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AIIA Media Statement on the National Broadband Network

The Rudd Government announced today the establishment of a new company to build and operate a National Broadband Network (NBN). The decision has been welcomed as a bold move with the right motivation by the Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA).
  • 07 April, 2009 12:05

<p>Media Statement</p>
<p>The Rudd Government announced today the establishment of a new company to build and operate a National Broadband Network (NBN). The decision has been welcomed as a bold move with the right motivation by the Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA).</p>
<p>“We support the revised national approach to the NBN outlined by Prime Minister Rudd and Senator Conroy, along with the associated review of the national telecommunications regulatory environment, as courageous steps designed to deliver essential components of Australia’s digital future,” said AIIA CEO Ian Birks. “We congratulate the Government on this decision.”</p>
<p>This approach is an innovative solution to delivering necessary outcomes in a market now constrained by capital; it provides a new and open opportunity for all industry to contribute to a successful broadband model in Australia.</p>
<p>Given the radical nature of this change, the wider industry will be awaiting the detail with great interest. Previous proposals received criticism for not offering value for money, so it will be very important that the revised proposal delivers this value to taxpayers and consumers.</p>
<p>The expansion of the timeframe to eight years is a potential concern that will require further detail. However the introduction of Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) and increase of minimum speeds from 12Mb/s to 100Mb/s will provide significant benefits over previous proposals and will place Australia in a competitive position in the international arena.</p>
<p>The Prime Minister’s recognition of broadband infrastructure as the beginning of the development of a true digital economy in Australia, and not the end point, is in accord with the views promoted by AIIA and our members for some time.</p>
<p>“Australia must now rise to the challenge of using the National Broadband Network in an innovative and productive way to address our current economic and societal issues or else we run the risk of building a six lane highway to nowhere,” said Mr Birks. “As FTTP services are established, value-added services – across areas from eHealth to education reform – must follow as a priority.”</p>
<p>“By thinking about how to increase economic growth and productivity, we can get a high-dividend return on this major infrastructure investment. High speed internet access has the potential to change the way Australians engage with each other and will give us a competitive edge in the global economy.”</p>
<p>“The Government’s identification of 37,000 new jobs at the outset, and 25,000 jobs on average each year for the course of the project, is a welcome development in the current economic climate,” concluded Mr Birks.</p>
<p>###</p>
<p>Note to Editor: AIIA CEO Ian Birks and AIIA Chairman John Grant (Managing Director, Data#3) are available for comment on the National Broadband Network initiative. To arrange for a phone interview, please contact:</p>
<p>Rachel York / Gabriel Wong</p>
<p>Max Australia on behalf of the AIIA</p>
<p>Phone: (02) 9954 3492</p>
<p>Email: rachel.york@maxaustralia.com.au / gabriel.wong@maxaustralia.com.au</p>

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