The Federal Government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA) to support the Digital Economy Strategy.
AIIA is the national industry body for the ICT sector.
The Strategy was announced by Communications Minister, Senator Stephen Conroy in May and it outlines eight broadband related goals the Government plans to achieve by 2020.
The aim is to leverage the National Broadband Network (NBN) to achieve the goals listed in the document.
These include making Australia a top five OECD country in terms of households connected to broadband, a top five country with business and non-profit organisations using broadband to drive productivity and for more Australians to engage with the Government through online services.
“Having the collaboration between the sector and the Government is vital for us to achieve our vision by 2020,” the Communications Minister said at an AIIA event in Sydney.
While the Government has assigned funding to support the fruition of the eight outcomes, the MoU with the AIIA is not a financial agreement.
“The MoU… is designed to increase participation at the local a level and build closer relationships between business, government and community through engagement with the ICT industry,” AIIA CEO, Suzanne Campbell, said in a statement.
AIIA will work on a joint action plan with the Government to drive industry in initiatives related to the Strategy. Part of this will involve pushing for technology vendors and suppliers to participation in the Digital Hubs program. Hubs have been set up in the first 40 NBN release sits to give local residents a first hand experience with NBN-enabled services and related technologies.
The ICT industry body will also be working with government departments and agencies on broadband strategies as well as provide industry input on policies pertaining to the digital economy.
Responses to the Digital Economy Strategy have been overwhelmingly positive but some critics have deemed it a marketing brochure and has no substance to truly drive Australia’s digital economy.