9 December 2013

Bridging our big broadband gap

New research report reveals the impact of next generation broadband for Australian households and businesses.

Despite living in the ‘Digital Age’, Australia is currently not prepared to fully take advantage of the services afforded by next generation broadband according to a new groundbreaking research report released today.

Developed by the Australian Centre for Broadband Innovation (ACBI) and CSIRO's Digital Productivity and Services Flagship, the 'Broadband Impact and Challenges' report provides fresh insights and evidence to better understand the impact and opportunities offered by next generation broadband as well as advice on the necessary steps needed to mitigate the associated risks. The report was compiled out of key findings from comprehensive community surveys, interviews with businesses and thought leaders as well as detailed analyses of existing data sources and peer-reviewed economic and social research.

"Although we are living in an increasingly 'Digital Age' full of smart devices, tele-working and social networks, one in five Australian adults still do not use the internet," Director of the Australian Centre for Broadband Innovation Colin Griffith said.

"Recognising that more and more government and business services are delivered online, a key focus of our research is to understand the behaviour and capabilities of adoption and use of next generation broadband. Across the board we have found that giving more people and businesses the skills and confidence to use these broadband services effectively, will not only have a positive impact on their quality of life and business success, but also create broader economic benefits."

Interviews with industry and government stakeholders cited a lack of certainty about the future rollout of Australia’s broadband infrastructure as being a significant barrier in helping them prepare for the future.

"Like other major Australian infrastructure projects such as the Snowy River Mountain Scheme and the Sydney Harbour Bridge Harbour Bridge, the debate around our national broadband infrastructure has predominately focused on cost and scale. While these are important discussions, our research highlighted that government, industry and the community need to invest in capability building through training and investment programs if we are to fully realise the benefits of next generation broadband," Mr Griffith said.

The report also includes a number of key insights to help government and businesses prepare for some of the potential threats which next generation broadband may bring.

"Along with its many benefits, next generation broadband will also create challenges for Australia, accelerating disruption to businesses, jobs and services. If we are to mitigate the potential threats than active leadership at all levels of society and across different organisations is needed to ensure that there is strategic investment in capacity building and innovation to help safeguard our digital future," Mr Griffith said.

"Ultimately, it is the capabilities of every person and business that will determine the overall level of benefit realised for Australia in terms of jobs, improvement in productivity and quality of life."

The 'Broadband Impact and Challenges' report was officially launched to a group of industry and government stakeholders at an event in Sydney this morning.

For more information visit the Broadband Impact and Challenges report.

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    Australian's aren't prepared to fully realise the potential of Next Generation Broadband.

Background information

Editor’s notes

About the Broadband Impacts Report

Developed by CSIRO’s Digital Productivity and Services Flagship and The Australian Centre for Broadband Innovation (ACBI), the ‘Broadband Impact and Challenges’ report provides fresh insights and evidence to better understand the impact and opportunities offered by next generation broadband as well as advice on the necessary steps needed to mitigate the associated risks. The report was compiled out of key findings from comprehensive community surveys, interviews with businesses and thought leaders as well as detailed analyses of existing data sources and peer-reviewed economic and social research.

To download a copy of the report please visit ACBI Broadband Impacts Report.

About ACBI

The Australian Centre for Broadband Innovation (ACBI) is a national research initiative connecting people to the benefits of broadband through innovative services. It is led by CSIRO in conjunction with National ICT Australia (NICTA), NBN Co with funding support from the NSW and Tasmanian Governments.

ACBI provides unique opportunities to create innovative broadband-enabled services, demonstrate their use in real world situations and evaluate their potential commercial and social value. ACBI connects people and business to the benefits of game-changing services and applications enabled by next generation broadband technologies.

For more information please visit Australian Centre for Broadband Innovation .

About CSIRO

CSIRO is Australia’s national science agency and has been pushing the edge of what’s possible for more than 85 years. Today, the organisation has close to 6,500 people working out of 58 centres in Australia and internationally. These people work closely with industry and communities to leave a lasting legacy across five broad areas: food, health and life science industries; energy; environment; information and communications; and manufacturing, materials and minerals.

For more information please visit About CSIRO.

About CSIRO’s Digital Productivity and Services Flagship

CSIRO’s Digital Productivity and Services Flagship is a $48 million research initiative targeting productivity growth in Australia through frontier services innovation and by unlocking the value of a national broadband infrastructure. Through its research the flagship will help add value to the Australian economy by developing and delivering more efficient and innovative services that improve people’s wellbeing and prosperity.

For more information please visit Digital Productivity & Services.

If you are having difficulty accessing this information, please use either the contact information listed for this page or email CSIRO Enquiries within business hours. You can also request further assistance through our Accessibility webpage.

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