Even when Australia’s National Broadband Network rollout makes “fast broadband” available to nearly ten million households and 1.8 million businesses by the end of this decade, the speeds achieved will be a fraction of those already achieved in South Korea and (from next year) Singapore and some European economies.
That’s the gist of a report on Australia’s digital future, commissioned by IBM from researcher IbisWorld and available from IBM’s website.
It covers the impact of high-speed broadband – and related adjuncts such as cognitive computing, analytics and online intelligence – on society, business and government, terming this new arsenal of tools Australia’s ‘new utility’… as historic and game-changing as electricity and telephony.
“The report suggests that high-speed broadband is essential for Australia’s economic growth, will address our ongoing productivity decline, secure our longer term prosperity and transform every aspect of Australian society: our industry, our lives, our cities and the way we interact,” says IbisWorld’s Phil Ruthven.
The report predicts the nation’s GDP will climb from $1.5 trillion in fiscal 2012 to $5.3 trillion (in today’s money terms) by 2050, and that the new utility will generate about $1 trillion in revenue, almost eight times the $131 billion generated today.
The report also examines the nation’s entire 509 industry classes to identify the industries that will disappear, which will prosper and what new industries will emerge as a result of our digital future.
The report found that by 2050, 46 per cent of Australia’s current industry revenue will substantially benefit from the new utility: 23 per cent of the nation’s revenue will not function without this new utility, and a further 23 per cent of industry revenue will use it to drive step-changes in their business.