NBN will help business, Australian companies believe

Australian companies expect the National Broadband Network (NBN) will transform their business and help them compete better, according to a survey.

The report, conducted by Access Economics and commissioned by Macquarie Telecom, found just over half of all respondents expect the NBN would allow them to compete better, through new technology or the enhancement of existing technologies.

David Tudehope, chief executive for Macquarie Telecom, said: "With a superfast broadband network such as the NBN, Australia has the potential to be a truly global player.

"Rolling out the NBN will not only help create a strong future for Australian businesses and provide a platform for economic growth, but will also stimulate new skills and job opportunities unrestricted by geographic location."

The survey attracted responses from 550 firms, with 55% expecting the super-fast broadband speeds will enhance their online capabilities, while 50% expect to improve their business with new products and services.

A further 67% believe the NBN will bring more diverse ways of communicating with customers and suppliers, and 20% predict an increase in telecommuting.

According to a 2009 study for the OECD, extending broadband networks can have a positive effect on the economy. A 10 percentage point increase in broadband penetration increases growth in GDP by 1.2 percentage points, the research showed.

The NBN is being rolled out across Australia in stages, with some towns in Tasmania already connected. Fibre optic broadband is available in some areas of Australia through some providers, including Point Cook in Victoria.