The Federal Budget announcement of $4.7billion for a high-speed national broadband network was welcomed today.
Small Business Minister Margaret Quirk said many small businesses relied on the internet as a vital means of communication and support for their business.
According to a survey of 5,000 small and medium-sized businesses conducted in March and April 2007, 71 per cent of respondents said they could not be in business without telecommunications. Only one per cent regarded it as unimportant.*
Also in 2007, eBay reported that about 17,500 small businesses relied on eBay as their primary source of revenue and 35,000 companies used it to supplement other sales channels.**
“There are very few small businesses in Western Australia that do not rely on the internet for some or all of their business communications,” Ms Quirk said.
“We have vast distances to cover in our State, so the Federal Government’s $4.7billion commitment to provide high-speed, high quality, affordable internet services to 98 per cent of Australians is very welcome news.”
For the other two per cent of Australians, the Government has budgeted $270million over four years to ensure the continuation of the Australian Broadband Guarantee.
*Australian Financial Review 29/5/07 p49
**Australian Financial Review 27/2/07 p32
Minister's office 9213 7000