Home Industry Deals ACS cautious welcome for NBN, but still a missing link!


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Just two weeks to the day after attacking the federal government for overlooking the ICT industry as a critical source of economic stimulus and growth for Australia’s economy, the ACS has joined the chorus of those welcoming the government’s NBN decision but with a cautionary reminder that it’s by no means all of what’s needed to kick along Australia’s digital economy.

“The NBN is “a facilitator of the country’s digital economy, not an end in itself,” says the national chairman of the Australian Computer Society, Kumar Parakala , although he acknowledges that the government’s NBN decision is a crucial step towards improving Australia’s ICT infrastructure and digital economy.
Two weeks ago the ACS went on the attack against the government - http://www.itwire.com/content/view/24008/598/  - when it called on the government to give a dedicated commitment to a national strategy on the development of the ICT industry.

Now, the ACS, while welcoming the NBN announcement, has again called for the development of a national digital economy strategy “as matter of urgency.”
“The NBN is a critical infrastructure investment which is long overdue, however there remains a missing link – a national strategy for the development of our digital economy,” Parakala says.

“We welcome the Government’s decision to implement fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) broadband network as it will enable delivery of more sustainable value added services. The decision to implement FTTH, rather than fibre-to-the-node (FTTN), will provide Australians with multiple sources and platforms for broadband and access to a greater range of services.

“With the pipe in the ground, there will be opportunities for the development of value added services which propel our future economic growth, such as e-health, e-education and e-commerce.  These e-services will ultimately provide Australia with a platform to increase its participation in the global market. The flow-on effects from access to high quality infrastructure are estimated to increase GDP by 1.4% after five to six years, which is $15 billion in terms of GDP from 2007-2008 GDP figures, increasing our standard of living and stimulating economic prosperity.”

Parakala emphasises that the ACS strongly believes in leveraging such a critical piece of infrastructure investment to bring Australia into line with overseas competitors.

“Broadband is already the lifeblood of our business communications and there is an absolute social and economic imperative to getting this right.
“It is imperative that the telecommunications industry, the ICT industry and the government now work together to not only ensure immediate construction of the NBN, but also to think ‘beyond the pipe’ as these plans are key to our nation’s competitive standing and our future economic prosperity.”


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