AIG: the NBN is an “unprecedented opportunity”

The Australian Industry Group (AIG) has released a report in support of the National Broadband Network (NBN), stating that “the prospect of ubiquitous connectivity, across both businesses and households, represents a real opportunity to achieve a step-change in Australian innovation.” 

The report, titled New Thinking, New Directions, released yesterday in Canberra, describes the National Broadband Network (NBN) as an extraordinary opportunity for businesses in Australia to “transform their innovation practice, in terms of realising cost-savings, productivity, extending market reach and introducing brand new types of products and services.”

While the report displays support for fibre-to-the-premises, it also notes “the strong complementarities between fibre and wireless internet.”

“Building increased wireless capacity will be a natural next step to follow the national fibre rollout, creating a potential need for government to release additional spectrum.”

The report urges for transparency regarding the cost of the NBN, but also acknowledges that the future benefits of high speed broadband “may be difficult to quantify.”

The report highlights the need for the access pricing of fibre broadband to remain competitive. However some of the respondents also acknowledged this is likely to be “manageable” given the high degree of industry inquiry into the cost of fibre broadband.

The report has been released amid calls from the Coalition for the government to produce a full cost-benefit analysis of the $43 billion project. Communications Minister Stephen Conroy continues to describe the analysis as a waste of time and money.