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.
The Federal Government today confirmed plans to upgrade its controversial mandatory Internet filtering scheme with the new Stop Online Piracy Act module released in the United States this week, with Communications Minister Stephen Conroy confirming the new functionality would be ready ahead of the next Federal Election.
This morning the Sydney Morning Herald published a series of articles claiming that Australia's technology startup ecosystem is unable to support local entrepreneurs, causing them to increasingly head to the US in search of the financial backing they are unable to attract in Australia. The only problem is, the evidence doesn't support this assertion.
Online retail promises or threatens to greatly change how Australians buy and sell over the next few years. However it works out, I hope that Gerry Harvey is around a fair bit longer, saying things to provoke and amuse us.
If you believe what you read over the past week, you'd think that construction delays on the part of contractor Syntheo have significantly derailed the progress of the National Broadband Network. However, as is often the case with the NBN, the truth couldn't be more different. The fact is that network remains squarely on track to meet its June 2013 rollouts targets.
With just over two weeks to go in the campaign, Julian Assange’s WikiLeaks Party has experienced some unsettling events that suggest it may be unravelling.
The ongoing stoush over how the Coalition's Broadband Network should be deployed in Tasmania shows Australia's broadband tangle at its worst: Construction contractors who don't deliver, overly optimistic promises and estimates, and politicians playing petty power games with a highly important national infrastructure project. No matter which way you look at it, it's a shocking mess.
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.
For far too long, Australia's political sector has gotten technology policy completely wrong. I'm mad as hell, and I'm not going to take this anymore. Let's take Delimiter into the Canberra Press Gallery and literally write the book on tech policy while we're there.
In an attempt to ride the tsunami of disruption that is reshaping the financial services industry, Commonwealth Bank of Australia has joined forces with eight major banks to develop applications based on blockchain, the technology underpinning Bitcoin and the other cryptocurrencies.
As the Productivity Commission grapples with the question of what the USO should look like in 2016 it will really need to consider what it should look like in a decade or two. This question will challenge the Commission’s rationalist economic predilections.
Those broadband speed freaks holding out hope that the Coalition's pledge to provide 'fibre on demand' services will save them from life in the slow lane in a fibre to the node future need to take a cold shower and wake up to reality. 'Fibre on demand' is nothing but an fluffy ephemeral dream which has no chance of becoming reality in the short- to medium-term under the Coalition's National Broadband Network vision.
"Technology-neutral policy" is a useful but treacherous concept that has led many Australian politicians into making poor decisions about important technology issues over the past decade. It's still a very useful framework, but it's time this theory was re-examined by our policymakers in light of those failures and the importance of learning from the past to better inform the future.
Two completely separate policies, both designed to protect children from "bad stuff", but with completely different implications.
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.
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.
In this post, Shadow Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull responds to the claim that broadband pricing will not increase under Labor's National Broadband Network plan.
Let’s hasten slowly in considering calls to free the state from administrative inconveniences such as warrants and rules of evidence.
Since Federation, Australian consumers have suffered the indignity and the tragedy of price discrimination. From the time of imperial publishing networks, Australia has been suffered from cultural colonialism.
The real winner out of the National Broadband Network process is Telstra, writes Gennadi Kazakevitch, Deputy Head, Department of Economics at Monash University.
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?
"Destructive forces" at work in a "highly polarised political environment" are starting to "unravel" Labor's National Broadband Network project, veteran analyst Paul Budde said yesterday, with the new Coalition Government having boxed itself into a corner on the issue and end users set to suffer from a nightmarish situation akin to a "Pandora's Box" of problems.
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 decline in power of Australia's free to air television networks and the failure of IPTV players to enter or grow substantially in the local market have left pay TV giant Foxtel with an incredibly strong position in the nation's content landscape. As some industry executives have feared for years, the company is now on the verge of becoming a content monopolist.
It is a good sign that Turnbull is upbeat about innovation; but he appears not to understand that innovation is not a matter of pressing the right button and expecting that change will happen.
The Greens generally have their major competitors beat when it comes to technology policy, and their parliamentary experience gives them an edge on minor party rivals.
Delimiter invited Adobe to respond in a letter to the editor on the issue of the disparity in pricing between the US and Australia regarding its new Creative Suite 5.
There's a long history of politicians and governments having problems keeping their web sites up. Conroy himself had a little spot of bother with the National Broadband Network Implementation Study back in May when the lengthy document was finally published online.
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.
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.
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.
Liberal MP and former Optus executive Paul Fletcher's highly critical article about the new corporate plan released last week by the National Broadband Network Company contained a number of generally factually accurate but contextually misleading statements about the project, analysis has shown.
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.
Fibre to the node isn't intrinsically a bad solution for Australia's broadband needs. But when you compare it to Labor's more visionary fibre to the premises plan, the differences between the two start to become starkly apparent. Australia deserves a whole lot better than what an incoming Coalition government will serve up to us.
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.
Last week the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU) ruled that data retention regulations, as they currently stand, are not in accordance with EU law and the European Parliament voted in favour of introducing net neutrality into EU telecoms regulation the week before. As Australia is currently in the midst of a data retention inquiry – the second in three years – what effects will this ruling have on the debate?
The revelations of NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden have altered the way we think about accountability, transparency and the rule of law with regard to both the activities of security agencies and the value of privacy, according to a detailed report released this week. But this change in thinking has not led to practical reform, according to the report.
The ACCC’s move to allow TPG’s buyout of iiNet is an appalling decision which will finally complete the long-running, gradual death of actual competition in Australia’s broadband market. The tragedy of the situation is that the well-meaning regulator has nevertheless contributed to the process at several key points along the way.
The Cyber Security Strategy announced today by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull clearly places a high priority on protecting Australian government systems from foreign powers. But when it comes to protecting citizens' personal information, it appears to be rather a mixed bag.
It's something which nobody wants to talk about, but which everybody knows is going on. A number of very high profile cases have starkly demonstrated over the past several years that dishonest and unethical behaviour in some cases extending as far as corrupt practice is on the rise in Australia’s technology sector.
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.
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.
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.
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 NBN will provide Australians with a raft of exciting new opportunities. For services providers, it will provide a much-needed chance to improve their customer relations and procedures. And who wouldn’t welcome that?
Videogames are already here, are already culturally and politically active, and have been for quite some time. We no longer need to debate if they deserve a spot at the cultural dinner table. We just need to recognise they are already there.
The case of Aaron Swartz highlights the need for a reconsideration of punitive and excessive intellectual property enforcement provisions in trade agreements.
If you can’t get a satisfactory mobile signal in Martin Place or Collins Street during peak hour, perhaps you should lobby the Sydney or Melbourne city councils, as well as your mobile phone provider.
Is the National Broadband Network sustainable? I do not mean this in a technical sense. While I am wary of the government using taxpayers' money to ‘pick winners’ in technology, there are many people better placed than I am to crystal ball gaze into the best technology for the internet. Rather is the NBN economically sustainable?
The recently released Commission of Audit report recommends that the Australian government needs to become “digital by default”. The continued shift to digital service delivery is intended to reduce costs, improve quality of service and provide greater transparency. But it will also open up new vulnerabilities to cyber attacks that could be used to access secure and confidential data, compromise the integrity of trusted authorities and disrupt critical services.
As regular Delimiter readers will know, I have made mistakes in the past. Not all of the articles I have written have been on...
MyGov – or something like it – is part of a 21st century government. It is the way of the future. But it needs careful development, testing, and selling.
The NBN has been a key issue in the past two elections, so will Labor’s new policy be a vote winner? The policy to move back to FTTP provides a clear differentiation from the Coalition’s FTTN-centric strategy.
Many Australians believe the man dubbed the Earl of Wentworth will eventually be back to take the Prime Ministership, after being ousted from the Liberal leadership in December 2009; or possibly to become Australia's first President. But three years of dogged and at times spiteful opposition to one of Australia's most popular policies have taken their toll on Malcolm Turnbull in the view of some segments of the Australian population.
The easiest way to view the departure of Vodafone Australia's turnaround specialist Bill Morrow to take the reins of NBN Co is as the final nail in the extremely troubled mobile telco's fortunes. But the truth is that Morrow is leaving the company just as it's getting to its knees again. Finally, after three years in the wilderness, Vodafone is showing signs that it may be competitive in Australia's mobile landscape again -- and heading towards a sustainable footing.
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.
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.
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.
While there are obviously plenty of opportunities to develop a sustainable video game industry in Australia, the key appears to be an ongoing dialogue between industry and policy advisors at a state level, and an association such as the GDAA.
Does the recent announcement by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) of a new code of practice to prevent bill shock for “long-suffering telco customers”, and improve product marketing practices, bring Australia up to par with its international cousins? In a word: no.
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.
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.
Only in Australia could the phrase “public briefing” mean that the meeting will be held behind closed doors, where journalists are not welcome.
A long-term industry has been shackled to three-year political terms for far too long. The only way to unshackle NBN from politics is to get government out of the marketplace where it exists. Of course, the legacy of sunk costs will make this difficult. But by the time we stop bickering about the latest lot of reports, it will be time to deal with the next communications technology problem.
In a global economy it is logical that companies would want to structure their business to take advantage of beneficial rules in different countries. And equally each country will want a competitive corporate tax system to attract and retain economic activity. However, the policies of one country should not undermine the policies of another or cause them economic harm. Organisations such as the G20, EU and OECD must enable cooperation to make sure that countries are in agreement with each other’s policies and to pressure those countries whose policies are disadvantaging their neighbours.
The Federal Government's decision to reject a $25 million plea for financial assistance for SPC Ardmona's troubled fruit processing plant in Shepparton should be seen in the context of the long-term and very necessary war to lessen the reliance of Australia's economy on legacy industries and to push it towards the next-generation of knowledge-based smart businesses.
Using the tax system in an attempt to foster innovation may not be the sensible policy choice.
Communications Minister-elect Malcolm Turnbull reportedly thinks Ziggy Switkowski would make a great choice to run the National Broadband Network Company. Can I please have some of what he's smoking?
Telstra's "threats" of competing with an alternative access strategy are this time all nonsense. They can't get enough wireless out there, they have major building access issues with HFC and they should be cricified by sharehlders if they try to over-invest in their PSTN.
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.
oh dear You’d think after graduating to the top of the pile and being appointed to run the Australian divisions of global technology giants like Microsoft and SAP, you’d be able to get simple spelling right. Apparently not, judging by several tweets by Microsoft’s Asia-Pac chief Tracey Fellows.
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 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’.
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.
Free market thinktank the Institute of Public Affairs recently claimed Labor’s flagship National Broadband Network project was drawn up purely as a “media stunt” to drum up publicity for the Government. Unfortunately, this is a factually inaccurate statement, and here’s the evidence to prove it.
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.
Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull today confirmed the Federal Government would follow NBN Co's recommendation in adopting an "optimised" model for deploying the National Broadband Network "sooner, cheaper and more affordably", in a move that will see the company roll out the "maximum" amount of existing network infrastructure.
Virtual currency Bitcoin is not a subject that ever draws neutral reactions. Against those who see the radical possibilities of a frictionless payment system designed for the internet, there is a growing resistance to the currencies that threaten existing business models and the perceived traceability of our current currency systems.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott visited a P-TECH (Pathways in Technology Early Career High) school in New York last week, hinting it’s a model of education we should consider implementing in Australia. The school, partly funded by IBM and training students to suit the company’s needs, is different to anything we have in Australia. While the P-TECH model would be feasible here, the model risks confusing economic needs with educational ones.
Australian Treasurer Joe Hockey has asked the Productivity Commission to undertake a wide-ranging review of Australia’s intellectual property regime. The review is an opportunity for an increasingly distracted government to set its stamp on the Australian economy for the next 20 years. It is an opportunity that will almost certainly be missed.
The Commission’s recommendations as a whole are thus very unlikely to be embraced by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, by his colleagues or by Bill Shorten. The Commission states that “Australia’s intellectual property system has lost sight of users”. We should ensure that the Government does not lose sight of the report.
If you believe everything you read, over the past several weeks a ferocious debate took place between senior Government Ministers about whether Huawei should be allowed to bid for National Broadband Network contracts. But the discipline and unity historically displayed by Tony Abbott's Cabinet hints at a more nuanced process, and one that may have all just been for show.
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.
There is one factor which IBM's cloud computing strategy appears to be lacking at the moment.
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.
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.
We should think carefully about the inevitable alarmist claims regarding FYX and be wary about movie industry calls for new laws that protect their interests at the expense of Australian consumers.
Today, nine-or-so months after its launch in the US, the Lytro camera will be available to buy in Australia – bringing with it the ability to refocus pictures in incredible detail after the fact.
You’ll have seen the fallout this week regarding a so-called “spearphishing” attack on the Reserve Bank of Australia in 2011. As with most media reports on cyber-attacks, this one appears to have been overhyped. So what really happened?
Understandably, new governments have an interest in putting their own stamp on policy, particularly in areas as critical to our future as research and innovation, but sometimes continuity and re-badging is preferable to scorched earth.
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 shortage of computing experts in Australian schools has serious implications for our future as a player in the knowledge economy.
We still need about $3,700 to successfully fund the project, and although contributions are still coming in, they have obviously slowed down substantially from the incredible first couple of days of the project. I will need to continue momentum if The Frustrated State is to be funded. And Kickstarter is an all-or-nothing model – if we don’t hit our target, I won’t receive any funding for the project.
From this day on, whenever Australian engineers are facing a tough task, they should look up into the skies and remind themselves of the power of the Australian mind. If Australian ingenuity can put such a hunk of incredibly complex communications infrastructure into orbit to serve our broadband needs, purely on the strength of some clear thinking and a lot of hard work, then we truly can do anything. And we will.
A National Broadband Network (NBN) based on Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) was, and still is, the right answer for Australia’s broadband needs.
Mike Quigley last week exited the role of NBN Co chief executive the way he held it: With a relentless, implacable dignity. But the executive will leave more behind him than just a memory; like Steve Jobs with Apple, Quigley's legacy will be the company and project that grew from infancy around him. Australia's greatest ever infrastructure rollout will forever bear his mark; and NBN Co's culture will forever be coloured with his impeccable personal integrity.
Malcolm Turnbull's plan to offer Australians full fibre extensions to their premises on demand was already on extremely shaky ground, and several new developments over the past several months have made it increasingly clear that this is a concept which is extremely unlikely to see any traction in the short to medium term.
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.
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?
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.
Perhaps the most common complaint about the ongoing National Broadband Network debate is the extent to which it has become dominated by misleading political spin that may obscure the fundamental ideas being discussed. With this in mind, this article will attempt to fact-check a number of recent NBN-related statements from both sides of politics. Who's telling porkies? We'll find out.
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.
Don’t read technology blogs? Then a new innovation in massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMPORGs) may be passing you by. Perhaps, like me, such games have never been of much interest to you. Or perhaps they haven’t been able to hold your sustained attention. So why should you care now?
But leading with technology doesn’t mean throwing technology at the problem. You need to do something different with it. That’s the challenge for Woolworths.
The loss of the West Australian ballots is a serious breach of electoral integrity, and one that must be thoroughly investigated to identify what went wrong. But amidst all the party-driven hysteria, it’s important to remember that no system is entirely fail-safe, and the risks posed by electronic or internet voting are potentially far more serious than this isolated incident.
Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull has confirmed plans to implement the same underlying broadband infrastructure platform in Australia which has already been used for some time in the UK, with the two nations' incumbent telcos Telstra and BT to collaborate on the exchange over the next several years.
Our productivity problem is a like an epidemic. It affects many businesses and threatens the prosperity of future Australians yet it is poorly understood and goes largely unnoticed, especially in a service economy. If a problem of this size and scale were to affect people’s health, money would be raised for further research to isolate the causes and cures for the malady.
Over the past decade, stereotypes that video games were a popular medium intended only for youths have been eroded. It is clear that video games are also a popular medium for adults.
It’s worth looking more closely at cost difference between FTTP and FTTN to see if the claimed A$84 billion to A$56 billion maximum cost comparison stacks up, and see where Labor’s new half-way solution sits.
Malcolm Turnbull's arrogant response to a petition calling for the Coalition to support Labor's NBN policy shows the Coalition still hasn't learnt the lesson activists rammed down Labor's throat in the previous Internet filter and data retention debacles: People power can get unpopular policies changed.
This is a temporary cessation of the filter policy, but the storm clouds of round two are gathering in the distance.
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.
Radio shock jock Alan Jones appears to have gotten his technologies a little confused, in an analysis this week of how a new data speed record set by scientists in Germany might affect the National Broadband Network.
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.
Chief information officers never seem to understand. It doesn't matter if the servers are up or down -- that's a user problem. The real issue is whether they are configured properly in the first place. The system must be perfect, pristine. Users pollute that nirvana.
Is Whirlpool or the Financial Review more accurate when it comes to reporting on the National Broadband Network? Two Canberra journalism professors analyse the situation.
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 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.
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.
The computers for schools program, which involved federal funding for the supply of laptops to high school students, is set to end in June. The program was a central piece of the former government’s “digital revolution” but is being discontinued by the current government. The end of the program is already having consequences for schools and for families.
AUSTRALIA 2025: How will science address the challenges of the future? In collaboration with Australia’s chief scientist Ian Chubb, the Conversation is asking how each science discipline will contribute to Australia now and in the future. Written by luminaries and accompanied by two expert commentaries to ensure a broader perspective, these articles run fortnightly and focus on each of the major scientific areas. This instalment takes a look at ICT’s role.
Are toddlers really becoming addicted to technology? There’s certainly a lot of media hype to suggest that they are. And there’s no question the footage of small children breaking down when their tablet is taken away is unsettling.
Evidence both the incumbents and disruptors face challenges in non-traditional payments.
Politicians in Tasmania and in Canberra have been promising residents of the Apple Isle fibre broadband for at least 12 years. The abject failure to deliver almost any improvement to the state's basic telecommunications infrastructure in that time starkly demonstrates the rank incompetence of Australia's political class in setting and deliverying broadband policy.
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.
Delimiter can exclusively reveal that the iconic American actor has been in Australia for the past six months, on a secretive mission to aid Australia's technology sector in its quest to finally overtake Silicon Valley and become the premiere global market for technology companies.
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.
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.
If Australians continue to buy 100Mbps NBN services at the current rate, it is likely that the real-world consumer cost of accessing the NBN will come down substantially over time, as the network will pay for its own construction much faster than the National Broadband Network Company had been anticipating.
The big question is whether digital mail is a solution looking for a problem that hasn’t already been solved. Here, I am not convinced. The technology to achieve a digital mailbox using ordinary email with digital signatures and encryption has been around for a very long time.
The time has come for the music industry to find common ground with consumers, not do business in spite of them.
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.
Apple, famous for its innovative products, is equally creative in its tax structure. From 2009 to 2012, it successfully sheltered US$44 billion from being taxed anywhere in the world, including sales generated in Australia.
What does it take to deliver on a digital transformation agenda that the National Commission of Audit has explicitly described as “not business as usual”? As we transition from a 60 to 100 year old operating model of government, a fundamental re-imagining of what is meant by “public service” is needed.
This book will be a major step taken by Australia's technology community as we reboot our politicians' understanding of technology policy. It will not be the only step, but it will be one of the first. I look forward to taking it together with all of you.
This article is by Charis Palmer, Deputy Business Editor at The Conversation. It originally appeared on The Conversation. After eight years and 19 rounds of...
The world is increasingly embracing digital technology, and so too are our schools. But many girls are still missing out on developing IT and programming skills.
Under extreme provocation by a hostile Opposition, the National Broadband Network Company appears to have broken convention and possibly regulations regarding the behaviour of government business enterprises. The question now is: How will its shareholder ministers deal with its clearly aberrant behaviour?
There's more dodgy laws in the swamp where Tasmania's ridiculous electoral online comment legislation came from.
You can't blame Kate Lundy for trying. The Labor Senator is one of the most enlightened in her party when it comes to technology, and while she doesn't always agree with some of its policies, she tries to make the best of a bad situation.
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.
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.
The battle for an R18+ classification for videogames in Australia has been something of an epic, but the journey’s not over yet. There are still plenty more rocks and potholes to navigate before we start seeing R18+ games in local stores.
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.
It's finally happened. After years of expressing concern about the privacy risks, regulatory challenges and technical inadequacies of the new clutch of technologies broadly known as “cloud computing”, Australia's financial services sector has embraced the new paradigm wholesale. It's about time.
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.
Federal health minister Peter Dutton has commissioned a review of Labor’s troubled Personally Controlled Electronic Health Record (PCEHR) project. It’s unclear whether the review committee is to decide whether to scrap the project altogether or to try and fix it. Hopefully it is not the latter because if the past year has taught us anything, it is that this is not a fixable problem. It needs to go.
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.
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.
The latest version of Microsoft’s Windows operating system will begin rolling out from Wednesday (July 29). And remarkably, Windows 10 will be offered as a free upgrade to those users who already have Windows 7 and 8.1 installed.
If the hackers were state-sponsored Chinese hackers such as the People’s Liberation Army Unit 61398, then the target of the hack would have been wide-ranging but possibly focused on information related to Australian defence and security services and capabilities.
The long winter after the failure of the dot com boom a decade ago is finally over: Australia's startup spring is here, and its energy is infectious.
As we've previously noted, John Linton is not (that) crazy. And in fact, if you examine the logic behind Exetel's NBN pricing plans, you'll find they actually make a strange kind of sense.
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.
Australia's second technology boom is upon us, and things will never be the same again.
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.
Has iiNet's ongoing series of acquisitions harmed or helped the development of market competition in Australia's telecommunications sector? It's a difficult and complex question -- and one which we will attempt to answer in this in-depth analysis of the situation.
Amid the resurgent popularity of zombies in recent years – think The Walking Dead, I Am Legend, Shaun of the Dead and so on – the 2011 publication of Dan Drezner’s Theories of International Politics and Zombies showed we might be able to learn something useful from the lumbering horde. In short, Drezner poses the question: how would we deal with a zombie outbreak?
Australia's two most recent Attorneys-General distinguished themselves during their tenure by demonstrating a complete lack of understanding of the dynamics of the modern Internet; seeking to monitor, control and contain it at all costs. Now they've both announced plans to quit politics. Will our next chief lawmaker do any better?
The Coalition’s broadband policy offers a lower-cost network that will provide customers with modest improvements in broadband services in the shorter term; whereas the Coalition’s network will create a new digital divide and require major upgrades soon after it is completed. Labor promises a more future-proof solution that will cost more at the outset, but will stimulate broadband developments in government, business, and entertainment, and has potential to serve Australia beyond 2050.
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.
The local debate over AT&T's plans to deploy gigabit fibre to 100 US cities starkly demonstrates that neither giant telcos nor the politicians regulating them can be trusted to give Australians 100 percent of the truth about how next-generation broadband infrastructure rollouts are being or should be deployed.
Yellow Pages directories have been appearing on doorsteps across Australia in recent weeks. As often as not, they go straight into the recycling bin. In the world of the internet and e-commerce, the very notion of a book the size of two bricks being the source of valuable purchasing information seems plain silly.
The full resources of the Federal Parliament and other Government accountability mechanisms must be deployed to determine how a cost blowout of between $5 billion and $15 billion was allowed to occur in the National Broadband Network, and how to stop a similar situation from occurring again in future.
What’s needed is bipartisan commitment to accelerating NBN deployment along with modernising the infrastructure in the core network that will have to support increased access to broadband.
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.
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?
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'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.
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.
Yesterday Shadow Treasurer Joe Hockey issued an extensive statement attempting to show that comments he had made about 4G mobile broadband having the potential to be "far superior" to the National Broadband Network's fibre had been taken out of context. Unfortunately, he only succeeded in digging himself a bigger hole.
Telstra’s aggressive moves to wind back competition in Australia’s mobile sector, coupled with the rapid decline of Vodafone and the stagnation of Optus, has re-opened a conversation about whether the telco should be forced to offer wholesale access to its Next G mobile network – including the new 4G components of it.
Most of Australia's younger generation of Internet-focused media consumers probably think Pay TV giant Foxtel is merely a blast from the past; a mouldering old dinosaur with no tricks left up its sleeve. But if revelations by the company last week are any indication, Foxtel 'gets' the Internet and has exactly the right moves planned to tackle it.
Malcolm Turnbull may believe that democracy has spoken; but now is the time for democracy to shout back.
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.
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.
Hi everyone, welcome back! Delimiter starts publishing again today, and from today I'm also commencing work on my technology policy book, The Frustrated State. It...
This article is by Leith Campbell, Honorary Fellow, Melbourne School of Engineering and Sascha Suessspeck, Economist and Ph.D. Electronic and Electrical Engineering student, both...
Australia’s current election proves that there has never been a greater need for online electronic voting. The country has come to a political standstill as the laborious process of manual counting of ballot papers is conducted by the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC).
Under the cover of the NBN's madness and media hype, there's another high-wire act under way: The nation's other telco monopolist, Telstra, is successfully concentrating its market power; and that's not good news for anyone.
The plot of AFACT vs iiNet is very similar to that of gritty Baltimore drama The Wire -- only without so many guns.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Estimates are that Google last year received about $1 billion in advertising revenue from Australia. Despite that, it paid little Australian income tax. John Passant looks at what could be done to rectify this situation.
The release of the Coalition's new National Broadband Network policy had a dramatic effect upon support for Labor's existing policy, analysis of polling data shows, with a large chunk of Coalition voters abandoning their previous long-term support for Labor's existing NBN policy in favour of the new Coalition alternative.
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.
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.
I expect more from the biggest screen in my house and, once again, traditional mass media have failed to deliver.
If taken on face value, the evidence was actually reasonably compelling. The problem was, as NY Times reporter Nathaniel Popper explained, Wright’s writing and personality didn’t match that of Nakamoto’s.
If Malcolm Turnbull is serious about making sure all Australians quickly get access to affordable, high-speed broadband, there is one man he must consider appointing to the board of NBN Co: The entrepreneur who was instrumental in bringing Australians broadband in the first place. Internode founder Simon Hackett.
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.
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?
Sometimes it’s time to let things go and stop treating them as unusual just because they involve a certain type of technology.
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.
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.
Like history repeating, the Australian Government just keeps on coming up with disturbing new ways it wants to control and censor the Internet. Here's five ways the current controversial data retention proposal is similar to its predecessor in infamy: Senator Conroy's mandatory ISP-based Internet filter, which was shot down in flames in 2010.
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.
Bradley Manning’s conviction for espionage marks the closing stages in the US Army private’s personal battle. Yet for Julian Assange, founder of whistleblower website WikiLeaks and Australian Senate candidate, Manning is but a casualty in a much grander mission.
Government systems could be redesigned from the ground-up to make it easy to reorganise, merge and demerge departments, so that a person's email system can be rapidly and easily moved from one agency to another, or the HR information of two departments can be consolidated in a merger at low cost.
The latest review of Australia’s energy-saving appliance scheme has delivered a rare trifecta: a good news story for the economy, the community and the environment. According to my estimates from data in the Department of Industry review, the value of energy saved in Australia last year alone was around A$3.2 billion. Of this, some A$2.7 billion was saved by households.
What place do e-readers – and in particular ebooks – hold in the reading behaviour of Australia’s 10 million public library borrowers? There are some 181 million items loaned every year by the nation’s 1,500 public libraries, branches, mobile libraries and other service points but, according to the latest survey-based report from the Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA), for the majority of these libraries, ebook loans represent less than 1% of the total.
The National Broadband Network should not be broken up into smaller parts. It should not be set up to compete with itself. And it should most definitely not be sold off to the private market. There is only one thing that the Government should do with the NBN. It should damn well get on with the job of building it.
If Quickflix does fold or get absorbed by another local service, how many local services will survive? We may also see global VoD services taking over the local services.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
In the critically acclaimed video game Dark Souls, there is a mysterious character known as Solaire of Astora who has developed something of a global cult following which may give us some insight into this human existence.
As we move forward in this era of online transactions and social media, there’s a need for security and privacy legislation to keep pace. Most importantly, there’s a need for Australians to feel confident that their personal information is being kept safe by those we entrust it to.
The NBN is emerging as one of the key issues in the lead-up to this year’s federal election. But the project has been fraught with challenges: planning issues and a shortage of skilled labour have delayed the rollout process.Today it was reported that NBN Co is now set to downgrade rollout targets by up to half of those initially forecast.
When state governments in Australia have changed ruling parties there’s often been a temporary hiatus in Government 2.0 and open data activity, if not a series of backsteps – however in almost every case the trend towards greater digitalisation, engagement and openness has resumes.
Will Australia join Russia, becoming the second nation to withdraw? Or will it simply delay membership - one year, two years or more? Perhaps we'll find out with a government announcement in the next month regarding its OGP commitment. Or perhaps all we can expect is ongoing silence.
NBN Co CEO Bill Morrow now faces some difficult decisions in deciding how best to allocate resources to meet the objective of providing high-speed broadband across Australia. Since the Coalition’s election in September last year the NBN has been subject to a number of reviews and a wholesale clean out of management. With many reviews, such as the cost-benefit analysis, yet to report, the strategic direction for NBN Co is uncertain making it difficult to comment on future developments with accuracy.
There is absolutely no doubt that the Australian Labor Party will abandon its Fibre to the Premises National Broadband Network plan and adopt the Coalition’s alternative Multi-Technology Model as official policy before the next Federal Election.
The emissions scandal that has rocked the car maker Volkswagen has again raised the issue of ethical standards in the tech industry. Reports so far say the company is pointing finger at the “unlawful behaviour of engineers and technicians involved in engine development”. But that’s led to questions about the strength of any codes or practice or ethics that such operators are supposed to comply with. So are such codes any good or are they just words? Here two software experts present both sides of the argument.
The right technologies, deployed in the right way, can assist with speeding up vote counts without putting the integrity of our voting system at risk. The place for that technology is not as a replacement for the paper ballot.
The success of BT's fibre to the node rollout must come as a stark reminder of what could have been achieved in Australia over the past eight years if the various players had stopped their incessant, poisoned infighting on the broadband issue.
I’d love to hear from some IT managers and CIOs out there about what they think of SAUG’s latest moves. Is it just me, or this one vendor relationship that is a little too close?
During an election, public servants had better keep their head down -- unless they want it to be chopped off.
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.
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.
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.
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.
It's taken four months, but Shadow Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull has finally answered a series of key questions regarding his focus on using fibre to the node (FTTN) technology to roll out the NBN. But has the Member for Wentworth provided enough details to answer his critics? Read on to find out.
News of the LivingSocial breach coincides with debate within the privacy and information technology communities about Commonwealth proposals for data-breach legislation.
Tasmania’s assertive push to keep up deployment of optical fibre, and make it cost effective by using overhead rollout, makes a lot of sense. In urban areas, no other technology has a feasible lifetime beyond 2025, and many of the existing broadband technologies are already obsolete with no hope of evolution. It will work for the vast majority of urban areas.
If the Financial System Inquiry is to achieve its aim of helping to promote growth and productivity in the Australian economy it will need to focus strongly on electronic payments.
In Australia, the Australian Technology Park in Sydney, Parkville Knowledge Precinct in Melbourne, and Kelvin Grove Urban Village in Brisbane are certainly emerging urban knowledge precincts.
Last week the Senate Standing Committee on Economics handed down a detailed report following its inquiry into Australia’s emerging digital or crypto-currency sector. The release was hailed as a “watershed” moment for this financial technology — here’s why it matters, in five succinct points.
Western governments, notably the UK and the US, are pushing the software industry to open “backdoors” into our encrypted communications.
Last week we proposed Internode founder Simon Hackett as a prime candidate to sit on NBN Co’s newly refreshed board under Tony Abbott’s new Coalition Government. Today we add two new prospective names to the list: PIPE Networks’ influential founders Bevan Slattery and Steve Baxter.
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.
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.
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.
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.
In what is being billed as iiNet versus Hollywood, the Australian internet service provider has come out an apparent winner after the High Court dismissed a copyright infringement case brought by industry movie studios. Nicolas Suzor, lecturer, Faculty of Law at Queensland University of Technology, explains the decision and what it means.
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.
The High Court has ruled that Google did not engage in misleading and deceptive conduct when it published a number of advertisements created by its AdWords program. Does this mean that the advertisements themselves were not misleading and deceptive? No! Everyone agrees that they were. Rather, the decision clarifies the law for publishers, including those using the internet.
XKeyscore is an online surveillance tool run by America’s National Security Agency (NSA) that allows analysts to search contents of chats, emails and browsing histories without warrants. Australian experts respond in this article to the issue.
So has Gov 2.0 become boring too fast in Australia? Shouldn't we see more conversation, more voices, more blogs, more tweets, more people packing out events seeking the latest information in what is one of the most rapidly changing environments in history - the internet?
Opening a venture capital branch seems to be the new “thing” in the corporate world. While Telstra and Westpac are the new big national players, Google is clearly ahead of the curve, with two distinct venture capital firms: the newly launched Google Capital and the five-year-old Google Ventures. But why are so many companies, across a range of sectors, now running to open their own venture capital funds?
It is a quarter-century since Australia first connected to the internet, but this technological breakthrough had a long gestation. What is now a global phenomenon was once the property of an exclusive community.
The Coalition sold the Australian public a product that was supposed to be fast, one-third the cost and arrive sooner than what Labor was offering us. Instead the Coalition’s NBN will be so slow that it is obsolete by the time it’s in place, it will cost about the same as Labor’s fibre-to-the-premises NBN, and it won’t arrive on our doorsteps much sooner.
The proposed reforms will enhance consumer rights, competition policy, access to knowledge and Australia’s ambitious National Innovation and Science Agenda and “ideas boom”.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
Like a blade out of the dark, this week ex-ACCC chief Graeme Samuel came from nowhere to drive a stake into the heart of the Coalition’s rival NBN policy, arguing that the FTTN technology it’s based on is “obsolete”. And just as viciously, Malcolm Turnbull fired back. But who is objectively on the side of truth in this storm in a teacup? As is so often in our flawed NBN debate, the answer is: ‘Nobody’.
We know online piracy exists; we know governments want to stop it – but what are the options?
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.
Almost 13 years after its release in October 2001 to a world still in shock after the 9/11 terror attacks, the sun is finally setting on Microsoft’s Windows XP. The operating system has been the software in many home and work PCs but for die-hard users who continue to use XP, danger that way lies.
Cutting off the Games Fund demonstrates that the Liberal government has no interest in supporting an existing vibrant and maturing creative industry. Attacking the younger and lower classes of the nation by gutting a wide range of social services demonstrates that the Liberal government has no interest in the creative and cultural future of the nation.
To a Federal Labor Party exhausted from several bitter years of internal struggle and a vicious election campaign, it must seem like slipping into Opposition might be a good chance for a hard-earned rest. But the truth is that the long fight to keep one of its key policies intact has just begun. Here’s some ideas for how Labor can take on Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull on the National Broadband Network issue — and win.
Stephen Conroy needs to stop dithering about with wishy washy attempts to extract basic information from the closed shop that the NBN company has become under the Coalition and actually use the full powers of the Senate to hold the Government to account over the tragic mess it has made of the project.
Rupert Murdoch has not sent a political assassin Down Under specifically to kill Labor’s evil National Broadband Network project so it doesn’t wipe out Foxtel’s revenues. No, it’s the people’s right to choose which frustrates Murdoch, not Labor’s little side project.
Having known the principals at both the ISPs -- iiNet chief Michael Malone and Netspace MD Stuart Marburg -- for some time, I would be surprised if the pair hadn't flirted occasionally with the idea of a merger on and off for the past decade.
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.
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.
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.
Shadow Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull has this week made a number of misleading and factually inaccurate statements in a series of interviews and comments about the Government's National Broadband Network project, on topics ranging from the technology used in the project to its cost and retail broadband prices.
Delimiter invites readers to help us fact-check an important and lengthy policy statement by Shadow Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull. Let's get to the truth of the matter, together.
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.
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.
Unfortunately though in Australia we don't seem to have any comprehensive list of which governments and councils are creating and releasing open source materials. So e-government expert Craig Thomler has created a spreadsheet, which he'll add to over time, of open sourcing going on across the Australian public sector.
Australia is in a prime position to address the challenges and develop world-leading applications for ubiquitous wireless connectivity. The pedigree of our wireless laboratories and researchers in all parts of the country is second to none.
As the saying goes, when you are in a hole, stop digging. The NBN is looking like a large pit, and at present, everyone is digging in deeper.
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.
Innovation and transformations do not, by themselves, improve government. They are simply techniques and can be implemented both well and badly, depending on the people, culture and environment they are employed within.
Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull has spent much of the past year telling anybody who will listen that NBN Co's board needs more directors with actual telco network construction experience. Yet the candidates he's appointed or been reported to have approached so far for board positions cannot claim that background, and several have close ties to Turnbull's own Liberal Party.
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.
This article is by Darryl Adams, a government worker and internet tragic. A former IT worker, he still pines for the days of IBM...
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.
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.
Worried that AFACT will start suing individual users, now that it has lost its High Court case against iiNet? You needn't be. The organisation itself has denied any such plans, and even the legal case to identify Australian Internet pirates is on shaky ground at the moment.
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.
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.
In its arguments against the NBN, it would seem News Corp Australia’s campaign is less than wholly transparent in representing its own interests.
Everyone knows there’s a problem with copyright. Artists get paid very little for their work, and legitimate consumers aren’t getting a very fair deal either. Unfortunately, nobody agrees about how we should fix it.
In a move certain to raise the ire of users of Microsoft’s Windows operating system the software giant has announced that next month it will cease support for Windows 8.1. But that operating system is barely eight months old and already an upgraded version of the Windows 8 system that failed to impress many users since its release in 2012.
Ensuring access to both physical and digital methods of building block construction where children can move freely from one to another is crucial for their development in the early years.
University of Melbourne academic Rod Tucker attracted strident criticism this week for his claim that Malcolm Turnbull’s Multi-Technology Mix approach to the National Broadband Network will result in Australia remaining an “Internet backwater”. However, the unfortunate reality is that Tucker’s comments are all too accurate.
Christopher Pyne’s assertion that there have been “no delays” in the implementation of the NBN is inaccurate.
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?
What I would like to see is the public service standing up for itself and taking accountability for Open Government itself.
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.
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.
Yesterday Opposition Leader Tony Abbott stated in a high-profile speech at the National Press Club in Canberra that cutting Labor's National Broadband Network project would free up Federal Government money to be spent in other areas such as transport. It was a nice political soundbite. However, unfortunately, this statement was factually incorrect.
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.
With half the worlds population now connected by mobile phone and even short periods of time disconnected from the global network leaving many with withdrawal symptoms, the next stage of human evolution is approaching fast and if you're having trouble keeping up, look to nature.
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?
New South Wales' outgoing auditor-general has published a brief whitepaper outlining the major causes of project failure in the state government and what can be done to address the issue, specifically calling out IT projects as having a bad track record in the area.
A brief review of the history of Australian safe harbour legislation and recent ISP-related case laws in the US shows the best way to provide legal certainty for online intermediaries would be to introduce “fair use” exceptions alone. More safe harbour rules aren’t needed at this stage.
Visions of a cashless society started being portrayed from the 1950’s along with other aspects of a future waiting to be transformed by technology. That future has not yet arrived but it is now possible to exist without using cash on a daily basis. In fact, in a survey released this week, 25% of Australians claim not to use cash in a given month. In the US, 50% of Americans carry less than $20 in cash at any time.
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