Thursday, 13 April 2017 02:08

IA’s Hurley wants COAG focus on ‘bipartisan’ NBN policy Featured

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IA’s Hurley wants COAG focus on ‘bipartisan’ NBN policy Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Internet Australia has again called for an end to what it calls “the politics of the NBN” and urged politicians to get behind a new bipartisan broadband policy before it is too late.

And IA executive chairman Anne Hurley says it is time for the Council of Australian Governments (COAG)  to consider the issue in light of "a growing number of state governments expressing their concerns about the impact of the project on their state's economic development”.

Hurley also repeated IA’s call that Australia needs to take the inevitable step and abandon FttN now, while the country is in the middle of an election cycle.

Referring to industry calls for a financial writedown of the NBN and increasing media attention on the flaws in the current strategy, Hurley said that she saw no future in a continuation of the polarised debate that has continued while Australia falls behind the rest of the developed world.

Hurley made her remarks after Opposition communications spokesperson Michelle Rowland called on the government to abandon its FttN rollout for all premises not currently in the design or construction phase and replace it with FTTdp.

"The time has come for both sides to step back, to apply some common sense, and recognise that the current strategy does not have support among the general public,” Hurley said.

“We believe that a full-fibre NBN is inevitable. The question now is how much money is spent on a technology, FttN, which will need to be replaced at great additional cost. We back FTTdp simply because it is capable of being upgraded at a future date in order to keep pace with the rest of the world, which is turning away from FttN."

Hurley noted that there are new technologies coming on stream that were not available when Labor launched the NBN back in 2009 or when the Coalition adopted its model.

"The drums are beating. It's time for a national reflection on how we fix the NBN."

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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