Place and Date: RMIT Melbourne, Tuesday 22nd October, 2019
Time: 12.00 – 1.45pm
Location: RMIT, 080.09.012 (Building 80, Level 9, Room 12)
How well are we tracking to achieve the original mission of the NBN of ‘Building Broadband For All Australians? Four specialist speakers will canvass many of the issues related to the provision of nationwide services and applications to enhance the lifestyle of the end users. How might we ‘grow’ the number of new customers, and deal with the vexed issues related to those residents currently excluded from broadband? What do systematic field research investigations show about the notion of ‘digital inclusion’ as a measurement of Australia’s digital divide? Do we now need a revamped USO, together with the introduction of an affordable national broadband policy? Have customer pricing policies been a serious bottleneck to improving the rate of NBN related customer service take up – could that be changed for the better? Looking elsewhere, New Zealand has followed a different path to Australia with some notable broadband policy successes. How might we learn from their experiences?
The event will feature a short 10 minute presentation from each of the panellists, followed by audience questions and discussion around the topic. It will continue the theme of NBN Futures, and the discussion should focus on future opportunities. At the conclusion there will be light refreshments and a chance for networking.
Please register using the "Add to Cart" button below.
SPEAKERS (in order)
Teresa Corbin, CEO of ACCAN
The original NBN concept was to provide an equitable, country-wide, single experience, with general access to the digital economy. Does this objective now need a re-vamped USO and the introduction of an affordable national broadband policy? Would an NBN Co service offered at a reasonable wholesale monthly price to those households currently receiving government financial support be an effective way to achieve near affordable broadband for all Australians?
Murray Milner, Harmonic Analytics
What can be learnt from the New Zealand broadband policy ambition and experience? In what key ways have the Kiwis followed a different path for the development of broadband than Australia? Do Australians need to dispel the notion held by some that just a few tens of megabits per second is all that the public and business actually need or want? Most residential plans in New Zealand are now in the 100/50 category, and the marketing of plans for business are focussed around 900/450 today. How might Australia follow?
Chris Wilson, Swinburne University
How much do we know about the end users of broadband in Australia? The Australian Digital Inclusion Index (ADII) major national research project shows that, although on aggregate digital inclusion is improving, it still continues to follow distinct geographic, social and socio-economic contours. In general, rural and regional Australians, older Australians, and people with low levels of income, employment and education are less digitally included than their compatriots – and for some the inclusion gap is widening.
Bob James (iMediate Consulting)
What would mapping the apparent success to date of NBN consumer services show? Is the introduction of new pricing the key to Australia improving overall consumer affordability, and also achieving a better broadband speed global ranking? How might we be able to emulate NZ with its global speed rankings – around 21st – to see Australia join the 100 Mbps club and no longer rate as 60th? And could NBN come to play a key role in our changing world where fibre and wireless are friends rather than foes in delivering consumer services?
Teresa Corbin is a co-founder and now CEO of ACCAN, Australia’s peak body for communications consumers. She has many years of experience working in telecommunications policy both in Australia and internationally. Teresa is a director on the Board of the International Telecommunications Users Group (INTUG). In Australia she currently sits on several bodies including the ACMA Consumer Consultative Forum and she chairs Standards Australia’s Consumer Policy Committee. In 2015, she was awarded the Charles Todd Medal by the Telecommunications Society for having made an outstanding contribution in recent years. Teresa holds a Bachelor of Arts with a major in Linguistics from La Trobe University and is a Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
Dr Milner has spent over 40 years in the ICT industry. He is widely recognised within his profession for his leadership in ICT development in New Zealand. He has been awarded Fellowships to work and study in both the UK and USA during his career. He is a Distinguished Fellow of Engineering NZ, an active member of IET and a Senior Member of IEEE and is on the editorial board for the Australian Journal of Telecommunications and the Digital Economy.
After spending much of his career with Telecom New Zealand, Dr Milner now runs a busy consulting practice in New Zealand and works extensively with central government, local government and enterprises on ICT strategy, economics and infrastructure development. He is currently Chair of Harmonic Analytics Limited, Chair of the Whole of Government Radio Network Governance Board (WGRN GB) and a member of the Capital Investment Committee (CIC) for Health. He recently stood down as a Director of Crown Infrastructure Partners (CIP - formerly Crown Fibre Holdings), after 9 years of being responsible for the rollout of the Ultrafast Broadband (UFB) initiative across New Zealand. He was involved in this initiative since its conceptual beginnings in 2007 and undertook much of the techno-economic analysis of Fibre to the Premise prior to government adoption.
Dr Chris K Wilson is Research Fellow with the Centre for Social Impact at Swinburne University of Technology. For more than 20 years he has been involved in interdisciplinary social research that engages concepts and methodologies drawn from economics, human geography, media studies, education, policy studies and history. Chris is the principal Research Fellow for the Australian Digital Inclusion Index (ADII) project (digitalinclusionindex.org.au) and External Editor of the Analysis and Policy Online Digital Inclusion collection (apo.org.au/collections/digital-inclusion).
Chris recently authored "Measuring Digital Inequality in Australia" in the TelSoc journal: https://telsoc.org/jtde/2019-05-v7-n2/a187
Bob James spent almost 30 years with Telstra in diverse strategic roles including Director of Product Technology and Group General Manager, Strategic Development. More recently he has worked as an independent consultant working with large operators, suppliers and various government entities. His areas of focus have been the NBN and also 5G – and sometimes their intersection.