Leading UN telecommunications official, Hamadoun Toure believes the development of Australia’s national broadband network will boost economic growth and take Australia to the top of global rankings when it comes to broadband.
”The way I see it here, Australia has undertaken the largest infrastructure project ever,” he said. ”Three to five years from now, Australia will be No. 1 in broadband in the world. A large size country like this can be a test bed for any scenario that could happen anywhere else in the world and I can take that model to share anywhere else in the world.”
The International Telecommunications Union is not a natural ally of a government-funded takeover of a functioning fixed broadband market.
As an arm of the UN, The International Telecommunications Union’s role has been to co-ordinate the bureaucratic minutiae of technical and regulatory standards that allow telecommunications to work across national borders and ensure products are standardised worldwide.
The union also encourages private-sector solutions instead of government intervention and discourages regulation that stifles investment.
Dr Toure said the first decade of the millennium was dominated by mobile growth worldwide and he made the surprising prediction that ”the second decade of the millennium will be broadband”.
”It is not only here that they are laying fibre. The amount of fibre being laid in Africa today is higher than any other infrastructure they have done in the past …This is why you have seen growth in Africa over the past few years.”