The Australian government's decision to 'go it alone' and build the national broadband network (NBN) is great news. Australia desperately needs to improve its broadband services if citizens are to benefit from the evolving digital economy. As the recession bites, the need for an innovative approach to improving access to and speeds of broadband services is urgent. Handing billions of dollars to a single provider was always going to end in political strife. Now the government has an opportunity to build the NBN in a way which benefits citizens, rather than entrenching interests and adding another legacy to the already ailing system. But it is time the government considered a break from its 'business as usual' approach.