Now, for a bit of a change - an Australian sim. While exploring far out in the Western Oceans of Second Life, I espied this sim, and grabbed the opportunity for a visit. It is actually one of a pair, the other still being closed to visitors. Although, in my view, this sim is not really ready for visitors either. But more of that anon.
The sim belongs to Telstra, Australia's principal provider of local and long distance telephone services, mobile services, dialup, wireless, DSL and cable internet. In fact, they address just about all one's antipodean telephonic needs. The company name seems to be a twiddly contraction of its original name, Telecom Australia. Its ISP, BigPond, has had a popular presence in Second Life for aboutr a year, but it seems the parent telco is now moving in, too.
This island is actually more accurately: Telstra Experience Centre. In November, 2007, Telstra announced that they would be opening such centres in the atomic world. The Centre is a place for people to try out the various products and services offered by the company and its partners, and get a glimpse of the new technologies arriving soon. Incidentally, in researching this post, I found that the Second Life site has been mentioned in the Metaverse Journal, an Australian metaverse website. They seemed okay with it. I think it is open too soon.
The sim consists of 2 large buildings. One is labelled as the Experience Centre, while the other is unnamed, but appears to be an alternative Experience Centre. The main Centre has a number of public spaces, each with its own media stream. Most of the spaces provide notecards, which give more information about the site. For example:
The Telstra Experience Centre (TEC) has been designed to provide business and government customers with hands-on experience with Telstra’s world-class technology, service and media capabilities. Customers will be able to see, touch, feel and use Telstra’s products and services. Most importantly, this centre allows customers to explore solutions using Telstra’s Next IP™ Virtual Private Network and Next G™ high-speed wireless broadband network. This Telstra Experience Centre in Second Life is designed to give visitors a taste of what to expect from the RL centre. It also allows us to experiment with the use of Second Life for RL collaboration and projects across business and government applications.We are also told that the 95-seater auditorium "will provide a world-class briefing and presentation venue for key Telstra and partner events. The presentation experience will have state-of-the-art audio visual technologies, and includes Telstra’s DVN (Digital Video Network) capability allowing Television crews to broadcast directly from the centre to their TV networks."
While a lot of work has been done on the main Centre, it feels far from complete. For reasons I don't follow, there are corridors full of closed, locked doors - which hardly gives an open, friendly impression. The ground floor is inaccessible, and the second floor non-existent. Meanwhile. the other building has no information and seems part-built (nice "shiny" floors though!). Oh... and no freebies as far as I could tell.
In short, it seems like the island is not really ready for use. But as they've chosen to open, I thought I'd have my say. And now for the piccies...
See what I mean about the corridors?