February 25th, 2017

CiiA has decided to let NBN declare victory over common sense, sound network design and the public purse.

The use of Sky Muster to service Christmas Island is so technically unsound and so costly to the taxpayer that the only rational explanation is that the solution was designed by equipment vendors that were left with keys to the vault.

I have been giving Karly and a few public servants a bit of flack recently and feel a bit guilty about it, they have be left high and dry by NBN and asked to defend the indefensible technology choices and the clumsy way NBN is rolling out Sky Muster in the territory. For the record, DIRD and IOT Administration ( as well as the Shire and CIP ), were always sympathetic and supportive of our efforts to deliver a service.

As of 26 February, the CiiA loan account stands at -$650,000, we paid a bond to the satellite provider of ~$100,000. Bottom line, CiiA has spent~ $750,000 more on building the 4G network and delivering a service the past two years than we have taken in ( books open to inspection if anybody has doubts). Nobody made us do it, but the 4G was a fun project, and something useful to the community and visitors / tourists that NBN does not offer.

The loss of mobile data and low-latency commercial services to the community is unfortunate, if fibre is landed in the next year or two Telstra or somebody else will almost certainly be paid to get a 4G service up and running again ( those 700-900 Sky Muster dishes will likely end up at the tip as well ).

If NBN is interested in making sure the ~600 fixed wireless and ~400 4G users that will go offline March 1st continue to have a service they can acquire our network as-is-where is for $750,000 ( so we can clear our debts ) and contract the same local contractors CiiA uses to run it as an interim service.

They have options. An answer is needed by 5PM Christmas Island time February 28th.


Q1 Will my email continue to work ?
A1 Yes the email servers and local websites will be moved to a data centre off island on the 27th between 2 and 4 AM.
Q2 What about critical services if NBN does not take up the offer to acquire and use the CiiA network for an interim service ?
A2 CiiA will provide the Hospital, the Admin offices, Virgin and NWP with a service using our emergency / backup C-band link for up to 60 days or until they move to another service.
Q3 What about the equipment bond I paid a few years go ?
Q3 If you paid a bond ( some people did, some people did not ) it will be refunded to your nominated account.

CiiA has not crashed and burned, we are just exiting the Christmas Island market before we do.

February 23rd, 2017

Internet Update
CiiA received a query from the Department of Infrastructure & Regional Development regarding my post on the CI Blackboard yesterday. In the interest of transparency, an excerpt of my email response follows below.

".... CiiA shares the Departments concerns regarding internet services in the territory, our concerns however extend not only to the loss of internet services in general. but also to the loss of mobile broadband, commercial grade low-latency back haul ( which is essential to the proper functioning of many internet applications), increases in the fees paid by many consumers, and the low quotas on the Sky Muster platform - that will result in many households having to ration their internet use. A simple switch in the choice of technology by NBN ( to fixed wireless with low latency back haul ) would address most of our concerns.

CiiA is interested in ensuring that NBN's predatory pricing and subsidies to our competitors do not deprive the community of access to services that they currently enjoy and are not offered by NBN. CiiA is not interested in simply keeping people online until NBN has finished installing 700-900 of their Sky Muster dishes ( hundreds of them on the roofs of apt blocks less than 1km from a 45m tower and an 18 month old, Commonwealth - owned, low latency commercial satellite terminal. Perhaps somebody should have their keys taken away... ).

While the Commonwealth's offer to "insert an IV drip to keep CiiA alive until NBN has enough morphine on Island to deliver a fatal dose" is noted, we prefer not to prolong the process. CiiA is interested in ensuring services that are not available from NBN remain available. If the ACCC does not intervene or no other road map can be found to keep those services available, CiiA will withdraw from the market March 1st.

Will CiiA adopt a scorched earth policy ? of course not, we will simply seek to transfer 100% of the costs and risks of operating in a commercial environment severely distorted by politics and government intervention to NBN. If necessary, NBN can take over our satellite contracts and acquire our network March 1st and use it to provide the interim service - or not, as they wish.

Asking a small regional ISP ( with its reliance on volunteers and "mates rates" ) to provide an interim service while NBN rolls their network obviously represents exceptional value for NBN. However this has ceased to be an attractive proposition for CiiA if it means the end of 4G and low latency services.

The NBN decision to use Sky Muster as opposed to fixed wireless with low latency back haul clearly indicates they are not short of funds, just a little common sense. If our ACCC complaint is dismissed NBN can find somebody else to provide an interim service."

February 8th, 2017

CiiA files Australian Competition and Consumer Commission ( ACCC ) complaint alleging misuse of market power and predatory pricing by NBN. If you have any questions you may email garth.miller@ciia.cx

Download a copy of the complaint >> accc-ciia-feb-8.pdf

Technology used by CiiA

Low latency O3b MEO satellite terminal (~150ms). >> view <<
Airspan 4G LTE Small Cell (700Mhz) >> view <<
Zetel EPC, IMS and VoLTE solution.
Ubiquiti Networks wireless products. >> view <<

Residential Plans and Prices

Peak Quota 60GB 160GB
Monthly Fee $109 $218
Free data Midnight - 10AM Midnight - 10AM
If you exceed your peak hour quota you will be charged $6/GB

Pay As You Go 4G Service Details

- $80 activation fee - includes 3GB of data
- FREE Alcatel or Bandrich 4G mobile router
- Month-to-month, $18 (3GB) minimum monthy
- Unused data does not carry over, must be used in a calendar month
- Overage fees are $6 per GB
- Upgrade to 60GB / month for $91
- Available ONLY through local CiiA agents, not available from CiiA

Request Internet Service

CiiA is not accepting applications for new fixed wireless internet services at this time.

A 4G LTE Pay-As-You-Go mobile broadband service is still available, devices and activation available from the post office.

NOTE: All CiiA plans are month-to-month. Because of the commercial uncertainty introduced by subsidised NBN resellers offering a competing service, CiiA cannot guarantee a service for more than a few weeks once we start to see a churn of CiiA subscribers to NBN resellers.

CiiA, the only provider of low latency internet and mobile broadband on Christmas Island may cease to provide internet services as soon as March 1st, 2017. Plan accordingly.

By "plan accordingly" we mean order a month-to-month NBN service now ( if you have not already done so ), if CiiA finds a way to keep our network viable and you are happy with CiiA, you can cancel the NBN order.

Contact CiiA

Christmas Island Internet Administration Limited | NZBN: 9429041399538
Registered Office
11a Wynyard Street, Devonport
Auckland, NZ, 0624

Christmas Island
6RCI Nursery Road, Drumsite
Christmas Island, Indian Ocean
WA 6798

The best way to contact CiiA is via the customer portal

email | support@ciia.cx
Mobile + 61(0)439.215.808

Critical Information Summary

Minimum Term - The minimum term is 30 days.
Data Use - Data Usage is counted in both directions, so if you download 5 GB and upload 5 GB, that’s counted as 10 GB.
Peak and Off-Peak - Unlimited, free off-peak Midnight to 10am.
Shaping - If you exceed your peak hour quota, speeds are not slowed, you are billed for use over your quota.
Changing Plans - You may upgrade your plan at any time durring the billing cycle, you can downgrade durring the first 7 days of the month.