ACCC begins search for light at the end of the NBN technology tunnel

By LAURIE PATTON | 6 November 2018

The boss of the ACCC, Rod Sims, has told The Australian “its recent dealings with the retail telcos has highlighted a weakness with the fibre-to-the-node (FTTN) access technology”.

For numerous broadband experts, not to mention millions of hapless NBN customers, this might be seen as a classic ‘no shit Sherlock’ moment. However, it is probably the most significant recent development in the long running saga that began with Labor’s 21st Century fibre-based national broadband network, only to end in tears for so many when former prime minister Tony Abbott ordered his heavily-wedged communications minister, Malcolm Turnbull, to “destroy” the NBN.

Continue reading “ACCC begins search for light at the end of the NBN technology tunnel”

NBN: Won’t be finished on time. Simple as that!

By LAURIE PATTON | 24 October 2018

Oh dear! New NBN Co boss Steven Rue has told Senate Estimates they are still projecting that FTTN (the trouble-plagued technology using Telstra’s ageing copper wires) will be used until 2040.

Experts, including Internet Australia chair Dr Paul Brooks, say FTTN will have to be replaced within 5-10 years of completion, preferably before then.

It’s not Mr Rue’s fault of course. He has been left ‘holding the baby’ – stuck with the flawed multi-technology mix (MTM) strategy introduced by his predecessor.

Surveys regularly show that people increasingly regard access to broadband as an ‘essential service’. Which is why it is essential that we fix the mess that NBN Co has managed to get itself into.

In my opinion, the National Broadband Network will not be completed until everyone has access to fast, reliable and affordable broadband. On that basis the rollout will take us well beyond the current official deadline of 2020. It looks like a lot of NBN Co customers are in for a long hard ride unless Mr Rue and his team can convince the Government to allow them to abandon FTTN sooner rather than later.

Continue reading “NBN: Won’t be finished on time. Simple as that!”

Let’s meet, then please move on – Reforming auDA

By LAURIE PATTON | 25 July 2018

“The process of registering and administering Internet domain names under the .au top level domain must be managed with full integrity and transparency of process and decision-making to ensure this public resource supports the needs of all Internet users and stakeholders”.

This statement from Internet Australia chair, Dr Paul Brooks, sums up why a number of Internet industry players are speaking out against a board spill at a Special General Meeting of auDA – the company managing our Internet domain names – to be held in Melbourne on Friday. If you have a website you’ll have dealt with one of the companies that sell domain names to the public. They all operate under the authority and supervision of auDA.

Continue reading “Let’s meet, then please move on – Reforming auDA”

#NoAnonymousSledging – Time to clean up the Internet?

By LAURIE PATTON | 23 June 2018

It’s time we did something about the ‘keyboard cowards’ – especially those who post false and/or defamatory comments on social media.

To fail to do so will open the Internet up to criticism that could lead to moves by governments to interfere in ways that have been successfully opposed since its inception, on the basis of arguments about free speech and freedom from undue state interference in people’s lives.

Continue reading “#NoAnonymousSledging – Time to clean up the Internet?”

Why I had no choice but to take on The Australian’s ‘gun’ technology writer

By LAURIE PATTON | 21 December 2017

For those of who do not read our national broadsheet, Anthony Klan is the journalist from The Australian who penned no less than five false and defamatory articles in a row attacking not-for-profit advocacy body Internet Australia, which I was running at the time. It was a relentless onslaught, week after week.

Continue reading “Why I had no choice but to take on The Australian’s ‘gun’ technology writer”

Unpopulate or perish – revisiting the Whitlam decentralisation vision in a digital age

By LAURIE PATTON | 5 December 2017

On the 45th anniversary of the election of the Whitlam Government let’s reflect on a forward-thinking policy that deserves revisiting for a digitally-enabled world – decentralisation.

It’s predicted that pretty soon 90 percent of all Australians will live in our capital cities. But does it makes sense for most of us to be jammed into a handful of increasingly overcrowded population centres? Continue reading “Unpopulate or perish – revisiting the Whitlam decentralisation vision in a digital age”

NBN may be biggest infrastructure debacle

By LAURIE PATTON | 17 November 2017

Back when I was CEO of Internet Australia, the not-for-profit peak body representing the interests of Internet users, we attracted criticism via comments published in The Australian newspaper that resulted in legal action.

Some people associated with the NBN had apparently not taken kindly to IA’s campaign for #BetterBroadband.  Continue reading “NBN may be biggest infrastructure debacle”

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”

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”