Internet Australia continues to call out #NBNFail amid media attacks

By LAURIE PATTON | 9 August 2017

The years ago, Internet Australia, the NFP peak body representing internet users, embarked on a mission to foster more informed debate about the National Broadband Network and its importance to Australia’s future. It was – and is – the view of the board and members that we need something better than a network deploying ageing copper wires. Most technology journalists already agreed with that proposition.

However, some in the mainstream media took much longer to get the message. As one of my former colleagues from Channel Seven put it, the subject amounted to a lot of “white noise“.  Continue reading “Internet Australia continues to call out #NBNFail amid media attacks”

The broadband debacle: NBN Co needs to eat its own dog food

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”

The case for mandating governance training for NFP boards

By LAURIE PATTON | 18 July 2017

It’s time for not-for-profit boards and their directors 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”

NBN boss attacks Internet Australia under Parliamentary privilege

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”

What ABC’s 7.30 got wrong (and refused to correct) about ‘that’​ Kennett story!

By LAURIE PATTON | 20 February 2017

Channel Seven did not ‘hold over’ a Today Tonight story about Jeff Kennett to “placate the premier”. But the ABC saw something nefarious in the decision, and its bosses wouldn’t be swayed by facts.

One can only assume that a steadfast determination to defend a 20 year old Four Corners report outweighed any serious quest for the truth. It is perhaps notable that some of those involved in recent events were previously employed at both Today Tonight and Four Corners.

The incident also highlights a lack of understanding of the role of editor-in-chief on the part of ABC managing director, Michelle Guthrie.

Continue reading “What ABC’s 7.30 got wrong (and refused to correct) about ‘that’​ Kennett story!”

The Internet of Opportunity

By LAURIE PATTON | 4 August 2016

The biggest threat to our success as an Internet of Things (IoT) nation is a loss of trust by people at large. We need effective collaboration between government, industry and civil society to ensure we foster innovation in a manner that creates and ensures security and confidence.

As we consider our IoT future, technology is only part of the equation. Making sure that there is market for newfangled technology and technology based services was a key element that led to the DotCom boom / bust. Too many clever ideas with no serious, or only limited, market interest cruelled many a startup back then.

Continue reading “The Internet of Opportunity”

Generalists and specialists in the Australian public service: Why the ‘theory of empty spaces’ hurts public sector performance

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”

NBN stars collide – waiting for the Big Bang

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”