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ACS Week in Review: 5 April 2013

Friday, 05 Apr 2013

Reports out this week

  • ACCC issues draft decision on NBN Co Special Access Undertaking
    The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has released its draft decision on the revised Special Access Undertaking (SAU) lodged by NBN Co. If accepted, the SAU would be a key part of the framework that governs the price and other terms upon which NBN Co will supply services over its fibre, wireless and satellite networks to telecommunications companies.
  • Red tape costs universities $26m: report
    Australian universities expend almost $1 million and more than eight full-time staff workloads in meeting the annual reporting requirements of just one of the federal departments they are accountable to, a new report has found.

ACS in the News

  • Ways to beat those higher software prices
    In his latest column in the Australian IT, ACS President Nick Tate wrote it was fascinating to listen to the arguments as to why some products are considerably more expensive in Australia than they are in other parts of the world. To be able to price software differently in various countries, vendors often turn to a technique call geo-blocking. To illustrate this, consider a software vendor who sells a product at different prices in Australia and the US.
  • Google Australia funds universities to spruik computer science
    Google Australia is providing funding to 12 Australian universities this year to develop workshops that help high school teachers promote computer science in their curriculums, Under its Computer Science for High School (CS4HS) program, launched in Australia in 2011, Google provides funds to universities across several countries to develop two- to three-day computer science workshops for the teachers.

Articles of Interest

  • ACCC rejects NBN Co special access terms
    The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is "not satisfied" with NBN Co's revised special access undertaking (SAU) and has proposed a number of changes in its draft SAU decision. The ACCC said the current SAU does not meet the relevant criteria for acceptance.
  • NBN Co chalks up $400 million loss
    NBN Co ended 2012 with a $406.5 million net loss and 72,329 premises passed with fibre, according to the latest ministerial performance report.
    The report, released this week by NBN shareholders finance minister Penny Wong and communications minister Stephen Conroy, provides rollout and financial details for the six months ending December 31, 2012.
  • Australian government flags further IT cuts
    The Australian Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus has flagged that the government will look for more savings in IT.
    The savings in IT came as a result of the Gershon Report, delivered by then Finance Minister Lindsay Tanner
  • SKA inches closer to delving into the big bang
    The construction of the world’s largest radio telescope has moved a step closer, with the Australian government late last month calling for bids for design and engineering work for the €1.5 billion Square Kilometre Array (SKA).
    The government will also help Australian organisations seeking to submit bids by providing financial support through the $18.8 million SKA pre-construction grants program.

Government and Opposition Announcements

  • Government welcomes ACCC draft decision on NBN Co Special Access Undertaking
    The Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Senator Stephen Conroy, welcomed the release of a draft decision on NBN Co’s Special Access Undertaking (SAU) by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).
  • 3M opens its doors to a new era for Australian business (Fed)
    Global technology giant 3M has opened the doors to its first state-of-the-art Innovation Centre in Australia, expanding the nation's broader global footprint within the science and technology industry. Minister for Climate Change, Industry and Innovation, the Hon Greg Combet MP, officially opened the new facility highlighting the importance of this expansion upon the local business hub in North Ryde as well as Australia's reputation as an innovation leader. The new 3M Innovation Centre will enable employees to collaborate and apply diverse technology capabilities and product solutions to solve every day problems, also bringing consumers closer to the science and research that lies behind some of 3M's iconic products. 
  • Australia signs on to international cybercrime treaty (Fed)
    Australia has now formally joined 38 other nations as a party to the world's first international treaty on crimes committed via the Internet. "Australia becoming a party to the Council of Europe Convention on Cybercrime will help combat criminal offences relating to forgery, fraud, child pornography, and infringement of copyright and intellectual property," said Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus. The internet makes it easy for criminals to operate from abroad, especially from those countries where regulations and enforcement arrangements are weaker. These powers will allow Australian law enforcement agencies to rapidly obtain data about communications relevant to cybercrimes from partner agencies around the world. The Convention will also ensure vital evidence is not lost before a mutual assistance request can be completed.
  • Adelaide makes the switch to digital TV
    The Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Senator Stephen Conroy, announced that Adelaide has now officially switched over to digital-only TV.