Communication

1. National Broadband Network

1.1. Policy: The Science Party supports the construction of the National Broadband Network under the Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) model.

1.2. Discussion: While the focus of the old economy was in the transport and trade of goods, the new economy is increasingly becoming about the transport and trade of ideas and information. Ideas and information can be easily transported by the internet. The internet allows the development of ideas at a much greater rate by reducing communication time and by increasing the number of connections that a person can have at any one time.

Some areas of Australia are so remote that it is not feasible to service these areas with a fibre NBN. In these instances we support alternative fast internet technologies such as 4G and satellite.

To ensure that Australia can participate in this new economy effectively, we need to ensure that our citizens have access to high-speed, reliable internet connections. 

 

2. Freedom and privacy in communication

The Science Party is opposed to over-regulation of the internet, censoring of the internet, and governments prying into the private lives of its citizens without prior court approval. The Science Party policies on these issues can be found in Freedom And Rights: Freedom in electronic communication and Online privacy.

1.1. Policy: Internet service providers (ISPs) in Australia should operate under the principle of net neutrality.

1.2. Discussion: Net neutrality is a fundamental principle underpinning the open operation of the internet. In essence, net neutrality requires that service providers treat all data the same, i.e. they must not block or throttle particular data, sites or services based on the origin or content of that data.

ISPs should be able to provide incentives and bonuses as part of their product offering, such as free or unmetered access to certain websites. However, making some websites unserviceable by throttling or blocking them should be considered to be anti-competitive behaviour. While this definition of net neutrality is less strict than in US net neutrality laws, it should be considered that Australian ISPs exist under a government regulated infrastructure competition system which provides consumers with choice in ISP.