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Will The Ideas Boom be NBN-Paced?

We need fast NBN to deliver our innovation!

Thinkink about starting your own business and want to learn from small business mentors and other entreprenuersFollowing his $1 billion innovation announcement in December, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull received quite a grilling on the ABC program 7.30, hosted by Leigh Sales, who brought up one of the most widely criticised initiatives of the Abbott-Turnbull Coalition government: the NBN.

Although the government’s innovation statement was generally met with praise, especially for its $200 million commitment to funding the CSIRO (which, under the previous Abbott-led government, had its funding cut by $111 million), as well as a number of other measures that will make it easier for scientific research to be commercialised and encourage more children to learn coding and other computer sciences at school, there was criticism that no mention was made of the NBN.

If you’re looking for innovation ideas I recently recorded some interviews of my own with owners of various different business types from retail, video rental, white goods, business broker and internet technology about how they started their businesses, how they continually come up with new ideas and how they turn those ideas into products and services and build a business around them.

These entrepreneurs are part of the academic board for the Australian Small Business Centre and you can learn about these people here. In these videos interviews I ask many questions from startup and concept ideas to planning, marketing, sales, operations and financial aspects of their businesses.

Innovation, teleworking, remote contractors, technology needs good Internet speeds

There’s nary a business today, never mind the kind of “innovative” ones the PM is hoping to encourage in the future, that can get by without high speed internet, yet Australia’s current broadband internet speeds are some of the slowest in the developed world; the NBN could even be as slow as 25Mbps, which the US Federal Communications Commission recently said was absolute slowest speed an internet connection could be if it was still to be classified as broadband.

But that’s probably not the reason the prime minister made no mention of the NBN. Earlier this year, we published an in-depth look at the NBN after it was scaled back when the Coalition government took power in 2013, which drew a line between Australia’s, generally, underwhelming internet speeds and the government’s shelved teleworking initiative, which had been developed by the Gillard Labor government to get more people, particularly people in remote or regional communities, working from their homes using the NBN.

Then in November, documents that were leaked to Fairfax newspapers showed that the NBN may have to replace the Optus cable network it purchased for $800 million – which Labor had previously proposed decommissioning due to its state of disrepair, in favour of FTTP technology – which Malcolm Turnbull championed as a “landmark agreement” that would allow NBN Co to take ownership of the existing cable networks to use for the NBN rollout, without any additional cost to the taxpayer.

Post mining boom can Australia afford to invest in innovation?

Instead, it’s estimated that the cost of replacing the Optus cable network will blowout to around $375 million, as it’s not fit for purpose. Worse still, there will be some hundreds of thousands of premises left without access to the NBN until 2019 – and as I’ve mentioned elsewhere on this blog, there are plenty of regions, even ones in major cities, that are currently unable to connect to any high speed broadband service until the NBN is rolled out.

About a week later, more documents were leaked, this time to the Australian newspaper, that showed that the NBN also expects to spend $26,115 per node to fix Telstra’s copper lines to ensure that the service quality promised by the Coalition is achieved; this figure is ten times the amount originally estimated by the Coalition in 2013.

When questioned about the cost blow outs by Leigh Sales on 7.30, Malcolm Turnbull said it simply wasn’t true, but, well, the numbers don’t really lie. So if you were wondering why there was no inclusion or provision for the NBN in the government’s newly announced innovation plan, well that’s probably because it’s proven to be a bit more than the government can chew.

NBN or not you can still do an EzyLearn online MYOB and Excel course

The upshot, of course, is that we could end up with an entirely new cable network that’s capable of better than 25Mbps broadband speeds, albeit at a much later date and greater cost than originally promised by the Coalition. For now, though, it’s business as usual for the NBN, which announced in December that more than 500,000 premises in regional and rural Australia will now have access to the NBN with wholesale speeds of up to 50Mbps for downloads and 20Mbps for uploads.

When we started offering our online MYOB training courses in 2008 we offered a money back guarantee for several reasons and one of them was if a students internet access wasn’t fast enough they would have a tough time watching the videos. Although the rest of the training course resources (training workbooks and course exercise files) could easily be downloaded the videos would go through that buffering process of partly downloading and then playing, pausing, buffering etc. Luckily, there has been innovation in the US that enables training course creators like EzyLearn to upload their videos in HD format yet have them delivered in a format most suitable for the students broadband speed – still it’s always better to have super fast broadband so keep on working at it NBNco!

To see if you live in one of the areas where the NBN has been rolled out, visit the NBN Co website. Otherwise, if you’d like to be kept up-to-date with the latest news and developments on the NBN, subscribe to our blog.

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Malcolm’s Business Innovation Plans Can Include You

Australian Federal Government Wants Business Innovation

Innovation package, bankruptcy changes, capital gains and raising equity funding

In December, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, unveiled a new $1.1b Innovation Plan, developed to encourage more Aussies to start their own businesses, specifically ones in the areas of science and technology and which are, well, “innovative”. With the announcement coming just a few weeks before Christmas, it seemed perfectly timed to give Australia’s would-be entrepreneurs the holidays to think about their plans innovation plans for 2016.

But with all this talk about scientific and technological innovation, you could be forgiven for thinking that only Australia’s Next Google can take advantage of the many new initiatives introduced by the government. So let’s be clear: this is fantastic news for anyone thinking of starting their own business, whether they’re bookkeeping or content marketing businesses. Just the very act of starting a business is, itself, an act of innovation – because more businesses means more employment opportunities for more Australians.  

There is more opportunity to start anew after going broke

As I’ve mentioned in the past, the climate at the moment is incredibly favourable toward anyone looking to start their own business, and these new measures just make it even more so. That’s because some of the big changes come in the form of changes to our bankruptcy laws, which have always been notoriously punitive, and have tended to discourage businesses to take risks or entrepreneurs to try again, if at first they did not succeed.

That’s going to change. From 2017, the bankruptcy period will be reduced from three years to one, and businesses will also be allowed to continue trading while insolvent, as long as the business appoints a restructuring advisor to work on a turnaround plan, a measure not dissimilar to one within America’s Chapter 11 laws.

Grow and expand your business with equity investments from angels

One of the more exciting new measures to be announced, however, is one that will help more start-ups find funding from investors. To be introduced in 2016, the government will now provide a 20 percent tax offset worth up to $200,000 for investors in start-up businesses, plus a 10-year exemption from capital gains tax if they hold shares in the company for three years.

Together with the already announced tax breaks for small businesses; the raft of new technologies – particularly the recent union of PayPal and QuickBooks – that allow small businesses to work faster and smarter; and the increasing number of shared workspaces, like the NSW State Government’s Smart Work Hubs and the WOTSO Workspaces, which give small business owners and teleworkers the opportunity to work remotely among other like-minded entrepreneurs, you can make 2016 the year that you start your own small business.

Want to learn more about business valuations and preparing your business for sale? Information is included in our Small Business Finance Courses with in depth interviews with Tony Arena from BCI Business Brokers. Read about the Valuations and Raising Equity Funding Course.

Get started with the Start-Up Academy

If you’re subscribed to this blog, then you’re probably familiar with our latest partnership with the StartUp Academy, which aims to help people to start their own home-based business easily and successfully, through proven business opportunities and plenty of guidance for prosperity.

There are currently a number of business opportunities, across a range of different industries, that you can register your interest in at the StartUp Academy website. Each opportunity allows you the freedom to operate as an independent contractor from your home, regardless of where in Australia you are located.

Get the FREE guide to becoming an independent contractor

If you’re interested in becoming an independent contractor in 2016, whether it’s with the StartUp Academy or with a business idea of your own, why not use the summer break to study up on what it takes to become a successful independent contractor by downloading our free guide off the StartUp Academy website, and make 2016 an innovative one!