Investment that raises the speed, quality and coverage of high-speed broadband provision in Australia has the potential to contribute to productivity and economic growth in the coming decades.
The government’s decision to form a public–private company to oversee an estimated $43 billion in investment in Australia’s high-speed broadband network is a significant departure from its previous commitments, but one which provides leadership and a road ahead for the telecommunications sector and for users of broadband services.
In particular, the decision by the government will help to overcome difficulties faced by private operators seeking funds for investment in the present economic climate.
The government can further build business and community support for this major investment by providing publicly and in full the investment case for the planned rollout, including the broader consumer, productivity and economic benefits identified from this investment.
The government’s review of regulation provides a timely opportunity to update telecommunications policy settings to ensure we both encourage investment and meet the needs of consumers as technology and market conditions evolve in the years ahead.