Chief Regulatory Officer Steve Dalby is a prominent voice advocating on behalf of iiNet and our customers. His opinions on the proposed internet filter and the National Broadband Network has raised the interest of media outlets; while his active defence of our copyright position against the heavyweights in the film industry has established iiNet as a force to be reckoned with. But it’s not all legalities and regulations. Read on as we explore behind the scenes of one of our most talked about ‘people of ii’.
What does it mean to be the Chief Regulatory Officer at iiNet? (for those that don’t know)?
I get to tackle ‘big ticket’ legal and regulatory issues on behalf of the company. The highest profile of these include the Copyright trial versus the Hollywood studios and the multiple, ongoing disputes with Telstra for access to network infrastructure.
Because these are also industry issues, I get to work with MM and the other exec, influencing politicians and other policy makers with our point of view. We bat above our weight on public policy and always speak our minds. iiNet has, therefore, been in demand for comment on stuff like the NBN, filtering and industry trends, generally.
My role also makes me a suitable representative for various industry bodies, so I am on the board of TIO Ltd, Comms Alliance and ProSubi Ltd. I’m iiNet’s rep for the Coalition of Competitive Carriers, Safer Internet Group, Chamber of Commerce and Industry and I am a member of the Federal Government’s (Austrade) Digital Economy advisory group.
Where were you before you came to be at iiNet?
Being miserable at Telstra Wholesale in various roles over 32 years. I set up the western region wholesale team for Telstra in about 1995 – covering WA, SA and NT.
What’s something most people don’t know about you?
I like to express my creativity by drawing a bit, but I haven’t been home much lately (62 flights in 2010 didn’t leave much spare time) so my output is down. Also, in my spare time I tinker in my shed building stuff – my latest creation is a three metre high ‘Eiffel Tower’ made out of bamboo garden stakes (for a friend’s French-theme 21st party).
There are lots, one (probably fading a bit now), was in July 2007 when the ACCC issued a determination (in a dispute against Telstra) which resulted in a cheque for $17,590,386.94 being paid to iiNet. MM rang me in NZ to tell me the news. We were all very happy with ourselves.
Secondly, and more recently, sitting in the Federal Court in February 2010 to hear we had won our case against the Hollywood studios – that was enormous.
Suck it up Telstra and AFACT!
Do you have a nickname?
Who do you idolise and why?
Carlos Santana because he holds the high notes better than anyone. Ever. When I grow up I wanna be just like him.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
Get your irons in the fire. I have no idea what it means, but I’ve passed it on regardless. Just do it, get those damn irons in the fire. Now.
What would you say is your most annoying habit?
Spotting rogue apostrophes.
If you could go back or forward in time, when would you go?
It’s hard to pick. I’d like a TARDIS so that I could have a look at a few things. I’d love to be standing on a hill watching the Mongol Hordes sweep across the steppes around 1200AD. I wouldn’t mind a quick look at Alexandria at its peak, about 2,300 years ago – maybe a chat with Euclides about geometry and a look around the library. I’d enjoy a tour around Babylon about 2,600 years back to check out the hanging gardens. A bit further, I’d visit the Lascaux caves about 40,000 years ago and see what sort of a community supported their art and, for a finale, a visit to our HO site, about 66 million years ago, just to see what was here prior to the KT extinction.