Channel.com Briefs: Melbourne IT, Telco, Spectrum auction

Melbourne IT cut it fine

Domain name registrar Melbourne IT has left its annual financial results swinging in the balance, not being able to predict either a profit or a loss for the year.

The company expects a full-year EBIT to fall anywhere between a half million dollar loss and a $1 million profit. In a statement released to the Australian Stock Exchange, the company claimed the results are being underpinned by several non-recurrent items. These include a $600,000 organisational restructure, a $1 million tender for the new top-level domains on offer from ICANN, $1.5 million in research and development costs as well as $550,000 of GST-compliance costs.

"We acknowledge this has been a difficult period, not just for Melbourne IT, but the entire sector," said CEO Adrian Kloeden. "However, we believe the team effort of our staff and the guidance of the Board will lead to improved shareholder value in 2001 and beyond."

Telco licence granted

Modem manufacturer-cum emerging telco Netcomm has been granted a carrier licence courtesy of the Australian Communications Authority, giving the company a seal of approval to roll out DSL services in several Australian CBDs.

Netcomm plans to use the licence to target small-to-medium enterprise (SME) customers in the CBDs and office zones of Sydney and Melbourne early next year.

The announcement comes within days of Gartner research director Geoff Johnson claiming that current Government policy will see Australia fall behind the rest of the world in broadband adoption. Johnson predicts that only 3 per cent of Australian businesses and 2 per cent of consumers will use broadband access by 2003.

Spectrum auction flops

The Federal Government's high hopes for gaining high bids for the 3.4GHz spectrum option have not yielded the dollars it expected.

Bidding closed at the Australian Communications Authority, and with it the Federal Government's hopes for $500 million worth of bids. The Government will receive $112 million, with the bids being won by Austar United and relatively unknowns Walker Wireless and AKAL.

AKAL bid a winning $95 million for its licence, which covers all areas on offer. Austar's $14 million bid gave it access to Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide, while Walker Wireless' $2 million bid will give it access to Adelaide, Albury, Bendigo, Cairns, Canberra, Hobart, Launceston, Perth, Rockhampton, Toowoomba and Townsville.

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