As part of the ABC Open project Life’s Big Questions, ABC Open Producer David Nixon attended the Broadband for the Bush Forum III and posed delegates with the question:
“What’s the last argument you had?”
Below you will find a number of short videos with their responses.
B4B Alliance member: Apolline Kohen, Ninti One
In a ‘digital first’ society such as Finland, broadband access is a legal right. With Australia heading down the same road, should we follow their example? Apolline Kohen has reached her own conclusion.
B4B Alliance Chair: John Huigen, Desert Knowledge Australia
John Huigen recounts the basis of an argument he constructed – is it time that mobile broadband access was included in the universal service obligation of the nation’s telecommunications strategy? This question was put to representatives of telecommunications providers, government bureaucrats and consumer advocates at the fishbowl session of the Broadband for the Bush forum. With the smartphone rapidly becoming the most used device for internet access – especially for low income earners – it is a timely conversation given the Federal Government’s plan to move the majority of its services online in a ‘digital first’ strategy that will see a sizeable reduction in face to face engagement with citizens over the next 10 years.
B4B Alliance member: Daniel Featherstone, Indigenous Remote Communications Association
Once upon a time, Daniel Featherstone was the manager of a remote Indigenous media organisation (RIMO) in outback Western Australia. He knows only too well the barriers Indigenous people face when getting online. These days, he puts his experience to good use working as the general manager of the Indigenous Remote Communications Association – the peak body for RIMOs. Daniel comments about informal training being the key to digital inclusion.
B4B Alliance member: Ray Heffernan, RAPAD
Arguing with the status quo: How do we attract young people to live and work in remote Australia when there’s such poor mobile and broadband access?
B4B Forum III delegate: Jenny McFarland, Central Australian Youth Link Up Service
Jenny McFarland recounts the point of her last argument; that peer to peer learning is the method by which ICT training outcomes are achieved in remote Indigenous communities. She works for an organisation referred to in this video as CAYLUS – the Central Australian Youth Link Up Service – which has been very active across the region installing computers and facilitating creative ICT assisted projects in recent years.
B4B Alliance member: Reg Coutts, TelSoc
Reg Coutts is passionate about the NBN and makes a compelling point about how innovation is required to leverage our investment.
B4B Alliance member: Dr Ellie Rennie, Swinburne University
Having a digital hub in your community doesn’t automatically mean you have access to the internet. Who has the keys?
B4B Forum III speaker: Peter Radoll, University of Canberra
Peter Radoll makes the compelling point; that the policy to move Government service online was made without any consideration for peoples access to the internet…. and that a decade or more later, there is still no strategy in place to ensure the success of ‘digital first’.
B4B Forum III delegate: Nelson Conboy, Indigenous Media Services
With the digital switchover complete, large portions of the spectrum that previously carried analogue television services has become vacant in remote areas. This spectrum is ideal for wifi technologies, and it is this capacity to which Nelson Conboy refers to in this video.
To find out more about ABC Open Central Australia visit the website.