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

By LAURIE PATTON | 20 February 2017

Faced with an important editorial decision, the ABC‘s managing director Michelle Guthrie went to dinner instead.

In my opinion 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. The ABC needs to be exemplary when it comes to news management.

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

One of the biggest threats 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.

Another issue is the need for a 21st Century broadband network. Without one we won’t be able to enjoy the Internet of Opportunity.

Yet, 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”

Broadband: It’s buggered in the bush too

By LAURIE PATTON | 17 June 2016

PREFACE: Sadly, not that much has changed for a large number of NBN customers in rural and regional Australia since I wrote this article, especially those stuck with the FTTN version using old copper wires..

Unless we wish to have a two class Australia, with digital ‘haves’ and digital ‘have-nots’ determined by geography, we need to be providing #BetterBroadband in the bush. Continue reading “Broadband: It’s buggered in the bush too”

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”

The NBN is already out of date, but it’s not too late to change course

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”

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”

Utopia: the professor, the public service, and the need for change

By LAURIE PATTON | 16 February 2016

In an article in The Mandarin former Secretary of the Prime Minister’s Department, Professor Peter Shergold, is quoted urging public servants to adapt and to show courage.

Shergold is spot on. But before things can change we need to be willing to accept that mistakes are made, even by the best of people. Continue reading “Utopia: the professor, the public service, and the need for change”

Data retention: How not to introduce complex legislation

By LAURIE PATTON | 21 December 2015

One of my first tasks shortly after joining Internet Australia in 2014 was to front the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security (PJCIS). My appearance at the hearing into the (Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Amendment (Data Retention) Act 2015) came at the end of a long day of mostly critical submissions.

With our president and the head of the policy committee sitting beside me I boldly told the committee that the Data Retention Bill was “fundamentally flawed” and had clearly been drafted by lawyers who didn’t understand how the Internet actually works. How prescient those comments have proven to have been.

Continue reading “Data retention: How not to introduce complex legislation”