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Small and medium businesses benefitting from greater connectivity

Greater access to fast broadband delivered by the National Broadband Network (NBN) is delivering a boost to Australian small to medium businesses, according to new research released today at an Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry event.

Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts, the Hon Paul Fletcher MP, welcomed the research by analytics firm AlphaBeta which shows the strong positive relationship between fast, reliable broadband connections and small business productivity.

“The report demonstrates a clear link between the NBN and take up of digital technologies in Australian small businesses, with a higher up-take of digital technologies in turn supporting more successful revenue growth and employment opportunities. This reinforces the importance of connectivity in a strong, stable economy,” Minister Fletcher said.

Broadband has become a near ubiquitous feature of small businesses, however, the research suggests that increased technology adoption by small businesses would help further improve their productivity and competitiveness.

Key findings from the report include:

  • The average internet speed available to small businesses has increased five-fold over a decade, from 5-12 Megabits per second (Mbps) in 2009 to an average of 30-50 Mbps on the NBN
  • Small businesses which spend more on technology increased their revenue 3.5 percentage points more than those businesses with lower technology spend
  • Small businesses in the top quartile of technology spending growth saw employment grow 5.2 percentage points more than those in the bottom quartile.

“These findings underscore the importance of the Liberal National Government's technology neutral approach to rolling out more reliable and affordable broadband services to Australians faster,” Minister Fletcher said.

“Over a period of six years, Labor spent $6 billion and connected barely 50,000 premises to the NBN fixed line network. Under the Morrison Government, NBN Co has recently surpassed six million connected premises. This turnaround has been critical to delivering better economic outcomes, particularly for small businesses, which account for 98 per cent of all businesses.”

More than 88 percent of Australians are now able to connect to NBN high-speed broadband, with the company remaining on track to complete its build phase next year.

The AlphaBeta report, commissioned by NBN Co, is available at: www.connectingaustralia.com.au

Media contact:

Brad Hatch | 0448 162 679 | Brad.Hatch [at] communications.gov.au
Rebecca Papillo | 0439 892 771 | Rebecca.Papillo [at] communications.gov.au