iiNet praises NBN Co, pans lack of digital economy strategy

Internet service provider (ISP) iiNet (ASX:IIN) has praised the National Broadband Network (NBN) but has cautioned that the value of the fibre network will be lessened unless the Federal Government issues a national online strategy to give purpose and direction to the project.

"We are of the opinion that the missing component in the debate is a national online or digital economy strategy," iiNet chief financial officer, David Buckingham, told a Parliamentary inquiry into the role and potential of the NBN.

"We would like to see this debate switching fast to fundamental questions, like: Where does Australia wish to be in a global digital economy? Or does Australia want to create jobs, improve domestic productivity, increase exports and advance its competitive position in a global digital economy?"

Buckingham said the ISP was a strong supporter of the NBN but was also of the opinion that a national online strategy should be a matter of priority and should be developed in order to give the NBN, government agencies and the economy at large purpose and direction.

"As attractive as it might be for us a company and our customers, NBN network is not the objective. Its potential use is the real objective," he said. "We ask: what is it that we want to achieve? What are our national objectives? What will be the measure of our success?"