Communications: Broadband Productivity

Over the past decade the rollout of the National Broadband Network (NBN) and the deployment of extensive 4G and 5G mobile networks has increased access to high-speed broadband services right across Australia. The rapid change in broadband has seen households and firms take up internet services that are faster and of a much higher quality than ever before.

The Bureau of Communications Arts and Regional Research (BCARR) undertakes research projects to examine the economic and productivity benefits from improved broadband in Australia.

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The most recent research by explores the link between broadband and productivity growth at the individual business (or firm) level. It shows that there is generally a positive relationship between businesses switching from DSL to fibre/cable-based broadband and improvements to their productivity. This relationship is strongest in the year immediately after switching to high-speed broadband. More generally, the study finds that high speed broadband tends to have a positive relationship with productivity growth.


In 2021 the BCARR published research looking at the economic impact of widespread high-speed broadband for particular sectors, focussing on the agriculture sector.