Tanner on how the NBN will help Telstra

When email was invented, Telstra gained and Australia Post lost. Anything that acts to shift economic activity from the physical to the digital world automatically benefits communications providers. As the dominant provider, Telstra is superbly positioned to exploit its strengths in the emerging new world of super-fast universal broadband. Sure, genuine open competition could lead to it enjoying a smaller market share, but that share is likely to be part of a much bigger market. Who is in the best position to invest in innovation, new products and risky ventures in a new broadband environment? Who is likely to partner with education and health providers to produce innovative e-education and e-health strategies? Who are businesses most likely to turn to to develop new broadband applications for their business systems? The answer, of course, is Telstra.The National Broadband Network will kick-start productivity growth in the Australian economy after a decade of sluggish performance. It will help address a number of critical problems confronting our nation. It will open up opportunities for smart people and businesses that currently don't exist. It involves risk, that's for sure, but all human progress involves risk. Irrespective of that risk, wiring Australia for the 21st century is the right thing to do.