News | December 16, 2010

Australian Minister For Broadband, Communications And The Digital Economy Named 2011 OSA Advocate Of Optics

The Optical Society (OSA) recently announced it has chosen Senator Stephen Conroy of Australia as its 2011 Advocate of Optics. Conroy, who serves as Australia's Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, was chosen for his extraordinary work and dedication in championing a National Broadband Network (NBN) for Australia that will establish fiber optic communications directly to 93 percent of Australian homes, schools and businesses.

"Minister Conroy has worked tirelessly to establish the NBN, which promises to stimulate the optical communications industry in Australia," said OSA President James C. Wyant. "We are pleased to recognize his efforts as an international advocate for the science of light and look forward to presenting him with the recognition in 2011."

Conroy is the chief proponent of the NBN, an Australian government initiative that will deliver much faster broadband to nearly all Australians by several orders of magnitude. The NBN will achieve 100 megabits per second speeds through an infrastructure program involving the laying of fiber optic cabling to 93 percent of Australian households, schools and businesses. The remaining premises will be connected via a combination of next generation high-speed wireless and satellite technologies delivering broadband speeds of 12 megabits per second or more. It is the largest infrastructure project undertaken by the Australian government—an investment up to A$43B (US$43B) over eight years. This project will provide a stimulus to the Australian optical communications industry, which has recently been revitalized.

To be recognized as an OSA Advocate of Optics, a public official must have a record consistent with his or her support of science, optics and photonics and be an enthusiastic advocate for science policy issues, with particular regard to the advancement of the science of light.

Conroy has been invited to receive the award at the OSA-sponsored Pacific Rim Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics/International Quantum Electronics taking place at the Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre in August 2011.

About OSA
Uniting more than 106,000 professionals from 134 countries, the Optical Society (OSA) brings together the global optics community through its programs and initiatives. Since 1916 OSA has worked to advance the common interests of the field, providing educational resources to the scientists, engineers and business leaders who work in the field by promoting the science of light and the advanced technologies made possible by optics and photonics. OSA publications, events, technical groups and programs foster optics knowledge and scientific collaboration among all those with an interest in optics and photonics. For more information, visit

SOURCE: The Optical Society (OSA)