The NBN has dominated discussions on government policy, almost to the total exclusion of other telecommunications initiatives.
Whilst the government has pursued its gold plated fixed line solution, Australia has become one of the world’s fastest adopters of smart phones. The mobile industry did this with little in the way of government intervention.
Some would argue that this is a prime example of how government involvement only slows progress. But Bill Morrow, CEO of Vodafone, says we will miss the longer term economic benefits if we don’t fix up our telecoms policies, recognising the importance of mobile in the communications mix.
In this week’s program you’ll hear him argue for the use of public subsidy for regional services that guarantees open access, whilst Chris Althaus, CEO of the Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association, describes the economic benefits derived from mobile usage.
I ask industry commentator Paul Budde and Greens Senator Scott Ludlam whether the government’s approach to broadband needs to be updated to take into account the mobile opportunity.