Communications Minister Stephen Conroy
Stephen Conroy is the current Minister for Broadband Communications and the Digital Economy in the Rudd Labor Government. He currently represents Victoria in the Senate.
In his role as minister he has been responsible for the National Broadband Network, the controversial Internet Censorship proposal and the proposed switch to digital television.
Stephen Conroy and the National Broadband Guarantee
The National Broadband Network is a $43 billion Australian Government project that will invest in fibre optic technology to provide the majority of Australian homes and businesses with super fast internet access.
The Fibre To The Home (FTTP) network will connect Australian Homes and business to a fibre optic network that can offer the fastest speeds currently available with broadband technology. The project will roll out over the next 8 years.
Stephen Conroy and Internet Censorship
Conroy has faced severe criticism for his proposed internet censorship policies from internet service providers, internet users and the opposition. The proposed compulsory internet censorship scheme was introduced by Conroy as a way to protect children from child pornography but was soon extended to a much broader range of material. The proposed compulsory internet censorship also includes sites depicting drug use, crime, sex, cruelty, violence and even websites selling video games unsuitable to children under the age of 15.
The proposed internet filter is unpopular with many internet users. A recent Netspace Poll revealed that of the 10,000 participants in their survey, 61.8% of people strongly disagreed with the internet censorship proposal.
Despite its unpopularity and the withdrawal of several internet service providers from a trial of the internet filter Senator Conroy still defends the proposal.
Senator Conroy and the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy also provide a range of other initiatives and information including the Cyber Safety Plan, and information on E-security, Fraud Awareness and Spyware. His Cyber-Safety plan includes a $125.8 million investment in law enforcement, content filtering and education in Australia.
Stephen Conroy and the switch to Digital Television
Analog television will be switch off in Australia by December 31 2013 to be replaced by digital television. In order to receive a digital television signal Australian consumers will have to purchase a digital set top box or a digital-enabled television.
The results of the Government first Digital Tracker Survey in May this year revealed almost half (47%) of Australian households have already converted to free-to-air digital broadcasts. 69% of the households who have already made the switch reported benefits including better picture quality, more channels and improved reception.
Digital television can also now be viewed on line through high speed ADSL ADSL2+ Naked DSL Cable and Mobile Broadband connections over the internet.