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STANDING COMMITTEE ON INFRASTRUCTURE AND COMMUNICATIONS - 18/04/2011 - Role and potential of the National Broadband Network
House of Representatives committee
Monday, 18 April 2011
Role and potential of the National Broadband Network

CHAIR (Ms Bird) —I declare open this public hearing of the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Infrastructure and Communications in Brisbane. The inquiry was referred by Minister Albanese on 16 November last year. To date we have received 227 submissions and expect more over coming weeks. Over 40 of these submissions were from Queensland, so we are glad to now have the opportunity to talk with some of our Queensland submitters in person. This inquiry has a different focus to other NBN inquiries that have occurred in the past, that are under way presently or that will commence shortly. While those inquiries have focused primarily on technical matters to do with either 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 from the inquiry’s terms of reference, the committee has a broad range of areas to investigate, including the capacity of the NBN to contribute to health, education, business efficiency and regional development. While the inquiry is less technically focused than others, dot point (i) in the terms of reference requires the committee to consider ‘the optimal capacity and technological requirements of a network to deliver these outcomes.’

We may adjourn for a moment while we see what happens with the emergency evacuation procedure in the building. Our apologies to those listening to the broadcast. We will resume shortly.

Proceedings suspended from 9.07 am to 9.10 am