National Broadband Strategy Report
4 February 2003 at 12:02 pm
A national strategy across all levels of Government and business and industry sectors should be adopted to make Australia a world leader in the effective development and use of broadband technologies, according to a new report to the Commonwealth Government.
Launching ‘Australia’s Broadband Connectivity’ – a report to the Government by the Broadband Advisory Group–at the Alfred Hospital in Melbourne, the Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts, Senator Richard Alston, said the Government recognised the importance of its own role in promoting broadband.
The report recommends that the Government adopt a National Broadband Strategy in cooperation with all levels of government and industry to make Australia a world leader in the availability and effective use of broadband so the economic and social benefits of connectivity can be captured.
The Group’s report makes several recommendations on how the potential of broadband can be harnessed to reduce costs and improve service delivery in the key areas of health, education and research.
The report says Broadband connectivity will help improve the delivery of health services to all Australians, regardless of where they live and work, and recommends the delivery of an implementation plan to deliver those outcomes through initiatives such as ‘teleradiology’ and electronic patient health records.
For example, the Alfred Hospital uses a large bandwidth wide area network–interconnecting ten hospitals that are part of a Shared Services Network–for education and medical consultations.
In education, broadband can help overcome the tyranny of distance, which limits the options of people living in rural and regional areas and provide more flexibility in service and content delivery. The report recommends that all schools and educational institutions should be connected to broadband Internet services and that a nationwide ‘Internet for content and curriculum interaction’ be developed.
The report recommends that the government give priority to establishing an Australian research and Education Network which meets the domestic bandwidth needs of higher end research in universities.
The report is the culmination of an extensive consultation process within Australia and guidance from a number of international experts. The Group has been working to produce the report since the Prime Minister at the World Congress on IT in Adelaide announced its formation in February 2002.
The Government will be responding to the report in coming months. If you would like an electronic copy of the Executive Summary (WORD or PDF) which includes all 19 recommendations just send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.