BUSINESS may miss out on the next big earnings driver because government has under-invested in telecommunications infrastructure, according to former deputy premier Mal Bryce. Mr Bryce, who was highly regarded for his vision for technology and role in the founding of Technology Park in Bentley, believes Australia is not in the race when it comes to providing true broadband telecommunications. A keynote speaker at a major infrastructure conference this week, he describes broadband as providing the next fundamental lift in corporate profitability. However, he believes Australia needs in the order of $5 billion to $7 billion spent to bring households and business up to communications speeds committed to in countries such as Germany, South Korea and Canada. Mr Bryce believes Australian broadband at 500Kbps is a “Clayton’s” version of what is available overseas. He said Germany had committed to up to $7 billion, bringing 50Mbps to 50 of its biggest population centres. The anticipated privatisation of Telstra meant such investment had to come from government.
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