NZPA/NZ Herald – Survey questions ultra-fast broadband gains

A new survey questions whether fast broadband supplies productivity gains over slow broadband, although it’s clear that both provide a productivity leg-up over dial-up.

The survey, conducted by Motu Economic and Public Policy Research, found that while there were gains when companies initially adopted broadband, no change ocurred when they switched to fast broadband.  However, the paper’s authors have said that there could be multiple reasons for this, and an industry commentator has also said that productivity increases may not come directly from faster access to broadband, but from the way such systems would change business models.

An excerpt: (read in full here)

“But the paper’s authors cautioned that the finding that a move to fast broadband from any other form of broadband had no estimated impact should be interpreted with care.

“At least four explanations could account for the result, they said.

“Among those, the firms may have only recently adopted fast broadband and were yet to achieve the full productivity benefits. Also, the productivity benefits of moving to fast broadband may only be relevant to a small proportion of firms for now, so the full future benefits may not be apparent in the existing data.

“Industry commentator Paul Budde said the outcome of the Motu study did not come as a surprise.

“High-speed broadband linked to an open network would open the infrastructure to other sectors and it was those sectors that would provide improved productivity, Mr Budde said.”