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How the NBN is changing regional business

Mike Doman
Technology Journalist

Mike Doman is a technology, lifestyle, industrial and education writer

Mike Doman
Technology Journalist

Mike Doman is a technology, lifestyle, industrial and education writer

The NBN has been embraced by many communities across Australia, but huge benefits are being found by Australia’s regional businesses.

man operating laptop at till of his clothes store

Launceston-based Wanted Streetwear owner, Luke Dawson, has gone from knowing “nothing” about the NBN, to being one of its biggest advocates in the past 12 months. For Luke, the benefits go beyond faster speeds, and into cost-savings, new markets and a bright future online.

“One of the best things about the NBN is the room for growth. We’re no longer operating at our maximum with an out of date system. Instead we have room to grow with opportunities for new business that we don’t [fully] comprehend or understand yet,” said Dawson.

“The fact that we are regional and we’ve got a static population of less than 100,000 here in Launceston [means we’re] trying to reach as many people as we can with the products that we’ve got. That’s where our online store comes in.

“[Through the NBN] we’re selling products all over Australia, including the capital cities, which is really cool for a little old store in Tassie.”

Getting up to speed

A 2013 Australian Government Department of Communications report on the availability and quality of broadband showed that where regional areas in particular suffered was in the quality of services available. 

And for Telstra Country Wide Area General Manager, Southern NSW and ACT, Chris Taylor, the NBN represents a seismic shift, bringing significant opportunities to regional areas.

“For the first time, many regional areas have access to high speed broadband that is affordable.

“What the NBN is enabling small businesses to do, is market themselves to new areas, but also help customers further afield, and enable doing business with them remotely.

“A perfect example is a livestock yard that has access to high speed broadband, which allows them to be able to run remote auctions – people purchasing their stock from all parts of Australia and globally.”

A bright future

For Luke Dawson, the benefits are simpler, but no less valuable.

“If you’re waiting for downloads and uploads to finish then you’re basically wasting time, and time is money. If you’re standing there at your computer waiting for stuff to upload and download, it’s a very time consuming process.

“High definition video conferencing will be a huge advantage to people as the technology evolves and people start using it. Why drive 500 kilometres to a regional area when you could … do the same thing with video conferencing? I understand it will never replace the good old-fashioned face to face service, but it could complement it quite nicely”

“[And] affordability was another benefit. The price of my overall monthly plan actually decreased when switching to the NBN. After consolidating the number of phone lines into the business for fax, EFTPOS, security, and other purposes, and doing things a little bit smarter, we actually pay less now for our plan with a far superior product.”

For businesses looking to take advantage of technology in their operations, the first step is simple, according to Chris Taylor.

“Businesses should be looking at the opportunities in setting up to be scalable, not just in terms of hardware, but also using things like the cloud. The potential of the NBN is incredible – regional towns will see less propensity for businesses to struggle with setting up because they can market globally and take up the opportunities to scale.”

The NBN is already helping businesses evolve across Australia.

Read more about how the NBN can help your business.

Find Out MoreThe NBN is already helping businesses evolve across Australia.

Telstra services on the NBN are not available in all areas or to all businesses. Once you take up a service on the NBN, you can’t move back to Telstra services on the existing copper network. Check here to see if the NBN is available in your area.

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