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”

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

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.

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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”

The NBN is already out of date, but it’s not too late to change course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

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.

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An innovation nation – the race to the top

By LAURIE PATTON | 25 November 2015

There’s no reason why Australia cannot be a leader in the Internet-driven, industrial era.

It is unusual for our two major political parties to find themselves joined at the hip on an issue of progressive national policy. But in the case of innovation, that’s just what’s happened. For a time, Labor had this one all to itself. Then, all of a sudden, a new prime minister made innovation a personal crusade. Both sides are now fighting to show who has the best innovation policy.

Continue reading “An innovation nation – the race to the top”