Ever since the 2009 announcement of the National Broadband Network (NBN), Australians have been watching and waiting to see how this super-fast Internet service will change the communications industry in the country for good.
The replacement of the old copper wire infrastructure with optical fibre will likely have an effect on SMEs, and it is now being suggested that the NBN is going to have a major role in reshaping the next generation of Australians.
NBN’s prediction for the future
On April 26, demographer and commentator Bernard Salt released a research report commissioned by the NBN on the future of a super-connected Australia.
We’ve had generation X, Y and Z, and now Salt has suggested that we will see generation NBN – the most connected generation yet.
The defining characteristics of GenNBN will be their ability to “increasingly re-organise when and where work is delivered”. In other words, they will work wherever they want, whenever they want. Such as from cafes, the beach or at home, as they switch between tasks and complete work in blocks of time.
This model clearly deviates from the standard 9-5, eight-hour work day many Australians experience at present, and according to Salt, this generation will start to make itself seen as early as the 2020s.
For Australians in particular, the study has highlighted how this new work-life balance might just be the definition of the Australian dream.
“Work will be fitted into times and locations that suit the individual rather than lifestyle being fitted into and around commitments to work. That is the promise of high-speed broadband and this is an aspiration that fits comfortably with the Australian penchant for lifestyle.”
How GenNBN might change the face of Australia
According to data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, approximately two-thirds of Australia’s 23.5 million people live in greater capital city areas. While that number continues to grow, the NBN report has outlined how GenNBN may be better placed to move away from the capital cities and into coastland and more remote areas.
Currently, two-thirds of digital workers are located in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth, and Brisbane, with just 24 per cent working from outside the major capital cities.
“As more people set up their own small businesses or deliver work over high-speed broadband there could be a move away from big cities to sea-change and tree-change locations,” the report states.
Our national love of all things sporting has also been taken into consideration as part of this next generation, as high-speed Internet will give Australians access to unlimited on-demand sports content and programs. In turn, this could spark new interest in niche spots such as sumo wresting, curling and hurling.
GenNBN is set to be the most connected generation yet, with Salt’s report making a fair point that the communications landscape in 15 years will be “vastly different” to that of today due to the universality of the Internet, plus new technologies that haven’t even been invented yet.