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EYE-BALL Opinion – Government Policies in the Technology Age – Computer spend poor judgement –

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Title:
– Government Policies in the Technology Age –
– Computer spend poor judgement  –
| Author: EYE-BALL Opinion | 4th Feb 2013|
The revelation that the Rudd/Gillard policy promising to have every school student with a Government supplied computer has run out of money.   Education Minister  Peter Garret  spokesperson had this to say:

… A spokeswoman for School Education Minister Peter Garrett would not make a commitment on future funding, saying the five-year program had been ”delivered on time and within budget”, with 957,805 computers purchased nationally at a cost of $2.4 billion.

The program also provided schools with up to $1500 per computer for maintenance costs. … continues …

… Read more …

Technology is turning itself over within a year and computers purchased two years ago are not worth fixing given the value of new computers.

It was reported in the story above that maintenance costs of $1500 form a part of the a computer purchase – the 957,805 computers costing some $2.4 billion equates to $2,500 for each computer – the $1,500 allowed for maintenance makes the purchase cost either $1000 – or if the maintenance cost is in addition, some $4000 per computer.

The cost of a top of the line computer today is less than $1000, and for a computer for student needs is less that $500 in most major retail outlets. Someone, perhaps a ALP donor, or some other Union friend is getting a free drink off taxpayer funds if these profit margins can be believed.

The cost of computers two years ago, and even four years ago have not altered that much in exchange rate terms – what has altered is the economy forcing retailers to reduce margins to entice buyers. Why then is the Government expending more than the $500 per computer given the market shift in that time frame.

When a Government makes a forecast policy on technology – i.e. NBN, and the computers for student, do Ministers and those responsible for authorising the public money spend really understand the speed of the technology shift happening?

Given the shift of users to IPod’s, IPad’s, IPhone’s, and the like – where hard dock wiring is not used – does the $40 billion spend on fiber-optic cabling in the ground make a lot of sense given the shift in technology over the last four years?

Within two years WiFi needs will far outstrip ADSL Broadband, and hard-wired node connections. The Teleco’s know this yet Telstra are happy to take the $12 billion the Government promised for the ‘copper-network’,  and the reimbursement for all the NBN upgrades requirements to their exchanges without telling or giving the Government a heads-up to where technology is headed.

The NBN is shaping up to be the biggest white elephant spend in Australian history – and all because Minister Conroy is a dunce with no vision or understanding of technology and where it is headed.

 

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