Biggest winners and losers of the NBN

Business analyst IBISWorld has tipped the five biggest winners and five biggest losers of a high-speed broadband network like the government's NBN.

The five industries most likely to benefit from a high-speed broadband project like the National Broadband Network (NBN) are health, telecommunications, gaming, retail and education, according to analyst IBISWorld.

The biggest losers of the NBN would be film, television, music or newspaper publishing industries.

In the health industry, high-speed broadband will enable telemedicine — the delivery of medical services remotely. This will reduce travel required by medical practitioners and provide help for those in remote locations.

In telecoms, ISPs will be able to deliver faster broadband services to more of the population than ever, under the NBN. Rural areas beyond the range of traditional broadband will also benefit from the newer services’ greater reach.

Video game console providers — particularly Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo — will benefit, with faster broadband invigorating interest in multiplayer games.

Faster internet will enhance the online buying experience with more video and multimedia content, further enticing shoppers to purchase goods online.

The education sector will also benefit, particularly in the area of corporate training. Students will be able to complete modules and become certified from work or home.

But faster broadband will make some unhappy, according to IBISWorld, particularly those that draw their income from film, television, music or newspaper publishing.

“Faster broadband, and cheaper home theatre systems, will allow consumers to download movies at a fraction of the cost of buying a cinema ticket or renting from their local DVD outlet,” said Robert Bryant, general manager of IBISWorld Australia.

Television viewers downloading programs through peer-to-peer networks will simply skip through any advertisements, lowering the value of such ads to advertisers — and therefore the money they generate for television stations.

Newspaper publishers, already suffering under the threat of existing broadband, will suffer even further with faster broadband.

“Online publishers will be able to improve the viewing experience by enriching content with more video and audio, which will severely curtail demand for print papers,” Bryant said.

The music industry, which has faced a similar threat from existing broadband, will also feel the heat of faster broadband speeds. Sites such as iTunes will lead even more consumers to abandon traditional album purchasing.

But despite these losers, IBISWorld believes a next generation network (NGN), such as the federal government’s NBN, is necessary to Australia’s economic survival.

“Without an NGN, as a nation increasingly focused on services, we may fall too far behind and risk losing some of our shining stars to offshore locations, as well as discouraging foreign investors and operators from setting up down under,” Bryant said.

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