Communications Minister Paul Fletcher outlines e-commerce opportunities for the channel

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Communications Minister Paul Fletcher outlines e-commerce opportunities for the channel
Paul Fletcher (Federal Minister of Communications)

Federal minister for communications, cyber security and the arts Paul Fletcher says the government has been monitoring a sharp jump in e-commerce activity through its oversight of Australia Post as he continued to emphasise the economy’s reliance on the NBN to weather the COVID-19 pandemic.

Fletcher revealed the finding in a video presentation for CRN's Pipeline Reconnected 2020 conference, covering a broad range of topics, including the government’s plans to stimulate 5G rollout, mobile spectrum management and its expectations for its newer +100Mbps fixed-line broadband services.

While most scrutiny of the NBN amid the pandemic has focused on the network’s resilience to the surge in demand for videoconferencing and entertainment streaming due to social distancing measures, Fletcher seemed keen to highlight the NBN's role supporting more traditional business activity.

“Through Australia Post, which sits within my portfolio and has the market leadership position for delivering parcels for e-commerce providers, we’ve seen some very, very sharp jumps in traffic over the past few months as a strong indicator of very high levels of e-commerce activity.

“I think we can expect as people’s behaviours have changed, as people get used to buying online, those higher levels are only going to be maintained,” Fletcher said.

Fletcher also revealed details of the government’s expectations around demand for home super-fast 250Mbps and home ultra-fast 1Gbps NBN services, take-up of which jumped sharply after wholesale pricing was announced in early June.

Fletcher said that super-fast 250Mbps service was available in 30 per cent of the fixed-line footprint and the ultra-fast 1Gbps in around 18 percent, with availability of both expected to grow.

Fletcher also shared the government’s insights into where it expects Australia’s 5G mobile network rollout to be within the next 12 months. The details can be found in the video.

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