Interview with Bernard Pusch, Telstra International

Bernhard Pusch, director of European wholesale at Telstra International, gives Capacity an update on cable connectivity into Asia-Pacific, developments in cloud hosting and the pressures Telstra faces in its domestic market.



Our joint partnership for the restructure of Hong Kong-based network operator Reach, in partnership with PCCW, served as a strategic move to increase our presence significantly in the Asian continent.

The Far East in particular has always been important to Telstra, and there has been a drive by us to invest in cables in Asia because of how far Australia is from the rest of the world.

Through our joint acquisition of Reach, we have access to undersea cable assets that covers the north Asia loop, enabling significant PoP access across the country.

For us, if we do not make investments in cable infrastructure we will not be successful, and considering how big the Far East is, it also reflects on how far away Australia is from the rest of the world.

If you look at Melbourne, the furthest south city in Australia, and its distance to Tokyo, this is further than the distance from London to Hong Kong – this says it all. The distance from our domestic market is so vast that building a cable in to the US could cost over $1 billion.

This is where we have seen expansion of this sort being made in partnerships or consortiums, especially when we consider the risk an operator takes in making an investment as big as that – like we have done with PCCW, it is an option to lower the risk.

As a global network operator, and an incumbent in our home market, cable investment is just one of the initiatives coming through from Telstra at the moment. Our cloud hosting facility is mainly targeted at SMEs, but it is all dependant on how critical IT infrastructure is to certain businesses.

I wouldn’t say that we are an early adopter in the space, but it is something we are certainly looking to progress. There is a certain company hesitance, particularly internationally, in taking on a cloud solution because the entire technology is still relatively new in the market. Some of the early adopters have had the pain of being first but now we are seeing more international carriers looking at these solutions, seeing the trends and realising it is also time for them to also invest.

We launched it in Australia first which helped us gain visibility, but there has certainly been a bigger interest in co-locating to our service than what we had originally projected. 

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