The interjection by Singapore’s MyRepublic into Australia’s broadband debate this morning may have been inflammatory and used mildly offensive adult language. But there are some fundamentally good points being made by the upstart telco. The next step should be for the Senate’s NBN Committee to interview its chief executive in person.
Listening to the shrieks and squeals of tech sector commentators over the past few weeks, you’d be forgiven for thinking Joe Hockey’s first budget contained nothing for the industry. A more measured inspection of the budget entrails and you will find the Coalition has delivered a lot. A lot of pain, and a lot of lessons.
Over the past month, the evidence has become overwhelming that the ABC is actively censoring coverage of the National Broadband Network issue in a way that runs counter to the public interest. The broadcaster must now face the issue squarely and deal with it head-on, or run the risk of losing credibility with its highly informed and vocal audience.
Those opposed to the Coalition's rival broadband policy must not step over the line into offensiveness in their pursuit of NBN Co chief executive Bill Morrow over past failures at US utility Pacific Gas & Electric. The better path of valor would be to treat Morrow with the same level of respect and dignity that his predecessor Mike Quigley deserved, but never got.
The remarkable wave of technological innovation emanating from the Commonwealth Bank of Australia is forcing Australians to redefine their fundamental concept of what a bank is, and reimagine what their basic relationship to such an institution should be.
Most Australians understand that the only solution to the nation's record Internet piracy rates is for the film and TV industry to follow the music, book and gaming sectors and make their content available online in a timely, affordable and convenient manner. But that's a truth rights holders and their lobbyists seem unwilling to accept.
The argument made by respected competition expert, academic and executive Fred Hilmer several weeks ago that the National Broadband Network is not a "natural monopoly" is somewhat convincing, but ultimately falls short by failing to acknowledge specific factors relevant to competition in the telecommunications sector.
The argument by pay television giant Foxtel that the launch of its new Play IPTV streaming video service will cause Australians' objections about the lack of legitimate access to popular shows such as Game of Thrones to "vanish" is nothing short of ridiculous and strongly indicates that the company still has no idea why the nation is so frustrated with it.
Australia's National Broadband Network project is now in uncharted territory. Beyond a joke, beyond a politicised mess, and even beyond farce, the incredibly inconsistent handling of the project by Liberal Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull has led it far outside the bounds of rational discourse or intelligent consideration.
The demand this week by academic Michael de Percy for Australia's politicians to cease their chaotic struggle over the nation's telecommunications sector and let it get on with its own business shouldn't be seen as controversial. The best regulation in any sector takes a 'light touch' approach and this troubled industry is no exception to that rule.
The exit of Michael Malone from the company he founded 20 years ago has re-opened long-running speculation that top-tier broadband player iiNet could be acquired, and it's a valid idea. But the telco most suited to buying the powerhouse from Perth is not hostile rival TPG; it's ailing mobile telco Vodafone, which still has plenty of cash up its sleeves.
What have we learnt from the past decade of "government online"? And what could we learn from the giants of the web? This is an examination of how an understanding of complex systems, risk and common patterns can be applied in an economy-wide effort of breakthrough innovation to drive the digital transformation of government service delivery over the next decade.
The new Coalition Government appears dead set on drastically winding back, modifying, selling off or otherwise destroying Labor's comprehensive National Broadband Network vision. But the party which started the project in the first place appears to have already given up fighting this demolition job, with the exception of dogmatic former Communications Minister Stephen Conroy.
NBN Co, we hardly knew ye. Make no mistake: Tony Abbott's new Coalition Government does not want to own a national broadband monopoly. The process of selling NBN Co to the private sector has already begun, and will be accelerated over the next several years.
In Australia, poking fun at our New Zealand cousins has become more than just a hobby over the years; these days it enjoys the status of a national sport. However, when it becomes to broadband, the situation has been turned on its head: New Zealand is doing everything right that we are doing wrong. Here's five ways the Kiwis are smarter than us in this critical area.
Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull's new Ministerial Advisory Council last week features representatives from virtually every major Australian telecommunications company of any note. But the group most important to the future of the Australian telco sector -- consumers -- appear not to have been invited.
The only way for Labor's all-fibre National Broadband Network to sensibly function was for it to be a legislated infrastructure monopoly. But the Coalition's watered-down, multi-technology alternative is a very different kettle of fish, and consumers will clearly benefit if rival telcos such as Telstra, Optus and TPG are allowed to overbuild portions of the network.
Senior Victorian IT professional George Fong encourages fellow technologists to get involved in commenting on the National Broadband Network, after the success of a segment he was involved with on 3AW last week.
The week-long outage of Myer's website starkly displays the fact that the company and its outsourcing partner IBM had failed to properly develop and test their infrastructure or put in place the most basic disaster recovery and business continuity plan, as well as highlighting the incredible immaturity of online retailing in Australia.
It is no longer appropriate in 2014 for Australians to refer to the Coalition's radically watered down version of Labor's pet telecommunications initiative as the "National" Broadband Network project, given the fact that it will leave the long-term future of up to a third of Australians' broadband services in doubt.
I am here today to formally apologise. I was wrong to have faith in Malcolm Turnbull and the Coalition on this issue. You were all right. Turnbull does indeed appear to be attempting to "demolish" the NBN.
The call for a technology policy think tank is opportune and probably long overdue. The Australian IT industry is a massive industry, a huge success story for Australia, and well deserving of its own voice.
The Senate's move to force senior executives from the National Broadband Network Company to appear before its new NBN committee starkly demonstrates the extreme degree of politicisation which the NBN project as a whole is subject to.
The past decade or so of failed technology policy in Australia sharply demonstrates the need for an independent think tank that would focus on developing viable, sustainable and popular technology policy and feeding it into the political process.
Malcolm Turnbull's site visit to a National Broadband Network location in Blacktown was primarily notable for the Communications Minister's silly tweets, his "ridiculous" video and technical inaccuracies in his comments, according to Shadow Assisting Communications Minister Michelle Rowland, who is also an MP for the area.
I've had an interesting and robust conversation online in the last day regarding how Australian councils and governments are using overseas services like SurveyMonkey to collect information from citizens and residents.
Only in Australia could the phrase “public briefing” mean that the meeting will be held behind closed doors, where journalists are not welcome.
If the Coalition orders NBN Co to pursue a heterogenuous National Broadband Network rollout which features different rollout styles from Fibre to the Premises, to the Node and to the Basement, the company will face a fundamentally new challenge: How to fairly set wholesale prices on technologies which are fundamentally different?
Amidst the ramping up of the new Australian government, and with reviews of just about everything under the sun underway, we see yet more incorrect statements from incoming federal Communications Minister, Malcolm Turnbull in regards to the rollout of the National Broadband Network (NBN).
The level of hysteria over the past 24 hours over Malcolm Turnbull's entirely predictable decision to refresh NBN Co's board has been laughably absurd, and starkly demonstrates the lack of understanding the media has about the National Broadband Network in general. Take a chill pill, people: The Coalition is not "trashing" the NBN or "setting it up to fail". The sky is not falling.
Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull needs to stop engaging in attacks on those who support a Fibre to the Premises model for the NBN and commit to an open and transparent review process for the network, according to telecommunications blogger and IT technician James Archer.
The botched resurrection of Labor's mandatory Internet filtering policy late yesterday afternoon would appear to be more the work of one continually inept Liberal MP than a grand conspiracy by the Coalition to hoodwink the Australian public into generating a false mandate for Internet censorship.
Earlier this month the Rudd Labor Government issued a discussion paper on the taxation of employee share schemes. This is the best opportunity for as long as Senator Kate Lundy can remember to contribute to a formal process about how we provide the right practical and effective incentives for start-ups in Australia.
It's time to get away from the Fibre to the Premises/Fibre to the Node debate, writes Progressive Democratic Party director and IT consultant Michael Berry, and acknowledge that Australia's National Broadband Network should include elements of both.
If NBN Co's board has indeed hired political lobbying firm Bespoke to represent itself to the Coalition ahead of the Federal Election ... then that represents an extraordinary move, and one which I, for one, and no doubt countless others, simply cannot approve of.
For all his flaws and missteps, Stephen Conroy has been an incredible reformer and revolutionary force for change in Australia's technology sector over most of the past decade. He will ultimately be remembered as Australia's greatest ever Communications Minister; a visionary who almost single-handedly drove the creation of the National Broadband Network.
Despite its bluff and bluster about the dangers of asbestos, the Coalition is proposing to just leave it in the ground – for someone else to fix another day. Their plans to kill the current NBN look more irresponsible as time goes by, and we deserve so much better than that. This is a chance to fix it, and to fix it now.
There’s been a bit of hoohah about the use of the hashtag #fraudband recently by [Shadow Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull[ & his cronies, decrying every use as ‘poor form’ & the like. Yet when you look deeper into the use of the term ‘fraudband’, the reality is that the Liberal & National Party were using it LONG before anyone supporting the NBN was.
Like mindless junkies scrabbling for their latest fix, the virulent community of pro-NBN extremists in Australia's technology sector will do or say almost anything to prove the Coalition's NBN policy to be completely worthless, despite the fact that it shares most of its fundamental principles with Labor's own superior broadband vision.
Over the past several years I've had the somewhat unique experience of reviewing almost exactly the same laptop three times. What the process has taught me is that the new wave of touchscreens making their way into laptops aren't just a fad; they're part of a subtle revolution in the way we interact with out portable devices.
The Coalition's rival policy is a sensible alternative to Labor's National Broadband Network project, based soundly on its traditional principles of liberalism and support for the free market, but also pragmatically taking into account the situation which the the current Federal Government will leave the Coalition with if it takes power in September.
Malcolm Turnbull has moved the Coalition light years – or at least several million fibre optic kilometres – from the Luddite criticisms thrown up by the Opposition during the 2010 federal election campaign. That said, it was sad to see the number of debating tricks employed in launching his national broadband policy.
With its rollout schedule significantly delayed yet again, its contractual and political relationships on the rocks and its transparency thrown out the window, it's apparent that NBN Co is not delivering the National Broadband Network the nation was promised. So what's the future of this great Australian dream?
ABC Technology & Games editor Nick Ross is the only journalist in Australia so far to have gone into the appropriate level of detail in analysing the Coalition's rival NBN policy. And the Coalition should be very afraid of this fact indeed: Because his most recent NBN opus reflects a knockout blow for its disastrously flawed fibre to the node plans.
Up until now, I've been willing to give the Coalition the benefit of the doubt when it comes to national broadband policy, due primarily to the intelligence and experience of its Shadow Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull. But events last week starkly demonstrated the Coalition is currently a complete mess when it comes to this critical portfolio.
Those panic merchants jumping up and down screaming blue murder over Telstra's P2P shaping trial need to take a chill pill and go sit in the naughty corner until their blood pressure sinks a few points. The reality is that the trial isn't a big deal and it's certainly nothing out of the ordinary in the context of the Australian and international telecommunications sector.
Not only should NBN Co ignore Malcolm Turnbull's spurious claim that it's in some form of 'virtual caretaker mode' ahead of the upcoming Federal Election, it should intentionally sign as many long-term construction and equipment contracts as possible before September, in case the Coalition wins government and tries to shut it down.
By continually declining to release hard statistics about how the rollout and uptake of its network are proceeding, the National Broadband Network Company risks portraying itself as exactly the kind of negligent and overly bureaucratic monopoly which the Federal Opposition has long accused it of being.
If you have even the slightest interest in government IT or technology project management, we recommend you sit down with a cup of tea and your tablet and read this epic rant by Australia's new chief technology officer John Sheridan. It's worth it.
The flagrantly worded argument by Liberal MP Paul Fletcher and others that the Federal Government has badly mismanaged the process of auctioning off 4G wireless spectrum is overly simplistic and does not well-represent the complex dynamic involved in this commercial bidding process.
The reality is, a huge proportion of Australians do not know they are using the cloud when they use services such as social networking, and do not know that much of their personal data is being stored overseas as a result. When they find out, they are not happy about it.
Reality check: The National Broadband Network is a project which will continue to serve Australia's telecommunications needs for at least the next fifty years. Debating take-up rates in the first year of its existence is nothing short of incredibly short-sighted and trivial.
Last week Malcolm Turnbull delivered a series of very strong, evidence-based answers to key questions about his rival NBN policy, demonstrating that he would be a safe pair of hands to steward the nation’s broadband future. But, despite his eloquence and depth of knowledge, the Liberal MP has still failed to convince Australia’s technical community that his policy is better than Labor’s.
Malcolm Turnbull is absolutely correct in his claim that NBN Co’s focus on nebulous statistics regarding the number of premises where it has commenced or completed construction are “complete nonsense”. The company should stop using this figure as a measure of its progress, and focus only on areas where it has actually finished building the NBN.
Imagine a world where you can only consume culture from government-approved sources, months after its widely publicised release overseas, in low definition, with long term lease agreements where you can never purchase a copy to own, only to borrow and use within a specific set of technologically locked parameters. Where the freedom to share or own copies of cultural works has finally been stamped out and middlemen are free to charge what they like for mediocre services and innovation is locked in a box then dropped into an ocean abyss.
It doesn’t matter at all whether Shadow Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull was or was not briefed about the Federal Government’s security concerns about Huawei. What matters is whether those concerns are actually objectively grounded in hard evidence. Because all indications so far support the argument that they are not.
Malcolm Turnbull’s dogged attacks on the highly capable and transparent chief executive of the National Broadband Company are without basis and run contrary to the Shadow Communications Minister’s public call recently for truth, leadership and responsibility to re-enter Australia’s political sphere.
The $69.99 unlimited plan revealed by cut-rate ISP TPG yesterday shows what the future of broadband plans on the National Broadband Network will look like, and it's not good news for premium ISPs such as Telstra, Optus and iiNet.
Last week Malcolm Turnbull gave what is generally acknowledged to be a landmark and admirable speech calling for truth, leadership and responsibility to boost the quality of debate in Australia's rapidly deteriorating political sphere. Now if only the Liberal MP would practice a little of the same when it comes to the National Broadband Network.
Yesterday's Daily Telegraph features a call to action – an Internet petition to stop trolling (the media definition of any offensive or deliberately hurtful behaviour online, not the traditional definition). This is both terrible journalism and falling for a trap.
Following the ABC’s announcement that they will be streaming timely content from the new series of Dr Who, I applaud the broadcaster for moving with public demand and technological advancements.
The Federal Government should follow Queensland and enact a law which makes it illegal for politicians to knowingly mislead Parliament with false information. This would immediately have a dramatic and positive impact on the quality of the debate around the National Broadband Network.
Regulatory assessments have not acknowledged that Telstra’s dominance in fixed telephony has significant impacts on the mobile industry, according to Vodafone chief executive Bill Morrow, who argues in this opinionated article that in a converging world, this siloed approach is no longer tenable.
This week Google finally launched its Google Fiber service in the US. But don't be lured by the company's sweet, sweet promises of cheap, unlimited fibre broadband to your home. Australia's National Broadband Network will be five times as good as Google Fiber. And here's why.
Any proposal by the government to increase its own power should be treated with scepticism. Double that scepticism when the government is vague about why it needs that extra power. Double again when those powers are in the area of law and order. And double again every time the words "national security" are used.
Pirate Party Australia failed a recent attempt to register their Australian Capital Territory branch. But media reports about the issue don't tell the whole story.
The Government and the NBN Co have decided to use our taxes to buy out Optus' competition just as they have done with Telstra’s HFC. A black day indeed for the ACCC and competition in Australia.
In an ideal world, the perfect National Broadband Network policy would be a mix of the policies espoused by both Labor and the Coalition, taking the best ideas from both sides and ditching the bad ones. It would address Australia's short-term needs while still investing in the future. Here's how it would work.
The NBN is all about people; not about technology. It is about being able to train, inspire and educate students of whatever age to work together as never before. And it is about devising solutions to real challenges in an interdisciplinary way.
Retail competition on the National Broadband Network will rest almost solely on price, in my opinion, as the importance of other differentiating factors between telcos like Telstra, Optus, TPG and iiNet will diminish almost to zero. And here's why.
This afternoon I will march down to Telstra's store in Sydney's central business district and replace my much-loved Apple iPhone 4 with a HTC One XL. I'm leaving the cosy embrace of the Apple mobile empire and entering into a new relationship with Android. And here's why.
As it continues its mega-push into what it has described as "social enterprise" technologies, Salesforce.com risks losing its focus on its core CRM products, particularly as its software as a service model has failed to prove itself in several key markets in Australia.
Shadow Treasurer Joe Hockey has described as "inaccurate and misleading" an article published by Delimiter which highlighted claims Hockey had made that 4G mobile broadband had the potential to be "far superior" than the NBN, claiming his comments were taken out of context.
In five years' time, just how much market share will Telstra have in Australia's mobile phone industry? If it keeps on adding 900,000 new mobile connections every six months while its rivals do diddly squat, I would have to say the answer will be: Most of it.
In rubber-stamping the uncompetitive $800 million deal which Optus has signed with NBN Co, the national competition regulator has signalled a disturbing loss of independence and an obsequious willingness to make the Federal Government's National Broadband Network project succeed at all costs.
Australian ISPs, regulators and the Government need to take a step back and stop fooling themselves that future telecommunications competition will rest on ISPs' ability to provide bundled video content services to users. The reality is that ISPs aren't good at this task and customers don't want them to do it.
The Federal Government should hold a non-constitutional referendum during the next Federal Election on whether Labor's National Broadband Network should go ahead, in order to settle the long-term fate of this important decade-long infrastructure project once and for all and end the incessant political bickering around it.
It's hard to imagine AGIMO getting to the point where it has the direct support and interest of Australia's Prime Minister of the day in its efforts. But, if we've learnt anything from Vivek Kundra in the US, it's that this kind of executive-level buy-in is possible.
The Federal Government should ignore the pathetic demands of the film and TV industry for new legislation to "exterminate" Internet piracy and fix the blatantly obvious problems with its commercial model, following its latest loss in Australia's High Court. Australia's copyright law works well as it stands, and does not need changing.
In mid-2008, a government staffer at an employee town hall meeting being held by the US State Department got up to ask Secretary of State Hilary Clinton what appeared to be a rather unusual question for the venue. "Can you please let the staff use an alternative web browser called Firefox?" asked public affairs officer Jim Finkle.
Cloud computing: Surely it is time for some fresh thinking in NSW government procurement – as taxpayers, don’t we deserve it?
If we are to fully capitalise on the benefits of the Asian Century, we need to fully embrace Chinese innovation and R&D in exactly the same way we would with any other country. To do anything else would risk Australia not being ‘on the right side of history’.
In its criticism of the media coverage of the launch of Apple's new iPad in Australia this week, the ABC's normally stellar Media Watch program went too far, alleging journalistic impropriety where there was none, and unfairly targeting media outlets for legitimately covering an important news story which the public was interested in.
By participating in a series of highly secret, closed door negotiations with the Government and the content industry over the future of Internet piracy in Australia, national broadband provider iiNet risks losing its integrity and the trust of its customers that it will represent their best interests on the issue.
The expression ‘copyright theft’ is a paradox: it is impossible to take away a person’s right to copy information or ideas. ‘Theft’ is used to misinform the public, media and, most importantly, lawmakers, in order to outlaw what many see as perfectly normal behaviour.
Telstra's National Broadband Network plans released today are the broadband equivalent of Kryptonite. With less choice, less download quotas and less value than any other provider on the market, but for a higher price, Telstra's NBN options do more than stink -- they glow with a sickly radioactive foulness and should be avoided at all costs.
The fate of the National Broadband Network now rests squarely in the hands of Kevin Rudd. If the former Prime Minister wins power back from Julia Gillard, Labor has a chance of retaining power at the next election and continuing the NBN rollout. If he fails to do so, most commentators agree, Gillard will be annihilated and Abbott will scrap the project wholesale.
More eyeballs in front of live sport broadcasts are what matter. The AFL should be encouraging people to watch their product. Trying to stop them is just completely counter-productive.
In Australian society, so much of the ongoing narrative about the current generation of students in our schools is focused around the different way that they understand and use technology; and so much of that narrative is focused around fear. But it doesn't need to be, and there's more than one side to the story.
Over the past week a rather pathetic little game of bluster, bluff and ultimately blackmail has played itself out in Australia's telco sector as a handful of Australia's major ISPs have done everything in their power to demonstrate just how self-interested they can be when it comes to exploiting the National Broadband Network.
Dick Smith and Harvey Norman are fabulous examples of retail marketplaces where you can buy anything. But increasingly, people don't want to buy anything. More often than not, they only want to buy the best thing. And that's the one thing which mass market retailers never quite seem to want to sell you.
Reality check: Simon Hackett didn't sell Internode because of the National Broadband Network. He didn't sell it to cash out. And he certainly didn't sell it to take Internode to the next stage of its development. He sold it because one man -- no matter how strong -- can only hold up a visionary ideal for so long, and twenty years of doing so is more than enough.
Prediction: When Amazon's Kindle Fire launches in Australia next year, it will very quickly become the second most popular tablet locally behind Apple's dominant iPad, easily eclipsing rival offerings from the likes of Samsung, Motorola, Research in Motion and more.
In September 2010, Tony Abbott set one of the Coalition's most senior politicians loose on Labor's flagship National Broadband Network project, with instructions to wreck and "demolish" it. Fifteen months later, with Malcolm Turnbull's credibility in the portfolio in tatters and his arguments falling on deaf ears, it is clear that mission has failed, with his criticism having only clarified and strengthened the NBN policy.
The experiencein Hong Kong and Singapore suggests that NBN Co. in Australia will ultimately be able to gain access to most – but maybe not all – multi-dwelling units with recalcitrant owners to complete its network rollout, but doing so will require the patience of Job and might take a lot longer than anyone thought.
Australian judges have responded quickly and intelligently. The courts have explicitly based their decisions on perceptions of community benefit and on a coherent interpretation of what the national Parliament, through the Patents Act 1990, wants the law to do. The latest decision shows that patent law is working, and working well.
Over the past few months, I have alternately been appalled, disgusted, saddened and ultimately bored at the degree to which naked self-interest is ruling the ongoing debate about how Australia will deal with the issue of online copyright infringement (Internet piracy).
The anti-piracy scheme proposed by the ISP industry this afternoon as a response to online copyright infringement through platforms like BitTorrent opens the door for content owners to start taking hundreds of thousands of Australians to court for minor offences such as downloading a handful of films or TV episodes.
You can easily imagine what coffee meetings with Michael Malone must be like these days. "Resistance is futile," the leader of the growing iiBorg empire would sternly tell anyone brave enough to enter his company's headquarters. "You will be assimilated. We will add your biological and technological distinctiveness to our own."
In one of the greatest disappointments of Australia's telecommunications debate this year, Malcolm Turnbull has done virtually nothing to flesh out the details or address criticisms of his rival draft National Broadband Network policy since it was unveiled in August.
At a certain point, corporate-speak becomes more than an abstraction. It becomes more than a useful metaphor. It becomes something which is simply undesirable in the honest relationship between an employer and and an employee. It becomes something which is all-too pervasive in our media-saturated society. It becomes ... spin.
The release of Optus' National Broadband Network plans yesterday represents the final nail in the coffin for the Coalition's patently untrue claim that the rollout of the NBN will cause broadband prices around Australia to rise above current ADSL levels.
Well, colour me extremely surprised. Optus' National Broadband Network plans released today are among the best so far, and represent a level of innovative thinking about the next-generation infrastructure that has so far been missing from all previous NBN commercial pricing options.
There are very good reasons to suspect that Stephen Conroy's reign of fire and blood as Australia's Communications Minister is rapidly coming to an end; with the nation to receive new talent in this crucial portfolio at the next Federal Election -- or even substantially before it.
Telstra's response so far to concerns about its Structural Separation Undertaking has been conciliatory by its own standards; but has not yet come anywhere near to substantially addressing issues with the document expressed by its rivals and the competition regulator over the past several months.
It’s only a matter of time before the internet is fully regulated in Australia. The English High Court decision brings this reality one step closer.
Reading through some of the news reports about Apple’s court case today blocking the Australian launch of Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1, I couldn’t escape the feeling that the iPad maker’s lawyers had been spending too much time immersed in the company’s famous reality distortion field.
Those claiming that Telstra's 4G mobile broadband rollout is a shot across the bow of the fibre National Broadband Network need to take a chill pill and look a bit harder at what the company is really aiming to achieve with the project: Freed up capacity on its existing mobile infrastructure to deal with existing demand.
Right, you're thinking. Telstra has just launched its 4G/LTE network around Australia and Apple is planning to unveil the iPhone 5 next month. There's every reason to believe these two beautiful facts could come together in one glorious orgy of speed-filled smartphone goodness, right? Wrong.
From the quota included to shaping speeds, from what is considered 'on-net' traffic and even the inclusion of dial-up backups, the release of NBN pricing plans by iiNet, Internode and Exetel betrays nothing so much as that thinking on NBN pricing is still trapped in a paradigm where ADSL broadband is the norm.
If there is one thing which has always surprised me about the National Broadband Network project, it is the dogged insistence of the network's designers on building a legacy voice telephony port into what is supposed to be next-generation infrastructure.
The release of iiNet's highly affordable National Broadband Network pricing this morning makes it as crystal clear as the view from Simon Hackett's glider that fellow ISP Internode must drastically slash its own prices or be left out of the NBN race altogether.
The uncertain future development roadmap for wireless technologies and their potential to plug the broadband gap between copper and fibre means wireless will continue to be at the centre of the National Broadband Network debate for the foreseeable future.
The long-term nature of infrastructure investment and the squabbling of the past half-decade has made it increasingly clear that a bi-partisan approach to telecommunications policy is needed in Australia. The only difficulty may be convincing our arrogant, indecisive, stubborn and incredibly own-party blinkered political leaders that they should sit across the table from each other and discuss the issue like adults.
Those currently running around like Chicken Little with their heads cut off and proclaiming that the sky is going to fall on national broadband provider Internode need to take a swift injection of reality juice directly to the frontal lobe. The loss of four of Internode's most senior technical staff and a few other "difficulties" at the company are not evidence of a pending wider collapse.
Until we start to have more complex debates about cloud computing, Australian CIOs will face great challenges in explaining the right path forward for their organisation to senior executives such as CEOs and CFOs. Because right now, 'cloud' covers so much under one umbrella that many CIOs are switching off when they hear the term used ... while most CEOs and CFOs no doubt think, when they think about the cloud, that it's a catch-all solution to every problem.
The mobile device market in Australia – even more so than in many other markets – has become, if I may quote Ruslan Kogan, Apple’s bitch. Hoping to tap into an as-yet-untapped vein of anti-Apple sentiment, retailers are dutifully stocking alternatives as one contender after another launches heavily-marketed iPad alternatives – but I don’t get the impression many people are buying them.
The furious debate which took place over the weekend over National Broadband Network applications highlights the fact that the project raises fundamental questions about what the role of Government should be in our complex and multi-layered society ... and just what needs it should attempt to address.
In this article, CSC Australia and Asia chief technology & innovation officer Bob Hayward responds to our critical comments about the company’s recently launched BizCloud offering. Hayward is also a former director of IT advisory at KPMG and a former senior vice president and Gartner Fellow.
Those blinded by Labor’s glitzy NBN vision need to rub their eyes for a second and realise that Malcolm Turnbull knows what he is talking about when he says there are few consumer applications which require the kinds of 100Mbps speeds which the fibre network will provide.
Like a cluster of ancient elves residing deep within the sheltered enclaves of evergreen forest glades, the worthy folk of SingTel subsidiary Optus have long focused their gaze to the far north, where the dark lords of mighty Telstra have ruled Australia's telecommunications sector from their fiery thrones.
Let's not kid ourselves that this was the right choice. Had the politicians waited several years and spent its money on tablets instead, Australia's education system would have been the envy of the entire world.
Malcolm Turnbull's knee-jerk rejection last week of proposed changes to local telco infrastructure planning laws starkly demonstrates how far the Coalition is right now from understanding the fundamental and underlying changes required to implement its own new telecommunications policy.
If there is one thing we can absolutely rely on with respect to the debate about the National Broadband Network, it is that every week, some minor interest group, technically illiterate Coalition politician or blow-in journalist will find some new and completely spurious reason why the project shouldn't go ahead.
Last week Malcolm Turnbull outlined a telecommunications policy which could become a credible alternative to Labor's NBN juggernaut. But for all its surface-level attractiveness, the Liberal MP's vision is far from complete -- and unless the holes are plugged quickly, it will die a quick and painful death.
Last month’s data breach at Medvet – the South Australian state government enterprise that dominates the workplace drug and alcohol testing industry – suggests your expectations of information privacy are misplaced.
Yesterday Malcolm Turnbull did exactly what a Liberal shadow minister should do: Present a credible, fiscally responsible and less disruptive alternative to a big-spending and over the top Labor project which since it was unveiled in 2009 has been the policy equivalent of using an elephant gun to kill a house fly.
The mobile patent wars, it seems, have reached Australian shores.
3D smartphones won't succeed as gaming or content consumption devices, but that doesn't mean they won't find their niche.
The more you control the way the information is presented and, more importantly, the links between that information (i.e. people’s identifiers), the easier that information is to collect. The last thing Google wants is the messy, anarchic environment of the Bazaar, where people can be anonymous, have multiple identities, interact with anyone they please, and remain unobserved.
Another day, another hacking exploit makes headlines.
opinion This week, Exetel chief executive John Linton made the audacious claim that all ISPs reselling National Broadband Network services would deliver the exact same performance to customers. However, I believe the claim to be broadly wrong – and in this article I’ll attempt to demonstrate why.
This week, I have become increasingly embarassed at the incredible callousness with which our society has seized upon an unproven crime to further its own diverse naked self-interest, with scant regard for apparent defunct concepts such as 'truth', 'justice' and that archaic concept which was once labelled 'the presumption of innocence'.
Everyone feverishly slamming early National Broadband Network pricing plans needs to sit the hell down, take a chill pill and stop engaging in an orgy of self-congratulatory rage over pricing which is actually very reasonable and wholly expected when you remove your head from the media hype machine and examine it in detail.
The National Broadband Network (NBN) is the subject of promises from the government that consumers will pay comparable prices to current day ADSL2+ and phone service bundles in order to access entry level NBN based services, and that NBN based retail pricing will be nationally uniform. Unfortunately, a number of pressure points in the wholesale pricing model exist which will make these promises (from the government) untenable in practice, unless serious issues with the underlying pricing model are addressed by NBN Co and the ACCC.
Yesterday Shadow Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull had a big splash in the media, announcing what many described as a new Coalition National Broadband Network policy. But while it has its merits, we’re not so sure the policy has been fleshed out very far; So here’s five questions for the member for Wentworth to answer at his leisure.
Chrome OS may be all shiny and new now, but Google is taking a lot for granted in hoping that it can turn Australia Chrome overnight. Without some killer apps that you can't get by loading the Chrome browser on the computer you already have, I suspect the world will quickly realise that a kilogram of Chrome OS carries exactly the same weight as a kilogram of penguin feathers -- which is to say, not very much at all.
There's simply no way that Australia will see an Amazon datacentre presence consisting of anything like the same scale that the company has deployed in the US, Europe, or even Japan. What we will see is likely something like Amazon Edge, plus a little bit on the side. Datacentre rollouts are more complex than headlines would make them out to be -- and so are commercial decisions for a company as big as Amazon Web Services.
The purely tactical IT approach which ANZ is following may seem like the right one at the moment. But down the path, the bank may find its ability to shift gears technologically has been shredded to pieces through a process involving a thousand cuts.
Those who are currently having a big fat whinge about Internode's new broadband plans need to harden up and realise that the ISP isn't trying to gouge users for profits; in fact, it's one of the only truly honest and transparent companies in Australia's telecommunications sector.
If Malcolm Turnbull or anyone else in the Coalition wants to be effective in setting telecommunications policy in future, they had better start to demonstrate a little more respect for those who will be implementing it.
Forget 'three strikes and you're out'; Internet users in the US are about to have a total of six warnings about downloading pirated content before their ISPs get fed up with them and disconnect their broadband connection for good. But could such a scheme ever be implemented in Australia?
This month, Australia gets its first mandatory Internet filtering scheme, courtesy of a project which is seeing the nation’s largest ISPs Telstra and Optus block their users from visiting a ‘worst of the worst’ list of child pornography sites defined by international agency Interpol. But the project hasn’t exactly come up smelling like roses. Here’s five things we find disturbing about the whole thing.
It’s possible to view the Optus penalty this week as nothing more than a cost of doing business, a slap on the wrist, a quick 10min in the corner of the room with its face to the wall. This isn’t a substantial fine — and it shouldn’t be treated as such.
The decision by the West Australian (WA) government to abandon its shared corporate services is a salutary reminder of the governance realities of the Westminster system of government. Portfolio and agency autonomy is the dominant force whatever the desires of central agencies and the grand plans cooked up for them by consultants. Just because benefits appear compelling in a spreadsheet does not mean that they can be realised in practice.
Right now chief information officers and IT managers right around Australia are facing a difficult decision regarding one of the most critical but also trouble-plagued segments of their IT infrastructure -- their desktop fleets.
Optus' $800 million National Broadband Network deal is an unnecessary and unsavoury sweetheart arrangement which smacks of favouritism and will deliver Optus a war chest with which to attack smaller rivals like iiNet, TPG and Internode; rivals which will not be paid to migrate their customers onto the NBN.
No matter how hard the Australian Labor Party tries, when it comes to the telecommunications sector it just keeps on shooting itself in the foot -- a fact demonstrated starkly by Prime Minister Julia Gillard's appalling comments on the NBN over the past week.
I cannot and will not be a party to online censorship, and that is why I left Telstra.
Could Internode buy iiNet, now that Amcom is divesting its 23 percent stake in the Perth-based Internet service provider? On Monday I said no, but some readers questioned that view. So let's take a closer look at the possibility. Hell, it's likely still a pipe dream, but it's fun to speculate!
This week we're running a series of articles looking at why it's unlikely that iiNet will be acquired anytime soon, despite Amcom's decision to divest its 23 percent stake in the ISP. Yesterday we looked at potential buyers; today we're looking at iiNet's executive team.
Speculation that iiNet will be acquired following a decision last week by Amcom to divest its 23 percent stake in the ISP is simply ill-informed. Our favourite Perth-based broadband provider isn’t going anywhere — and over the next week, every day we’ll publish one major reason why.
If you're considering buying any form of tablet device in the next month or so Australia, stop right where you are, put your wallet and your hard-earned cash back in your pocket and go and take a cold shower for ten minutes until you calm down and your lust for loot has vanished from your feverish brain.
One cannot help but feel that there was a certain irony to David Thodey's life yesterday which must have been impossible for the Telstra CEO to ignore.
Sometimes it’s time to let things go and stop treating them as unusual just because they involve a certain type of technology.
For the past several years, many Australian chief information officers and IT managers have been hard-locked into choosing between just two options when it comes to evaluating the future of their email systems.
Most of Australia's major fixed-line telcos have standardised their pricing on mid-range bundled broadband, telephone and IPTV plans around the $109 mark.
Australia's second technology boom is upon us, and things will never be the same again.
Many organisations upgrading to Windows 7 probably clandestinely expect their new desktop operating system to last as long as the last one -- a decade or so.
It is completely legitimate to debate the merits of the NBN; like many others, I myself have been a long-term critic of the project, particularly its economic model. But it is not legitimate to link an innocent man with bribery and corruption simply to serve those ends.
Over the past week, I’ve been conducting a little experiment with respect to my household broadband situation.
Criticising Firemint for simply doing the necessary in order to release the best work they possibly can is unfair and ultimately gets in the way of what should be the number one aim of anybody in the game development industry, regardless of their business circumstances: creating the most awesome games possible.
The past week has seen the debate over the National Broadband Network take a disappointing turn. It has moved away from arguments over the pros and cons of building a ubiquitous network available to every premise in Australia to an unfounded attack on the integrity of myself as the chief executive of NBN Co and on my chief financial officer, Jean-Pascal Beaufret.
But I can’t help feel the way I have always felt when seeing something amazing that Australians have built with their own blood, sweat and tears being snatched up by a massive, impersonal, multinational. Like so many Australian companies before it, Firemint has now missed its chance to become something truly great – it has cashed in its chips and joined the mothership.
There is a deep sense in which the statements made about VoIP by Telstra today are simply trying to deflect its own status as the last adopter of this technology by claiming that it is somehow not going to be good enough until Telstra 'invents' it via some mysterious magical property imbued upon it by calling it 'digital voice' instead of VoIP.
Turnbull has already been forced to make too many political compromises to prevail against a man who has never given in ... nor faced the voters on election day. Quigley is the real deal. And the sooner the Earl of Wentworth realises that, the better.
This week I called iiNet and cancelled our VoIP service. We’re returning to the Public Switched Telephony Network. All of my calls from now on will be placed over the ageing copper infrastructure which the National Broadband Network will eventually replace. The switch will take down our broadband connection for several days, but at the end of the process it’ll be worth it.
Telcos cannot have their cake and eat it too. The commercial model guiding how customers will pay for any femtocell service must be fair. And right now, it’s clear that it simply is not.
It appears that neither of Australia’s two major sides of politics – Labor and the Coaltiion -- has so far developed an iPhone app to help keep their supporters up to date on their activities. Even the Greens – known as a progressive party in touch with the younger generation – don’t have an iPhone app that we could find.
On Thursday this week, Delimiter will publish its first eBook. Entitled The best Australian iPhone apps (under $5), this 40 page effort will list and review over 30 of the best iPhone apps focused on Australia, as well as featuring a introduction by well-known Australian iPhone developer Graham Dawson – creator of the popular Oz Weather app, among others.
For some people, mathematics and a crowbar are more than enough.
Embedded in much of the coverage of Australian queues for the iPad 2 several weeks ago was a not-so-subtle implication that those who lined up for hours and sometimes days to buy the hyped Apple tablet must be somewhat crazy.
This article is by Darryl Adams, a government worker and internet tragic. A former IT worker, he still pines for the days of IBM...
The problem with iiNet's scheme is that its 'traffic police' analogy is far from apt for the situation which Australians find themselves in with respect to watching TV and movie content.
If there is one thing I am absolutely sick to death of, it is the pathetic rantings of die-hard Lotus Notes fanboys about how technically superior their product is, and how everyone else who isn't drinking the IBM kool-aid are somehow "biased" and don't understand Notes' obvious superiority.
As we said before, Ruslan Kogan is a talented, visionary and successful entrepreneur who deserves our attention. But the events of the past few weeks have demonstrated we simply cannot take the maverick businessman at his word -- because he has done little over the past week to back up some very large and very public claims with hard evidence.
After seven years of leading Optus and many more in senior leadership positions at the telco before his ascension, O'Sullivan obviously still relishes his role and has a passion for the telecommunications industry. But he no longer has the energy to stay on the bleeding edge which the sector habitually operates on.
Here's five reasons why Australians, specifically, shouldn't buy the iPad 2. Treat it as an antidote to the mega-hype that will be circulating today in Australia's media-sphere about Steve Jobs' latest masterpiece. We're calling it anti-marketing.
Whether or not any of us is a supporter of the NBN, I think we as the Australian people would be much better served by some fair and reasonable debate based on facts, rather than the spewing out of inaccurate, and misinformed spin! Where do they get such dumb ideas?
What our media companies should take from the popularity of piracy, even in Australia, is how this new medium (the big, bad Internet) can be used as a distribution channel for the new generation of media consumer.
In scale and tone, Paul O'Sullivan's reluctance to enter the limelight of the Australian telecommunications industry is currently only matched by one man: VHA chief executive Nigel Dews.
While testing iiNet's new Bob Lite integrated ADSL router yesterday, I became aware that it ships with an extremely insecure default Wi-Fi setup.
When the reality of a working LTE deployment hits Australia through late 2011, with all mobile phone owners increasingly being smartphone owners ... Telstra's Next G network will become nothing short of irresistable.
Some ideas are so bad that they deserve to be ignored and cast back into the wilderness from whence they came. The ideas that the National Broadband Network will somehow destroy someone's way of life is one of them.
Like the junkie who can't quite quit their harmful habit, the haters of the NBN project just refuse to give up the object of their fervent hatred, fumbling around in the dark continuously for their next fix; the next flawed argument that might just prove once and for all that the project is a dud.
Today, Senator Conroy has was asked about the crisis in Egypt, where a desperate government cut internet access in order to hinder protestors. The minister in response declared his undying love for an Internet free of government control and assured us that such a thing could never happen in Australia.
As a complete waste of time, as Sir Humphrey would no doubt say, Conroy's Online Retail Forum will be a stunning success. I'm fairly sure that everyone's answer to whether or not it should be held will arrive shortly: "Yes, Minister".
Open source does not fit the framework which proprietary vendors have painstakingly installed in the minds of organisations like AGIMO over the decades. It's taken time, but Microsoft already won that war.
It should be obvious at this point that it is not the Government's ability to follow its own tendering processes which is broken, but rather the tendering processes itself.
Now that Labor's ambitious National Broadband Network project has finally cleared all of the regulatory, commercial and political hurdles that have stood in the way of its path to universal bandwidth nirvana, it's time to ask the most important question of all about the project. Who will be connected last?
Apple only has a brief interval of time in which to attract our middle class attention with shiny new toys before we start to feel guilty for not joining the faster, broader and increasingly more innovative and open Android upgrade cycle.
This intelligent, responsive, charismatic, technologically savvy and ambitious politician is currently barking up the wrong tree with respect to the NBN and feeding the public a lot of crap about speeds -- even if his financial arguments are sound. But the last thing I want to say about Turnbull, is, let's give the poor man a break.
Don’t whinge about the company which is providing you with poor service, then sue them, and finally, demand the Government do something about their security problems. It’s an open, competitive market, people. DUMP THEIR ASS AND PICK ANOTHER PROVIDER. How hard can it be? Really, Vodafone customers, how long will it take you to realise you can go elsewhere?
But in the meantime, let’s not simply tell Gerry Harvey to STFU because he has a dud website and is a rich old fatcat billionaire having a whinge in public. He didn’t get to where he is by being ignorant — unlike most of the people buying his products.
In Australia, as the Reinecke Report is digested, it’s time for us to get serious and undertake the significant cultural and behavioural change that Gershon specified, and the first step in any change is education, for all players.
There is one factor which IBM's cloud computing strategy appears to be lacking at the moment.
Many have speculated that the internet, fully realised, would bring forward an era of global citizenship and the permanent fracturing of the nation-state. Whether this is folly or fact will only be understood in hindsight, but for now, we'll have to be content with watching the world's governments grappling with more immediate questions of what they have tried to hide, and what they now have to fear.
The Westpac experience has delivered Australia's banking sector a stern lesson when it comes to reducing Severity 1 incidents in banks. You can cut down the problems; but it will take time, serious investment, strong leadership and a commitment to change. I'm not sure that the NAB has all the elements it needs right now; it may take a change of CEO for the bank to understand that, as it did at CommBank and Westpac before.
In short, if Google Australia wants to take the high road, it has to earn it and show Australia that its local presence is not just a sales and marketing office.
I just wasted twenty minutes of my life poring through one of the most boring and vacuous documents which I have had the privilege to read in my career as a journalist. And I want that time back.
Australian workers are starting to demand that their data and applications can be delivered to any device, anywhere, at any time, and they want all this now. Cloud computing + iPad = a level of flexibility and productivity that has heretofore been impossible in the enterprise.
The scene: Deep in the dungeon of a Federal Government agency. Our protagonist, a mild mannered government worker by day, intrepid reporter at night, sees the Delimiter article on Vodafone releasing the Samsung Galaxy Tab on this date! Hallelujah!
It is time that the Australian ICT Industry created an appropriate regulatory model for cloud computing and once again showed the world its ability to create resilient and innovative environments for effective business -- just as was done when the G8 turned to the APRA model as the basis for global financial regulation.
The bottom line is that Australia lacks call centres, cloud computing hubs, ICT hardware and software manufacturing capability not because we don't have high-speed broadband. Rather it is the lack of a definable understanding of how ICT services and their supporting labour force will take its place in the roll-out, development and economic benefit of the NBN that represents the real issue needing to be addressed.
Yesterday I dipped my proverbial toe in the water of public opinion about the respective merits of different email platforms, and boy -- did I get burnt. That calm-looking summer pool was actually boiling hot with conviction.
This week I had a conversation with an Australian chief information officer which I considered both profoundly interesting -- but also extremely disturbing.
The departure of high-profile and long-serving senior managers Kate Vale and Lars Rasmussen from Google Australia this month represents more than just the typical losses of a couple of mid-level employees to greener pastures.
Why the hell should Turnbull let Conroy have his way now? He's got the Senator on the run. All he needs to achieve is some modest concessions from the Government on the NBN -- which he appears close to -- and six weeks after the Coalition lost the election (in a manner of speaking), he's got a claim to being the most successful member of the Shadow Cabinet, on a national issue which Tony Abbott clearly knows nothing about.
Conroy’s arrogant attitude towards criticism of his prize project will need to change drastically — and soon — if he truly wants to drive the project forward and to success. Otherwise, he may find it’s not just The Australian on his back about the issue — but much of the rest of the media as well.
What exactly is a moral question?
Shareholders are important in the thinking of companies, because without them there would be no company. But they are not the only ones who should be important. Other parties exist and their stake in a company's future plans should also be considered.
This morning IBM achieved what can only be described as a sensational marketing coup: It convinced Australia's Prime Minister to get up on a stage and enthusiastically sing the praises of its corporate brand in front of a national audience.
This article is by Darryl Adams, a government worker and internet tragic. A former IT worker, he still pines for the days of IBM...
The Gillard Government must urgently undertake a thorough cost-benefit analysis of the network. Its stubborn failure to do so can only lead us to conclude that it does not want to know what that analysis will reveal.
When a Government entity blacks out a portion of a public document, it always sparks intense speculation as to what has been censored and why. Is the hidden information dangerous for Australia's enemies to know? Commercial in confidence? Or simply slightly embarassing?
This is the reality that Blackberry maker is currently facing in the Australian marketplace. Its products are no longer considered hot in the minds of executives in either the business or government sectors.
The internet is a global marketplace. If you want to truly take advantage of it you need to treat it as such. Attempting to shoe-horn old ways of doing business into it isn’t going to work. It needs to be approached from outside the traditional ways of selling to consumers. The first person to start doing that right is going to win. Big.
The truth is -- as Malcolm Turnbull has been at pains to point out, to his peril -- that the private sector has stood willing and able to replace and upgrade vast chunks of Australia's ageing yet still very functional telecommunications infrastructure for some time– as long as that ever tricky requirement falls into place – regulatory certainty.
Put simply, committing to public ownership for the sake of public ownership is a backward step that nobody should be seriously considering at this stage of the NBN's deployment. It is just crazy talk.
Harte is paid millions of dollars each year not because they run IT infrastructure and make technology strategy decisions. The truth is the modern CIO role is evolving to become more akin to the head of operations in many organisations -- with broad responsibility for ensuring that all aspects of a company's systems meet operational outcomes.
Dealing as they are with other people’s money, trustees as they are for the financial security of generations to come, Governments must be rigorously transparent and accountable in their investment decisions.
All of this adds up to a clear picture: If Groupon is planning to expand into Australia, acquiring Jump On It would give it an instant presence, staff on the ground and established contacts with business -- not to mention the company's not-inconsiderable revenue.
This article is by Darryl Adams, a government worker and internet tragic. A former IT worker, he still pines for the days of IBM...
Decentralisation is the key to unlocking the potential of our regions while making life in both "Sydney and the Bush" just that little more bearable.
Sony’s legal case to stop a handful of tiny Australian retailers distributing a device – known as a ‘mod chip’ – which would allow consumers a much higher level of control of the PlayStation 3 hardware is only one example of the dominance which this approach is gaining.
It was clear from the result that the people where not buying the messages either major party was selling. Social media as a network is the cheapest network to utilise, and by failing to tap into the social media users’ goodwill, both parties made themselves look inept and outsiders.
If your company or organisation is not currently considering migrating its email systems onto a cloud computing platform, then you're in danger of being left behind.
This election, online issues finally got the attention they deserve. And the situation is here to stay.
There is huge potential for governments to reduce costs and increase community value by embracing the collaborative technologies of Open Source and Open Standards. But in order to achieve this, governments need to make fundamental changes to funding practices in order to recognise the cross-agency value of collaborative technologies.
The National Broadband initiative is an opportunity to see if we can manage a more evolved form of government where people can elect the representatives that represent their ideological views, but with the knowledge that the country will be governed in a non-dogmatic way and with greater participation.
Labor’s broadband policy is better than the Coalition’s. But Australia may not choose what is best for it. Australia may choose the leaders it feels more comfortable with instead.
In the end game, politically and economically, the NBN is a nice thing to have. But it's not an essential thing. And that's the other thing about the problem of the grass always being greener on the other side of the fence.
The Coalition got a lot of things wrong with its election broadband policy, wireless being the chief one. But Finance Spokesperson Andrew Robb got one thing dead right: Australia's telecommunications market has not failed.
The Coalition might not have an entirely workable broadband policy of its own. But Tony Abbott's camp is right to state that Labor's NBN is a "dog's breakfast" and that the Government's performance in this area is not to be trusted.
What the supporters of the NBN should be doing is heavily promoting the reasons that an average, wage-earning family would have for the NBN. And that argument, simply, is entertainment.
Many telcos and industry pundits don't like to admit it, but if you examine the past 15 years of history in Australia's telecommunciations sector, you will find a stark picture: Faster speeds, billions of dollars spent on successful infrastructure, strong degrees of competition and better consumer outcomes.
During an election, public servants had better keep their head down -- unless they want it to be chopped off.
As many pigs have discovered over time – heading straight for the feeding trough without keeping a watchful eye out for the farmer's axe can lead one to feeling that they're high on the hog when they're actually a pig in a poke.
As someone who is very pro-technology and likes to be on the cutting edge, I find myself staring at many of my colleagues and acquaintances in the industry with disbelief when the topic of the National Broadband Network comes up. People I know (and some who just email or tweet me) ask if I've bumped my head and forgotten what I do for a living. It even has had me re-thinking my views, but ultimately I keep coming to the same place.
The Australian ICT Policy Reform online petition is seeking support from the Australian ICT industry to call on both the Gillard Government and the Opposition to maintain quarantining of the agreed savings identified as a result of the Gershon review. These funds should remain available for re-investment by the Australian Public Service to enhance existing service delivery for all Australians and provide an opportunity for ICT driven innovation within the public sector.
Are eBooks and cheap online imports killing small Australian bookshops?
For all the sweet love of Jesus that everyone knows you hold in your godfearing soul, Mr Abbott, forgive Malcolm Turnbull just enough to make him Communications Minister.
The winners online will not be those with the best technology, but with the best technological imagination. Very little that has happened online in the last ten years would have been predicted ten years before, so be bold and dream big dreams. They are more likely to be realised than you think.
Two completely separate policies, both designed to protect children from "bad stuff", but with completely different implications.
Take some responsibility, people. It's only common sense to know what you're buying and what you're signing. It's not Telstra's fault that you're an idiot. So shut the frack up. OK?
I was disappointed yesterday morning to read yet another scaremongering plea for business dressed up as an informed commentary piece by a high-profile member of Australia's IT security community.
When the NBN rollout comes past your premise, you will have a choice of which retail service provider you sign up with. But that choice may be limited -- and the plans not as broad as you would like.
There is only one question that wannabe iPhone 4 owners need to ask themselves when gearing up to buy Apple's hyped handset when it launches in Australia at midnight Thursday night. Can you afford to pay Telstra's exorbitant prices for access to its superior network?
I stumbled upon a shocking and unbelievable truth when casually browsing around the websites of several of Australia's top internet service providers this afternoon.
Now that the phoney war has ended and the real Federal Election is in full swing, mainstream media and blogs are debating if this will be the 'Twitter election' or some other flavour of social media revolution. I argue that it will be, but not the way the pundits are postulating.
What I would like to see is the public service standing up for itself and taking accountability for Open Government itself.
If we can get a consensus about a solution as strong as the one that existed yesterday in reaction to my initial piece on Atlassian's situation, that might be a starting point to take Australia forward and help it to become a real technology powerhouse.
We're not going to build a great Australian technology sector if we constantly have our eyes tuned towards the Silicon Valley stars and our hearts tuned towards the pages of the Wall St Journal and TechCrunch. That can only be done if we reinvest constantly in the Australian market, base our companies here, refuse to be acquired by US multinationals and maintain the Australian rage.
Australia's technology press is banding together on a common survey question regarding the Federal Government's mandatory internet filtering policy. We're asking just one simple question: Would you vote for a political party which supports the internet filter?
My recommendation, if you don’t care about buying books through Australian eBook stores is that the Pico and Stash are very good value. If you do want to purchase commercial books in Australia, this is not the device to use with our DCMA-inspired Free Trade Agreement legislation.
Research has consistently demonstrated that Australians don't want their internet to be censored. But if the Government feels it must, let it learn a lesson from last week's experience and change its policy towards one that is voluntary and only tackles a very limited field of content. That's something we can all agree on.
Last week one senator from Canberra made the astounding accusation that another senator for Canberra wanted to “opt into child porn.” The antagonistic parties are former Daramalarn student and current Minister for Communications, Senator Stephen Conroy and current ACT Senator, Kate Lundy, both members of the Australian Labor Party.
If B&T and Blio can work out a format and DRM regime that won’t annoy the long-suffering consumers already overburdened with DRM, incompatible devices and numerous apps required to read a book, having friendly local sellers onside may be the secret ingredient in winning the format wars!
There are already plenty of good reasons why all Australians should have to actively opt-out from having their houses connected to the NBN, rather than having to opt-in.
Piracy of eBooks is real. It is also an element of the marketplace and is market forces at work.
I couldn’t help but laugh when I read Stilgherrian’s rant on ABC Unleashed yesterday about how Australia’s “digital elites” may understand technology but somehow don’t get how the apparently unbelievably complicated world of Federal politics works.
Just for right now, I would like to entreat IBM to stop and think about several things. Is it treating its staff the right way? Are its processes for evaluating new work – such as Queensland Health's payroll system – adequate? And most of all … will it learn from its mistakes?
Senator Stephen Conroy has done such a good job as Communications Minister that he should be promoted to take over the Finance Ministry even before incumbent Lindsay Tanner retires at the next election.
I can't help but imagine that NBN Co chief executive Mike Quigley (pictured) must have taken some time out last week to reflect on the strange symmetry of his life over the past few years.
A month before Windows 7 is released, the Federal Department of Finance and Deregulation upgrades to Vista. Fail.
News that there is a price drop for the Amazon Kindle and Barnes & Noble Nook has done the rounds with the tech pundits and Twitterverse. But we Aussies need to ask, is the price war good for us?
Telstra's management will come to regret its $11 billion deal with NBN Co signed this afternoon as the most disastrous decision it has ever made in the telco's long and tortured history in Australia's telecommunications sector.
When you hold unimaginable personal details about much of the civilised world, you need to be transparent about how you use that information. Any other approach will eventually see you relegated to the dustbin of corporate history.
Why the NBN is for porn and Megan Fox should star in the NBN commercials.
opinion Like any competitive industry, Australia’s broadband market has been characterised by a certain predictable dynamic for some time now. First, customers become frustrated by...
It's important to look back at the history since Conroy and Lundy both joined the Senate in 1996 to learn why one has maintained a strong reputation in Australia's technology sector while the other is having theirs torn further into shreds every day.
The recent adult rating for computer games debate has raised a concept that I’ve alluded to a few times in the media recently (and if you’re unlucky enough to be someone who knows me in a private sense, you’ll have had it there too), namely the dichotomy of what democracy means – how politicians view it and how everyone else does.
There was one thing that stood out from the iPhone 4 launch like a rotten blood orange smouldering at the bottom of the fruit bin full of of shiny golden delicious chunks of goodness.
I couldn’t help but feel amused by the irony on Friday when the news broke that Virgin Blue had sacked 20 staff for what the Sydney Morning Herald reported was the dastardly offence of swapping porn on the airline’s computers.
The CSIRO should give up its pointless chase of global technology giants and telcos, and let sleeping laptops lie.
In only a couple of years, millions of Australians will directly be using the open source Linux operating system in their everyday personal and professional lives.
Is this a company that Australia should be supporting? Not in my book.
Stephen Conroy must immediately stop his vicious public attacks on Google and apologise for his clear lack of understanding of the technical details of the recent potential privacy breach in the collection of Wi-Fi data by the search giant’s Street View cars.
If there is one thing I am sick of, it is receiving proud press releases from TV stations and manufacturers about how they have created some tiny piece of obscure content in three dimensions.
I feel obliged to point out that when it comes to having policies about technology, the Australian Labor Party -- the party which is currently governing Australia -- is little better than the Coalition.
I went to Borders' launch of its new eBook reader on Wednesday expecting to be disappointed by yet another half-assed effort by Australia's publishing industry to convince readers it is serious about eBooks. I came away inspired and hopeful for the future, believing that the industry had turned a page in its eBook dialogue and was now on the right track.
If you watched closely, you could see a thousand naked power plays being performed yesterday during Telstra chief executive David Thodey's speech to the Trans-Tasman Business Circle.
Everything about Thodey's approach screams that he is enjoying his position in life to the absolute maximum. That he loves running Australia's great warhorse of a telco and wouldn't give it up for anything. That he really believes in his mission to take back the hearts and minds of Australians and stop them using the word "Telstra" as a swearword.
Google's decision to stop its Street View cars collecting harmless data on the location of Wi-Fi hotspots (including in Australia) is an over-reaction to the baseless concerns of a few privacy experts and should be reversed.
Nintendo's Wii is dead. OK, hyperbole check. It's still kicking mass-market butt, actually. But that's not going to last much longer. So allow me to rephrase: Nintendo's Wii will be dead by the end of this year.
I don’t want to be a pessimist, but it's becoming increasingly clear that the rollout of the National Broadband Network is never going to be completed. That grand vision of a fibre-to-the-home network providing high-bandwidth, cheap, accessible internet access is never going to reach the 90% of households the government said it would.
My personal opinion is this is the best project we can expect to see in the market in the short to medium term, and should be successful for Borders Australia.
Hannah has been using the Internet since she was four ... When Hannah uses the Internet, she uses a connection at home that is completely unfiltered, neither by the router we use nor by activating the fairly comprehensive parental controls that come as a standard part of modern operating systems. She has administrator access to the machine she uses and she also knows and understands how to access and manage the home network.
More than anything else, Australians get frustrated when – due to our geographical isolation compared to major population centres in the US and Europe – we get something late, or not at all, or it is overpriced.
The McKinsey-KPMG national broadband network implementation study released last week by Stephen Conroy is deeply flawed. Even if we overlook very optimistic assumptions and logical inconsistencies, its fatal flaw is that it fails Finance 101.
While Google views comparisons of Australia’s filtering proposal to China's censorship regime as unhelpful and inappropriate, we also worry that the Government’s plans to enforce mandatory filtering could legitimise government censorship elsewhere, and is a first step away from free expression and a free and open Internet.
As with all such announcements the only thing that is missing is any detail. Until that becomes clear this is so much hot air. Worryingly, the lack of information on the following issues leave one wondering just how seriously all this has been planned and developed.
I believe that the future of the large ICT analyst houses is inextricably tied to the innumerable boutiques that exist in every market that is geographically and economically relevant to the ICT industry.
What is a bit unbelievable there is that we're getting remarkably close pricing to the US, at least on this spin of Apple's magical wheel of price fixing. But getting the local Telcos — and especially Telstra — to deliver some surprisingly good and genuinely competitive 3G data pricing? Now that is unbelievable.
It reminds me of Franz Kafka's classic satire The Trial. Reading KPMG's report released today is more or less an exercise of letting your mind run around and around in circles and reading out words that have no context and no meaning.
We have decided to keep the Delimiter forum and attempt to post content in it to attract users so that many more topics and many more Australian voices are heard. As always, it'll be a work in progress -- let us know what you think and what you want from it!
I was shocked by the revelation yesterday that neither Telstra or Optus would be directly selling the iPad from their retail stores (we don’t know about VHA yet). As I wrote the news stories about the telcos, just one thought was crossing my mind: Are they completely insane? Don’t they want to make money? What the hell is going on here?
We may be at the end of a major IT project era until the Government’s confidence in its ability to successfully deliver large IT-enabled transformation projects is restored.
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