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"...public opinion deserves to be respected as well as despised" G.W.F. Hegel, 'Philosophy of Right'

the digital economy « Previous | |Next »
February 22, 2012

Paul Buddle observes that people are shifting from the view that the National Broadband Network (NBN) means more than just fast internet access. It is part of the transformation of the Australian economy into a digital economy:

Those who are still talking about broadband as an end in itself do not understand the situation. Broadband is simply the tool that will further enable and advance the digital economy. So those who are looking at broadband in isolation are totally missing the point.....Included in this group is the Liberal opposition in Australia...To them broadband is ‘it’ – they are completely missing the point of the digital economy.

Over at The Drum Nick Ross agrees. He says that healthcare, education, business innovation and, in many quarters, society in general will be revolutionized for all Australians-- - particularly for those in rural areas plus the elderly. The NBN is an infrastructure which provides a platform for business, services and innovation.

You can see the emergence of the digital economy with the effects the internet is having on the music industry, the publishing industry, the retail industry, the media, the commercialisation of web 2.0 space by Facebook, Google; and more subtly with e-education, e-government, e-banking and e-health.

In this newly emerging economy information in digital form is facilitated by the digital devices that allow the free movement of vast amounts of information in the shortest time possible between people in different parts of the world. We are becoming aware that a digital economy and knowledge is increasingly becoming a substantial driver of economic growth and that it will underpin the majority of future job creation in Australia.

When the mining boom is over it is the national broadband network which will provide Australia with the opportunity to become a global hub for digital talent, and for the high value technology-enabled and content-driven businesses that depend on that talent.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 1:29 PM | | Comments (3)


It's not so much a digital economy as a digital society. It will change the way we think about economic activity and what it means to have a high quality of life. The neanderthals who still think in terms of being able to download movies faster are demonstrating their utter cluelessness and failure to comprehend the nature of the changes made possible by the ICT revolution. They are like the people in the 19th century who couldn't understand why anyone would want a telephone.

Pier Ackerman in his blog says:

The goal of the NBN is to provide high-speed broadband to all Australians, but the reality is that most of us don’t need the sort of speeds the NBN will deliver and neither are we prepared to pay for the high-speed links as the low take-up rate of the NBN program shows in those hand-picked areas where it has been rolled out.

Therefore the Gillard government and the NBN managers need to find arguments to sugar-coat this bitter policy pill. Health is a motherhood argument. Who, after all, can argue against a program promising to deliver better health?

Ackereman has no conception of the digital economy even though he is working in it. His concern is to attack the NBN--reworking Turnbull's criticism of the NBN Co's plan as a 'Rolls-Royce' solution. Moreover the new wireless technologies undermine the need for fibre.

"It's not so much a digital economy as a digital society."

Well put. I was being reductionist.