By LAURIE PATTON | 9 August 2017
According to the Australian Financial Review, the company building the National Broadband Network is about to lease two extremely expensive offices — one in Melbourne and one in Sydney.
That’s rather old school thinking. NBN Co should be leading by example. One of the benefits of a digitally-enabled world is the ability to work remotely or to decentralise. Continue reading “The broadband debacle: NBN Co needs to eat its own dog food”
By LAURIE PATTON | 18 July 2017
It’s time for not-for-profits – their directors and their senior executives – to have a good look in the governance mirror. And it would be a good idea for the members of NFP’s to critically assess the governance practices of their boards. Perhaps we even need to look at changing the relevant laws to ensure better governance of the sector?
Too many NFP boards are dominated by people who have hung on limpet-like for too long – precluding others from contributing and defending past policies and practices long deserving review. Too few actually understand modern governance principles.
Continue reading “The case for mandating governance training for NFP boards”
By LAURIE PATTON | 21 June 2017
Earlier in the year the head of the NBN Co, Bill Morrow, was appearing before a Senate Estimates hearing. Asked by Greens Senator Scott Ludlam about his organisation’s habit of blocking people who make unkind comments about his inferior broadband network on social media, Mr Morrow had the first of two ‘brain farts’ in which he gratuitously attacked Internet Australia.
Continue reading “NBN boss attacks Internet Australia under Parliamentary privilege”
By LAURIE PATTON | 20 February 2017
Faced with an important editorial decision, the ABC‘s managing director Michelle Guthrie went to dinner instead – thus proving, in my opinion, her unsuitability for such an important role.
The incident highlighted a lack of understanding of her responsibilities as editor-in-chief, not to mention those of the organisation’s most senior executive.
Continue reading “What ABC’s 7.30 got wrong (and refused to correct) about ‘that’ Kennett story!”
By LAURIE PATTON | 17 June 2016
Unless we wish to see a two class Australia, with the digital ‘haves’ and ‘have-nots’ determined by geography, we need to be providing #BetterBroadband in the bush. Continue reading “Broadband: It’s buggered in the bush”
By LAURIE PATTON | 19 April 2016
The other day I was talking to a friend who recently retired from the public service. After a career lifetime of studied discretion he now wears as a badge of honour his entitlement to express independent views. Many of these are critical of the processes that played a pivotal part in his rise to a very senior posting.
I have a number of colleagues who are now ex-public servants, having held extremely high level executive roles. I enjoy hearing about their work experiences more now that they are unencumbered by ambition. Continue reading “Generalists and specialists in the Australian public service: Why the ‘theory of empty spaces’ hurts public sector performance”
By LAURIE PATTON | 29 March 2016
Australia has fallen to 60th in global internet speed rankings. If we fell to 60th in the Olympics medal tally there’d be a national outcry. Just a few years ago we were 30th in terms of average peak internet speed, which is a key measurement of broadband performance.
Within our region we came eighth (even New Zealand is two places ahead of us). Singapore, with whom we are destined to be in serious competition as an Asia-Pacific innovation hub, already has internet speeds 100 times faster than ours.
Continue reading “The NBN is already out of date, but it’s not too late to change course”
By LAURIE PATTON | 10 March 2016
Two stars collided in Canberra last week, but the big bang is yet to be heard.
On Thursday, a leak from somewhere inside NBN revealed that our nation building broadband company has been secretly trialling new, thinner, cabling that will significantly reduce installation costs for the entire fibre-optic backbone, including the technically superior fibre to the premises (FTTP) solution.
On Friday, the Senate Select Committee on the NBN held a one day hearing. Continue reading “NBN stars collide – waiting for the Big Bang”
By LAURIE PATTON | 26 February 2018
Both Village Roadshow and Foxtel have launched court actions under the new Copyright Amendment (Online Infringement) Act designed to deal with Internet “piracy”.
The first thing that needs pointing out is that downloading video and audio content over the Internet is a not a crime as such. It is, however, in breach of the intellectual property rights of the producers and distributors.
Continue reading “Pirates of Perchance: How “site-blocking” could force up Internet fees but do little else”