ARN view: Is cloistered Conroy ruining it for Labor?

ARN view: Is cloistered Conroy ruining it for Labor?

Should Conroy be allowed to be so secretive about the NBN?

Communications minister Stephen Conroy is a tough man to track down. For over a year we have tried to secure an interview with him, only to be continually met with empty promises to “follow up” and secure a time. Recently, IDG was flatly told by Conroy's PA that he simply won’t be available for us to pose any questions on behalf of our readership, at any time whatsoever.

Excuse me Mr Conroy, but aren’t we your constituents? Aren’t you supposed to be available to all media outlets, not just the “dailies”?

Conroy is living in a cloistered world.

The gagging and secrecy surrounding the National Broadband Network process was a convenient way of deflecting public and political scrutiny, not to mention the fact that the government in all its technical know-how has deemed itself capable of dictating the technological requirements of the new network, while leaving the industry to bicker over regulation. Pretty much every other country that's built a next-gen network has done the reverse.

Then there’s the mandatory ISP-level filtering, again a proposal shrouded in secrecy, of which the government itself seems incapable of giving us a clear and concise indication of exactly what the proposal entails.

That's two strikes, Mr Conroy.

If the NBN and Internet filtering are anything to go by, I think he is lining up for the big third strike when it comes time to switch over to digital TV. If the current American experience is anything to go by, I think we are in for a tough time in digital communications in Australia over the next few years.

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