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Private sector involvement in telecommunications

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Ros Kelly Minister for Telecommunications and Aviation Support



11 August 1989


International companies could be attracted to Canberra because of the strong telecommuniations base here, the Minister for Telecommunications and Aviation Support, Ros Kelly, said today.

Mrs Kelly was speaking at the Canberra Association for Regional Development luncheon.

'There are many opportunities in the telecommunications industry for the private sector to take up#, Mrs Kelly said.

'The telecommunications industry is of strategic importance to both the manufacturing and service sectors of our economy.

'There is also a very good telecommunications infrastructure in Canberra for companies which rely on telecommunications to conduct their business with services from OTC, Telecom and Aussat available.

'Businesses should also take the opportunity to become involved in the supply and manufacture of telecommunications services. It is also a key to export-led growth.

'Competition exists for the private sector in areas such as value-added services, including electronic mail, videotex and electronic funds transfer.

'The private sector can also compete in providing customer premises equipment such as telephones, fax machines and computer and modem terminals.

'There is also work for consultancies to provide expert advice on telecommunications requirements to be used for effective management.

'Canberra has an extremely advanced telecommunications network and this will increasingly be a decision factor for firms to locate in Canberra. It is therefore a very attractive environment for international firms establish themsevles in

Canberra', Mrs Kelly said.

For information contact Leona Jorgensen 062 777840.





11 AUGUST 1989

Good afternoon

I'm pleased to be able to speak to you today about the

telecommunications industry and in particular implications of

that industry for Canberra.

Telecommunications is an incredibly fast developing industry.

What's here today, in terms of technology, will be quickly out

of date tomorrow.

In ten years time, offices will not run as they do now. There

will be new ways of doing business, and what will seem natural

and matter-of-fact in the year 2000, will seem as natural as

faxes, computers, and cellular mobile phones are now.

Your offices will use telecommunications in all sorts of ways.


. video conferencing will be the norm - where face to face

contact can be achieved without having to travel away from

the office

. photo video text will also be widely used - you will no

longer need to tramp around after a real estate agent

looking at houses - they will all be available on photovideo

text, for clients to 'step through a house'

. cellular mobile phones will be small enough to fit into your

wallet and a new type of mobile phone will also be available

via telepoint, which will operate like cordless phones do

today and will be able to be used on aeroplanes

. and everyone will carry a computer, and with that comes the

portability of databases from anywhere around the world

But what you do now, will affect what your offices will be like

in ten years time and of course the long term success of your


From 1 July, and the implementation of the Telecommunications

Act, a new regime began for the telecommunications industry.


It's a level playing field now; monopolies in telecommunications

services are clearly defined, competition in many areas has been

opened up, the Government Business Enterprises - OTC, Telecom

and Aussat - have been reshaped along corporate lines, and just

recently I announced that AUSTEL would investigate competition

into cellular mobiles telephones and rules for common interest

groups sharing a private network.

And what that means for Canberra, is that opportunities exist in

the telecommunications industry. The opportunities are there and

they should be taken up.

Just recently, three international telecommunications companies

have approached me and said that they want to set up business in

Australia. That's because Australia has obvious advantages for

business; new markets are here and the skills and trades are

available. It is imperative that Australian businesses become

involved now in the growth taking place.

The environment is right for the private sector to play the

game, and to take up the opportunities that exist in Canberra. I

see three significant areas of opportunity for the private


First, Canberra has an extremely advanced telecommunications

network, and this will increasingly be a decision factor for

firms to locate in Canberra.


Second, the private sector is now able to compete in many areas

of the telecommunications field. For example, in value-added

services such as electronic mail, videotex and electronic funds

•transfer; and in customer premises equipment such as telephones,

facsimile machines and computer and modem terminals.

And third, for telecommunications services to work for a firm,

they need to be effectively managed. What I mean by that is with

the increasing range of sophisticated telecommunications

technologies available to businesses, difficult and expensive

choices have to be made. Consultancy services will be needed to

provide expert advice on how communications needs can best be


As I said before, the telecommunications infrastructure is

already in Canberra.

We have a very large and sophisticated information technology

base here. It not only has advantages for firms wanting to offer

telecommunications services, but also for firms who rely on

telecommunications to conduct their business.

The industry is of strategic importance to both the

manufacturing and service sectors of our economy. It is also a

key to export-led growth.


To Australia, the telecommunications market is worth about $10

billion; Canberra generates about $50 million of that amount

with more than 20 industries here involved in


Canberra's telecommunications companies can design, manufacture,

and market fibre optic components; they can produce computer

hardware and software; our firms can test and develop optical

fibre instruments; manufacture high quality, low to medium speed

dial and leased line modems; and manufacture data multiplexors

and encryption devices.

The fact that the Government is based in Canberra has led to the

establishment of a first-class telecommunications


But it's not only the Government that benefits. The

telecommunications infrastructure can be used both to service

the Government and to provide competitive telecommunications

services to Canberra, Australia and the world.

So how should Canberra businesses use the existing

telecommunications facilities now available. All three

telecommunications carriers - Telecom, OTC, and AUSSAT - have

something to offer.



Take time after lunch to look at this Telecom display, because

MAGNET has applications for business.

MAGNET, the Multiple Access Customer Network, is a new optical

fibre system which will allow optical fibre to be brought

directly to customer premises cost effectively in the 1990s.

This includes voice and data services, broadcasting services

such as news and stockmarket rates, and HiFi music. One day,

MAGNET will include distributive video services, entertainment

TV, interactive video services and tele-shopping.

Another Telecom service is ISDN, the Integrated Services Digital

Network. This will allow users to build and control a network

which will suit their own needs. An ISDN network, for example,

could include voice, data, text, image and video services.

Macrolink, the ISDN service for large corporations and

businesses is available now. Microlink, Telecom's ISDN service

for small businesses, branch offices and, eventually, the person

on the street, will be available from around March 1990.



PTC is the world's third largest owner of undersea cables and

the sixth largest shareholder in the 117-nation INTELSAT

satellite system.

Consequently Australians are especially fortunate when it comes

to having access to sophisticated international communications

services. PTC carries all of Australia's international

television, telephone, text, data and maritime services. And

Canberra figures prominently in PTC's priorities because of the

large amount of international traffic which passes through here.

PTC can also provide users with technology such as, electronic

mail, on-line databases, on-line fax and telex directories,

value-added networks and one-stop integration of computing and



Perhaps the most obvious presence of AUSSAT in Canberra is their

major city earth station at Mitchell. Most of you will also be

familiar with Aussat's impact on broadcasting, and here in

Canberra, satellite facilities have played an important part in

commercial television aggregation.


Aussat also has a significant role in providing businesses with

data transmission facilities for organisations which must manage

data across widely dispersed locations.

Aussat is a major player in the provision of Sky Channel and in

providing satellite telephone services to remote locations.

But Aussat also beavers away behind the scenes. For example, it

broadcasts special events such as the bicentennial functions; it

works with the Civil Aviation Authority to provide safe and

reliable air traffic control; and it works with the banks to

provide efficient and fast banking services.

Government departments are already taking advantage of the

telecommunications technology available. The Department of

Social Security will soon be moving from Woden to Tuggeranong,

and relocate their national computer centre in the Tuggeranong


The building has been designed to take full advantage of

existing communications technology, and to enable new technology

to be absorbed as it becomes available.


It's expected that optical fibre will form the backbone of the

communications network. All cables will run under the floor,

enabling total flexibility in the position of automated data

processing eguipment.Full use may thereby be made of local area

networks and integrated systems digital networks.

As businesses in Canberra, you should also be taking advantage

of the telecommunications services. Don't be frightened by the

technology available, or to venture out and grab the business

opportunities that exist.

Telecommunications is the key to Canberra's future development.

Our present and proposed links to the national and international

networks give us instant access and make us instantly


And of course that's proper for the National Capital, but it

must also be a powerful incentive of business when combined with

Canberra's many other advantages.

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