NBN inquiry - submissions closing soon

The House of Representatives Infrastructure and Communications Committee is conducting an inquiry into the role and potential of the National Broadband Network (NBN). The Committee is now receiving input from the public, with submissions due on 25 February 2011.

The Committee Chair, Sharon Bird MP, reiterated her earlier comments that the Committee is keen to hear from a wide range of Australians—individuals, private organisations, and governments.

“What we have been asked to do with this inquiry is get out in the community to find how the NBN is going to be used in practice and then what the effects of this usage might be. For us to do that properly it is really important that we hear from all sectors in the community” Ms Bird said today.

The inquiry was referred by the Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, the Hon Anthony Albanese, who has asked the Committee to report by August 2011. The Committee’s terms of reference are to examine the capacity of the National Broadband Network to contribute to: a) the delivery of government services and programs; b) achieving health outcomes; c) improving the educational resources and training available for teachers and students; d) the management of Australia's built and natural resources and environmental sustainability; e) impacting regional economic growth and employment opportunities; f) impacting business efficiencies and revenues, particularly for small and medium business, and Australia's export market; g) interaction with research and development and related innovation investments; and h) facilitating community and social benefits; and i) the optimal capacity and technological requirements of a network to deliver these outcomes.

Submissions should address any one or more of the points listed in the terms of reference. Further details about the inquiry, including copies of submissions received to date, can be obtained from the Committee’s website at: http://www.aph.gov.au/house/committee/ic/NBN/index.htm.