Demand for internet connectivity surged during the first months of response to COVID-19. Forced to isolate, work or learn from home, Australians, like those in other countries, found their use of the internet on the up. In response, NBN Co boosted nbn network capacity by 40 percent for internet providers,1 while the Australian Government asked media streaming platforms such as Netflix and Stan to reduce the amount of data needed to stream its programs to help reduce network load.2
Amid the unprecedented change brought by the pandemic, the telecommunications, media and technology (TMT) industries have proven pivotal. While many sectors have had little recourse but to wait out consumer changes and the effects of isolation and lockdowns, the TMT industry has had to step up, playing a critical role in helping people and businesses navigate the crisis.
As PwC Australia’s paper, Where next for telecommunications? outlines, TMT organisations have played a critical role in how society and government has responded to the pandemic. They have helped to develop and test COVID-19 related safety technology, platforms to stay connected with work and family, and content for people to consume while locked down. Critically, they have provided access to the news and health advice necessary to help keep people safe
But as we move on from the shock of COVID-19 towards management and what could potentially be a long road to recovery, where do telcos go next?
Below are some highlights of the findings in the full Where next? report.
No matter what the future holds, telecommunications operators have a significant role to play in avoiding the creation of a digital divide between our cities and our regions, as well as continuing to build the foundations of access, inclusion and digitisation, while technologies are harnessed to accelerate the economic recovery of Australia for consumers and businesses alike. Considering the different scenarios outlined, being flexible and uplifting underlying digital capability is a priority.
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