How consumer and business applications are built on top of the National Broadband Network (NBN) should be at the forefront of plans today, according to a new research paper.
The Deloitte report stressed the importance of consumer interaction with the NBN and called for the Federal Government to move discussions away from implementation to potential usage models.
“Until now, the discussions have revolved around the building and financing of this major infrastructure project. The focus needs to now equally turn to the groups that will ultimately drive the project’s success,” Deloitte technology, media and telecommunications leader, Damien Tampling, said in a statement.
The Federal Government also needed to consider how specific business and industries would interact with the NBN to better understand end-user demands, he said.
The report identified seven major challenges confronting the NBN: End-user retail and packaging; Competition and regulation; NBN Company funding and structuring; Design and construction; Support for innovation and delivery of new applications; Disruptions due to the Federal Government election cycle; and vertical and horizontal integration of private sector industries and government departments and utilities.
For example, social and environmental concerns which could impact the way the NBN is delivered include emergency services, homeland security, regional connectivity and energy efficiency, Deloitte stated.
But on a positive note, the NBN could transform consumer and business operations. At a consumer level, new infrastructure could drive adoption of automated lighting, air-conditioning and home security systems in households, improve e-health, television and video services, and overhaul commerce.
The report also quoted results from a year-old survey into business drivers, held in conjunction with the Australian Industry Group, which found CEOs expected better productivity, innovation and e-commerce efficiencies from faster broadband connectivity.
Short-term opportunities from the NBN ranged from private sector contracts for consulting and engineering services, along with equipment sales, through to more funding for Internet and technology start-ups. Two to five years down the track, Deloittes predicted new technology innovation business models, standards-based methodologies for utility providers, and more competitive broadband pricing.
Broader society ramifications from the NBN could also provide the foundation for “SMB and indigenous empowerment” while driving exports and global cost-competitiveness, e-health, education and commerce, the company stated.
The findings come just days after the Federal Government proposed new industry legislation that could see a structural separation of Australia’s telco giant, Telstra.
The revolutionary telecommunications reforms aim to give the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission more powers to moderate the wholesale telco market place, as well as allow the Australian Communications and Media Authority to issue on-the-spot fines to telcos breaching consumer safeguards.
Under the proposed bill, service carriers making less than $25 million annual revenue will also be exempt from paying an annual Carrier Licence charge, while reporting requirements will also reduced for those that meet performance benchmarks.
The Deloitte paper also comes off the back of news that the NBNco expects to create thousands of job and hire both permanent and contract staff.
The report can be found at: new.