While the Federal Government has extolled the virtues of the National Broadband Network (NBN) in delivering e-health and government agency services to every Australian, adult content will be the major driver of consumer adoption, according to content and applications developer, The Project Factory.
According to The Project Factory director, Jennifer Wilson, education and health dominated public discussion of the NBN; however, personal entertainment, including adult content, lead private discussions.
"The single most important factor is the porn factor because pornography has always been at the cutting edge of technology," Wilson said. "If we cannot get porn on the NBN than we will have trouble getting consumer acceptance and uptake."
Speaking at an Australian Computer Society (ACS) forum in Sydney, Wilson acknowledged that children needed to be protected from adult content but backed the idea of pornography on the NBN because it had always stimulated digital growth in many forms.
For example, the industry was an early adopter of e-commerce and helped to decide the Blu-Ray versus HD format wars.
"The main reason Blu-Ray took off was because the adult entertainment industry chose the format over HD," Wilson said. "No one is going to install the NBN on the basis that one day they might need e-health services but they will use that as a justification for getting the service in order to download movies and watch TV."
Independent telecommunications analyst, Paul Budde, agreed with Wilson's assessments, stating that the adult industry had always been a driver of new technology.
With regard to the NBN, Budde said consumers would be more likely to use the service if it meant faster access to adult content. However, as the NBN is government owned, there may be the risk of censorship by what Budde termed, "conservative elements", in the federal government.
"Politicians from both Labor and the Liberals would say 'no you can't do that'," he said. "We are not that enlightened yet and there will be a tough battle to make that change."
Wilson also said that for her Sydney-based business, which specialises in the development of games and phone applications, bigger pipes would allow the company to deliver more multi-media content.
"I know from experience that consumers want faster download rates and more data but the more you give them the more they will use. We keep making games, applications that are bigger and shiner."
According to Wilson's research, Allen Consulting estimated a saving of $2.4 billion per annum through timesaving activities once the NBN was completed.
The report also highlighted benefits that Wilson claimed most people would take advantage of such as access to social networking, media, entertainment and professional services as well as inclusion and engagement in the online community.
"What we are doing with the NBN is audacious and exciting but if we can't give the consumers what they want than it is not going to work."
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