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The $4 billion boost: Connected small businesses set to make big GDP impact

Research from University of Melbourne finds the nbn™ network rollout will support SMBs to help boost Australian GDP. 

Connected small businesses will contribute an additional $4 billion to the Australian GDP each year following the completion of the nbn™ network rollout, a research by the University of Melbourne has found.

The Economic Benefit of the National Broadband Network report finds that access to the nbn™ network will open up new opportunities for small business owners and will transform the way they interact with suppliers and customers.

In particular, the growth of e-commerce and the availability of Cloud services will be the major drivers of business efficiencies, and will become essential in helping increase productivity, lower costs and improve customer service.

New technologies to drive efficiency

KPMG demographer Bernard Salt says new technologies will help Australian businesses tap into new markets and increase day-to-day operational efficiencies - from sourcing products, to electronic payments, to reaching new audiences.

“Australian businesses are adaptable and resilient – we readily embrace new ideas, new technologies and new ways of working. Access to the nbn™ network will open up opportunities for small business owners in our growing digital services driven economy," Salt says.

"Whether you’re an online craft business able to source and sell products more efficiently or a tradie now able to process payments on-the-go, e-commerce will allow Australian businesses to access new markets, no matter where they operate.”

The report also discussed two key service elements that directly affect small and medium enterprises:

1) Cloud computing

Cloud computing refers to using a network of remote servers hosted on the internet to store, manage, and process data, rather than a a personal computer or another piece of hardware like a USB, or a hard drive.

As businesses embrace Cloud computing, they will be able to cut costs significantly, improve cash flow and increase efficiencies. 

2) Electronic commerce 

Electronic commerce or e-commerce, refers to any commercial transaction conducted electronically on the internet.

This will give SMBs the opportunity to transform the way they interact with suppliers and, ultimately, with their customers, to help deliver greater productivity, lower costs and better service.

Access to fast broadband via the nbn™ network will help open up a number of opportunities for local small business owners.

For regional Australian businesses, it has the benefit of providing flexibility and access to global markets.

Other benefits include:

•  Seamless connectivity with employees, suppliers and partners both in Australia and around the world

•  Fast access to cloud computing services and analytics

•  Great access to e-commerce services

•  Access to a global client and customer database

•  Faster speeds means more opportunities for business efficiency and happy customers

•  Opportunities to improve processes and reach new markets

•  Gives business owners the confidence to expand online

Research performed at the Centre for Energy-Efficient Telecommunications (CEET) at the University of Melbourne.  For a detailed summary of the research, see the CEET White Paper Economic Benefit of the National Broadband Network, available at In this press release, the emphasis is specifically on the benefits from e-commerce and cloud computing for small and medium enterprises.

Your experience including the speeds actually achieved over the nbn™ network depends on the technology over which services are delivered to your premises and some factors outside our control like your equipment quality, software, broadband plans and how your service provider designs its network.

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