Enriching lives through connectivity

4-minute read
How connectivity, including services over the nbn™ network, is helping enrich the lives of Australians and enabling them to do more of what they value most.

Life in the country can be fulfilling, and staying connected is now just as important as it is to those in the city.

Fortunately for the Partridge family from country New South Wales (NSW), they can now take advantage of fast broadband for work, fun and everything in between – including a growing ‘side hustle’ business.

Sarah, husband Shane and their two young children Zakk, 10, and Charlotte, 6, bought their house at Bomaderry on the NSW South Coast in December 2020 and couldn’t be happier.

Just as making the switch to life in the town locals affectionately refer to as ‘Bomo’ has turned out to be the right decision, so too has connecting to services over the nbn™ network.

Life in the country with the Partridge family

The experience of COVID-19 magnified the importance of broadband to the family.

“With the internet connection we used to have, online learning was really hard,” says Sarah.

Since switching to services over the nbn™ network at their new home, the family has basked in the benefits.*

They range from being able to stream entertainment content on multiple devices and completing essential daily tasks, such as email and online banking to working from home and collaborating online.

“Like a lot of families, all our entertainment is streamed, from watching movies to Shane and the kids playing games online, which is something we couldn’t really do very well before,” says Sarah.

Not to mention running her own side hustle – online clothing business, Charlie-Boo and Zakk, without interruptions.

“I’ve been working from home for six months and couldn’t have done it without fast internet, because everything is done online,” says Sarah, who also has a day job as an administrator in the aged care sector.

“I’ve been working from home for six months and couldn’t have done it without fast internet, because everything is done online.”
Sarah Partridge

Enriching lives

The Partridge family’s experience comes as new research commissioned by nbn reveals the extent to which access to the nbn™ network is helping to enrich the lives of Australians.

The report, The nbn effect: How the nbn™ network adds value to our lives, by consultancy firm Accenture, found that Australians continue to derive immense value from the internet, and that COVID-19 has amplified the nation’s reliance on services over the nbn™ network for essential tasks, entertainment and connection.

So much so, 88 per cent of all internet downloads (excluding downloads via mobile data) are performed via services over the nbn™ network.

Key findings revealed include:

  • Customers saved an average 170 hours in time and effort – equal to four working weeks a year – by performing essential tasks via services over the nbn™ network
  • Two out of three customers relied on services over the nbn™ network to stay in touch with loved ones during COVID-19
  • Remote working tools usage surged by 175 per cent
  • Telehealth usage jumped 45 per cent and online learning by 29 per cent as Australians adapted to a world turned on its head by the pandemic and increasingly communicated from home
  • Three in four users relied on services over the nbn™ network during COVID-19 to access entertainment, such as online gaming or for relaxation
  • nbn™ customers who enjoy gaming online say they expect to increase their time spent online gaming by up to 50 per cent per year to 2028

Our reliance on connectivity

The research reinforces how COVID-19 has amplified household reliance on connectivity, with an estimated 13 per cent of all nbn’s end customers upgrading their nbn™ powered plan from a service provider during the pandemic.

The most common reasons for this were to better support working from home, to stay connected with family and friends, and to access the internet across multiple devices simultaneously.

The essential role of broadband access today was underlined by the fact that five out of seven of the most important activities are essential tasks required for modern life, including email, web searching and internet banking.

The research results come as no surprise to Sarah Partridge.

“It’s not just the speed but the capability it gives us to do so many things.

“Having fast internet has definitely saved us.”

Brad Whitcomb, Chief Customer Officer at nbn, says the research highlights how the nbn™ network is now more embedded in everyday lives.

“We’re pleased that our customers have expressed that they see additional lifestyle value in the nbn™ powered plans they are purchasing from internet providers.

*nbn is very happy with the Partridge family’s experience with the nbn™ network. Of course, experiences may vary. Your experience, including the speeds actually achieved over the nbn™ network depends on the nbn™ access network technology and configuration over which services are delivered to your premises, whether you are using the internet during the busy period, and some factors outside nbn’s control like equipment quality, software, broadband plan, signal reception and how your service provider designs its network. Speeds may also be impacted by the number of concurrent users on the nbn™ Fixed Wireless network, including during busy periods. Sky Muster™ satellite end customers may also experience latency.

This report is the compilation of results from a Consumer sentiment survey of 2,420 respondents in March 2021. The analysis and data in this report was commissioned by NBN Co and prepared by Accenture on behalf of NBN Co.

Average calculated on the preceding three months; Mobile data remains an important means of connecting to the internet, however it has excluded from scope as this study focuses on consumer internet behaviour at home. SOURCES: ACCC Internet Activity Record Keeping Rule (RKR), as at Dec 20. Accenture analysis.