The digital economy is the global network of economic and social activities that are enabled by information and communications technologies such as the internet, mobile and sensor networks.
The governments aim is that by 2020 Australia will be among the world's leading digital economies, based on key indicators such as broadband penetration and usage rankings.
The digital economy is essential to Australia's productivity, global competitiveness and improved social wellbeing.
Greater digital engagement can boost productivity. It can bridge distances and improve service delivery for regional and rural Australians. It can improve educational and health outcomes, allow for better management of the country's growing and ageing population, promote social inclusion and facilitate more environmentally sustainable better management of the built and natural environment.
The governments commitment to build the enabling infrastructure for the digital economy, in particular the commitment to build the NBN, will allow Australia to participate in and enjoy the benefits of the global digital economy. The NBN will offer ubiquitous coverage, which will allow all Australian households and businesses to participate in the digital economy regardless of where they live. It will support high-speed symmetrical services giving more people access to new tools to manage their business or receive education services.
The government has set eight 'Digital Economy Goals' that focus on the areas of:
> online participation by Australian households > online engagement by Australian businesses and not-for-profit organisations > smart management of our environment and infrastructure > improved health and aged care > expanded online education > increased teleworking > improved online government service delivery and engagement > greater digital engagement in regional Australia.
The comprehensive transition of Australias economy and society to a digital economy is appropriately a market-led phenomenon. Maximising the benefit of the digital economy requires action by all levels of governments, industry and the community as a whole.