nbn added $1.2bn to economy in 2017
The recent publication of a report commissioned by nbn co into the economic benefits of the nbn rollout serves to address an element that was most missing from both the Labor and Liberal business cases for the network, according to telecoms expert Paul Budde.
nbn co commissioned AlphaBeta to prepare a report comparing the economic and social activity between those areas connected to the nbn to areas the rollout had not yet reached. The report was compiled based on information including the 2016 census.
The report found that five times as many new businesses were created in nbn regions in 2017.
In nbn regions, it is estimated that between 1900 and 5400 new business were created. If this rate of growth continues there will be between 30,000 and 80,000 new businesses created as a result of the nbn.
Likewise, the report found that the nbn generated an estimated $1.2 billion of additional economic activity in 2017. Meanwhile the financial and professional services industry alone achieved productivity gains worth around $260 million, with the health industry achieving gains of around $90 million.
By the end of the rollout, the nbn is expected to generate $10.4 billion in economic gains, which equates to a net present value of $122 billion. It is also expected to have helped create 31,000 additional jobs.
“I have consistently argued that the social and economic benefits would be far greater than the ROI... The report is a significant vindication that the nbn is indeed delivering social and economic benefits worth far more than the network’s commercial ROI rate,” Budde said.
“As these benefits never show up on the balance sheet of the operator it is important for the government to recognise these benefits and take them into account in relation to their own investment in the nbn.”
Budde added that it will be interesting to see how the government reacts to the new data.
“Will it finally stop blaming the previous government for the alleged ‘nbn disaster’ and start taking credit for the social and economic benefits the nbn is delivering now — and even more so in future, as the AlphaBeta data clearly shows?
“And will it now take these facts into account in relation to the next decision to upgrade the FTTN part of the nbn to a full-blown FTTP/FTTC network?”
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