At the National Press Club earlier this week, the Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Stephen Conroy announced he is searching for a CEO to lead the newly established NBN Company.
The Minister’s Press Club speech likened the NBN roll-out to the development of Australia’s electricity infrastructure last century, suggesting the benefits now, as then, will be much more significant than simply “turning on a light”.
He then described how digital technologies, enabled by the NBN, will transform health care, revolutionise education, underpin our future carbon constrained economy and secure our infrastructure investments. Conservative estimates of productivity growth were between 1.1% and 1.4%, the Minister said, citing recent studies by Access Economics and the Centre for International Economics.
In his speech, Senator Conroy announced compulsory FTTP network connections for Greenfield building developments will be introduced in Parliament in early June, with the first connections to be made in Tasmania as early as July. The procurement processes are also underway for the appointment of the lead advisors on NBN operating arrangements to roll-out the Government’s $250 million investment to improve back-haul capacity and services in remote areas.
The NBN is emerging as a key initiative of the Federal Government to boost employment and engage Australian industry in long-term infrastructure development.