Australia’s government has announced the establishment of the Australian Broadband Advisory Council, a body set up to provide the state with ‘advice on maximising the economic upside of increased digital connectivity for Australian businesses and consumers’. In a press release regarding the development it was noted that the Council will offer advice on: ways the National Broadband Network (NBN) and 5G can boost economic output; opportunities to increase the use of the NBN, 5G and other broadband networks in business; financial and cultural/behavioural barriers to using the NBN and 5G, and cost-effective strategies to reduce such limitations; and potential implementation, communication and outreach strategies.
The Council will also consider the productivity benefits of 5G technologies as its rollout advances, and as a result the 5G Working Group previously managed by the Department of Communications will be reconstituted as a sub-group of the Council, to provide advice on 5G as a new broadband platform and possible 5G use cases. The initial focus of the Advisory Council will be on developing strategies for the agriculture and education sectors, working in close consultation with key stakeholders in these sectors.
Commenting on the matter, Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts, Paul Fletcher, said: ‘We are just getting started with the benefits that fast broadband can provide, and Australia is uniquely placed with the NBN as backbone of the nation’s digital economy. Having completed the initial volume build and with the network available to more than 11.7 million homes and business, the NBN is moving into its next phase, and the Broadband Advisory Council will help us to think broadly and boldly about the ways we can maximise the benefits of Australia’s largest infrastructure project and leverage it to drive long-term economic and social benefits across all sectors of the economy.’