Wednesday, 19 September 2018

Focus on Asia: Politically Correct

By Mary Lennighan, Total Telecom
Wednesday 24 July 13

The rollout of next-generation broadband networks in the Asia-Pacific region is more about politics than it is technology.

Much like Frank Sinatra, national governments, regulators and telecoms operators in the Asia-Pacific are doing it their way when it comes to the rollout of high-speed broadband networks. There is no shortage of opinion on how next-generation infrastructure should be rolled out and funded; markets like Australia, New Zealand and Singapore are taking different approaches with varying degrees of success. There is one constant though: state-backed NGN programmes have little to do with technology and everything to do with politics. The national broadband network (NBN) project in Australia has become a political football ahead of the country’s forthcoming parliamentary elections. Amidst a frenzy of media attention earlier this month Mike Quigley resigned as CEO of NBN Co, the outfit charged with rolling out the network. And in June communications minister Stephen Conroy stepped down after Kevin Rudd ousted Julia Gillard as leader of the ruling Labor party; deputy prime minister Anthony Albanese has taken on the comms ministry role. “Rollout of NBN in Australia is not where it was foreseen to be,” admitted Rob Nicholls…

Much like Frank Sinatra, national governments, regulators and telecoms operators in the Asia-Pacific are doing it their way when it comes to the rollout of high-speed broadband networks. There is no shortage of opinion on how next-generation infrastructure should be rolled out and funded; markets like Australia, New Zealand and Singapore are taking different approaches with varying degrees of success. There is one constant though: state-backed NGN programmes have little to do with technology and everything to do with politics. The national broadband network (NBN) project in Australia has become a political football ahead of the country’s forthcoming parliamentary elections. Amidst a frenzy of media attention earlier this month Mike Quigley resigned as CEO of NBN Co, the outfit charged with rolling out the network. And in June communications minister Stephen Conroy stepped down after Kevin Rudd ousted Julia Gillard as leader of the ruling Labor party; deputy prime minister Anthony Albanese has taken on the comms ministry role. “Rollout of NBN in Australia is not where it was foreseen to be,” admitted Rob Nicholls…

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