“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.
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 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.
It’s a complex issue, but the laws that have traditionally protected people from damaging defamatory comments must be extended to the online world or they might as well not exist!
Turmoil within Australia’s internet domain administration could lead to it being handed back to the government. From my experience dealing with domain name owners and users in my former role as executive director of Internet Australia, I doubt it is in anyone’s best interests for this to occur.
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.
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.
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.
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..
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.
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.