The Australian Broadband Advisory Council (ABAC) was established by Communications, Urban Infrastructure, Cities and the Arts Minister Paul Fletcher in July 2020. ABAC is working to explore and promote ways that broadband connectivity can boost Australia’s economic output and improve Australians’ wellbeing.

In December 2020, ABAC released its first paper titled Riding the Digital Wave: Report on COVID-19 Trends and Forward Work Program. The report explores the impacts, challenges and opportunities of COVID-19 relating to broadband connectivity.

ACCAN strongly supports the work of the ABAC and has provided feedback on the Riding the Digital Wave report, identifying a range of issues that should be represented in ABAC’s future work plan.

ACCAN argued that the following should be considered in the ABAC’s future work plan so that the benefits of digital connectivity can reach all Australians:

  • The support needs of small businesses in the future digitisation of business sectors, especially those based in the regions like agriculture.

  • The effectiveness of NBN Co’s COVID-19 assistance packages, the challenges of the wholesaler-retailer relationship, and the need for an affordable home broadband product for households on limited incomes.

  • The need for a consistent and well-established approach to devices and internet services for online learning.

  • The need for a broader focus on digital skills beyond SME and tertiary sectors to include emphasis on opportunities for recently-arrived migrants and CALD communities.

  • The need for an online telecommunications information service to promote better consumer choice of market offers.

  • Strategies to support digital participation in remote Indigenous communities.

Download:  docxACCAN Feedback on Australian Broadband Advisory Council Digital Wave Report102.55 KB
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