Wednesday, September 8, 2010

[MISP] Australian gov't selected based partly on broadband issues

From another list:

As you are all no doubt aware, ;^) the Australian elections a couple of weeks ago resulted in a hung Parliament for the first time since maybe 1940. After tense negotiations, it has just become clear that Labor will remain in power, with a minority government and by a margin of a single vote in Parliament (76-74).

And the issue that gave them the hairline victory is ... (drum roll) ...

BROADBAND!      Who woulda' thunk?

I am hard pressed to think of any place where broadband actually was the margin of victory or defeat in a national election. (Well, sort of ... The election was about a lot of things. And while broadband seems to have loomed large in the decision of the two independents who ultimately settled the outcome, it surely was not the only factor for them, either.) Anyway, it seems to me that it is a first.

The plan to invest ... Who knows, maybe $43 billion Aussie? ... into a national fibre-based network for more than 90% of Australians will go forward. For a country with ten million households, that is a lot of dough per capita. The Coalition, who will now be in opposition, would have cancelled it.

"The issues that I thought were critical to this, and possibly the most critical, was broadband," Windsor said at a packed media conference in Canberra.
"There�s an enormous opportunity for regional Australians to engage with the infrastructure of this century and to pass up that opportunity and miss the opportunity for millions of country Australians, I thought, was too good an opportunity to miss."
Windsor said his advisers on broadband, of which he said he had "a number of", suggested that, on broadband, "you do it once, you do it right and you do it with fibre".
"And that has been one of the major influences that I�ve had in terms of making a decision," Windsor said."

Check out:

(Disclaimer: I have no personal interest in the outcome of the elections, but Australia is a country where I have occasionally done work, both for the regulator and for commercial parties.)

At least it was a real issue. . .

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