The Business NSW’s Telecommunications Survey conducted across NSW asked business owners about their telecommunications services during the pandemic.
Business NSW CEO Nola Watson said telecommunications issues are a constant source of frustration for business owners, particularly in regional NSW.
“Fundamentals of speed and reliability remain the primary concerns for businesses,” Ms Watson said.
“Switching to online retailing and order processing, teleconferences and Zoom meetings made business more telecommunications-dependent than ever.”
The survey found that 40 per cent of members revealed they have changed how their staff work, and 49 per cent have changed when their staff work during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Meanwhile, nearly 60 per cent said they have become more reliant on telecommunications infrastructure including broadband and mobile phone networks.
Ms Watson noted there’s no doubt the COVID-19 pandemic drove a surge in demand for telecommunications services, and for the most part networks have held up well.
However, Ms Watson said a lack of awareness of bill relief options was also an issue for businesses, with only 7 per cent of respondents seeking access to telco support funds for business customers struggling to make payments.
“The move to widespread working from home will also present telcos with a challenge in relation to the separation and specialisation of products across residential and business categories,” she said.
“It may, in the end, prove more challenging to persuade businesses to take up high-spec, high-cost enterprise solutions for offices when employees are working more often from home.”