Posts Tagged ‘melbourne’

The Drama of Living in an Australian Fibre ‘Only’ Connected Community.

Melbourne Australia
8 November 2011

by Loren

I recently spent some time helping a friend of mine build a new house in Melbourne. At the end of it all came managing the telecommunications aspect (my specialty). The bottom line of it all was this.

A new community of hundreds of homes, the developer in Point Cook, Melbourne chose Opticom vs. Telstra to provide connectivity for IPTV including Internet.

The hypothetical upside is the whole area has fibre. The downside, the whole area has no copper; the fibre is managed by the developer that has set themselves up as ISP and they are offering a high price for a poor product (they are contending the product so the product is the same as DSL but at 400% of the price).

This means they are offering 12mb for $200 per month with 100GB download. I currently pay $60 for unlimited download via TPG.

Calls to try and get any copper or alternative seem to be fruitless thus far. The next route, includes local MP, and Telstra might be able to offer help via thorough cost analysis, and then it might be down to a class action law suit, not just in Melbourne but nationally, a mess at best.

So will it be any different with the NBN. I spoke to them recently with all of this in mind, they were vague but my understanding (needs to be verified) is it could happen again if another developer was to do what this developer did with Opticom.

The developer said the only role Opticom apparently had here was offering an infrastructure, where Telstra refused.

I suggested to the developer that they are trying to get their money out of their investment (customers) too fast, not the right sort of ROI. This is falling on deaf ears so far.

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Updated Feb 2013

Costco Ringwood, Vic (east Melbourne) on Target for July 2013 Opening



Updated  20 August 2009

Wow! – Hard to believe this one story has been going on longer than many folks have been blogging period (since September 2006). I still get comments from folks thinking I work for Costco.

No this is just a blog, and Costco is just something I had missed from the US and more recently the UK, having been in Australia for 6 years.

Enough of that. Costco opened this week and I was there, as were the rest of Australia. Lines were 200 deep at one point just to get in and peek (no buying or purchasing allowed) . For those of us that had our membership already there was only a 15 minute wait to get in the door. It was packed.

So for the nitty-gritty review. I was pretty impressed overall. The Costco experince for most depends on your expectations. For me being in both the US and UK stores I was expecting either, and really got neither (and both).

Part of the ‘ charm’ of Costco is the revolving stock. You can go in one time and then a month later some items will be gone never to be repeated and new ones take their place, and others are there all the time.

For me I had some expectation on the American food supplies.

Some were there (great seafood from Australia and even Russia, and the most amazing scallops from California).  Others were not there and severely missed (Chicago baby back ribs), any American bar-b-q sauce at all, no American carbonated beverages, eg. Rootbeer, etc.

Some I had forgot about form the UK was there – Campo Viejo – Rioja Spanish Wine, Std and Reserve. and a pretty good selection of other wine and spirits at a pretty good price in some cases. Not a huge drinker I left cases of Campo in the uK when I moved here due to the import tax being higher than the cost per bottle, so that made me happy.

For the uninitiated Costco sells everything from Electronics – (TV’s, iPods, computers, blue ray players, ) Appliances, Clothing, Jewlery, Books, Dvds, luggage, food and alcohol,  and have their own Butchery, and Bakery on site. , selling meat, fish, poultry, dairy and fresh fruit and veg.

It is the bulk purchases and large container sizes of some things that are not that easy to find elsewhere, and Pampers seemed to be flying out the place as well.

Overall giving the US and UK a 10/10 I give Australia an 8 with a hope some more USA type lines are added.
Other lines were a bit thin, but I have seen that at new Costco’s before.

I was told a head of time the seafood selection would be better than the UK and USA and I have to agree it is.

Finally the big one pricing – A mixed bag really, I found nothing expensive but many items are the same price on the high street.  A big deal on the electronics side of things where competition is fiercer in Australia that I would say the USA or the UK.

My favorite with Costco, there are always a few hidden gems in electronics a TV or iPod they have cheaper than anyone, and I did notice a couple of these, like a Samsung 50” HD TV 1080P, for $2200, and its baby sister the 50” 780 for $1600. Both cracking sets (I have the 780), and I was tempted on the 1080P, but I am a big fan of Samsung everything (and I work for a competitor…. Shhh)

So the overall selection makes it a very worth Mecca of shopping and one that competitors will have some sleepless nights over as many were there when I was , comparing their products to Costco’s.

Updated- June 2009

 For Expat Americans and English (or both as I am) that have been blessed before moving to Melbourne Australia to having a Costco on our doorsteps and miss it, the wait is on almost over

 Well met some of the new management team  from Costco, Melbourne food and wine show and they seem lie a nice bunch. THe new merchandising manager is from Canada and gave an inisght to what to expect.

Larger freezer section than you would expect in the North America or UK Stores.
Due to some issues on importation of fruit and veg to Australia there will not be as much US produce as I had hoped. (Ths is making COles VERY nervours.

Kirkland Products a global brand for food stuffs offering everything from cookies to paper towels will be a big brand

They have also launched their website and are taking memberships online. I got mine yesterday.

My favorites the baby back ribs are not likely to make an appearance due t how well they travel unfortunately


Updated – 16 March 2009



Hard to believe I have been tracking this for almost 3 years now !


Now slotted for mid-late 2009 ,
As you folks know (and can tell from the date trail), I have been following this for some time.  If anyone has been past the Docklands area in Melbourne recently (below the expensively broken wheel in the sky). The boards are now up for Costco, and hiring has started. The store is costing $(AUD) 60m and a Sydney store is also in the works. For those have nto drank the Costco Kool-Aid you are in for a shopping treat. Costco charges an annual membership fee of $USD 50 (likely to be $AU60). If you combine the size and sort of selling mentality of a Bunning’s Warehouse (lower profit margin but higher volumes) but selling everything from food and wine, to furniture, to electronics, cameras and computers, then Costco is the place. What I find most interesting is the product mix Costco Australia will have. Will there be more American food selection (let’s hope). In Australia some electronics are very cheap compared to the UK or even the US, will that mean even lower pricing (as well as selection) at Costco ? With inventory valued at around $10m (AUD), this will be no easy task, but I cannot wait to find out.


Updated 21 June 2008

Well with the site in Melbourne Docklands now confirmed in the shadow of the new $40m Southern Star Observation Wheel two words come to mind… Hurry Up… It seems like forever I have been picking up on the story with what were early rumors. For me I miss most was the ‘Chicago’ baby back ribs, that were pretty darn good.

It will be approximately 13,000 square metres with around 553 car spaces and will operate seven days a week. Construction is scheduled to commence in September 2008 and is due for completion at the end of 2009.

What about you?


Updated 27 December 2007
Looks like it is getting closer.
Updated 18 October 2007 – Had some emails burining hot to me today that in the Q4 report, out recently the CIO mentioned that Australia was being seriously considered.

Updated 9 August 2007- I had a word with the CEO of Costco USA (long story how). He was coy about Australia but reading between the lines, suffice to say but there are no immiedate plans for a move here, but they remain interested in the Australian market.

Updated 25 Feb 2007
Well word is spreading, it looks like Docklands near the Melbourne CBD is the 1st Costco in Australia. place but Costco still refuses to confirm, but the opening date is looking like 2009. The latest story has it sharing a site with Ikea that is known to be hunting another Melbourne site as well.

If you love Costco and want them in Australia why not email the chief of online marketing Rob Walters at

More on the Q4 Report