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.

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auDA latest – All’s well that ends well

By LAURIE PATTON | 28 September 2018 

Despite a nasty and at times irrational campaign by a group known as the Grumpies, the future of Australia’s Internet domain names system was secured yesterday.

Members overwhelmingly approved a new constitution and consequential governance changes to auDA – the company managing our domain names service.

This follows a demand for reform after a review by the Department of Communications and the Arts found the organisation’s governance processes no longer fit-for-purpose.

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Ten things you need to know about changes to Australia’s Internet domain names system

By LAURIE PATTON | 23 September 2018

Australia is a country in transition. Although we don’t hear as much about the ‘innovation nation’ these days as we did a few years back, the reality is our future prosperity still lies in embracing a digitally enabled world. As the problems plaguing the National Broadband Network remain unresolved, another critical debate is now reaching a climax. At stake is the management of Internet domain names. These days, nearly every business has a website, so a meeting later this week is shaping up as a watershed moment.

Here are ten things you need to know about what’s happening to the management of our domain names.

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Beyond the political rhetoric, hard hats and Akubra’s – What do our political leaders really believe?

By JOHN MENADUE | 15 September 2018

Power does reveal substance. It tells us quite quickly about the values that drive political parties and political leaders. Scare tactics are always a sure sign that the values and policy cupboard is bare.

We can accept that our leaders must make some compromises from time to time, but we need to know ‘what they stand for’. We look for leaders who have conviction. Hypocrisy and double standards become very obvious.

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Active travel – Why children should walk or ride to school

By LAURIE PATTON | 14 September 2018

Walking, riding or catching public transport to and from school has long been a rite-of-passage for Australian children. However, a range of factors have increasingly seen parents choosing to drive their offspring.

How old children should be before they no longer require parental supervision, and how far they should be permitted to travel alone or even in groups, is often the subject of hot debate around the barbecue and in the media. Sadly, it’s one of those ‘back in my day’ age indicators – and a symbol of a more cautious and guarded society.

The proportion of Australian children using active transport to travel to or from school has declined by about 40 percent over a generation. Active transport is now the usual mode for less than one in three school children. Fifty-four percent of primary school children in NSW are driven to and from school every day.

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auDA members to vote on new governance package

By LAURIE PATTON | 5 September 2018

auDA – the company managing our Internet domain names – will hold a special general meeting later this month in order to secure approval for a new constitution and other changes to governance arrangements. This follows a demand for reform after a review by the Department of Communications and the Arts found the organisation no longer fit-for-purpose.

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From the auDA Chair – Building auDA 2.0

By CHRIS LEPTOS | 21 August 2018

For those of you following the review of auDA – the company managing our Internet domain names. auDA’s Chair, Chris Leptos, has released the following statement.

“Dear Members and Stakeholders

It is now 130 days since the Minister for Communications and the Arts (Senator Mitch Fifield) wrote to auDA outlining the 29 recommendations of the review into the .au namespace (the Review). In this time we have published auDA’s Implementation Plan, which details the steps we are taking to meet the new ‘Terms of Endorsement’, in addition to conducting an extensive consultative process through the Consultation Model Working Group (CMWG) on the proposed governance framework and membership model.

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The Innovation Economy – Implications and imperatives for states and regions

By NEVILLE STEVENS | 20 August 2018

Earlier this year the NSW Innovation and Productivity Council commissioned a report on the ‘innovation economy’ by The Business of Cities advisory group – to provide a contemporary picture of the innovation economy, to understand the current trends, learn from leading innovation regions and guide the Council’s forward work program.

The innovation economy describes what happens when new generations of technologies and business models emerge at unprecedented speeds and scales to disrupt existing sectors, create new products and processes, and foster advanced and high-growth industries.

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Australia draws line under anti-China hysteria. Will it be enough to unfreeze relations?

By BOB CARR | 13 August 2018

This week Australia’s Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull reset the Australia-China relationship – ditching 12 months in which Australia had become the most rhetorically adversarial towards China of all of the United States’ allies and partners.

Turnbull was always going to do it. It was a matter of language and timing. Fears his government has allowed to spread about Chinese money in Australia’s democracy and China’s growing influence in the region had little substance, and have done Australia more harm than good.

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Ending trickle down economics

By EMMA DAWSON | 19 July 2018

John Kenneth Galbraith once described trickle-down economics as the theory that “if you feed enough oats to the horse, some will pass through to feed the sparrows”.

In Australia today, as in so many other developed nations where trickle-down economics has been ascendant for the last three decades, the horses have grown very fat, and the sparrows are starving.

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