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IBM: Fast broadband to rake in $1 trillion for Australia by 2050

IBM: Fast broadband to rake in $1 trillion for Australia by 2050

Productivity and revenue gains to come from faster broadband speeds, according to new report

The availability of faster broadband in Australia has the potential to generate $1 trillion in revenue for the country by 2050, according to a report from IT vendor, IBM.

The A Snapshot of Australia’s Digital Future to 2050 report written by IBISWorld and commissioned by IBM, highlights Australia’s natural resources boom will pass in the next 30 years, making room for a “developed resources” economy.

The country will be known for exporting services such as tourism and business services with super-fast broadband will playing a crucial role.

IBISWorld classifies super-fast broadband as connections with download speeds of 100Mbps and above.

In forming in the base of our digital future, such high-speed broadband will boost productivity growth to 1.7 per cent and bring in more than $1 trillion by 2050, according to the report.

To put these figures into perspective, Australia’s productivity growth is currently at 0.6 per cent and brings in just $131 billion in revenue.

The report analysed the impact of broadband on 509 industries and found 10 per cent of them would not function without the “new utility” that is high-speed broadband. Around 17 per cent will use it to drive changes in their business and 70 per cent will reap productivity gains from it.

“Today, even with our present ‘pony express’ form of broadband, the value of the Internet to the Australian economy rivals iron-ore exports,” IBISWorld chairman, Phil Ruthven, said in the report.

He noted the rollout of superfast broadband has been in Australia was slow compared to other countries in the Asia-Pacific region but feels the National Broadband Network (NBN) will help catch up significantly.

Key beneficiaries of fast broadband include the health, retail, and mining sectors.

But the report predicts 15 industry classes risk becoming obsolete if they fail to reinvent themselves in the new digital economy. These include newspaper publishing, printed media wholesaling, and motion picture exhibition, though collectively they’re not huge contributors to the Australia economy.

Medium-sized businesses with revenue of $1 million to $100 million have the opportunity to thrive the most in Australia’s digital future. They will be able to take advantage outsourcing innovations, which results in lower demand for capital, provided by super-fast broadband.

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