Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
STANDING COMMITTEE ON INFRASTRUCTURE AND COMMUNICATIONS
04/04/2011
Role and potential of the National Broadband Network

CHAIR —Welcome to the hearing. The committee does not require you to give evidence under oath, but I should advise you that the hearing is a legal proceeding of the parliament and therefore has the same standing as proceedings of the respective houses. We have not received a written submission from you to the inquiry. Would you like to make some opening comments?

Mr Clark —I would prefer to answer your questions rather than make an opening statement.

CHAIR —We developed an interest in talking to you because of the award and some of the commentary around that concerning the nature of the research arm of the business. Would you like to provide some details of that?

Mr Clark —Rising Sun is a visual effects production company based in Adelaide. We are a film and television animation visual effects company, so we work, principally, on Hollywood films. Somewhere between 90 and 95 per cent of our income comes from foreign markets, typically the United States. That work is brought to Australia under the location and PDV rebates, which are a section of the film tax rebate—I am sorry, but I cannot tell you its correct name. The system has brought films such as The Matrix and the Star Wars series to Australia. Over the last 10 years it has allowed us to build significant skills and infrastructure and what I believe is probably one of the greatest quality production and postproduction environments available in the world today. Witness the volume of work going through and the films such as Happy Feet 2 and Guardians of Ga’Hoole, which are built off the back of resources built from these rebates.

We typically look like a call centre. We are a large place that employs 140 people. We started here in Adelaide 15 years ago. We started with a vision that we wanted to stay here in our home town to develop a business that was working at the highest levels of film and television visual effects. At that stage it was a very early business. There were no really significant companies in Australia doing that. We believed very strongly in the ability to leverage technology to enable that vision to succeed. Along the way we have worked very closely with companies like Internode, who have always helped us to deploy next generation internet access to facilitate that. We worked with them to develop a network called Cinenet, which was funded with the assistance of the South Australian government, about six year ago, to deploy fibre to every major business in our space in the state. I believe it has underpinned our ability to grow what we have done and achieved and the things that we have.

In parallel with that we have developed the technologies that have been used to facilitate the improved creative collaboration between us in Australia and our clients who are in the United States, where previously we used to sit on the telephone with somebody. In fact, when we first started doing films, which was a film called Red Planet, we used to have to send our work in progress on what was called an SP Betacam tape that we would put in a courier bag and send to America. It took about four days to get there. They would look at that material and call us on the telephone. We would then have to synchronise our shots that we were looking at on tape and talk about them. We had no contextual reference, so I could not really see what they were talking about. It was very slow. It would take them five days to send us materials to start work on and it would take them five days to receive our return. So it was a very slow and cumbersome process. Out of that we progressively developed sending higher and higher quality digital movies of the work that we were doing.

As technology allowed and as internet access improved, we sent greater and greater quality work in progress to the point where we now send high-definition material of greater quality than television daily for review and send our final work completely electronically. We no longer ship any tapes—no physical media. Nothing comes from the client to us. We bring that all over our network, Cinenet, electronically. We deliver our return materials back to our clients completely electronically as well, in complete, pristine 2K film quality. Typically, we are dealing in volumes of hundreds of gigabytes. Every day we are moving hundreds of gigabytes backwards and forwards between us and our clients.

The technology that we developed to facilitate collaboration is called cineSync, and that is the tool for which we won an Academy award recently. cineSync was about replicating the process of being in the room in a creative collaboration session, where you are looking at a piece of visual material and you are sitting there with the key creative people around the room saying, ‘See that bit there? I want that to look more like that.’ It is a case of looking at a shared visual context, being able to point at it and being able to express yourselves to the other people who are party to that creative collaboration as to what it was that you, as a director or a filmmaker, want to see changed.

That technology has taken hold over the last six years. It is now used by every major filmmaker in the world, such as Steven Spielberg. James Cameron used it on Avatar and Christopher Nolan uses it on Batman and pretty much everything he makes. It has achieved significant penetration into the filmmaking world globally. I believe it has been a major enabler, along with the growth of accessible and affordable broadband, to enabling the industry that was once Los Angeles-centric to becoming a truly global industry, which now, of course, puts us completely at the mercy of the foreign exchange market, competitive rebates and other territories—hence, the comment about the rebate in the first place.

CHAIR —That is great. I congratulate you on the award.

Mr Clark —Thank you.

CHAIR —It was very exciting. In particular, I am interested in your assessment of what the reality would have been for your business if you had not been able to create the specialised fibre based network that you rely on. One of the things that have been put to us about the industry more broadly, as it grows, is recruitment of young people. The fibre-to-the-home part of the concept is also about engaging a new generation of people for whom this is more standard type of work. Can you give your perspective on that side of it as well?

Mr Clark —Certainly. We had a vision, I guess, prior to the establishment of Rising Sun 15 years ago that networking would one day drive the way this kind of creative work was being undertaken. We went through a range of costings of options for next-generation access at the time. Bear in mind that 15 years ago, when we started, we were probably customer number 20 at Internode and we were connected by a 28.8 kilobit modem, which is impossible to do anything on. We were lucky to have been supported and rapidly went from there to 64 kilobit ISDN and, from there, to a two-megabit radio link. We were lucky to have the support in an innovation sense to drive that forward.

Mr HUSIC —What were you looking at?

Mr Clark —It was 1995. Very slow, but enough to get email and drive a website. It was not that long ago, and consider the growth path. That is an important thing to consider in the context of what we are looking to roll out with the NBN. We are setting a price model now for something which is 10 years in the making and, as much as possible, we need to encourage people to treat it as a limitless utility. If you really want to engage businesses in using this as a leverage for growth, you need to do everything you can to support them using this technology in a way which is the cheapest way possible. Had there not been paths to this 10 years ago, when we were a six-person company, we quite simply would not have grown. We were looking at costing, at the time—

CHAIR —Would you have relocated to the United States? Is that the reality? Is that what generally happens?

Mr Clark —Indeed. What would have happened is that a company such as ours would have had to go to where the market is. What we have done through the use of broadband is enable the market to come to us. These days the market goes to everybody—in China, India, Eastern Europe and all sorts of destinations—as long as they can get that kind of access. What it meant at the time was that, if you were a practitioner working in these creative areas, you went to the client. You went to Los Angeles. A significant number of very talented Australians moved to Los Angeles and San Francisco, to the major companies, and made their lives there. Many of them have not come back. Being able to do this from an effective price point enabled us, as a growing company—not a company with hundreds of millions of dollars worth of backing and hundreds of staff—to bootstrap this industry.

The costings at the time for two megabits were in the order of $30,000 an month, I believe—they were extraordinary costs—and a company of six people simply does not have that kind of economy. I think we are faced with a similar kind of issue now: we need to be looking to set our access pricing so that the company around the corner here, which employs 10 people, can afford to be connected very quickly to service their offshore markets. At the same time, there is no point in having a network; the network alone will not enable that competitiveness of our businesses into these foreign markets, and I believe we should principally be attacking foreign markets. We need the support of the existing rebates—we need them to be made competitive, because they are presently not competitive globally—and we need our exchange rate to become a little bit more favourable.

CHAIR —My second question was about the new generation of expertise developing—

Mr Clark —Definitely. The new—

CHAIR —Are we keeping up to speed in our uni courses and so forth around those things? What is your view?

Mr Clark —I think we can do work there. I also believe that it is in part the responsibility of us as employers to engage more actively with the institutions to do this. Institutions are always wanting to have conversations about how better to improve training. Right now we are 140 people; 12 months ago we were down to probably our smallest ever number, which would have been 30 off the back of the seventh Harry Potter delivery, so we have had a significant flux of staff coming in and out. What happens presently is that because margins are very tight in the business—due again to the rebates and the exchange rates—we are not able to retain staff and we are not able to address the training that is required to develop new, talented staff. In order to develop a talented workforce and make an ongoing commitment to talent development you need to have consistency of work, and that is largely driven by commercial factors; it is not something that can really be addressed by communications.

Something else we see when we scale up and scale down is that the industry is traditionally very project based—a new project comes along, people flow into a business, the project gets done and they all leave—so there is a lack of competitiveness imposed upon those businesses who are operating in that space. Every time I hire a person on a project basis, a $5,000 overhead is imposed to pick that person up, relocate them here to South Australia to work in our office, potentially house them for the short term and then send them back home again. So there is an automatic lack of competitiveness that comes from volatility of workflow.

CHAIR —One of the things that has been said to us by vocational education providers online is that that they have now stopped relocating people when good quality broadband is available in their hometown; they will actually employ them, and they stay in their home town and interact. Is that a possibility?

Mr Clark —I think that there is a very real possibility. I am always wanting to push this some years out into the future because I believe we need to be thinking about what our opportunities are going to be in five to 10 years if we want to start to enable them now. We need to build the underlying applications that will support that model. We have people right now whom we relocate from rural Tasmania. We have people we are relocating from rural New South Wales. We have pockets of artists all around Australia and, rather than sticking them on aeroplanes and flying them here, we could be either working with them as individuals or working with them in small clusters of two, three or four people and having them located in that area. In order to do that, you need to have a mechanism for effective creative collaboration such as cineSync. You also need to have affordable broadband, because, if you consider the costs of putting somebody in our office, my housing cost monthly is probably in the order of a couple of hundred bucks to keep a roof over their head and give them electricity and a seat and a space at a desk. When setting a costing, these people need to be connected at reasonable speeds where we have a predictable quality of service, predictable availability of bandwidth and predictable latency; otherwise they are not going to be able to be effective. So it sort of goes—

CHAIR —That is where the fibre is important—the predictability?

Mr Clark —That is where the fibre is important, definitely. You cannot do that kind of thing on radio because you are either going to be pushing the 200 gigabyte dataset that these guys are using to do their work to that person to work on, or you are going to be remoting the screen of a workstation that exists in my office to them over there. Both of those require high bandwidth access, and I guess my concern there is that the wholesale pricing model we end with be one that will support us dropping 100 megabits into somebody’s house in a way that has predictable quality of service and latency and those sorts of things. I am concerned with the things that are coming from people like John—that is, that there may be some imbalance there.

Certainly the wholesale model as it stands does not support us continuing to operate something like Cinenet, which is fine, because really it was built with the support of the state government here to deal with a gap that existed in the business marketplace, where you could not buy cost effective broadband. If that is dealt with another way, I do not have a problem that that makes this network redundant. It is important that our wholesale pricing and our wholesale access is set in such a way that I can buy 100 megabits for my guy up in northern New South Wales at a reasonable price.

CHAIR —Particularly if we want to sustain the regions and not have those creative people all living in our capital cities.

Mr Clark —I would like to go and live and work somewhere out in the sticks—I think a lot of people would. But you need to be able to have good quality, creative communication. There is a barrier to having physical distance between you and the people you are working with. You need to be able to have good quality, technical infrastructure, but principally you need to have the source of work, and at the moment the source of work is extremely patchy for the Australian film industry.

Mr HUSIC —Picking up on those points—and I accept that there is a separate discussion about the rebates—you could conceivably imagine a situation where a lot of the work is devolved, where you are able to have people potentially working from home feeding in, and also accepting too that, from time to time, there is a need for people to be physically present and to interact. If the fixed line network is available and you have those opportunities opening up, and you are liberated from some of the costs you face in having someone present on site—like the 100-plus that you have—do you think there is a possibility for greater employment opportunities, bearing in mind the market and the projects you have? Would Rising Sun see an opportunity to engage more people within South Australia and the regions?

Mr Clark —Yes, absolutely.

CHAIR —And for the sector to successfully compete internationally as well.

Mr Clark —That is right. I see that there are enormous opportunities to work with either additional people or talented people wherever they are and that having effective, high-speed, predictable latency connectivity to people all around Australia opens up a whole world. It is a completely different model to the visual effects universe, where instead of 140 people being in our building, there may be 90 people in our building and 80 people splashed around Australia and around the world somewhere. I honestly do believe that that is the model that we will evolve into and that people will come together in a more ad hoc and in a more crowd like fashion, where you snap people in and out and they work on different films for different people but they do that from their chosen place of living.

Mr NEVILLE —The evidence you are giving is very interesting. Is Cinenet related to that whole network fibre?

Mr Clark —No, it is actually a mix of technologies.

Mr NEVILLE —Do you own the network or do you buy time on various people’s—

Mr Clark —In South Australia, Cinenet owns its own fibre assets, and they were built in conjunction with Internode. They are essentially owned in an ongoing sense and so, as a result of the investment made by the South Australian government, we are able to offer those services at extremely competitive prices here because we are not paying ongoing fibre leases. Interstate we operate also in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne. We lease our fibre from carriers such as PIPE Networks or Digital River, and we deliver services on that. That is principally to places where fibre is available, which is typically inner-metro or high-density business areas. In areas which fall more towards the edge of those places where, say, you are two kilometres off network, it is a significant barrier and those services get delivered on licensed microwave services, so they have finite latencies and unpredictable quality of service. We do not deliver anything on copper networks at all because we cannot get the speed, latency or reliability.

Mr NEVILLE —So you are not using ADSL at all?

Mr Clark —No, because our customers are typically high bandwidth users and they also have very large upload profiles.

Mr NEVILLE —What sort of average speed can you get on that network of yours?

Mr Clark —Our entry point is typically around 100 megabits.

Mr NEVILLE —But you are talking about needing two gigabits for your work?

Mr Clark —No, the 200 gigabytes is the data in any given shot.

Mr NEVILLE —Sorry, I misheard you.

Mr Clark —Rising Sun here in Adelaide is connected at one gigabit. Some of the customers around the place are connected at 100 megabits. We have a couple connected at 10 megabits, but they are largely for commercial reasons in that they did not have the funds to pay for 100 megabits. It is part of the same artificial constraint that gets placed by telecommunications companies in slowly metering out bandwidth to people.

Mr NEVILLE —About 10 days ago NBN Co. made a proposal that they should be able to sell directly to certain entities, like governments and corporations, and not through a retailer. Would you propose that Cinenet would be one such network?

Mr Clark —I would love for that to be the case, but I think you are creating an anomaly in the regulation that was probably not really intended. I think that the purpose of Cinenet was to enable a gap that existed in the marketplace to be filled in the interim until ubiquitous technology caught up. As I say, I would love for that to be the case but if I am going to be an anomaly then why wouldn’t the doctor down the street and the radiography company over there be also? You are just creating loopholes. In designing a commercial model you need to design one that supports the broadest possible series of cases so you are not creating exceptions to that.

Mr NEVILLE —So you expect then to buy through Internode or some other retail agency?

Mr Clark —We would have to buy through a wholesale aggregator. Under the model you have today, we would have to buy through a wholesale aggregator or—to be perfectly honest—I believe we would just continue to lease fibre directly as we are and light it ourselves. When looking at the price points that are on offer for 100 megabits, they are up around what we are paying already.

For commercial customers like us, the benefit we have from the NBN is that it is ubiquitous. I think it is more for the smaller business end, which does not have $50,000 or $100,000 to build fibre. In the last three years, we have had a couple of customers who have put down $200,000 to build fibre networks into their premises to enable this kind of production, but they are based around companies that have multiple 10 gigabit connections around the city, principally in New South Wales.

So yes, as much as I would love to be an exception, I think the model needs to be able to support a range of different sizes. I suspect that we would go to a wholesale aggregator but looking at the current terms for wholesale aggregation, I do not know if we would get a product that would be of broad use in the way we have at the moment without it costing a lot of money. If I had to buy 100 megabits of CVC capacity with an access charge, it is going to get pretty expensive pretty fast. To support what we are really looking for here—to broadly enable the digital economy—we need to find ways to make it as cheap as possible to get as much as possible in people’s hands.

Mr SYMON —It is very interesting. I would like to try to switch this discussion around a little and ask what you know of the organisations you deal with from their end. For the foreign organisations that you send your product to, what sort of connections do they have? Do they take for granted what you are seeking at the moment and have had to pay to get extra? Is that something that happens as a matter of course with those industries in the US, for instance?

Mr Clark —Typically our customers are very large corporates. A very large corporate such as Warner Bros or Disney would typically have at least 155 megabits worth of connectivity into their building but more typically they would have one gigabit connectivity to the internet. There were models that existed previously which I believe are now largely outdated where people had dedicated connections between film facilities, which are astronomically expensive and largely redundant in the world of the internet because the internet is a basic ‘me to anybody’ type of service. As long as there is predictable bandwidth availability on it, there is no reason you should not run high bandwidth applications. I know that our customers are typically connected north of 150 megabits.

Some of our customers, the smaller production companies such as in London, would have only 10 or 20 megabits worth of internet access. So we are in a position where we are servicing multiple customers at the same time and we regularly saturate our customers’ connections because of the quality of service we are able to offer. We regularly get to the point where we have totally nailed up our customers links for days. It is quite satisfying really.

Mr SYMON —It sounds like it. You obviously have competitors in this field too, not just in Australia but across the world. Are they on equal terms with you in terms of connectivity? Could you give me some idea where you think you are in relation to your competitors being able to connect to major studios et cetera down the pathways we have just described?

Mr Clark —My understanding of people who are operating in our space is that they have the same issues we do. They have humps that they have to get over. Unless you are in Singapore or Hong Kong, one of those places which some time ago invested heavily in deploying next-generation broadband, you are also at the mercy of the network of fibre access in your city. Certainly most US facilities would have what we have and then some. They also have the benefit of being geographically closer so their throughput is able to be higher, because they are not carrying it across the sea on the cable networks their band-width cost is lower, and they are paying in dollars per megabit where we are paying north of $100 per megabit for capacity. We are at an automatic disadvantage just because we have a big piece of ocean between us and the principal hub of the internet. Their advantages are mostly around those kinds of things—proximity to the core of the internet which is typically the west coast of the United States. It is very close and so their connectivity is much cheaper, at much higher bandwidths. Presently Cinenet would run out at a certain amount of band-width, whereas in the US, if I had a gigabit backhaul, I could easily push a gigabit to my customer.

Mr SYMON —So you do have a bit of catching up to do?

Mr Clark —We do absolutely have catching up to do, yes.

Mrs PRENTICE —Are you aware of whether NBN Co. approached the Australian film industry to assess what needs you had?

Mr Clark —I am not aware of that.

Mrs PRENTICE —You mentioned that all your work is done online. Are you ever concerned about security or IP theft?

Mr Clark —Absolutely. We pay a great deal of attention to security and IP theft. We typically encrypt data which is sent. So it is sent using encrypted connections, using a number of tools which package the data prior to shipping. We have a rigorous internal IP policy to make sure that our place does the best it can to not leak. Clearly there have been instances where materials have leaked and we have experienced having materials leaked from another organisation pinned on us falsely and it was not very pretty to try to unpick that little mess. We pay a lot of attention to that. The data which is sent is encrypted data. It is encrypted in flight so the materials which transfer across the internet are encrypted using very high-strength encryption technologies and managed at the other end. There is absolutely work that needs to be done to improve that. Security of data transport is a solvable problem and it is one which we solve everyday. We have people who just think about internet security and we have built systems which deal with the delivery and receipt of materials in a way which is secure and encrypted, but still we are at the mercy of human beings. You cannot stop a human being from breaking into your machine room, stealing a server and running out the door with it.

CHAIR —Sitting in a movie theatre—

Mr Clark —Or sitting in a movie theatre videoing it, or somebody picking up the cutting copy from a locked editing room in Los Angeles when they clean it. There are so many ways that movies leak. The movie business pays a lot of attention to security. We have been audited a number of times and we have had recommendations, and more recently no recommendations coming from audits. We have always adapted and been quite robust, but again, it is people.

Mr STEPHEN JONES —During the engineering age over most of the last 150 years the technology transfers were often from the defence industry to civilian uses. Some people are saying that in the digital age we are going to see a much more diverse transfer, particularly from entertainment and businesses such as yours—applications moving from entertainment to medical technologies and others. Do you see that pattern, particularly in relation to your proprietary software and techniques?

Mr Clark —I do. What we have done with a tool like cineSync is to create a mechanism to make a very smooth, very simple and effective remote visual collaboration with somebody. Anybody using digital or visual material that needs to sit down with a group of people whether they be radiographers, geologists, mining analysts or whoever there are so many people around the place who are sitting down and having shared visual experiences. I believe that our technology has application in those spaces definitely. If we can do what we have done from here then why cannot somebody else do it?

Just being totally lateral, look over here, I know this happens in radiography now where people are doing radiographic analysis all around the world. They do night shift work in Australia for the United States. That is a fantastic example of mechanisms for leveraging high-speed broadband for visual cooperation.

CHAIR —Could you elaborate on that? I am assuming you are talking about the advantage we have being a Southern Hemisphere nation.

Mr Clark —It is a critical thing. One of the advantages that we have found as a business in our space is that even though you are a long way away so that you cannot just run around the corner and see your client, we will deal with that with teleconferencing. Mind you, in Los Angeles you cannot run around the corner and see your client either because you spend two hours driving from Burbank to the west side and two hours driving back again so that is not an effective way. A lot of our cineSync sessions are done across cities now. If you consider the time zone offset and the advantage that it creates in having removed the disadvantages of distance. So there is the ability to ship me my materials and for me to ship you my results back, for us to have a conversation about the work we are working on and take direction from you as the customer for me to implement.

If you then can remove those disadvantages of distance—which I believe we have done using technology—you then find that you are offset by seven hours so you are, seven, seven and a half or five, various amounts of hours behind your client. This is what our clients do and they tell us repeatedly: they come in in the morning and there is the delivery of all the things they have wanted from yesterday’s review session sitting on their desktop waiting for them. They open those little movies, they give them to their editorial department, they show them to the director, they spend the whole day milling around talking about what people think about that work. At the end of the day we wake up, go to the office, have a little sit down chat by videoconference or typically just audioconference and cineSync session with our customers. We take their notes, which we turn around while they are in bed, they wake up the next day and the whole cycle continues. You will find that the time zone offset instead of being your enemy is actually your friend and is what is enabling you to service your customers better than you could if they were down the street from you.

Mr STEPHEN JONES —My second question sort of follows on from that. Your company and the industry in Adelaide and elsewhere has been the direct beneficiary of a government investment in broadband specific to operators in your industry. Could you have developed the sorts of applications and had the sort of success you have had without that direct government investment?

Mr Clark —No. We would have been subject to commercial pricing which as we were saying before was significantly expensive per month and just not affordable. Access to leading edge broadband has meant that we are able to develop working practices and technologies to facilitate us performing what is quite high-value work, north of $20 million a year worth of business, which is directly imported from around the world that would not have happened here before. We just would not be here quite simply.

Mr STEPHEN JONES —It would not have happened in Adelaide or Australia?

Mr Clark —It would not have happened in Australia. It would have stood a better chance of happening on the east coast because films were flying into Sydney, they were doing the work there and going home, but it absolutely would not have happened here in Adelaide and our business strictly should not exist in Adelaide.

CHAIR —We have Mr Fletcher on the phone. Did you have some questions?

Mr FLETCHER —Thank you. It is a very impressive story that you have to tell. Congratulations on what you have achieved.

Mr Clark —Thank you.

Mr FLETCHER —I want to check a couple of things. The impression I got from what you have said is that to date you have been able to connect with your customers on fibre or other high-bandwidth networks—is that correct?

Mr Clark —That is correct but that is principally because we have built them ourselves.

Mr FLETCHER —Presumably though it made economic sense for you to do that?

Mr Clark —Bearing in mind that we were bootstrapped by a significant investment by the state government of South Australia which enabled us to build that, yes, absolutely.

Mr FLETCHER —My next question is linked to that. The rationale for a fibre connection to every home, as opposed to other approaches that could be taken, I am interested in understanding where it is that people will do the work in the new world and whether there would be benefits from a model which, rather than connecting fibre to every home, connected it to a subset of premises but with a focus on areas where the kind of activity you are carrying out is occurring.

Mr Clark —My thinking about why we are able to pay for the current commercial costs of a fibre broadband—it is underwritten by the investment that was made here in South Australia in that network, and that meant it had a lower cost of entry, which enabled us to build a business around that. Presently, even with that boost, there are companies here in Adelaide that cannot afford to connect; they cannot afford to put down even $5,000 or $10,000 to pay for a connection cost to bring them online. It goes to scale. We were lucky that we had a visionary approach to it and we took that risk and we did it and we grew our business. Other businesses that are smaller scale do not have that ability to do that kind of thing.

In terms of connecting to every home or to a smaller subset of businesses, it ultimately will come down to a question of price. If it costs me $2½ thousand to connect 100 megabits into somebody’s house then we are going to be connecting people into small clusters and we will not be working with people at home. But the opportunity exists, I believe, to deliver high bandwidth dependent applications into people’s homes if the pricing model is set to the right place, and that is about setting the price points in a way that support ubiquity and support the idea that bandwidth is limitless and as cheap as water. And if we are really about enabling a distributed and creative Australia, we need to find a pricing model which enables people to work from wherever. I do not have five people working in Tasmania; I have one person, maybe two people who are in Tasmania who I would love to bring online. I do not have 10 people sitting up in Kingscliff in New South Wales, I have about three. I know there are 10 people sitting in or around the environs of Byron that I could bring into some centralised place, but I do not have, in the broader sense, the ability to cluster them. So any time where there are focal points of bandwidth, which exist right now—places like the South Australian Film Corporation offer a clustering opportunity, and other destinations offer clustering locations where the cost of fibre can be shared—they are great places to do that. But if we are really genuine about enabling creativity broadly across Australia, I believe we need to get that pricing right. I am not making commentary one way or the other on the current pricing, other than that we should be aiming to enable people to use as much of it as they can to enable high bandwidth applications to be deployed.

CHAIR —Tony, I really thank you; it was very interesting for us. We have had evidence, as Stephen Jones indicated, on health in particular. An aged care provider told us about walking machines that have interactive vision of hometowns for people from non-English speaking backgrounds where they can walk their hometown in the modern environment and so forth. It is quite true that your industry is going to be the one that drives a whole lot of great innovations in health and education more broadly, so it has been tremendous and very exciting for us that you have agreed to contribute and we thank you for that.

Mr Clark —It is an absolute pleasure. This is a significant thing for Australia and I would love to see us get the most out of it that we possibly can.

CHAIR —And that is exactly the purpose of this inquiry.

Mr HUSIC —For the record, Chair, I understand Rising Sun worked on Inception and I just want it noted I wanted an extended period of time for someone to explain that film to me and it was overruled.

CHAIR —Sadly he was outside the terms of reference on that question.

Mr Clark —Unfortunately we did not work on Inception, but I equally spent as much time trying to decode it. CineSync was used on Inception, but not Rising Sun Pictures.

CHAIR —You may wish to pursue that over a cup of coffee after the formal section. Thank you for your attendance here today. If you have been asked to provide any additional information, other than an interpretation of Inception for Mr Husic, you can forward it to the secretariat. You will be sent a copy of the transcript of your evidence, to which you can make corrections of grammar and fact. And once again thank you very much for your time.

Mr Clark —Thank you.

Proceedings suspended from 12.34 pm to 1.32 pm