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Australia’s Digital Economy: Future Directions

final report

© Commonwealth of Australia 2009 This report is protected by copyright. Apart from any use as permitted under the Copyright Act 1968, and those explicitly granted below, all other rights are reserved. Except for the Commonwealth Coat of Arms and except where otherwise noted, this work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivativeWorks 2.5 Australia licence (the Licence).

A copy of the Commons Deed (human-readable summary) of this license is provided on the back cover page. To view a copy of the full licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.5/au/ or send a letter to Creative Commons, 171 Second Street, Suite 300, San Francisco, California 94105, USA. Except where otherwise noted, any reference to, reuse or distribution of all or part of this report must include the following attribution: Australia’s Digital Economy: Future Directions © Commonwealth of Australia, 2009. www.dbcde.gov.au/digital_ economy/final_report You must provide the following link in any further reuse or distribution of this work to make clear to others that the Licence (including this copyright notice) applies to this work: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-ncnd/2.5/au/. Any of the above conditions can be waived if you get our permission. Requests for permission (or other inquiries about the Licence) should be addressed to: Assistant Secretary Digital Economy Branch Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy GPO 2154 CANBERRA ACT 2601 DEFutureDirections@dbcde.gov.au

Australia’s Digital Economy: Future Directions

Minister’s Foreword
The digital economy is essential to Australia’s productivity, global competitive standing and improved social wellbeing. Already, the digital economy offers exciting opportunities for all Australians. It allows us to stay in touch with family and friends easily no matter where they live by sending emails, sharing online photos or, increasingly, starting up a web-cam. Many Australians are rapidly adopting technology and taking up the new opportunities to connect, collaborate and transact more effectively. Many businesses are incorporating the digital tools necessary to make their business more productive and efficient, and reach new audiences. The digital economy can also drive Australia’s national productivity, create jobs and support new business opportunities. Increasingly, we are witnessing how ‘smart technology’ can help us change our behaviours and manage our infrastructure in ways that can benefit our environment. It can make our use of scarce natural resources like water more efficient and reduce our energy demands. The digital economy is about the activities that networked technology makes possible. It is the demonstration of how the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. This final report—Australia’s Digital Economy: Future Directions—outlines the areas of focus for government, industry and the community to maximise the benefits of the digital economy for all Australians. Internet and broadband are increasingly commonplace in our day to day lives and the Rudd Government is moving rapidly to improve accessibility and service with the National Broadband Network. However, the digital economy will not necessarily happen organically in all parts of our economy and society. Already, international data indicates that Australian households and business may be lagging in fully utilising the digital economy. And it remains important that we ensure that all groups within our community enjoy the same opportunities to engage online. This paper explains how government, industry and the community can work together to improve Australia’s international standing. It provides the rationale for government taking strategic and enabling action now to ensure all parts of Australia benefit fully from the digital economy. It outlines those issues on which we must direct our attention...
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