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. This increased uptake aligns with the government’s strategic goal for the NBN to ‘foster productivity and provide a platform for innovation in order to deliver economic and social benefits for all Australians.’
The Bureau of Communications Arts and Regional Research (BCARR) is undertaking a series of research projects to examine the economic and productivity benefits from improved broadband in Australia. The research projects will fall under two main categories:
- the economic and productivity benefits from access to ubiquitous high-speed broadband for particular sectors within the Australian economy, and
- the economic and productivity benefits of broadband across the broader Australian economy.
The research will focus on the benefits to firms from improvements in broadband. Specifically, the research aims to help understand:
- the benefits enabled by broadband networks, including the NBN, and how these benefits are accruing to different parts of the economy
- how changes in broadband adoption and speed could be expected to impact on the total benefit enabled by broadband (based on international experiences)
- the ways that broadband services are enabling innovation and driving structural change in the economy and business practices, and
- the economic impact of access to ubiquitous, high-speed broadband for particular sectors.