City needs to ready for NBN

GLADSTONE is not prepared for the National Broadband Network roll-out and the port city needs to be if it is to survive the coming digital economy.

Those were the sentiments of ICT Industry Development chief Paul Campbell who was in Gladstone yesterday to find out from local business and industry leaders just what they expected from the NBN roll-out.

“What we are doing in partnership with the Queensland Government is looking over the horizon at what a digital economy will look like and what it will mean to Gladstone,” he said.

“We want to look at each of the regions and ask them what they believe is the way forward for their region.”

Dr Campbell is part of the Queensland Government's push for the IT industry to address the issues surrounding the expansion of the digital economy in targeted industry sectors.

The main objective of the ICT industry's strategy was to grow awareness of the benefits of an early transition to a digital economy by leveraging the transformational and multiplier effect technology infrastructure and services could deliver.

“A lot of regions haven't put any thought into the NBN because frankly the media only concentrate on the politics and delivery of the NBN,” Dr Campbell said.

“The digital economy has significant business opportunities and also significant business risks if you ignore it.”

He emphasised that it was one thing to use broadband, but another to prepare for the NBN.

“Skills shortages are going to be a major problem and what can Gladstone do to become a supplier of skills,” Dr Campbell said.

“If that is possible to do, how can Gladstone take advantage of people coming into the region to provide those skills?”