Canberra appoints broadband council to aid COVID recovery

By Amy Sarcevic
Wednesday, 22 July, 2020

Canberra appoints broadband council to aid COVID recovery

The federal government says it will be better informed about how to maximise the economic benefits of digital connectivity, thanks to the establishment of the Australian Broadband Advisory Council.

The government formed the expert group to provide counsel on a range of topics, including ways in which the nbn and 5G can boost Australia’s economic output, reduce the financial and cultural barriers to using these broadband networks, and potential implementation and outreach strategies.

The group will consist of six notable specialists — with expertise on digital, technology and business — and will be led by Chair Deena Shiff.

Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts, the Hon Paul Fletcher MP, said the Council will play a key role in aiding Australia’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Digital connectivity has been at the centre of people’s lives and livelihoods throughout COVID-19, with businesses and consumers rapidly embracing online means for productivity, connectivity and social cohesion,” Minister Fletcher said.

“This was underlined by recent data showing nbn usage soaring up to 70% during work hours, with 83% of Australians crediting the nbn as being vital for doing their jobs.

“We are just getting started with the benefits that fast broadband can provide, and Australia is uniquely placed with the nbn as backbone of the nation’s digital economy.

“Having completed the initial volume build and with the network available to more than 11.7 million homes and business, the nbn is moving into its next phase, and the Broadband Advisory Council will help us to think broadly and boldly about the ways we can maximise the benefits of Australia’s largest infrastructure project and leverage it to drive long-term economic and social benefits across all sectors of the economy.

“I look forward to receiving input from the Council on how to we can leverage the ubiquitous, fast broadband connectivity to stimulate the nation’s productivity, increase opportunities for businesses and to support social benefits for all Australians.”

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