Hello, this is what you need to know in tech today.
1. The Turnbull government is starting a fintech advisory board. The government says that while Australia is a leading financial service market for the region, the sector is increasingly becoming being exposed to disruption by emerging technologies, so it has created a board to help the industry.
The FinTech advisory group will be chaired by Craig Dunn, Chairman of Stone & Chalk and Director of Westpac Bank, while also including members from PayPal, Westpac, Veda and the Commonwealth Bank.
Also announced today is the formation of FinTech Australia, a new industry body to represent Australia’s growing scene.
2. The government agrees that funding old copper networks is dumb and the money should go to mobile. Currently the government pays $253 million a year to Telstra under the Universal Services Obligation to maintain fixed services. But now it has been proposed that establishing a Consumer Communication Fund in place of the USO might be a better idea – taking the money usually spent on Telstra’s fixed line services and splitting it between all carriers to improve regional mobile phone coverage.
It makes sense, as the current arrangement is increasingly becoming obsolete due to the use of mobile phones and the NBN as a fixed internet provider.
3. Telstra has a new chair. Former chair Catherine Livingstone has quit the board of Australia’s largest telco and is being replaced by Asciano chief executive John Mullen.
Telstra’s share price remained stable in early morning trading after the announcement.
“Ms Livingstone will hand over to Mr Mullen in coming months, allowing for a smooth transition once Mr Mullen is free from his obligations as managing director and chief executive officer of Asciano,” the company said.
4. The government wants to make it easier to send things to space. To help address the mismatch between advances of space technology and old regulations, the government is reviewing the “appropriateness and effectiveness” of the Space Activities Act 1998.
A group of space entrepreneurs and government figures are meeting today in Canberra at an invitation-only event to discuss the issue. Christopher Pyne will be delivering a speech, with the event and focus part of the Turnbull government’s innovation push.
The costs to do any type of work are extremely prohibitive for researchers right now and the focus will be on bringing those costs down.
5. Acconex posted some seriously impressive results. The ASX listed online management software provider posted revenue of $55.7 million to December, a 46% jump over the previous period and $11.6 million over its prospectus forecast.
The company has been around since 2000 and provides its software to the Australian construction industry. They’re also expanding globally, with the Aussie tech company having signed enterprise deals with 170 of the top 500 contractors globally and revenue growing 52% in international markets.