Catalysing Regional Business Development Through High Speed Broadband: Opportunities and Risks



This chapter explores the effect of the National Broadband Network (NBN) rollout on regional businesses. Research conducted in Tasmania by Inovact Consulting on how regional businesses are responding to broadband access provides illustrations of these opportunities and challenges being played out in the context of an increasingly interconnected global economy. The first part of the chapter examines the opportunities and challenges that the rollout of the NBN presents to regional businesses. The research shows that broadband technology can increase internal efficiencies and harness business growth, grant geographically isolated businesses access to global supply chains and enable innovations that make entering the export market more viable. The second part of this chapter outlines the need for businesses to initially regard the access to high speed broadband as a shock to their operating environment, and to prepare a strategy that views its advent as having potentially disruptive effects. However, once a strategy is in place to preserve and stabilise the company, it can then adopt a forward-thinking strategy for optimal leveraging of opportunities in the digital economy.


Export Market Business Leader Global Supply Chain Regional Business Regional Industry 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Agreement between the Government and Mr. Tony Windsor MP, Member for New England and Mr. Robert Oakeshott MP, Member for Lynne, Australian Government, Statement of Expectations (Vol. 2), 20 Dec 2010Google Scholar
  2. Australian Government (2008a). The ACMA, Telecommunications Today Report 2: Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) Take-up and use of Telecommunications (Vol. 19).Google Scholar
  3. Australian Government (2008b). Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Fact sheet. Australia: Trading with the World. Available:
  4. Australian Government (2008c). Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Fact sheet. Regional Australia: Export Source and Investment Destination. Available:
  5. Australian Government (2011). Department of Broadband, Communications and the digital economy. In National Broadband Network: Progress Update August 2011. Available:
  6. Australian Industry Group (AIG) and Deloitte, National CEO Survey (2008). High speed broadband: Measuring industry demand for a world class service (Vol. 26). Sydney: AIG.Google Scholar
  7. Bowles, M and Wilson, P., Innovation and Business Skills Australia (2011). Impact of the digital economy and the national broadband network on skills (Vol. 2) Melbourne.Google Scholar
  8. Christensen, C., & Overdorf, M. (2000). Meeting the challenge of disruptive change. Harvard Business Review, 78(2), 66–76.Google Scholar
  9. Deloitte Access Economics (2011). The connected continent: How the internet is transforming the Australian economy (Vol. 2). SydneyGoogle Scholar
  10. Department for Information Technology and the Arts (1998); National Office for the Information Economy (2000); Multimedia Victoria (2002).Google Scholar
  11. Hawker Britton (2011). The National Broadband Network. Occasional Paper Series (Vol. 3). Available:
  12. Inovact Consulting (2011). New connections driving innovation and productivity: Opportunities for rural industry development from innovative use of broadband services. Available:
  13. MacGregor, R., & Vrazalic, L. (2006). Sector driven variations on e-commerce adoption barriers in regional small businesses: An Australian study Published in Innovations in Information Technology 2006, Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 19-21 November 2006, 1–5 (pp. 537–538). (Vol. 536).Google Scholar
  14. OECD (2011). Business innovation policies: Selected country comparisons. OECD Publishing (Vol. 52). Available:
  15. Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, Transcript of Joint Press Conference with Treasurer Wayne Swan, Minister for Finance Lindsay Tanner and Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Stephen Conroy, Parliament House, Canberra, 7 Apr 2009.Google Scholar
  16. Simon, C. (2011). Address to Regional Development Australia National Forum, Convention Centre Canberra. Available:
  17. The OECD’s 2008 Information Technology Outlook (published in January 2009) (p. 213).,3343,en_2649_33757_41892820_1_1_1_1,00.html.
  18. Thompson, H. (2003). Growing exports via online communities and regional web portals: A case study from the Central Highlands Region of Victoria. In A paper for the small enterprise association of Australia and New Zealand, 16th annual conference (Vol. 2) Australia University of Ballarat, Ballarat. Beveren’s publishing.Google Scholar
  19. Thompson, N., Hamshere, P., & Penm, J. (2011). Economic overview. Australian Commodities, 18(2), 12.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Inovact ConsultingCanberraAustralia

Personalised recommendations