of your claim in the case of Telstra. Prior to the recent NBN deal the government(s) (both left and right) had been engaged in a very long and public feud with Telstra over their anti-competive wholesale fuckery.
      • by dbIII ( 701233 )
        I think it explains Telstra quite well - a rogue government quango that has the worst aspects of a government department and the worst aspects of private enterprise and almost none of the good bits of either. Until relatively recently they were under more than 50% government ownership ("future fund") but would not listen to their shareholders (eg. board vs shareholders on Trujillo's cash bonus). As soon as a government said they had a bit of independence Telstra have been the proverbial rabid ferret in th
  • by Narcocide ( 102829 ) on Saturday June 26, 2010 @05:28AM (#32701052) Homepage

    Nobody shuts down a mirror that isn't soaking up any bandwidth. Nobody has a slow mirror that nobody uses. I'm putting my money on them having ditched it because it outgrew their initial provisioning and they couldn't afford to expand to keep up, not because it was "low popularity."

    • by AHuxley ( 892839 )
      Yes set up in the .com boom along with gaming, kept alive to spin the low data caps.
      Now Telstra has value eg 25GB plans for A$79.95 ~ US$70 @8Mbps/128kbps or
      25 GB A$89.95 ~US$77 @30000/1000kbps Over the cap and face $0.15/MB or 64kbps until your new billing cycle starts. []
      • by Barny ( 103770 )

        Wow thats cheap, if you go with Internode easy broadband you only get 50GB a month for $59AU a month (cheaper if you bundle rental) on all the same lines as telstra (they provision both their own and telstra ADSL2+ ports).

        And no charge if you go over...

    • by TheRaven64 ( 641858 ) on Saturday June 26, 2010 @07:03AM (#32701390) Journal

      Nobody shuts down a mirror that isn't soaking up any bandwidth

      Yes they do. The point of a mirror is to act as a local cache. You grab stuff from outside the network periodically and give users the opportunity to fetch it locally. If people are not downloading much from it, you're still fetching stuff remotely so it's costing you external bandwidth and time / effort / hardware to maintain it but not actually saving you anything, so you shut it down.

      This exact sequence happened with the mirrors that the university computer society ran when I was a student. They ran a mirror for a load of *NIX distributions and various other things that were useful to students. I maintained it for a bit, looked at the number of users and the bandwidth and time taken to keep it up to date, and decided it wasn't worth the effort. Deleting it and bumping up the disk space allowed for the web proxy's cache saved us more bandwidth.

    • Could this be related too? Perhaps they will get a cheap upgrade to Windows Server they use? []

      Latest movie or Linus/RMS? Which would you choose? *g*

      Besides jokes, I always, blindly stayed away from ISPs using "Windows Server" since it tells a lot about the quality of staff and management. Of course I understand it is not always possible.

    • by rtb61 ( 674572 )

      They are obviously shutting down the public file library (they still will be caching in the background, same diff to them) so they can run up user downloads to increase profit margins in light of the future wholesale fibre broadband network. So the marketing lie, no demand with the reality a chance to up download charges [] especially considering the lowest usage cap is 2 GB.

      2GB is wildly low but it all came about when Telstra were using the incum

  • Doesn't surprise me (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Jelly2003 ( 1842534 ) on Saturday June 26, 2010 @05:35AM (#32701076)
    Back in 2004 the Bigpond file mirror used to be a good service (I used it a lot while at work) but recently I tried it use it and noticed that it wasn't very well maintained anymore, of course they should have gone the other way and fixed the service.
  • by Slurpee ( 4012 ) on Saturday June 26, 2010 @05:37AM (#32701082) Homepage Journal

    10 gig or 25 gig a month? They're the luck users!

    Seriously - their most popular plan has a 2gig limit for "only" $40 a month - with excess usage charged at 15c a meg. That's over $2,000 a gig! Both up and down are counted.

    People who use bigpond are seriously deluded. Considering rivals offer 130gig a month for $40, no excess usage charges, and only downloads count...

    no linux user users bigpond.

    Friends don't let friends use bigpond.

    • I can't believe those prices! My mom lives in Turkey and has to pay 20 dollars a month for a 4gb limit, with hefty fines if she goes over. I thought that was bad! Choice is such a wonderful thing!
      • with hefty fines if she goes over.

        I would never use a provider which fined me for going over some bandwidth limit, they are only doing that to cheat her out of her money. I have unlimited bandwidth and 40/20 Mbit and I am happy with it, but if I forget to pay the bill they instantly drop it to 128 Kbit. That's what they should do if you go over your limit as well, fines and/or high charges per megabyte is just dishonest, bordering on fraud. If your mother has no alternative I feel sorry for her.

    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Don't be an idiot.

      Bigpond is the only provider who will give me reasonable speed. I can't get ADSL2. I can get ADSL, but I'm almost 4.5k from an exchange. There are no other cable providers aside from Bigpond, for my area.

      So my options are: Bigpond cable, Dialup, satellite, ADSL. And of those, only bigpond give me semi-reliable, semi-fast net. The cap is crap (25 gig). and it's expensive. But it's the only real option.

      "No linux user uses bigpond, Friends don't let friends use bigpond" seriously, don't be a

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by AndreR ( 814444 )

      15 cents/MB ~= $154 per GB

      Still ridiculously expensive anyway.

      • by Slurpee ( 4012 )

        oops - yep, my Maths was way off - not sure where I got that number from. But as you said - $154 a gig is still silly.

        And appologies to those who have no other choice. Sucks to be stuck on Bigpond - my heartfelt sympathy.

    • I'd love to ditch bigpond, but where I live the only broadband is ADSL (not even ADSL2+) and the maximum plan is 50GB @ $99 per month. I could move to other providers e.g. TPG, but their prices are exactly the same for the same caps. We only got ADSL in 2006, before that the best available was a pair of ISDN lines. The irony is that my area is one chosen for the pre-roll out of Kevinnet (or should that now be Julianet?) so people I know just a few blocks away can get 19GB lines while I'm stuck with this stu
    • Last i checked it is the year 2010 now. What on earth have these guys been doing with your money? They're not improving the connections or anything, just sucking up the dollars...

    • Thanks to the story here about Bigpond's file library decision, in the process of further reading I found out about their discount offer [], which they probably only want new customers to hear about. As an existing customer, I wasn't notified, though to avoid complaints of discrimination, is also available [] to existing customers.

      Their file library decision has now saved me (cost them) $180/yr — plus I get enough extra allowance to download a Linux distro a week. Thank you Slashdot and the anonymous sto

    • Holy shit! I just checked the Telstra site and you're right 2Mb/1Mb up for $50/month for 2GB download. I had to check my computer's clock to see if it's really the year 2010!

      As an Australian living in Europe (20 Euros/month for 32Mb/1Mb up with truly unlimited - 100GBs is fine) I beg my fellow Aussies to dump these shitheads and go to a better, more competitive ISP - for my sake, I don't want to come back to broadband plans and prices from 1998.

  • The Final Straw (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Tim99 ( 984437 ) on Saturday June 26, 2010 @05:48AM (#32701134)
    After suffering poor service from Telstra since I "upgraded" to one of their ADSL2+ plans, this was the final straw.
    My new service with iiNet starts on Wednesday. Telstra have left me with no phone and Internet service on three occasions over a couple of weeks in the last 7 months. When I did (after many complaints) finally get the 14Mbs/sec service I was paying for, rather than the 5Mbps provided, Telstra still drop the connection for a few seconds at a time every few minutes, and only about 80% of packets get to their DNS. Web pages stop downloading halfway through, and we are only 1400m from the exchange.
    Their billing has been appalling over the last 5 years. If they did not have a near monopoly on infrastructure, they would go broke. The new agreement with the government to supply much of the proposed NBN probably will not encourage them to raise their game.
    • The agreement is for Telstra to allow the NBN to use their pits and conduits - not their actual telco infrastructure. The deal is awesome for end users - its essentially doing what people have recommended for ages: splitting Telstra into government-controlled infrastructure which is wholesaled to all comers without prejudice, and into a private retail arm which competes equally with all other ISPs.

      I have no idea why Telstra's shares are rising on the news - monopoly of the infrastructure was the only thing

      • by TeraCo ( 410407 )

        I have no idea why Telstra's shares are rising on the news - monopoly of the infrastructure was the only thing they had going for them.

        Not anymore, their mobile arm has reached the point where it's more profitable than the PSTN arm (and now that they're selling their their copper to someone else, they don't have to maintain the aging cables anymore.) I'd suggest that the cost of 'wholesaling' a copper line is going to increase, because it's going to need constant maintenance and that cost won't be subsidised by any more profitable arms of the business. (It also won't be price locked by the ACCC.)

  • Why is this news? (Score:1, Flamebait)

    by Zubby ( 514088 )
    So the company took away a service that they were offering for free. They were in no way obligated to continue this hosting. Why is this news to anyone?
    • by Barny ( 103770 )

      Because while it was "free for all to access" it didn't count towards their own customers downloads for the month, in effect it was a service to their customers, that they are now dropping.

    • Because every single other ISP offers it and more.

    • I think people are amazed at how brain dead they are and what a big lie "bandwidth cap" is. If they really required bandwidth caps, not just keeping the mirrors up (even 10 users matter), they would also cache OSX/Windows updates with squid.

      So, they are either stupid or malicious or even both.

      While on it, they are a Windows based ISP. I really wonder what will their "windows server 2008" upgrade cost will be after this action?

  • by enter to exit ( 1049190 ) on Saturday June 26, 2010 @07:09AM (#32701412)
    seriously iinet is currently the best residential aussie isp in terms of price and service (btw they have some linux mirrors - a lot of linux iso images and fedora and ubuntu update/package mirrors + others) .

    Telstra is really just running on it's own momentum at this stage. It's a mammoth uncompetitive organization that relies on it's own size and slowly eroding monopoly as a substitute for quality services. It's lack of vision and fear of progress is a huge weight on Australia's internet services.

    It's mind-boggling just how much telstra steals from their customers, they don't even pretend to have a good service anymore. Even bigpond customers know they are getting fucked. They have to resort to stupid animal cartoons to sell anything.

    BTW the telstra ad at the top of the page is hilariously ironic
  • by CuteSteveJobs ( 1343851 ) on Saturday June 26, 2010 @07:16AM (#32701440)
    Telstra is a sad case of a company. The ex-government telephone monopoly, it was privatized and the profits of that went into the "Future Fund." Sounds nice, but it's just a fancy name of for the public service pension fund. (You can almost imagine the delight on the faces of the public servants and politicians who thought this idea up - it's their pension fund!)

    Telstra was run into the ground by a American CEO Solomon Trujillo. He was hired at a time that anyone with an American accent could get a CEO job in Australia. Aussies were that parochial. But Trujillo did a really crap job. He only installed ADSL2 at exchanges where competitors installed ADSL2. He didn't kiss the butt of the government of the day, which is the custom in Australia. Combine all that and the share price sagged. Telstra continued to offer the most overpriced and poorly serviced offerings, relying on ill-informed consumers who believed "You can't go wrong with Telstra." Hell. I've got two service complaints over a year old they still haven't fixed.

    Sadly when the previous government sold off Telstra, they let them take all the wiring with them which means any ISP who sells an ADSL service must house it in Telstra's exchanges and over their wires. Telstra doesn't need to be competitive, which is why broadband in Oz is still so expensive. There is one competitor - Optus - who has their own cable, but they gave up before they wired half the country and being appointed as a duopoly (yes, the government before last actually did that!) they don't have to be competitive either: all they have to do is match Telstra, to the point Telstra and Optus offer the worst deals in the country.

    A few days ago the government paid Telstra $11B for access to their wires and infrastructure and (believe it or not) to compensate them for the future loss of customers. That's right. I hate Telstra and can't wait to leave them, but the government is actually using my tax dollars to compensate a company for losing my business through their own sheer ineptitude.

    Don't expect changes. After the disaster of the Telstra privatisation the Rudd ^H^H^H^H Gillard government are creating a new national broadband network... which is what that $11B is for. But they've also announced an intention to privatize it making exactly the same mistake as last time. One of the heads of this effort is Michael Kaiser, an Labour party politician (kicked out for electoral fraud) who is now earning $450K a year appointed without so much as a job interview.

    And this, my friends, is why telecommunications in Australia is such a mess. [] [] [] []
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      He was hired at a time that anyone with an American accent could get a CEO job in Australia.

      Any particular American accent?

      Southern: "Hi y'all! I rek'on I cane I run this company reaaall good! Bless your hearts!"

      Black: "Yo homes. I'll get this bitch going on the slick, man."

      Surfer: "Duuuuuuuude! I'd run this company, like, so, like, knarly, dude! Duuuuuuuuuuuuude!"

      New York: "I'm hear to help uze gize. What the fuck are uze look'in at! You wanna piece of me!?"

      Fargo: "Ya! I kan Run dis kompany. Ya - sur kan."

      I'm only asking because I need a job and who knows, there may be still some Australian comp

      • The New York attitude comes the closest, he was born in the US but thanks to political cartoonists most Aussies think he's from Mexico []
    • Speaking of duopolies don't forget Labor and Liberal, their cosy arrangement doesn't help.

    • "all [Optus} have to do is match Telstra, to the point Telstra and Optus offer the worst deals in the country."

      Optus actually have much better deals (and customer service) than Telstra...

      Optus.....20mbps/512kbps, 170GB cap, $70/mth
      Telstra...10mbps/512kbps, 50GB cap, $90mth.
      iiNet......24mbps/1024kbps, 120GB cap, $60/mth.

      On the very few occasion I have had to ring Optus customer service over the last 10yrs they have fixed the problem within 30 minutes (a responsive hope desk is important to me
    • by thegarbz ( 1787294 ) on Saturday June 26, 2010 @11:09AM (#32702484)

      Telstra was run into the ground by a American CEO Solomon Trujillo. He was hired at a time that anyone with an American accent could get a CEO job in Australia. Aussies were that parochial. But Trujillo did a really crap job.

      Yeah he was a shocker, but realistically when he took over Telstra was already in shambles. The ACCC had at that point already firmly put its foot down on Telstra charging it's wholesale customers more than their retail customers, and once they were forced to charge a sane price the only think keeping them in business was the abysmal range and poor coverage of ADSL compared to Telstra's cable network.

      But no what really drove the company into the ground was their previous CEO Dr Ziggy Switzkowski. A guy who's history in management was a Bachelor of Science, a PhD in Nuclear Physics, 6 years of post doc research, followed by an idiots guide to management course at Harvard. A short stint at Optus and then the top job of Australia's biggest monopoly. This is like letting a fat kid with ADHD loose in a candy store. He completely ignored most of Telstra's core competencies and spent as much money as possible on media deals and overseas investments trying to buy Australia's way into the Asian telecom market.

      But then came the genius bit. While haemorrhaging money from every corner, with the ACCC beating down on Telstra's ass for screwing customers with a pineapple their master stroke was to introduce the worst fucking capped limits on their previously unlimited customers the world has ever heard of. Bad enough they are trying to run the company into the ground but then he made Australia the laughing stock of the world by changing their previous unlimited 10mbps cable to an "acceptable use policy" (actually 10GB download limit), and then down to 3 (YES THREE) GB per month with both downloads and uploads metered.

      We moved house, and Telstra offered us a $180 loyalty bonus when we called them to cancel our service, followed shortly by a $50 relocation fee where we relocated to a house completely wired up and didn't need to do so much as call a service tech. We just took their biggest, fastest and most expensive plan ran with it for one month, and have been happy, richer, and less restricted TPG customers ever since.

      I mean seriously Telstra business plans charge extra for fixed IPs, where as most other providers give them away with consumer plans. They can't even price their business plans right.

    • FYI, Optus didn't 'give up' wiring their cable, they were forced out of it by greedy, crooked councils deciding to charge through the nose to get cable laying permits, then turning around and accusing optus of violating standards and safety specifications when they didn't pony up on the permits.
  • by markdavis ( 642305 ) on Saturday June 26, 2010 @07:34AM (#32701484)

    This really makes no sense:

    1) The primary reason is that an ISP wants more than anything to avert large traffic to and from THE INTERNET to their network. Internal traffic doesn't bother them as much, since that incurs much less cost. By having a local mirror to such huge files, they can avert a lot of traffic.

    2) It was obviously a benefit to their customers, not to the rest of the world, since it didn't count against their user's download quotas.

    3) It costs almost nothing to add such a service. A simple machine (or re-purposed older machine), running Linux/BSD, with a $50 hard drive stuck on their network would have more than enough horsepower and disk space to offer the service. Throw an hour a month of maintenance on it. They probably spend 100 times that on toilet paper.

    4) If it were costing them external bandwidth, they could just block it to the rest of the Internet, keeping it for their customers.

    5) I doubt their demographic is THAT much different from the rest of the world, so there is no doubt there would be a demand for such files by their users.

    6) If usage were "low", it would probably only be because it was mis-managed, poorly setup, or their users simply didn't know it existed.

    To me, this sounds more political than rational.

    • Bigpond no doubt charge more for bandwidth than they pay. They make a profit on downloads so there is no advantage in reducing them. Like all ISPs bigpond will use transparent mirroring, in addition to normal http proxies.

      An engineer working for a different large ISP showed me how their mirroring system worked. Any time they saw a big peak in demand for a site (an example would be ubuntu downloads) they mirrored it and redirected traffic to the mirror.

    • They probably spend 100 times that on toilet paper.

      Don't under-estimate the cost of toilet paper. After all, Telstra is the single largest provider of bullshit in the country.

    • Frankly I think it's a good move. Their mirrors were broken anyway! Every second ISO downloaded from their mirror failed md5 checksum. And GOOD LUCK trying to explain to their level-1 tech support monkies wtf an md5 checksum even is. 40 emails later and they'd still be trying to convince you that the reason the ISO fails a checksum is because your modem needs a reset. And to be honest, I hope this trend extends all the way through their entire service offering to the point they eventually close shop al
      • EEEEw, that sounds horrible. I hope it was an optional and not transparent redirection mirror (as another poster mentioned).
  • Fair enough. Linux users all probably don't use telstra anymore for years :)

  • Well of course they are dropping it, they can charge their users more this way. Sounds like every other 'data provider' out there.

    But when the golden goose is long since dead and cooked, they will wonder where all their customers went and why no one gets online anymore.

  • Telstra caters to two main demographics (there are exceptions, but few and far between):

    • business users, who (over here) are mostly (like 99%) on windows and have no use for a linux/open source mirror
    • clueless home users, who aren't likely to be open source users, because they're clueless

    iinet is more likely to be the isp to maintain this sort of thing... and they do.

  • I've already seen one site prominent in the free software world blame this on Microsoft. Telstra has a guy on their board of directors who once worked for Microsoft. They think he didn't really leave Microsoft--he's just pretending so he can infiltrate Telstra and turn them away from Freedom and toward Microsoft. (They have a huge list of companies that are secretly under the control of Microsoft this way, along with much of the press and even several major governments, and one or two major Linux distributi

  • Large file libraries such as and offer a range of files and content we can not match, so we have taken the reluctant decision to discontinue this service.

    The affected files are "... files include Windows utilities and drivers, along with a variety of Linux software such as the popular Ubuntu, Debian and Fedora distributions." so as such the change in corporate policy doesn't constitute an attack on Linux per se. While their users want or require those files, What this policy reall

"So why don't you make like a tree, and get outta here." -- Biff in "Back to the Future"