Australia - National Digital Economy Strategy - 2011-2013


Parallel to the roll out of the national broadband network (NBN) the previous government also has its National Digital Economy Strategy. However, there is uncertainty about the various policies under the new government.

Based on the trans-sector model, the NBN will become the shared infrastructure for a range of sectors such as e-health, e-education, smart grids, e-government, digital economy, digital media, etc. The first release sites played a key role in testing this concept, while at the same time allowing organisations to obtain first-hand experience in building the digital economy.

A new way of thinking will be required to guide us through the next stage of social and economic change, and the trans-sector approach to the NBN will be critical infrastructure in this process. In this report we draw attention to the importance of a holistic view across sectors to create synergy.

We are convinced that convergence offers unprecedented opportunities if the NBN is linked to horizontal trans-sector innovation, creating a true digital economy. Such a parallel strategy can break through the many silo-based structures that have been created over the last 50 years. And it can break through inflexible vertically-integrated structures that increase costs and impede competition and innovation.

Such an approach will most likely result in economic and social benefits worth many billions of dollars and, as we are already seeing, it will create significant new business opportunities for Australian companies. In healthcare alone there is talk of savings worth more than $30 billion; and $2 billion in smart grid.

This report also discusses a new approach which applies across infrastructure projects, and looks at the potential synergies between the building of roads, sewerage systems and water and gas pipe networks, as well as telecoms and electricity networks.

Education, information and ongoing community engagement are critical in ensuring that the projects receive the widespread support needed to make them successful. Adaptation issues, plus a review of silo-based regulations, funding mechanisms and legal barriers, need to be addressed.

With the delays in the roll out of the NBN, a large number of projects listed in this report were also delayed and the future of these projects remains uncertain.

The Coalition Government, who took office in 2013, did not continue with the National Digital Economy Strategy and instead indicated it would focus on e-Government.

Table of Contents

  • 1. Synopsis
  • 2. Government misses out on developing a smart economy
  • 3. National Digital Economy Strategy (NDES)
    • 3.1 Introduction
    • 3.2 Other specific initiatives
    • 3.3 Overview of activities mid 2013
    • 3.4 Advancing Australia as a Digital Economy – update to the NDES
    • 3.5 Progress of the program – mid 2013
      • 3.5.1 Brief overview of grants provided.
    • 3.6 Local e-government initiative
    • 3.7 NBN 3D mapping/modelling project
    • 3.8 Digital Citizens Guide
    • 3.9 The NBN-enabled education and skills services program
    • 3.10 Tuition for new migrants using the NBN
    • 3.11 E- health services
    • 3.12 Seniors
      • 3.12.1 M2 delivers broadband for seniors
    • 3.13 Australian Interactive Games Fund
    • 3.14 Indigenous Communications Program
    • 3.15 Smart home in Armidale
    • 3.16 Smart Farm Armidale
      • 3.16.1 Smart farming
      • 3.16.2 Kirby Smart Farm
      • 3.16.3 Smart Farm projects
      • 3.16.4 Live map of soil and environmental conditions
      • 3.16.5 Monitoring cattle behaviour using GPS collars and ear tag tracking devices
      • 3.16.6 Access Cam
      • 3.16.7 SMART Farm control portal
    • 3.17 Energy efficiency and sustainability
    • 3.18 Teleworking
      • 3.18.1 Teleworking and SMEs
      • 3.18.2 Traffic jams and teleworking
      • 3.18.3 Market survey
      • 3.18.4 Teleworking research from ACMA
      • 3.18.5 Teleworking study
      • 3.18.6 Australians working online – Sensis Report
    • 3.19 NBN Regional Legal Assistance Program
    • 3.20 High-definition videoconferencing pilot program
    • 3.21 Digital Business Kits for small businesses
  • 4. NBN Art grants
  • 5. Digital Inclusion
  • 6. Related reports
  • Table 1 – Australians who use the internet at work
  • Table 2 – Australians who telework
  • Table 3 – Where Australians telework
  • Exhibit 1 – Round 1 funding recipients Digital Hubs and Digital Enterprise
  • Exhibit 2 – Eligible round 2 communities Digital Hubs and Digital Enterprise
  • Exhibit 4 – Eligible round 3 communities Digital Hubs and Digital Enterprise
  • Exhibit 5 – Digital local government program projects – May 2013

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Broadband Fixed
Digital Economy
Digital Media
Smart Infrastructure
Strategies & Analyses (Industry & Markets)

Number of pages 25

Status Archived

Last updated 17 Oct 2013
Update History

Analyst: Paul Budde

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