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News, Telecommunications - Written by Renai LeMay on Thursday, October 3, 2013 10:34 - 25 Comments
Petition: Get Simon Hackett onto NBN Co’s board
Want to see Simon Hackett appointed to the board of the National Broadband Network Company? So do we. That’s why we encourage you to sign a new petition set up to encourage Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull to consider the Internode founder and all-round broadband guru as a candidate.
If you examine the list of candidates which have been publicly named as having been approached by Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull to be directors sitting on NBN Co’s new board, you’ll see a certain mediocrity. Some, such as Ziggy Switkowski, have experience leading Australia’s largest telecommunications companies, Telstra and Optus. Others, such as Wal King and Patrick Flannigan, have experience leading Australia’s largest construction companies. And others, such as former Communications Minister Helen Coonan, are members of the Liberal Party.
However, what we haven’t seen yet from any potential candidates for the post of NBN Co board director is any variety. We haven’t seen any industry candidates from outside the major telcos. We haven’t seen any candidates who are outside the box thinkers. We haven’t seen any candidates who have deep technical knowledge in the ISP and telecommunications fields. And yet, it’s easy to argue that NBN Co’s board should feature this kind of diversity.
As your writer argued in an article published on Delimiter 2.0 last week (subscriber content), Internode founder Simon Hackett would make an ideal board director:
“In many respects, it’s hard to imagine why the Coalition hasn’t already canvassed Hackett to be a NBN Co director. The executive is one of the most respected executives in Australia’s telecommunications industry; a consummate technical and business professional who was instrumental in bringing broadband competition to an industry strangled by Telstra; an executive has a passion for, and interest in, virtually everything that NBN Co does and has been able to predict the outcomes of the company’s moves ahead of time, courageously voicing his opinion despite NBN Co and various politicians trying to shout him down.
As with journalists, the role of board directors is not to say comforting things to people in powerful positions. The role of directors is to bring all their skills to the board table and speak all the truth that they know, no matter how uncomfortable, for the benefit of the organisation they represent and its stakeholders. They are wise, disciplined, outspoken counsellors that aim to stop good organisations going off the rails.
It’d be hard to find a better description than this for Simon Hackett, who’s been a wise counsellor to Australia’s telco industry for several decades. And if the Coalition is going to stack NBN Co’s board with past Telstra executives, it’d be nice to see a little energy and variety added to the mix — for example, someone who has spent the past couple of decades wrestling Telstra to get better broadband outcomes for all Australians.”
Simon Hackett truly would be the thinking man’s board director; a natural fit to bring balance to a NBN Co board likely to be stifled by former Telstra executives, ageing construction chiefs and former Liberal politicians. I’ve been speaking to Simon Hackett for the best part of the past decade in my capacity as a journalist, and I’ve yet to find an executive in the industry with a higher level of integrity, a higher level of passion, or a higher level of expertise and willingness to engage. He’s also available for NBN Co board duties, having recently formally relinquished his executive role at Internode.
More than anyone else in Australia’s telecommunications industry, Simon Hackett groks broadband and the NBN, and should be on NBN Co’s board.
So overnight, we set up a new petition on Change.org. If you agree with us that Hackett would make the perfect candidate to sit on the NBN board, we encourage you to mosey over there append your name to the petition. We’ll forward it to the office of Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull periodically as the level of support reaches certain levels; and you can rest assured that we’ll be reminding Turnbull and his team of the petition’s existence on a regular basis.
Image credit: Office of Simon Hackett
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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.|
Blog, Enterprise IT - Dec 12, 2013 16:56 - 0 Comments
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