NBN

ajTDE is a new journal addressing the role of telecommunications in the rapidly growing global digital economy and Australia's place in it.

Australia?s fixed broadband services performance and takeup is continuing to fall behind other comparable countries in international benchmarks. Indecision about the structure of Australia?s broadband market is likely to continue to retard medium to long term investment in the fibre infrastructure needed to improve Australia?s broadband rankings against its international peers.

Central to discussions about NBN-enabled applications and services is the potential for innovative ways of learning, particularly in relation to online and interactive education. This paper reports on trials of the collaborative software tool Adobe Connect in NSW schools, and reports on two field studies for Zoo Connect, an interactive, multimedia, remotely-delivered class lesson. Results from the trials support those who advocate the NBN as a means to extend classroom learning, and provide evidence that may prompt educators to transition to virtual classrooms sooner rather than later. Recommendations are made for the wider development of NBN-style education programs, regardless of whether or not they fall into the early rollout category/regions, in order to fast track innovation, encourage educators and assist communities to better envisage how the NBN will impact the education domain.

Based on the subject matter canvassed in this issue of the TJA, three initiatives are proposed to stimulate early and wide take-up of the NBN and accelerate its economic and social dividend.

Chris Hancock was appointed in 2004 as chief executive officer of AARNet, Australia?s Academic Research Network that brought the first Internet connection to the nation in 1989. The not-for-profit AARNet Pty Ltd now manages the Australian Research and Education Network (AREN) providing high capacity infrastructure and services to research, education, training, cultural and scientific institutions.
Hancock's previous experience spans senior management positions in the telecommunications sector including as managing director, Optus Wholesale and Optus Data & Business Services (1998-2004); and executive positions at Vodafone Australia, Seven Network and Sarah Lee Corporation.

He holds a Bachelor of Arts (Social Science) degree from Charles Sturt University and a Master of Business Administration (Executive) from the Australian Graduate School of Management. His board positions include as a director of the Institute for a Broadband-Enabled Society (IBES), the Smart Services Cooperative Research Centre, and AARNet Pty Ltd.

Freelance communications journalist, Liz Fell, spoke with Hancock for the TJA in mid-October at AARNet headquarters in Binary House, North Ryde, Sydney.

In the lead-up to the Australian federal election in September 2013, there is huge and often bitter controversy over the potential benefits and disadvantages of each policy. TJA has assembled an NBN Policy Panel of four experienced commentators, ranging in their political sympathies from ?centre left to centre right? ? and none of them uncritical supporters of either policy. Their disciplines span the engineering, economics and marketing of broadband telecommunications.

When faced with the need to move their services to the National Broadband Network (NBN), many consumers discover quite late in the process that their new NBN-based service has left their legacy PSTN connect devices behind.

Papers cover Universal Service, legacy telecommunications equipment the rollout of Ultra-Fast Broadband in New Zealand. How to ensure that legacy telecommunications equipment is identified, upgraded and connected to the National Broadband Network or replaced. An update on the provision of reliable telecommunications to Antarctica and how Ericsson is celebrating the milestone of being a significant contributor to Australian telecommunications over the past 125 years.

With the optimistic air of change that has come from a new Prime Minister, this is the time to look at a realistic option for the NBN which accepts on-budget expenditure, establishes a future-proof approach and provides the opportunity for those who want it to pay a realistic amount towards getting connected. Governments build roads, not driveways. So why should we assume anyone building a national telecommunications network should worry about connecting right up to the front door, especially for those who don?t want it.

The September issue provides an interesting look at the National Broadband Network: and how it is perceived to have problems that need to be resolved; how telecommunications is having an effect on the lives of Australians, with discussion on how older Australians engage with online news; and how mobile phone use in remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities is a balance between opportunity and affordability. Papers on future digital service delivery and metadata retention provide a balance between identifying future use and how authorities are looking our telecommunications usage.

Pages

Subscribe to NBN