This submission is in response to a request from Senator Conroy, the Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, for additional input into the government’s Digital Economy White Paper.
The Digital Economy White Paper, which is being developed for release in the first half of 2013, will expand on and incorporate an earlier commitment to produce a Cyber White Paper, and will build on the government’s existing National Digital Economy Strategy.
In this submission, we argue that the white paper should, among its key objectives:
- cover the whole of the market for ICT (not only the National Broadband Network)
- commit to competitive and efficient ICT markets as the best way to achieve the goal to be a leading digital economy
- spell out a role for public policy that facilitates and enables (and not hinders or directs) a market-led approach to achieving the benefits of the digital economy
- build understanding of the different ways the digital economy impacts on different sectors, to guide policymaking that enables companies and employees to adopt and adapt to change
- avoid setting targets or putting in place policies and programs to influence business behaviour
- detail how government will use ICT to improve government service delivery
- report on the efficiency of the implementation of the rollout of the National Broadband Network, and its competition and competitive neutrality aspects
- present a coherent strategy to deal with cyber security.
We argue that the future benefits of ICT development will primarily be driven by the ongoing development of markets and by private business and consumer decisions.