Quote Of The Year

Timeless Quotes - Sadly The Late Paul Shetler - "Its not Your Health Record it's a Government Record Of Your Health Information"


H. L. Mencken - "For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong."

Monday, February 18, 2019

Weekly Australian Health IT Links – 18th February, 2019.

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

Quite a lot on the go, with Queensland again in the news for all the wrong reasons.
Otherwise the encryption law debate has ramped up again. Given our secure messaging systems rely on such technologies we need to keep an eye on what is going on

Premier called upon to halt electronic medical record project

By Lucy Stone
February 14, 2019 — 5.28pm
The Queensland premier has been questioned in State Parliament on whether she will halt the rollout of Queensland Health’s integrated electronic medical record.
It follows relevations about the state’s public health clinicians detailing serious concerns with the project’s fast-tracked rollout and the consequences for hospitals including patient safety risks.
Dr Richard Ashby, the chief executive officer of eHealth Queensland and responsible for the rollout until late December, resigned two weeks ago for “personal reasons” after Queensland Health director-general Michael Walsh referred allegations of an undeclared personal relationship to the Crime and Corruption Commission.
Health Minister Steven Miles immediately ordered the halt of a second major eHealth Queensland digital project, the $200 million patient administration system replacement.

'We cannot remain silent': Queensland clinicians' fears on electronic medical record

By Lucy Stone
February 13, 2019 — 9.48pm
Clinicians at Queensland's public hospitals say they “cannot remain silent” in the face of patient safety risks related to Queensland Health’s integrated electronic medical record project.
Their fears have been detailed in letters written by hospital staff, and by peak health bodies writing on their behalf, to Queensland Health’s director-general Michael Walsh, to the Health Minister, and to eHealth Queensland’s former chief executive Richard Ashby.
Patient safety risk examples given by some clinicians in their correspondence included difficulties administering medications and medications going missing in the software.
Health Minister Steven Miles said Queensland Health consulted "in depth" with all hospital clinicians before, during and after the rollout of the integrated electronic medical record at hospitals.

Electronic medical record costing Queensland hospitals millions

By Lucy Stone
February 11, 2019 — 10.20pm
Queensland’s public hospitals are dealing with multimillion-dollar blowouts to install an integrated electronic medical record that clinicians say is flawed and putting patients at risk.
Many Hospital and Health Services are floundering under the booming cost of the health department’s integrated electronic medical record (ieMR) project, while patients at some public hospitals have been affected by increased elective surgery wait times.
The state's Hospital and Health Services are statutory bodies running several hospitals and community health centres within each region, receiving state, federal and their own funding.
A Queensland Health spokesman said many hospitals had spent more than originally predicted as a result of "increased scope, the emergence of new technology, and features requested by clinicians".

eHealth Queensland saved AU$1m per year through a better password reset process

35 percent of calls to the IT support service were from the state's health care providers calling after they forgot their passwords.
By Asha McLean | February 14, 2019 -- 02:37 GMT (13:37 AEDT) | Topic: Digital Transformation
The Queensland health system is comprised of 16 individual health services that are each their own statutory authority; but they all turn to eHealth Queensland for IT support.
In addition to providing tech support for around 100,000 employees, eHealth Queensland was charged with assisting Australia's first digital hospital, the Princess Alexandria Hospital. There are now nine advanced digital hospitals in Queensland.
According to eHealth Queensland chief customer experience officer Michael Berndt, over the next six to 12 months, another six hospitals are going to be fully digitised, with the expectation that around 80 percent of the state's hospital and health service facilities will be digital over the coming years.

Queensland Health's vaccination reminder app labelled 'useless' by parents

13 February, 2019
A Queensland Health mobile app designed to issue reminders for childhood vaccinations has been wiping the data entered by parents, prompting complaints that it is essentially "useless".

Key points:

  • About 60 people have complained to Queensland Health about the app wiping data
  • Queensland Health has apologised to app users and said it has fixed the problem
  • Health Minister Steven Miles said the app shouldn't be solely relied upon for vaccination reminders
The free VacciDate app was launched in 2014, allowing parents to enter their child's details and receive reminders on their smartphones and tablets when immunisations are due.
But dozens of parents have reported their information has been deleted from the app and are no longer receiving alerts in the lead-up to scheduled vaccinations.

SafeScript proves its mettle in first four months

System alerts pharmacists about thousands of patients at risk
13th February 2019
Victoria’s SafeScript system appears to be proving its value, with pharmacies and doctors receiving alerts about more than 7000 patients at risk in the past four months.
The first phase of the project started in the Western Victorian Primary Health Network (PHN) in October. Initial department of health data provided to the Pharmacy Guild show that:
  • Overall, SafeScript has picked up 7432 patients at increased risk.
  • There have been 4348 alerts to doctors and pharmacists about patients visiting multiple general practices and pharmacies.
  • Other alerts involve patients taking high doses or a combination of monitored medicines.
  • Pharmacist uptake of the system in the Western Victoria PHN is over double that of doctors (79% versus 35%).
  • One in two pharmacists and one in seven doctors are active users of SafeScript. They regularly login and are active on the platform.

Breakthrough on hospital–GP clinical handover

A major Australian hospital service has moved to reframe discharge summaries as clinical handovers, following years of advocacy by local GPs.
For the first time, interns and junior doctors beginning at the Gold Coast Hospital and Health Service (GCHHS) this year, as well as most senior doctors, were shown a video stressing the need to do a proper clinical handover to GPs at the time of discharge.

The video asks hospital doctors to ensure a handover answers four key questions, namely what the patient’s diagnosis was, whether there were complications, allergies or alerts, what the medications are at discharge, and what plans are there for further care after discharge.

The ground-breaking move addresses a longstanding GP complaint over very slow or lacking communication from hospitals and has been hailed by many local GPs, including Dr Kat McLean, who last year publically
called for change.

The Chair of the GCHHS board, Ian Langdon, told newsGP the move was in the best interest of patients.

‘The board and management have made the determination that a clinical handover at the time of discharge is of paramount importance,' he said.

RACGP signs marketing deal with overseas software company

The college says it has entered a three-year contract to 'improve the products GPs use every day'
12th February 2019
The RACGP says it is entering a three-year marketing deal with an overseas company wanting to sell practice software to GPs.
The move is likely to reignite concerns over the college’s role in setting e-health standards while financially benefiting through commercial arrangements with software vendors.
In a message to its members posted on the closed section of its website last month, the college said it had entered a three-year marketing agreement to promote GP software called Hello Health.
So far, two contracts with Hello Health’s overseas owners Myca and the college’s commercial arm RACGP Oxygen have been signed off by the college’s board.

Telstra pins its profit growth hopes on 5G as full-year dividend set to drop

Feb 14, 2019 — 10.49am
Telstra's interim results reveal an industry suffering a squeeze on profit margins from the growing footprint of the NBN Co's wholesale broadband network and increased competition in mobiles.
Telstra's profit margins went backwards in mobile, fixed line and in network application services, which was once heralded as one of the key businesses of the future at the country's biggest telco.
Adding to the pressure on profit was the decline in the average revenue per user in fixed line retail (minus 3.4 per cent), mobile postpaid (minus 2.4 per cent) and in mobile broadband.
Telstra health revenue rose 50 per cent which more than offset the decline in revenue from the sale of Ooyala.

Need to know? Go to #Be Health Aware

MEDIA RELEASE Tuesday 12 February 2019
The Consumers Health Forum today launches a new portal, #Be Health Aware, to help people find the health information they seek.
Modern health care involves more choice and complexity for consumers and patients than ever, the CEO of the Consumers Health Forum, Leanne Wells, says.
“That’s why we have established #Be Health Aware. Whether you need to know more about what to ask your doctor, patient guides, how to lodge a health complaint, or health insurance, or how Medicare works, #Be Health Aware offers information on what to do or where to go,” Ms Wells said.
“The Consumers Health Forum has developed this new portal for consumers and the community as part of our advocacy of health literacy as a central element of consumer-centred health care. 

Microsoft pushes multibillion-dollar health AI tech in Australia

By Bo Seo
Updated Feb 11, 2019 — 4.48pm, first published at 4.00pm
Microsoft will try to capitalise on growing pressure on operating margins and workplace dissatisfaction in the healthcare sector, as the technology giant looks to expand its multibillion-dollar healthcare business into Australia.
Peter Lee, Microsoft's corporate vice-president and former Carnegie Mellon university professor whom chief executive Satya Nadella charged with the company's healthcare push in 2017, said the Australian market was "super interesting" and growing as organisations looked to cloud-based technology to improve services.
Despite the government's troubles in encouraging Australians to sign on to electronic health records, the use of medical data across practices and disciplines is growing rapidly in Australia.
Last Friday, at the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society conference in Orlando, Florida, Microsoft announced new products aimed at communication capability for collaborative care; cloud-based data systems for the easy exchange of healthcare information, and artificial intelligence applications to high-precision medicine.

Microsoft Healthcare Bot brings conversational AI to healthcare

Sunday, 10 February 2019  
Microsoft has announced the general availability of the Microsoft Healthcare Bot in the Azure Marketplace.
The Microsoft Healthcare Bot is a cloud service that powers conversational AI for healthcare. It’s designed to empower healthcare organisations to build and deploy compliant, AI-powered virtual health assistants and chatbots that help them put more information in the hands of their users, enable self-service, drive better outcomes and reduce costs.
The Healthcare Bot service has several unique aspects:
Out-of-the-box healthcare intelligence including language models to understand healthcare intents and medical terminology, as well as content from credible providers with information about conditions, symptoms, doctors, medications and even a symptom checker.

Computer 'doctor' diagnoses child diseases

An artificial intelligence system designed to diagnose childhood diseases can recognise symptoms more accurately than many human doctors, a study has shown.
John von Radowitz
Press Association February 12, 20192:22pm
An artificial intelligence system designed to diagnose childhood diseases can recognise symptoms more accurately than many human doctors, a study has shown.
The "deep learning" programme, tested in China, assimilated information from more than 1.4 million electronic health records.
It was then able to draw on its "experience" to diagnose a broad range of childhood diseases, with accuracy rates of more than 90% in some cases.
The system performed better than junior doctors, but not quite as well as more senior experienced physicians.

To fax or not to fax?

Hafizah Osman | 13 Feb 2019
Faxes have been used to send documents over phone lines since the mid ‘60s, and while many medical practices have changed since then, the fax continues on with many health systems still depending heavily on the technology. 
The healthcare industry has begun understanding that fax can present a clinical risk when dealing with sensitive patient information as the faxed content can be misplaced or fall into the wrong hands. 
Hence, replacing outdated fax machines with secure messaging systems has been a focus for some in the Australian healthcare industry as information sent via the latter is sent directly to the receiver.
But there is still resistance in the uptake of secure messaging even though there is a proliferation of medical referrals in the industry, requiring the use of secure messaging systems.    

Next generation of health informatics leaders: ACHI looking for industry partners

Are you a leader in the health informatics field? Are you interested in supporting the development of the future generation of health informatics leaders?
The Australasian College for Health Informatics (ACHI) Fellowship by Training (FbT) Program is currently developing partnerships with suitable organisations to place candidates with a wide range of skills and experiences. We are interested to hear from any organisation who wants to support and work with the future leaders of the Australasian health informatics workforce by providing paid placements in 2019.
The FbT Program was established as a training pathway to ACHI Fellowship. It is designed to prepare individuals for leadership roles in the health informatics workforce and address the current demands for experienced and qualified health informatics specialists from various disciplines. On completion of the Fellowship Program candidates will hold a PhD academic qualification, have a portfolio of work, and will be awarded Fellowship by the Australasian College of Health Informatics
The four-year (full time) program includes a health informatics research doctoral program at an Australasian University, a program of supplementary learning activities and two paid 6-month (full time equivalent) work placements.

National Clinical Terminology Service Connectathon – Expressions of Interest - March 2019

12 February 2019: The Australian Digital Health Agency in collaboration with CSIRO, are hosting the sixth and seventh technical Connectathons on the National Clinical Terminology Service (NCTS) including the use of HL7's Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR®). A Connectathon will be held on 18 March in Sydney and repeated on 20 March in Melbourne – registrations close on 28 February.
Please note that these are separate 1-day events (9am-5pm AEDT) held in two different locations.
Connectathons are practical events designed to help you connect with and use our terminology services and products such as Ontoserver and Snapper. Experts will be available to troubleshoot and answer questions. At the end of the day, participants are encouraged to demonstrate what they achieved and discuss any challenges or insights they had along the way.

Benchmark Awards 2019 Finalist: Fiona Sparks, Department of Health and Human Services Victoria

By Staff Writers on Feb 13, 2019 12:39PM

Mobilising over 100 projects.

Fiona Sparks leads the Strategy & Design team of the Business Technology & Information Management branch at the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).
Sparks has been in charge of mobilising over 100 projects whose investment portfolio reached $130 million this year as part of her leadership of the department’s IT strategy, planning and budgeting processes.
The key focus of these projects has been to enable application modernisation and multi-agency information sharing - both of which had been stymied by the perceived cost and difficulty of updating systems and procedures.

Technology underpins the clinical genomics movement in Australia

Hafizah Osman | 11 Feb 2019
Traditional ways of patient care need to be turned on their heads when it comes to implementing clinical genomics. They now require technology platforms that support data streams, according to an expert in the field. 
Melbourne Genomics Health Alliance Program Manager Kate Birch, who will be speaking at the upcoming HIMSS19 conference in Orlando, told HITNA that the alliance is examining ways to make data support part of a standard practice. 
In doing that, it aims to bring global knowledge to individual care for Victorians. 
“We aim to do it through a few ways: both delivering the clinical tests where they’re indicated and also making sure that the data is put in a way that can be used for research in future,” she said. 

Defence may reintroduce less-restrictive crypto research permits

Department says it will look at reviving two-step research permits that allowed a broad range of international cooperation on cryptography research
Rohan Pearce (Computerworld) 08 February, 2019 16:44
A spokesperson for the Department of Defence says it will consider the reintroduction of a permit that loosened restrictions on international collaboration between cryptography researchers.
Under the Defence Trade Controls Act, cryptography is a controlled export. In some circumstances, international research efforts can be classified as exporting a technology.
Prominent Australian cryptography researcher Dr Vanessa Teague, an associate professor at the University of Melbourne, has revealed that Defence declined to renew her permit allowing her to freely collaborate with researchers in countries that are not the subject of sanctions

Atlassian fights ‘chokehold’ laws

  • February 11, 2019
The Australian start-up ecosystem has banded together to help fix the government’s so-called anti-encryption bill, a law Atlassian boss Scott Farquhar says is placing a chokehold on the Australian technology industry.
A host of Australia’s leading technology companies including Atlassian, Canva, SafetyCulture, Blackbird and Airtree have joined peak body StartupAUS in signing a letter to the Federal Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security (PJCIS) calling for the bill’s repeal and making four recommendations that would drastically reduce the scope of the legislation.
“We want to work with the government to try and improve this,” Mr Farquhar told The Australian. “This is an issue for our entire industry, and this legislation is a chokehold on the Australian technology industry. It’s been very easy to focus all the people that have problems with this bill on the same solution,

Atlassian leads encryption law revolt as Peter Dutton stands firm

Feb 11, 2019 — 11.00pm
Australian tech heavyweights led by Atlassian's Scott Farquhar have called for urgent changes to controversial anti-encryption laws, which he said were already causing firms to lose international customers and risked choking progress of the local tech industry.
Home affairs Minister Peter Dutton, however, claimed the new powers, which were rushed through with bipartisan support before Parliament rose for the Christmas break last year, were already helping to fight serious crimes, and would be largely unchanged.
The Telecommunications Assistance and Access laws were introduced to enable authorities to monitor communications of terrorists and dangerous criminals within encrypted applications, such as WhatsApp and Telegram. However, the wording of the legislation meant all kinds of businesses were brought under the requirements to decrypt their data under law enforcement demands.

Australian tech firms seek changes in encryption law

A number of Australian technology companies, led by the charity StartupAUS, have called on the Federal Government to make four changes in the encryption law that was passed last year.
The changes were sought in a submission made to the review of the legislation — known as the Telecommunications and Other Legislation Amendment (Assistance and Access) Act 2018 — that is being conducted by the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security. The PJCIS is expected to submit a report to government by 3 April.
Among the firms signing on to the submission were Airtree, Atlassian, Blackbird, Brighte, Culture Amp, Canva, Freelancer, Girl Geek Academy, Safety Culture, Square Peg Capital, Tech Sydney, WiseTech Global and 99designs.
Under the law, there are three ways listed by which the authorities can get industry to aid in gaining access to encrypted material. A technical assistance request (TAR) allows for voluntary help by a company; in this case, its staff would be given civil immunity from prosecution.

Labor concedes decryption laws weakened security for internet users

By Ry Crozier on Feb 12, 2019 11:27PM

Says change needed to protect "virtually every" smartphone and net user.

Labor has all but conceded the security of Australians is weaker in the wake of encryption-busting legislation it helped rush through parliament last year.
The concession came as the opposition accused the government of reneging on a deal to consider more changes to the law after it had passed.
Liberal MP Andrew Hastie, who is also the chair of the joint committee on intelligence and security that continues to examine the law, provided a statement to parliament late Tuesday clarifying what little further changes are likely to even be contemplated.
The statement came as Senators complained that the laws were listed for debate on Wednesday morning, with no clarity on what was even to be debated.

Govt wants encryption bill powers for anti-corruption bodies

The Federal Government will try to push amendments to the encryption law on Wednesday to give anti-corruption bodies the right to use its powers, while Labor will try to get an amendment through to define a systemic weakness.
On Tuesday, Shadow Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus, who has been pushing for this definition for a while, said the government was back-tracking on an agreement to pass amendments which were drafted after hearings of the Joint Parliamentary Committee on Security and Intelligence last year.
The encryption law, officially known as the Telecommunications and Other Legislation Amendment (Assistance and Access) Act 2018), was passed on 6 December, but just 12 days later, the PJCIS said it would begin a fresh review.

Parties clash on encryption law

  • 12:00AM February 13, 2019
Labor and the Coalition are locked in a fresh fight over new laws that give authorities greater access to terrorists’ messages sent via encrypted apps, with the opposition now saying they went too far.
Opposition legal affairs spokesman Mark Dreyfus viciously attacked the laws, saying they did not have enough judicial oversight and were a “fiasco of lawmaking”.
Mr Dreyfus also said the opposition would refer them to a parliamentary committee to assess their economic impact on Australian technology companies.
Intelligence committee chairman, Liberal MP Andrew Hastie, said the government was set to introduce its changes to the laws today, which would also hand state anti-corruption bodies access to the powers.

Aussie IT firms cop customer trust hit as encryption laws bite

By Ry Crozier on Feb 14, 2019 6:42AM

Face 'regular questions' from customers and prospects.

Australian technology companies are now “regularly fielding questions” from customers about how encryption-busting laws might impact the products they have installed and are using, ASX-listed Senetas says.
Worse still for the tech firms, the laws passed at the end of last year look like they could have a dulling effect on prospective sales engagements.
Additionally, foreign competitors not subject to the same onerous rules are now using that as a point of difference to win over business that might otherwise go to Australian tech firms, Senetas says.

Encryption powers extend to state bodies

Labor is backing a move to extend powers allowing federal law enforcement agencies to snoop on encrypted messages to state anti-corruption bodies.
Matt Coughlan
Australian Associated Press February 14, 201912:00pm
Controversial encryption-busting powers rushed through parliament late last year will be extended to federal and state corruption watchdogs.
Legislation was debated in the Senate on Thursday which paves the way for anti-corruption bodies to get the same powers as other agencies to compel technical assistance to access electronic communications.
The amendments, which are supported by the opposition, will also ensure an independent review of the bill occurs within 18 months of it passing parliament.

Senetas asks govt to repeal 'demonstrably flawed' encryption law

Australian encryption technology company Senetas Corporation has called on the government to reconsider its encryption law, claiming that it is so demonstrably flawed that the only practical option is to withdraw it.
In a submission to the ongoing inquiry into the law — which was passed without any amendments in December last year — Senetas chairman Francis Galbally and chief executive Andrew Wilson proposed a number of changes, in the event that the government was unwilling to scrap the law altogether.
They urged the government to reconsider the law "as part of a collaborative consultation process which takes into account the views of all relevant stakeholders and persons who may be affected" by the legislation.

Voice activation heralds a new frontier for security

Brian Williams
  • 12:00AM February 12, 2019
Voice-activated garbage disposal. Voice-activated smart cars. Voice-activated vacuum cleaners, light switches, toilets and televisions.
We’re caught in the hype of voice-activated devices.
These gadgets dominated the 2019 Consumer Electronics Show, showcasing dozens of new applications using artificial-intelligence voice assistants, with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant remaining popular.
But how easily can sophisticated criminals use a voice print to duplicate your identity?
In many ways, our voice is more susceptible to hacking than our face or fingerprint.

Nearly a quarter of NBN users on slowest speeds

Nearly a quarter of Australians who have connected to the national broadband network are on the lowest speed plan — 12Mbps down — according to the latest quarterly Wholesale Market Indicators Report issued by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.
The total number of consumers on this speed was 1,164,157, the consumer watchdog said in its report, which noted that almost 4.8 million Australians were now connected to the NBN, with 56%, or about 2.7 million, using plans that provided download speeds of 50Mbps and above.
The number of 50Mbps plans taken up also grew, reaching about 2.3 million by the end of December 2018, a big change from the 159,000 who were on these plans a year earlier.

NBN write-down inevitable after 'disastrous' rollout, says ex-boss

By Fergus Hunter
February 9, 2019 — 4.21pm
The first chief executive of the NBN believes it is inevitable the value of the network will be slashed, saying tough decisions will be needed to rectify the "disastrous" rollout of the project.
Mike Quigley, head of NBN Co under the former Labor government, said the Coalition's shift to a multi-technology model and away from mass rollout of fibre-to-the-premises had hurt the potential of the service and would ultimately cost taxpayers tens of billions of dollars.
Labor has indicated it is open to a write-down of the current $50 billion value, arguing the Coalition’s decisions have reduced the NBN’s value to less than the construction costs and the economics need to be fixed. If elected in May, the opposition also wants to boost access to high-speed fibre connections.

ACCAN pushes low-cost broadband plan for poorer Australians

An organisation that represents telecommunications consumers says political parties should make a new affordable home broadband product for those on low incomes a priority ahead of the forthcoming Federal Election.
The Australian Communications Consumer Action Network said in a statement that consideration should be given to providing a wholesale broadband concession to provide those on lower incomes with cheaper broadband connections at home.
ACCAN said a 50Mbps plan that provided unlimited data should be offered at a wholesale price of $20 by NBN Co, the company building Australia's national broadband network.
This would mean an average price of $30 per month for households who were eligible to subscribe to this plan - almost half the existing cost.

NBN Co CEO resists price cut pressure

No basis for write-down in value of NBN, Stephen Rue says
Rohan Pearce (Computerworld) 11 February, 2019 18:57
Calls for largescale wholesale price risk the long-term viability of NBN Co, according to the company’s CEO, Stephen Rue.
Appearing today before a parliamentary inquiry into NBN Co’s business case, Rue rejected calls for a “write-down” of the value of the company.
The term has a “very specific meaning,” the CEO said.
“NBN Co assesses the carrying value of its assets, applying an annual fair value assessment in accordance with accounting standards,” Rue told the hearing. “This looks at the replacement cost of assets and the expected future cashflows of the business. Based on recent assessments, no impairment issues exist, and we do not see any basis for a write-down.”

Telco analyst rails against NBN financial model

‘Willy-nilly write off is certainly not what is needed to fix the problems’
Jennifer O'Brien (CIO) 13 February, 2019 10:18
Telco analyst Paul Budde continues to hit out at one of the most talked about infrastructure projects in recent times, criticising the current financial model of the national broadband network and skeptical whether we will get NBN 3.0 right this time.
In a recent analysis piece and in speaking with CIO, Budde said while NBN co’s current financial model is not well suited for the next step in broadband deployment, “a willy-nilly write off is certainly not what is needed to fix the problems.”
Instead, he said the government needs to do a “national cost benefit statement” to properly take the national interest into account and put a value on productivity, innovation and cost savings.
“Before any serious decisions are taken in relation to the NBN we do need to have all the financial facts on the table - so far NBN Co have only publicly provided selected data.”

There's a big obstacle to an NBN write-down - and it's in the billions

By Stephen Bartholomeusz
February 14, 2019 — 12.00am
It seems clear that, should it win the federal election, Labor is seriously considering a massive write-down of the value of the national broadband network. It’s not quite so clear how it could do it.
The shadow communications minister, Michelle Rowland, has consistently declined to rule out the write-down that NBN retailers have been calling for with increasing vehemence.
Only this week Telstra’s Andy Penn called for policy changes to the economics of the NBN to lower its wholesale prices. Telstra and the other major retailers have complained that they are generating minuscule, if any, margin from reselling NBN capacity because its wholesale prices are too high.

Business case for 5G still unclear, survey finds

A survey of chief technology officers who are directly involved with 5G projects at 46 telcos around the globe indicates that most are still not sure about the strength for the business case, the management consulting firm McKinsey says.
The company said survey participants opined that 2019 would be mostly spent on preparation and planning for the new technology, with 61% of the operators saying they expected peak rollout between 2020 and 2022.
The survey found that while confidence in the technology itself was high, it was unclear how soon it would lead to new products and services for which people were willing to fork out money.
Hence, initially, most of these firms saw enhanced mobile broadband and IoT devices, rather than fixed wireless access or mission-critical applications, as being the most used.


Anonymous said...

Can anyone help please. Suddenly I cannot see the comments on the left side of the blog which used to appear under:. Most Recent 25 Comments

I've done everything I can think of including signing up for the blog again. David assures me it's all working ok at his end. All suggestions welcome.

Dr David G More MB PhD said...

I have just checked and can see the comments - including the one above, in Firefox, Chrome and MS Edge. So not a browser problem AFAIK.


Anonymous said...

Scroll right down the bottom and click ‘View web version’ under the ‘Home’ button. I think the comments disappear from LHS when you are using a device.

Bernard Robertson-Dunn said...

I have the same problem with 64 bit Firefox.

It works if I view the site using a Private Window in Firefox or another browser such as Chrome or Brave

Anonymous said...

I fixed it by installing Firefox on my laptop as my preferred browser and ditching Chrome.