Wednesday, 23 September 2020 15:22

NBN build to bring major jobs boost to economy Featured

NBN Co CEO Stephen Rue NBN Co CEO Stephen Rue

The building of the National Broadband Network will create a total of 25,000 jobs across the economy in two years, including almost 10,000 in regional Australia, according to newly released economic impact analysis.

And in addition up to 12,000 new businesses are expected to be created due to the availability of faster Internet across the country, with regional businesses benefitting particularly from cost-effective, business-grade fibre services in new Business Fibre Zones.

NBN Co CEO Stephen Rue referred to the jobs boost estimates by consulting firm AlphaBeta outlining the benefits of the network to national productivity, when delivering the company’s corporate plan and the latest report on network progress at a briefing on Wednesday.

"Economics firm AlphaBeta has calculated that this network investment plan will deliver an estimated incremental 25,000 new jobs over the next two years and an estimated $6.4 billion in additional GDP, annually, from 2024," Rue said.

"Rural and regional Australia will also greatly benefit from these investments with an estimated $1.5 billion in economic activity and the creation of an additional 2,800
businesses and 10,000 jobs, expected to flow to the region."

According to the AlphaBeta report, the investment in the NBN is a significant opportunitry for Australia, with the build creating jobs in a range of industries including construction, professional services, retail and wholesale trade.

“Overall, our analysis shows the network investment plan to be a high-impact and timely stimulus measure as Australia recovers from the economic impact of COVID-19,” AlphaBeta says.

“By investing in faster, world leading broadband infrastructure, Australia can improve its global competitiveness, laying the foundations for future economic success.”

Rue said the NBN was playing an important role in reinvigorating rural areas as the company continues to lift digital capability across Australia - with the corporate plan “representing a new phase in NBN history”.

"The final piece of our $4.5 billion network investment plan is the establishment of a $300m co-investment fund. This fund will be used to co-invest with governments and local councils to continue to improve broadband services for Australia’s rural and regional communities where the economic promise of enhanced digital capability can boost job prospects and help reinvigorate regions that need it most," Rue noted.

"This means the company can work with local governments to identify priority areas or readily engage with established funding programs targeted at improving connectivity in regional Australia.

"So together, the initiatives outlined in this $4.5 billion network investment plan will have a real and positive impact on the landscape of Australia’s retail and business telecommunications services and the digital capability of the nation.

"These investments will not only enhance the capability of nbn's network, they will provide the digital pathways for new opportunities that businesses and individuals will
increasingly look for as we work together to recover from the social and economic dislocation brought on by COVID-19.

As reported by iTWire, NBN Co also announced in a statement earlier today that it will spend up to $700 million on creating 240 Business Fibre Zones, including a presence in 85 regional centres, and has set aside $50 million over three years to work with local councils and state and territory administrations to locate areas that need business-grade services outside the fibre zones.

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham - retired and is a "volunteer" writer for iTWire. He is a veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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