By LAURIE PATTON | 9 November 2017
Among the issues considered at a recent Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat conference was how to deal with increasing urban density without destroying communities’ liveability, and how to increase people’s accessibility to their workplaces.
In The Fifth Estate’s report on the conference, it said: “By 2053, about 89 per cent of all Australians are expected to live in capital cities. As more and more people enter these cities, residents are becoming increasingly concerned with impacts on liveability”.
One of the solutions proposed was to build more public transport systems within cities, and specifically in the case of Sydney to continue the current trend for building new metros.
But does it makes sense for most of us to be jammed into a handful of overcrowded cities?
Continue reading “Taking Smart City agenda to the regions could help Australia’s straining cities”
By LAURIE PATTON | 15 September 2017
Outgoing chair of Internet Australia, Anne Hurley, has grown tired of defending herself and IA against baseless attacks from people with questionable agendas.
In my case, like Anne, I’m incredibly proud of the impact we’ve had highlighting the need for a 21st Century NBN. At every stage, I’ve been mindful of the supportive feedback we have received from IA members and the general public and been guided by a member survey that overwhelmingly opposed the deployment of inferior copper-wire-based FTTN. Continue reading “Baseless attacks by NBN Co cronies see resignations from Internet Australia”
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”
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 charities, not-for-profits, in fact every volunteer organisation to have a good look in the governance mirror – especially their directors and senior executives. And it would be a good idea for the members of NFP’s in particular to critically assess the governance practices of their boards.
Too many volunteer boards are dominated by people who hang on limpet-like for too long – precluding others from contributing and defending past policies and practices long deserving review.
Keeping boards active and relevant to the needs of their members is a major issue that requires constant vigilence.
Perhaps we even need to look at changing the relevant laws to ensure better governance of the sector?
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 | 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 | 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”