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Australia - National Broadband Network - Smart Grids

1. Synopsis
2. Key to Smart Grids is telecommunications
3. NBN access for smart utility services
4. Smart Grid Australia and the NBN (analyses)
4.1 Smart Grid/Smart City and the NBN
4.2 Developments between 2011 and 2013
5. Projects and Developments
5.1 Power and Water Corporation
5.2 NBN facilitates wind farm
6. How a collaborative approach could work
6.1 Introduction
6.2 Exploring synergies and opportunities
6.3 Using electricity infrastructure to roll out broadband
6.3.1 Trans-sector use of infrastructure
6.3.2 Skilled and readily available workforce
6.3.3 Combined Optical Network Terminal (ONT)/smart meter industry perspective
6.3.4 Combining ONT/smart meter user and competition perspective
6.3.5 Broadband
6.3.6 Addressing social and economic problems
6.4 NBN and smart infrastructure
6.4.1 Infrastructure Co-Development Program
7. Smart Grid/Smart City Project (separate report)
8. Separate background reports

Australia is in a unique position to benefit from two infrastructure projects that are being developed simultaneously. NBN Co is currently rolling out the government-initiated National Broadband Network and it also has a clear policy known as Digital Productivity, where the government is taking a leadership role in ensuring that other government sectors use this infrastructure for the delivery of trans-sector services (e-health, e-education, smart grids, etc).

The government has also developed a policy for the national rollout of smart grids; its demonstration project was launched in late 2010.

Smart Grid Australia and NBN Co are working together to investigate synergies between these two infrastructure projects and a preliminary report mentions possible savings of $2 billion if the projects can be aligned. Special access is provided in the NBN Bill for utilities.

Progress on the issue has been slow. Increased awareness regarding the trans-sector use of the NBN might see an increase of activity with some initial pilot programmes. However, a total review is expected under the revised NBN policies of the new government.

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