Communications Alliance calls for a National Digital Economy Roadmap

Broadband and Beyond 2011 commences in Sydney

Sydney, 22 February 2011 – Communications Alliance CEO John Stanton has opened the organisation’s 2011 Conference, Broadband & Beyond – Driving Australia’s Digital Productivity, with a call for a coordinated digital economy roadmap to ensure Australia achieves full value from its investment in the NBN.
 
Mr Stanton commented: “The NBN – although we expect it to be a magnificent enabler and a solid platform for the development of the Australian Digital Economy – cannot be expected to achieve transformation on its own.
 
"There needs to be concerted action at the applications layer, in areas such as e-commerce, e-Government, e-education and regional initiatives to derive full benefit from the NBN."
 
Mr Stanton said he expected Broadband & Beyond 2011 would “highlight the need for a nationally-coordinated digital economy roadmap connecting all levels of government, industry and the community with the common goal of ensuring we are competitive in the global digital economy”. He called on the Prime Minister’s Digital Productivity Initiative to take the lead in developing a digital ‘master plan’. 
 
Mr Stanton said the Japanese experience of high-speed broadband demonstrates the need for a national plan.
 
“Less than three weeks from now, every Japanese household is expected to have broadband access of 30Mbps or higher. That is a world-class communications infrastructure achievement. And yet, as of late last year, only about 30 per cent of Japanese people were actually using high-speed broadband. Even among Gen-Yers the usage was only around 70 per cent.”
 
Delivering the first keynote address, Malcolm Alder, KPMG’s Partner for the Digital Economy said the NBN is likely to lead to increased competition in the retail communications service provider market. PotentiaI new entrants could include: retailers such as Woolworths, Coles and Australia Post; utilities; healthcare providers; content providers such as Foxtel; and financial services providers.

Market Clarity CEO Shara Evans presented forecasts for the Australian Internet market based on market scenarios. 

Ms Evans said mobile broadband revenue was predicted to surpass fixed revenue in 2013, however, a majority of households would continue to have a fixed connection. Market Clarity predicts 66.1 per cent of households will have a fixed broadband connection in 2015. According to Ms Evans, Australia will have 10.5 million mobile broadband connections by 2015, with many users having both fixed and mobile connections as well as mutliple mobile devices.  

NBN CO Chief Executive Officer Mike Quigley will deliver the keynote address tomorrow morning, Wednesday 23 February.
 
The two-day Broadband and Beyond 2011 conference will feature experts and visionaries from the fields of ICT, science, health, education and infrastructure including:

  • Rod Tucker, Director, Institute for a Broadband-Enabled Society
  • Rangan Srikhanta, Executive Director, One Laptop Per Child Australia
  • Rosalind Dubs, Chair, Space Industry Innovation Council
  • Michael Georgeff, CEO, Precedence Health Care, Monash University
  • Andrew Butterworth, Managing Director, Alcatel-Lucent Australia
  • Iarla Flynn, Head of Public Policy and Government Affairs, Google
  • Paul King, Smart Grid Industry Consultant, Logica

About Communications Alliance
Communications Alliance is the peak body for the Australian communications industry.  Through a range of successful programs, events and initiatives, Communications Alliance has a leadership role in facilitating industry-based solutions to sectoral issues and is taking steps to bring to fruition the broadband and digital era, including leading the industry’s involvement in the National Broadband Network implementation.  For further information see www.commsalliance.com.au

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