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As Australia shambles towards the next election – no longer guaranteed to be September 14, since that date was the responsibility of former prime minister Julia Gillard, not new-old prime minister Kevin Rudd – the country's telecommunications industry now has the certainty of a brand-new minister regardless of when the election happens.

At the time of writing, a replacement for Senator Stephen Conroy hasn't been announced, but whatever happens, there will be at least one new face in the communications ministry this year, and probably two.

While Senator Conroy was considered an irritant by many – his “red underpants” remark showing his world-class ability to troll media commentators, for example – he was energetic in defence of his vision of a national broadband network, and was generally well-briefed.

As The Register's Pozible project to crowd-fund a study into the National Broadband Network nears $6,000, we're going to remind you that independence is the key characteristic of the proposed study.

Do you think putting genuinely independent information in front of our new communications minister will be worth the effort? We do.

This comment raises a question which Vulture South is happy to discuss:

“This will be good as long as they get some information from industry insiders with expert knowledge and not self interest. It's funny to see Senator Conroy argue for 25Mbps minimum for eHealth video when the TV channel I'm watching him is using <4Mbps. Existing eHealth monitoring and video conferencing can use <6MBps.

“I would rather an upgrade to the node to get my 3/0.8 Mbps ADSL link upgraded to >15Mbps sooner rather than waiting for another decade to get 50Mbps. Why remove 100Mbps hybrid fibre+coax (Optus/Telstra) and other existing 1Gbps+ capable FTTP (private/corporate/government) with another Fibre network (waste). Most metropolitan hospitals and schools already have FTTP. Large businesses with servers and data centres that need FTTP have FTTP. We need to fill in the gaps not replace existing like for like.”

We are very confident that the analysts we're working with on this project have expert knowledge. Both Market Clarity and IBRS have decades of experience to draw on, as well as good contacts in the industry. The Register is not briefing for a technical outcome, but to get as clear a statement of Australia's requirements as we can. ®

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