Articles on NBN

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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…
Stringing optical fibre on power lines isn’t a new idea, but there are better ones. Sarah Caulfield

Sooner, cheaper, faster: can power lines speed up the NBN rollout?

Recent reports in The Australian call for the National Broadband Network (NBN) rollout to be sped up by using optical fibre strung overhead with power lines, rather than replacing Telstra’s copper network…
Malcolm Turnbull says he’s agnostic about which technology is used for the NBN. BartaIV/Flickr

Turnbull’s ‘agnostic’ approach could restore faith in the NBN

Yesterday, the new Minister for Communications, Malcolm Turnbull, announced he had asked for the resignations of the National Broadband Network (NBN) board. He stamped his authority on the direction of…
Communications minister Malcolm Turnbull has not accepted the resignation of six members of the NBN Co board – yet. AAP/Alan Porritt

NBN Co’s board members resign – but why?

The mass resignation of all board members but one of NBN Co - the company charged with rolling out the National Broadband Network (NBN) - should come as no surprise to anyone observing the NBN debate…
The vision of a fibre-to-the-home National Broadband Network continues for some. J e n s

NBN petition and the backlash: when does democracy speak?

Australian social media users and civil society groups are mobilising against Coalition communications spokesperson Malcolm Turnbull’s implication today that democracy has spoken through the election process…
A vote for the future? AAP/Lukas Coch

Election 2013 Essays: Australia for the long term

Election 2013 Essays: As the federal election campaign draws to a close, The Conversation asked eminent thinkers to reflect on the state of the nation and the challenges Australia – and whichever party…
Workers install a fibre optic cable for the government’s National Broadband Network (NBN).

FactCheck: will the NBN take another 20 years to complete?

“At the current rate of roll-out, the National Broadband Network (NBN) won’t cover the whole country for 20 years.” – Opposition Leader Tony Abbott, National Press Club, 11 August. The above claim on the…
A disparity exists between media representations and public perceptions of the NBN. Flood

Australia, what do you think of the NBN?

It goes without saying that the National Broadband Network (NBN) – regardless of who steers the rest of the build – is a major infrastructure project for Australia. And we all know its cost, technical…
There are two visions for the National Broadband Network, but what are the long-term costs? Lukas Coch/AAP

Can Australia afford the Coalition’s NBN?

Consumers know well that buying a cheaper product often costs more in the long term when the cheaper product has to be replaced. This is true of the Coalition’s vision for the National Broadband Network…

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