As part of the Government’s continuing National Broadband Network reforms, Internode founder Simon Hackett was one of three directors with extensive relevant industry experience who were this week appointed to the NBN Co Board.
The other two new non-executive directors are Patrick Flannigan and Justin Milne. A statement issued by Federal Communicatioins Minister Malcolm Turnbull said the appointments further enhanced the Board’s capabilities and expertise to provide appropriate oversight and guidance to this vitally important national project.
NBN Co Executive Chairman Dr Ziggy Switkowski said: “This is a period of transition for the company and it will be a great asset to have a new board that brings decades of combined experience in the industry.”
The appointees are well-established industry figures with lengthy careers in telecommunications, broadband and the deployment of linear infrastructure. They join current NBN Co board members Dr Ziggy Switkowski, Ms Alison Lansley and Dr Kerry Schott.
The NBN Board is ably assisting NBN Co’s revamped management team with the Strategic Review of the project that is currently underway. The Review will report to the Government in early December.
Simon graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Adelaide in 1986. He then worked at the University and became a part of the team that created the Australian Academic and Research network (AARNet), the first emergence of the Internet in Australia. In 1991 he founded Internode, an Internet Service Provider. In 1997 he founded its sister company Agile Pty Ltd, a licensed telecommunications carrier. Over the next 20 years the company group deployed its own network to deliver ADSL2+, Optical Fibre, Microwave, and Fixed Wireless Internet services around Australia to residential and business customers. Internode was one of the first companies to connect customers to the NBN in 2010. The group was sold to iiNet Limited in early 2012, when it had around 180,000 broadband customers nationally. Simon joined the board of iiNet in August 2012. Simon has been an opinion leader in the national broadband debate for many years. He is a fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and a fellow of the Australian Computer Society. Simon will resign his position on the board of iiNet Limited at the end of this month to focus on his role with NBNCo.
Patrick joined Skilled Engineering in July 1990 and was promoted to Executive General Manager of the company in 1998, which included responsibilities for the Telstra and Optus HFC rollouts. He established his own business, Integrated Maintenance Services in 2000. Patrick co-founded ASX-listed infrastructure provider Service Stream in 2003, where he was the Chief Executive from 2003 to 2009. He joined NBN Co as the company’s Head of Construction in 2009, where he managed the company’s network construction and relationships with major contractors. Since leaving NBN Co, Patrick founded Utility Services Group, and is currently Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of the company, which employs approximately 2,000 people nationally, servicing linear infrastructure in the electricity, gas, water and telecommunications sectors. Patrick is a director of the Australian Grand Prix Corporation and has a business degree from Victoria University, is a fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and a fellow of the Australian Institute of Management.
Justin founded Film and Television Associates in 1976, a television commercial production company. In 1992, he joined a small start-up, Globe Media, as Chief Executive Officer. Globe was an early adopter of digital technology, designing some of Australia’s first commercial websites. In 1995, he joined Microsoft as Managing Director of MSN, the company’s first entry into the internet portal business, which he helped establish and develop in the Australian market. In 1999, Justin joined OzEmail as Head of Data Casting and was later appointed Chief Executive Officer. In 2002, he joined Telstra as Managing Director of BigPond and was later promoted to the role of Group Managing Director, responsible for Bigpond and Telstra Media. Justin ran Telstra’s Bigpond business as it was transitioning from dial-up to delivering broadband services, increasing its customer base from 200,000 users to 2.5 million. During his time at Bigpond he also delivered and launched the first wireless broadband products in Australia and Justin was also involved in purchasing and operating new media businesses in China for Telstra. He resigned from Telstra in 2010 and is currently a non-executive director of Tabcorp, Members Equity Bank, NetComm Wireless, Basketball Australia and the Leichhardt Rowing Club.
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