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Exposure to even a single fibre of asbestos dust can cause significant health problems. Image from shutterstock.com

Health harms of asbestos won’t be known for decades

The digital age crashed into the bronze age when the roll out of Australia’s high-speed broadband network was disrupted by the discovery of asbestos in Telstra pits in recent weeks. Workplace relations…
Speed limits were made to be broken - in internet terms, anyway. JRFreemanJr

Faster-than-superfast internet, and why we can’t have it (yet)

You may have read about Sony’s plan to install a fibre-based internet service in Japan which could reach download speeds of 2 gigabits a second (Gbps). That’s 20 times faster than speeds offered by Labor’s…
Will the NBN be more “future-proof” under Labor or the Coalition? Lukas Coch/AAP image

The NBN needs vectoring – or is Turnbull just hectoring?

In yesterday’s Business Spectator, shadow communications minister Malcolm Turnbull defended the Coalition’s broadband plan, released on Tuesday, as a better alternative to Labor’s National Broadband Network…
Talking technology: Coalition communications spokesman Malcolm Turnbull, Opposition Leader Tony Abbott and Fox Sports’ John O'Sullivan. AAP/Lloyd Jones

User-pays for fastest internet access under Coalition plan

The federal Coalition’s new A$30 billion plan for “fast, affordable” broadband is a quick-fix strategy, which is likely to…
Yesterday, the Coalition launched its blueprint for the national broadband network, which will have lower access speeds but will be cheaper to build. But is it good policy? AAP

The Coalition’s NBN policy is a triumph of short-termism over long-term vision

“The superfast broadband of the order of 100+ megabits per second (Mbps) and into the gigaspeed bracket is de rigueur for any nation purporting to be a developed and advancing economy.” – Phil Ruthven…
“Quick and dirty” or “slow but consistent”? The policies are now on the table. Dan Peled/AAP Image

A tale of two NBNs: the Coalition’s broadband policy explained

Today in Australia, the Coalition released its policy on the National Broadband Network (NBN). So what is the proposal? Amid rhetoric claiming Labor government inefficiency, cost blowouts and failure to…
The ACCC has concerns over NBN Co’s wholesale pricing plans.

NBN Co goes back to the drawing board on pricing plan

Yesterday, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) recommended that NBN Co revise its wholesale agreement — including proposals on pricing and access — as outlined in its special access…
Brunswick households have largely welcomed the NBN, but more needs to be done to address retail pricing structures for high-speed broadband plans. AAP

Despite bumps in the rollout, households show strong support for the NBN

The NBN is emerging as one of the key issues in the lead-up to this year’s federal election. But the project has been fraught with challenges: planning issues and a shortage of skilled labour have delayed…
Silver bullets are elusive when it comes to curbing illegal downloads. aquella manera

Smacking down online piracy – does New Zealand know best?

We know online piracy exists; we know governments want to stop it – but what are the options? Richard Freudenstein, CEO of Australia’s largest pay-TV provider Foxtel, has joined the chorus of entertainment…
Concerns about the NBN destroying Australian music are just scaremongering. AAP/Joel Carrett

The NBN will be disastrous for the music industry … really?

The NBN could have disastrous results for the local [music] industry. At least, that was the view of peak recording industry body the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) and local…
Is it time to declare the NBN a “national disaster”? MATEUS_27:24&25

The army should rescue the NBN

The National Broadband Network (NBN) is in dire trouble and has reached the point where Julia Gillard should declare a national disaster. By doing so the government would be able to utilise constitutional…
Getting something we all need for nothing … what’s not to love? madlyinlovewithlife

Free Wi-Fi for everyone everywhere (maybe)

The Washington Post reported on February 4 that the US federal government wanted to create super Wi-Fi networks across the USA. While it appears that statements by the US Federal Communications Commission…
If we assume that demand for in-flight internet is going to increase, it’s time we did something about it. Damian Shaw/AAP

Qantas drops in-flight Wi-Fi – the NBN to the rescue?

The trial of in-flight Wi-Fi on six Qantas Airbus A380s flying between Melbourne, Los Angeles and London has ended, following an announcement by the carrier last week. So why does this matter? And could…
Asian languages are important, but they should be one part of a greater focus on Asia in the curriculum. Asian image from www.shutterstock.com

Across the curriculum: access to Asian languages isn’t everything

Despite the breadth of issues in the Australia in the Asian Century White Paper released this week, so far the debate has focused largely on language learning in schools. With fewer and fewer students…
Open health is one side of “open data” policies being pursued by countries all over the world. Kate Ter Haar

Open health: what is it and why should you care?

“Open health” captures a broad set of information technologies that will change the way we approach health and health care. It encompasses “ehealth” (the storage and provision of personal medical information…
The internet of the future could consume 10% of the world’s electricity supply. rachel_titiriga

The internet is sapping the world’s energy, so let’s improve it

Despite its new economy sheen, the internet represents a surprisingly large old economy drain on energy resources. Industry and academia must work together to ensure the internet is a positive contributor…
The Australian Financial Review isn’t everyone’s first choice for coverage of the NBN. Lukas Coch/AAP

For whom the Whirlpool trolls? Stephen Conroy and the NBN

The presence of “trolls” in online forums is often portrayed as a blight on constructive debate, but a recent stoush indicates political discussion by antagonistic online users may not be all bad. You…
Much like the development of the railway in the 19th century, the National Broadband Network (NBN) will transform our society. Wikimedia Commons

How the NBN will change education: Australia’s “Last Spike” moment

When I grew up in Canada there was a famous painting on the wall of nearly every primary school classroom. It was called “[The Last Spike](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Last_Spike_(Canadian_Pacific_Railway…
How can consumers get what they want on an NBN-enabled Australia without getting wires crossed? NBNCO

The NBN, service providers and you … what could go wrong?

Unless you’ve been boycotting all forms of media in the past five years, you’ll be aware that the National Broadband Network (NBN) is well and truly on its way. For some of us the NBN is already here…

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