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National Conference to Examine Australia’s Broadband Future

11 August 2011 at 3:56 pm
Staff Reporter
The Australian Communication Consumer Action Network is to examine Australia’s broadband future at its upcoming National Conference in Sydney.

Staff Reporter | 11 August 2011 at 3:56 pm


National Conference to Examine Australia’s Broadband Future
11 August 2011 at 3:56 pm

The Australian Communication Consumer Action Network is to examine Australia’s broadband future at its upcoming National Conference in Sydney.

The ‘Our Broadband Future’ Conference – to be held in Sydney on 7-8 September – will hear from some big names including Senator Stephen Conroy, Malcolm Turnbull and the CEO of the National Broadband Network, Mike Quigley.

With the rollout of the National Broadband Network underway, Not for Profit telecommunications advocacy group, ACCAN says many consumers want to know what Australia’s future will be like with universal access to high-speed broadband.

Other questions include what sort of services and applications in the home will telecommunications providers be able to offer their customers? What sort of education and health services can be delivered? How can we make sure no Australian gets left behind?

The 2011 ACCAN National Conference features a wide variety of speakers from Government, industry, regulatory authorities and consumer groups, who will each present different – and sometimes opposing – ideas and perspectives.

Far from being a conference for “tech heads”, ACCAN says this conference will offer an in-depth exploration of the bigger picture challenges, opportunities and possibilities presented by Australia’s broadband future.

Deakin University Professor Paul Harrison will be delivering the keynote address and presenting new research on consumer decision making in the telecommunications market.

Keynote addresses, sessions and workshops over the two days will focus on many areas of interest to Australia’s Not for Profit sector. A report recently released by ACCAN found that Not for Profit organisations are increasingly becoming ICT brokers for the communities they serve – despite struggling to keep up with the technology themselves (read the article here).

ACCAN says the NBN offers huge potential for service delivery and social inclusion in Australia – however the widening digital divide brings with it challenges for many of Australia’s marginalised communities.

Topics of interest to the Australian Not for Profit sector that will be covered at the conference include:

  • Australia’s broadband future and the importance that no consumer is left worse off during the transition to and implementation of a National Broadband Network (NBN);
  • Consumer protection in the NBN environment;
  • NBN applications in the home and how high-speed broadband applications can yield community benefit and improve social inclusion;
  • Cloud computing – what it is and what it means for consumers;
  • Regional telecommunications;
  • Access to telecommunications for people with disabilities – and the potential benefits the NBN could provide for disabled consumers who have traditionally been excluded from the social and economic benefits of information and telecommunications technology;
  • ACCAN’s ‘Fair Calls for All’ public campaign for fair rates for mobile calls to essential 1800, 1300 and 13 numbers;
  • The future of emergency services;
  • Social media and how it is giving a voice to consumers.

Speakers at the two day conference include:

  • Senator Stephen Conroy, Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy
  • Malcolm Turnbull, Shadow Minister for Communications & Broadband
  • Senator Scott Ludlum, Communications Spokesman, Australian Greens
  • Mike Quigley, CEO, NBN Co. Ltd
  • Richard Bean, Deputy Chair, Australian Communications & Media Authority (ACMA)
  • Peter Kell, Deputy Chair, Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC)
  • Simon Cohen, Ombudsman, Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO)
  • Iarla Flynn, Head of Public Policy & Government Affairs, Google Australia
  • Graeme Innes, Commissioner, Australian Human Rights Commission (ARHC)
  • Cassandra Goldie, Chief Executive Officer, Australian Council Of Social Services (ACOSS)

Pro Bono Australia will be reporting live from the conference as the official media partner. Be sure to keep up to date with all the ACCAN Conference news on our website at or by following @ProBonoNews on twitter.



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