While the election itself was a cliff-hanger it was clear that the majority of Australians supported the NBN. Surveys indicated over 70% support of the NBN among voters. It is now full steam ahead with the NBN and there will be significant pressure on two areas: NBN Co will have to roll out quickly, and the Minister who has been placed in charge must ensure that most, if not all, of the 30+ rollout projects have trans-sector pilots attached to them, so as to warrant government investment.
The aim is that by the 2013 election the NBN will have become irreversible.
Soon a business plan, with proper financial information attached, will become available. There will be a focus on regional rollouts and regional application pilots. Under the NBN these projects are up-scalable and this in itself will attract a great deal of business investment of the type we are already seeing from Telstra, Optus, NEC and some of the mid-sized telcos.
There is widespread attention from overseas investors and international business people will soon swamp the Australian NBN market. The question is: are Australian businesses up to this challenge? Will Australian organisations be able to take the lead and establish a new digital media industry that they can use as a platform to expand their businesses overseas?
In this respect the Australian diplomatic service and Austrade will also have to increase their efforts to lift Australia’s ICT profile on the international market.