Eight Reasons Australia Needs The Fastest Internet We Can Rummage Up

Eight Reasons Australia Needs The Fastest Internet We Can Rummage Up
SHARE
THIS


What best describes you?

Six years ago, Malcolm Alder was a senior member of the KPMG-McKinsey team that wrote the original NBN Implementation Study for Australia’s high-speed internet network. Alder argues that the NBN appears to have dropped off Australia’s social and political radar of late, something he believes is dangerous indeed…

With the recent anniversary of the report’s release and the NBN receiving some fleeting attention in the election debate (with the notable exception of regional areas where it remains a very hot topic), it is timely to revisit the report to remind ourselves what we thought about the future services that would drive bandwidth demand back then.

Our reference to the “new iPad” looks very quaint now. Unfortunately, when politicians refer to the NBN, they invariably still quote “x” number of HDTV movies that can be watched simultaneously in the home. And there are the usual generic references to e-health and technology for education. Some things don’t change much in six years.

The more important point that remains true. Australia needs for the best NBN we can build for the future of our country in the 21st century. We are a global, information-dependent economy as the world’s largest island with a highly dispersed, well-educated population who are employed in ever greater numbers in service sectors. As such the NBN is not only the largest but the most important, infrastructure investment we will make. Nonetheless, I’ve sometimes struggled to crisply articulate exactly why we’re going to need >25 Mbps. Until now.

Here is a list of services, applications and other developments to consider. They are either here or are clearly visible in the near to mid-term. And they individually and certainly in aggregate are logarithmically changing the data flow landscape.

  • Cloud – in 2010, the cloud was around but it was early days and many businesses and certainly governments were suspicious of it. Today, it’s almost unthinkable that you would invest in your own servers and not run on an XaaS charging model that you can dial up and down at will. Importantly, not only does cloud demand high capacity, low latency bandwidth; it also demands synchronous service.
  • Big data – may be a nebulous and imprecise term but along with data analytics. But it’s pretty clear that we’re nearing a tsunami of data being used in ever more complex and sophisticated ways to generate truly customer-centric services, products and experiences that benefit us all.
  • Distributed ledger technology – also known as blockchain, has the potential to totally change the face not just of banking, but almost all legally binding transactions including simple contracts. When it has true scale, whilst the packet size of each communication may be small, there will be billions of them simultaneously requiring speed, reliability and absolute security.
  • The Internet of Things – has a number of other descriptors (including Internet 4.0) and has been viewed as the next big thing for some years. However, when a company of the size, scale, history and track record of GE reinvents itself as “the world’s leading digital company”, it’s time to take notice. Most projections of the number of connected devices around the world in the next decade or so are astronomical. Yes people, we’re talking connected fridges, smart clothing, toilets, sensors, air conditioning, power systems, pools, traffic lights etc.
  • MOOCs – were on the cusp in 2010. Now they’re commonplace and whilst not the most important item on this list, they’re indicative of how a major industry sector is being reshaped by digital technology with borderless scale and reach that we need to be part of.
  • The sharing economy – is another strongly growing trend. The oft quoted examples of Uber and AirBnB are rapidly being joined by assets such as office space, tools and perhaps most importantly, spare labour capacity through the likes of AirTasker and TaskRabbit.
  • 3D printing – whilst still in its infancy, many people have now experienced this phenomenon. As 3D printing expands, with Moore’s Law bringing down prices, it’s now easy to envisage widespread use in the home. When this occurs, the bandwidth required for design and execution will be a further addition to the home payload.
  • The nature of work – is also undergoing a profound transition. Everyone from large consultancies to research houses have been providing their own, often quite alarming projections on how many jobs will “disappear” from the economy in the next decade.

On that last point while much of the commentary is quite alarmist, there’s no doubt the structure of the workforce overall is in for profound change. Many more people will be effectively a solo business earning a living from a portfolio of part-time, casual and entirely project-centric work often referred to as “the gig economy”. As this change occurs, the home becomes the central workplace from where people source and increasingly undertake, work. Not only does that make high quality, reliable connectivity imperative, for many types of work, it will also dramatically increase bandwidth needs and with ever greater need for near synchronous capacity.

Most of the examples above are significant in their own right. However, when you consider them as inter-connected activities and data flows, as well as their interactions with the world of wireless and next step change in capacity that 5G will bring, the impact on bandwidth demand is jaw dropping.

And this is without a single nod to entertainment – not a 3D HDTV movie or game in site.

So as we look to the future, reflect on this. In the 500+ pages of the NBN Implementation Study of 2010, the word “cloud” appeared three times. The terms; big data, data analytics, MOOCs, Internet of Things, 3D printing, blockchain, sharing economy, industry 4.0, Uber and AirBnB to name a few, are entirely absent. This is not because we were negligent in our work, they just weren’t on the horizon back then.

That was six years ago. Six years from now is 2022. The NBN is scheduled for completion in 2020 under the Coalition’s MTM configuration and under Labor’s plan slightly later. So for the sake of symmetry (if not realism), let’s assume 2022 is the year of NBN completion. How many terabits, nay petabits, of data will those applications be fizzing around Australia by then? And more relevantly, in 2022 looking back six years to today, what further, astounding bandwidth hungry services will have been added to this list?

No one can really know what those services will be but we can all have certainty that they’ll be there. Which is all the more compelling reasons why – six years on we still need the best, highest capacity NBN we can deliver if we’re to take full advantage and thrive as a truly digital economy.

Malcolm Alder is a Partner in Orchestrate which is a digital strategy firm. Malcolm has more than 25 years’ experience and in 2012, he was named as one of the 50 Most Influential People in Technology by Australian IT. He is on the Board of AIMIA and was previously Partner for Digital Economy at KPMG.

This article originally appeared on B&T’s sister business site www.which-50.com

Please login with linkedin to comment

Latest News

Does Your Christmas Marketing Suck?
  • Opinion

Does Your Christmas Marketing Suck?

It's the most wonderful time of the year for the worst kind of marketing. Is your brand guilty of producing crappy Christmas conte

Opinion

by Peter Harris

Peter Harris
Study: Aussie Retailers Set To “Struggle” Over “Stagnate” Christmas
  • Marketing

Study: Aussie Retailers Set To “Struggle” Over “Stagnate” Christmas

According to IBISWorld, Christmas retail spending in Australia is expected to stagnate this December, falling by 0.2 per cent compared to the same time last year. While not all categories are impacted, IBISWorld is attributing the overall decline to lower discretionary incomes, negative consumer sentiment, and price discounting across the retail sector. “Overall, IBISWorld has observed early […]

Industry Diversity: It’s More Than Skin Deep
  • Opinion

Industry Diversity: It’s More Than Skin Deep

In his final column for the year, B&T’s favourite industry maverick and troublemaker, Robert Strohfeldt, turns his opinion pen to adland’s topic du jour – diversity. And, he says, it’s as much about the thinking as it is who you employ at your agency… There is an old (and wise) statement most people would have heard […]

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Queensland Anti-Porn Crusaders Cop Ad Ban
  • Campaigns

Queensland Anti-Porn Crusaders Cop Ad Ban

We have a strident anti-pornography policy at B&T. Earphones must be worn at all times and strictly no little people.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Nature’s Way Celebrates Big Things Little People Do In UCG Videos Via Wavemaker & Storyful
  • Advertising
  • Campaigns
  • Marketing

Nature’s Way Celebrates Big Things Little People Do In UCG Videos Via Wavemaker & Storyful

Health and wellbeing company Nature’s Way is celebrating the achievements of kids in a series of relatable and entertaining online videos that tug at the heart strings of parents. Instead of using actors to tell the brand story of Nature’s Way’s Kids Smart supplement range, Storyful has helped Wavemaker to license user-generated content clips of […]

DEC PR Wins Hisense Account
  • Marketing

DEC PR Wins Hisense Account

Electronics and whitegoods specialist Hisense has announced it has appointed DEC PR to lead its strategic communications remit in the local market, following a competitive tender process. DEC PR will work to support its brand building activities and managing corporate communications. The agency’s work will integrate closely with Hisense’s other marketing partners. Andre Iannuzzi, marketing […]

QMS Media Expands Presence In Melbourne With New Digital Billboard ‘The G’
  • Advertising
  • Media

QMS Media Expands Presence In Melbourne With New Digital Billboard ‘The G’

Outdoor media company QMS Media has strengthened its digital outdoor presence in Victoria, unveiling an iconic digital billboard in the heart of Melbourne’s famous sporting precinct. The launch of ‘The G’ sees QMS’ landmark digital portfolio ‘bookending’ arguably one of the most iconic and in-demand digital outdoor locations in Australia – Richmond Station Bridge – […]

HSBC Sydney 7s Creates New Visual Identity For 2018 Via Digilante
  • Advertising
  • Campaigns
  • Marketing

HSBC Sydney 7s Creates New Visual Identity For 2018 Via Digilante

As part of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, the Sydney 7s event returns in January complete with a new brand identity, creative strategy and media campaign. With the 2017 Sydney 7s a sell-out event, the challenge for 2018 was to carry that momentum into the third year, defining Sydney’s place as the new ‘go-to’ […]

Bound Round Launches Family Travel Publication for Aussies
  • Media

Bound Round Launches Family Travel Publication for Aussies

Family travel platform Bound Round has announced the launch of its first e-magazine to Australian consumers. Travel Bound is a family-focused, digital quarterly publication available on all Virgin Australia flights through the carrier’s in-flight entertainment system, and is also available for consumer download via the Bound Round website. Bound Round founder and CEO Janeece Keller […]

SBS Unveils New Look, New App For SBS News
  • Media

SBS Unveils New Look, New App For SBS News

Do you like say "I only watch SBS" in an attempt to sound smarter than you are? Well, why not pretend to read this too?

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Ex-Samsung CMO Joins Amazon Australia As Marketing Director
  • Marketing

Ex-Samsung CMO Joins Amazon Australia As Marketing Director

Amazon Australia has appointed former Samsung Electronics chief marketing officer (CMO) Arno Lenior to lead its marketing division. Lenior worked as Samsung’s CMO for more than three years before departing in 2015. According to his LinkedIn profile, he has also held CEO roles at VR company Virtical and brand consultancy Blue Ocean Brands, and joined […]

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
News Corp Names Its Car Of The Year
  • Marketing

News Corp Names Its Car Of The Year

News announces its annual Car Of The Year and it's not what you'd expect. Well, we certainly didn't expect it anyway.

Aussie Tennis Open & Country Road Announce New Partnership
  • Marketing

Aussie Tennis Open & Country Road Announce New Partnership

The Australian Open has partnered with iconic Australian clothing and lifestyle brand Country Road to supply the uniforms for next year’s tournament. Confirmed today as the official fashion lifestyle Partner of Australian Open 2018, one of Australia’s most loved brands will be worn by thousands of tournament staff at Melbourne Park in January. On-court officials including the chair and […]

Andrew O’Keefe Quits His Weekend Sunrise Duties
  • Media

Andrew O’Keefe Quits His Weekend Sunrise Duties

After 12 years with Weekend Sunrise, Andrew O’Keefe has decided to step away from his hosting and reporting duties. O’Keefe will continue his full-time role as host of Seven’s quiz show The Chase Australia, as well as focus on other projects with the Network. “The ideal job is doing work you love with people you love,” O’Keefe […]

Study: Brand Loyalty Hinges On Customer Support Experiences
  • Marketing

Study: Brand Loyalty Hinges On Customer Support Experiences

Fast and effective support will be a competitive differentiator for companies looking to win over digitally transformed customers and employees, new research has revealed. According to a study by IDC and LogMeIn titled Support Services as a Competitive Differentiator, nearly 67 per cent of consumers said that customer satisfaction was more important than price when […]

OMA Appoints Red Ant Design To Build Industry’s First Automated Proposal Platform
  • Advertising
  • Media

OMA Appoints Red Ant Design To Build Industry’s First Automated Proposal Platform

The Outdoor Media Association (OMA) has announced the appointment of Red Ant Design to build the out-oh-home (OOH) industry’s first automated proposal platform (APP). After an extensive global search and industry consultation, the decision to build the system in-house with a local Australian company was made. The APP will be built in an agile process, […]

Nick Ballard, Managing Director
Australia & New Zealand, BlisMedia
  • Marketing
  • Technology

Blis Unveils New Consumer Behaviour Analytics Tool For Maketers

Location data technology company Blis has launched an analytics tool that allows marketers to analyse consumer behaviour – from audience profiling, to exposure, to attribution – by capturing and activating mobile movement data. Smart Trends offers robust in-store consumer behavioural insights and in-store comparison of multiple location types and brands, allowing marketers to break down demographic, […]

WiTH Collective Linked By Isobar Renames Colours Of The Great Barrier Reef As Part Of New Campaign
  • Campaigns
  • Marketing

WiTH Collective Linked By Isobar Renames Colours Of The Great Barrier Reef As Part Of New Campaign

The Great Barrier Reef is under threat, and WiTH Collective – part of Isobar Australia Group – has launched a social movement to protect it. The ‘Unite for the Reef’ campaign will put vivid pops of colour into millions of social media feeds as a global network of individuals united to pledge support for the future of the Great Barrier Reef.  Spearheaded […]

Imagination Unveils Creative For Sydney’s NYE 2017 Celebrations
  • Marketing

Imagination Unveils Creative For Sydney’s NYE 2017 Celebrations

The City of Sydney has unveiled the creative line-up for 2017 Sydney New Year’s Eve celebrations, including a new look and theme for Australia’s largest public event, conceived by experience agency Imagination. In its seventh year as the creative team behind the event, Imagination has set out to create a fresh, inspiring new theme and […]