Communications Minister Stephen Conroy has been appointed to the United Nation's broadband commission.
Communications Minister Stephen Conroy (Credit: Liam Tung & Ed Tran/ZDNet Australia)
Conroy joined communications ministers from Finland and Samoa, as well as other notables including the CEO of Ericsson, Dr Hans Erik Vestberg. The commission is co-chaired by the President of Rwanda and chairman of Grupo Carso — Mexico's largest business group.
The commission (established by the International Telecommunication Union) will provide two reports to the UN, with the first based on commissioners' recommendations. The second report will assess the social and economic benefits of broadband roll-out, evaluate different implementation models and the viability of different technologies. Both reports are expected to be presented to the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in September.
Senator Conroy believed Labor's National Broadband Network (NBN) had elevated Australia's role internationally stating: "The appointment recognises the Australian Government's commitment to provide all Australians with affordable high speed broadband, no matter where they live."
Labor's NBN plans have, however, been scrutinised on multiple occasions, with Shadows Communications Minister Tony Smith suggesting there were "better ways to drive a comprehensive upgrade of Australia's broadband infrastructure".
Other Labor projects have also come under fire. US ambassador to Australia, Jeff Bleich, suggested there were "other means" to stop child pornography than resorting to a mandatory internet service provider level filter as the government plans.