An assessment of Australia’s broadband sector and the National Broadband Network (NBN) will be presented at a public lecture hosted by the University of Newcastle tomorrow night.
Well-known economist Professor Paul Kerin* will discuss how and why the telecommunications industry and related government policies and regulations have changed over the last century and, in particular, since the birth of the internet.
His lecture, Broadband and the public interest: pulling the institutional and organisational levers will focus on broadband developments over the last decade and assess the broadband policies of both the Howard and Rudd/Gillard governments, including the NBN.
Professor Kerin will offer his views on whether it would be too late for a new government to change the NBN plan after the next federal election and, if not, what should be changed.
“Options range from finishing the build through to breaking it up and selling off the pieces. While many people think that it will be too late to stop the NBN after the next election (if Labor goes full term), but is it really? – and if not, which option might best serve the public interest?”
Professor Kerin will ask:
• Why has the provision of telecommunications services – including broadband – not best served the public interest in the past?
• What key decisions and changes in the telecommunications industry over the past century have brought us to this point?
• What, specifically, is "wrong" with the current provision of broadband and why?
• Is the NBN the best way to solve our broadband problems? What other solutions, if any, are worth considering?
• Going forward, how should we proceed on broadband to best serve the public interest?
* Professor Kerin is Professorial Fellow (Strategy) at Melbourne Business School (MBS). He has written extensively on telecommunications reform and broadband. A Fulbright Scholar, he earned his PhD in Business Economics at Harvard University, where he served as George Dively Research Fellow in the Kennedy School of Government. Prior to his MBS appointment, he was Managing Director (Australia and NZ) of international management consulting firm A.T. Kearney.
The public broadband lecture, promoted by the Centre for Institutional and Organisational Studies in the Faculty of Business and Law, will be held on Tuesday 19 April 2011, at The Newcastle Club, 40 Newcomen Street Newcastle, at 6.30pm for a 7pm start. Media are welcome to attend.
For interviews with Professor Paul Kerin, contact Carmen Swadling, Media and Public Relations officer, University of Newcastle, 02 4985 4276 or 0428 038477.