Making Connections: considering the impact of high speed broadband in the Northern Rivers

Making Connections

In 2011, RDA-NR commissioned a survey of ‘critical industries’ i.e. those who are currently high-end users, and those likely to be early adopters of high-speed broadband.

The survey was intended to:

  • align the region’s broadband needs, demands and opportunities to key growth sectors
  • develop a clear position and business case for broadband investment
  • position our key industries to maximise the benefits of access to infrastructure and new technology

The online survey was undertaken by the AEC Group, and focused on the region’s Creative Industries, Health and Aged Care, Education and Financial sectors. These are strong growth sectors in the region, with potential to maximise growth through new technologies and ICT infrastructure.

Key Findings:

  • Nearly all the businesses surveyed  use the internet for correspondence by email (99%), research and information gathering (99%) and banking (85%).
  • While 94% placed orders via the internet, only 62% received orders from their customers online.
  • 80% of businesses surveyed had a website, which is twice the national average across all businesses (Source ABC, 2010).
  • Nearly all of the businesses with a website offer information about their business (98.2%) and a most also include information about their goods and services (87.2%).
  • The creative industries are more optimistic than those in the other sectors that high speed broadband will improve their productivity (78%), revenue (52%) and profitability (55%).
  • Those in education are the most positive that high speed broadband will enable them to increase their product and business differentiation (48%) with increased cost control (34%) an added bonus.
  • Nearly three quarters of all businesses surveyed are using ADSL or ADSL2+, but one in two (49.8%) experienced internet problems in the last year, ranging from slow speeds (76%), connection drop outs (73%) and insufficient download/upload bandwidth (48%).
  • The majority of respondents are eagerly anticipating the arrival of the NBN and would appreciate more information from the Government on how to optimise high speed broadband technology to support their business.

Documents and Resources

Launch event

The report was launched by RDA-NR Chairman Dr Ian Tiley at Kyogle Bowling Cub on Friday 27 April 2012.

  • Download a copy of RDA-NR CEO Katrina Luckie’s key findings presentation.
  • Joe Dennis, NBN Co’s Stakeholder Relations Adviser also gave a presentation at the launch about the roll out of the NBN. Download a copy of his presentation –

This survey and report was supported by NSW Trade & Investment, Regional Infrastructure & Services.

Images courtesy of and Copyright NBN Co 2012