Australia - National Broadband Network - Municipal and Community Networks


With the National Broadband Network slowly becoming a reality, cities, regions and communities are starting to become involved in developing strategies that will see them taking advantage of the social and economic benefits that the National Broadband Network can bring. It is therefore vitally important that communities take charge of the development of their knowledge-based environments. A proactive local government is a vital element in the deployment of broadband to the point where it can begin to deliver community benefits in education, healthcare, community services, job creation and export. Lack of infrastructure has so far led to very limited action taken either by state and local government in Australia, which is in stark contrast to events overseas.

Potentially, under the current Coalition government councils will have to become more actively involved in infrastructure especially if local councils have the aspiration of becoming involved in smart cities based on gigabit infrastructure.

This report discusses the National Broadband Network agenda that communities should develop and the strategies that should flow from it. It is essential that local councils become actively involved in the National Broadband Network. The most active ones will most likely be among the first cabs off the rank where the National Broadband Network will be deployed and potentially be upgraded to gigabit networks.

Table of Contents

  • 1. Synopsis
  • 2. Local councils need to take action
    • 2.1 Essential for Social and Economic dveleopment
    • 2.2 Councils starting to wake up
    • 2.3 Regional councils concerns over the NBN changes
      • 2.3.1 NBN frustration on the NSW Central Coast
      • 2.3.2 Gosford Council - NBN fibre via Ausgrid
      • 2.3.3 NBN concerns in Geraldton
  • 3. Trans-sector thinking and municipal broadband
    • 3.1 Local government
    • 3.2 Holistic thinking
  • 4. The role of local councils
    • 4.1 Infrastructure comes natural to local councils
    • 4.2 Why should local government be involved?
    • 4.3 Infrastructure opportunities for local councils
      • 4.3.1 Concerns about the lack of high-speed infrastructure
      • 4.3.2 Paid for Network Extension
      • 4.3.3 NBN Infrastructure Co-Development Program
      • 4.3.4 Dig your own fibre
  • 5. Cities are taking charge
    • 5.1 Introduction
    • 5.2 Gigabit Cities
  • 6. How to get started
    • 6.1 A city broadband agenda
    • 6.2 The local community model
    • 6.3 Framework for local government policies
    • 6.4 Steering committees
    • 6.5 Broadband education
  • 7. Broadband development phases
    • 7.1 Quality and affordability
    • 7.2 The development of quality broadband demand
    • 7.3 Video based communication and services driving the market
  • 8. City marketing
    • 8.1 The concept of telematica
    • 8.2 Three strategic elements of telematica
  • 9. Broadband speeding up local governments
  • 10. National Digital Economy Strategy (Separate Report)
  • 11. Smart Cities, the Way Forward (separate report)
  • 12. Related reports
  • Exhibit 1- Trans-sector vs Cross-sector
  • Exhibit 2 – Trans-sector benefits
  • Exhibit 3 – The social and economic benefits of broadband – case study
  • Exhibit 4 – Key broadbanding steps
  • Exhibit 5 – Some application bit rates

Focus Report profile


Broadband Fixed
Regulations & Government Policies
Telecoms Infrastructure

Number of pages: 17

Status: Current

Last update: 22 December 2014
View update history

Analyst: Paul Budde

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"As you know, I have resigned from the Labor Ministry and have decided not to re-contest the seat of Charlton at the next election – both for personal reasons.

Before leaving Parliament, I particularly wish to record my thanks to you for your generous and constructive participation in the deliberations that generated significant economic policy reforms for the Australian community. Continuous economic transformation is a key challenge that faces all Governments.

The development of sound public policy should always be contestable. Ultimately, good and equitable outcomes are not concessions to any particular interest group, but the careful balancing of interests to create the greatest possible benefit for the nation. You have contributed to that, and I sincerely thank you for it."

Greg Combet, Former Minister for Climate Change, Industry and Innovation

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