Australia is on a fast track to become “the world’s first fully connected continent,” NBN’s CEO, Bill Morrow, will today tell an event hosted by the Australia-Israel Chamber of Commerce (AICC).
“By 2020, we’ll be the first country of our size to make broadband access universal. Our generation – GenNBN – will be more connected than ever before,” Morrow said in remarks prepared for today’s AICC address on ‘bridging the digital divide’.
The NBN will create economic opportunities for Australians but Morrow said that businesses needed to move now to get their “NBN strategy” in shape. “How will your business make the most of a fully connected Australia?” the CEO said.
Broadband will become a “power source of competitive advantage for Australia,” with the National Broadband Network putting Australia “ahead of the world for high, speed, universal broadband access”.
The conversation that is needed now is how the rollout can best be used as a catalyst for Australian businesses, Morrow said.
The CEO pointed to a number of Australian-founded tech-focussed companies such as Atlassian, Envato, Freelancer.com and OFX that are “showing us the way forward”.
“As a nation, we need to make it easier for entrepreneurs to get started, grab opportunities and build scale – locally and globally. And the NBN has a vital role to play here,” the CEO said.
High speed broadband can provide access to the “education, inspiration and tools that underpin innovation” as well as level the geographic playing field by helping businesses in regional Australia be as competitive as those in urban areas.
“Connectivity will reduce barriers to entry, lower transaction costs, and create better choice for consumers,” Morrow said.
“We will see entrepreneurs take advantage of this and innovate. By providing high speed universal access, NBN won’t just improve social inclusion or entertainment. It will expand the local digital marketplace and make local innovation more viable.”
NBN has said it is on target to complete the rollout of its network in 2020.