National Broadband Network to Offer Unprecedented Opportunities for West Australian Businesses

Western Australia, ( March 29, 2011

National Broadband Network to Offer Unprecedented Opportunities for West Australian Businesses

National Broadband Network to Offer Unprecedented Opportunities for West Australian Businesses

Prime Minister Julia Gillard today said the National Broadband Network will offer unprecedented opportunities for West Australian businesses to diversify and tap into new markets.

The Prime Minister witnessed first-hand today how the digital economy has helped transform Perth retailer, The Beaufort Street Merchant, which has embraced online opportunities.

The Prime Minister was joined by Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Senator Stephen Conroy, Federal Member for Perth, Stephen Smith and Google Managing Director, Nick Leeder.

The Beaufort Street Merchant complements its bricks and mortar retail store with an integrated online presence. The website allows people to browse products online and generates up to 30 per cent of bookings for the restaurant.

The retailer also has its location on Google Maps, which ensures people can find key business details and user reviews when searching on the online mapping platform for nearby restaurants and shops.

Its online presence is driving sales growth and ensuring the business attracts customers who haven’t driven past the front door.

Senator Conroy said having an online presence is essential for small businesses to succeed in a global digital economy.

The rollout of the NBN will offer many more WA businesses the opportunity to grow like the Beaufort Street Merchant.

WA will benefit from the largest investment in broadband infrastructure in Australia when it’s rolled out, compare to every other state and territory.

This will have major implications for the expansion of businesses across WA who’ll be able to develop an effective online presence to drive sales growth.

More than one fifth of the transit fibre that will be used to provide high- speed broadband connections around Australia will be laid throughout WA.

This amounts to more than 11,700 km of transit fibre that will deliver broadband services to West Australians.

Minister Smith said it is a key example of the Gillard Government delivering more for the people of Western Australia.

The current lack of decent broadband services in WA means a large percentage of businesses are missing out on the opportunities that the digital economy can provide.

The NBN will help remove this source of frustration for businesses by delivering high speed, reliable broadband to all Australian households and businesses.

The benefits of the digital economy are especially profound in Western Australia. The NBN will truly end the tyranny of distance, opening up new markets – attracting customers from the east or from overseas for businesses in WA.

The Government has provided $14million in the Small Business Online Program providing grants to help small businesses get ready for the opportunities ahead.

It has launched the Digital Business website to provide easily understood information about how to get your business online.

And it is encouraging industry players to help drive the digital economy through programs like the Google and MYOB Getting Aussie Businesses Online.

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