Friday, May 25, 2007

Doing the ICT Vision Thing

Greetings from the Australian Computer Society National Council meeting in Canberra. On Monday a consortium of Australian ICT bodies released "A 10 year Strategic Vision for the Australian Information and Communications Technology Sector".

This morning Senator Helen Coonan, Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts (DCITA), talked to the council about ICT policy. She began her talk by referring to a "future history" I presented in 1996, and seeing which had come true:

In 1996, the then President of the Australian Computer Society, Mr Tom Worthington — whom I am pleased to see is here today—gave a speech in which he envisioned the world 10 years on in 2005.

In this tongue-in-cheek vision, he predicted the winner of the 1996 election would de-regulate the Telecommunications industry; I am happy to report his skills as a seer were spot on when we were elected a year later, and did in fact get the Telstra privatisation underway.

Tom also predicted that Telstra and Optus would rollout a significant cable network for Pay TV; and they certainly have.

And he predicted that competition from Internet voice applications would start to destroy the long distance monopoly the telcos had enjoyed.

Again, Tom was on the money.

So when the Australian Computer Society heralded the launch of their ICT Vision for 2017 – on the back of past performance, I sat up ready to listen! ...

From: Developing a National ICT Capability, Address to ACS Council Breakfast, Senator the Hon Helen Coonan, Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts, Deputy Leader of the Government in the Senate, Canberra, Friday 25 May 2007

This was flattering as the Minister only quoted a few predictions I got right on broadband and telecommunications regulation and left out all the ones I got wrong.

Later Senator Stephen Conroy, Shadow Minister for Communications and Information Technology, talked to the council, but did not call on my Nostradamus skills. ;-)

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