A new conversation is needed to shape Australia’s digital infrastructure Beyond 2020

The purpose of the Beyond 2020 Alliance is to facilitate discussion and debate, and formulate a vision of Australia’s digitally enabled future beyond 2020. The year 2020 is the nominal date by which the Australian Government believes that the NBN is completed.

Years of vocal political debate and argument in respect of the shape and form of the NBN have in our views, left the Australian public in need of a longer term conversation that seeks to shape the technical, and importantly, social, digital infrastructure of Australia, beyond 2020. That discussion is intended to include, but span beyond the NBN network and must take in the evolving and converging mesh of technologies and infrastructure (fixed line, mobile/5G, fixed wireless, narrowband and satellite) in this country.

This conversation will occur against a backdrop of the most radical digital transformation in human history. Beyond 2020, Australia will see emerging technologies such as virtual and augmented reality, high definition video conferencing, artificial intelligence, holographics, and robotics enter the mainstream. Concomitantly, Australia’s population is aging rapidly, and we face myriad challenges in communicating across and beyond our wide brown land. We must be prepared, both socially and operationally, to harness technology to advance all our peoples.

 The aim of the Alliance is to ensure that there is a broad technical and social discussion, which engages the Australian community, about what outcomes are needed from an ever evolving digitally enabled world and from an Alliance perspective, how we facilitate the achievement of those outcomes technically. Further, the Alliance is committed to optimising the utilisation, coordination and integration of the digital infrastructure technology mix for maximum benefit to Australia, and Australians.

 Given that the starting point is 2020, the Alliance will reflect on the anticipated technical position of broadband, Internet and communications infrastructure at that point, and will provide a comprehensive examination and discussion of what will serve this country and her peoples best beyond that time, over time.

The Beyond 2020 Alliance is not ……

 The Alliance is not a lobbying group. It has no political alliances and eschews political or partisan debate about the science and technologies of the digitally enabled economy and the infrastructure that supports it.

The Beyond 2020 Alliance is ……

All organisations in the Alliance are comprised of highly respected members of the information communication and technology (ICT) communities and industries of Australia and have a wealth of technical and social experience in many fields, not the least of which is telecommunications and broadband infrastructure and Internet technologies. We aim to utilise the breadth and depth of that expertise to engage the Australian community in discussion and debate – and articulate options for achieving our digitally enabled future

The Alliance intends to build up a combined body of evidence-based and research-backed sources and knowledge, openly accessible by the Australian community, that arises out of the discussion, debate and exploration by participants of the same. In doing so it hopes to inform the community of the choices of technology and most sustainable strategies to ensure that our growing needs are both met and are capable of long term evolution and growth.

The Alliance aspires to become a well regarded reference group and a highly respected, objective and sought after source of knowledge and information about the technical aspects and social impact of the digitally enabled economy and Infrastructure in this country beyond 2020.