Why does digital infrastructure matter?

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Just as power, water and roads infrastructure enable us to go about our everyday lives, digital equipment and systems are core to our everyday lives – they help make sense of the vast amount of data we are faced with.

The most obvious face of digital infrastructure is having reliable and fit–for-purpose mobile and fixed phone and broadband services. Without this, we could not access the digital services we use every day like banking, healthcare, entertainment, and communicating with family, friends and at work.

Digital infrastructure also includes location-based technologies, such as GPS, which are increasingly driving the development of new products and services around the world. The applications of GPS technology are much greater than just navigating from A to B or identifying which road you are on. Advances in location-based technology are needed to support emerging applications that require highly precise location information including automated vehicles and drones.

In regional areas, improved broadband services and location-based technology is supporting innovation in the farming, construction and mining industries. Digital infrastructure is also critical for delivery of services to remote areas.

In urban and regional cities, new technologies are being used to improve the efficiency, sustainability and services of infrastructure networks from transport to energy services.

Building enabling physical infrastructure requires significant upfront and ongoing investment to maintain and upgrade. This is seen with power and road networks and the same is true for communications, satellite and high-power computing infrastructure. It is crucial that regulatory drivers incentivise well-targeted investment that is able to respond to changing business and community needs.