IT/Internet election issues?

For my sins, next Friday 5 October I’m covering for Crikey a panel discussion between ICT minister Senator Helen Coonan and her Labor counterpart Senator Stephen Conroy, in front of members of the Australian Computer Society.

What do you reckon the key IT, Internet, media and communications issues will be for this federal election?

For me, I think it’ll be facing the Raccoonan’s hairstyle at 0730. But maybe it’s, what? Broadband rollout? Protecting the kiddies on the Internet? Suggestions please!

Weekly Poll: Who should sing…?

Photograph of Andrew P Street

Andrew P Street is a genius. I say that because (a) he is, (b) knowing Andrew is one of the three vital components for understanding the full subtlety of this week’s poll, and (c) I dare not upset him by failing to acknowledge his enormous throbbing brain.

Last night ’Pong and I went to the Excelsior Hotel in Glebe. Their website is slick and glossy — but the web designer has clearly never set foot in the establishment because the Excelsior is what we in the business call a “dive”. Or, as the Macquarie Dictionary puts it, “a disreputable place, as for drinking, gambling, etc.”

I wish to report that the Excelsior is well-equipped for drinking, and we made ample use of its facilities.

Andrew P Street is, I believe, also well-equipped for drinking, being in possession of hands, mouth, gullet etc. He also has a guitar, and his mouth is so arranged that red wine may flow inwards while, at other moments, song flows outwards.

Continue reading “Weekly Poll: Who should sing…?”

Coonan fails broadband history (no surprise)

The more you dig, the more it’s obvious that communications minister Helen Coonan is completely out of her depth.

On the ABC’s The Insiders on 25 March, the Raccoonan said: “If you just look back a couple of years ago no-one had even heard about broadband.”

No, Senator, I think it’s only you who hadn’t heard of it. The rest of us had it connected to our homes and offices.

Even 12 years ago there was Paul Keating’s Broadband Services Expert Group. Their final report included recommendations like:

With the spread of broadband infrastructure, broadband links be provided to all schools, libraries, medical and community centres by the year 2001.


Telecommunications carriers and broadband network operators be required to inform government annually of their strategies for upgrading their networks, including the expected level of digitisation of existing network services, and the expected extent of broadband network coverage. This requirement should be reviewed by the year 2000.

Hat tip to Prof Roger Clarke for bringing this one to my attention.

[P.S. If you haven’t already done so, please vote in my poll about Coonan. If you’re reading this in the RSS feed, you’ll have to go to my website for that.]