NBN Australia chose Broadband World Forum as the stage to share the international release of its "Connecting Australia" report, a long-awaited look at the impact of the taxpayer-funded broadband network on the nation.
The impact: Positive, according to the keynote presentation of "Connecting Australia 2018" findings by JB Rousselot, chief network and operations officer at NBN.
"The Connecting Australia report found that Australia is expected to move from the bottom ten OECD countries in 2012 to the top ten OECD countries in terms of Internet access equality by 2021. That is a great base to start from and we look forward to reaching that destination," Rousselot said. Founded in 1961, OECD -- or the 35 countriesOrganization for Economic Co-operation and Development -- is a group of 35 countries including Australia, the US, Japan and most of Europe.
Broadband Empowers People
Regardless of how operators connect subscribers to broadband, NBN's latest "Connecting Australia" report shows the financial, social and educational benefits access delivers, said JB Rousselot, chief Network & Operations officer at NBN, during a Broadband World Forum keynote today. (Photo: Niall Hunt)
Looking at census data from 24 million Australians, as well as from 10 million households across 2,000 regions, combined with a survey by Ipsos of 3,500 individuals, NBN "is closing the digital divide," Rousselot said, citing the report.
"The research shows that the rollout of the NBN network is helping to have a real impact on the lives of Australians and suggests that we are helping to deliver what we set out to do," he noted.
The findings show that NBN users are twice as likely to enroll in online education than non-NBN users. In NBN regions, business growth was 0.8% higher than non-NBN areas; in those regions, growth of self-employed women was 2.2% higher than comparable non-NBN areas, the report found.
Health and wellbeing also are affected, Rousselot explained. NBN users are 1.3 times as likely to have an Internet-connected device, such as a FitBit, 1.3 times more likely to own a smart device and 1.4 times more likely to socialize using the Internet (and many studies indicate the dangers of being alone, too long, and its damage to people's health).
Overall, Rousellot said he was pleased that the return on investment was bearing fruit. NBN's rollout added AUS$1.2 billion (US$850 million) to the economy and at least 2,900 jobs, he said.
"The even better news is that the benefits to Australians are expected to get larger as we connect more people," Rousselot concluded. The report predicts that by 2021 the broadband infrastructure deployment will have added AUS$10.4 billion (US$7.36 billion) to the economy and 31,000 jobs.
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