The national broadband network (NBN) is expected to create up to 960 new businesses and up to 4,170 new digital jobs in the Gippsland region by 2021, according to a new report authorised by the company rolling out the service.

Commissioned by nbn, the Regional Australia Institute compiled The Gippsland Business Growth Opportunities report using research from AlphaBeta’s first national economic and social study of the impact of the NBN.

The report highlights how the uptake of the network in Gippsland is set to support the growth of a technologically skilled workforce and drive business innovation in the region.

According to the report, Gippsland’s high concentration of tradesman (15 per cent) and technical skilled workers (27 per cent) indicates the region is in a strong position to leverage digital technologies to start up new businesses, open new market opportunities and reduce reliance on traditional industries.

Chief Executive Officer for the Regional Australia Institute, Jack Archer, said, “The recent closures of Hazelwood power station and the East Gippsland sawmill means a technologically skilled workforce is necessary to support the region’s transition from the energy sector into the services industry.

“Access to fast broadband can encourage new and existing industries within the Gippsland region to become commercially competitive and attract a professional workforce across new industries.

“Innovation and entrepreneurship which can be pursued by embracing digital technology will enable Gippsland to continue to offer the benefits of a regional lifestyle with the attraction of globally competitive business opportunities.”

Head of nbn local Victoria, Ebony Aitken, said, “With the rollout of the nbn access network almost complete in Gippsland, the region is in a strong position to take advantage of a fully connected workforce to drive growth and reach new markets.

“It’s encouraging to see early signs of growth as a result of connectivity, with local businesses taking advantage of access to fast broadband to expand their market and increase productivity.”  

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