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yARN – NBNco must be more than an event manager

yARN – NBNco must be more than an event manager

Has anybody heard of research and development?

Why hasn’t anyone demanded NBNco involve a hefty portion of R&D as part of its mandate? Why aren’t any of our pollies and industry experts calling for a new generation of networking innovation and IP to complement the proposed NBN?

For $43 billion I want to see something more than just a faster connection. To be honest, at this stage of the proposal I don’t really care about consumer prices, which state HQ is located in, or whether Telstra is split – I’m more interested in the tangential economic and social benefits.

Once Conroy's implementation study is completed and we know a lot more about the nitty gritty of the Federal Government’s plan, then I’ll be happy to investigate what it means for individuals. Until that happens, none of us can be sure what the real implications are.

Yet, we can demand more from the NBN idea. $43 billion is a lot, and I want a memorable bang.

For my two cents, I want to see a new breed of Australian designed and manufactured technology born out of the nation’s biggest infrastructure spend. I want to see the likes of the CSIRO and our universities finally funded by a muscle-bound local player so they can attract the brightest networking minds to give the domestic ICT industry a broad cross section of technology it can take to the rest of the world instead of always being a consumer.

Think about it – how much technology does Australia export? Sadly, very little.

The NBN is an opportunity to look beyond the present. It is one of those grand plans that demands grand results. Simply adopting the existing technologies and IP to get what might be a top network now, but could be outdated in a few years, is lacking vision.

If NBNco is reduced to doing deals with existing players to pull the network together then it will be nothing more than an event manager.

Yes, we need existing providers and technology – but that doesn’t preclude fostering a new high-tech industry that boldly takes the next innovation step and places NBNco as a world leader.

NBNco should be the pioneer in an industry that gives the economy a needed rocket and the fruits of which we could take offshore as the new standard in broadband networks. Now why hasn't anyone demanded that yet?


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