As the Realising Our Broadband Future forum drew to a close, the Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Senator Stephen Conroy, outlined the next steps — a report and a collaborative framework across all three tiers of government.
Conroy closed the event with a few statistics on the forum:
- 190 contributions to the Open to Your Ideas forum
- More than 1000 contributions and hundreds of comments to the discussion stream wikis
- More than 60,000 people connected to the wikis
- More than 3,300 tweets over the course of the two day event
- Broadband Future has been the most popular Australian Twitter hashtag over the past two days
- More than 25,000 hits to the video live stream and almost 400 gigabytes of data served
- More than 65,000 individual page views to the Broadband Future website.
See photos from day 2 of the forum in the Computerworld slideshow
About 110 people also took part in the forum through four remote nodes in Brisbane, Melbourne, Adelaide, Canberra and Parramatta.
Conroy focused on the four streams of the forum — e-health, digital education, e-business and smart infrastructure.
“Many of the opportunities identified [in e-business] relate to unlocking the existing creativity of Australia’s small and medium enterprises and, helping them punch above their weight both in Australia, and as exporters, acting as agents and adding value to other industries and supply chains,” Conroy said. “Also, that fast ubiquitous broadband will allow us to reorganise businesses and business models to reduce the importance of location.”
He also identified several issues around smart infrastructure, such as engaging and empowering users, ensuring data is widely available and can be shared and ensuring the right spectrum to support wireless and mobile connectivity.
Finally, in the e-Communities stream we had some passionate voices from Indigenous Australia, seniors, youth, remote and regional communities.
Conroy said he would coordinate a report to government that draws together the work from the forum, identifying priorities for action by business, government and the community.
“The report will be considered by government within the next six months,” he said.
“The ability for multiple government agencies at the Commonwealth, State and Territory levels to work together will be central to our strategy. This is particularly so in areas such as e-Health and Digital Education. From a Commonwealth and State and Territory perspective the existing Framework for the collaborative development and use of broadband in Australia will be central to responding to the forum outcomes.”
All tiers of government have made a commitment to the framework, he said, but it would require input from the wider community in order to achieve its goals.
“Important opportunities for Australia’s digital economy future will be missed if this is left entirely to government agencies. Industry must harness the interest and enthusiasm demonstrated at this forum to implement the ideas you have generated.”