Live from Broadband & Beyond 2011

Am sitting in the audience at Broadband & Beyond 2011, the annual Communications Alliance industry conference. As you can imagine, much of the discussion is centred on the National Broadband Network, and what i can be used for – which is pleasing, as the usage of high-speed broadband networks is a big part of what is covered in my new book, A Faster Future.

The opening keynote was delivered by KPMG partner for the digital economy Malcolm Alder, who spoke about the challenges that will be faced by the retail sector as we move to the NBN. Malcolm covered a huge amount of territory in a short period of time, from healthcare for the elderly to the future of utilities. He also talked about the possibility for service providers to aggregate other services and sell them through their portal. It may be possible that a telco no only sells access, but possibly electricity and healthcare.

Malcolm was followed by Shara Evans, chief executive officer of research firm Market Clarity, who spoke about the current penetration of broadband and gave some predictions on its future take-up. The general theme was that access will continue to faster and cheaper.