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Faster broadband would see more Aussies work from home

A recent survey commissioned by NBN Co, the government-owned enterprise delivering the National Broadband Network (NBN), has revealed that one in ten Australians surveyed would work from home if they had faster broadband.

The findings released last week revealed Australian workers believe faster broadband would assist their ability to work remotely, which in turn may allow for time with family/flexibility for parents, result in the lowering of commuting costs, and provide more opportunities for new jobs.

“Over the next few years we expect to see an increase in the amount of people working from home as Australians overcome their poor connection challenges and gain better access to fast and reliable broadband services through the NBN,” Stephen Greaves, national transport expert at The University of Sydney’s Business School, said in a media release.

“Frustrated commuters who live in the suburbs and city outskirts stand to benefit most as they have the potential to significantly reduce the hours spent travelling to ‘knowledge based’ jobs traditionally located in CBDs. This type of work typically deals in the trade of information rather than physical products or labour, and can be more easily done online from the convenience of our home offices or smart working hubs.

The “Connected Commuters” report revealed that 50 per cent of Australians who had worked from home were dissatisfied with their home internet service, citing slow speeds associated with watching videos and drop outs when making video calls.

The majority of Australian workers consider the internet to be an essential part of their jobs, with 74 per cent of those surveyed declaring the internet as important or vital to their work.

The NBN states that the network has connected more than a quarter of a million premises around the country so far, with a plan to have nationwide coverage by 2020.

NBN Co spokesperson Andrew Sholl said that the NBN will allow Australians to find ‘a better work/life balance’ and see commuting costs lowered over time.

“We’re already seeing evidence that people living in NBN-connected areas are replacing their unpredictable commute by using fast and reliable broadband services to work from home,” Sholl said. “For example, there are a number of small businesses and office workers making significant savings on travel and toll costs as they can connect with colleagues and clients around the world from the comfort of their own work space.”