NBN users in Brunswick "almost twice as likely" to work at home

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NBN users in Brunswick "almost twice as likely" to work at home

In this inner Melbourne suburb, working at home is more common among NBN users.

In Brunswick 30% of homes with the NBN are used as a place of business or for paid employment, compared with 15% for homes connected with ADSL or wireless.

That's according to this study of 282 households in the area between 2011 and 2012, which has been reported by Rowan Wilkin in this interesting article over at the web site The Conversation.
Brunswick, an inner Melbourne suburb, was one of the NBN's "first release sites" with retail services going live in late 2011 and early 2012. As such, the area has been studied by a team from The University of Melbourne and Swinburne University of Technology.
One of the study's more interesting findings was that, as Wilkin reports in his article, "NBN connected households are almost twice as likely to be used as places of work than other households."
What isn't completely clear is the direction of that relationship: are people who work at home more likely to become NBN users shortly after it is available to them, or does the existence of a fibre connection make it easier to work at home?
But as far as a "first release site" is concerned, it looks like the former is the case. "The households who had taken-up an NBN plan were clearly more knowledgeable consumers of broadband technologies, and displayed a more active engagement compared with the inertia that characterised many non-NBN users and their interaction with Internet service provision. As such, the study participants reflect common models of early adopters and therefore may have limited relevance to the broader population."
One of the main reasons respondents gave for not connecting to the NBN was that they didn't know what it was or that it was available to them.
2,600 homes were covered by the Brunswick rollout, and the study surveyed 282 of those households in late 2011, interviewed 20 households in mid-2012, and re-surveyed 102 households from the original 282 in late 2012. The surveys were conduced face-to-face to avoid the bias that would be likely with phone or online surveys.
Footnote: The following attribution applies to references from the report:
University of Melbourne and Swinburne University of Technology, supported by a grant from the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network.
Copyright © BIT (Business IT). All rights reserved.

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