Australia is set to be the most connected continent.

Once the realm of science fiction, the year 2020 now looms in the not-too-distant horizon.

Getting to this point in time will mark the completion of the nbn™ network rollout, a project that will have been 11 years in the making.

New research has revealed that once the rollout has been finalised across Australia, the ‘Land Down Under’ will be the world’s most connected continent. 

Earning this title means a lot more than access to fast downloading, and on-demand entertainment. The main benefit of being a connected country is opportunity.

Gen nbn 

Commissioned by nbn and developed by Western Sydney University, the gen nbn™ 2020 and beyond report provides an in-depth analysis of how nationwide access to fast broadband is expected to transform many aspects of the Australian way of life.

The report predicts that Australia’s most connected generation yet, ‘gen nbn’, will find themselves benefiting in multiple ways. This applies around the country, not just in major cities.

Lead Researcher Liam Magee explains that “the completion of the nbn™ network will see Australia become the world’s most tech-connected continent. Our research shows that access to fast broadband brings unprecedented possibilities for building a stronger national economy.”

According to Mr Magee, “In the twenty-first century, connectivity has become a new kind of capital, more valuable than natural resources and industrial manufacturing, as digital services driven by access to the nbn™ network are predicted to boost Australia’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by around 2 per cent every year by 2020.”  

Changing Australia for the better

A connected nation provides better career pathways, optimises the delivery of innovative healthcare services and enables the implementation of sustainable futures for our cities and towns.

Amongst benefits forecast by the ‘gen nbn™ 2020 and Beyond’ report are:

The internet of everything 

Increased connectivity and digital innovation is rapidly penetrating many facets of everyday life.

By 2020, technologies such as drones, 3D printers, Virtual and Augmented Reality and home automation will become more entrenched in homes and workplaces.

These technologies will help transform homes and workplaces.

By 2025-2030, there are likely to be well over 50 billion devices connected worldwide to the internet connecting everything from our fridge door to our home security systems, all of which will be able to run concurrently over the nbn™ network.

Rapid growth in medical innovations 

Current trends indicate that the use of digital technology in healthcare is becoming ubiquitous with the advent of big data, advanced video conferencing systems and 3D printing.

By 2020, telehealth services, enabled by the nbn™ network will be able to connect regional, rural and remote areas to a fast and stable broadband network with access to affordable and convenient GP and specialist healthcare appointments.

The CSIRO projects that the savings to health costs this provides are expected to reach up to $3 billion annually.

By 2025, it may be possible to use big data to predict widespread disease outbreaks.

By 2030, we are likely to see 3D printing that enhances design and production of customised medical aids and prosthetics, helping to improve the quality of life for people all over the country.

The continuation of the e-change movement

Access to fast broadband in regional towns and the rapid adoption of teleworking is motivating people to migrate away from the major cities to regional hotspots.

The nbn™ network will be a critical enabler to the success of home-grown start-ups across the country.

A reliable and fast wholesale network will help Australians to facilitate access to new markets and business opportunities while still enjoying their outback or coastal lifestyles.

Close to 400,00 Australians currently work from home; as fast broadband becomes more widespread, these figures could as much as double by 2025.  

Jobs of the future 

Connectivity is necessary in driving innovation in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths disciplines.

Health, education and technical services are expected to employ 4.3 million Australians by 2030, up from the current 3.5 million.

From now until 2030, the country is expected to see a huge increase in online educational resources and services, offering better teaching facilities to upskill our nation in key areas such as health and technical services, to harness careers in data science, coding and bio-chemistry.

Because online learning is flexible, access to the opportunities it can offer has the potential to upskill those already in the workforce.

Australia’s largest ever project

nbn CEO Bill Morrow paints an optimistic picture of Australia’s future. “Our vision is to build a world-class broadband network that ensures greater connectivity for all Australians”.

Mr Morrow explains that once every home and business has access to the nbn™ network in 2020, the improved connectivity will help create a new way of living.

As the nation begins to benefit from access to fast broadband, greater connectivity will likely lead to greater digital demand. Once the infrastructure is in place to meet this demand, “we expect to see significant economic and social impacts across the country.”

Mr Morrow acknowledges that there will be a transition period as Australia moves from old to new. “Significant projects take time and the nbn™ network is the largest in our nation’s history,” he explains.

“We are on track to connect millions of Australian homes and businesses to fast broadband in the next few years. While the speed of the rollout presents challenges, we are working hard to ensure a positive experience for all Australians.”

As the world’s most connected continent, the possibilities are endless, and endlessly exciting for all Australians.

Check your address to see if you can connect to the nbn™ network.

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