Australian business leaders demand faster broadband: survey

A survey of business leaders by the Australian Industry Group and Deloitte found nearly three quarters of companies want a faster national broadband network.The survey of 526 chief executives indicates demand is greatest in regional areas with reliability and pricing identified as the most important elements of the proposed new national broadband network.The survey, High Speed to Broadband: Measuring Industry Demand for a World Class Service, also found two-thirds of executives believe their businesses will benefit from faster broadband while over a third of businesses expecting it to lead to large increases in financial activity, and a further 45 percent expecting small increases.”This technology will make a critical contribution to lifting productivity at a time when Australia’s productivity performance is lagging. Investment in this technology is not important for its own sake. It is because the technology has the potential to transform the way Australian business works, with all the associated productivity benefits,” Ai Group Chief Executive, Heather Ridout said.Among the findings:

  • over 93% of companies indicated that the internet has had a positive impact on their efficiency/productivity
  • 66% of businesses believe their business will benefit greatly from faster broadband
  • 69.7% of regional firms would see a great benefit from faster broadband
  • faster broadband is expected to lead to large increases in financial activity for 36% of businesses, with a further 45.1% of companies expecting small increases
  • 29.6% of small firms indicated they have a low degree of skills which would prevent them seizing opportunities arising from the deployment of high speed broadband
  • 73.5% indicated that they were likely to upgrade to high speed broadband, if available
  • reliability of service was the dominant factor influencing the extent of uptake.

A quarter of all companies indicated a willingness to pay a premium price for access to higher speed broadband.A news release, Better faster Broadband vital to boost competitiveness, from Ai Group Chief is available from www.aigroup.asn.au/scripts/cgiip.exe/WService=aigroup/ccms.r?PageId=4569.To download the survey, High Speed to Broadband: Measuring industry demand for a world class service, see pdf.aigroup.asn.au/publications/reports/general_reports/7122_CEO_Broadband_web.pdf.To read more media coverage on the survey, see www.australianit.news.com.au/story/0,25197,24530113-15306,00.html, www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2008/10/21/2397063.htm and computerworld.com.au/index.php/id;1587683187.

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