The NBN Will Bypass the Web
Australia’s National Broadband Network is much more than a glorified internet connection, a fact not understood by most people including business.
This was one of the many highlights from a fascinating presentation given by Jim Wyatt, General Manager, Digital Economy, Department of Commerce, and Government of Western Australia.
Jim covered a lot of ground but the thing that struck me was how the NBN may completely bypass the web.
As Jim put it, the NBN will allow businesses and organisations to push their services directly into people’s homes in ways we can’t even imagine yet.
The NBN Will Transform Business and Services
In other words, people won’t need to get on the web to find information they want, it will come to them.
Think of it in much the same ways as Apple bypasses the web and controls its customers’ experience thru its products, iTunes and the iTunes Store.
Or in fact the way any smartphone and tablet app effectively bypasses the web. It may be partly delivered over the web, but it is not beholden to it.
As an example, Jim explained how some Perth councils were looking at producing their own television programmes on the typical things ratepayers are always interested in such as: how to get a building permit and building regulations.
Obviously this allows the Council to have far more control over the customer’s experience, and it is not limited by the poor quality graphics and visuals of the current web.
Television by itself may still be a limited application, and more interactive multimedia experiences could easily be developed and delivered.
Unleash Your Imagination - the Online Industry Will Only Get Bigger
(Or should I say digital industry?)
The implications are huge. It means more and more organisations are going to be producing their own digital content, far more than the current trend we’re already seeing.
Which means professional content producers such as development agencies, writers, and camera operators are going to have to take their services into whole new areas.
If I’m getting this right, when we use the NBN, we may get part of our content from the web, and we may even use it to access the web, but that is only a small part of what the NBN is going to deliver.
What we do with it is up to our imaginations.
Australian Business and Retail Faces Even More Change
To take this one step further in just one area, for Australian retailers who are already struggling with the rise of online shopping, the NBN will allow the really smart and progressive retailers to take their shopping experience directly into people’s homes.
Again, instead of prospective customers coming to your website, your shopping experience could be in their living room on their high definition, interactive 3d television at the exact moment they want it and the precise moment they are ready to engage and buy.
As a marketer I’m salivating already, and I’m getting ahead of myself here, but I hope you can use your imagination to see what I’m getting at.
The point is, the current online retail space is just the tip of the iceberg, and even greater more fundamental change is coming to business.
Even Business is Unaware of the Opportunity
And it’s not just retail; all businesses are facing the same threat and opportunity. Given that Jim’s presentation was given to a roomful of people who are at the forefront of digital innovation, it was still eye opening for most people in the room.
It was as if the bar had been lifted a hell of a lot higher than what we all thought was possible.
Or as Jim said:” It’s a paradigm shift.”
Tip of the Iceberg
While "Big Data" is the latest hot topic, I haven’t heard anyone clearly explain what infrastructure projects like the NBN really mean for business, government and the community the way Jim Wyatt did.
In fact I haven’t heard anyone in business really talking about the business opportunities the way Jim was hinting at.
One thing’s for sure, everyone at the Spacecubed event left with their head buzzing.
You can see the slides from Jim Wyatt’s presentation below:
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