Posted by Elizabeth Aris , on June 17th, 2020
Estimated reading time: 3 min

Australia’s $51 billion investment in the nbn has never looked so good. As the National Cabinet plots the nation’s return to economic growth, TasmaNet Chief Executive Elizabeth Aris puts the case for wholehearted cross-sector embrace of the nbn’s full potential.  

As the National Cabinet focuses on safely unlocking Australia’s economy and returning it to growth, it’s essential it has a complementary strategy to enable every enterprise, including the public sector, to adopt an nbn-first approach to help power economic growth in our regions. 

First, let’s acknowledge that the nbn is the already-built major infrastructure that a big, resilient, agile and entrepreneurial digital economy like Australia deserves. Powerful, reliable and affordable, the nbn has played a remarkable behind-the-scenes role supporting enterprise throughout the Covid-19 crisis. 

As the home front became shop front, classroom and office for many Aussies, demand for bandwidth-intensive tools like remote access to learning materials and video conferencing became mission critical. A connection to nbn high speed dedicated fibre enabled many enterprises to instantly increase bandwidth capacity. 

Just a few years ago, this technological flexibility was unthinkable. Only large city-based companies could access or afford expensive dedicated fibre provided by legacy carriers. The nbn Enterprise Ethernet (EE) product changed all that. Over one million businesses in the nbn fixed-line footprint can be enabled by EE’s symmetric upload and download speeds of up to 1Gbps - and 70% of them are eligible for free installation. 

TasmaNet has benefited substantially from a partnership with nbn. The company sold its first nbn Enterprise Ethernet service in December 2018 within hours of the product being launched and has since deployed this new technology successfully across many sites. 

These include public and private schools, along with business, enterprise and government customers of all sizes and industries including councils, healthcare and aged care, financial services, manufacturing, retail, professional services and transport.

Some customers like Tsimos Commercial Real Estate have seen productivity improvements of 30-40% from being able to upload and download large files in seconds.

Small businesses in regional locations like MyTyreSite are now able to compete nationally and internationally driving millions of dollars in additional revenue into the Australian economy.

Catholic Education Tasmania has also connected most of its 38 schools enabling them to deliver innovative online learning opportunities for students such as robotics and connect with other students globally via video conferencing.  

TasmaNet has worked closely with nbn to improve delivery times, which have reduced by over 50% in the past 12 months.

Like any enterprise, government agencies are already reaping nbn benefits and significant cost savings. But many more could be doing so, instead of unnecessarily paying millions for expensive legacy carrier fibre. We encourage the National Cabinet to adopt an nbn-first strategy across the public sector. 

"We’re in this together" has been our Covid-19 rallying cry and the nbn has played an important role keeping us together. As we go for growth, let’s get more enterprise from every sector of our economy, and every corner of our nation, connected to it. The more governments encourage nbn uptake, the more we’ll leverage the nation’s $51 billion investment in this extraordinary infrastructure.


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