Speech to International Symposium on Converging Technologies & Disruptive Communications:
Creina Chapman, ACMA Deputy Chair and CEO
10 September 2018, Thailand
Thank you for this opportunity to share with you some of the Australian experiences in enabling digital infrastructure.
Every country has their own specific challenges in enabling its citizens get access the best possible digital infrastructure at an affordable price. We are all driven by the ideal of innovation and growth, and we aim to achieve equality of opportunity—avoiding digital divides.
One of Australia’s challenges for all infrastructure projects, not just communications, is our geography. The size of the landscape dominates debate on all policy and regulatory formulation.
The government is constantly faced with the same dilemma—the competition between urban and regional for similar services: ‘How can we ensure a farmer in the bush gets the same social and economic opportunities offered by booming communications as the lawyer working in the centre of Sydney?’
To give you an idea of our challenge, Australia has a relatively small but rapidly growing population of 25 million people. With 85 per cent of the population living on the coast, and both Sydney and Melbourne now pushing five million people, we are one of the most urbanised nations in the world.
But there are large tracts of land separating our urbanised centres, with vibrant key regional centres and widely dispersed remote populations—a third of our gross domestic product is generated outside of the capital cities.
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