The Western Australia Government has moved to give itself the upper hand in its negotiations with the Federal Government and NBN Co on the roll out of the National Broadband Network in its state.
The state government has commissioned the State Telecommunications Needs Assessment report, which will provide the detailed information it needs to squeeze the maximum benefit out of the national infrastructure project.
The assessment will also survey WA’s wider telecommunications needs, the benefits of high speed broadband to the state, and will identify key locations which would benefit from the delivery of improved mobile and data services.
Crucially, it will identify the economic costs to Western Australia if there are no activities towards enhancing broadband and telecommunications in Western Australia. This aspect will provide ammunition to use against the Federal Opposition if it takes power at the next election and follows through with its commitment to cancel the NBN.
The report will also determine the economic benefits to Western Australia if telecommunications and broadband infrastructure are upgraded in the state to the level outlined in the Federal Government's proposed national broadband network (NBN).
The benefits in addressing commercial and consumer telecommunication needs, and the benefits achieved from the regional backhaul blackspots project and future NBN will also be established.
The news follows a panel discussion held at CeBIT Australia 2010 which heard that the impact of the NBN’s cancellation on the Australia's education and research sectors would be minimal.
CeBIT attendees also heard arguments from the ICT industry that the NBN was worth pursuing regardless of its cost.