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Remote households trying to telecommute rely on satellite connections to high-speed broadband – which sometimes don’t work. AnnieAnniePancake/Flickr

NBN benefits regional centres, but rural Australia is still left wanting

Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull reiterated the importance of the National Broadband Network (NBN) for regional and rural Australia in an address to the NBN Rebooted conference in Sydney last week…
Telstra’s existing customers will be asked to help provide most of the new Wi-Fi hotspots. AAP Image/Joel Carrett

Customers to provide the hotspots in Telstra’s new Wi-Fi plan

Telstra’s plans to rollout Australia’s largest Wi-Fi network over the next five years involves asking existing customers to allow part of their broadband connection to be used as hotspots. More than two…
ACCC Chair Rod Sims could soon see some of the regulator’s powers taken away. Alan Porritt/AAP

Why handing NBN oversight to a new regulator is a recipe for failure

Both the Harper competition policy review, and the more recent Vertigan NBN market and regulatory review have widespread implications for economic regulation. The reports are different in scope and their…
Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull is revisiting well-trodden telecommunications competition issues. Gary Schafer/AAP

Turnbull leaves door open to break up NBN Co

Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull has not ruled out a proposal by the expert panel reviewing the telecommunications…
Shifting from one policy to another has disrupted the NBN rollout, so how does NBN Co report its progress? Floris van Lint/Flickr

Mixed tech, mixed messages: NBN reports unravelled

NBN Co, tasked with building the National Broadband Network (NBN), yesterday released its 2014 Annual Report, showing a three-fold increase in activated premises (210,000 up from 70,000) and a doubling…
Australia has chosen not to rely on market forces for ubiquitous broadband. Kirk Lau/Flickr

The NBN needs Australian action, not a lesson from Canada

A recent piece in The Conversation suggested that for “top broadband policy” the Australian government should look to Canada. Many observers of the development of Canada’s broadband infrastructure would…
The Great White North is about as similar to Australia as any other country … so why don’t we follow their lead? Winston Wong/Flickr

For top broadband policy, look no further than Canada

You might have seen communications minister Malcolm Turnbull raising the issue about Australian press not discussing policy problems and solutions from overseas, in a speech delivered at the Lowy Institute…
The NBN was not subjected to a cost benefit analysis - but this may not have circumvented controversy around the merits of the project. AAP/Stefan Postles

Cost benefit analysis can help or hinder good policy

Big infrastructure projects, such as the National Broadband Network, cost big money. So, how do we use public money wisely? For communications minister Malcolm Turnbull and the Coalition government, a…
NBN Co is digging itself into a deeper hole. Shutterstock

The NBN is in a regulatory hole – time to stop digging

Has there ever been a bigger policy mess than the NBN? The latest claims are that NBN Co risks breaching Australia’s consumer law on the grounds of misleading and deceptive conduct. So how did it get to…
Treasurer Joe Hockey and finance minister Mathias Cormann face a difficult sell for the Abbott government’s tough first budget. AAP/Alan Porritt

Federal budget 2014: political experts react

The Abbott government is hoping an A$11.6 billion infrastructure spending package, combined with a $20 billion medical research fund, will help soften the blow of widespread tightening of health and welfare…
Looking for fast broadband? Here, read this report. Stefan Postles/AAP

The politics of unshackling the NBN from politics

Nobody can ever state with certainty how much it will cost or how long it will take to deliver broadband services to more than 22 million people spread out over 7.6 million square kilometres. Even more…
Consumers have never had more choice, but does that mean more local content? Shutterstock

Archaic cross-media ownership laws won’t save local content

Communication minister Malcolm Turnbull’s proposal for changes to cross-media ownership laws has reignited calls for the government to protect local content. On the surface, it appears reasonable to expect…
Business Council of Australia and now National Commission of Audit head Tony Shepherd is unlikely to make recommendations that don’t fit with the Coalition’s agenda. Nikki Short/AAP

Beware the veil of independence in government reviews

The Abbott Coalition government, like the incoming Labor government before it, has marked the beginning of its term with a raft of reviews, including the wide ranging National Commission of Audit. Given…
Malcolm Turnbull says Labor’s NBN would have cost $73 billion, but his version is also likely to be billions of dollars over budget. Alan Porritt/AAP

NBN 2.0: From engineer’s dream to political football

With unwavering confidence Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull unveiled the consultants report showing Labor’s ambitious plan to provide fibre–to-the-premises (FTTP) broadband to the vast majority…
Some technologies are easy to predict, but it’s easy to get the detail wrong. mcscrooge54/Flickr

How we forecast future technologies

Although I’m a futurist, I have absolutely no idea what information and communications technology will look like in 50 years time. I do know that some of it will be familiar because once we find a usable…
Businesses, government organisations and individuals are not currently well prepared to take advantage of faster broadband, according to the CSIRO. Flickr/HD Zimmermann

CSIRO report confirms lag in business internet use

Broadband access and coverage may have increased across the country, but businesses aren’t investing in the required skills…
Former communications minister Stephen Conroy relished the opportunity to attack new NBN Co boss Ziggy Switkowski on rising costs and the state of Telstra’s copper network in the Senate hearing last week. AAP/Lukas Coch

Senate hearing circus shows politics has no place in NBN

As Stephen Conroy interrogated the incoming NBN Co chief Ziggy Switkowski in last week’s Senate hearing into the network’s rollout, it became increasingly clear that politics is getting in the way of good…

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