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STANDING COMMITTEE ON INFRASTRUCTURE AND COMMUNICATIONS - 04/03/2011 - Role and potential of the National Broadband Network
House of Representatives committee
Friday, 4 March 2011
Role and potential of the National Broadband Network

CHAIR (Ms Bird) —I declare open this public hearing of the House Standing Committee on Infrastructure and Communications. The inquiry was referred by Minister Albanese on 16 November 2010. To date we have received 179 submissions and expect more over the coming weeks. This is the committee’s first hearing of the inquiry. Over the coming months we will hold hearings across Australia, starting with Launceston and Hobart next Thursday and Friday.

This inquiry has a focus different from other NBN inquiries that have occurred in the past, are underway presently or will commence shortly. While technical matters are or have been the focus of those inquiries, either to do with the design of the NBN or the corporate plans and governance of NBN Co., this inquiry is focused on how the NBN will be utilised across Australia.

As is evidenced in the inquiry’s terms of reference, the committee has a broad range of areas to investigate, including today’s themes of health, education and research and innovation. While the inquiry is less technically focused than others, point (i) in the terms of reference requires the committee to consider the optimal capacity and technological requirements for the NBN to deliver benefits in the areas of focus.

We will start today with the health theme.

[8.35 am]