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

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1 Making connections: considering the impact of high speed broadband in the Northern Rivers CRITICAL INDUSTRIES SURVEY REPORT

2 Level 3 Rous Water Building 218 Molesworth St PO Box 146 LISMORE NSW 2480 ph: fax: web: Survey undertaken by Regional Development Australia Northern Rivers April 2012 Photos used on the cover and throughout this document are courtesy of NBN Co and Copyright 2012 NBN Co Limited RDA Northern Rivers would like to acknowledge the efforts and contributions of Christine Pauling, the Project Coordinator for this report, and the support of Katrina Luckie and Geof Webb for researching and writing the final report. We would also like to thank the steering committee members Trevor Wilson and Craig Jenkins of NSW Trade and Investment for their expertise and assistance. Finally, we acknowledge the businesses of the Northern Rivers who gave their time to complete the survey. Disclaimer This material is made available by RDA Northern Rivers on the understanding that users exercise their own skill and care with respect to its use. Any representation, statement, opinion or advice expressed or implied in this publication is made in good faith. RDA Northern Rivers is not liable to any person or entity taking or not taking action in respect of any representation, statement, opinion or advice referred to above. This report was produced by RDA Northern Rivers and does not necessarily represent the view so of the Australian or New South Wales Governments, their officers, employees or agents. Regional Development Australia Committees are:

3 Table of Contents BACKGROUND... 1 Survey Objectives... 2 Methodology... 2 KEY FINDINGS... 2 Current internet use... 2 Barriers to internet use... 3 Future internet use... 3 Business profile... 4 CURRENT INTERNET USE... 5 Types of internet connection... 5 Speed of internet connection... 6 Deciding factors in choosing type of internet connection... 7 Price of internet connection... 8 Paying a higher price for faster internet... 9 Using the full potential of the internet... 9 Opportunities for collaboration Internet use in business Internet use for Government correspondence Business websites Orders placed and received via internet How orders were received Turnover attributable to the internet Sales outside Australia via the internet BARRIERS TO INTERNET USE Internet connection issues Types of internet connection issues Barriers to using the internet to its full potential Government assistance to attain better value FUTURE INTERNET USE Operation improvements via HSB Internet usage improvements via HSB Benefits related to improvements from HSB Subscription and installation THE SOCIO-ECONOMIC BENEFITS OF HIGH SPEED BROADBAND Economic benefits Social benefits GLOBAL BROADBAND TRENDS NATIONAL BROADBAND TRENDS e-commerce: Australian businesses use of the internet for placing and receiving orders Australian businesses internet revenue Australian businesses website features Regional Development Australia Northern Rivers iii

4 Australian businesses internet activities Australian businesses internet security incidents or breaches BUSINESS PROFILE OF SURVEY RESPONDENTS Primary business activity Length of time in operation /2010 business turnover Full-time and part-time staff Staffing allocation Business location Location Changes in business Changes in use of technology Equipment status SUMMARY & IMPLICATIONS REFERENCES ABBREVIATIONS DEFINITIONS iv Making Connections: considering the impact of high speed broadband

5 BACKGROUND The roll-out of the high speed broadband (HSB) and the National Broadband Network (NBN) has the potential to significantly alter the way Australians work, live and play. In order to better support the strategic regional economic development initiatives in the Northern Rivers Regional Plan (RDA-NR 2011), NSW Government Regional Business Growth Plan (Industry and Investment NSW 2010) and the Regional Industry and Economic Plan (SGS Economics and Planning 2009) there is a need to better understand the region s broadband capacity and capabilities. In 2011, Regional Development Australia Northern Rivers NSW (RDA-NR), with funding from NSW Government, commissioned the AEC Group to identify how HSB might better support growth within the Northern Rivers region through an increased understanding of the area s broadband barriers, capacity and capabilities. Different industries within an economy will respond to HSB and the NBN in different ways and to different degrees. This initial survey focused on the region s,, and Financial sectors, as these are strong growth sectors in the region with the potential to strengthen and grow using new technologies and information and communications technology (ICT) infrastructure. In particular, these sectors are likely to be high end users of HSB and are potential early adopters. The sector provides a host of opportunities to stimulate employment, economic growth and healthy communities in the context of rapid population growth. To date, anecdotal feedback indicates that growth in this sector is inhibited by lack of access to affordable broadband services as much of the work in this sector requires internet service providers (ISPs) to have high speed backhaul (i.e. their connection to the web) not just faster downloads for end users. providers need to address issues relating to access to primary and acute care and to specialist services. For example, HSB access via video conferencing services might be better than physically travelling long distances. It is projected that people 65 years and older will form 30% of our region s population by 2036 compared to 21% for the rest of the State. Access to broadband services will enable health care providers to support those who have chronic medical conditions more effectively. Telehealth services could be used to monitor the needs of at home patients (e.g. monitoring health and wellbeing indicators such as blood pressure, glucose levels and lung functions). These services also enable patients to communicate with their healthcare providers via high quality video conferencing. providers in the Northern Rivers need access to broadband services if they are to provide greater flexibility for students undertaking tertiary studies who live in remote areas and/or who need to study remotely because of work or family commitments; or for export delivery of educational products. The Financial Services sector has a range of needs to support its clients, as the digital economy is central to the product and service delivery models. This is especially critical for locally-based providers as they compete with the major banks. While data exists about the nature of each of these sectors in the regional economy, to date there has been a lack of information about regional broadband needs, current demand, gaps and impacts on current business operations and performance. Although there has been significant anecdotal information regarding issues and opportunities, more detailed market information is required for the region to identify how to respond to the planned national high speed broadband investment. Regional Development Australia Northern Rivers 1

6 Survey Objectives This survey of critical industries was undertaken to: Establish a baseline of information regarding the current (2011) and potential future usage of broadband and the internet in the Northern Rivers region within these key industry sectors and to help establish the overall demand for broadband services. Align the region s broadband needs, demands and opportunities to the identified key growth sectors of the regional economy and position key industries to optimise the potential benefits of access to infrastructure and new technology. Provide baseline data to inform further work, including a Regional Digital Economy Strategy. Methodology The study involved an initial set of targeted telephone interviews with 12 key stakeholders in the identified four key industry sectors. These represented high end users, early adopters or significant businesses in the sectors to scope the key questions and considerations to be included in the survey. A pilot survey was conducted during May 2011 and an online web portal captured survey respondents from 1 June to 2 September Surveys were completed via a web portal on AEC Group s market research server. The survey was branded and promoted by RDA-NR and its partners. A total of 277 surveys were received from businesses, 87.1% of which are based in the Northern Rivers region. Based on a total business count of 2,979 (within the identified industries in the Northern Rivers), the sample yields a confidence interval of +/- 5.61% based on a 95% confidence level. Due to insufficient sample size, the trends for the finance sector could not be examined individually; however, the other identified sectors yielded a suitable sample to examine detailed business characteristics for these industries. Due to promotion by supporting partners such as the Mid-North Coast Division of General Practice, which covers the Mid-North Coast region, some survey respondents were external to the Northern Rivers region. KEY FINDINGS Current internet use ADSL is the most common type of internet connection in use by businesses. 38.6% are using ADSL and 35.4% are using ADSL2+. The primary consideration in choosing the type of internet connection is the availability in the business location (64.6%) and the connection speed (63.5%). A noticeably higher proportion from the education sector report that compatibility with businesses existing technology plays an important part in the decision-making process. Interestingly, many businesses are unaware of their internet connection speed (41.1%). Most businesses indicated their choice of internet service was extremely limited due to their location. Many resorted to purchasing several forms of internet in order to meet their business needs. The price paid for internet services range from $40-$80 per month for many businesses (41.1 %). The price of internet connection correlates with the speed of the connection as businesses pay a higher price for faster speeds. Most respondents to telephone interviews were unhappy with the cost of the internet available to them. Can t wait for high speed broadband Verbatim Industry: Health care (General Practice) Location: Byron Bay 2 Making Connections: considering the impact of high speed broadband

7 Barriers to internet use Half (49.8%) of businesses encounter internet connection issues. Generally speaking, businesses in the health and aged care sectors are using the internet the least, resulting in them experiencing the fewest internet connection issues. Most frequently mentioned issues with internet connection relate to: slow speed (76.1%); internet dropping out (73.2%); insufficient download / upload bandwidth (47.8%); and costs (30.4%). in isolated rural areas requires the same speed as metropolitan areas. Equity issue Verbatim Industry: (K-12) Location: Bonalbo More businesses in creative industries than the other sectors face issues with insufficient downloads, which might be attributed to their use of the internet to transfer large files. In general, a majority of businesses find internet speed to be a key barrier to using the internet to its full potential. Just more than three-quarters (75.8%)of businesses feel that reducing the cost of the internet is the foremost way the Government can assist businesses in attaining better value from the internet. Additional assistance they would value include: greater understanding / knowledge of opportunity (28.9%); and information / training sessions (28.1%). Future internet use Just more than half (50.5%) indicate HSB will significantly improve their business operations and an additional 24.5% expect their operations will improve. A weighted average (WA) result of 3.9 indicates businesses expect HSB to improve business operations. in education (WA 4.3) and creative industries (WA 4.3) are most optimistic of HSB improving business operations, while those in the health and aged care are neutral towards improvement to business operations from HSB (WA 3.6). Aspects of business most likely to benefit from high speed broadband include: research / information gathering (71.1%); transferring large files (66.1%); and education and training (60.6%). While the creative industries are optimistic of improvements to large file transfers, businesses in the education sector feel the greatest benefits will be to education and training. Eagerly awaiting its introduction. Verbatim Industry: Home Modifications and Maintenance Location: Byron Bay Productivity is most likely to benefit from HSB and businesses forecast an increase of 34.2%. Three quarters of creative industries businesses expect an increase of 43.2% in productivity, and revenue increases of 58.2%. 42.6% believe an impact on profitability will result, by an average increase of 36.1% The creative industries and education sectors expect the largest benefits in profitability. Cost control is seen as least likely to benefit from HSB with an increase of 24.5%. A vast majority of businesses would subscribe to HSB if it was available at an affordable price (81.9%) and of those, 64.8% would also authorise NBN Co to install fibre optic cables on their business premises. Regional Development Australia Northern Rivers 3

8 Business profile As the survey was targeted at a four key industry sectors, these are the highest represented industries in the survey, with 35.4% of businesses in health and aged care, 21.3% education and creative 20.9% industries. Most businesses have been long-established with 68.7% in operation for more than a decade. Almost one third of businesses (31.0%) reported 2009/2010 financial year turnover of more than $1 million. 29.6% of businesses are owner-operated and do not employ any staff. with less than five staff are more likely to have full-time staff. A higher proportion of part-time staff was employed by businesses with more than five employees. Almost one third employ managers and professionals within the businesses (32.6%). in the financial services (37.2%) are the most likely to employ managers and professionals, followed by creative industries (37.0%). The highest percentage of technicians and associate professionals are employed by businesses in the information media and telecommunications services (35.3%). Looking forward to the connection. Verbatim Industry: Commercial Printing, Offset and Digital Location: Brunswick Heads While a higher number of businesses operate from single premises (58.5%), a substantial number have multiple outlets (41.5%). In the last financial year most businesses saw increases in productivity (47.3%) and total sales of goods and services (44.4%). Nearly half of businesses in the education sector (49.2%) experienced an increase in market share, while 38% of businesses in other sectors reported an increase. Generally, all aspects of business either increased or remained the same for businesses in the health and aged care industries. In comparison to other industry sectors, businesses in creative industries are more likely to report a decrease in all aspects of business operations. A vast majority of businesses saw some degree of change in the use of technology (91.0%). 54.9% reported a minor change and approximately one-third (36.1 %) of businesses had a major or a complete change in their use of technology. For about one in 11 businesses (9.0%) there was no change at all, particularly in the creative industries sector (10.3%). Approximately half (50.9%) of businesses in the education industry, the use of technology either changed significantly or completely. Most businesses are either fully up-to-date with the best commonly available technology (46.2%) or up to 4 years behind (44.0%). Picture courtesy of and 2012 NBN Co Limited 4 Making Connections: considering the impact of high speed broadband

9 CURRENT INTERNET USE Types of internet connection What type of Internet connection does your business have? Almost three-quarters (74%) of businesses connect to the internet using ADSL broadband, of which 38.7% use ADSL and 35.4% use ADSL2+. Additionally, 22% use Wi-Fi and 15.9% have broadband via a USB mobile connection (e.g. Telstra, Optus, Vodafone). Of the 16 businesses that reported other types of internet connections, radio, microwave and multiple methods/modems were reported. Some businesses had multiple forms of internet in an attempt to increase their download capacity. Only three respondents to the survey use a standard dial up modem. I live in a rural area with an ADSL cable passing the front of the house but am unable to access it as it is solely for the local school. Having to use wireless is unacceptable for education and remote access for work. Verbatim Industry: General Medical Practice Location: Maclean Figure 1: Internet connection type Standard dial up modem (through a phone line) Broadband via mobile phone connection (tethered) Cable (HFC) Broadband through ISDN Satellite Fibre Optic Cable connection LAN (PPPoE) Broadband via USB Mobile connection Wi-Fi Broadband through ADSL 2+ Broadband through ADSL 1.08% 2.89% 2.89% 3.25% 3.25% 5.05% 5.78% 6.14% 15.88% 22.02% 35.38% 38.63% 0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% 30% 35% 40% Percentage (%) Fibre optic cable is used most by the education sector and by some health facilities. This may reflect the investment in this technology at TAFE, University sites and schools. The creative industries are more likely to use broadband through ADSL or via a mobile phone connection. Table 1: Connection type by sector Connection Type ADSL Broadband 38.6% 50.0% 36.7% 32.2% 37.1% ADSL2+ Broadband 35.4% 29.3% 35.7% 22.0% 53.2% Wi-Fi 22.0% 22.4% 15.3% 25.4% 29.0% Broadband via USB Mobile connection (e.g. Telstra, Optus, Vodafone) 15.9% 22.4% 15.3% 10.2% 16.1% Regional Development Australia Northern Rivers 5

10 Connection Type LAN (PPPoE) 6.1% 5.2% 4.1% 10.2% 3.2% connection 5.8% 6.9% 4.1% 3.4% 9.7% Fibre Optic Cable 5.1% 0 2.0% 18.6% 1.6% Satellite 3.2% 5.2% 1.0% 6.8% 1.6% Broadband through ISDN 3.2% 0.0% 4.1% 6.8% 1.6% Cable (HFC) 2.9% 0.0% 3.1% 6.8% 1.6% Broadband via mobile phone connection (tethered) Standard dial up modem (through a phone line) 2.9% 5.2% 2.0% 1.7% 3.2% 1.1% 1.7% 0 1.7% 0.0% Speed of internet connection What is the advertised speed of your current internet connection? More than two-fifths of businesses are unaware of the speed of their internet connection (41.2%). The speed of current connections is variable, with businesses predominantly operating between 512kbps and 8Mbps (25.6%) or over 24Mbps (14.4%). According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, in June 2011, 42.3% of Australian businesses had internet connection speeds of between 1.5Mbps and 8Mbps (ABS 2011a). We are reliant on transferring files of all sizes, yet Bangalow is still on just ADSL. Byron Bay, Suffolk Park and all other surrounding areas are on ADSL2+. Verbatim Industry: Graphic Design, Broadcast Design, Visual Effects and Web Design Location: Bangalow Figure 2: Internet connection speed Don t Know / Unsure 41.16% 24 Mbps % 8Mbps > 24Mbps 1.5Mbps > 8Mbps 512kbps > 1.5Mbps 256kbps > 512kbps < 256kbps 3.25% 10.83% 14.80% 13.72% 1.81% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% aged care businesses are less aware of their internet speed than other sectors. 6 Making Connections: considering the impact of high speed broadband

11 Table 2: Internet connection speed by sector Internet Connection Speed < 256kbps 1.8% 3.4% 1.0% 1.7% 1.6% 256kbps to less than 512kbps 10.8% 20.7% 10.2% 5.1% 8.1% 512kbps to less than 1.5Mbps 14.4% 19.0% 15.3% 5.1% 17.8% 1.5Mbps to less than 8Mbps 14.8% 19.0% 8.2% 13.6% 22.6% 8Mbps to less than 24Mbps 13.7% 12.1% 9.2% 15.3% 21.0% 24 Mbps or greater 3.2% 0.0% 3.1% 5.1% 4.8% Don t Know / unsure 41.1% 25.9% 53.1% 54.2% 22.6% Deciding factors in choosing type of internet connection What were the considerations in choosing the type of internet connections? The primary consideration in choosing the type of internet connection is the availability in the business location (64.6%) and the connection speed (63.5%). This is generally true for different industry sectors, but is an issue for nearly three quarters of creative industries businesses. For a noticeably higher proportion in the education sector, the compatibility with the business existing technology plays an important part in the decision making process (49.2% compared to 33.2%). Additionally, the ongoing connection and usage costs were a consideration for 53.6% of businesses. Consultation with businesses suggests that their choice of internet would be different if more options were available in their location. It's difficult to compete with city businesses offering the same service with such slow broadband connections as we have here in regional Australia. The slow speeds and frequent service interruptions put a strain on our relationships with city based business clients who don't experience such troubles or downtimes. In the end it impacts our profitability. Verbatim Industry: Branding, Graphic, Web and Package Design Location: Byron Bay Table 3: Factors in choosing internet connection Factors in choosing type of internet connection Health & Availability in business location 64.6% 74.1% 59.2% 55.9% 80.0% Connection speed 63.5% 74.1% 51.0% 62.7% 78.2% Ongoing connection and usage costs 53.4% 62.1% 54.1% 45.8% 83.6% Availability of technical support 33.6% 36.2% 28.6% 39.0% 34.5% Compatibility with this business existing technology 33.2% 17.2% 34.7% 49.2% 34.5% Start-up costs 22.4% 24.1% 20.4% 22.0% 25.5% Mobile access 22.4% 22.4% 19.4% 27.1% 25.5% None of the above 1.4% 0.0% 0.0% 6.8% 0.0% Don t know / unsure 9.7% 1.7% 20.4% 8.5% 1.8% Regional Development Australia Northern Rivers 7

12 Price of internet connection How much do you currently pay per month for your internet connection? Approximately two-fifths of businesses pay between $40 and $80 per month for their internet connection (41.1%). Almost one in six (15.5%) pay between $81 and $120 per month, and another sixth (15.5%) pay more than $120 per month. The price for internet connection is directly correlated to the connection speed. The higher the price, the faster the speed. Please install the high speed cables here and around the Clarence Valley. I'm so over paying top dollar for slow internet. Verbatim Industry: Website Design and Development, Graphic Design and Internet Reseller Location: Harwood Island Figure 3: Price versus connection speed Don't know/ unsure (26%) $40 - $60 per month (22%) Don t Know / Unsure 41.16% 24 Mbps % 8Mbps > 24Mbps 1.5Mbps > 8Mbps 3.25% 10.83% > $120 per month (17.3%) $81 - $120 per month (15.5%) $61 - $80 per month (19.1%) 512kbps > 1.5Mbps 14.80% 256kbps > 512kbps 13.72% < 256kbps 1.81% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% aged care businesses are more likely to pay more for the internet while businesses in the education sector are less likely to know the cost of their internet services. Those in the creative industries are more likely to pay less than $80 per month than all other sectors. Table 4: How much businesses pay for internet Price $40 - $60 per month 22.0% 34.5% 14.3% 13.6% 27.4% $61 - $80 per month 19.1% 32.8% 14.3% 8.5% 19.4% $81 - $120 per month 15.5% 15.5% 18.4% 5.1% 21.0% More than $120 per month 17.3% 10.3% 22.4% 11.9% 14.5% Don't know/unsure 26.0% 6.9% 30.6% 61.0% 1.6% 8 Making Connections: considering the impact of high speed broadband

13 Paying a higher price for faster internet Would you be willing to pay more for a fast speed internet connection? Would need to know the cost and proposed speed before answering. Verbatim Industry: Property Valuation Location: Lismore 41.9% of businesses are willing to pay more for fast internet connection. While 27.1% are not willing to pay more, a third (31.0%) are not sure if they would be willing to pay more for a fast speed internet connection. in the creative industries are more willing to pay a higher price for a fast speed internet connection. Interestingly, although connection speed was nominated as the primary consideration in choosing the type of internet by 62.7% of businesses in the education sector, they are less likely to be willing to pay more for fast speed internet connection (22.0%). Willingness to pay for faster connection Table 5: Willingness to pay for HSB Yes 41.9% 51.7% 38.8% 28.8% 50.0% No 27.1% 31.0% 22.4% 22.0% 41.6% Don t know / unsure 31.0% 17.2% 38.6% 49.2% 8.3% Total 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% Using the full potential of the internet Until cost is established, it is difficult to say yes to NBN. Verbatim Industry: Video Documentaries Location: Mullumbimby Do you think you are currently using the internet to its full potential for your business? A majority of businesses do not believe they are using the internet to its full potential (73.3%) and almost a quarter of the respondents (23.5%) believe they are. Key barriers identified through consultation were speed and coverage. There are no significant differences noted in using the internet to its full potential for businesses from the various critical industries. in isolated rural areas requires the same speed as metropolitan areas. Equity issue. Verbatim Industry: Educates Children (K 12) Location: Bonalbo Table 6: Using the internet to full potential Using Internet to full potential Yes 23.5% 27.6% 23.5% 20.3% 27.1% No 73.3% 70.7% 70.4% 78.0% 72.9% Don t know / unsure 3.2% 1.7% 6.1% 1.7% 0% Total 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% Regional Development Australia Northern Rivers 9

14 Opportunities for collaboration Do you see opportunities to collaborate across sectors to realise your technology goals? Most businesses involved in the telephone survey highlighted they were already collaborating with other sectors to realise their technology goals. A key example of this was businesses that use local [creative industries] businesses to develop online training programs for staff and, in the education sector, students. Most businesses expect these collaborative efforts to increase once the NBN is operational. Most businesses expected these collaborations to contribute to a reduction in business costs (in terms of travel particularly) and an increase in business efficiency. Put us first. Verbatim Industry: Employment Services Location: NA Internet use in business For what purpose/s do you use the Internet in your business? Nearly all businesses (98.6%) use the internet both for correspondence and for research and information gathering. Additional uses of the internet include ordering materials and business items (89.5%); banking (84.8%); education and training (79.4%); booking accommodation and travel (77.6%); and having a website to market the business (77.6%). Coverage and internet dropout are a big issue for a business built almost entirely on / website transactions Verbatim Industry: Bed and Breakfast Location: Byron Bay In comparison to other sectors: businesses in the creative industries sector use the internet more for transferring large files (91.4%) and e-marketing (60.3%), and significantly less for education and training (63.7%), staff training (34.5%), recruitment (29.3%) and sharing information within the organisation (44.8%). The more average users to have access to high speed broadband, the more likely they are to use our services and grow our regional business. Verbatim Industry: Software Development Location: Lismore in health and aged care use the internet the least overall and utilise video conferencing or IP telephony features significantly less (43.8%), although sharing information within the organisation (67.3%), staff training (61.2%) and remote access computing (60.2%) is practised by more than half the businesses in this sector. in the education sector use the internet the most, with a noticeably higher percentage using the internet for recruitment (74.6%), staff training (84.7%), education and training (94.9%) and to share information within the organisation (84.7%). Picture courtesy of and 2012 NBN Co Limited 10 Making Connections: considering the impact of high speed broadband

15 Use of Internet for Business Table 7: Purposes for internet use Health & Correspondence (e.g. ) 98.6% 100.0% 99.0% 96.6% 98.4% Research / Information gathering 98.6% 100.0% 98.0% 98.3% 98.4% Ordering materials and business items 89.5% 91.3% 86.7% 93.2% 88.7% Banking 84.8% 91.3% 77.6% 79.7% 95.2% and training 79.4% 63.7% 82.7% 94.9% 74.2% Booking accommodation and travel 77.6% 87.9% 68.4% 81.4% 79.0% Have a website to market the business 77.6% 87.9% 68.4% 88.1% 72.6% Sharing information with other organisations (e.g. collaborations with business partners) Transferring large files (graphics, video files, etc) Sharing information within your business (e.g. intranet, knowledge management) Staff training (e.g. e-learning applications via intranet or internet ) 69.0% 75.9% 59.1% 86.4% 62.9% 69.3% 91.4% 45.9% 83.1% 72.6% 62.5% 44.8% 67.3% 84.7% 50.0% 60.3% 34.5% 61.2% 84.7% 59.7% Video Conferencing and IP Telephony 58.5% 68.9% 43.8% 78.0% 53.2% Remote access computing 56.0% 39.7% 60.2% 64.4% 56.5% Electronic tax lodgements (e.g. PAYG) 51.6% 44.8% 51.0% 49.2% 61.3% Internal or external recruitment (e.g. details of vacant positions) e-marketing sell products and/or services online 47.6% 29.3% 48.0% 74.6% 38.7% 40.1% 60.3% 18.4% 50.1% 45.2% Export or interest in export 12.3% 24.1% 1.0% 18.6% 12.9% 6.1% 8.6% 7.1% 1.7% 6.5% Internet use for Government correspondence For which of the following activities, if any, does this business use the internet for dealing with federal, state or local government? The vast majority of businesses use the internet to obtain information from government websites or via (92.4%). Additionally a large number of businesses also utilise the internet for downloading government forms (87.4%) or submitting completed forms (85.2%). While there is no major difference in use of the internet by the different sectors, the education sector has the highest use of the internet for all forms of government correspondence. Regional Development Australia Northern Rivers 11

16 Figure 4: Using the internet in business dealings with governments No, the internet is not used for any of these activities in dealing with government 3.2% Making on-line payments 71.8% Completing forms on-line or sending completed forms Downloading or requesting government forms (e.g. tax) Obtaining information from government websites or via 85.2% 87.4% 92.4% 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% Business websites Does your business have a website? Which of the following features are offered on the business website? More than three-quarters of businesses (79.1%) have a website. Nearly all businesses with a website offer information about the business (98.2%) and a large number also contain information about their goods and services (87.2%). Of the businesses with a website, those in the education sector are twice as likely to use their website for advertising (60.4%). business websites are also more likely to have product or service information (88.4%) and information about employment opportunities (50.9%). The health and aged care sector is less likely to have facilities for online ordering (11.0%) or payments (5.5%), secure transactions facility (2.7%) or account information (0%). Use of the website to deliver products in a digital form and after sales service is used more by education and the creative industries than other sectors. Access to high speed reliable broadband at an affordable cost would be extremely desirous for this business. We are a national / international business situated in a rural area and often feel constrained by lack of such service. Verbatim Industry: Vocational Training Location: Dunoon 12 Making Connections: considering the impact of high speed broadband

17 Figure 5: website features Information about the business Information about goods and services Product or service information Advertising Information about employment opportunities Online ordering Facility for collecting customer information Online payments Capability to provide secure transactions After sales service Account information Delivery of products in digital form Tracking orders Procurement facility Don t Know / Unsure 45.7% 37.4% 33.8% 29.7% 26.0% 20.1% 16.4% 13.2% 11.4% 6.4% 3.7% 0.9% 63.0% 98.2% 87.2% 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% Note sample size for businesses with a website = 219 Table 8: Business website features Business website features Information about the business 98.2% 96.0% 98.6% 100.0% 97.7% Information about goods and services 87.2% 88.0% 80.8% 88.7% 100.0% Advertising 45.7% 30.0% 35.6% 60.4% 37.0% Product of service information 63.0% 54.0% 57.5% 88.4% 72.1% Online ordering 33.8% 38.0% 11.0% 47.2% 51.2% Online payments 26.0% 32.0% 5.5% 43.4% 32.6% Capability to provide secure transactions 20.1% 28.0% 2.7% 32.1% 25.6% Account information 13.2% 16.0% 0.0% 17.0% 27.9% Tracking orders 6.4% 10.0% 0.0% 7.5% 11.6% Delivery of products in digital form 11.4% 22.0% 1.4% 17.0% 9.3% Procurement facility 3.7% 2.0% 0.0% 9.4% 4.7% After sales service 16.4% 20.0% 1.4% 26.4% 4.7% Information about employment opportunities Facility for collecting customer information on-line 37.4% 18.0% 37.0% 50.9% 44.2% 29.7% 26.0% 13.7% 47.2% 39.5% Regional Development Australia Northern Rivers 13

18 Orders placed and received via internet In the last financial year did this business use the Internet to place orders to purchase goods and services? In the last financial year did this business use the Internet to receive orders to sell goods or services? While the vast majority of businesses use the internet to place orders to purchase goods and services (93.9%), significantly less are receiving orders via the internet (61.7%). in all sectors are comparable in placing orders, with nearly all businesses in the education sector mentioning they place orders online. Approximately three-quarters of businesses in the creative industries and education sectors receive orders using the internet. Not surprisingly, businesses in health and aged care are least likely to be receiving orders via the internet. Our business is highly dependent on the internet. Not only would it improve our bottom line, it would also give opportunity for our staff to further their knowledge without having to travel to big cities to attend seminars. They would be able to stream online. Verbatim Industry: Accountancy Firm Location: Grafton Placed orders via internet (last financial year) Table 9: Placing and receiving online orders Placed Orders Yes 93.9% 94.8% 91.8% 98.3% 90.3% No 4.3% 5.2% 6.1% 1.7% 3.2 % Don t know / unsure 1.8% 0.0% 2.0% 0.0% 4.8% Total 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% Received orders via internet (last financial year) Received Orders Yes 61.7% 75.9% 43.9% 71.2% 61.3% No 34.7% 19.0% 50.0% 28.8% 30.6% Don t know / unsure 3.86% 5.2% 6.1% 0.0% 1.6% Total 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% How orders were received How did your business receive the orders to sell the goods and services? Of the businesses that received orders to sell goods and services on the internet, nearly three-quarters of businesses receive orders via an that is linked to the business website (71.3%). 45.6% have an online ordering facility on the business website through which the business receives orders. industries are approximately twice as likely to have an online ordering facility on the business website (71.4%). Of note, businesses in the creative industries sector indicate more turnover from internet-related activity, but only 36.4% have online ordering facilities on their website. It's important that high speed packages include larger (corresponding) volume allowances. Verbatim Industry: Space and Multimedia Design Location: Coffs Harbour 14 Making Connections: considering the impact of high speed broadband

19 How orders were received Table 10: How online orders were received linked to your website 71.3% 79.5% 58.1% 76.2% 71.4% On-line ordering facility on your website 45.6% 36.4% 27.9% 71.4% 47.6% Third party website 29.2% 22.7% 27.9% 19.0% 47.6% None of the above 11.7% 6.8% 23.3% 4.8% 11.9% Turnover attributable to the internet What is the approximate proportion of annual turnover that is internet related / online? Interestingly, although only 61.7% of business mention receiving orders via the internet, 21.7% indicate more than 40% of the businesses' annual turnover is internet-related. This is mainly attributed to nearly half (46.6%) of businesses in the creative industries for whom over 40% of annual turnover is internetrelated. To be Internationally competitive we need it - now/soon. Verbatim Industry: Music/Film Development and Production Location: Mullumbimby Table 11: Proportion on turnover related to the internet Proportion of internetrelated turnover Zero 9.4% 8.6% 18.4% 0.0% 4.8% 1% - 5% 15.5% 10.3% 24.5% 3.5% 17.7% 6% - 10% 9.4% 12.1% 8.2% 10.2% 8.1% 11% - 20% 8.3% 5.2% 6.1% 15.3% 8.1% 21% - 30% 3.6% 3.4% 1.0% 6.8% 4.8% 31% - 40% 4.7% 8.6% 0.0% 5.1% 8.1% 40%+ 21.7% 46.6% 5.1% 13.6% 29.0% Don t know / unsure 27.4% 5.2% 36.7% 45.8% 16.1% Total 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% Sales outside Australia via the internet In the last financial year, what percentage of this business s total dollar internet sales was sold to customers outside Australia? Most businesses do not attribute any internet sales to customers outside of Australia (59.5%). A small number (4.3%) indicate more than 20% of their internet sales are to customers outside Australia. The industry with more than 20% of internet sales outside Australia is the creative industries sector (10.3%). While nearly a quarter (23.5%) of the health and aged care sector is unsure of the percentage of internet sales outside of Australia, only 2% make any sales via the internet, and this is only between 1-5% of total sales. Regional Development Australia Northern Rivers 15

20 Figure 6: Internet sales to customers outside Australia More than 20%, 4.3% 11-20%, 2.5% 6-10%, 5.1% Don't know/ unsure, 17.3% None, 59.9% 1-5%, 10.8% Table 12: Percentage of online sales outside Australia Percentage of sales outside Australia None 59.9% 51.7% 74.5% 55.9% 48.4% 1-5% 10.8% 17.2% 2.0% 10.2% 19.4% 6-10% 5.1% 10.3% 0.0% 1.7% 11.3% 11-20% 2.5% 5.2% 0.0% 5.1% 1.6% More than 20% 4.3% 10.3% 0.0% 1.7% 8.0% Don't know/unsure 17.3% 5.2% 23.5% 25.4% 6.5% BARRIERS TO INTERNET USE Internet connection issues Do you have internet connection issues? Nearly half (49.8%) of businesses encounter internet connection issues. in the health and aged care sectors are less likely to report internet connection issues. Surprisingly, while businesses from creative industries report having the most up-to-date equipment, they report having connection issues that are more likely impact upon business operations. Consultations suggest this could be due to their need to use online tools and programs to complete projects. As a training consultant, the ability to video conference would be immensely valuable. At the moment I am limited primarily to audio conferencing only and even that often has drop outs or quality issues. Verbatim Industry: Vocational Training Location: Dunoon 16 Making Connections: considering the impact of high speed broadband

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