Four in ten small business owners say the National Broadband Network (NBN) will not help their business according to the latest State of the Nation Report (No. 14), launched today by Michele Levine, CEO of Roy Morgan Research.
Around three in ten owners do expect a benefit, with the rest still unsure about what the business benefits will be of the Federal Government’s $37.4 billion infrastructure project.
NBN attitudes may connect to general small business opinion of the Federal Government. Small businesses in NSW and Queensland are the harshest critics of the Federal Government’s performance at fostering a climate of business growth: 61% of small businesses in these States rate the government’s performance as ‘very poor’. These States also report the most scepticism of the NBN, with 43% not expecting any benefit.
Victorian and Tasmanian small businesses are the most likely to expect to benefit from the NBN (33%), with South and Western Australians least likely (24%).
Capital city small businesses are more positive about the future impact of the NBN than those in regional areas. Agriculture, Mining and Transport industry businesses are the least likely to expect a benefit to high-speed internet. However while almost half of small Mining businesses can’t see a benefit, 34% can—the highest positive reaction behind Professional Services, of whom 36% see some benefit.
As of December, 339,700 home, business or public premises have access to either fibre-to-the-premises, fixed wireless or satellite broadband.
However only 72,400 of these are the fibre connections which will ultimately reach 93% of Australian premises.
NBN Co expects fibre to be available to almost another 270,000 premises by mid-2013. The rollout plans to reach over another 3 million premises in the next two years, with completion by 2021 and recovery of costs by 2033.
Roy Morgan’s State of the Nation Report for Australia includes an extensive spotlight on Small Business attitudes and behaviours.
Businesses with fewer than 20 employees constitute 95.6% of Australian businesses and employ 47% of the workforce.
The spotlight covers demographic profiling of owners and operators, their attitudes to national and personal issues, business performance and outlook factors, finances and B2B relationships.
Michele Levine, Roy Morgan Research, says:
“Apart from providing almost half of all paid employment, small businesses generate competition, entrepreneurialism and creativity that can offset economic imbalances created by big business, government or international economic conditions.
“This State of the Nation report shows that small business is currently experiencing a modest recovery from a period of relatively low Business Confidence and overall performance from mid-2011 through to late 2012.
“Most Australian small businesses currently rate the Federal Government’s performance in fostering growth as very poor. The proportion in favour of the government’s performance has been quite low since the 2010 Federal Election.”
Roy Morgan Research
Roy Morgan Research is Australia’s best known and longest established market research and public opinion survey company. Roy Morgan Single Source is thorough, accurate, and provides comprehensive, directly applicable information about current and future customers. It is unique in that it directs all the questions to each individual from a base survey sample of around 55,000 interviews in Australia and 15,000 interviews in New Zealand annually - the largest Single Source databases in the world. The questions asked relate to lifestyle and attitudes, media consumption habits (including TV, radio, newspapers, magazines, cinema, catalogues, pay TV and the Internet), brand and product usage, purchase intentions, retail visitations, service provider preferences, financial information and recreation and leisure activities. This lead product is supported by a nationally networked, consultancy-orientated market research capability.
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