TelSoc Broadband Futures Group

The TelSoc Broadband Futures Group commenced in early 2019 with the intention to contribute to systematic research and discussion of the options for the future ownership and enhancement of the National Broadband Network, through public forums  and policy articles published in the Journal of Telecommunications and the Digital Economy (JTDE).

Very early on the Group (initially named the NBN Futures Group) realised there were extensive questions about broadband services needing to be addressed, beyond the options for NBN ownership and development.  The report, Towards a National Broadband Strategy for Australia 2020-2030, drew together the first two years of the Group’s work and set the basis for subsequent activity. Following is a summary of the work to date:


  1. July 2019, Encouraging Debate on NBN Ownership Models, with panellists Peter Gerrand, Jim Holmes, Graeme Samuel AC and Michael Cosgrave (ACCC).  Forum Details  Journal Report
  2. October 2019, Realising the User Potential of the NBN, with panellists Teresa Corbin (CEO, ACCAN), Chris Wilson (on the Australian Digital Inclusion Index) and Murray Milner (on the New Zealand broadband market experience).  Forum Details  Journal Report
  3. February 2020, Learning from International Experience, with panellists Richard Ferrers (OECD comparisons) and Murray Milner (lessons from the successful New Zealand Ultra-Fast Broadband program), with discussion from Jim Holmes.  Forum Details Journal Report
  4. August 2020, Social and Economic Considerations: Digital Inclusion and Telehealth, with panellists Ishtar Vij (coordinator of the Australian Digital Inclusion Alliance), Professor Anthony Smith University of Queensland Telehealth Centre) and Professor Peter Brooks (Northern Health, Victoria).  Forum Details Journal Report
  5. November 2020, A National Broadband Strategy for Australia, with presentation by Jim Holmes (TelSoc President) and comments from Deena Shiff (Chair of the Australian Broadband Advisory Council), Teresa Corbin (CEO ACCAN) and Dr Helen Haines MP. Forum Details Journal Report
  6. March 2021, Regional and Rural Broadband Access – City Standards in 10 Years?, with presentation by Gavin Williams (Chief Development Officer, Regional and Remote, NBN Co.)  Forum Details Journal Report 
  7. May 2021, The Rise of 5G. with presentations by Bruce Davie and Andrew Hamilton examining how NBN and 5G might be more closely linked. Forum Details Journal Report
  8. August 2021, LEOs and how they differ from GEOs: One Web’s plans in Australia and competitor differences, with presentation by Ruth Pritchard-Kelly (Senior Advisor, Regulatory Affairs, OneWeb). Forum Details Journal Report
  9. August 2021, Affordability of Broadband Services, with panellists Teresa Corbin (ACCAN), Ken Walliss (NBN Co.), Johanna Mithen (North East Healthy Communities and Andrew Whelan (Start Broadband). Forum Details Journal Report

Articles in the Journal of Telecommunications and the Digital Economy, in addition to Forum Reports:

Peter Gerrand, "NBN Futures: The Option of Merging NBN Co with InfraCo, as a Benefit to the Digital Economy” 

Jim Holmes, "Getting the NBN Infrastructure We Need"

Jim Holmes and Leith Campbell, “The NBN Futures Project

Teresa Corbin, “Promoting Digital Inclusion Through the NBN

Richard Ferrers, “Enhancing NBN’s Value: Comparing NBN with Australia’s Top 10 Trading Partners and OECD

Murray Milner, “Ultra -fast Broadband: the New Zealand Experience”


Reports and Submissions

Submission to the Joint Standing Committee on the National Broadband Network (Submission 20)

Towards a National Broadband Strategy for Australia 2020-2030

Submission to ACCC on regulatory arrangements under NBN Co’s Special Access Undertaking, including Submission to NBN Co on its Special Access Undertaking Variation 2021 Discussion Paper

Submission about the Digital Economy Strategy 

Proposal for a Review of Inclusion and Affordability of Broadband Services 


Project Membership:
Active members of the Group, in alphabetical order, have included: Trevor Barr, John Burke (convenor), Leith Campbell, John Costa, Richard Ferrers, Peter Gerrand, Andrew Hamilton, Tim Herring, Peter Hitchiner, Jim Holmes, Allan Horsley, Murray Milner, Supriya Singh and Craig Watkins.