High-speed broadband is a utility infrastructure, as important to our economy as gas, electricity, water and transport networks. A recent report commissioned by Google, The Connected Continent, found that the Internet contributed 3.6 percent of Australia's GDP in 2010, equivalent to the value of iron-ore exports. Australia's Internet economy is expected to grow by $20 billion over the next five years.
Broadband has the potential to transform business and organisations across our economy through the development of innovative broadband applications that will help to drive efficiencies, and new service delivery models to reach customers.
Nevertheless, many businesses are not making use of high-speed broadband, and it has been reported that less than half of Australia's small and medium businesses have a website.
IBES researchers are investigating the barriers and potential of high-speed broadband for Australian business and not-for-profit sectors, along with informing future regulatory arrangements for industries as the operate within the digital economy.