Internet Australia, AIIA call for Turnbull to accelerate NBN rollout

The Abbot government failed to understand the importance of the Internet, Internet Australia said

Internet Australia has called on prime minister-designate Malcolm Turnbull to "fast-track" construction of the National Broadband Network.

"Of all the politicians in our federal parliament Mr Turnbull knows better than most the value of an effective broadband service to our economic future," said the organisation's CEO, Laurie Patton.

"This is his opportunity to put Australia back in the game by fast-tracking broadband construction."

Turnbull last night ousted Tony Abbott as Liberal Party leader after earlier stepping down as communications minister.

The Abbot government failed to understand the importance of the Internet, Internet Australia said.

"The Internet is the engine that will drive innovation and create much needed 21st century jobs," Patton said.

"Over the past two years Australia has fallen behind other OECD countries in the rankings for Internet-enabled offices and homes. We cannot allow this to continue."

Turnbull has in the past been a strong advocate for the digital economy, said Australian Information Industry Association CEO, Suzanne Campbell.

"As prime minister, we look forward to an accelerated rollout of the NBN and increased attention to how it will be used more effectively to drive innovation across all industries and provide a platform for the jobs of the future," the AIIA CEO said.

"This is fundamental to growing Australia’s economy and positioning us in an increasingly data and knowledge driven world."

The Coalition government, which came to power in the 2013, has overseen a significant redesign of the National Broadband Network from an all-fibre fixed line network to one that will make extensive use of the copper network and hybrid fibre-coaxial.

The government has said the change will result in a cheaper NBN rollout and that most Australians do not need the faster potential speeds offered by fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) compared to fibre-to-the-node (FTTN).

The government has also made a number of dramatic changes to regulatory environment within which Internet service providers and telcos operate, including the introduction of data retention, legislation to potentially block piracy-linked websites, and proposed legislation to give the government new powers to oversee telco infrastructure security, as well as pushing for ISPs to introduce a copyright notice scheme.

StartupAUS

Turnbull's business background will give him "unique insights into the barriers facing Australian startups, particularly in terms of accessing venture capital and talent," StartupAUS CEO Peter Bradd said in a statement.

"As Australia enters a new era of growth, technology based startups have the potential to transform the economy and create the jobs of the future.

"In the next two decades, startups have the potential to contribute up to US$109 billion in growth to the economy, and create 540,000 new jobs."

StartupAUS called for a centralised government approach to boosting the startup ecosystem.

"We believe Mr Turnbull has the vision and conviction to do this effectively and we very much look forward to working with the prime minister and his Cabinet to 'seize the day' in support of Australia's many startups," Bradd said.

"Stable government is crucial to the performance of the business economy," said Steve Baxter, River City Labs co-founder (and Shark Tank 'shark').

"I believe Malcolm Turnbull is the first Australian prime minister with a technology background and he is also a rare example of a prime minister who has personally built and invested in Australian businesses.

Read more: NBN CEO wants to boost RSP choice for end users

"Malcolm Turnbull is also well placed to understand the reality that high-growth, tech companies are integral to our future economy. Many of these businesses are currently part of our startup community.

"We need to make sure there's few impediments to the growth and progress of these businesses and provide a consistent and attractive proposition for investors to fund these businesses.”

Baxter said he was optimistic about seeing "a coherent, detailed and strong business agenda in the next 100 days" that looks beyond the resources and agriculture sectors.

ACS

ICT professionals' organisation ACS called for an increased focus on digital education.

"I want to take this opportunity to congratulate Malcolm Turnbull," ACS CEO Andrew Johnson said.

"In today’s digital world having a former communications minister take the top job will bring a much needed stronger focus on innovation, technology and digital education and skills.

"Building digital skills is critical if Australia is to secure its economic future, and Malcolm Turnbull has strong credentials in the technology space. The ACS looks forward to working with the new communications minister and the prime minister as Australia builds its digital capability and strengthens its digital economy."

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Tags Internet AustraliastartupsMalcolm TurnbullNational Broadband Network (NBN)national broadband networkAustralian Information Industry Association (AIIA)governmentStartupAUSbroadbandacs

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