Small businesses don't see benefit in NBN: report

Almost two-thirds of small companies in NSW and Queensland rate the government's NBN performance as "very poor"

Forty per cent of small business owners believe the National Broadband Network (NBN) will not help their business, according to a Roy Morgan report.

The State of the Nation Report (No. 14) revealed just 30 per cent of owners expect a benefit from the high-speed broadband network, with remaining businesses unsure about what benefits the NBN will bring.

Small businesses in NSW and Queensland were the most critical of the NBN, with 61 per cent of companies in these states rating the government’s performance as ‘very poor’. Around 43 per cent of these small businesses believed there would not be any benefit from the NBN.

In Victoria and Tasmania, 33 per cent of small businesses expect a benefit from the NBN and just 24 per cent of small businesses in South Australia and Western Australia expect a benefit, with the vast majority of premises in WA and SA still without NBN connections.

Mike Quigley, chief executive at NBN Co, recently told a Senate Estimates hearing that NBN Co has not yet connected any premises to the NBN in Western Australia and the Northern Territory and only small number in South Australia, despite construction starting in some areas 19 months ago.

Small businesses in capital cities are more likely to be positive about the impacts of the NBN, according to the report, with agriculture, mining and transport industry businesses the least likely to expect a benefit.

“Most Australian small businesses currently rate the Federal Government’s performance in fostering growth as very poor. The proportion in favour of the government’s performance has been quite low since the 2010 federal election,” Michele Levine, Roy Morgan research, said in a statement.

The report comes amid claims the NBN will bring economic and social benefits, particularly for residents and businesses in regional and rural areas.

Mark Kelleher, who was previously on the board of NBN Tasmania and is now secretary of the Department of Economic Development, Tourism and the Arts in Tasmania, believes there are several opportunities opening up for businesses in Tasmania, with the state the first to be fully connected to the NBN by the end of 2015.

However, David Bartlett, former Tasmanian premier, has said businesses aren’t ready for the opportunities the NBN will bring.

NBN Co is targeting 286,000 premises passed by June this year.

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Mark Elliott


It may not be immediately obvious to small businesses what benefits the NBN might bring. I wrote a article on this very topic.

Alexander Robertson


its 40% not 43%



Sounds like a small amount imho, not even 50%.



Not at all surprising that tradespeople, cafe owners, taxi drivers and a myriad of other small business owners don't see that they will directly benefit from either they or their customers having a faster internet connection. To say that over 50% of small business believe they will directly benefit from the NBN actually seems a surprisingly large figure.

Many benefits will seem intangible at first as the NBN is all about the underlying infrastructure for our telephony and related services for decades to come... It's alot more than just faster internet.



Sounds like some businesses are understandably misinformed; there has not been much information made available to SMBs that outlines the benefits of the NBN in a non-technical language. The NBN will allow any small business that has an office to effectively utilize cloud services. This means they could the delay the purchase of an on-premise server + all the IT support and maintenance costs that come with it, and rely on cloud services for backup, file sharing, email services and collaboration. Many of these services are free or very inexpensive.

Source: I'm a IT business analyst advising small-medium businesses

Gary Gould


I support Paul's comment. The vast majority of small business's and many medium size also, not only cant see a benefit but wont use it or wish to pay for it. Whilst many new services like cloud etc will be available many have absolutely no need, ADSL2+ is more than adequate for them. The number of small business's that do not have any broadband fixed services at all is much greater than people realise. Some just use wireless services.

Abel Adamski


True in some ways at this time and maybe for the next few years, but this is built for many decades and what will the view be by the time it is finished. ?

The black Spots and poorly or not served areas were provisioned for the perceived needs at the time with cost of provisioning being the important factor. Here we go again with the bean counters screwing our future economy.

Guess a lot of people that have been flooded or been victims of crime or fire etc may wish they had used cloud services to store their important business and personal data, records and media.

Abel Adamski



The rest of you peasants can eat cake and use carrier pigeons(if you haven't had to eat them)

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