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The most urgent challenge for the Australian communications sector is the relative disparity in access to quality broadband. This is evident in certain urban areas, but is especially an issue in regional Australia.

An accessible and fast broadband network offers Australians the ability to send and receive information and provide online education and entertainment services almost instantly, both within Australia and to overseas. This means that Australia can be faster and more efficient in generating and accessing more knowledge and services than ever before, and get them to market almost instantly. Broadband also offers a critical link between smart technologies and our nation's infrastructure.

Infrastructure Australia supports an investment from the Building Australia Fund to develop the national broadband network. This, however, should just be the start. Communications needs to be more actively incorporated into urban, economic, and regional planning.

Infrastructure Australia will continue to observe progress of the network and will support the development of smart infrastructure that makes use of communications technology.

Last Updated: 2 July, 2012