Fast broadband makes business in rural, regional and remote Australia as efficient as their metropolitan-based counterparts.
By turbo boosting internet speeds, particularly in rural and regional areas, the nbn™ network has the potential to make it easier for businesses to access talent and resources from a wider pool, and offer their products and services to a global market.
IN:SIGHT spoke with nbn’s executive general manager, Business Segment, Ben Salmon, to find out how Australia’s regional businesses are set to benefit from high-speed broadband.
IN:SIGHT: What will be the impact of fast broadband in regional Australia?
nbn: We have made significant progress to try to bridge the digital divide and prioritise underserved areas across rural and remote Australia in the rollout with our fixed wireless and satellite technologies.
The ability to be able to remote video conference breaks down the need to commute, cloud computing means businesses are no longer constrained by location, and digital marketing means businesses can break international boundaries. For example, we have seen farmers able to market their produce online since connecting to the nbn™ satellite service, where previously they have had to rely solely on word-of-mouth.
Also, a new report by demographer Bernard Salt, commissioned by nbn, has found that city folk are gravitating towards the country to harness fast broadband and allow residents to better work from home, minimise commute times and increase their quality of living with flexible work hours.
With advancements in technology and universal connectivity, these “silicon suburbs” are becoming hotbeds of innovation, allowing young entrepreneurs to build international businesses in outer metropolitan towns such as Wollongong.
IN:SIGHT: What are the key benefits for small business?
nbn: Fast broadband can help businesses operate with greater speed and with more sophisticated technologies, enabling enhanced connectivity and collaboration. It also has the benefit of providing businesses with greater flexibility and access to global markets.
Whether customers are interacting with your business via a smartphone, a laptop at home or a PC at work, an online shopfront will, for many customers, be as important as your physical presence. The nbn™ network makes it possible for your shopfront to the world to load quickly, process transactions fast and take advantage of rich media such as video and images with minimal delays.
When it comes to attracting and retaining staff, the ability to telecommute (through high quality video conferencing) creates “virtual workforces” with staff who may be located in another town, city or state. Reliable, high quality video conferencing can replace the need to travel for meetings, and potentially negates the need for a city-based office.
For employees, the fact that staff can work from home, but still receive quality training online and participate socially in the workforce via video conferencing, is hugely attractive.
VoIP technology allows you to make calls and conduct virtual meetings via video conferencing and your business and staff are able to access the technology from anywhere in the world.
Finally, streamlining business processes is made possible with the nbn™ network in many ways. With high-speed broadband, many solutions that were once the reserve of big business – such as sophisticated software to manage marketing and customer relationships – are now accessible to any small business via cloud computing. Reliable video links between sites also opens up numerous efficiencies such as trouble-shooting problems at a remote office using web cameras, or consulting with a professional advisor in a nearby city.
With advancements in technology and universal connectivity, “silicon suburbs” are becoming hotbeds of innovation, allowing young entrepreneurs to build international businesses in outer metropolitan towns.– Ben Salmon, executive general manager, Business Segment, nbn
IN:SIGHT: What about enabling new cloud services?
nbn: The nbn™ network is going to be a key enabler for cloud services in Australia, allowing business to use new services online they couldn’t consistently access previously.
With access to customers, suppliers, staff and information at home as well as in the office, on any connected device, businesses have the freedom to work smarter and on the go.
There are various cloud-based tools for point-of-sale solutions and accounting software, for example, which can facilitate real-time collaboration and increase productivity.
IN:SIGHT: How will this help to contribute to the digital economy?
nbn: As small to medium online businesses are having a greater impact on the Australian economy, and demand for more efficient and reliable service increases, the nbn™ network is essential for supporting future economic and social growth. Advisory firm KPMG estimates that cloud computing over the nbn could increase the size of the Australian economy by $3.32 billion per annum within a decade.
IN:SIGHT: Where is the rollout at?
nbn: There are more than two million homes and businesses around the country that can already connect to the nbn™ network, with every Australian set to have access by 2020.
Telstra delivers complete, integrated ICT solutions to enable your business to harness the promise of Australia’s new broadband network.
Talk to your Telstra Account Executive and organise a migration planning workshop today.Find out more