There were few surprises in the Federal Government’s budget announcement last night when it came to ICT.
The centre piece of the included ICT spend, if not the overall budget itself, was the confirmation of the National Broadband Network (NBN) with the government committing $4.7 billion in an initial investment. How it will be spent and where is yet to be detailed.
Additionally, $80 million has been allocated to the rural and regional NBN initiative. Other winners include research and development centre, NICTA, and small businesses. The following is a quick breakdown of the main initiatives to affect the ICT industry:
- The government announced an initial spend of $4.7 billion towards the $43 billion NBN plan. How this money will be spent and where was not detailed.
- $80 million was allocated to the rural and regional NBN initiative. While no details were announced as to how the money will be spent, it is likely it will go to areas identified as priority locations as part of a stakeholder consultation process set-up in April to give the bush an NBN kickstart.
- An additional $141 million will be used to expand tax breaks for small businesses introduced as part of the economic stimulus package earlier this year. Small businesses can claim a bonus tax deduction of 50 per cent of the cost of eligible assets ordered between December 13, 2008 and December 31, 2009 and installed by December 31, 2010.
- Up to $100 million will be invested in a new National Energy Efficiency Initiative to help migrate the country to a low carbon economy through the use of tools like smart grid technologies and smart metres.
- Research and development body, National ICT Australia (NICTA), will receive a four-year funding extension of $185.5 million
More analysis and updates will come throughout the day, so stay tuned to arnnet.com.au.