Tuesday, November 21, 2017

The ADHA Issues Its First Annual Report - Not Much That Is New I Have To Say.

This appeared last week:

Annual Report 2016-17: New momentum for digital health in Australia

Tuesday 14 November, 2017
The first Annual Report of the Australian Digital Health Agency has been tabled in Parliament – it highlights a new partnership between governments, clinical and consumer leaders, industry and the research community to put real momentum behind bringing the benefits of digital health services to all Australians.
Significant progress has been made in the last year, the report says: Australia has a new National Digital Health Strategy endorsed by all health ministers; My Health Record is on track for national expansion in 2018; and new initiatives to enable secure paperless communications between clinicians have been launched.
Agency Chair Jim Birch AM said that the Agency is tasked with improving health outcomes for all Australians through the use of digital health technologies.
“Technology is already transforming our ability to predict, diagnose, and treat disease. But there is much more we can do to realise its full potential for the health of every Australian: giving consumers more control of their health and care, connecting and empowering healthcare providers and promoting Australia’s global leadership in digital health and innovation,” Mr Birch said.
In its first year the Agency has built a new organisation, connected hospitals and health services to My Health Record, improved the user experience for the 5.3 million registered Australians, and grown the volume of clinical document sharing with 14 million prescription and dispense records now uploaded.
Agency CEO Tim Kelsey said: “The Agency is here to serve the patients and citizens of this country – and would like to thank all our partners in the community – leaders in patient and consumer services, in clinical practice, industry and research, as well as the governments of Australia - for their continuing commitment and collaboration to ensure that everybody has access to the benefits of digitally empowered health services.
“Digital information is the bedrock of high quality healthcare and our shared goal is to ensure that all Australians benefit from the increasing number of digital health services,” Mr Kelsey said.
ENDS
Media contact
David Cooper, Senior Media Manager
Mobile: 0428 772 421 Email: media@digitalhealth.gov.au
About the Australian Digital Health Agency
The Agency is tasked with improving health outcomes for all Australians through the delivery of digital healthcare systems and the national digital health strategy for Australia. The Agency was established on 1 July 2016 by the Australian Government as a statutory authority in the form of a corporate Commonwealth entity, and reports to all Australian governments through the COAG Health Council.
www.digitalhealth.gov.au
Here is the link:
In the best NEHTA tradition there are a zillion happy smiling Digital Health Users and a lot of positive reporting.
Fun Facts:
1. As of 30 June, 2017 there were 247 employees (Temp and Permanent).
2. Agency Funding 2016-17. The Agency is jointly funded by the Commonwealth ($120.892 million) and the states and territories ($32.25 million) reflecting the commitment at all levels of government to the delivery of digital health reform. Note is seems the States are paying a lot less than they were under NEHTA! with the Commonwealth paying more.
3. Registrations:
 In 2016-17 the Agency, as System Operator, registered 1,120,817 people for a My Health Record. There were a total of 20,151 cancelled registrations during the year.
In 2016-17 the System Operator registered an additional 1,320 healthcare provider organisations. 89 registrations were cancelled or suspended.
4.Usage:
A total of 664,278 people accessed their My Health Record via the consumer portal in 2016-17.
A total of 2,217 unique healthcare provider organisations, via their clinical information systems, viewed records in the My Health Record system during 2016-17.
A total of 4,538 unique healthcare provider organisations uploaded records to the My Health Record system during 2016-17.
A total of 218,776,890 documents were uploaded to the My Health Record system in 2016-17.
5. Breaches:
35 data breach notifications were reported to the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner as required under Section 75 of the My Health Records Act 2012 (concerning potential data security or integrity breaches). Twenty-nine of these were reported by the Chief Executive Medicare as a registered repository operator under Section 38 of the Act.
6. Complaints:
In 2016-17 a total of 64 complaints were made in relation to the My Health Record system and, as of as of 24 July 2017, one remained open.
7. I could not find a single issue that was seen as a problem and all seems to be going fine.
A small reward is offered for anyone who can find a self-critical comment in the report. Maybe next year?
David.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Weekly Australian Health IT Links – 20th November, 2017.

Here are a few I have come across the last week or so.
Note: Each link is followed by a title and a few paragraphs. For the full article click on the link above title of the article. Note also that full access to some links may require site registration or subscription payment.

General Comment

A really big week with Consultation on Secondary Use Of myHR Data wrapping up, an ADHA Annual Report and oh so much else! Enjoy.
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Data suggests GPs are wasting their time with My Health Record

About 70,000 shared health summaries were uploaded in August but only 200 were read
16th November 2017
GPs are largely wasting their time uploading and updating thousands of shared health summaries in My Health Record, alarming new figures suggest.
In August this year GPs uploaded and updated about 70,000 shared health summaries, according to the Australian Digital Health Agency.
But it turns out that only 200 summaries were read by staff working in public and private hospitals over the same period. Only around 2800 were viewed by other GP practices.
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Secondary sharing of My Health Record data: no thanks

Authored by Aniello Iannuzzi
The latest “consultation” being undertaken by the government not only shines the spotlight on those two concerns but also portends worse.
Government is seeking opinions regarding the secondary uses of My Health Record systems data. If you want to have a say, you have until this Friday, 17 November 2017.
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"Depressingly frequent" preventable deaths in hospitals can be avoided with data sharing

Lynne Minion | 14 Nov 2017
Unnecessary deaths in Australian hospitals are “depressingly frequent” despite data being available that could prevent them, according to a new report from the Grattan Institute.
Safety scandals occur despite incident reporting, governance and oversight mechanisms that should detect “aberrant clinical care”, the Strengthening safety statistics: How to make hospital safety data more useful report claims, but improved sharing of information could save lives.
Data siloes have been a preoccupation of report co-author and Grattan Institute Health Program Director Stephen Duckett since he led an investigation for the Victorian Government into the potentially avoidable deaths of seven babies at Bacchus Marsh Hospital in 2013 and 2014.
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13 November 2017

Data delays hinder cancer register

As the Department of Health delays the rollout of the National Cancer Screening Register yet again, clinicians are being urged to be aware that women’s clinical histories may be separated between state and national registers for several months. 
The transition from two-yearly Pap smears to five-yearly HPV testing has been almost universally praised as life-saving and cost-effective, but the rollout has been beleaguered by repeated delays and cost blowouts. 
Now another partial delay to the program has been confirmed by Department of Health deputy secretary Paul Madden in the October 26 Senate budget estimates hearing. 
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Fat and mismanaged public sector is eating us alive

  • Maurice Newman
  • The Australian
  • 12:00AM November 13, 2017
Milton Friedman once quipped: “You’re lucky you don’t get all the government you pay for.” Well our federal public service costs more than 6 per cent of GDP simply to run, so just how lucky are we? America’s population is more than 13 times Australia’s, yet employs only eight times as many federal public servants. On a relative basis the US has fewer departments and agencies.
……
We’re reminded of last year’s Australian Bureau of Statistics census “stuff-up”, the Australian Taxation Office’s massive and damaging IT outage, the Department of Health’s decade-long mismanagement of e-health records, and the embarrassing release of identifiable Medicare information. There’s also the Department of Finance’s lax oversight of ministerial travel arrangements. But not raised is the $576m public service travel bill — a blowout of $75m in just four years.
While this shocking record is acknowledged, Beecher argues the blame lies mainly with outsourcing to powerful private contractors who take advantage of CPSU members, under-investment in IT, IT service providers, and, of course, Tony Abbott.
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Get the lowdown on My Health Record

How long will it take to use, when should it be used, and why? With the system rolled out across more software platforms, AJP provides a go-to guide on what it’s all about

Last week the agency behind My Health Record (MHR) announced that in addition to Fred Dispense and Aquarius Dispense, the system will now be available using enhanced versions of Minfos, POS Works and RxOne software.
According to the Australian Digital Health Agency, as at 29 October there were 1,402 community pharmacies already connected to MHR, which had sent almost 3 million structured dispense records through the system.
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13 November 2017

Pharmacy push to boost MyHR uptake

Posted by Julie Lambert
The federal government has formed a partnership with pharmacists to help drive the take-up of the My Health Record as a clinical tool.
Health Minister Greg Hunt announced the tie-up with Pharmaceutical Society of Australia, saying the PSA would develop and deliver education, training and information to expand the use of MyHR by the profession.
“This partnership will help PSA to increase the number of pharmacists working in all practice settings registered, able to view, and automatically upload medicines information to My Health Record,” he said.
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Significant progress made in integration of My Health Record with pharmacies in Australia

By: Priyankar Bhunia
17 Nov 2017
My Health Record has been integrated with three pharmacy software solutions. In addition, a partnership has been reached with the peak national body representing pharmacists.
Pharmacists can now upload dispense records and view hospital discharge summaries, shared health summaries, and allergy information to My Health Record using enhanced Minfos, POS Works, and RxOne software. All three provide software solutions for pharmacies.
This is a result of close cooperation between the Australian Digital Health Agency (the Agency) and the Medical Software Industry Association (MSIA). It follows the launch of the Community Pharmacy Software Industry Partnership earlier this year. (In July, a partnership was initiated with the Pharmacy Guild of Australia.)
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17 November 2017

Whatever happened to our digital health utopia?

Posted by Felicity Nelson
The digital health revolution has been a long time coming.
Once it arrives, we are told, everything will run at peak efficiency, for less money, with higher quality care, greater transparency and immaculate interoperability.
The digital data trinity – electronic medical records, artificial intelligence and big data – will, futurists claim, metamorphose healthcare.
But this sparkling vision grates uncomfortably against the reality; the dull dialling of fax machines can still be heard in most waiting rooms around the country. Frustrated, sick patients still cannot access their most basic medical records remotely online.
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Digital Health Agency says tech is transforming disease management

The Australian Digital Health Agency, established last year by the federal government, says technology is already transforming Australia’s ability to predict, diagnose, and treat disease, but more needs to be done.
Agency chair Jim Birch says while the agency is tasked with improving health outcomes for all Australians through the use of digital health technologies, there is much more it can do to realise its full potential – “giving consumers more control of their health and care, connecting and empowering healthcare providers and promoting Australia’s global leadership in digital health and innovation”.
Birch made his comments as the Digital Health Agency’s first annual report was tabled in Parliament on Tuesday, highlighting what the report said was “a new partnership between governments, clinical and consumer leaders, industry and the research community to put real momentum behind bringing the benefits of digital health services to all Australians”.
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My Health Record passes 5.3m registered users


By Dylan Bushell-Embling
Friday, 17 November, 2017
The My Health Record digital health record system has surpassed 5.3 million registered Australians and is on track for a national expansion in 2018, according to the the Australian Digital Health Agency’s first annual report.
In the agency’s debut year, it has created a new organisation; connected more than twice as many hospitals and health services to My Health Record as were connected in July 2016; and grown the volume of clinical document sharing, with 14 million prescription records now uploaded.
As announced by the government in May, My Health Record will transition to an opt-out model in 2018, with a record to be created for every Australian by the end of next year unless they actively decide not to participate.
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Men Take Control of Their Health with My Health Record

Australian men need to take greater control of their health, announced the Australian Men’s Shed Association who is encouraging men to register for a My Health Record during Movember.
Gary Green, Community Engagement Manager at the Australian Men’s Shed Association, said they are partnering with the Australian Digital Health Agency to distribute My Health Record toolkits to members around Australia.
“This is an important step and opportunity for men to take more control over their health. The Men’s Shed movement aims to advance the wellbeing of Australian men and My Health Record is another step towards achieving this goal,” Mr Green said.
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"Exciting" step towards proposed Digital Health CRC as consortium reaches Stage 2 shortlist for CRC funding

David Jonas | 16 Nov 2017
The digital tsunami has changed many aspects of the way we live and work but has yet to have a defining impact on our health and health care. Occasionally we catch a glimpse of digital health innovation but soon enough you’re back in a specialist’s waiting room perusing a months-old magazine and wondering how long it will be before consumers get a meaningful say in one of the most important and fundamental aspects of their life: their health.

Sure, in Australia, where our health system is valued and trusted, we need to proceed with care, but the potential for real, substantive change that will make health care more effective and affordable is huge and you have to wonder why, when many of the enabling technologies are so successfully deployed elsewhere, that change has been so long in coming.
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Shaky start for Health Care Homes

Amid registration delays and IT malfunctions, patients are starting to 'get it'
17th November 2017
The first month of Health Care Homes has been plagued with registration delays and IT malfunctions, but patients are starting to “get it”, says a GP involved in the program.
Western Sydney GP Dr Thava Seelan has already signed up 30 patients for Health Care Homes and says it has taken him up to two hours to enrol each one.
Bridgeview Medical Centre, where Dr Seelan is a partner, is slated to enlist 500 patients by next year, out of an eligible patient base of 1200.
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17 November 2017

Wild Health: Can MyHR bridge the interoperability gap?

Posted by TMR Staff
The My Health Record has been polarising but that’s about to change, says Dr Monica Trujillo.
Dr Trujillo, the Chief Clinical Information Officer at the Australian Digital Health Agency, spoke on the topic of “Bridging Interoperability Gaps; Patient Safety Imperative” at the Wild Health Summit last month.
“My Health Record has been polarising because it was just an IT product [with] no clinical information,” she said.
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NSW's inaugural clinical IT chief departs

By Justin Hendry on Nov 15, 2017 6:35AM

After three years.

NSW’s first-ever chief clinical information officer Dr John Lambert has called it quits after more than three years overseeing the state’s clinical IT direction.
A spokesperson confirmed that Lambert will leave eHealth NSW on Thursday, with a recruitment process for a new CCIO to commence shortly.
Lambert posted on LinkedIn that he was “pausing to enjoy life for a while”. The spokesperson wouldn’t elaborate on the reason for his departure.
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OAIC releases new My Health Record resources

November 14, 2017
The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner ("OAIC") has released a range of resources to assist healthcare providers understand their privacy obligations under the My Health Record system. My Health Record is a government initiative which allows individuals online access to their health information.
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New Royal Adelaide Hospital still has teething problems but easing into new flagship role

Brad Crouch, Katrina Stokes, The Advertiser
November 12, 2017 9:13pm
JUST over two months since opening, the $2.3 billion Royal Adelaide Hospital continues to struggle with “teething problems”, including staff dealing with the new electronic patient record system.
Pressure on the health system, partly due to a record flu season, continues to see the RAH Emergency Department operating at Code White on occasions — more patients than beds in the 65-capacity department.
Bed blocks also continue to mean variable delays in being admitted. On Friday afternoon, there were 18 patients who had been treated and had been waiting between 12 and 24 hours for a bed.
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Feedback requested on digital identity framework

Stephen Easton / November 16, 2017
The Digital Transformation Agency has released its Trusted Digital Identity Framework for public view, after private consultation with unspecified government and industry stakeholders as well as privacy advocates.
Angus Taylor, the Assistant Minister for Digital Transformation, said “a nationally-consistent approach to how digital identity will managed” was the aim of the framework, which is made up of 14 documents.
“These detail requirements including the process for accrediting providers, privacy and security considerations, risk and fraud management, as well as outlining standards for usability and accessibility,” the DTA says.
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eHealth NSW’s Electronic Record for Intensive Care (eRIC) deployed at The Tweed and Lismore Base Hospitals

Author: Dean Koh
13 Nov 2017
“Being able to chart everything together and configure this information in a simple electronic format improves the way clinicians work by providing a level of accuracy and accountability not previously seen in a paper-based system.”
eHealth NSW’s Electronic Record for Intensive Care (eRIC) went live at The Tweed Hospital (TTH) and Lismore Base Hospital (LBH) today, marking yet another way in which digital tools are enhancing patient safety across the state. Grafton Hospital is the next hospital where eRIC is scheduled to deploy in early December. That will complete the roll-out of eRIC across all Northern NSW Local Health District (NNSW LHD) Intensive Care Units (ICUs). 
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The computer giant who changed the way GPs practise

8 November 2017
The acclaimed television sitcom Silicon Valley follows the fortunes of Richard Hendricks and his bunch of hapless geeks in their attempts to turn a technology start-up into the next big cash cow.
Hendricks is the proud inventor of an algorithm which compresses data so effectively that the potential applications could be limitless, until his limited business acumen gets in the way.
Matt Bardsley, CEO of MedicalDirector software company, chortles at comparisons with Hendricks.
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How data is ushering in the era of personalised healthcare

AI, augmented reality and vast amounts of data will help drive a new revolution in healthcare, Murray Brozinsky says.
Rohan Pearce (Computerworld) 15 November, 2017 06:00
Roughly every half century, there’s an innovation that drives a revolution in healthcare, according to Murray Brozinsky.
In the 1840s it was the use of anaesthesia in surgery; in the 1870s, germ theory. Then in the 1920s penicillin was discovered, and in the 1970s evidence-based medicine emerged on the back of the use of randomised clinical trials.
“We are at the dawn of the next revolution,” Brozinsky — the chief strategy officer of health technology firm Conversa — yesterday told Commonwealth Bank’s Future of Health conference. More than 100 of the bank’s corporate clients attended the conference, held at Telstra’s Customer Insight Centre in Sydney.
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DHS aims for AI-driven service delivery future

By Justin Hendry on Nov 15, 2017 12:45PM

Plans multi-pronged approach to virtual assistance.

With virtual assistants already proving useful in aiding workers at the Department of Human Services, chief information officer Gary Sterrenberg says attention is now turning to the technology's potential to provide “formidable service delivery”.
What began with an internal virtual assistant dubbed ‘Roxy’ to help staff deal with complex questions about the processing of student, carer and age pension claims and some 100,000 legislative rules has spread beyond compliance to areas of customer service.
In the space of a year, three similarly personified bots have arrived with this focus in mind, which Sterrenberg says is part of the department's multi-pronged approach towards virtual assistance.
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Why Online Therapy For Postpartum Depression Is Gaining Momentum

New mothers face unique barriers.

11/15/2017 16:55 EST | Updated 3 hours ago
When Connie Chow of Edmonton, Alta., couldn't access a therapist to help her through postpartum depression, her husband suggested she try online therapy.
"I was isolating myself," recalls Chow. "He noticed that I didn't want to leave the house with the baby and that I would worry or fixate on sleep and breastfeeding. I didn't eat or care to shower much. I had thoughts of self-harm from not being a good mom.
I knew I needed help but was not willing to leave the house to get it. I was referred to a therapist who specializes in postpartum depression and anxiety but she was very busy and it was difficult to book an appointment with her."
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The open e-health platform, coming to an economy near you

Posted on by wolandscat
I’ve been silent for a while, but luckily an excellent paper on one of my favourite topics – the open platform for e-health has appeared. It comes from the Apperta Foundation, and is called “Defining an Open Platform”; you can get the PDF and also comment here.
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How the DTA plans to manage your digital identity

By Justin Hendry on Nov 16, 2017 12:00PM

Agency unveils whole-of-govt framework.

The federal government has exposed the long-awaited framework that will govern its digital identity platform Govpass to the public for the first time.
Assistant minister for digital transformation Angus Taylor this morning opened feedback on the framework, following more than 18 months of development and several weeks of consultation with industry.
The trusted digital identity framework consists of 14 documents  – four more than it contained in March – covering everything from privacy, security and fraud control to technical integration, service operations and accessibility.
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  • Updated Nov 12 2017 at 5:02 PM

Telemedicine start-up G Medical is rewarding investors

The Israeli maker of a smartphone "jacket" that turns your device into an on-the-go health monitor is quickly emerging as one of the most successful small-cap technology stocks on the ASX.
On Friday, G Medical revealed it closed a deal worth over $US405 million over the next three years with Hong Kong-based company First Channel, which will see its devices sold in India and Taiwan.
The deal puts the company, which was founded in 2014, at close to $1 billion in minimum commitments in the next five years.
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G Medical raises $13.5m in placement

by Kathy Skantzos
Mobile health and e-health company G Medical (ASX:GMV) has raised $13.5 million through a heavily oversubscribed institutional and sophisticated investor placement.
The placement included 31.4 million fully paid ordinary shares at $0.43 a share.
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US approves digital pill that tracks when patients take it

By Staff Writer on Nov 15, 2017 6:43AM

To combat poor compliance with medicine regimens.

US regulators have approved the first digital pill with an embedded sensor to track if patients are taking their medication properly, marking a significant step forward in the convergence of healthcare and technology.
The medicine is a version of Otsuka Pharmaceutical's established drug Abilify for schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and depression, containing a tracking device developed by Proteus Digital Health.
The system offers doctors an objective way to measure if patients are swallowing their pills on schedule, opening up a new avenue for monitoring medicine compliance that could be applied in other therapeutic areas.
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Beaming in broadband alternatives

  • The Australian
  • 12:00AM November 16, 2017

Chris Griffith

Wireless last mile solution to offer Gigabit speeds
New wireless technology that operates from the node to the home could help rescue the country’s ailing National Broadband Network.
At least that’s the view of Horizon Wireless, an Australian company partnering with US telecommunications firm Tarana Wireless. It offers beamforming wireless technology for the last mile — linking a fibre node in the street with residences.
Chief executive of Horizon Wireless Phil Silva sees value linking nodes with new homes or retrofilling nodes with wireless boxes that bypass existing copper connections limited to 100 megabits per second at best.
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NBN – it's not all bad news

I've just switched to the NBN, and I'm very happy.
The media industry has several rules of thumb, including "'Dog bites man' isn't news, but "man bites dog is news" and "if it bleeds, it leads".
In business, there's the idea that an unhappy customer will tell 10 people about their bad experience, but a happy customer will only tell one person. The advent of social media has probably changed that ratio by several orders of magnitude, but the principle remains.
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NBN hit by digital division

NBN Co says about 75 per cent of homes passed by the network have taken up the service, in line with its original forecasts.
  • The Australian
  • 12:00AM November 14, 2017

Anthony Klan

Calls from National Broadband Network chief executive Bill Morrow for mobile broadband providers to be slugged with new taxes were quickly shut down by Malcolm Turnbull late last month.
But Morrow’s push for the handcuffing of new competitors highlights a serious issue set to gouge NBN Co’s bottom line: consumers are simply bypassing the $49 billion network as new technology, such as 5G mobile broadband, becomes cheaper and more widespread.
The NBN had forecast it would lose out on about 15 per cent of connection to mobile broadband and wireless technology.
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  • Updated Nov 13 2017 at 5:30 PM

FTTP the 'ultimate' solution: Britain's Openreach says

It will likely take decades for Australia to build a full fibre-to-the-premises broadband network, the chairman of the United Kingdom's telco infrastructure provider has warned.
Openreach, the wholesale arm of British Telecommunications plc (BT), already has a fibre-to-the-node network servicing 94 per cent of the British population, but chairman Mike McTighe told a broadband conference in Sydney on Tuesday that BT recognised it would not be good enough in the long term.
"Fibre-to-the-premises is the ultimate long-term solution, and I think everyone here today knows that," Mr McTighe told the conference.
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  • Nov 13 2017 at 1:00 PM

Why is Australia's national broadband network so bad?

by Gary McLaren
The question in the headline is the one I was asked most often while visiting Berlin recently for the Broadband World Forum conference. This conference brings together a huge range of telco operators, equipment vendors and industry veterans every year to discuss the latest developments.
I had arrived in Berlin on the day NBN Co was undergoing another round of intense media scrutiny in advance of the ABC Four Corners report on the poor perception Australians have of the NBN.
My attendance at the event was on behalf of Hong Kong Broadband Network to discuss the topic of "Will We Be Ready for 2020? Global Operators Discuss 2020 Goals."
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Enjoy!
David.