Industry bodies are worried about the Coalition’s broadband policy, with Australian Computer Society (ACS) CEO, Bruce Lakin, giving it a fail mark.
Lakin played host to a wide range of heavy hitters from throughout the Australian technology industry during an ICT policy debate between Communications Minister, Senator Stephen Conroy, shadow Communications Minister, Tony Smith, and Greens spokesperson, Scott Ludlam.
He said the industry’s reaction to the Coalition’s broadband strategy was muted and that the key players were under whelmed.
“They really want to better understand what the Opposition is putting in front of it,” he said. “The general consensus is that it was a bit short of the mark.
“On first hearing it doesn’t seem to be technically elegant or offer the platform to move with the evolution of technology… Senator Conroy made the argument that it was last century’s technology and I’d tend to support that.
“I’d personally leave the Coalition in a failing grade… but I do take comfort that they do recognise the importance to the nation of broadband. Their position on it may be short of what we want but at least they have one.”
Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA) CEO, Ian Birks, said the industry was highly supportive of fibre-based networks and saw it as a scalable future-proof technology.
“For the real vision of a digital economy we need to talk about higher speeds than [12Mbps],” he said. “Fundamentally, 100Mbps should be a starting point and not an end point.
“We’re going to have to do some detailed investigations into the upgradeability and scalability of some of the technologies involved,” Birks said. “I’m sure it’ll be attractive to a lot of people given the amount of money it saves compared to the NBN approach.
“We want to spend some time to find out just how well this Coalition policy addresses our bigger goals.”