Conference paper


This paper draws upon Malcom Gladwell's notion of The Tipping Point in the context of the development of new broadband services. The new Rudd Labor government has committed $4.7 billion of Australian government capital to assist in the construction of a new national fibre broadband network. Broadband platforms have enabled a different service paradigm from all of their predecessors, and three categories of broadband services are discussed here, called managed, unmanaged, and publicly supported services. Examples of related service innovations are drawn upon from overseas models, particularly The Netherlands and Canada. The notion of the 'tipping point' is then examined in the context of three different end _user domains related to broadband systems; namely social networking sites, community ownership models that build community services, and the vexed eHealth service domain. The government National Broadband Network (NBN) tender process appears to have given little attention to what services are likely to be acceptable to, or needed by, Australian broadband consumers in the future. Hence a call is made for the 'tipping point' that is so much needed _ a new policy framework that will provide constructive consumer participation on key policy decision making.


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