news By 2020, NBN Co expects Australia will be “the first country of our size” to make broadband access universal, according to Bill Morrow, the firm’s CEO.
Writing on the NBN blog, Morrow predicted this will result in an “NBN Generation” that will be more connected than ever before.
“In the next three years, NBN is on track to put Australia ahead of the world for high speed, universal broadband access,” he said. “How can we leverage this advantage to transform our businesses, economy, communities and lives?”
With digital technology radically changing the world, a wave of innovation is approaching that will “revolutionise everything”.
“This is the world of GenNBN,” he said.
Looking forward over the next five years, NBN expects to see the proliferation of self-driving vehicles, virtual and augmented reality, IoT, personal robotics, and even some degree of artificial intelligence.
All these new technologies will see data usage in Australia “exploding”, Morrow said, largely because of increased use of video.
In just two years, data consumption in Australia has doubled to 1.7 exabytes, according to NBN figures.
One exabyte is enough capacity to store over 36,000 years of HD video, going by a 2011 Cisco estimate.
The NBN network is now seeing, on average, 131 gigabytes per month for each end user and the company predicts 30% annual growth over the next four years.
To “flourish”, Australia needs to “lift local digital demand to support local digital innovation”, Morrow said, “[and] to build an Australian digital marketplace and then take it to the world”.
The CEO cited a KPMG report indicating that small and medium businesses are the fastest growing employment sector within Australia.
“While medium and big business are important components of the Australian economy, the really transformative element since the mining boom has been the small business sector,” KPMG said.
Australia needs to make it easier for entrepreneurs to “get started, grab opportunities and build scale – locally and globally”, said Morrow.
“And the NBN network has a vital role to play here. We can make sure that businesses have the tools to participate – and grow – in the new digital market place through the use of digital technology. We can help digital innovators grow across Australia by accelerating the local adoption of content and e-commerce.”
He further suggested that, by providing high-speed universal access, the NBN won’t just “improve lives”, it will “expand the local digital marketplace and make local innovation more viable.”
“Then, as these innovative new businesses grow, we can help them build global scale,” he said.
The NBN generation will see “a time of rapid change and unique opportunity for all Australians but particularly for the private sector”, according to the NBN chief.
Image credit: NBN company