Building a ‘networked society’ in Australia, with the NBN

Connecting Communities is a groundbreaking review of the community benefits and innovation enabled by broadband in the UK and the policy implications for Australia. Commissioned by Huawei Australia but independently researched and compiled by Dr Tim Williams, Connecting Communities is based on a wealth of case-studies, interviews and analysis combined with a sharp personal insight. The report offers compelling real life evidence of the impact of broadband – on public services, democratic activity, and on communities themselves. Its conclusion that ‘broadband is too important to be left to geeks and engineers’ and that the objective should be to build not just a network but a ‘networked society’ will provoke debate. The author also hopes to promote and inspire engagement and discourse between Australian businesses, industry groups, Government and, of course, communities themselves.

Maybe he is preaching to converted, but I really like the optimistic, community benefit focused message in this report. Its a counterpoint to the ‘hard’ technology and cost-benefit debate that has been the focus around the NBN so far.