Business consulting firm, KPMG, has laid out a number of steps the Federal Government should take to ensure the $36 billion investment in the National Broadband Network (NBN) pays off.
KPMG was appointed as part of the NBN advisory board in 2009.
Speaking at CeBIT 2011, KPMG digital economy partner, Malcolm Adler, outlined five things that need to be done in prevent the huge funding for the NBN from going down the drain.
Education has been flagged as an important point that should be addressed. Certainly the Government shared this view as reflected in the National Digital Economy Strategy announced at CeBIT today by Communications Minister, Senator Stephen Conroy.
Part of the strategy involved investments in educating residents and businesses in the first lot of towns to receive the NBN about how to leverage the network and promote more online participation.
Part of the education process is to provide examples of what the NBN will be capable of. Adler proposed for a number of demonstration booths to be set up around the country where locals could go to in order to actually experience what a high-speed network is capable of.
“I spent a lot of time talking to people in board rooms and senior management teams of very big blue chip companies in Australia who still need an awful lot of stepping through all this [NBN] stuff,” he said. “So you’ve got that level and my 81-year old mother-in-law and what all that stuff means to her.
“... The construction phase and what we do with it is an absolutely colossal change in our economy in all of its facets.”
What Adler wants to see is many examples of “microeconomics reference points” what the NBN could ultimately provide. These include businesses demonstrating how teleworking can reduce a the carbon footprint of their companies and produce tangible results.
Lastly, driving excitement is also a key part of the NBN’s success.
“The more people start to get, see and feel all this and see it making a difference in their lives the better,” Adler said. “The one caveat I will note is – drawn from my previous experience as an investor, is you can get very excited about these things but you can get ahead of the curve.
“So you do have to be careful not to get everybody too excited that they’ll want it all tomorrow; The NBN is a long-term rollout project.”
The interactive booths mentioned before could play a part in creating the necessary excited for the NBN.
More NBN news from CeBIT to follow.