CE Exec’s Give KickStart A Miss
First up was Paul Fletcher, parliamentary assistant to Comms Minister Malcolm Turnbull, he was the same key speaker used at last years event, he also spoke on the csame subject the NBN the only difference being that this time Fletcher was not an opposition spoksperson.
It was in fact a last hurrah of sorts for KickStart which from today is to be known by the moniker Tech Leaders – possibly a manoeuvre to attract more execs: numbers are a little thinner on the ground this year, compared with previous KickStart bashes.
The gabfest got under way with Paul Fletcher, parliamentary assistant to Comms Minister Malcolm Turnbull delivering the opening spruik, in which, as might be expected, he gave the Labor Party’s NBN plan a bollocking and patiently explained how the Coalition is seeking to put things right, even though work appears to have ground to a near-total halt.
Fletcher, a former Optus executive turned politician, was spared the heckling he got when he last addressed the KickStarters a couple of years ago – though that was nothing to the rowdy spat last year between Turnbull and the ABC’s Nick Ross (who is not attending this year).
He stressed the need for ongoing strategic reviews and cost-benefit analyses before any real progress can again be made.
And he poured particular scorn on the Rudd/Gillard government’s decision to order a new NBN Co-owned Ka-band satellite to deliver broadband at city rates to remote areas, and in the meantime crammed users onto ageing Optus satellites.
With 250,000 users seeking to use facilities designed to be capped at 48,000, those satellite users are experiencing deadly slow deliveries – “little better than dial-up,” Fletcher claimed.
Service resellers have been part of the problem, Fletcher said, with some selling plans claimed to deliver 30-gigabyte monthly, when only 9GB was available.
He reckoned a better deal would have been for NBN Co to have put the satellite service out to tender in order to make use of existing satellites – a much cheaper option, he claimed – though the government at the time claimed there were no Ka-band satellites flying with coverage across the remote regions concerned.