The National Broadband Network has received further endorsement with Australian government CIO, Ann Steward, saying the project will open up “huge opportunities” for service delivery.
Before being appointed federal CIO, Steward had worked on e-government projects in the UK and described her experience with a similar broadband network as “fantastic”.
“What a great thing the NBN will be,” Steward said. “From my life in the UK and having worked with colleagues with an NBN-equivalent over there, it is fantastic.”
This week NBN Co announced the winners of five building contracts on the Australian mainland tasked with construction of the first stage of the network's deployment.
Steward said the NBN opens up huge opportunities, not just for service delivery, but the type of service delivery for government agencies and for CIOs looking at accessibility issues and the types of services they can deliver over different channels.
“The NBN will be for personal, business and government-to-government,” she said.
Steward's position is in the Australian Government Information Management Office (AGIMO) within the federal Department of Finance and Deregulation.
AGIMO has been working with Senator Stephen Conroy's Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy which established the NBN Co to develop a new fibre to the premises network across Australia.
“We have been working very closely with colleagues in the Department of Broadband and are looking at the ways agencies will be approaching this from a whole-of-government basis in accessing NBN services,” Steward said.
In keeping with Steward's direction of aggregating government agency IT procurement, she said AGIMO will try to avoid duplication of contracts for NBN-type services.
“For me, it is just fabulous to enable services we have never contemplated before.”
Steward also praised the work of other agencies, including Department of Human Services IT chief, John Wadeson, for their “marvelous work” in using mobile access in remote areas.
“Be it bush fires or floods, rather than respond in stages of emergency let's see what can we do with a different overall service delivery,” she said.
“The NBN for me is certainly core to what we will have.”
Rodney Gedda is Editor of TechWorld Australia. Follow Rodney on Twitter at @rodneygedda. Rodney's e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow TechWorld Australia on Twitter at @Techworld_AU and CIO at @CIO_Australia.
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