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Blog, Telecommunications - Written by Renai LeMay on Friday, January 11, 2013 11:46 - 66 Comments
Turnbull continues to attract IT industry bile
blog Regular readers will know that I believe Labor’s National Broadband Network policy to currently be the best telecommunications policy on offer in Australia, although I have also publicly stated that the Coalition’s rival policy is a workable policy that has the potential to achieve some of the same aims. However, I am conscious that this is a minority view and that the overwhelming majority of Australia’s technology community is starkly on the side of the NBN in this long-running and vitriolic debate. The NBN has stood the test of time and Coalition criticism.
That’s why it’s not hard to understand the sheer frustration and disappointment in this public letter to Shadow Communications by local IT pro Kieran Cummings, who, you will recall, was behind the attempt to clear up Tony Abbott’s little server timestamp issue. On his blog, Cummings writes (we recommend you click here for the full post):
“I write this letter out of frustration & disappointment in your current discourse regarding the state & future of Australian telecommunications. I have been working in IT for almost 20 years & have been supportive of any positive change to Australia’s ailing copper network. Over the past few years you have done nothing but attempt to sabotage the largest infrastructure project Australia (maybe even the world) has ever seen, all for political gain while not considering the consequences of your actions.
After watching the speech you gave at Woodford Folk Festival I feel that your hypocrisy has gone too far.
You speak of truth in politics, of ’one-line sound bites’, of the need for fact checking, yet you have spent the last year lying, using one-line sound bites, & denouncing those fact checkers you demand. When presented with evidence you are dismissive at best, downright ignorant at worst. When asked for your broadband policy documents, you refuse to hand them over to anyone. When asked for evidence to back up your claims, you attack the National Broadband Network.”
There’s a lot more in this vein, and I have to say, while I don’t agree with everything written here, I do feel as though Cummings has accurately summed up the views of most of those who work in Australia’s technology industry towards the Coalition’s approach to technology and telecommunications policy at this point. Not since Communications Minister Stephen Conroy was strongly pushing the Internet filter project several years ago have I seen this level of frustration with a politician regarding a technology policy.
I’ve expressed the sentiment before in several articles that I don’t believe Turnbull is currently measuring up to the ideals which he publicly espouses. I have particularly been unimpressed with the way Turnbull has publicly slandered the well-regarded chief executive of NBN Co, Mike Quigley, and there’s a range of other areas in which Turnbull could have pulled his head in by now. I am especially tired of Turnbull railing against the media for what he claims is its pro-NBN bias.
Do I still have faith in Malcolm Turnbull? Yes. He’s still my preferred leader of the Liberal Party and I feel he would make an excellent Prime Minister or Communications Minister, although he will have to try hard to better the accomplishments of Stephen Conroy in the portfolio. I feel many of Turnbull’s best years are ahead of him.
However, like Cummings, as a new year dawns, I also feel it a good time to remind Turnbull and the Coalition in general that with the overwhelming majority of Australia in favour of the NBN and it being a factor in the Coalition not winning the 2010 Federal Election, it may be a good time to re-evaluate Coalition policy in this area.
It’s usually not a fantastic idea to take policies to elections which are unpopular, and it’s usually not a good idea to sledge the media for pointing out that fact and the holes in your rival policy. The Coalition’s rival NBN policy still needs a great deal of work, and I’d prefer that a more comprehensive version was released sometime soon to give us enough time to analyse it — not days before the election like last time. And if Turnbull could tone down some of the vitriol along the way and bring rogue NBN commentators like Christopher Pyne and Joe Hockey into line as well, that would a very good thing. At that stage, a lot of this industry bile towards Turnbull and his colleagues would start to disappear.
Image credit: Office of Malcolm Turnbull
Latest Delimiter 2.0 articles (subscriber content)
|Politicians from Australia’s major parties need to stop issuing ludicrous blanket pardons for the intelligence community’s ongoing misdemeanours and start applying a basic modicum of transparency and accountability to this important national security function.|
|The independent pro-fibre National Broadband Network movement is doing a far better job of promoting Labor’s Fibre to the Premises-based NBN policy than Labor itself. When is Labor going to wake from its slumber and start supporting this scrappy but energetic grassroots network of activists?|
|Ziggy Switkowski's first substantial public appearance since being appointed NBN Co chief executive has starkly demonstrated just how different he is from his predecessor, Mike Quigley, and just how strictly he will adhere to the guidelines which his patron, Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull, has set for him.|
|Australian technology companies have been virtually absent from the the nation’s public stockmarket over the past decade as the stigma of the dot com bust took its toll on investor confidence. But a clutch of new listings planned for the closing months of 2013 shows renewed interest in the sector and that local entrepreneurs are smelling money in the air once again.|
|NBN Co’s Strategic Review process gives the company an unmissable opportunity to re-evaluate the early decision to deploy its FTTP network primarily through Telstra’s underground ducts. The company and its new Coalition masters must now seriously consider deploying more fibre aerially on power poles in an effort to speed up its rollout substantially.|
|That moment which many Australian technologists fervently hoped for but never expected to see has come to pass: Simon Hackett has been appointed to the board of the National Broadband Network Company. But what questions should the Internode founder be asking NBN Co’s executive management team? Here’s five ideas to start with.|
|The rapid replacement of respected NBN Co chief operating officer Ralph Steffens with a Telstra executive who appears less experienced with fibre rollouts but better politically connected represents a key signal that NBN Co’s senior executive hiring process has now become completely politicised and is no longer independent from the Federal Government.|
Enterprise IT, Featured, News - Dec 11, 2013 13:07 - 2 Comments
“Diabolical mess”, “Scandal of epic proportions”: NT ICT Minister damns Fujitsu to hell in extraordinary rant
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Blog, Featured, Telecommunications - Dec 12, 2013 8:40 - 3 Comments
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Blog, Industry, Startups - Dec 10, 2013 10:19 - 0 Comments
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Digital Rights, News - Dec 10, 2013 18:57 - 0 Comments
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