Greetings from the Telecommunications Society of Australia (TSA), where David Thodey, CEO Telstra, is delivering the Charles Todd Oration. Charles Todd was a pioneer of the telegraph in Australia in the 1870s. David Thodey is explaining that telecommunications is a significant industry in Australasia, a large employer and a tool for productivity for other industries. He is pointing out that Telstra expects continuing exponential growth in mobile data. He does not see mobile data as a competitor for the NBN, but as a complement to it. Fittingly I am watching the oration from an ACS meeting in Canberra, via the Internet.
David Thodey, said hat CSIRO was doing a good job with research, the cooperation with industry has gone backwards. He argued that part of the blame is with technologists who don't speak in language which non-experts can understand. As an example Tesltra has an innovation area to show how telecommunication can benefit business.
The first question was about leadership and bringing the new generation of technologists up. David said he was in silicon valley last week and noticed that the people were 25 to 30 years old, much younger than the Australian business people he talks to. He said that the industry needs to promote IT as a career and encourage students to enroll.
The next question was about how Australian businesses can work with Tesltra. David pointed out that we have to collaborate in Australia as we can't afford to duplicate effort.