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ACS Week in Review: 21 February 2014

Friday, 21 Feb 2014

Broadband availability report released

Minister for Communications Malcolm Turnbull today released the full Broadband Availability and Quality Report, and launched a website to provide information on the national broadband rollout at a local level.

Mr Turnbull said the report shows there are up to 1.6 million premises throughout Australia which have either no broadband or very poor broadband connectivity; with peak median download speeds of less than 4.8 megabits per second.

The report compares broadband quality and availability to homes and businesses in over 78,000 local areas across Australia. Its release was foreshadowed by Fairfax Media on Tuesday and is based on maps of current services provided by telcos to the Coalition shortly after it came to power.

Cloud computing puts pressure on skills

THE shift to placing more applications onto the cloud is putting pressure on organisations to have the internal skills to manage outsourced environments, experts say.

Gartner Research managing vice-president Ian Bertram said integration would be a focus for organisations as they moved to a “cloud first” policy.

“I think this is going to be a big challenge where we are going to find skills gaps moving forward over the next couple of years,” he said.

Mr Bertram said internal skills would be required to manage outsourced environments.

“It is not a matter of ‘I am going to ship it all outside of my organisation and kind of wash my hands of it’ there is still going to be a need internally to manage all of this and this is what many organisations forget.”

Mr Bertram said organisations had to invest in other skills once they moved to cloud.

“You can’t just outsource it, there is a whole raft of skills internally that you need to make it successful.”

NSW Police to pilot first-stop data drop box

The NSW Police Force will pilot a digital data storage solution to combat risks involved with staff storing sensitive data through email and in shared drives.

The state's law enforcement force - which employs around 20,000 workers - currently has a total storage capacity of 2500TB, of which around 887TB is used for file content storage as opposed to databases.

At the moment, the police force is using its shared drives and email system as the first stop for file storage.

Police upload files into folders assigned to them individually or to work groups in the shared drives - a method which currently lacks a broad data management approach and which can result in sensitive information being stored on portable devices.

In addition, police are also using the force’s Lotus Notes email system as a file exchange facility, which has resulted in large amounts of duplicated files and “which introduced access control risk”

Australian government eyes copyright crackdown

The Australian government looks set to overhaul the country's copyright laws with a view to force internet service providers to begin cracking down on users who download TV shows and films over BitTorrent.

Attorney-General George Brandis has said that the government is considering a graduated response scheme for dealing with online copyright infringement, despite telling ZDNet before the election that the party had no policy to take to the election.

In a wide-ranging speech to the Australian Digital Alliance forum in Canberra this morning, Brandis, who is also the minister for the arts, responded in part to the Australian Law Reform Commission's (ALRC) report on reforming the Copyright Act for the digital age. He said that the Act would be simplified, and technology-specific mentions to outdated technologies such as video tapes removed.

He also hinted that the law would be changed to accommodate international trade agreements, such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership currently under negotiation.