The last session of "Converging on an NBN Future" was a general discussion. I commented that the NBN was conceived and is being built by experienced experts who can relied on to build a system which works. The unanswered question as I see it, is what the nation will do with the NBN. While areas such as education and health are considered likely uses, is there a well funded and planned process to make this happen?
One of the speakers responded to me that we should look to the Defence Department for possible future uses of broadband. This is ironic as when at the Department of Defence I looked to academia for ideas of how the Internet could be used and to formulate Defence and government policy. Now it was being suggested doing the opposite.
One participant pointed out that the Australian Bureau of Statistics released a new "Internet Activity, Australia Survey" at 11:30am today (covering June 2012). The ABS report an annual growth rate in Internet subscribers in Australia of 10% and 96% of Internet connections being broadband. The volume of data downloaded via mobile handsets is increasing at 32% a year.
The last comment for the day was from respected IT journalist John Hilvert, who suggested that when the school parents and citizens association routinely meets on-line, the NBN will have been a success.